Tag - WW2

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...

“G for George” Arrives

8 NOV 1944: World War II and "G for George" arrives at RAAF Base Amberley. This Lancaster bomber survived 89 operations with No. 460 Squadron RAAF. After touring to support war loan campaigns, it was presented to the Australian War Memorial Canberra. G-George flew 96 combat missions over occupied Europe with 460 Squadron, and is the second most prolific surviving Lancaster, behind R5868 S for Sugar of No. 83 Squadron RAF/No. 463 Squadron RAAF/No. 467 Squadron RAAF (137 sorties). Most operational...

Landing on New Britain

4 NOV 1944: World War II and troops of the 6th Brigade land at Jacquinot Bay, New Britain. Jacquinot Bay became an important base for Australian operations against the Japanese on New Britain. The first echelon, consisting of the 14th/32nd Battalion and a company of the 1st New Guinea Infantry Battalion, was transported by two transports under the escort of the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) destroyer HMAS Vendetta, frigate Barcoo and sloop Swan. The landing was unopposed by Imperial Japanese...

PTE Percy Gratwick, VC

25-26 OCT 1942: World War II and WX10426 Private Percival Eric Gratwick, 2/48th Battalion, originally from Katanning, Western Australia, earns the Victoria Cross at El Alamein, Egypt. Percy Gratwick was a 38-year-old former gold prospector from Western Australia. Gratwick was born in Katanning, Western Australia on 19 October 1902, the fifth son of the local postmaster. Leaving school at the age of 16, he took up various jobs which included a period as a messenger at Parliament House. Later he...

Japanese Run at Eora

24 OCT 1942: World War II at Eora Creek, on the Kokoda Trail. The 16th Brigade, 7th Division, continued to drive the Japanese back along the Trail but met heavy resistance at Eora Creek in late October. The 16th Brigade commanded by Brigadier John Lloyd made up of the 2/1, 2/2, 2/3 Battalion. The Japanese entrenched themselves on the commanding high ground above Eora Village on the far side of Eora Creek, from here they were able to engage the...

SGT William Kibby, VC

23-31 OCT 1942: World War II and SX7089 Sergeant William Henry Kibby, 2/48th Battalion, originally from Durham in the United Kingdom, earns the Victoria Cross at the battle of El Alamein, Egypt. William Kibby arrived in Australia from Britain with his parents in 1914. He was a 37-year-old family man when he enlisted in 1940. He embarked with the 2/48th Battalion from Adelaide, bound for the Middle East. Following an accident which resulted in a leg injury, he rejoined his...

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