On This Day
1944 > WW2
On This Day - 1944
- April 12, 1945
HM Submarine Tapir, (LEUT P. G. Evatt, RANVR), torpedoed and sunk the German submarine U486 in the North Sea north-west of Bergen, Norway, in position 60.44N, 04.39E. LEUT Evatt was awarded the DSC for exceptional skill, audacity and judgement. Previously on 24 Dec 1944 U486 had sunk SS Leopoldville in the English Channel 5 miles from the port of Cherbourg, France. The troopship was transporting 2235 American soldiers from regiments of the 66th Infantry Division. The ship finally sank 2 1/2 hours later. 763 American soldiers died making this the worst loss an American infantry division suffered from a U-boat attack during the war.
- December 30, 1944
Three officers and 22 ratings of the RAN lost their lives in the Indian Ocean during the year, as a result of enemy submarine attacks on Allied shipping.
The services reconnaissance department (SRD) craft HMAS BLACK SNAKE, (SBLT J.R. Kay), was commissioned.
- December 27, 1944
HMA Ships NAPIER and NEPAL, (destroyers), anchored off Teknaf, 15 miles up the Naf River in Burma. The destroyers were supporting the Indian Army’s drive south.
- December 26, 1944
HMAS QUICKMATCH, (destroyer), picked up 67 survivors from the US merchant ship ROBERT J WALKER, torpedoed by a German submarine off Jervis Bay.
- December 25, 1944
HMAS WARRAMUNGA, (Tribal class destroyer), in the Philippines, served the following Christmas menu:
- Breakfast; fresh fruit, tea and coffee, cereal, fried eggs and bacon;
- Dinner; roast turkey and ham, beans and peas, plum pudding and brandy sauce, fruit trifle and jelly, nuts and beer;
- Tea; Christmas cake, nuts, iced fruit juice; supper: giblet soup, cold roast pork and ham, potato salad and mayonnaise, iced fruit juice. “
HMAS GASCOYNE, (frigate), took off 1300 troops from the burning transport SOMMELSDIJK, torpedoed by Japanese aircraft off Leyte.
- December 19, 1944
CAPT H. B. Farncomb was promoted and appointed Commodore Commanding Australian Squadron.
- December 17, 1944
HMS/m Rover (Lt. J. P. Angell RN) was involved in a collision with HMAS Bunbury off Perth, WA, in position 31°45’S, 115°13’E. Both vessels were damaged in this incident.
- December 16, 1944
HMA Ships NAPIER and NEPAL, (destroyers), supported the 74th Indian Brigade as it drove south in the vicinity of the Naf River, Burma.
- December 14, 1944
Australian Fleet Auxiliary Bishopdale, in San Pedro Bay Leyte Gulf, was hit by a crashing Japanese VAL dive bomber which struck the starboard upper bridge and then No: 3 wing tank, exploding on contact, was extensively damaged and was out of action for the next few months. DEMS Gunner/Deckhand Stuart William Savage RANR was killed and one other later died of his injuries. DEMS Gunner Stuart W Savage was buried at the US Military Cemetery at Leyte, the Philippines the same day. His body was subsequently moved to Sai Wan War Cemetery, Hong Kong
HMAS SHOALHAVEN was launched at Walker’s Yard, QLD.
HMAS NAPIER covered Allied troop attacks in the neighbourhood of St Martins Island, Burma, with close-range gunfire.
- December 12, 1944
The 21st Minesweeping Flotilla, HMA Ships BURNIE, LISMORE, MARYBOROUGH, and TOOWOOMBA swept shipping lanes in Bass Strait, following the attack on the merchant vessel ILISSOS, by the German submarine U862.