On This Day
1939 > WW2
On This Day - 1939
- December 4, 1939
The 20th Minesweeping Flotilla, HMA Ships SWAN, YARRA, ORARA, and DOOMBA, commenced operations on the east coast of Australia.
- December 2, 1939
The German pocket battleship GRAF SPEE took the first Australian naval POW’s of WWII, after sinking the merchant ships DORIC STAR and TAIROA, in the South Atlantic. The Australians were DEMS ratings of the RANR.
- November 30, 1939
Mr A. R. Nankervis is appointed as the Permanent Head of the Naval Board. He was previously Finance and Civil Member of the Board. Mr G. L. Macandie continued as Secretary Naval Board, the first Minister for the Navy in WWII was Sir Frederick Stewart.
- November 16, 1939
CAPT J. A. Collins, RAN, was appointed in command of HMAS SYDNEY, (cruiser).
- November 15, 1939
Separate ministers for the Army, Navy and Air Force were appointed in the Australian Cabinet. Sir Frederick Stewart was made Minister for the Navy.
- November 13, 1939
The Department of the Navy was re-created as a separate portfolio.
- November 7, 1939
An Australian Government order-in-council was signed, and transferred all vessels and personnel of the Commonwealth Naval Forces, and personnel of the RAAF, to the King’s Naval and Air Forces. The transfer did not stipulate the duration of the service, nor did it cover ships subsequently acquired or built. However, further transfers of ships and personnel were made between 1940 and 1943.
- November 4, 1939
HMAS KOALA, (boom defence vessel), was launched at Cockatoo Island, Sydney.
- November 3, 1939
The auxiliary minesweeper HMAS UKI, was commissioned. UKI was laid down in Port Glasgow, Scotland, in 1923. She was requisitioned for the RAN, from her owners, the North Coast Steam Navigation Co, NSW, on 3 November 1939.
- November 2, 1939
The Australian liner WESTRALIA was requisitioned by the Australian Government for conversion to an armed merchant cruiser.