On This Day
1945 > WW2
On This Day - 1945
- January 12, 1945
HMAS NAPIER, (destroyer), and the Royal Indian Navy ships JUMNA and NARBADA, supported by HDML1248 and ML854, launched the assault on Myebon, Burma, (operation Pungent).
- January 11, 1945
Twenty German POWs escaped via a tunnel from the officers’ POW camp at Dhuringle, VIC. One of the escapees was CAPT Theodore Detmers, who was the Commanding Officer of the raider KORMORAN. Detmers was recaptured on 20 January, some 32 km from the camp. He was sentenced to 28 days solitary confinement in the camp
- January 10, 1945
HMA ships COWRA and KAPUNDA, (minesweepers), bombarded Japanese troop positions at Halmahera, New Guinea.
- January 9, 1945
HMAS AUSTRALIA suffered her fifth kamikaze attack. The Japanese aircraft struck the cruiser on the top of her third funnel. CMDR G.H. Gill, RANVR, reported: “Australia was the recipient of many signals before her departure from Lingayan Gulf, both from American, and her fellow Australian ships”:- VADM Oldendorf, (TG 77.2) signalled: “Your gallant conduct and that of your ship has been an inspiration to us all. Sorry to lose you at this time.” Berkey, (CTG.77.3), said: “Sorry the hell birds concentrated on you. My deep regrets for losses in the stout ship’s company.” RADM Weyler, in his letter forwarding the Report of Bombardments, commented; “The performance of AUSTRALIA is particularly to be commended. Heavily hit three times and with the greater part of her dual-purpose battery out of commission, she nevertheless executed scheduled fires in her usual effective manner.” Kinkaid, Commander Seventh Fleet, in a report to the Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet, remarked, “HMAS AUSTRALIA received two minor and three major hits from enemy suicide planes. Despite the resulting damage and casualties, the fire schedule was executed in a very satisfactory manner. Her performance during the entire operation was excellent.”
HMA Ships, WESTRALIA, MANOORA, and KANIMBLA landed troops on Luzon.
- January 8, 1945
HMAS AUSTRALIA, (cruiser), was hit twice by kamikaze bombers in 15 minutes. The first aircraft skidded into the ship’s port side and the second exploded alongside, blowing a hole 4.3m by 2.4m in the cruiser’s side. AB L.G. Jeffery and AB A.J. Mitchell were awarded the DSM for ‘devotion to duty’ in this action.
The landing ship-troops, HMAS WESTRALIA, (CMDR A.V. Knight, DSC, RANR(S)), fought off a determined attack by kamikaze aircraft at Lingayen Gulf, The Philipines. A Zero fighter was shot down only 3 metres from the ship’s stern and the after end of the ship was showered with flying wreckage. One rating was slightly wounded. The ship’s steering gear was temporarily disabled, but was repaired within twenty minutes.