Tag - WW2

Battle for Milne Bay

4 SEP 1942: World War II and the Japanese evacuation of Milne Bay, New Guinea begins. The fighting at Milne Bay resulted in the first defeat of a Japanese amphibious landing in the Second World War. Initially the Japanese troops overwhelmed and pushed back the first Australian battalions encountered, the 61st and 2/10th Battalions, but began suffering heavy casualties when the Kittyhawk fighters of 75 and 76 Squadrons RAAF began bombing and strafing them. Nevertheless, they continued advancing for a few...

A Declaration of War

3 SEP 1939: World War II and Britain, France, Australia, and New Zealand declare war on Germany. The German invasion of Poland led to the declaration of war against Germany by the United Kingdom and France and began the Second World War. Approaching defeat in the First World War, Germany signed the First Armistice at Compiègne on 11 November 1918 as a practical end to hostilities with France, the British Empire (including Australia and New Zealand), and the United...

Germany Invades Poland

1 SEP 1939: World War II and Germany invades Poland. The German invasion of Poland led to the declaration of war against Germany by the United Kingdom and France and began the Second World War. At 4.45 am on 1 September 1939 the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on the Polish garrison of the Westerplatte Fort, Danzig (modern-day Gdansk), in what was to become the first military engagement of World War Two. Simultaneously, 62 German divisions supported by 1,300 aircraft...

Alby Lowerson, VC

1 SEP 1918: World War I and Sergeant Albert (Alby) David Lowerson, 21st battalion, originally from Myrtleford, Victoria, earns the Victoria Cross at Mont St Quentin. Albert Lowerson, nicknamed Alby, was born in Myrtleford, a town in the state of Victoria, on 2 August 1896. His father worked for the railways as an engine driver but later turned his hand to farming. Lowerson worked as a gold miner after leaving school. In July 1915, Lowerson joined the Australian Imperial Force....

Bruce Kingsbury, VC

29 AUG 1942: World War II and VX19139 Private Bruce Steel Kingsbury, 2/14th Battalion, originally from Melbourne, Victoria, earns the Victoria Cross at Isurava, New Guinea. It was a posthumous award. Bruce Kingsbury, soldier and real-estate agent, was born on 8 January 1918 in Melbourne, second child of English-born parents Philip Blencowe Kingsbury, estate agent, and his wife Florence Annie, née Steel. Bruce was educated at Windsor State School and (on a scholarship) at Melbourne Technical College. At the outset of...

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...

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