On This Day
1914-1918 > WW1
On This Day - 1914-1918
- May 13, 1918
HMAS WARREGO, (torpedo boat destroyer), attempted to tow the destroyer HMS PHEONIX, torpedoed whilst on convoy escort duty in the Adriatic Sea, to the Italian port of Valona. Unfortunately the ship sank near the entrance to the harbour, and HMAS WARREGO picked up surviving crew members.
- May 10, 1918
HMAS MELBOURNE, (cruiser), embarked a ship’s Sopwith Camel aircraft, while at Rosyth, Scotland. To launch the aircraft, the cruiser had been fitted with a special platform, built over the top of some of the ships guns.
- May 9, 1918
LEUT V. A. Crutchley, DSC, RN, was awarded the VC for conspicuous bravery while serving as the First Lieutenant of HMS VINDICTIVE, (cruiser),in the attack on the Belgian port of Ostend in April 1918. Crutchley showed outstanding courage and leadership when VINDICTIVE rammed the piers at the port and sank. He later took command of ML 254 while under fire during the withdrawal. Crutchley continued to serve in the RN after the war and in June 1942, with the rank of Admiral, he took command of the Australian Squadron and lead it for the next two years during the fighting in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea areas. He relinquished command of the Australian Squadron to CDRE John Collins, CB, RAN, in June 1944.
- May 8, 1918
HMS VOYAGER, (destroyer), was launched at Stephen’s Yard, UK.
- May 4, 1918
A branch of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was opened at Brindisi, Italy, for the Australian Torpedo Boat Destroyer Flotilla. In the first two days £600 was deposited.
- May 3, 1918
HMAS PARRAMATTA, (torpedo boat destroyer), was fitted with anti-submarine hydrophones at Malta.
- May 1, 1918
The Australian transport ERA was sunk by a German submarine off Cape Tenes in the Atlantic. Eleven of her crew were lost.
- April 23, 1918
Engineer, LEUT W. H. V Edgar, RAN, and 10 ratings from HMAS AUSTRALIA, (battle-cruiser), were loaned to a variety of British ships which participated in the British raid to block the canal at Zeebrugge, Belgium.
The object of the raid was to deny the use of the canal to German submarines and destroyers operating in the North Sea. Despite heavy casualties suffered during the raid, none of the Australians were killed or wounded.
The following awards for gallantry were made:-
DSC LEUT W. H. V. Edgar, RAN, (one of only two awarded to an RAN officer in WW I).
DSM LS G. J. Bush.
DSM LS D. J.O. Rudd,(who was later convicted as a mutineer in the 1919 HMAS AUSTRALIA mutiny).
DSM LS G. E. Staples.
MID AB H. J. Gillard.
MID AB L. T. Newlands.
MID Stoker N. J. McCrory (was also awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre as he had previously served in the RANBT at Gallipoli, and the AIF in France, before re-joining the Navy in 1917).
SBLT A. V. Knight, RNR, was awarded the DSC for conspicuous service in the raid to block Ostend Harbour. Knight later served with distinction in minesweepers and landing ships in the RAN, during WWII. He retired as CAPT A. V. Knight, OBE, DSC, US Legion of Honour. The RAN in Britain provided 11 volunteers, Knight and 10 ratings, for the raid on Ostend and Zeebrugge.
- April 22, 1918
HMAS TORRENS, (torpedo boat destroyer), and HM Ships JACKAL and HORNET, (destroyers), engaged five Austrian destroyers in a running gun battle in the Adriatic Sea. The Austrian vessels turned away and broke off the engagement.
- April 15, 1918
Australian-born Squadron Leader H. R. Busteed, demonstrated the landing of aircraft using arrester cables on HMS FURIOUS. Busteed conceived and perfected the technique.
CMDR A. G. H. Bond, RAN, assumed command of the Australian Torpedo Boat Destroyer Flotilla at Brindisi, Italy.
HMS VENDETTA, (destroyer), participated in the raid in the Kattegat by British light forces.