On This Day
1940 > WW2
On This Day - 1940
- April 8, 1940
The Grimbsy type escort sloop HMAS PARRAMATTA, (LCDR J.H. Walker, RAN), was commissioned. PARRAMATTA was laid down at Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney, on 9 November 1938, and launched on 18 June 1939. Mrs G.A. Street, (wife of the Federal Minister for Defence), performed the launching ceremony.
HMAS VAMPIRE, (destroyer), took off the crew of the tanker BRITISH LORD, which had been disabled by German bombers north of Crete. The tanker was then safely towed safely to the port of Gavdhos.
HMS GLOWWORM, (destroyer), was sunk in a gallant but one sided fight against the German cruiser HIPPER, off the coast of Norway. AB R.E. Bampton, an RAN rating, was among those who lost his life when GLOWWORM was sunk.
- March 31, 1940
HMAS PERTH arrived at Sydney. She had departed the Caribbean on 2 March 1940 and passed through the Panama Canal on 3 March 1940.
- March 27, 1940
HMAS STUART, (destroyer), salvaged the tanker TROCAS in heavy seas in the Mediterranean.
- March 24, 1940
Volunteers from ships of Australia’s “Scrap Iron Flotilla”, in the Mediterranean, embarked on a mission to block the Danube River at a feature known as the Iron Gates. The operation was planned by DNI from a suggestion made by LCDR M. Minshall, RNVR, who had voyaged down the river on an intelligence mission shortly before the outbreak of hostilities. Coordinator for the operation was LCDR Ian Fleming, creator of the fictional hero James Bond. LCDR Fleming smuggled 14 tons of explosives across Europe on the Orient Express. The operation was discovered by German agents before the RAN-manned barges reached the target. In the withdrawal one barge loaded with explosives was detonated beneath a railway viaduct. All Australian members of the Commando-style mission succeeded in returning to their ships.
- March 15, 1940
HMS KANIMBLA, largely manned by the RAN, seized Soviet steamer VLADIMIR MAIAKOVSKY (3972grt) in the Sea of Japan and took her into control because she was carrying a cargo of copper from the United States to Germany