On This Day
1942 > WW2
On This Day - 1942
- January 17, 1942
HMAS ECHUCA, (minesweeper), was launched at Williamstown Naval Dockyard, VIC.
HMA Ships DELORAINE, KATOOMBA, and LITHGOW sank the Japanese submarine I-124 in the Arafura Sea. LCDR D. A. Menlove, RNR, was admitted to the DSO for gallantry while commanding DELORAINE in the action.
The lugger, HMAS ST. FRANCIS, (LEUT (Brother) Andrew Smith, RANVR), sighted a Japanese submarine on the surface off Melville Island. In 1914 the ST. FRANCIS, a 15 metre mission lugger was blown 400 miles out into the Indian Ocean on her maiden voyage and was found by HMAS SYDNEY.
HMS QUEENBOROUGH, (destroyer), later HMAS QUEENBOROUGH, was launched at Swan and Hunter’s Yard, England.
CAPT J. A. Collins, CB, was appointed Commodore Commanding China Force.
- January 16, 1942
The Bathurst class minesweeper, (corvette), HMAS GEELONG, (LCDR C. G. Hill, RANR(S)), was commissioned. GEELONG was laid down at Williamstown Dockyard, VIC, on 16 October 1940. Lady Dugan, (Wife of the Governor of Victoria), performed the launching ceremony on 22 April 1941. GEELONG was sunk in action on 18 October 1944.
HMAS MARYBOROUGH, (minesweeper), picked up 37 survivors from a Dutch merchant ship sunk by a mine in the Rhio Straits, Malaya.
- January 10, 1942
HMAS Canberra departed Sydney with convoy MS.2 (troopship AQUITANIA) for Ratai Bay in the Sunda Straits, arriving on the 20th
- January 8, 1942
The Bathurst class minesweeper, (corvette), HMAS WHYALLA, was commissioned at Whyalla, SA. Lady Barclay-Harvey, (wife of the Governor of South Australia, Sir Malcolm Barclay-Harvey), performed the launching ceremony. WHYALLA was laid down on 27 July 1940 in the Broken Hill Pty shipyard at Whyalla, and launched on 12 May 1941. She was to be called Glenelg, but that was changed to WHYALLA before completion.
The following gallantry awards were announced for HMAS PARRAMATTA, (sloop);
DSC Surgeon LEUT C.F. Harrington, RANR: DSC Commissioned Gunner A.J. Brown: DSM CPO Stoker W.O. Earl: DSM CPO Writer E. Purtell: DSM Yeoman of Signals W.J. Allsop: DSM Acting LS H.F. Bates: MID LEUT G.W. Langford: MID PO Steward J. Lewis: MID Leading Steward R.J. Brampton: MID Leading Writer S.E. Whear: MID AB C. Goldie: MID Stoker 2nd class H.C. Fox.
Unfortunately in the bitter irony of war only CPO Earl and Leading Writer Whear lived to be presented with their awards as the rest of the men were killed when HMAS PARRAMATTA was sunk off Tobruk in November 1941.
- January 7, 1942
HMAS HOBART, (cruiser), joined the ABDA Fleet at Batavia. The cruiser was returning to Australia after service in the Mediterranean when she was diverted to the Far East.
- January 6, 1942
The Bathurst class minesweeper, (corvette), HMAS COLAC, (LCDR D. C. Northern, RANR(S)), was commissioned at Sydney. Miss M. Heady Sr, (staff of Morts Dock), performed the launching ceremony. COLAC was laid down on 18 April 1941 in Morts’s Dock, Sydney, and launched on 30 August 1941.
- January 5, 1942
CMDR S. H. K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN, assumed command of HMAS STUART, (destroyer), at Williamstown, VIC. He commanded HMS ECHO in 1940, and took part in the Norwegian Campaign, He was the first RAN officer to receive a gallantry award in WWII, being admitted to the DSO in December 1939.
- January 4, 1942
Coastwatcher SBLT C. L. Page, RANVR, reported 22 Japanese heavy bombers passing over Tabar Island bound for Rabaul.
- January 3, 1942
HMAS HOBART, (cruiser), arrived in Singapore with a convoy under escort, and was subjected to Japanese air attack at the naval base.
A signal from the Dutch destroyer HMNS ISAAC SWEERS to HMA Ships NAPIER, NESTOR, and NIZAM, (destroyers), on their departure from the Mediterranean: “Goodbye and a dinkum bonzer time with good hunting”.
- January 2, 1942
HMA Ships AUSTRALIA, CANBERRA, and PERTH, (cruisers), with HMS ACHILLES escorted the first large troop reinforcement convoy to Port Moresby.