On This Day
1914-1918 > WW1
On This Day - 1914-1918
- July 15, 1918
The Australian transport BARUNGA, (former German ship SUMATRA), was torpedoed by a German submarine off the Scilly Islands. The ship was manned by Australians, and was carrying 855 wounded Australian troops back to Australia. CAPT J. Buchanan disembarked all crew and passengers before the ship sank.
- July 2, 1918
The first dentist appointed to the RAN, LEUT M. L. Atwill, joined HMAS AUDSTRALIA, (battle-cruiser), in England. Surgeon LCDR(D) D. Austin, was later appointed Senior Dental Officer, RAN, at HMAS PENGUIN, Garden Island.
- June 29, 1918
HMS SUCCESS, (destroyer), was laid down at Doxford’s Yard, Sunderland, England. She was launched on 27 January 1920, and shortly afterwards was among a number of vessels gifted to the RAN. She became HMAS SUCCESS, (although at one stage the RAN considered changing her name to Rabaul), and served in the RAN until mid 1931, when due to the financial constraints of the Great Depression she was placed in reserve.
- June 24, 1918
The Australian Naval Board proposed to the Defence Council the early establishment of airship stations at Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle. Two non-rigid airships, and three kite balloons, were to be stationed at each port. The proposal was not adopted by the Defence Council.
- June 19, 1918
Major R. S. Dallas, DSO, DSC and Bar, Croix de Guerre, an Australian serving as commander of No. 40 Squadron, RNAS, was shot down and killed in combat with three German Fokker tri-planes near Lievin, France. Major Dallas was credited with shooting down 39 enemy aircraft.
- June 1, 1918
HMA Ships SYDNEY and MELBOURNE, were on patrol in the Heligoland Bight with British warships, (as part of the Harwich Force), searching for German minesweepers and destroyers, when they came under attack from two German aircraft who dropped five bombs near the ships.
SYDNEY and MELBOURNE each had a Sopwith Camel fighter onboard, which could be launched from a specially built revolving platform. The aircraft from MELBOURNE, (piloted by Flight Lieutenant Gibson, RAF), lost sight of the German aircraft he attacked when it flew into a large cloud bank. However, Flight Lieutenant A. C. Sharwood, RAF, who was piloting the aircraft from SYDNEY, pursued the other aircraft for over sixty miles. Sharwood managed to hit the enemy aircraft several times, and saw it go into a nose dive before he was forced to break off the attack, when he in turn was attacked by another German fighter. One of Sharwood’s guns jammed, and he was forced to break off the attack on the second aircraft and make his way back to the Allied ships. He eventually put his aircraft down near HMS SHARPSHOOTER, (destroyer). The aircraft started to sink, and he was rescued by a boat from the destroyer. His aircraft was then salvaged by HMS CANTERBURY. Unfortunately for Sharwood he received no formal recognition of his efforts on that day.
- May 27, 1918
CAPT R. A. Little, DSO and Bar, Croix de Guerre, an Australian who served in the RNAS, and No. 203 Squadron, RAF, was fatally wounded in a night engagement with a German Gotha bomber over Vieux Barquin, France. Little was in a position to shoot down the enemy aircraft when he was blinded by an Allied searchlight. CAPT Little was credited with the shooting down of 47 enemy aircraft.
- May 23, 1918
HMAS MOURILYAN, (patrol vessel), was commissioned.
- May 20, 1918
HMAS PARRAMATTA, (torpedo boat destroyer), attacked an Austrian submarine with gunfire and depth charges. The submarine was sighted from the ship’s observation balloon.
- May 14, 1918
HMAS PARRAMATTA, (torpedo boat destroyer), towed an anti-submarine balloon in the Adriatic. An observer from the ship rode in a wicker basket suspended from the balloon, and communicated with the bridge by telephone.