German bombers made a determined effort to close the Suez canal when they attacked Port Tewfik, at the southern end of the Suez Canal. The 28,000 ton merchant vessel Georgic, crowded with troops, was hit during the raid, catching fire. Hobart’s boats were ordered away and during the hours that followed her crew went alongside the burning troopship rescuing many of those onboard. The situation worsened when the captain of Georgic attempted to beach his stricken ship, colliding with the landing ship Glenearn in the process and setting it alight. Both ships later grounded. HMAS Hobart’s seamen continued to render assistance rescuing both embarked troops and the ship’s crews. Dawn revealed a scene of destruction with both ships locked together on the North Shoal. Flames and smoke still gushed from he troopship although the fire in Glenearn had been extinguished. Later that day a line was passed from Hobart to Glenearn and she was towed clear.
AB W. L. E. Danswan and AB T. W. Todd, from shore establishment HMAS TORRENS were the first men of the RAN to lose their lives as a result of direct enemy action on Australian soil. They were killed while attempting to render safe a German mine washed ashore at Beachport, SA.