On This Day
1943 > WW2
On This Day - 1943
- December 29, 1943
CMDR D. H. Harries, RAN, assumed command of HMS SHROPSHIRE, (cruiser), to supervise refit and transfer to the RAN.
- December 26, 1943
HMA Ships Australia (II) (Captain HB Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN), Shropshire (Captain JA Collins, CB, RAN), Arunta (I) (Commander AE Buchanan, RAN) and Warramunga (I) (Captain EFV Dechaineux, DSC, RAN) bombarded enemy targets at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, in preparation for Allied landings.
Over the course of 80 minutes, the four vessels expended over 700 rounds of 8-inch, nearly 900 rounds of 4.7-inch, and nearly 100 rounds of 4-inch ammunition. By the end of the day 12,500 troops and 7600 tons of supplies had been landed at Cape Gloucester.
- December 25, 1943
A Japanese coastwatcher on Cape Ward Hunt reported TF74, HMA Ships AUSTRALIA, SHROPSHIRE, WARRAMUNGA, and ARUNTA, and US Ships HELM and RALPH TALBOT, heading towards Cape Gloucester.
- December 24, 1943
HMAS IPSWICH, (minesweeper), landed 134 survivors from the torpedoed merchant ship PESHAWAR, at Madras, India.
- December 23, 1943
HMAS IPSWICH, (minesweeper), picked up 134 survivors from the torpedoed transport PESHAWAR, and landed them at Madras, India. IPSWICH, and HMIS ORISSA, carried out depth-charge attacks on the submarine.
- December 20, 1943
HMAS GASCOYNE, (frigate), was commissioned under CMDR J. Donovan, RAN, at Sydney.
- December 19, 1943
HMAS KALGOORLIE, (minesweeper), picked up 29 survivors from HMAS ARMIDALE’s whaler, 150 miles north-west of Darwin. ARMIDALE was sunk by Japanese bombers off Timor.
- December 18, 1943
HMAS Gladstone, in company with HMA Ships Gympie (I) and Stawell (I), were escorting convoy TN 192 of eight ships with troops embarked bound for Milne Bay when almost the entire convoy ran aground on Bougainville Reef in the Great Barrier Reef just after 9:30pm that evening. Gladstone had observed Aldis Lamp signals down the convoy and intercepted the word “hit”. Assuming that the convoy was under attack, the ship closed up at action stations, altered course towards the ship thought to be under attack and increased speed. She then prepared to attack with a full pattern of depth charges. Luckily for Gladstone, less than a minute after going to actions stations, she observed the signal “am aground” enabling her to reduce speed and prevent a hard grounding on the reef. As it was, Gladstone made a soft grounding and, thanks to some masterful manoeuvring of the vessel, was refloated 42 minutes later. She navigated her way clear of the reef and waited, in company with Gympie and Stawell, until daylight.
- December 15, 1943
Engaged in Operation Dexterity, HMA Ships AUSTRALIA and SHROPSHIRE, (cruisers), ARUNTA and WARRAMUNGA, (destroyers), bombarded Japanese positions, while HMAS WESTRALIA landed troops at Arawe.
- December 8, 1943
The Advisory War Council abolished convoys for shipping south of Newcastle. The order was issued following the reduction in Japanese submarine activities on the east coast of Australia.