On This Day
1940 > WW2
On This Day - 1940
- February 5, 1940
The auxiliary anti-submarine vessel HMAS BINGERA, was commissioned. BINGERA was laid down in Denny Bros Ltd, Dumbarton, Scotland, in 1935, for the Australian Steam Navigation Co Ltd, and requisitioned for the RAN on 2 December 1939.
The auxiliary minesweeper HMAS BONTHORPE was commissioned. BONTHORPE was laid down in 1927 as a fishing trawler.
- January 30, 1940
The troop convoy US1 reached Colombo. HMAS HOBART, (cruiser), joined the convoy as an escort, for part of the voyage.
- January 20, 1940
The troop convoy US1, left Fremantle, escorted by HM Ships RAMILLES, (battleship), and KENT, (cruiser), and the French cruiser SUFFREN. Australia had refused a request to involve HMA Ships CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA, and SYDNEY, (cruisers), for fear of depleting defences in local coastal waters.
- January 19, 1940
A rating in HMAS STUART, (destroyer), wrote: “I always count those early months in the Mediterranean before Italy came in as the worst period of the war. The Australian destroyers operated in exceptionally cold weather and high seas. Lifelines were rigged and the decks were buried in green water. Below decks was a chaos of floating clothes and gear”.
- January 17, 1940
The armed merchant cruiser/landing ship infantry, HMAS WESTRALIA, (CMDR A. S. Rosenthal, RAN), was commissioned. WESTRALIA was laid down in Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1929. She was requisitioned for the RAN, from her owners Huddart Parker Ltd, Melbourne, on 2 November 1939.
The first Australian and New Zealand troop convoy of the Second World War, US1, sailed from Fremantle. Ships in the convoy were:- STRATHAIRD, STRATHNAVER, OTRANTO, SOBIESKI, ORION, ORFORD, DUNERA 11, EMPRESS OF JAPAN, EMPRESS OF CANADA, ORCADES, and RANGITARA. Escort ships were; HM Ships RAMILLIES and KENT, and the French cruiser SUFFREN.
- January 15, 1940
The auxiliary patrol vessel HMAS ST. GILES was commissioned. ST. GILES was built in 1919 at Ferguson Bros. Scotland. In 1922 ST. GILES was purchased by J. & A. Brown of Newcastle, NSW, and brought to Australia. She was requisitioned for naval service in 1939.
- January 12, 1940
The Australian tug HEROS, (escort vessel), was commissioned into the RAN. She was re-commissioned on 12 February 1943 as a naval salvage tug.
- January 10, 1940
The first Australian and New Zealand troop convoy of the Second World War, US 1, sailed from Sydney for the Middle East. The escort consisted of HMA Ships CANBERRA and SYDNEY,(cruisers), and HMS RAMILLIES, (battleship).
The auxiliary minesweeper HMAS NAMBUCCA was commissioned. NAMBUCCA was built as a wooden coastal steamer by E. Wright, Tuncurry, NSW, for the North Coast Steam Navigation Co. NAMBUCCA was requisitioned for naval service on 7 November 1939. The ship was transferred to the USN on 19 April 1943.