On This Day - 23 February
- Boats from HMVS VICTORIA rescued the crew of the sailing vessel B. NORRIS, which caught fire and sank in Port Phillip.
- A naval brigade of 74 officers and ratings from HMS FAWN, (screw corvette), was despatched from Sydney with a military contingent to put down lawlessness amongst miners at Lambing Flats, NSW.
- The Royal Edward Victualing Yard, (REVY), at Pyrmont, Sydney, was opened. This establishment was the storehouse for the RAN's clothing and provisions. The yard was closed in the early 1980's, but later became the home of the Naval Support Command from 1995 to 2002.
- HMAS ALBATROSS, (seaplane carrier), was launched at Cockatoo Island, Sydney.
- HMAS CANBERRA, (cruiser), passed within 100 miles of the German pocket battleship ADMIRAL SCHEER, while on patrol in the Indian Ocean.
HMAS WARRNAMBOOL, (minesweeper), rescued 40 survivors from the bombed merchant vessel FLORENCE D and the crew of a downed Catalina flying boat from Bathurst Island.
The veteran cruiser HMAS ADELAIDE, rendezvoused with HMAS YARRA 200 miles south of Christmas Island, and took over her convoy of six merchant ships loaded with refugees fleeing the East Indies for Fremantle..
- The fleet tug HMAS SPRIGHTLY, was commissioned. SPRIGHTLY was laid down in Levingston Shipbuilding Co, Orange, Texas, USA, on 6 June 1942, and launched on 7 August 1942. She was transferred to the RAN under the Lend-Lease Agreement in 1944. HMAS TAMWORTH, (minesweeper), landed 133 survivors from the torpedoed tanker ERLING BROVIG at Aden. The tanker and the transports SAN ALVARO and E. G. SEUBERT, were torpedoed by the German submarine U188 in the Indian Ocean. SAN ALVARO stayed afloat after the attack but was later sunk by TAMWORTH with depth charges. The Brisbane based USS BALAO, (submarine), sank the Japanese transport NIKKI MARU in the Arafura Sea.
- The Naval Health Benefits Society, (NHBS) was formed to provide private health insurance for the families of serving members, and ex RAN personnel.
- The International Force East Timor, (INTERFET), lead by Australia, ceased operation in East Timor and the ADF units that remained became part of the United Nations Transitional Force East Timor, (UNTAET).
- The Collins class submarines HMA Ships DECHAINEUX, (CMDR S. P. Davies, RAN), and SHEEAN, (CMDR W. H. Wiltshire, RAN), were commissioned in a joint ceremony in Adelaide. Both submarines were laid down in the Australian Submarine Corporation Yard in Adelaide. DECHAINEUX was launched on 12 March 1998. SHEEAN was launched on 1 May 1999, with Mrs Ivy Hayes, (Sister of OS Terry Sheean), performing the launching ceremony.
'On This Day' is based on the book "Navy Day by Day: Historic Naval Events in Australia and Abroad" written by the late Lew Lind. More information.
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