On This Day - 19 January

1912
The Australian Government decided to establish the Royal Australian Naval College at Captains Point, Jervis Bay.
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".
1941
ADML A. B. Cunningham, RN, (C in C, Mediterranean), reported to the Admiralty that the Inshore Squadron had ferried 35000 Italian POWs to Alexandria in 10 days, as well as supplying 5 tons of stores daily to the advancing Army in Libya. The Inshore Squadron was commanded by CAPT H. M. L. Waller, RAN, and had the "Scrap-Iron Flotilla", HMA Ships, STUART, VAMPIRE, VENDETTA, VOYAGER, and WATERHEN, (destroyers), operating with it.
1944
Coastwatcher LEUT B. W. G. Hall, AIF, commanded a party of six Europeans and two natives in a guerrilla war on Long Island off New Guinea which forced the Japanese garrison of 500 troops to evacuate the island.
1971
The River class, (modified type 12 frigate), destroyer escort HMAS TORRENS, was commissioned. TORRENS was laid down in Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney, on 18 August 1965, and launched on 28 September 1968.
1992
The world's first trials of operating Army S70A-9 helicopters from a ship at sea were made from HMAS TOBRUK off the south east coast of Australia.
2004
The submarine HMAS DECHAINEAUX becomes the first RAN vessel to use the new Naval Ammunition Wharf at Twofold Bay, NSW. The facility was built to replace the previous ammunition storage depots in Sydney and Point Wilson, VIC.
Credit:
'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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