HMAS Glenelg was able to render signal aid to a sorely harassed American patrol at the mouth of the Woske River near Maffin Bay, Dutch New Guinea. While proceeding close inshore she observed the American detachment under severe mortar fire. An appeal for assistance to evacuate wounded met with a ready response from volunteers to man Glenelg’s whaler and it was quickly despatched under Lieutenant WH Pennington. Swamped by heavy surf the waterlogged boat was beached by her crew, and its bottom boards used as improvised stretchers to carry the wounded to the American held bank of the river. Meanwhile, on a request for bombardment support, Glenelg opened fire with her 4-inch gun. Under cover of this fire (31 rounds), which effectively silenced the Japanese mortars, the American party was able to withdraw to cover with all wounded, leaving five dead on the beach. Lieutenant Peebles (United States Army), the senior surviving officer, was emphatic that the fire laid down by Glenelg and directed from the open beach by Lieutenant Pennington and Signalman Greet, was the decisive factor in the successful withdrawal.
The air/sea rescue vessels AIR CLOUD, (SBLT S. C. Hines, RANVR), and AIR GUIDE, (ex-AIR HOST, SBLT A. B. McLean, RANVR), were commissioned.
LEUT H. L. Bellman, RANVR, landed with the first wave of assault troops on Panaon Island. Bellman cleared enemy mines and unexploded bombs in the path of the advance, and engaged the Japanese at close quarters. His bravery and devotion over a period of four months won him the DSC.
During the Battle of Leyte Gulf, (20-27 October), HMA Ships AUSTRALIA, ARUNTA, GASCOYNE, SHROPSHIRE, WARRAMUNGA, and the landing ships WESTRALIA, MANOORA, and KANIMBLA were engaged. AUSTRALIA suffered damage and casualties when struck by a kamikaze aircraft. HMAS Three Cheers commissioned