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
HMAS Westralia commissioned after conversion to Armed Merchant Cruiser.
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.