On This Day - 22 December

50 personnel from the RANBT, under CMDR L. S. Bracegirdle, RAN, landed at El Arish on the Sinai Peninsula, to build a pier to land supplies in support of the ANZAC mounted columns advance into Palestine. The Turkish forces had withdrawn to Magdahba only a few days before, leaving El Arish undefended, but the beach was still mined. These men stayed at El Arish until late March to maintain the pier and unload supplies.
The Department of the Navy was absorbed into the Department of Defence.
HMAS PERTH, (cruiser), attempted to tow the British merchant ship HOUSTON CITY off rocks, near Plum Point Lighthouse, Jamaica. The line parted and the tow was abandoned. The ship was floated clear on the next high tide.
HMAS ORARA, (auxiliary minesweeper), signalled HMAS SWAN, (sloop), on observing her coloured minesweeping lights burning too brightly on her stern:- 'May I hang my stocking on your Christmas tree?' SWAN replied:- 'Yes, and I will shortly be hanging a sprig of mistletoe over my stern'
The boom working vessel HMAS KARANGI, was commissioned. KARANGI was laid down in Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney, on 5 February 1941, and launched on 16 August 1941. Mrs G. Hutcheson performed the launching ceremony.
The Oberon class submarine HMAS ONSLOW, (LCDR C. Nixon-Eckersall, RN), was commissioned at Greenock, Scotland. ONSLOW was laid down in Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Greenock, Scotland, on 26 May 1967, and launched on 3 December 1968. Princess Alexandra performed the launching ceremony. ONSLOW was transferred to the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney, as a permanent exhibit after decommissioning in March 1999.
Sea King aircraft from 805 Squadron were involved in water bombing to fight several fires burning near HMAS CRESWELL, Jervis Bay, NSW. Over 100 campers, from nearby Green Patch, also took refuge at CRESWELL during the height of the fires.
'On This Day' is based on the book "Navy Day by Day: Historic Naval Events in Australia and Abroad" written by the late Lew Lind. More information.

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