Operation Navy Help, to assist with the clean up and re-establishment of services in the shattered city of Darwin, commenced.
The first RAN asset to arrive was an HS748 aircraft, on 26 December, carrying blood transfusion equipment and a team of Red Cross workers. Shortly after a second HS 748 arrived carrying personnel from CDT1. HMAS MELBOURNE, (aircraft carrier), and HMAS BRISBANE, (guided missile destroyer), sailed from Sydney. HMA Ships STUART, STALWART, SUPPLY, HOBART, and VENDETTA, sailed two days later.
HMA Ships BALIKPAPAN, BETANO, BRUNEI, TARAKAN, and WEWAK, (landing craft heavy), also sailed from Queensland ports, in what was to become the largest peace-time mission mounted by the RAN.
The first ships arrived on 31 December, and over the next 4 weeks the RAN provided over 18,000 man days of effort to clean up Darwin, create temporary accommodation, restore some services, and bring in supplies and material to help the civilian population.