Tag - WW2

HMAS Armidale Sunk

1 DEC 1942: World War II and HMAS Armidale is sunk. Armidale was sunk by Japanese aircraft near Timor. As the Armidale sank Able Seaman Teddy Sheean fired at attacking bombers until he was lost with his ship. Armidale was engaged in escort duties in the North Queensland – Port Moresby – Milne Bay area. In October 1942, HMAS Armidale was ordered to Darwin. Arriving on 7 November, she was then allocated to support Australian operations in Timor. HMAS Armidale and...

Pabu Hill Ends

26 NOV 1943: World War II and today sees the end of fighting at Pabu Hill, New Guinea. The 2/43rd Battalion repulses strong Japanese attacks on Pabu Hill. The 2/43rd Battalion held Pabu, one of the outlying features near Sattelberg, against strong Japanese attacks. There is a battle honour awarded for participation in the defensive engagement between 19 November 1943-26 November 1943 on Pabu Hill and North Hill, north of Scarlet Beach, Huon Peninsula. Shortly after the Australians had landed at...

Thomas Currie Derrick, VC, DCM

24 NOV 1943: World War II and Sergeant (later Lieutenant) Thomas Currie Derrick DCM, 2/48th Battalion, is awarded the Victoria Cross at Sattelberg, New Guinea. Derrick, one of the great Australian soldiers of the Second World War, seized the summit of Sattelberg virtually single-handedly, leading the way for the Australian occupation of the dominating feature. Thomas 'Diver' Derrick was born on 20 March 1914 in Adelaide. He was the eldest son of David Derrick, a labourer, and his wife Ada. The...

Australians Relieve Marines

23 NOV 1944: World War II and Australian troops relieve the Americans at Torokina, Bougainville. The Australian arrival opened the campaign on Bougainville that cost over 500 Australian lives by the war's end. During 1942, Torokin was occupied by the Japanese. On November 1, 1943 the United States Marine Corps (USMC), 3rd Marine Division landed aboard LCVPs and LCI land craft along Empress Augusta Bay from the Koromokina Lagoon to Cape Torokina. The pounding surf was very rough and 84 landing...

Scarlet Beach Raid

21 NOV 1943: World War II and the Japanese counter-attack at Scarlet Beach on the Huon Peninsula. The Japanese surprise raid at Scarlet Beach, near Lae, Papua New Guinea, was narrowly held by Australian and American defenders. The Huon Peninsula campaign was a series of battles fought in north-eastern Papua New Guinea in 1943–44 during the Second World War. The campaign formed the initial part of an offensive that the Allies launched in the Pacific in late 1943 and resulted...

HMAS Sydney Sunk

19 NOV 1941: HMAS Sydney is sunk. Sydney was lost with its entire crew of 645 men in a sudden and disastrous encounter with the German raider, Kormoran, off the Western Australian coast. The circumstances surrounding its loss remain controversial to this day. HMAS Sydney, a light cruiser of the Royal Australian Navy with an impressive record of war service, was lost following a battle with the German raider HSK Kormoran in the Indian Ocean off the Western Australian coast. The...

Popondetta Captured

18 NOV 1942: World War II and Popondetta, captured by the Australians, on the steamy kunai plains north of the Owen Stanley Range, became a major Allied base for the attack on the Japanese-held beachheads in Papua. Popondetta is the capital of Oro (Northern) Province near to Buna on the Northern Papua coast and is not far from the beginning of the Kokoda Trail. The last in a series of 'Battles for the Beachheads' of 1942 involving Australians was for...

Battle of Sattelberg

17 NOV 1943: Today in the Pacific Campaign, Australia's 9th Division begins its attack on Sattelberg (also spelt Satelberg, translation 'Saddle Mountain'), a village on the Huon Peninsula, in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea). The Battle of Sattelberg took place between 17 and 25 November 1943, during the Huon Peninsula campaign of the Second World War. Involving forces from Australia, the United States and Japan, the fighting centred on the Sattelberg mission station which was situated atop a hill about...

AWAS to Deploy

15 NOV 1944: World War II and Australian government approves sending Australian Women's Army Service members overseas. Australian Women's Army Service went to Lae, New Guinea, and served in the forward area for the first time. Members of the Australian Army Nursing Service and the Australian Army Medical Women's Service were already serving in New Guinea. The formation of the Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS) was authorised by the government on 13 August 1941 to "release men from certain military duties for employment...

Battle of the Strait of Otranto

12 NOV 1940: World War II and HMAS Sydney [II] is in action at the Strait of Otranto in a diversion for the British attack on Taranto. The Australian cruiser became the most celebrated ship in the RAN after its performance in the Mediterranean against the Italian navy in 1940. The battle occurred when an Allied squadron entered the Adriatic Sea looking for Italian naval targets. Although they did not know it at the time the squadron's real purpose was...