Allied Warships

HMAS Hobart (D 63)

Light cruiser of the Modified Leander class

NavyThe Royal Australian Navy
TypeLight cruiser
ClassModified Leander 
PennantD 63 
Built byDevonport Dockyard (Plymouth, U.K.) 
Ordered1 Mar 1933 
Laid down15 Aug 1933 
Launched9 Oct 1934 
Commissioned28 Sep 1938 
End service20 Dec 1947 
History

Commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Apollo on 13 January 1936.

From 1936 until 1938 HMS Apollo served on the America and West Indies Station. On 28 September 1938, Apollo was acquired from the Royal Navy by the Royal Australian Navy, she was commissioned by the crew of HMAS Albatross (which had been transferred to the RN in part payment of Apollo) earlier than intended because of the Munich crisis. She was renamed HMAS Hobart and sailed for Australia towards the end of the year.

Post war HMAS Hobart remained in service making three deployments to Japanese waters. On 20 December 1947, HMAS Hobart was decommissioned at Sydney. During 1953 - 1956 Hobart was extensively refitted and partly converted and modernised as a training ship at Newcastle, New South Wales. For this role she was given a lattice foremast, but had all torpedo tubes and secondary guns removed. During this period, the plans regarding her being brought back into service as a fleet training ship were dropped. In 1959 Hobart was placed into reserve and later during that year it was decided that she was surplus to requirements and placed on the disposal list. On 2 February 1962 she was sold for scrap. In March 1962 Hobart left Sydney to be towed to Osaka in Japan for breaking up by Mitsue & Co at the Miyachi shipyard where she arrived on 2 April 1962.

 
Former nameHMS Apollo

Commands listed for HMAS Hobart (D 63)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

CommanderFromTo
1Capt. Harry Leslie Howden, RAN28 Aug 19397 Jun 1942
2Capt. Henry Arthur Showers, RAN8 Jun 19428 Oct 1943
3Cdr. Frederick Norton Cook, RAN18 Oct 19438 Nov 1944
4Capt. Roy Russell Dowling, RAN8 Nov 194413 Feb 1946

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Notable events involving Hobart include:


The page of HMAS Hobart was last updated in November 2022.

3 Sep 1939
The light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and the destroyer HMAS Voyager (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Morrow, RAN) departed Sydney for patrol.

They parted company the following day but both ships patrolled the shipping lanes near Cape Howe. (1)

6 Sep 1939
The light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and the destroyer HMAS Voyager (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Morrow, RAN) both arrived at Williamstown, Melbourne from patrol. (1)

8 Sep 1939
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises in Port Phillip. (2)

11 Sep 1939
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Williamstown for to make rendezvous with HMA Squadron. (2)

12 Sep 1939
HMAS Canberra (Commodore W.R. Patterson, CVO, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises off Cape Howe. On completion of the exercises, HMAS Canberra set course for Sydney, HMAS Hobart set course for Melbourne. (3)

14 Sep 1939
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) conducted HA gunnery exercises in Port Phillip. (2)

18 Sep 1939
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises in Port Phillip.

She departed later the same day for Sydney via Burnie, Tasmania. (2)

19 Sep 1939
From 1020K/19 to 1630K/19, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) anchored in Emu Bay off Burnie, Tasmania.

On departure course was set for Sydney. (2)

20 Sep 1939
On 20 September the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Commodore W.R. Patterson, CVO, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Jervis Bay for night exercises and then to return to Sydney.

One of the exercises they were to perform was intercepting the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) which was en-route from Melbourne to Sydney via Tasmania. She joined the exercises on 21 September.

Before entering harbour on 21 September exercises were carried out off Sydney by HMAS Canberra, HMAS Hobart, HMAS Stuart, HMAS Waterhen, HMAS Swan (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Prevost, RN) and HMAS Yarra (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN). (4)

26 Sep 1939
From 26 to 28 September 1939, HMAS Canberra (Commodore W.R. Patterson, CVO, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) conducted exercises off Sydney. These included night exercises. (3)

30 Sep 1939
Around 1230K/30, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Sydney for operation OY 1.

[For more info see the event ' Operation OY 1 ' for 1 October 1939.] (2)

1 Oct 1939

Operation OY 1.

The object of this operation was to test the air reconnaissance capabilities of the RAAF.

By 0600K/1, HMAS Canberra (Commodore W.R. Patterson, CVO, RN), HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and HMAS Adelaide (Cdr. H.A. Showers, RAN) had taken up positions of the coasts of New South Wales and Victoria.

Aircraft took off from Laverton, Richmond and Archerfield to search to a depth of 80 miles. Aircraft also took off from Canberra to search to a depth of 160 miles.

The exercises were completed around 1900K/1.

On completion of the exercises HMAS Canberra, HMAS Hobart and HMAS Adelaide set course for Sydney. HMAS Australia set course for Melbourne. (5)

2 Oct 1939
Around 0100K/2, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) returned to Sydney from operation OY 1. (6)

5 Oct 1939
From 5 to 7 October 1939, HMAS Canberra (Commodore W.R. Patterson, CVO, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and HMAS Adelaide (Cdr. H.A. Showers, RAN) conducted exercises off Sydney. (5)

13 Oct 1939
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Sydney for Singapore via Darwin. (6)

20 Oct 1939
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Darwin to fuel. (6)

21 Oct 1939
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Darwin for Singapore. (6)

26 Oct 1939
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Singapore from Darwin. (6)

28 Oct 1939
HMS Birmingham (Capt. E.J.P. Brind, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Singapore for a patrol around Sumatra. (7)

1 Nov 1939
HMS Birmingham (Capt. E.J.P. Brind, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) parted company with each other. HMS Birmingham proceeded south to the Sunda Strait while HMAS Hobart proceeded north to return to Singapore via the Malacca Strait. (8)

4 Nov 1939
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) returned to Singapore from patrol. (6)

8 Nov 1939
The aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN) and light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Singapore for Colombo. (9)

12 Nov 1939
The aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN) and light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Colombo from Singapore. (9)

15 Nov 1939
The light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Colombo for Bombay.

Later this day a signal was received from the sloop HMS Leith (Cdr. G.R. Waymouth, RN) that starshell had been sighted in position 09°00'N, 68°10'E. HMAS Hobart then raised steam for full speed and set course for the Eight Degree Channel to proceed to this position.

The following day, HMS Leith reported that she had searched the area but had found nothing. HMAS Hobart was then ordered to continue her passage to Bombay via a route west of the Laccadive Islands. (6)

18 Nov 1939
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Bombay from Colombo. (6)

28 Nov 1939
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Bombay for patrol in the Arabian Sea. (6)

1 Dec 1939
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) returned to Bombay from patrol. Before entering harbour gunnery exercises were carried out. (6)

2 Dec 1939
Around 1100Z/2, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Bombay escorting the transport Akbar (4043 GRT, built 1924) towards the Gulf of Aden.

Around 1200Z/6, in position 15°31'N, 56°04'E, HMAS Hobart parted company with the Akbar and then set course to make rendezvous with the transport Ettrick (British, 11229 GRT, built 1938).

Rendezvous was effected around 0520Z/7, in position 13°00'N, 58°45'E.

Around 1300Z/8, HMAS Hobart parted company with the Ettrick and set course for Bombay at 25 knots.

HMAS Hobart returned to Bombay around 0945Z/9. (6)

10 Dec 1939

Convoy K 6.

This convoy departed Bombay on 10 December 1939.

It was made up of the transports; Cap Tourane (French, 8009 GRT, built 1923), D'Artagnan (French, 15105 GRT, built 1925), Lancashire (British, 9557 GRT, built 1917), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926), Rohna (British, 8602 GRT, built 1926), Tairea (British, 7934 GRT, built 1924) and Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924).

These ships were carrying Indian and French troops and mules.

On departure from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and the armed merchant cruisers HMS Ranchi (Capt.(Retd.) H.C. Legge, DSC, RN) and HMS Maloja (Capt.(Retd.) C.R. Dane, RN).

Cover for he convoy was proviced by the heavy cruisers HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN) and Suffren (Capt. R.J.M. Dillard) which had departed Colombo on 9 December. They turned back at midnight during the night of 11/12 December 1939.

On 15 December 1939, on entering the Gulf of Aden the escorts parted company with the convoy which then proceeded unescorted to Suez where it arrived on 20 December.

After passing the Suez Canal the convoy departed Port Said on 21 December escorted by the destroyers HMAS Vampire (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Walsh, RAN) and HMAS Voyager (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Morrow, RAN).

The destroyers were relieved on 24 December by their sister ships HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN).

The convoy arrived at Marseilles on 26 December.

20 Dec 1939
Around 0900Z/20, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Colombo after convoy escort duty. (6)

23 Dec 1939
Around 0250Z/23, the Australian light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Colombo to make rendezvous with the French heavy cruiser Suffren (Capt. R.J.M. Dillard).

On departure from Colombo HMAS Hobart conducted gunnery exercises on a target that was being towed by the minesweeper HMS Widnes (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Chandler, RN).

Rendezvous with the Suffren was effected around 1015Z/24 in position 07°06'N, 85°48'E.

The cruisers made rendezvous with a convoy escorted by the French sloop Savorgnan de Brazza (Cdr. A.R.D. De Badens) around 2336Z/25 (dawn on 26 December in local time). The convoy was made up of the transports; Bougainville (French, 7293 GRT, built 1914), Yalou (French, 6783 GRT, built 1915) and Si-Kiang (French, 6738 GRT, built 1915).

HMAS Hobart parted company with the convoy around 1200Z/27 and set course for Colombo where she arrived around 1235Z/28 and then completed with oil fuel.

HMAS Hobart departed Colombo to make rendezvous with the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and the destroyer HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN). They later joined the French convoy as additional escorts.

Around 0235Z/6, near Socotra, in position 12°00'N, 52°05'E, HMAS Hobart parted company and set course to return to Colombo where she arrived around 0325Z on 10 January 1940. (6)

6 Jan 1940

Convoy US 1.

Troop convoy from New Zealand and Australia to Suez.

The convoy departed Wellington, New Zealand on 6 January 1940 and on departure was made up out of the following troopships: Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Rangitata (British, 16737 GRT, built 1929) and Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932).

On departure from Wellington the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN), heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. W.R. Patterson, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN).

Two more troopships joined the convoy in New Zealand waters, these were: Dunera (British, 11162 GRT, built 1937) and Sobieski (Polish, 11030 GRT, built 1939).

The convoy then set course for Australia.

On 9 January the troopships: Orcades (British, 23456 GRT, built 1937), Orford (British, 19941 GRT, built 1928), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925) and Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931) departed Sydney to join the convoy which they did the next day. They were being escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN).

HMS Leander was then detached while HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, RAN) joined the convoy on the 10th but already left again the day after when she was detached at 0238K/11 to search for a missing aircraft. As it was later reported that the aircraft had crashed on land the search was soon abandoned.

On the 12th the troopship Empress of Japan (British, 26032 GRT, built 1930) joined the convoy coming from Melbourne.

On 18 January the light cruiser HMAS Adelaide (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) near Fremantle joined the convoy escort.

The convoy arrived at Fremantle later the same day.

On 20 January, the convoy departed Fremantle escorted by the battleship HMS Ramillies and the heavy cruisers HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN) and Suffren (Capt. R.J.M. Dillard).

HMAS Canberra and HMAS Australia had departed a few hours earlier to patrol the area. They returned to Fremantle on 21 January.

The convoy arrived at Colombo on 30 January and entered the harbour as did HMS Ramillies. HMS Kent and Suffren kept patrolling off the harbour until the convoy set sail again on 1 February but now escorted by the battleship HMS Ramillies the aircaft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Sussex (Capt. A.R. Hammick, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) and the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN). HMS Ramillies and HMS Sussex had sailed with the convoy from Colombo, the other two escorts came from Trincomalee. HMS Kent and Suffren then entered Colombo. At Colombo the convoy had been joined by the French troopship Athos II (French, 15276 GRT, built 1927).

On 6 February 1940 the destroyer HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN) joined the convoy coming from Colombo. On joinig the convoy she was oiled by HMS Sussex.

Early on the 7th, HMAS Hobart proceeded ahead to Aden with three of the troopships.

At dawn of the 8th the convoy arrived off Aden and three more of the troop transports entered the harbour. The remainder proceeded towards the Red Sea now escorted by HMS Sussex and HMAS Hobart. Aircraft from HMS Eagle patrolled in the area while HMS Ramillies fuelled in the outer anchorage.

The transports that had entered Aden left there on 9 February escorted by HMS Sussex as this cruiser had turned back when off the Perim Strait. HMS Sussex and HMS Westcott now escorted these ships until they met HMAS Hobart which had now dispersed the first group of transports in 22°30'N.

HMS Sussex then turned back to proceed to Aden leaving the transports of the second group to HMAS Hobart which then escorted the transports to 22°30'N when they were dispersed. HMS Westcott went on to Suez with the Rangitata. HMAS Hobart then also set sourse to return to Aden. (10)

15 Jan 1940
The aircaft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Sussex (Capt. A.R. Hammick, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) and the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Colombo to patrol off Ceylon. (11)

18 Jan 1940
HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN), HMS Sussex (Capt. A.R. Hammick, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) returned to Colombo from patrol. (11)

25 Jan 1940
The aircaft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Sussex (Capt. A.R. Hammick, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) and the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Colombo for Trincomalee. (11)

26 Jan 1940
HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN), HMS Sussex (Capt. A.R. Hammick, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Trincomalee. (11)

29 Jan 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises off Trincomalee. (6)

31 Jan 1940
Around 0145Z/31, HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN) departed Trincomalee to make rendezvous with convoy US 1.

She was followed around 0400Z/31 by HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) which was to overtake and join HMS Eagle and then join the convoy with her.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 1 ' for 6 January 1940.] (6)

13 Feb 1940
Around 0405Z/13, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Aden from convoy escort duty. (6)

17 Feb 1940
Around 1900Z/17, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden to overtake the troop transport Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939) and then escort her to Colombo.

The Andes had departed Aden just a few hours previously. HMAS Hobart joined her the following day. (6)

22 Feb 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and the troop transport Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939) arrived at Colombo from Aden. (6)

22 Feb 1940
HMS Olympus (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Dymott, RN) conducted exercises off Colombo. These included a practice attack on the Australian light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) on her return from escort duties. (12)

25 Feb 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) is docked at Colombo. (6)

1 Mar 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) is undocked. (6)

3 Mar 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Colombo to make rendezvous with HMS Durban (Capt. L.S. Saunders, RN), HMS Aphis (Lt.Cdr R.S. Stafford, RN) and HMS Ladybird (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.F. Blackburn, RN) near Nancowry Island and then take over the escort of the gunboats from HMS Durban. (6)

6 Mar 1940
HMS Durban (Capt. L.S. Saunders, RN), HMS Aphis (Lt.Cdr R.S. Stafford, RN) and HMS Ladybird (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.F. Blackburn, RN) departed Nancowry Island. Shorty after deparuture they made rendezvous with HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) which then took over the escort of the gunboats which were to proceed to the Mediterranean via Colombo and Aden. (13)

8 Mar 1940
Around 1730Z/8, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) parted company with HMS Aphis (Lt.Cdr R.S. Stafford, RN) and HMS Ladybird (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.F. Blackburn, RN) to proceed to Trincomalee. (6)

9 Mar 1940
Around 1030Z/9, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Trincomalee. (6)

11 Mar 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises off Trincomalee. (6)

12 Mar 1940
HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Trincomalee. HMAS Eagle was to proceed to Singapore for refit.

HMAS Hobart parted company around 0400FG/14, in position 07°55'N, 85°37'E, and set course to proceed to Colombo.

At 1403FG/14, an explosion occured in the bomb room of HMS Eagle, damage was sustained and one officer and twelve ratings were killed in the incident. (14)

16 Mar 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Colombo. Before entering harbour gunnery exercises were carried out on a target that was being towed by HMS Widnes (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Chandler, RN). (6)

18 Mar 1940
The Commander-in-Chief East Indies, Vice-Admiral R. Leatham, CB, RN, hoisted his flag in HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN). (6)

20 Mar 1940
The Commander-in-Chief East Indies, Vice-Admiral R. Leatham, CB, RN, transferred his flag from HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) to HMS Gloucester (Capt. F.R. Garside, CBE, RN). (6)

20 Mar 1940
Around 1223Z/20, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Colombo to make rendezvous with the 2nd Minesweeper Flotilla coming from Singapore. HMAS Hobart was to escort them to Colombo. The 2nd Minesweeper Flottila was made up of the following ships; HMS Abingdon (Capt. (Retd.) A.R. Farquhar, DSC, RN), HMS Bagshot (Lt.Cdr. J.F.B. Gage, RNVR), HMS Derby (Lt.Cdr. F.C.V. Brightman, RN), HMS Fareham (Lt. W.J.P. Church, RN) and HMS Stoke (Cdr.(Retd.) C.J.P. Hill, RN).

Rendezvous was effected around 0721Z/22.

They arrived at Colombo around 1330Z/23. (6)

27 Mar 1940
HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) departed Colombo for exercises.

Later in the day HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) also sailed and she joined HMS Kent for the exercises.

Later HMS Gloucester (Capt. F.R. Garside, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral R. Leatham, CB, RN, C-in-C East Indies) also joined.

Exercises were then carried out with HMS Kent and HMAS Hobart operating together against an enemy raider which was portrayed by HMS Gloucester

Also flying boats were involved.

Exercises continued during the night. On completion of the exercises HMS Gloucester proceeded to Colombo while HMS Kent and HMAS Hobart set course for Trincomalee. (15)

29 Mar 1940
' Force I ', made up of HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Trincomalee. (16)

3 Apr 1940
' Force I ', made up of HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. (17)

4 Apr 1940
' Force I ', made up of HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Trincomalee to intercept the Dutch merchant vessel Alcinous (6189 GRT, built 1925) which was reported to be carrying goods of German origin (contraband). This order was later cancelled and both ships proceeded to Colombo arriving there on the 5th. (18)

8 Apr 1940
During 8/9 April 1940, several sections of HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) are fumigated. (19)

13 Apr 1940
Around 0345Z/13, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Colombo for Aden. (19)

14 Apr 1940
At 0245Z/14, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) intercepted the Danish merchant vessel Afrika (8597 GRT, built 1920) in position 07°52'N, 73°55'E. She was boarded and sent to Colombo under an armed guard of one Petty Officer and four ratings. (19)

15 Apr 1940
When in position 09°40'N, 63°07'E, the loom of a searchlight was sighted bearing 263°, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) then increased to full speed to intercept. It was considered probable that the searchlight was from the Dutch destroyer HrMS Van Galen (Cdr. A.S. Pinke, RNN) which was en-route from Colombo to Aden. This was subsequently fount to be the case and at 2106Z/15, signals were exchanged. It was estimated the loom of the searchlight had been sighted from a distance of over forty miles. (19)

15 Apr 1940

Convoy US 2.

This convoy departed Melbourne on 15 April 1940.

It was being made up of the following troop transports; Dunera (British, 11162 GRT, built 1937, 1476 troops), Ettrick (British, 11229 GRT, built 1938, 1476 troops), Neuralia (British, 9182 GRT, built 1912, 1257 troops), Nevasa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913, 1400 troops) and Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932, 1564 troops).

On departure the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN) and the light cruiser HMAS Adelaide (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN).

The convoy arrived at Fremantle on 21 April 1940.

The convoy departed Fremantle on 22 April 1940 now escorted by HMS Ramillies and the light cruiser HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, RAN).

At 1100G/28, the French heavy cruiser Suffren (Capt. R.J.M. Dillard) joined west of the Cocos Islands in position 12°19'S, 93°50'E.

At 1230G/28, HMAS Sydney parted company to return to Fremantle.

The convoy arrived at Colombo on 3 May 1940. In the approaches distant cover was provided by the heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN) which also patrolled near the harbour until 4 May while the convoy was in harbour.

The convoy departed Colombo for Aden on 5 May now escorted by HMS Ramillies, HMS Kent and the Suffren.

The convoy arrived at Aden on 12 May.

The convoy departed Aden again later the same day now escorted by battleship HMS Ramillies, heavy cruiser Suffren, light cruiser HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN). Light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) was briefly with the convoy taking the place of the Suffren which was delayed in leaving harbour. The sloop HMS Shoreham (Lt.Cdr. F.D. Miller, RN) apparently joined the escort at sea the next day.

The convoy arrived at Suez on 17 May 1940. (10)

18 Apr 1940
Around 0600Z/18, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Aden from Colombo. (6)

25 Apr 1940
Around 0815Z/25, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden for courtesy visits to Kamaran, Hoheida and Mocca.

She arrived at Kamaran around 0500Z/26.

She departed Kamaran around 1500Z/26 and arrived at Hoheida around 0500Z/27.

She departed Hoheida around 1645Z/27 and arrived at Mocca around 0315Z/28.

She departed Mocca around 1645Z/28.

HMAS Hobart returned to Aden around 0600Z/29. (19)

1 May 1940
Around 1630 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN), departed Aden for Port Sudan. At the same time HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden for Djibouti.

The cruisers then first conducted exercises before going their own way. (20)

2 May 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Djibouti. She departed for Berbera later the same day. (21)

3 May 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Berbera. She departed for Aden later the same day. (21)

4 May 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Aden from Berbera. (21)

12 May 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) briefly escorted convoy US 2.

For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 2 ' for 15 April 1940. (21)

14 May 1940
Around 1245Z/14, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden to proceed to Berbera to provide cover for the disembarkment of Rhodesian troops from the transport Karanja (British, 9891 GRT, built 1931).

Around 0308Z/15, HMAS Hobart anchored off Berbera.

Around 0545Z/15, HMAS Hobart launched her aircraft for A/S patrol and to locate the Karanja.

Around 1000Z/15, the Karanja arrived from Mombasa / Kilindini. Disermarkation of the troops and stores commenced at 1130Z/15, boats from HMAS Hobart were assisting.

Disembarkation was halted for the night around 1800Z/15.

Around 0100Z/16, unloading the troops and stores recommenced. This was completed at 2359Z/16. A total of forty-two motor vehicles, four motor ambulances, 150 tons of general stores and 1164 troops had been landed.

Around 0400Z/17, the Karanja sailed for Aden followed 50 minutes later by HMAS Hobart.

HMAS Hobart arrived at Aden around 1400Z/17.

(21)

20 May 1940
Around 0400Z/20, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and the A/S trawler HMS Moonstone (Lt. W.J.H. Moorman, RN) departed Aden to reinforce the armed boarding vessel HMS Chantala (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.E.I. Gibbs, RN) on the Perim patrol. HMAS Hobart was to provide cover for the two other ships.

21 May 1940
At 1439Z/21, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) received a signal ordering to proceed up the Red Sea to provide cover of British and Allied shipping. (21)

23 May 1940
At 0920Z/23, when in position 16°38'N, 41°02'E, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) turned south to make rendezvous with HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN), HMS Gloucester (Capt. F.R. Garside, CBE, RN) and HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, RAN).

HMAS Hobart joined them at 1336Z/23, in position 15°58'N, 41°32'E.

HMAS Hobart parted company with them around 2130Z/23 and then set course for Port Sudan. (21)

24 May 1940
Around 1230Z/24, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Port Sudan from patrol. (21)

26 May 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Port Sudan to relieve HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN) on the Perim patrol.

They made rendezvous around 1030C/27 and then briefly conducted exercises before HMS Liverpool departed for Aden about an hour later. (21)

28 May 1940
Around 1330C/28, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) anchored in Perim Harbour.

Earlier that day, around 1030C/28, the destroyers HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) had taken over the Perim patrol from the sloop HMS Shoreham (Lt.Cdr. F.D. Miller, RN) and A/S trawler HMS Moonstone (Lt. W.J.H. Moorman, RN) which then set course to proceed to Djibouti. (21)

29 May 1940
At 1811C/29, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) left Perim Harbour for patrol. She returned at 1027C/30. (21)

29 May 1940
At 0956C/31, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) left Perim Harbour for patrol.

Around 1000C/1, she proceeded northwards to provide cover for fourteen British ships proceeding southwards through the Red Sea.

At 1420C/2, HMAS Hobart turned southwards when in position 17°50'N, 40°10'E.

Around 0800C/3, in position 15°09'N, 41°49'E, an Italian destroyer was sighted, which turned out to be the torpedo boat Vincenco Giordano Orsini apparently proceeding towards Massawa.

At 1125C/4, HMAS Hobart arrived at Aden. Before entering harbour gunnery exercises were carried out. (21)

11 Jun 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) departed Aden to conduct a raid in the Red Sea along the coast of Italian Somaliland.

12 Jun 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) returned to Aden after their a raid in the Red Sea along the coast of Italian Somaliland. They had sighted no enemy shipping.

13 Jun 1940
Around 1100C/14, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden to provide cover for ships on the Perim patrol. (22)

14 Jun 1940
Around 1300C/14, the transport Khandalla (British, 7018 GRT, built 1923) departed Aden for Suez. She was escorted by the destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) and the sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN).

They were joined around 1730C/14, in position 12°21'N, 44°10'E, by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN).

Around 1835C/15, HMS Flamingo was detached in position 16°48'N, 41°03'E to proceed to Kamaran.

Around 0130C/17, HMS Kingston was detached in position 22°40'N, 37°27'E

Around 0800C/17, HMAS Hobart detached the Khandalla in position 24°00'N, 37°00'E to continue her passage to Suez unescorted. She then joined the transport Shahristan (British, 6935 GRT, built 1938) to escort her southwards through the Red Sea.

Around 0520C/18, HMS Kingston joined in position 20°26'N, 38°32'E.

Around 0818C/18, HMS Flamingo joined in position 19°55'N, 38°51'E.

At 0804C/19, HMAS Hobart launched her Walrus aircraft to attack the Italian W/T station on Centre Peak Island which was done successfully exactly an hour later. The aircraft then proceeded to Kamaran to refuel and from there flew to Aden.

Around 1200C/20, HMS Kingston was detached to Aden to fuel where sdhe arrived around 1430C/20.

Around 1350C/20, HMAS Hobart parted company with the Shahristan and HMS Flamingo and set course for Aden arriving around 1520C/20. (22)

20 Jun 1940
Around 2018C/20, having completed with fuel, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden for the Perim patrol. (22)

21 Jun 1940
At 0438 hours, an A/S search was commenced over Arab shoal to search for an Italian submarine reported to be in the area. The ships that participated in this search were; HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN), HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) and HMS Shoreham (Lt.Cdr. F.D. Miller, RN).

At 1115 hours, HMS Khartoum and HMS Kingston, obtained an A/S contact and a submarine hull was seen under water.

At 1130 hours HMS Khartoum fired a depth charge pattern followed 15 minutes later by a second depth charge pattern. Contact was lost after this attack.

At 1421 hours the search sheme had been completed without regaining contact. The destroyers were then ordered to seach the shallow water to the south-east of Marsha Island while the sloops were ordered to search the shallow water to the west of Ras Bir. It was believed that the depth charge attacks by HMS Khartoum had damaged the enemy submarine. The sloops were unable to conduct a search of their assigned area due to a sandstorm which reduced visibility to two cables.

At 1843 hours the destroyers lost touch with HMS Shoreham due to this sandstorm. All ships then proceeded towards the Brothers Islands keeping well clear of the coast. (23)

22 Jun 1940
Continuation of events of 21 June 1940.

At 0015 hours a search was commenced into a southerly direction from the Brothers Islands by HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN) and HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN).

At 0300 hours this search was completed and a new search in a northerly direction was then commenced. After this had been completed another search to the southward was commenced a bit further to the east.

At 0825 hours this search was completed and the destroyers then proceeded to a rendez-vous position with HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) and HMS Shoreham (Lt.Cdr. F.D. Miller, RN).

At 0850 hours the destroyers were in company with Hobart and Shoreham.

At 1223 hours, HMAS Hobart catapulted her aircraft to search the area for the enemy submarine. It returned at 1428 hours having sighted nothing. (23)

23 Jun 1940
Around 1300C/23, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Aden from operations. (22)

23 Jun 1940
Continuation of events of 22 June 1940.

At 0210 hours HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) and HMS Shoreham (Lt.Cdr. F.D. Miller, RN) parted company with HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) after a sweep up the Straits of Bab-el-Mandep had revealed no sign of the ememy submarine nor of enemy surface vessels that were thought to might have come to the submarines aid. HMS Kandahar and HMS Kingston were then joined by HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) and HMS Shoreham (Lt.Cdr. F.D. Miller, RN) to search in the Large Perim Strait. HMS Khartoum was detached to search the Small Perim Strait.

At 0410 hours HMS Kingston sighted a submarine on the surface proceeding up the strait and illuminated it with a searchlight. The submarine immediately dived and a search sheme to the eastwards was organised as it was thought that the submarine, knowing it had been sighted, might try to reach the deeper water of the open sea rather then the shallow water of the strait.

At 0530 hours, HMS Kingston sighted the submarine on the surface to the west-north-west. She turned and opened fire with her 4.7" guns soon followed by HMS Kandahar and HMS Kharthoum, the last one meanwhile had rejoined her sister ships. A gun battle then followed. HMS Shoreham meanwhile also closed the submarine and was engaged by the enemy with her deck gun. Two shells fell close ahead of Shoreham.

0553 hours, HMS Kandahar hit the enemy submarine on the forward casing. The enemy then stopped, ceased fire and started to settle in the water. The submarine crew abandoned ship and took to the water. The British ships then closed the submarine and started to pick up survivors at 0606 hours. A total of 53 survivors were picked up, four Italians were dead and two missing presumed killed.

At 0619 hours the enemy submarine sank beneath the waves. She had been scuttled by her crew to prevent capture. The submarine turned out to be the Evangelista Torricelli (Capitano di Corvetta (Lt.Cdr.) Salvatore Pelosi).

0647 hours - The destroyers then made off for the Gulf of Tajura as ordered to search for another enemy submarine but then the Italian Commanding Officer stated that it had been his submarine that had been attacked there the day before. HMS Kandahar and HMS Kingston then set course for Aden to land the survivors (They arrived later the same day) while HMS Kharthoum resumed the Perim patrol. She was lost later the same day.

30 Jun 1940
Around 1800C/30, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) and the armed boarding vessel HMS Chantala (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.E.I. Gibbs, RN) departed Aden for Berbera. They were transporting Indian troops.

They arrived at Berbera around 0710C/1. HMAS Hobart and HMS Chantala anchored in the harbour. HMS Flamingo carried out an A/S patrol off the harbour entrance.

Around 1830C/1, HMAS Hobart and HMS Flamingo left Berbera to return to Aden where they arrived around 0630C/2. (24)

5 Jul 1940
Around 0515C/5, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden to provide cover for HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) on the Perim patrol. (25)

7 Jul 1940
Around 0600C/7, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) returned to Aden from patrol. (25)

9 Jul 1940
Around 2220C/9, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and the destroyer HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) departed Aden to make rendezvous with the light cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) which was escorting the transports Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) and Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924).

Rendezvous was effected around 0630C/10. HMS Kimberley then took over the escort of the Takliwa with HMAS Hobart providing cover. They set course for Berbera.

HMS Colombo and the Talamba meanwhile continued on to Aden where they arrived early in the afternoon.

HMAS Hobart, HMS Kimberley and the Takliwa arrived off Berbera around 1320C/19 and disembarkation of troops and stores commenced. HMS Kimberley meanwhile conducting an A/S patrol off the area.

Around 1800C/11, disembarkation was completed and the ships left Berbera around 2210C/11.

Around 0030C/12, HMS Kimberley parted company to search for an enemy submarine reported earlier off Siyara (to the east of Berbera).

Around 0530C/12, HMAS Hobart and the Takliwa made rendezvous with HMS Colombo and the Talamba which had departed Aden around 0155C/12.

HMS Colombo then took over the escort of the Takliwa to Aden where they arrived around 1035C/12.

HMAS Hobart now escorting the Talamba proceeded to Berbera where they arrived around 1345C/12. They had been joined by HMS Kimberley around 0950C/12.

Unloading commenced with HMS Kimberley again conducted an A/S patrol off the area.

Unloading was completed around 1800C/14 and the ships left Berbera for Aden around an hour later.

Around 0045C/15, HMAS Hobart and HMS Kimberley parted company with the Talamba in position 11°32'N, 45°34'E.

The Talamba then set course for Bombay where she arrived on 19 July.

HMAS Hobart and HMS Kimberley arrived at Aden around 0730C/15. Before entering harbour exercises were carried out. (26)

20 Jul 1940
At 2013C/20, the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and the destroyer HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) departed Aden for an operation in the Red Sea to destroy the stranded Italian submarine Perla.

Around 0500C/21, the destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) joined company in position 148° Perim Light, 8 miles.

HMAS Hobart and HMS Ceres, screened by HMS Kingston and HMS Kimberley then proceeded up the Red Sea keeping close to the Yemen coast until south-west of Mocha (Mokka), when course was altered to the westward to pass between Harbi and Sayal Islands and thence up the Eritrean Coast.

At 1555C/21, when in position 14°23'N, 41°32'5"E with cruiser in line ahead screened by the two destroyers and steering 295°, sighted what appeared to be two destroyers ahead. Speed was increased to close when these 'destroyers' were identified as object inshore of Ras Cesar.

At 1605C/21, sighted a Dhow close inshore southward of the reported position of Perla and a dark object, which had all the appearanc of a submarine hull. This object was fist seen and pointed out to Captain Howden by the Navigating Officer. Captain Howden looked at it through binoculars and no doubt was raised in his mind tat it was other then the 'wreck' of the grounded Perla, The Observer Officer similarly examined it and also considered it to be the submarine, except that the size of the conning tower appeared reduced. Captain Howden later asked HMS Kingston if the conning tower had been hit during the gun action on 27 June. HMS Kingston replied that it had twice been hit but had not been demolished.

It was when the position of the suspected Perla was abaft the beam that the Navigating Officer raised some doubts as to the certainty of the object sighted being the Perla. By that time the distane away was considerable and as two enemy aircraft were in sight Captain Howden had not the opportunity for further observation. Later HMS Ceres was asked if she had sighted Perla and the response was 'No'. [Indeed the Italian submarine had arrived back at Massawa on 20 July after having been towed off the reef.]

At 1609C/21, HMS Kingston reported two aircraft to the northward and a few minutes later these was also seen onboard HMAS Hobart

At 1617C/21, course was altered to starboard to place them on the port beam and so gain sea room. By this time the ships were within 7.5 miles of the position of the suspected wreck of the Perla. At this stage the enemy aircraft were some nine or ten miles away and could only be recognised as large bombers in close formation.

At 1620C/21, the aircraft altered course towards and closes on the port beam, their height being about 8000 feet.

At 1623C/21, HMS Kingston opened fire rather prematurely as the bombers were well out of range and bursts were well short.

At 1625C/21, HMAS Hobart opened fire but the initial rounds were wide of the bombers, which however, opened up to about five spans. The bursts were getting closer and when one burst came below and between the bombers they altered course to starboard and the rear bomber jettisoned two large bombs while on a banked turn. These fell harmlessly into the sea 2-3 miles inshore of the port wing destroyer.

The rear aircraft, which appeared to be very nervous broke formation and banked steeply to port withdrawing to the north-west. The leader continued on an opposite course to the ships and withdrew out of range astern.

At 1637C/21, HMS Kimberley was detached to indentify the wreck of the Perla. In the meantime HMAS Hobart opened fire on the aircraft which was making up the coast towards Massawa, but her angle of sight was below the limit for which the control system was designed and shots burst wide and the aircraft withdrew outside gun range and disappeared to the north.

At 1650C/21, HMS Kimberley was closing the shore and was attacked by the leaders aircraft at 6000 feet. One bomb was dropped which fell some 1500 yards astern of HMS Kimberley which was then recalled. She reported seeing a dark shape on the beach near the dhow, but was not certain that it was the Perla.

The aircraft, which came under accurate fire from HMS Ceres, retired to the southward until out of range and then made off in a westerly direction, jettisoning a large bomb on the foreshore. The aircraft appeared to be attempting to attain a position right astern before attacking, but as they kept at long range there was no difficulty in keeping them on the beam.

The aircraft were identified as being SM 81's and the four bombs dropped by them were thought to be of 1250lbs in weight. Neither aircraft showed any desire to press home an attack and the rear aircraft appeared particularly uneasy. It is thought they had been sent out as a reconnaissance force and not a dedicated bombing force sent out for us.

When it became evident that no further air attacks were launched against us course was set to retire to the south-east.

At 1800C/21, HMS Kimberley was detached for the Perim patrol. HMAS Hobart and HMS Ceres set course to return to Aden screened by HMS Kingston. They arrived at Aden around 1200C/22. (25)

23 Jul 1940
Around 0015C/23, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden for the Perim patrol. (25)

24 Jul 1940

Convoy RS 5.

This convoy departed Liverpool on 24 July 1940 for Suez.

It was made up of the troopship Reina del Pacifico (17702 GRT, built 1931) and the transport Clan Ferguson (7347 GRT, built 1938).

On departure from Liverpool the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St.J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Hotspur (Cdr. H.F.H Layman, DSO, RN).

Also on the 24th the aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. H.C. Bovell, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Maloja (A/Capt. V. Hammersley-Heenan, RN) and the destroyers HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall A'Deane, DSC, RN) and HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN) departed Greenock. They made rendezvous with the ships coming from Liverpool around 0600A/25.

At 1000A/26, HMS Argus and the destroyers parted company to proceed direct to Gibraltar. They arrived at Gibraltar around 0700A/30.

The convoy, escorted by HMS Maloja, continued on towards Freetown where it arrived on 4 August 1940.

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The then convoy departed Freetown on 5 August 1940 for Capetown.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was now escorted by the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN).

Around 1200Z/11, the light cruiser HMS Dragon (Capt. R.G. Bowes-Lyon, MVO, RN) joined the convoy. HMS Hermes then parted company to proceed independently on patrol and then on to Simonstown.

The convoy arrived at Capetown on 15 August 1940.

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The convoy, still in the same composition and still escorted by HMS Dragon departed Capetown for Durban on 16 August 1940.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 19 August 1940.

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The convoy departed Durban for Aden on 21 August 1940 now escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (Capt.(Retd.) B.O. Bell-Salter, RN).

The convoy arrived at Aden on 31 August 1940.

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The convoy departed Aden for Suez on 31 August 1940 now escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and the destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN). The armed boarding vessel HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) was also with the convoy for a while.

At 1830C/2, the Reina del Pacifico parted company with the convoy to proceed ahead to Suez where she arrived on 4 September 1940.

At 1920C/2, HMS Kandahar parted company with the convoy to proceed to Port Sudan to fuel.

At 0910C/3, the sloop HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) took over the escort of the Clan Ferguson from HMAS Hobart which in turn took over HMS Grimsby's southbound convoy.

HMS Grimsby and the Clan Ferguson arrived at Suez on 5 September 1940. (27)

26 Jul 1940
Around 0915C/26, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) returned to Aden from patrol. (25)

31 Jul 1940
Around 1800C/31, the transport Varsova (British, 4701 GRT, built 1914), with Indian troops on board, departed Aden for Berbera. She is escorted by the sloop HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN).

Around 1820C/31, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden to join them which she did around 2000C/31.

Around 1240C/1, the Varsova and HMAS Hobart arrived at Berbera. HMS Shoreham conducted an A/S patrol to seaward of them.

Around 1545C/1, the disembarkation of the Indian troops and their stores commenced.

At 0815C/2, HMAS Hobart commenced dragging her anchors due to the worsening weather conditions.

At 0815C/2, HMAS Hobart grounded.

Around 1600C/2, HMAS Hobart got off with assitance from the Varsova and HMS Shoreham. HMAS Hobart then proceeded to sea and carried out a short trials, manoeuvering under full rudder. The trial proved satisfactory and HMAS Hobart returned to Berbera, anchoring around 1715C/2. (28)

3 Aug 1940
At 1224C/3, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), departed Berbera to patrol off Cape Guardafui as it was thought that an Italian merchant vessel or even raider had departed Massawa and had evaded the Perim patrol during the night of 1 / 2 August. It was thought the enemy was posing as the Greek merchant vessel (tanker) Petrakis Nomikos (7020 GRT, built 1914).

The ship was not sighted an HMAS Hobart returned to Berbera around 1840C/5. On her arrival back at Berbara it was found that the Varsova and HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) had departed for Aden while the transport Jehangir (British, 3566 GRT, built 1924), sloop HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN) and A/S trawler HMS Amber (A/S.Lt P.le M. Andrew, RNR) had arrived from Aden.

HMAS Hobart was to remain at Berbera to provide cover for landing and evactuation operations. (29)

6 Aug 1940

Convoy WS 2.

This convoy departed Liverpool / the Clyde on 6 August 1940 for the far east.

The Liverpool section of the convoy was made up of the following troopships / transports; Aska (British, 8323 GRT, built 1939), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Clan Macaulay (British, 10492 GRT, built 1936), Empress of Britain (British, 42348 GRT, built 1931), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932), Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937) and Waiwera (British, 12435 GRT, built 1934).

They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall (Capt. C.F. Hammill, RN), HMS Havelock (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN), HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, RN), HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN) and HMS Hurricane (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN).

The Clyde section of the convoy was made up of the following troopships / transports; Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939), Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Lanarkshire (British, 9816 GRT, built 1940), Memnon (British, 7506 GRT, built 1931) and Suffolk (British, 11063 GRT, built 1939).

They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN), light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN) and the destroyers HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Vortigern (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Howlett, RN) and HMS Watchman (Lt.Cdr. E.C.L. Day, RN).

Both sections made rendez-vous around 1200/6 and then the convoy was formed in position 55°30'N, 06°00'W.

Around 1430/6 (zone -1), the troopship Orion, was ordered to proceed to the Clyde as she had developed engine defects.

At 2118/7, the destroyers HMS Vortigern and HMS Watchman were detached in response to an SOS signal. [This was from the torpedoed Mohamed Ali El-Kebir.]

At 2359/7, HMS Emerald and the remaining destroyers parted company with the convoy.

Around dawn on the 8th the convoy split up in a 'fast' and a 'slow' section. The fast section was made up of the Andes, Batory, Empress of Britain, Empress of Canada, Monarch of Bermuda, Strathaird and Stratheden. They were escorted by HMS Cornwall. The other ships formed the 'slow' section escorted by HMS Shropshire.

The 'fast' section arrived at Freetown on 15 August 1940. The 'slow' section arrived at Freetown on 16 August 1940.

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On 16 August 1940 the 'fast' section departed Freetown for Capetown. It was now made up of the troopships / transports Andes, Batory, Empress of Britain, Empress of Canada, Strathaird and Stratheden under the escort of HMS Cornwall.

The 'slow' section, now made up of the troopships / transports Clan Macaulay, Franconia, Lanarkshire, Memnon, Ormonde, Otranto, Suffolk and Waiwera under the escort of HMS Shropshire.

The fast sections arrived at Capetown on 25 August 1940, the slow section on 28 August 1940.

Both cruisers proceeded to Simonstown after delivering the convoy at Capetown, HMS Cornwall arriving there on 25 August and HMS Shropshire on 28 August.

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On 30 August 1940 the troopships / transports Andes, Clan Macaulay, Empress of Britain, Empress of Canada, Lanarkshire, Memnon, Otranto, Strathaird, Suffolk and Waiwera departed Capetown for Aden / Suez. They were escorted by HMS Shropshire. This convoy was now known as WS 2A.

On 2 September 1940, while off Durban, this convoy was joined by the troopships / transport Franconia and Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929) which had been escorted out of Durban by the HMS Kanimbla (A/Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN). These ships had departed Durban the day before.

The Llangibby Castle was detached from the convoy around noon on 7 September for Mombasa where she arrived on 8 September being escorted from them moment she had been detached by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN).

The convoy arrived near Aden on 12 September 1940 where it split into two sections around 2145C/12. The 'fast' section was escorted by light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) and the destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN). HMS Shropshire remained with the 'slow' section but was reinforced by the destroyer HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) and sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN).

Around 2310C/13, HMS Kandahar parted company with the fast section to proceed to Port Sudan to fuel.

Around 0130C/14, HMS Coventry and HMS Kingston were detached from the fast section, they were also to proceed to Port Sudan to fuel.

Around 0600C/14, HMAS Hobart parted company with the fast section which then continued its passage to Suez unescorted.

Around 1300C/14, HMS Kimberley parted company with the slow section.

Around 1930C/14, HMS Shropshire and HMS Flamingo parted company with the slow section which then continued its passage to Suez unescorted.

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One day later, 31 August 1940, the troopships / transports Batory, Orion (which by now had also arrived at Capetown, Ormonde and Stratheden departed Capetown for Bombay. They were escorted by HMS Cornwall. This convoy was now known as WS 2B.

The escort of convoy WS 2B was taken over by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Kanimbla (A/Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN) in position 35°08'S, 34°27'E at 1200/3. Half an hour later HMS Cornwall parted company with the convoy.

Convoy WS 2B arrived at Bombay in the morning of September 15th. (30)

11 Aug 1940
Around 0245C/11, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Berbera for Aden where she arrived around 1030C/11. (29)

14 Aug 1940
Around 0800C/14, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden for Berbera. (29)

16 Aug 1940
From 16 to 19 August 1940, Allied troops from Berbera, Italian Somaliland, were evacuated to Aden.

The troops were evacatuated by the transports Akbar (4043 GRT, built 1924), Laomedon (6491 GRT, built 1912), the hospital ship Vita (4691 GRT, built 1914) as well as the armed boarding vessels HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) and HMS Chantala (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.E.I. Gibbs, RN).

Cover for the evacuation was provided by the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN), AA -cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN), sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN), HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN), HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN), HMS Indus (Cdr. E.G.G. Hunt, RIN), HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN), minesweeper HMS Derby (Lt.Cdr. F.C.V. Brightman, RN) and the netlayer HMS Protector (Capt. W.Y la L. Beverley, RN).

On 17 August, HMS Ceres bombarded Italian Army targets which temporarily halted the Italian advance.

On 18 August, HMS Caledon and HMS Kandahar bombarded enemy units on the Bulhar-Berbera road.

The evacuation was completed on the 18th. Over 7000 men had been evacuated.

The last men were taken off by HMAS Hobart at Berbera early on the 19th. She left around 0845C/19 for Aden with the last of the Army personnel and the demolition parties which had demolished the harbour facilities. HMS Indus proceeded along the coast to pick up stragglers. (31)

19 Aug 1940
Around 1500C/19, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Aden from Berbera. (29)

22 Aug 1940

Convoy's AP 1 and AP 2.

This combined convoy sailed from the U.K. on 22 August 1940 and was made up of the following ships; Denbighshire (British, 8983 GRT, built 1938), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Sydney Star (British, 12696 GRT, built 1936) and Waiotira (British, 11090 GRT, built 1939).

The aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN) was also part of this convoy serving in the role as aircraft transport.

The convoy was heavily escorted, mostly by warships proceeding from home waters to join other stations.

The aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. D.W. Boyd, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.L.St.G. Lyster, CVO, DSO, RN), heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) and the destroyers HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN) and HMS Tartar (Capt. C. Caslon, RN) departed Scapa Flow around 1045/22.

From Liverpool the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D. McCarthy, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN) and HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) sailed around 1430/22.

From the Clyde the AA cruisers HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN), HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) and the destroyer HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO, RN) sailed around 2030/22.

HMS Ashanti, HMS Bedouin and HMS Tartar had detached on 24 August.

HMS Valiant, HMS Illustrious, HMS Sheffield, HMS Calcutta, HMS Coventry, HMS Faulknor, HMS Firedrake, HMS Foresight, HMS Forester, HMS Fortune and HMS Fury proceeded to Gibraltar where they arrived on 29 August.

Convoy AP 1 arrived at Freetown on 1 September escorted by HMS York. It departed for Capetown later the same day.

Convoy AP 2 (Sydney Star and HMS Argus arrived at Freetown on 2 September 1940 escorted by HMS Ajax. It departed for Durban later the same day. HMS Argus parted company with the convoy on 4 September and proceeded to Takoradi.

Convoy AP 1 arrived at Capetown on 9 September. HMS York proceeed to Simonstown arriving later the same day. The convoy departed again on 10 September still escorted by HMS York.

Convoy AP 2 arrived at Durban on 13 September and sailed again later the same day still escorted by HMS Ajax.

Around 1650C/20, HMS York turned over the escort of convoy AP 1 to the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) and the destroyers HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) and HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN). After turning over the convoy HMS York proceeded to Aden arriving in the evening of September, 20th.

Around 1800C/21, HMS Coventry parted company.

Around 0900C/22, HMS Kandahar parted company to proceed to Port Sudan to fuel.

Convoy AP 1, escorted by HMAS Hobart and HMS Diamond arrived at Suez around midnight during the night of 23/24 September 1940.

Convoy AP 2 arrived off Aden on 22 September, still escorted by HMS Ajax. There it was joined by the transport Amra (British, 8314 GRT, built 1938), heavy cruiser HMS York and the destroyers HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN). HMS Ajax was then detached to Aden. The AA cruiser HMS Coventry also joined later on 22 September, parting company again at 1300/23.

Convoy AP 2 arrived at Suez on 25 September 1940.

23 Aug 1940
Around 1140C/23, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden with troops for Suez. (29)

26 Aug 1940
Around 0745C/26, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Suez where the troops were disembarked. (29)

28 Aug 1940
Around 0900C/28, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Suez for Aden. (29)

29 Aug 1940
Around 1830C/29, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived off Jeddah, having been ordered to show herself of that port. Half an hour later she continued her passage to Aden. (29)

30 Aug 1940
At 0850C/30, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) is attacked by an Italian SM.81 bomber in position 17°13'N, 40°29'E. No damage was done.

At 1025C/30, HMAS Hobart was attacked by three Italian SM.81 bombers in position 16°39'N, 40°41'E. Again no damage was done. (29)

31 Aug 1940
At 0900C/31, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Aden from Suez. (29)

31 Aug 1940
around 1700C/31, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and the destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) departed Aden to rendez-vous at sea with the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (Capt.(Retd.) B.O. Bell-Salter, RN) and take over the escort of the two ships she is escorting (Convoy RS 5). These were the merchant vessels Clan Ferguson (British, 7347 GRT, built 1938) and Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931). They were to proceed to Suez. The armed boarding vessel HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) was also part of the escort.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy RS 5 ' for 24 July 1940.]

In the early evening of September 2nd, the Reina del Pacifico parted company and proceeded ahead to Suez where she arrived on the 4th.

Shortly afterwards, HMS Kandahar set course for Port Sudan to refuel.

At 0900/3, rendez-vous was made in position 23°20'N, 37°42'E with convoy BS 3A which came down from Suez. Escorts were then exchanged and both convoy's proceeded to their destinations.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy BS 3A ' for 1 September 1940.] (31)

1 Sep 1940

Convoy BS 3A.

This convoy departed Suez on 1 September 1940 for the Gulf of Aden where it was to be dispersed on 6 September 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Egra (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Khedive Ismael (Egyptian, 7290 GRT, built 1922), Lancashire (British, 9557 GRT, built 1917), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926), Rohna (British, 8602 GRT, built 1926), Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) and Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924).

On departure from Suez the convoy was escorted by the sloop HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN).

At 0910C/3, the escort was passed to the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN).

The following moring the destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and the armed boarding vessel HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) joined the convoy as escorts.

On the 5th the convoy was attacked by Italian aircraft but no damage was inflicted by the enemy.

Also on the 5th, in the afternoon, the destroyer HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) joined. She was fuelled by HMAS Hobart between 1830C/5 and 2011C/5. 53 tons of FFO being supplied.

The convoy was dispersed around 1830C/6 in position 12°34'N, 47°07'E after which HMAS Hobart and HMS Kandahar proceeded to Aden where they arrived around 0700C/7. (31)

7 Sep 1940
Around 0700C/7, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) arrived at Aden after convoy escort duty. (32)

12 Sep 1940
Around 0545C/12, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden for escort duty with convoy WS 2A.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 2 ' for 6 August 1940.] (33)

14 Sep 1940
Around 0900C/14, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) made rendezvous with the southbound troopship Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931) which had departed Suez unescorted on the 12th.

Around 1600C/14, HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) joined coming from Port Sudan.

They arrived at Aden around 1600C/16. (33)

14 Sep 1940

Convoy US 5.

This convoy departed Sydney on 14 September 1940.

It was made up of the troopships; Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925) and Slamat (Dutch, 11636 GRT, built 1924).

They were escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Perth (Capt. P.W. Bowyer-Smith, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN).

In the afternoon of 16 September in Bass Strait the troopships Christiaan Huygens (Dutch, 16287 GRT, built 1927) and Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927) joined coming from Melbourne.

At dawn on 21 September the sloop HMAS Warrego (Cdr. R.V. Wheatley, RAN) joined in the approaches to Fremantle. The convoy arrived at Fremantle later the same day.

The convoy departed Fremantle on 22 September escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and the sloop HMAS Warrego.

HMAS Warrego parted company around 0615H/23 and returned to Fremantle.

The convoy arrived at Colombo on 1 October 1940.

The convoy departed Colombo for Aden on 2 October 1940 escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire. (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN).

The convoy arrived off Aden on 8 October 1940 where HMS Shropshire parted company after the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and the sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) had joined.

The escort parted company with the convoy around 0800C/10 to join southbound convoy SW 2.

The convoy arrived at Suez on 12 October 1940.

16 Sep 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) arrived at Aden after convoy escort duty. (31)

18 Sep 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises off Aden on a target that was being towed by HMS Huntley (Lt.Cdr. H.R.A. King, RNR).

She also fired a practice torpedo at HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) which acted as ' target '. (33)

20 Sep 1940
Between 1300C/20 and 1345C/20, the destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) departed Aden to join convoy AP 1.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy's AP 1 and AP 2 ' for 22 August 1940.] (34)

23 Sep 1940

Convoy BN 6.

The Karachi section of this convoy departed that place on 23 September 1940.

It was made up of the transports; Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939), Egra (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911) and Pundit (British, 5305 GRT, built 1919).

It was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Hector (Capt.(Retd.) F. Howard, DSC, RN).

On 26 September 1940, the ' Kararchi section ' was joined by the ' Bombay section ' which had departed that place on 25 September 1940.

It was made up of the following transports (one one tanker); Borgestad (Norwegian, 3924 GRT, built 1924), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Garmula (British, 5254 GRT, built 1920), Khandalla (British, 7018 GRT, built 1923), Lancashire (British, 9557 GRT, built 1917), Marisa (Dutch (tanker), 8029 GRT, built 1937), Naringa (British, 6607 GRT, built 1923), Nizam (British, 5322 GRT, built 1914), President Doumer (British, 11898, built 1935), Rajput (British, 5521 GRT, built 1925), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926), Ranee (British, 5060 GRT, built 1928), Rhona (British, 8602 GRT, built 1926), Shirala (British, 7841 GRT, built 1925), Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) and Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924).

It was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN).

Around 1230C/1, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) took over from the armed merchant cruisers which then parted company to proceed to Bombay.

Around 0800C/3, the sloops HMS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) and HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN) joined.

Around 0830C/4, the ' Bombay / Karachi section ' merged with the ' Aden section '. On doing so, HMAS Hobart parted company and proceeded to Aden.

The ' Aden section ' was made up of the following transports / tankers; Ayamonte (British, 845 GRT, built 1899), Bencruachan (British, 5920 GRT, built 1928), British Captain (British (tanker), 6968 GRT, built 1923), City of Singapore (British, 1988 GRT, built 1937), Clan Ross (British, GRT, built ), Cyprian Prince (British, GRT, built ), Devis (British, 6054 GRT, built 1938), El Amin (British, 746 GRT, built 1926), El Segundo (Panamanian (tanker), 3664 GRT, built 1912), Elpis (Greek, 3651 GRT, built 1912), Helka (British (tanker), 3471 GRT, built 1912), Hilda Moller (British, 4622 GRT, built 1912), Jalaputra (British, 4856 GRT, built 1906), Jehangir (British, 3566 GRT, built 1924), Jhelum (British, 4038 GRT, built 1936), Liss (British (tanker), 5932 GRT, built 1921), Lurigethan (British, 3564 GRT, built 1916), Quiloa (British, 7765 GRT, built 1925), Recorder (British, 5981 GRT, built 1930), Robert L. Holt (British, 2918 GRT, built 1926), Soli (Norwegian (tanker), 5834 GRT, built 1915), Star of Alexander (Egyptian, 4329 GRT, built 1928), Strix (Norwegian (tanker), 6219 GRT, built 1930), Therese Moller (British, 3930 GRT, built 1905) and Umberleigh (British, 4950 GRT, built 1927).

The ' Aden section ' of the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) (from the New Zealand division), destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) and sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) and HMAS Yarra (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN).

The convoy now proceeded northwards up the Red Sea.

At dawn on the 5th, the Ayamonte was detached to proceed to Kamaran escorted by HMAS Parramatta.

On the 5th, 6th and 7th of October convoy BN 6 was attacked by high level Italian bombers but no damage was done.

The following ships were detached to Port Sudan where they arrived on 7 or 8 October 1940; Borgestad, Devonshire, El Amin, Garmula, Jehangir, Khandalla, Pundit, Rajput, Ranee, Rohna, Strix, Takliwa and Talamba.

From the escort HMIS Hindustan arrived and left Port Sudan on 7 October 1940, HMAS Auckland arrived and left on 8 October and HMAS Yarra arrived and left on 9 October. HMS Kingston also called at Port Sudan [date currently unknown to us].

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Suez on 11 October 1940. on 9 October 1940, HMS Leander had been replaced as escort by the sloops HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) and HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN). (35)

24 Sep 1940
Around 0015C/24, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived off Suez. She anchored and repairs to her main and auxiliary engines were immediately taken in hand. She had also developed condenser trouble on 22 September. (33)

24 Sep 1940

Convoy SW 1.

This convoy departed Suez on 24 September 1940 for Durban where it arrived on 8 October 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939), California Star (British, 8300 GRT, built 1938), Empress of Britain (British, 42348 GRT, built 1931), Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932) and Suffolk (British, 11145 GRT, built 1939).

Around 1200C/25, the convoy was joined by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) as escort. She had departed Suez around 0200C/25 to overtake the convoy.

Around 0720C/26, the destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) joined the escort. She came from Port Sudan.

Around 0715C/27, the destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) and sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) joined the convoy having just parted company with the northbound convoy BN 5A.

The convoy arrived off Aden around 1715C/28, where the armed merchant cruiser HMS Kanimbla (A/Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN) took over the escort.

Also the merchant vessel California Star left the convoy and proceeded to Aden.

The transport Otranto proceeded to Mombasa, arriving there on 4 October.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 8 October 1940. (31)

28 Sep 1940
Around 2240C/28, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Aden from convoy escort duty. (33)

4 Oct 1940
Around 1430C/4, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Aden from convoy escort duty. (36)

5 Oct 1940

Convoy BS 6.

This convoy departed Suez on 5 October 1940.

It was made up of the transports / tanker; Bahadur (British, 5424 GRT, built 1929), Baron Erskine (British, 3657 GRT, built 1930), British Pride (British (tanker), 7106 GRT, built 1931), Charlbury (British, 4836 GRT, built 1940), Duffield (British (tanker), 8516 GRT, built 1938), Hydroussa (Greek, 2038 GRT , built 1922), Jalapadma (British, 3935 GRT, built 1929), Jessmore (British, 4099 GRT, built 1921), Karoa (British, 7009 GRT, built 1915), Phenix (British (tanker), 5920 GRT, built 1920, former French), Raby Castle (British, 4996 GRT, built 1925), Star of Mex (Egyptian, 1116 GRT, built 1911) and Trevarrack (British, 5270 GRT, built 1919).

On departure from Suez the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) and HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN).

On 8 October 1940 the transport Karoa was detached to Port Sudan.

On 9 October 1940 the two sloops were relieved by the light cruiser HMS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) (from the New Zealand division) and the sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) and HMS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN).

Also on 9 October 1940 the convoy was joined by the transport Khandalla (British, 7018 GRT, built 1923) and sloop HMAS Yarra (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN) coming from Port Sudan.

Around 1030C/13, the convoy was joined by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) which relieved HMS Leander. The transports Baron Erskine, Hydroussa, Phenix and Star of Mex were detached to Aden escorted by HMIS Hindustan. They arrived around 2000C/13.

At dusk, HMAS Hobart parted company with the convoy and set course for Colombo.

The convoy was dispersed later the same day and HMS Auckland and HMAS Yarra proceeded to Aden arriving around 0700C/14. (31)

8 Oct 1940
Between 0645C/8 and 1015C/8, HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN) departed Aden for escort duty with convoy US 5.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 5 ' for 14 September 1940.] (36)

8 Oct 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) all departed Aden to join convoy US 5 as escort through the southern part of the Red Sea.

See the event ' Convoy US 5 ' for 14 September 1940 for more info on this convoy. (37)

8 Oct 1940

Convoy SW 2.

This convoy departed Suez on 8 October 1940 for Durban where it arrived on 22 October 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Amra (British, 8314 GRT, built 1938), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Empress of Japan (British, 26032 GRT, built 1930), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Sydney Star (British, 12696 GRT, built 1936) and Waiotira (British, 11090 GRT, built 1939).

On departed from Suez the convoy was apparently not escorted.

On 9 October 1940 two more ships joined the convoy. These came from Port Sudan. They were the merchant vessels Karoa (British, 7009 GRT, built 1915) and Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924).

Around 0800C/10, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and the sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) joined for onward escort until off Aden.

These ships parted company around 0900C/12 when the convoy was joined by the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire. (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN).

This heavy cruiser escorted the convoy until 04°50'N, 30°00'E where the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (Capt.(Retd.) B.O. Bell-Salter, RN) took over.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 22 October 1940 minus three merchant vessels which had proceeded to other destinations; Amra and Waiotira proceeded to Bombay and Colombo respectively while Ormonde arrived at Mombasa on 18 October. (31)

10 Oct 1940
Around 0800C/10, northbound convoy US 5 and southbound convoy SW 2 met in the Red Sea and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) parted company with US 5 and joined SW 2.

[For more info on the southbound convoy see the event ' Convoy SW 2 ' for 8 October 1940.] (36)

12 Oct 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) arrived at Aden from convoy escort duty.

[See the events ' convoy US 5 ' and ' convoy WS 2 ' for 22 September 1940 and 8 October 1940 respectively for more information on the convoy's they had been escorting.]

13 Oct 1940
Around 0600C/13, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden to join convoy BS 6 which she did around 1030C/13.

She parted company with the convoy at dusk and then set course for Colombo.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy BS 5 ' for 5 October 1940.] (36)

17 Oct 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Colombo from Aden. At Colombo she is to undergo a short refit and docking. (36)

19 Oct 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) is docked at Colombo. (36)

16 Nov 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) is undocked. (38)

19 Nov 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises off Colombo. (38)

19 Nov 1940

Convoy BS 9.

This convoy departed Suez on 19 November 1940.

It was made up of the transports; Arundo (Dutch, 5163 GRT, built 1930), Askot (Norwegian, 1323 GRT, built 1938), Australind (British, 5020 GRT, built 1929), Bahadur (British, 5424 GRT, built 1929), Clan Campbell (British, 7255 GRT, built 1937), Daisy Moller (British, 4078 GRT, built 1911), Elpis (Greek, 3651 GRT, built 1912), Erica (South African, 5112 GRT, built 1926), Inviken (Norwegian, 4131 GRT, built 1925), Jalakrishna (British, 4991 GRT, built 1937), Katie Moller (British, 3100 GRT, built 1919), King Arthur (British, 5224 GRT, built 1928), Kingswood (British, 5080 GRT, built 1929), Konistra (Greek, 3539 GRT, built 1907), Marion Moller (British, 3287 GRT, built 1909), Myrtlebank (British, 5150 GRT, built 1925), Nyco (Norwegian, 1345 GRT, built 1938), Recorder (British, 5981 GRT, built 1930), Serbino (British, 4099 GRT, built 1919), Subadar (British, 5424 GRT, built 1929) and Umberleigh (British, 4950 GRT, built 1927).

On departure from Suez the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) and HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN).

On 22 or 23 November the transport Empire Defender (British, 5649 GRT, built 1910) joined coming from Port Sudan while the Marion Moller and Umberleigh, which had straggled from the convoy, were ordered to proceed to Port Sudan where they arrived on 23 November.

The two escorting sloops were replaced A.M. on 23 November by the light cruiser HMS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) (from the New Zealand division), AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) and the sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) and HMS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN).

Around 1330C/26, the transports Clan Campbell, Inviken, Katie Moller, Konistra and Subadar parted company to proceed to Aden as did HMS Leander, HMS Carlisle and HMS Auckland.

At the same time, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) joined coming from Aden.

Around 0900C/27, HMIS Hindustan was detached to Aden.

Around 1200C/27, the convoy was dispersed in position 12°08'N, 46°53'E. HMAS Hobart and HMS Kingston setting course for Aden. (31)

20 Nov 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises off Colombo.

On completion of the exercises she set course for Aden. (38)

23 Nov 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Aden from Colombo. (38)

26 Nov 1940
Around 0945C/26, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden to join convoy BS 9 which she did around 1330C/26.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy BS 9 ' for 19 November 1940.] (38)

27 Nov 1940
Around 1830C/27, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) arrived at Aden from convoy escort duty. (38)

27 Nov 1940

Convoy BN 10.

On departure from Bombay the convoy was made up of the following transports; El Madina (British, 3962 GRT, built 1937), Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924) and Talma (British, 10000 GRT, built 1923).

It was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Hector (Capt.(Retd.) F. Howard, DSC, RN).

Around 1310C/1, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) relieved HMS Hector in position 14°11'N, 53°03'E.

At 0700C/3, the sloop HMS Indus (Cdr. Cdr. E.G.G. Hunt, RIN) joined in position 12°22'N, 45°30'E.

At 1630C/3, the convoy joined the ' Aden section ' of the convoy in position 12°25'N, 43°40'E.

The Aden section was made up of the following transports / tankers; Alcides (British, 7634 GRT, built 1930), Aldington Court (British, 4891 GRT, built 1929), Alpherat (Dutch, 5759 GRT, built 1928), British Destiny (British (tanker), 8470 GRT, built 1937), California Star (British, 8300 GRT, built 1938), City of Auckland (British, 8336 GRT, built 1914), City of Dunkirk (British, 5861 GRT, built 1912), Doris (Greek, 4604 GRT, built 1917), Elizabeth Moller (British, 4353 GRT, built 1906), Garmula (British, 5254 GRT, built 1920), Gazana (British, 5284 GRT, built 1920), Hatasu (British, 3198 GRT, built 1921), Islami (British, 5879 GRT, built 1934), Macoma (Dutch (tanker), 8069 GRT, built 1936), Naringa (British, 6607 GRT, built 1923), Nyholm (Norwegian (tanker), 5843 GRT, built 1927), Pontfield (British (tanker), 8319 GRT, built 1940), Riley (British, 4993 GRT, built 1936), Silvermaple (British, 5313 GRT, built 1937), Star of Suez (Egyptian, 4999 GRT, built 1926), Sygna (Norwegian, 3881 GRT, built 1907), Tanafjord (Norwegian, 5922 GRT, built 1921) and Trentbank (British, 5060 GRT, built 1929).

The captured Italian submarine HMS X 2 (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) P.E. Heathfield, RN) was also part of the convoy.

The ' Aden section ' of the convoy was escorted by the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyer HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) and sloop HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN).

Around 1750C/5, in position 18°08'N, 40°08'E the transport Talma parted company to proceed to Port Sudan. She was escorted by HMS Calcutta and HMS Kimberley.

Around 0530C/5, the Alcides, Sygna and parted company to proceed to Port Sudan escorted by HMIS Indus.

The transport Islami also parted company to proceed to Jeddah.

Around 1600C/6, HMS Kimberley rejoined having fuelled at Port Sudan.

Around 1200C/7, convoy BN 10 and convoy BS 10 met in position 21°50'N, 37°50'E. HMAS Hobart, HMS Kimberley and HMS Auckland joined convoy BS 10 and the sloops HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) and HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN) took over the escort of convoy BN 10.

One hour later HMS Kimberley was ordered to escort the transport Talma to convoy BN 10. This ship had been escorted to the rendezvous position from Port Sudan by HMIS Indus. HMIS Indus then joined convoy BS 10. After the Talma had rejoined convoy BN 10, HMS Kimberely proceeded south again to rejoin convoy BS 10.

Convoy BN 10, escorted by HMS Grimsby and HMIS Clive arrived at Suez on 10 December 1940. (31)

30 Nov 1940
Around 0630C/30, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Aden to make rendezvous with convoy BN 10 which was effected around 1310C/1 in position 14°11'N, 53°03'E.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy BN 10 ' for 27 November 1940.] (39)

4 Dec 1940

Convoy BS 10.

This convoy departed Suez on 4 December 1940 for the Gulf of Aden where it was dispersed on 11 December 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alice Moller (British, 4986 GRT, built 1914), Arena (Norwegian (tanker), 6362 GRT, built 1927), British Endurance (British (tanker), 8406 GRT, built 1936), British Hope (British (tanker), 6951 GRT, built 1928), British Renown (British (tanker), 6997 GRT, built 1928), British Sailor (British (tanker), 5576 GRT, built 1918), City of Evansville (British, 6528 GRT, built 1922), City of Lille (British, 6588 GRT, built 1928), Clan MacArthur (British, 10528 GRT, built 1936), Imperial Star (British, 12427 GRT, built 1935), Ioannis P. Goulandris (Greek, 3750 GRT, built 1910), Katingo Hadjipatara (Greek, 3661 GRT, built 1913), Katy (Norwegian, 6825 GRT, built 1931), Khosrou (British, 4043 GRT, built 1924), Lancashire (British, 9557 GRT, built 1917), Marcella (British, 4592 GRT, built 1928), Margot (British, 4545 GRT, built 1926), Perthshire (British, 10496 GRT, built 1936), Rosalie Moller (British, 3963 GRT, built 1910), Roxane (British, 7813 GRT, built 1929), Speybank (British, 5154 GRT, built 1926) and Vacport (British, 6774 GRT (tanker), built 1930).

They were escorted on departure from Suez by the sloops HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) and HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN).

On 7 December 1940 five ships joined coming from Port Sudan. These were; Ayamonte (British, 845 GRT, built 1899), Elpis (Greek, 3651 GRT, built 1912), Helen Moller (British, 5259 GRT, built 1918), Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) and Wayfarer (British, 5068 GRT, built 1925).

They had left Port Sudan on the 6th.

Around 1200C/7 the convoy escort was taken over by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), destroyer HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) and sloop HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN). Around 1300C/7, HMS Indus (Cdr. E.G.G. Hunt, RIN) joined. She had come with the transport Talma (British, 10000 GRT, built 1923) from Port Sudan. On HMIS Indus joining, HMS Kimberley parted company with the convoy to escort the Talma to convoy BN 10 which she was to join. After doing so HMS Kimberley rejoined convoy BS 10 around 0700C/8.

At 0630C/8, the patrol yacht HMS Sagitta (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.H. Straight, RNR) joined the convoy.

The destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) also joined convoy BS 10, apparently on the 8th.

Around 0635C/9, the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN) joined convoy BS 10.

Around 1830C/10, HMS Carlisle and HMS Kandahar parted company with the convoy to proceed to Aden.

Around 1800C/11, HMS Auckland and HMS Sagitta were detached with the ' Aden portion ' of the convoy which was made up of the following ships Ayamonte, Elpis and Khosrou, Roxane.

Around 2030C/11, the transport Vacport was detached to Aden due to a reported case of smallpox.

Around 0400C/12, HMAS Hobart and HMIS Indus parted company with the convoy to proceed to Aden. The convoy went on to it's dispersal point escorted by HMS Kimberley.

The convoy was dispersed later on the 12th. (40)

12 Dec 1940
Around 0735C/12, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) anchored in the outer harbour at Aden. She entered the inner harbour around 1110C/12.

Around 1800C/12, she left for Colombo.

HMAS Hobart was to return to Australia. (41)

19 Dec 1940
Around 1150EF/19, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Addu Attoll to fuel from the RFA tanker Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917). During her passage to Colombo she had been diverted to search for an enemy raider reported east of the Maldive Islands.

She left around 1730EF/19, to patrol south-south-east of Ceylon in the area near 00°01'N, 83°00'E and then to proceed to Fremantle. (41)

28 Dec 1940
Around 1030H/28, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Fremantle.

Around 1800H/28, she departed for Sydney. (41)

3 Jan 1941
Around 1105K/3, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Sydney (Garden Island) from Fremantle. (42)

4 Jan 1941
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) commenced a short refit at Sydney. She was to remain at 48 hours notice for sea though. (42)

21 Jan 1941
At 0800K/21, the Rear-Admiral Commanding HMA Squadron, Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN, hoised his flag on board HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN). (42)

22 Jan 1941
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) conducted D/G trials at Sydney. (42)

23 Jan 1941
Around 1400K/23, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) departed Sydney to join HMAS Adelaide (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) at sea which was done around 1600K/23. HA gunnery exercises were then carried out on a sleeve towed by an aircraft.

On completion of the exercises HMAS Adelaide proceeded to Sydney. just before the exercises started, HMAS Adelaide had been escorting the transport Tegelberg (Dutch, 14150 GRT, built 1937) which then made the last few miles to Sydney unescorted.

HMAS Hobart was then joined by the troop transports Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924) and Nieuw Amsterdam (Dutch, 36287 GRT, built 1938) which she was to escort to New Zealand. (42)

26 Jan 1941
Around 0115LM/26, in position 36.22'S, 169.00'E, the Nieuw Amsterdam (Dutch, 36287 GRT, built 1938) was detached to proceed independently to Wellington.

HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, XBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) then continued with the Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924) towards Auckland.

At 0300M/27, when off the entrance of the swept channel near Cape Brett thick for was encountered. The ships then proceeded independently to Auckland.

Around 1250M/27, arrived at Auckland. Rear-Admiral Grace then left the ship with most of his staff to proceed to Wellington by train. (42)

29 Jan 1941
Around 0500M/29, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Auckland for Wellington. (42)

30 Jan 1941
Around 1445M/30, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Wellington from Hobart. Here Rear-Admiral Grace re-boarded the ship. (42)

1 Feb 1941
Around 1545M/1, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) departed Wellington to escort the troopship Nieuw Amsterdam (Dutch, 36287 GRT, built 1938) to Sydney where they arrived around 0620K/4.

On arrival at Sydney, Rear-Admiral Crace transferred his flag to shore establishment HMAS Rushcutter. (43)

4 Feb 1941

Convoy US 9.

This convoy departed Sydney on 4 February 1941 and arrived at Bombay on 22 February 1941.

The convoy was made up of the troopships; Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914), Nieuw Amsterdam (Dutch, 36287 GRT, built 1938) and Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936).

On departure from Sydney, around 1420K/4, the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN).

Off Melbourne, at 1650K/6, the convoy was joined by the troopship Mauretania (British, 35739 GRT, built 1939).

The convoy arrived at Fremantle around 0800H/10 and departed again on 12 February 1941 but now escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN).

Around 1500G/16 the convoy made rendezvous with the light cruiser HMS Durban (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN) in position 08°12'S, 104°00'E which took the Queen Mary with her to Singapore where they arrived on the 18th.

Around 0900E/20, HMAS Canberra was relieved by the light cruiser HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) in position 06°44'N, 77°27'E.

The convoy arrived at Bombay on 22 February 1941.

11 Feb 1941
Around 0815H/11, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Fremantle to return to Sydney. (44)

16 Feb 1941
Around 1315K/16, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Sydney from Fremantle. (44)

17 Feb 1941
Around 1500K/17, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and HMS Achilles (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. H.M. Barnes, RN) departed Sydney for exercises. They returned around 2330K/17. (44)

18 Feb 1941
Around 0840K/18, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and HMS Achilles (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. H.M. Barnes, RN) departed Sydney for exercises. They parted company around 1610K/18. HMAS Hobart returning to harbour while HMS Achilles set course for New Zealand escorting the transport California Star (British, 8300 GRT, built 1938). (44)

19 Feb 1941
Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN, hoisted his flag in HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN). (44)

22 Feb 1941
At 1100K/22, Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN, struck his flag on board HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and transferred it to shore establishment HMAS Rushcutter. His Office and Staff remained on board HMAS Hobart though.

Around 1145K/22, HMAS Hobart departed Sydney to escort the troop transport Awatea (British, 13482 GRT, built 1936) to Auckland. (44)

25 Feb 1941
Around 1305M/25, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and the troop transport Awatea (British, 13482 GRT, built 1936) arrived at Auckland from Sydney.

Around 1745/25, HMAS Hobart departed Auckland to patrol in the Tasman Sea but shortly afterwards her orders were cancelled and she was ordered to proceed to Melbourne instead. (44)

1 Mar 1941
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Williamstown from Auckland and HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN) arrived at Williamstown from Sydney.

They departed later the same day in company for Fremantle. (45)

5 Mar 1941
Around 0700H/5, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN) arrived at Fremantle from Melbourne.

At 1100H/5, Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN, hoisted his flag on board HMAS Hobart. (44)

6 Mar 1941

Convoy CF 1.

This convoy departed Colombo on 6 March 1941.

It was made up of the troopships; Mauretania (British, 35739 GRT, built 1939) and Nieuw Amsterdam (Dutch, 36287 GRT, built 1938).

On departure from Colombo the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN).

Around 1730FG/11, HMAS Australia was reinforced by the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN) coming from Fremantle.

The convoy arrived at Fremantle in the early afternoon of March 15th, (46)

7 Mar 1941
Around 1600H/7, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN) departed Fremantle for exercises which lasted until 2100H/7, they then set course to make rendezvous with convoy CF 1.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy CF 1 ' for 8 March 1941.] (47)

15 Mar 1941
HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN) arrived at Fremantle with convoy CF 1. (47)

17 Mar 1941
Around 0830H/17, HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN) departed Fremantle. They were escorting the troopships Mauretania (British, 35739 GRT, built 1939) and Nieuw Amsterdam (Dutch, 36287 GRT, built 1938) until 0700H/18 when the cruisers left the troopships in position 36°11'S, 116°25'E.

The troopships then proceeded independently, HMAS Australia set course for Albany while HMAS Hobart and HMAS Sydney set course for Melbourne. (47)

22 Mar 1941
Around 0900K/22, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN) entered Port Philip. HMAS Hobart then proceeded to Melbourne while HMAS Sydney proceeded to Williamstown. (47)

23 Mar 1941
Around 0915K/23, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN) departed Melbourne and Williamstown respectively.

They then met HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN) in position 38°41'S, 144°29'E around 1500K/23.

The three cruisers then set course for Sydney. (47)

24 Mar 1941
Around 1540K/24, HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN) arrived at Sydney.

HMAS Hobart then went to the Cockatoo Island Dockyard where she was docked in the Sutherland Dock. (47)

27 Mar 1941
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) is undocked. (47)

4 Apr 1941
Around 0930K/4, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN) departed Sydney for Wellington. (48)

6 Apr 1941
Around 1800M/6, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN) arrived at Wellington from Sydney.

At 1336K/6, while in Cook Strait, the Walrus aircraft of HMAS Australia crashed on being launched. The pilot was killed, the other crewmembers were picked up. (48)

7 Apr 1941

Convoy US 10.

This convoy departed Wellington, New Zealand on 7 April 1941. It arrived at Colombo / Trincomalee on 26 April 1941.

On departure from Wellington, around 1620M/7, the convoy was made up of the troopships; Mauretania (British, 35739 GRT, built 1939) and Nieuw Amsterdam (Dutch, 36287 GRT, built 1938).

They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN) and the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and HMS Achilles (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. H.M. Barnes, RN).

Around 0430K/10, HMS Achilles parted company in position 35°15'S, 152°45'E and proceeded to Jervis Bay where the troopship Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936) is anchored under the protection of the light cruiser HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN). When HMS Achilles arrived HMAS Sydney departed Jervis Bay for Sydney.

The remainder of the convoy meanwhile went to Sydney where they arrived around 1000K/10.

Around 0830K/11, the convoy departed Sydney with two more troopships in it, these were the Ile de France (British, 43450 GRT, built 1926) and Queen Elizabeth (British, 83673 GRT, built 1939). Escort was HMAS Australia.

In the afternoon of the 11th they were joined in position 35°24'S, 152°05'E by the Queen Mary and HMS Achilles. HMS Achilles then parted company to proceed to Sydney.

The convoy arrived at Fremantle on 16 April and departed from there in the same composition on 19 April.

In the afternoon of 22 April the convoy made rendezvous in position 08°30'S, 104°45'E with the light cruiser HMS Durban (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN) which then took the Nieuw Amsterdam with her to Singapore. They arrived at Singapore on 24 April.

In the afteroon of the 25 April the convoy made rendezvous in position 03°00'N, 84°45'E with the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) which then took the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary with her to Trincomalee where they arrived on 26 April.

HMS Australia with the Ile de France and Mauretania proceeded to Colombo where they arrived on 26 April. (49)

18 Apr 1941
Around 1200K/18, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and HMAS Adelaide (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) departed Sydney for gunnery exercises.

On completion of these exercises, HMAS Hobart returned to Sydney around 1645K/18.

HMAS Adelaide then joined the transport Zealandia (Australian, 6660 GRT, built 1910) which she was to escort to Rabaul. (50)

22 Apr 1941
Around 1155K/22, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and the troop transport Awatea (British, 13482 GRT, built 1936) to Auckland. (48)

25 Apr 1941
Around 0625M/25, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and the troop transport Awatea (British, 13482 GRT, built 1936) arrived at Auckland from Sydney. (48)

27 Apr 1941
Around 0830M/27, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) departed Auckland for Sydney. (48)

30 Apr 1941
Around 1500K/30, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) arrived at Sydney from Auckland. (48)

5 May 1941
From 5 May to 13 May 1941, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) was at the Garden Island naval base for some modifications and repairs. (51)

19 May 1941
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) departed Sydney for Melbourne. (51)

22 May 1941
Around 1300K/22, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) arrived at Melbourne from Sydney. (51)

23 May 1941
Around 1830K/23, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) departed Melbourne escorting the transport Zealandia (Australian, 6660 GRT, built 1910) part of the way to Fremantle.

The escort duties of the transport were handed over to HMAS Sydney (Capt. J. Burnett, RAN) around 1200K/26. (51)

28 May 1941
Around 1130K/28, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) returned to Melbourne from escort duty. (51)

2 Jun 1941
Around 1315K/2, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) departed Melbourne for Sydney. On departure she conducted torpedo firing exercises in Port Phillip. (52)

4 Jun 1941
Around 1015K/4, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) arrived at Sydney from Melbourne. (52)

7 Jun 1941
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) is docked in the Sutherland Dock at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard. She is to undergo a short refit before being sent to the Mediterranean. (52)

15 Jun 1941
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) is undocked at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard. She then proceeded to the Garden Island naval base to complete her refit which also included the removal of her catapult and other aircraft facilities as these were to be substituted for more close range AA armament. (52)

19 Jun 1941
Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN, struck his flag on board HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and then hoisted it in HMAS Rushcutter. (52)

20 Jun 1941
Around 2000K/20, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Sydney for Fremantle. (52)

25 Jun 1941
Around 2100H/25, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Fremantle from Sydney. (52)

26 Jun 1941
Around 1145H/26, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Fremantle for Port Victoria, Seychelles. On leaving harbour gunnery exercises were carried out. (52)

5 Jul 1941
Around 0915D/5, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Port Victoria, Seychelles from Fremantle.

She departed around 1715D/5 for Aden. On leaving gunnery exercises were carried out on a smoke float. (53)

9 Jul 1941
Around 0945C/9, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, cBE, RAN) arrived at Aden from Port Victoria, Seychelles.

Around 1620C/9, she departed Aden for Suez. (53)

12 Jul 1941
Around 1600C/12, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Suez from Aden. (53)

13 Jul 1941
Around 1835C/13, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) weighted anchor off Suez and entered the Suez Canal for northward passage together with HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN).

Shortly after entering the Suez Canal their passage was cancelled and they returned, stern first, to the inner anchorage where they anchored around 2000C/13. (53)

14 Jul 1941
In the early hours of the 14th, Port Tewfik and the anchorages were attacked by German aircraft. Among the ships damaged were the troopship Georgic (British, 27759 GRT, built 1932) and the landing ship HMS Glenearn (Capt.(Retd.) L.B. Hill, OBE, RN).

HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) went to the assistance of both ships. (53)

15 Jul 1941
Around 1000C/15, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Port Tewfik to start the northward passage of the Suez Canal. As 13 mines had been reported to have been dropped in the southern part of the Suez Canal the ships had to drift over mined positions with all main and auxiliary machinery stopped. They were also preceeded by acoustic and magnetic sweeping craft.

Around 1530C/15, they arrived in the Great Bitter Lakes.

HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN) then conducted post-repair trials at Lake Timsah near Ismalia. (54)

16 Jul 1941
Around 0930C/16, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed the Great Bitter Lakes for Alexandria. During the passage of the northern part of the Suez Canal they were preceeded by acoustic and magnetic sweeping craft. (55)

17 Jul 1941
Around 1115C/17, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (54)

18 Jul 1941
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) is taken in hand at Alexandria for the fitting off additional close range anti-aircraft armament. (53)

22 Jul 1941
Around 2100C/22, the Mediterranean Fleet, made up of the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.D. Pridham-Whippell, KCB, CVO, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), fast minelayers HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Peydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN), HMS Latona (Capt. S.L. Bateson, RN) and the destroyers HMS Griffin (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) departed Alexandria to proceed to a position to the west of Crete.

Earlier that day the light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Leander (New Zealand Division) (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN) had departed Haifa to rendez-vous with the fleet at 0600C/23.

At daylight on 23 July the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (A/Cdr. W. Pope, RN) also joined the fleet.

After dark on 23 July the fleet turned eastwards. HMS Neptune, HMS Abdiel and HMS Kimberley were then detached with orders to proceed to Port Said where they arrived on 24 July.

HMS Latona, HMS Jervis, HMS Jaguar and HMS Kandahar were detached on the 24th to make rendez-vous off Alexandria with the damaged aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.W.la T. Bisset, RN) and escort her to Port Said. HMS Formidable arrived at Port Said on the 25th. HMS Latona and the destroyers then proceeded to Haifa.

On the 24th HMS Leander was also detached with orders to proceed to Port Said where she arrived on 25 July to embark troops together with HMS Latona and HMS Jaguar.

The bulk of the fleet returned to Alexandria around 1800C/24. (56)

25 Jul 1941
Work on fitting additional close range anti-aircraft armament to HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) is resumed. (53)

28 Jul 1941
Around 1315C/28, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Alexandria for Haifa. (53)

28 Jul 1941
Around 0900C/29, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Haifa from Alexandria. (53)

4 Aug 1941
Around 1300C/4 HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN) departed Haifa for gunnery and torpedo exercises. On completion of these they proceeded to Port Said.

The following morning, around 0600C/5, they were joined at sea by HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN).

They arrived at Port Said around 1000C/5. (57)

5 Aug 1941
Around 1315C/5, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN) departed Port Said with about 2000 troops for Famagusta. (58)

6 Aug 1941
Around 0035C/6, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Famagusta. After unloading the troops HMAS Hobart, HMS Kandahar and HMS Kimberley departed for Alexandria where they arrived around 1900C/6.

HMS Kipling proceeded to Haifa where she also arrived later the same day. (56)

13 Aug 1941
Around 1730C/13, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN) and HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said. (58)

14 Aug 1941
Around 0720C/14, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN) and HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, DSC, RN) arrived at Port Said. They had been delayed for about 1.5 hours due to minesweeping of the swept channel not being completed upon their arrival. (58)

15 Aug 1941
Around 1110C/15, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Pleydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN), HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN) and HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, DSC, RN) departed Port Said loaded with almost 2000 troops for Famagusta. (58)

16 Aug 1941
Around 0040C/16, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Pleydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN), HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN) and HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, DSC, RN) arrived at Famagusta.

After disembarking their troops they departed around 0330C/16 for Haifa where they arrived around 1130C/16. HMS Abdiel left Farmagusta around 0230C/16 with orders to proceed to Alexandria where she arrived around 1720C/16. (59)

31 Aug 1941
Around 1830C/31, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Haifa for Alexandria. (60)

1 Sep 1941
Around 1110C/1, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Alexandria from Haifa. (61)

3 Sep 1941
Around 1010C/3, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and the destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Stephenson, RAN) departed Alexandria for exercises.

HMS Valiant and HMAS Hobart returned to Alexandria around 1915C/3. The destroyers remained out for night exercises and only returned to Alexandria around 1430C/4 minus HMAS Vendetta which had set course for Port Said on HMS Valiant and HMAS Hobart's return to harbour. (62)

9 Sep 1941
HMS Barham (Capt. G.C. Cooke, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN), HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Peydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN), HMS Latona (Capt. S.L. Bateson, RN), HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) conducted exerises off Alexandria.

Shorty after noon they were joined by the light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN).

HMS Barham, HMS Neptune, HMS Ajax and HMAS Hobart returned to Alexandria early in the evening and HMS Napier returned to Alexandria late in the evening. The other ships remained at sea. (63)

15 Sep 1941
Around 0855C/15, the destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) and HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria with supplies for Tobruk where they arrived around 2325C/15.

The light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) had departed Alexandria around 0840C/15 for exercises.

The destroyers HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria around 1035C/15 to join the light cruisers on completion of their exercises and then to cover provide cover for the store carrying destroyers.

All ships returned to Alexandria on the 16th, HMAS Napier, HMAS Nizam and HMS Havock around 1345C/16 followed by HMS Kingston around 1405C/16. HMS Ajax, HMS Neptune and HMAS Hobart returned around 1445C/16 and finally HMS Kimberley entered harbour around 1610C/16. (64)

17 Sep 1941
Around 1850B/17, HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Alexandria to embark troops at Beirut or Haifa.

Around 0800B/18, HMS Neptune parted company with the other ships and proceeded to Haifa arriving there around 1110B/18.

HMS Ajax and HMAS Hobart arrived at Beirut around 1405B/18.

HMS Neptune departed Haifa around 0430B/19 and arrived at Beirut around 0815B/19.

All three cruisers departed Beirut for Alexandria around 1100B/19.

They were joined at sea around 1230B/19 by the destroyers HMS Griffin (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN) and HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN).

All five ships arrived at Alexandria around 0615B/20. (65)

22 Sep 1941
At 0800B/22, the fast minelayer HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Peydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN) and the destroyers and HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) and HMS Griffin (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN) departed Alexandria with supplies for Tobruk.

Their return passage was covered by the light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) which departed Alexandria around 2200B/22.

All ships returned to Alexandria around noon the following day. (66)

26 Sep 1941
Around 0900B/26, the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Admiral Sir A.B. Cunningham, GCB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. G.C. Cooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.D. Pridham-Whippell, KCB, CVO, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN), HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN) and HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Stephenson, RAN) departed Alexandria for a diversion in the Eastern Mediterranean during 'Operation Halberd' in the Western Mediterranean.

They returned to Alexandria in the afternoon of the 27th. (56)

2 Oct 1941
The destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) were sent out from Alexandria at 0615 hours for an A/S search after the A/S whaler HMS Klo had reported being attacked by an enemy submarine.

They sailed together with HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN) but these two apparently did not go to the assistance of HMS Klo.

At 0947 hours, the destroyers HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN), HMS Griffin (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN) and HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN) also departed Alexandria for exercises followed by the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Admiral Sir A.B. Cunningham, GCB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. G.C. Cooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.D. Pridham-Whippell, KCB, CVO, RN) and HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN) at 1015 hours. It had been intedend to sail earlier but the submarine-report from HMS Klo delayed the start of the exercises. Light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) sailed around noon to join the exercises.

The ships (minus HMAS Hobart) remained out for exercises during the night and they returned to Alexandria as follows;

0820B/3; HMS Kandahar, HMS Hero and HMS Decoy.

0855B/3; HMS Barham, HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Valiant, HMS Kipling, HMS Kimberley, HMS Jupiter, HMS Hotspur and HMS Griffin.

0925B/3; HMS Kingston and HMS Jaguar. These last two destroyers entered Alexandria with the submarine HMS Triumph (Cdr. W.J.W. Woods, RN) which returned from patrol.

HMAS Hobart had already returned at 2345B/2. (67)

10 Oct 1941
Shortly after 0900B/10, the battleships HMS Barham (Capt. G.C. Cooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.D. Pridham-Whippell, KCB, CVO, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN), HMS Griffin (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN), HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN) and HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN) departed Alexandria for a sweep to the westwards.

The destroyers HMS Jupiter, HMS Kandahar, HMS Griffin, HMS Decoy and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale, HMS Eridge were detached for a sweep towards Bardia. The destroyers HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) had sailed from Alexandria to join the fleet to take their place in the screen.

The fleet turned back to the east around 1800B/10. They returned to Alexandria around 0830B/11.

The destroyers that had been detached returned to Alexandria around 1500B/11. (56)

12 Oct 1941

Operation 'Cultivate'.

Replacement of Australian troops at Tobruk with 'fresh' troops.

At 0700B/12 the fast minelayer HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Peydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) departed Alexandria with troops and stores for Tobruk.

A cover force also sailed from Alexandria. It was made up of the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Admiral Sir A.B. Cunningham, GCB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. G.C. Cooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.D. Pridham-Whippell, KCB, CVO, RN), light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Galatea (Capt. E.W.B. Sim, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN), HMS Griffin (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN), HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN) and HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN).

The cruisers with three of the destroyers were detached during the night. They rejoined at daylight when the fleet set course to return to Alexandria.

Meanwhile Abdiel with her destroyers had landed the stores and troops at Tobruk and taken on board troops that were being relieved and set course to return to Alexandria.

Early in the afternoon a report was received of Italian cruisers and destroyers and the fleet was turned westwards again. Shortly afterwards the fleet was attacked by three enemy torpedo bombers but no damage was done. During the night the cruisers and three of the destroyers were again detached.

At daylight on the 14th the detached ships again rejoined and course was set to return to Alexandria. The fleet arrived at Alexandria around 1530B/14. The ships that had been on the transport run to tobruk returned to Alexandria around 1745B/14.

Operation 'Cultivate' continued for a while sending 'fresh' troops to Tobruk. (56)

20 Oct 1941
The light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Galatea (Capt. E.W.B. Sim, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and the destroyers HMS Griffin (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) departed Alexandria at 0830B/20 to bombard an enemy gun battery near Tobruk during the night of 20/21 October.

The cruisers returned to Alexandria at 1330B/21. At 0610B/21 the destroyers had been detached to go to the assistance of the gunboat HMS Gnat (Lt.Cdr. S.R.H. Davenport, RN) which had been torpedoed and heavily damaged. Due to the air threat they remained near Mersa Matruh and were not allowed to proceed further to the west. HMS Griffin and HMS Jaguar were later joined by the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN) and HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN).

They contacted the damaged gunboat before sunset. HMS Griffin took HMS Gnat in tow escorted by HMS Jaguar and the A/S whalers HMSAS Southern Maid and HMS Klo.

Tow was later passed to the tug HMS St. Monance.

HMS Jaguar, HMS Avon Vale and HMS Eridge arrived at Alexandria at 0030B/23.

HMS Gnat and HMS Griffin arrived at Alexandria later on 23 October. (68)

23 Oct 1941
The light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN) and HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN) departed Alexandria around 0845B/23 on a bombardment operation.

During the night of 23/24 October the light cruisers and the escort destroyers bombarded the Bardia area. Petrol dumps and a building, thought to be the Army headquarters were the main targets.

The four fleet destroyers had been detached and bombarded the Sollum area.

All ships then returned to Alexandria. The cruisers arrived around 1145B/24. (56)

25 Oct 1941
The light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN), HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) and HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria around 1400B/25 for further bombardment operations.

The light cruisers and the destroyers HMAS Napier, HMAS Nizam and HMS Hasty bombarded the Bardia area during the night of 25/26 October.

The destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Jaguar, HMS Jupiter and HMS Kimberley were detached to go to the assistance of the fast minelayer HMS Latona (Capt. S.L. Bateson, RN) which had been bombed and later sank as result of the damage.

All ships returned to Alexandria very late in the morning or in the first half of the afternoon of the 26th. (56)

12 Nov 1941
Around 0830B/12, the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN) departed Alexandria for gunnery exercises. She was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN). They were joined around 1100B/12 by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN).

They returned to harbour around 0100B/13. (69)

16 Nov 1941

Operation Chieftan

Dummy convoy to Malta from Gibraltar to create a diversion for the enemy during army operations in Libya.

16 November 1941.

Western Mediterranean.

On 16 November a dummy convoy departed Gibraltar and proceeded eastwards, it was made up of the merchant vessels; Baron Newlands (British, 3386 GRT, built 1928), Blairatholl (British, 3319 GRT, built 1925), Cisneros (British, 1886 GRT, built 1926), Ottinge (British, 2818 GRT, built 1940) and Shuna (British, 1575 GRT, built 1937).

The RFA tanker Brown Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941) was also part of the convoy.

Escort was provided by the destroyer HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, RN), sloop HMS Deptford (Lt.Cdr. H.R. White, RN), and the corvettes HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR), HMS Marigold (T/Lt. J. Renwick, RNR) and HMS Rhododendron (Lt.Cdr. W.N.H. Faichney, DSO, RNR).

HMS Wild Swan got an A/S contact and was detached to hunt it reinforced by the corvette HMS Samphire (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Renny, DSC, RNR) from Gibraltar.

The corvette Marigold detected and depth charged the German submarine U-433. The submarine surfaced and was sunk at 2155/6 on 16 November 1941 in the Mediterranean east of Gibraltar, in position 36°13'N, 04°42'W.

17 November 1941.

Western Mediterranean.

The dummy convoy turned back to the eastwards again on the 17th.

18 November 1941.

Western Mediterranean.

The dummy convoy arrived back at Gibraltar in the evening of the 18th.

Eastern Mediterranean.

Around 0730/18 the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Admiral Sir A.B. Cunningham, GCB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. G.C. Cooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.D. Pridham-Whippell, KCB, CVO, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Galatea (Capt. E.W.B. Sim, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN), HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN), HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN) and HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN) departed Alexandria to be at sea to support several operations in the Mediterranean.

Around 1105B/18, the fleet was joined by the light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN), and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and the destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) and HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN) which had already been at sea.

The fleet turned back towards Alexandria after dark.

On the 18th HMS Naiad and HMS Euryalus split off together with the destroyers HMS Jackal and HMS Kipling for a night bombardment of the Helfaya pass area upon which they also returned to Alexandria. They too arrived before noon on the 19th.

' Force K ', made up of light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, RN), HMS Penelope (Capt. A.D. Nicholl, RN) and the destroyers HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN) and HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN), departed Malta around 1845/18 to create a diversion during the night.

19 November 1941.

Eastern Mediterranean.

' Force K ' returned to Malta around 0730/19.

The fleet arrived back in harbour before noon on the 19th followed shortly afterwards by HMS Naiad, HMS Euryalus, HMS Jackal and HMS Kipling. (56)

17 Nov 1941
Around 1115B/17 the light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN), and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and the destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) and HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria to bombard the Sollum area during the night of 17/18 November 1941. The bombardment however had to be cancelled due to the bad weather conditions. The ships then joined the Mediterranean Fleet which had departed Alexandria in the morning of the 18th at noon on the 18th.

They returned to Alexandria with the Fleet on the 19th.

[For more info see the event ' Operation Chieftan ' for 16 November 1941.] (69)

20 Nov 1941
Around 1130B/20, the light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Alexandria to conduct a bombardment of the Bardia area during the night of 20/21 November. They were joined off the gate by the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN) and HMS Heythrop (Lt.Cdr R.S. Stafford, RN) which had departed around 1000B/20.

Around 1400B/20, they were joined, about 40 miles east of Alexandria by the escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) and HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN) which had departed Alexandria around 1315B/19 for an A/S hunt for a reported enemy submarine reported by an aircraft. (which in the end turned out to be HMSAS Southern Maid).

A bombardment was carried out around 0200B/21 and course was then set to join the fleet at sea which was done around noon. (70)

21 Nov 1941

Operations ME 7 and Landmark.

Diversionary attack on Tripoli to divert enemy air strenght away from the Bardia / Halfaya pass area during land operations.

The battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Admiral Sir A.B. Cunningham, GCB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. G.C. Cooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.D. Pridham-Whippell, KCB, CVO, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Galatea (Capt. E.W.B. Sim, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN), HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN) and HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN) departed Alexandria for operation ME 7.

At noon, the light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) and HMS Heythrop (Lt.Cdr R.S. Stafford, RN) joined the fleet at sea having completed their bombardment. The four hunt-class destroyers were however detached to return to Alexandria where they arrived around 1500B/21.

After dark HMS Naiad, HMS Euryalus, HMS Galatea were detached after dark to make false W/T reports further to the west. The fleet then turned back towards Alexandria.

The fleet arrived back at Alexandria at daybreak on the 22nd. The detached cruisers arrived back later the same day.

To simulate a fake landing attempt on the coast near Tripoli (Operation Landmark) a convoy made up of the transports HMS Breconshire (9776 GRT, built 1939), Ajax (7540 GRT, built 1931), Clan Ferguson (7347 GRT, built 1938) and Sydney Star (12696 GRT, built 1936) departed Malta. It was escorted by the corvette HMS Gloxinia (Lt.Cdr. A.J.C. Pomeroy, RNVR) and cover was provided by ' Force K ', made up of HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, RN), HMS Penelope (Capt. A.D. Nicholl, RN) and the destroyers HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN) and HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN). These ships all departed Malta around 1415/21. [Both destroyers had actually departed around 1235/21, presumably to conduct an A/S sweep before the other ships departed the harbour.]

' Force K ' returned to Malta around 0600/22 followed around 2 hours later by the convoy. It does not appear the convoy had been sighted by the enemy. (56)

25 Nov 1941
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) is docked in the floating dock (AFD 5) at Alexandria. (71)

27 Nov 1941
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) is undocked. (71)

6 Dec 1941
The destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria at 0630B/6 to patrol off Derna during the night of 6/7 December 1941 and then proceed to Malta where they arrived around 0915B/8.

Around 1315B/6, the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Galatea (Capt. E.W.B. Sim, RN), AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. D.M.L. Neame, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Griffin (Capt. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria to make rendezvous with the transport HMS Breconshire (9776 GRT, built 1939) which was coming from Malta having departed there around 1700B/5 escorted by the destroyers HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN). To cover these ships the light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O’Coner, RN) and destroyer HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN) had departed Malta around 2000B/5 and joined with HMS Breconshire, HMS Kimberley and HMS Kingston around 0800B/6.

Around 0700B/7, HMAS Hobart, HMS Galatea, HMS Carlisle, HMS Griffin and HMS Hotspur joined HMS Kingston and HMS Kimberley to escort HMS Breconshire to Alexandria where they arrived around 0445B/8. HMS Ajax, HMS Neptune and HMS Lively then set course to return to Malta where they arrived around 0400B/8.

Later on the 7th both forces were attacked by enemy aircraft several times but no damage was caused. (72)

9 Dec 1941
Around 1800B/9, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Alexandria to return to Australia now that the Japanese had declared war. (73)

10 Dec 1941
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) transited the Suez Canal southbound and on leaving the canal she immediately set course for Aden. (73)

13 Dec 1941
Around 0645C/13, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Aden.

She departed for Colombo around 1230C/13. (73)

17 Dec 1941
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) made a short stop of Minikoi Attol, Laccadive Islands.

As no radio contact could be made with the island, HMAS Hobart was ordered to invistigate. There had indeed been some minor problems on the attol but all was fine now. HMAS Hobart then continued her passage to Colombo. (73)

18 Dec 1941
Around 0935EF/18, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Colombo. (73)

19 Dec 1941
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) is taken in hand by the Colombo Dockyard to mount a four barrelled pom-pom which she had taken with her (in a crate) from Alexandria. The work was completed on 22 December. (73)

21 Dec 1941

Convoy BM 9A.

This convoy departed Bombay on 21 December 1941 and arrived at Singapore on 3 January 1942.

It was was made up of the following ships; Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939), Lancashire (British, 9445 GRT, built 1917), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926), Ethiopia (British 5575 GRT, built 1922) and Varsova (British, 4691 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Bombay it was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, DSO, RN) and the patrol vessel HMIS Sonavati (T/Lt. G.W. Barnes, RINR).

At 1340/22, in position 14°03'N, 73°02'E, HMIS Sonavati obtained a strong A/S contact and attacked with six depth charges but the contact appeared to be non-sub.

On 24 December the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and sloop HMS Falmouth (Cdr. U.H.R. James, RN) departed Colombo and they joined the convoy around 0800EF/25 in position 05°20'N, 80°00'E. HMS Glasgow then parted company with the convoy.

On 27 December HMS Falmouth and HMIS Sonavati parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Colombo.

Around 1200GH/30, in position 02°22'S, 98°00'E, the light cruisers HMS Durban (Capt. P.G.L. Cazalet, DSC, RN), HMS Dragon (A/Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the destroyer HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN) joined the convoy.

Around 1530GH/31, in position 06°10'S, 101°52'E the destroyers HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) joined the convoy.

The Dutch light cruisers HrMs De Ruyter (Cdr. E.E.B. Lacomblé, RNN and flagship of Rear-Admiral K.W.F.M. Doorman, RNN), HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN) and the Dutch destroyers HrMs Piet Hein (Lt.Cdr. J.M.L.I. Chompff, RNN) and HrMs Banckert (Lt.Cdr. L.J. Goslings, RNN) departed Batavia on 1 January 1942 to reinforce the convoy escort. The Dutch ships joined the convoy at 1345GH/1 and remained with the convoy until 2000GH/2.

The convoy arrived safely at Singapore on 3 January 1942. (49)

22 Dec 1941

Convoy BM 9B.

This convoy departed Bombay on 22 December 1941.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; El Madina (British, 3962 GRT, built 1937), Jalarajan (British, 5076 GRT, built 1925), Rajput (British, 5521 GRT, built 1925), Risaldar (British, 5407 GRT, built 1940) and Talma (British, 10000 GRT, built 1923).

On departure from Bombay it was escorted by the Greek armoured cruiser RHS Georgios Averoff.

Around 1530EF/26, the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Cdr. J.W. Cuthbert, RN) departed Colombo with the transport Madura (British, 8975 GRT, built 1921). They joined the convoy around 0730EF/27 in position 04°38'N, 80°40'E. The Georgios Averoff then parted company to proceed to Colombo. The transport Talma had apparently parted company on the 26th to proceed to Colombo.

Around 1415G/31, HMS Glasgow was relieved in position 00°27'S, 94°51'E by the light cruisers HMS Danae (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN) and HrMs Java (Capt. P.B.M van Straelen, RNN).

Around 1230GH/3, the destroyers HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN), HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN) and HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN) joined in approximate position 06°27'S, 103°00'E.

Around 0700GH/4, HrMs Java and the transport Madura parted company to proceed to Batavia.

Around 1200GH/4, the light cruisers HrMs De Ruyter (Cdr. E.E.B. Lacomblé, RNN and flagship of Rear-Admiral K.W.F.M. Doorman, RNN), HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN) and the destroyers HrMs Piet Hein (Lt.Cdr. J.M.L.I. Chompff, RNN) and HrMs Banckert (Lt.Cdr. L.J. Goslings, RNN) joined in approximate position 05°15'S, 106°20'E. They had departed Banten Bay earlier in the day.

Around 0600GH/5, the minesweepers HMAS Burnie (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.E. Gough, RANR(S)) and HMAS Goulburn (Lt. B. Paul, RANR(S)) joined the convoy.

Around 1200GH/5, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) joined the convoy in Banka Strait in approximate position 02°40'S, 105°49'E.

After the passage of the Banka Strait had been completed the Dutch ships that had joined around 1200GH/4 parted company around 2000GH/5.

Around 1645GH/6, HMAS Hobart parted company with the convoy to proceed to Batavia.

The convoy arrived at Singapore around 1930GH/6.

The convoy arrived at Singapore (74)

24 Dec 1941
Around 2000EF/24, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and sloop HMS Falmouth (Cdr. U.H.R. James, RN) departed Colombo to join convoy BM 9A.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy BM 9A ' for 21 December 1941.] (73)

3 Jan 1942
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), HMS Durban (Capt. P.G.L. Cazalet, DSC, RN), HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) arrived at Singapore with convoy BM 9A. (75)

4 Jan 1942
Around 1700GH/4, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Singapore to make rendezvous with convoy BM 9B in Banka Strait.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy BM 9B ' for 22 December 1941.] (76)

7 Jan 1942
Around 1715GH/7, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Batavia after convoy escort duty. (76)

8 Jan 1942
Around 0600GH/8, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Batavia for Fremantle. (76)

10 Jan 1942

Convoy MS 1.

This convoy departed Melbourne on 10 January 1942.

The ' Melbourne section ' of the convoy was made up of the following transports; City of Manchester (British, 8917 GRT, built 1935), Derrymore (British, 4799 GRT, built 1938), Java (Dutch, 9250 GRT, built 1939), Peisander (British, 6225 GRT, built 1925), Phrontis (Dutch, 6616 GRT, built 1926), Tjikandi (Dutch, 7979 GRT, built 1921) and Tjikarang (Dutch, 9505 GRT, built 1922).

On departure from Melbourne, around 1300K/10, the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Kanimbla (A/Capt. W.L.G. Adams, RN).

Around 0730I/20, the ' Fremantle section ' of the convoy departed Fremantle. It was made up of the following transport / tanker; Enggano (Dutch, 6364 GRT, built 1920) and Pan Europe (Norwegian (tanker), 9468 GRT, built 1931). The RFA tanker War Sirdar (5542 GRT, built 1920).

It was escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN). The ' Fremantle section ' made rendezvous with the ' Melbourne section ' around 1300I/21 and course was set for Singapore.

Around 0945I/22, the transport Gorgon (British, 3533 GRT, built 1933) joined coming from Geraldton.

Around 1100H/28, the destroyers HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN) and HMS Tenedos (Lt. R. Dyer, RN) joined the convoy in position 08°31'S, 104°08'E.

Around 1400H/28, HMS Kanimbla was detached to return to Australia.

Around 0645H/29, the ships destined for Oosthaven / Batavia parted company, these were the Enggano and Java.

Around 1500H/29, the transport Anglo Indian (British, 5609 GRT, built 1938) joined the convoy.

Around 0950H/30, the convoy entered the Banka Strait.

Around 2130H/30, HMS Tenedos was detached to go to the assitance of HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN) which was towing HMS Isis (Lt. L.R.P. Lawford, DSC, RN) from Singapore to Batavia.

Also on 30 January the tanker Pan Europe was detached to Pladjoe (Palembang).

Around 0040H/31, HMS Tenedos rejoined the convoy as her assitance was no longer needs as HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN) had been detailed to do so.

The convoy arrived at Singapore around 0500H/1. (77)

11 Jan 1942
Around 1115I/11, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Fremantle from Batavia. (76)

20 Jan 1942
Around 0730I/20, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Fremantle escorting the ' Fremantle section ' of convoy MS 1. They were to make rendezvous with the ' Melbourne section ' of the convoy.

[For more information on this convoy see the event ' Convoy MS 1 ' for 10 January 1942.] (78)

23 Jan 1942

Convoy BM 12.

Convoy from Bombay to Singapore.
Departure date: 23 January 1942.
Arrival date: 4 February 1942.

This convoy was made up of the following ships;
British troop ships; Devonshire (11275 GRT, built 1939), Empress of Asia (16909 GRT, built 1913).

French troop ship (under British control) Felix Roussel (17083 GRT, built 1930)

and the Dutch transport Plancius (5955 GRT, built 1923).

The convoy initially proceeded unescorted.

On 26 January, the British sloop HMS Falmouth (Cdr. U.H.R. James, RN) joined the convoy in position 07°53'N, 76°23'E.

On 27 January, the British light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN) joined the convoy in position 04°30'N, 78°15'E. HMS Falmouth parted company with the convoy at dusk.

On 28 January, the convoy made rendez-vous with convoy DM 2 which was made up of the following ships;
British troopships Dunera (11162 GRT, built 1937), Empress of Australia (21833 GRT, built 1914) and Warwick Castle (20107 GRT, built 1930) and the British transports City of Canterbury (8331 GRT, built 1922), City of Pretoria (8049 GRT, built 1937), Malancha (8124 GRT, built 1937) and Troilus (7422 GRT, built 1921). This convoy was escorted by the British armed merchant cruiser HMS Ranchi (Capt.(Retd.) Sir J.M. Alleyne, DSO, DSC, RN) which then parted company.

On 31 January, the British light cruiser HMS Danae (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN) and the Dutch light cruiser HrMs Java (Capt. P.B.M van Straelen, RNN) joined the convoy in position 05°05'S, 94°00'E after which HMS Emerald parted company with the convoy.

On 1 February, the Indian sloop HMIS Sutlej (Capt. P.A. Mare, RIN) and the Australian sloop HMAS Yarra (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN) joined the convoy.

On 2 February, the British heavy cruiser HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, MVO, RN) joined around 0800 hours and a little over two hours later the British destroyer HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and the Australian destroyer HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN) also joined the convoy.

On the morning of 3 February the British destroyer HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN) joined. Later the same day HMAS Vampire split off from the convoy with the part of the convoy that was to proceed to Batavia. These were all the ships that had been in convoy DM 2 except the City of Canterbury which went to Singapore. The Batavia section arrived there shortly after noon on 3 February.

Around 0200 hours on 4 February 1942, HrMs Java parted company with the convoy. Shortly before noon the convoy was attacked by Japanese aircraft and the Empress of Asia was straddled. Around 2130/4, HMS Exeter, HMS Jupiter and HMS Encounter parted company to intercept Japanese warships that were reported to the north of Banka Strait. HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) was ordered to join them there. They did not find any Japanese ships and proceeded to Batavia where they arrived on 6 February.

The convoy arrived at Singapore shortly after noon on 5 February 1942 but not before a heavy enemy air attack was carried out. The Empress of Asia was set on fire, the Felix Roussel was also hit and the City of Canterbury had her steering gear damaged. (79)

1 Feb 1942
Around 0500H/1, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN) and HMS Tenedos (Lt. R. Dyer, RN) arrived at Singapore with convoy MS 1. (78)

2 Feb 1942
Around 1815GH/2, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and the destroyer HMS Tenedos (Lt. R. Dyer, RN) departed Singapore for Batavia.

Around 1235GH/3, when in position 02°16'S, 105°24'E, HMAS Hobart and HMS Tenedos sighted three aircraft bombing a single merchant vessel bearing 106°, distance 19 nautical miles. Increased speed to close.

Around 1245GH/3, the aircraft approached HMAS Hobart in attack formation. Fire was opened and the aricraft turned away without releasing bombs.

At 1306GH/3, HMAS Hobart was bombed by Japanese aircraft which had returned and had not been spotted. Some bombs fell close to the starboard side between the stern and the bridge.

Around 1330GH/3, HMAS Hobart and HMS Tenedos arrived near the merchant vessel which was idenified as the Norah Moller (British, 4348 GRT, built 1915). HMS Tenedos went alongside and reported that the ship engines were out of action. The ship was also on fire. HMS Tenedos then assisted in putting out the fire while the ships wounded and passengers were transferred to HMAS Hobart.

By 1430GH/3, the fire seems to have been extinguished and the ship anchored of the West Nangka lighthouse. HMS Tenedos then casted off.

By 1445GH/3, the fire was observed to have broken out afresh and the ships superstructure was blazing fiercely. As there seems to be no hope of saving the ship, HMAS Hobart and HMS Tenedos continued their passage to Batavia where they arrived around 0815GH/4. (80)

3 Feb 1942

Convoy JS 1.

This convoy departed Colombo on 3 February 1942 and arrived at Batavia, Netherlands East Indies on 14 February 1942.

This convoy was made up of the following ships;
British transports; Adastrus (7905 GRT, built 1923), Alice Moller (4986 GRT, built 1914), Filleigh (4856 GRT, built 1928), Lulworth Hill (7628 GRT, built 1940), Modasa (9070 GRT, built 1921), Prominent (2232 GRT, built 1918) and Yoma (8131 GRT, built 1928).

Norwegian transports Hai Lee (3616 GRT, built 1934) and Hermion (5202 GRT, built 1937).

The Alice Moller had to return to Colombo with defects.

The convoy sailed from Colombo on 3 February 1942 and was escorted initially by the British heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall (Capt. P.C.W. Manwaring, RN) and the Australian minesweepers HMAS Bathurst (Lt.Cdr. A.V. Bunyan, RANR(S)) and HMAS Lismore (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Crawford, RANR(S)).

The Australian minesweepers parted company with the convoy on 5 February. HMS Cornwall was relieved by HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) around 1350GH/10 in position 05°40'S, 93°00'E.

Around 2000GH/11, the British heavy cruiser HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, MVO, RN) joined the escort and remained with it until 13 February.

Around 1100GH/12, the British destroyer HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN) joined the convoy followed around 1500GH/12 by the Indian sloop HMIS Jumna (Cdr. W.R. Shewring, RIN).

At 1530GH/13, the convoy was split up and the Filleigh Lulworth Hill, Yoma, Hai Lee and Hermion arrived at Oosthaven, Sumatra. They were escorted by HMAS Hobart and HMIS Jumna. HMIS Jumna remained at Oosthaven to provide A/S protection for that port together with the Australian minesweepers HMAS Goulburn (Lt. B. Paul, RANR(S)) and HMAS Burnie (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.E. Gough, RANR(S)).

The other ships of the convoy, the Adastrus, Modasa, and Prominent arrived at Batavia on 14 February 1942 escorted by HMS Electra.

HMAS Hobart later also went on to Batavia but while en-route she was ordered to return to Oosthaven. (81)

4 Feb 1942
Around 1815GH/4, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Batavia to make rendezvous with HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, MVO, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN) which had been detached as a striking force from convoy BM 12. [For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy BM 12 ' for 23 January 1942.]

Rendezvous was effected around 0745GH/5 and they then proceeded to sweep to the north and east of Banka Island to search for report Japanese warships.

They are sighted to the north-east of the Sunda Strait by the Japanese submarine RO-34 which fired four torpedoes at HMS Encounter but no hits were obtained.

Around 1155GH/5, HMAS Hobart was attacked by a single aircraft. Three bombs fell close ahead.

Around 1215GH/5, a single aircraft attacked HMS Jupiter, the bombs fell astern.

Around 1320GH/5, a single aircraft attacks HMAS Hobart, four bombs fell 100 yards on the starboard beam.

Around 1700GH/5, the force passed southwards through the Gaspar Straits on their return. Later they are sighted to the north-east of the Sunda Strait by the Japanese submarine RO-34 which fired four torpedoes at HMS Encounter but no hits were obtained.

They arrived at Batavia around 0700GH/6. (80)

6 Feb 1942

Convoy EMU

Shortly before midnight during the night of 6/7 February 1942 this convoy departed Singapore.

It was made up of the (troop) transports; City of Canterbury (British, 8331 GRT, built 1922), Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939) and Felix Roussell (British, 17083 GRT, built 1930, former French).

On board the City of Canterbury were mostly RAF personnel for Batavia, Java, Dutch East Indies while on board the other two ships were evacuees with were to be taken to Bombay.

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Danae (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN) and the sloops HMIS Sutlej (Capt. P.A. Mare, RIN) and HMAS Yarra (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN).

Around 1930GH/7, HMAS Yarra was detached to escort the damaged transport Hosang (British, 5698 GRT, built 1922) to Palembang. The transport however reported to be not in immediate danger and HMAS Yarra then joined the destroyer HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN) which was towing the immobile destroyer HMAS Vendetta (Lt. W.G. Whitting, RANR(S)) from Singapore to Batavia, instead.

Around 0830GH/8, the destroyer HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN) joined.

Around 1300GH/8, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) joined south of Banka Strait.

Around 1500GH/8, HMS Danae, HMIS Sutley and the City of Canterbury were detached to Batavia.

Around 1000GH/9, HMS Electra was detached to Batavia.

Around 1100GH/9, the convoy was dispersed. HMAS Hobart then set course to make rendezvous with convoy JS 1 which she did around 1350GH/10. (82)

6 Feb 1942
Around 0700GH/6, HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, MVO, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN) arrived at Batavia.

After fuelling HMS Jupiter and HMS Encounter departed again to make rendez-vous in the Indian Ocean with convoy MS 3.

8 Feb 1942
Around 0615GH/8, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Batavia to make rendezvous south of Banka Strait with the EMU convoy.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy EMU ' for 6 February 1942.] (80)

9 Feb 1942
Around 1100GH/9, convoy EMU was dispersed. HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) then set course to make rendezvous with convoy JS 1 which she did around 1350GH/10.

[For more info on convoy JS 1 see the event ' Convoy JS 1 ' for 3 February 1942.] (80)

14 Feb 1942
Around 0355GH/14, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) is ordered to proceed to Oosthaven instead of Batavia to join the Allied Striking Force.

She arrived there around 0900GH/14. (80)

14 Feb 1942
Around 1600 hours, an Allied task force, now made up of five cruisers; the Dutch light cruisers HrMs De Ruyter (Cdr. E.E.B. Lacomblé, RNN and flagship of Rear-Admiral K.W.F.M. Doorman, RNN), HrMs Java (Capt. P.B.M van Straelen, RNN), HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN), the British heavy cruiser HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, MVO, RN) and the Australian light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN). They were escorted by a total of ten destroyers, four Dutch and six American; HrMs Van Ghent (Lt.Cdr. P. Schotel, RNN), HrMs Kortenaer (Lt.Cdr. A. Kroese, RNN), HrMs Piet Hein (Lt.Cdr. J.M.L.I. Chompff, RNN), HrMs Banckert (Lt.Cdr. L.J. Goslings, RNN), USS Stewart (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Smith, USN), USS John D. Edwards (Lt.Cdr. H.E. Eccles, USN), USS Barker (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Miller, USN), USS Bulmer (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Harris, USN), USS Pillsbury (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Pound, USN) and USS Parrott (Lt.Cdr. J.N. Hughes, USN) depared Oosthaven (Bandar Lampung), Sumatra for a hit and run raid to the north of the Gaspar Straits to attack a reported Japanese convoy. (83)

15 Feb 1942
Around 0315GH/15, the Allied Striking Force entered the Stolze Strait (to the east of Mendanau Island (Pulau Mendanau). The task force was clear of the strait around 0800GH/15 but not before the Dutch destroyer HrMs Van Ghent (Lt.Cdr. P. Schotel, RNN) had hit a reef around 0500GH/15 resulting in the loss of this vessel. The Dutch destroyer HrMs Banckert (Lt.Cdr. L.J. Goslings, RNN) remained behind to render assistance to her stranded sister but it was soon apparent that the ship was beyond salvage. Several valuable items of the equipment were however taken off and by 1700 hours the wreck of HrMs Van Ghent was destroyed by HrMs Banckert. The Banckert now made off for Surabaya with the crew of the Van Ghent on board.

Meanwhile around 1150GH/15, the first Japanese air attack on the remainder of the Allied Striking Force started. The attacks, which came in five waves, lasted until about 1745GH/15. No major damage was done to the Allied ships which had reversed course shortly after 1300GH/15. The Australian light cruiser HMAS Hobart reported some minor damage, mostly from splinters and the US destroyers USS Barker (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Miller, USN) and USS Bulmer (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Harris, USN) required repairs to their badly shaken up machinery spaces due to near misses.

The task force was then split up with HrMs De Ruyter (Cdr. E.E.B. Lacomblé, RNN and flagship of Rear-Admiral K.W.F.M. Doorman, RNN), HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN), HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, MVO, RN), HMAS Hobart and the destroyers USS Barker and USS Bulmer proceeding to Batavia to refuel. HrMs Java (Capt. P.B.M van Straelen, RNN) and the remaining US destroyers (USS Stewart (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Smith, USN), USS John D. Edwards (Lt.Cdr. H.E. Eccles, USN), USS Pillsbury (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Pound, USN) and USS Parrott (Lt.Cdr. J.N. Hughes, USN)) proceeded to the Ratai Bay to refuel and the two remaining Dutch destroyers (HrMs Kortenaer (Lt.Cdr. A. Kroese, RNN) and HrMs Piet Hein (Lt.Cdr. J.M.L.I. Chompff, RNN)) to Oosthaven to do the same. (83)

16 Feb 1942
Around 1000GH/16, HrMs De Ruyter (Cdr. E.E.B. Lacomblé, RNN and flagship of Rear-Admiral K.W.F.M. Doorman, RNN), HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN), HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, MVO, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), USS Barker (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Miller, USN) and USS Bulmer (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Harris, USN) arrived off Tandjong Priok / Batavia.

earlier that morning, around 0625GH/16 and during a heavy rain squall, HrMs De Ruyter and HMAS Hobart had narrowly avoided grounding on Krawang Point, and subsequent colliding with each other. (80)

17 Feb 1942
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) commenced boiler cleaning at Tandjong Priok / Batavia. This was completed on 20 February. During boiler cleaning she remained at eight hours notice for sea. (80)

21 Feb 1942
Around 2355GH/21, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN) departed Batavia escorting the troopship Orcades (British, 23456 GRT, built 1937, with around 3500 evacuees / personnel on board) through the Sunda Strait. [Some sources gives this as convoy SJ 6.]

Around 0815GH/22, the ships had cleared the western entrance of the Sunda Strait.

Around 1700GH/22, HMS Electra was detached in position 08°45'S, 103°22'E to return to Batavia.

Around 2200GH/23, in position 05°16'S, 95°03'E, HMAS Hobart parted company with the Orcades which then continued on to Colombo unescorted. HMAS Hobart set course to return to Batavia. (80)

25 Feb 1942
Around 0855GH/25, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Batavia from escort duty. (80)

25 Feb 1942
Around 1500GH/25, HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, MVO, RN), HMAS Perth (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO and Bar, RAN), HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN) departed Batavia for Surabaya where they were to join Dutch Rear-Admiral Doorman's Eastern Striking Force.

HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) was also ordered to sail with these ships but she had not completed fuelling yet as the oiler RFA War Sirdar (5542 GRT, built 1920, (master) Cdr. M.W. Westlake, RNR) had been damaged by a bomb in a Japanese air attack that morning. She was to overtake and join the other ships later but this never materialised. (84)

26 Feb 1942

Operations by the Western Striking Force during 26/27 February 1942.

The object of the operations was to intercept and engage a reported Japanese invasion force.

Around 2115GH(-7.5)/26, the Western Striking Force, made up of the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Danae (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN), HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H. Lambton, RN) and HMS Tenedos (Lt. R. Dyer, RN) departed Tandjong Priok (Batavia), in accordance with the Commodore Commanding China Force's signal timed 1231Z/26, to intercept and engage, by night, an enemy force consisting of three cruisers, four destroyers and thirty transports which had been reported near Banka Island proceeding southwards. The Western Striking Force therefore proceeded northwards between Arnemuiden Beacon and North Watcher Island to position 04°45'S, 106°41'E where the Force turned to the southward at 0300GH/27 in accordance with the Commodore Commanding China Force's signal timed 1529Z/26.

There was no sign of the enemy during the passage north when, except for a few heavy rain squalls, the visibility was very good. At 0345GH/27, Commodore Commanding China Force's signal timed 1946Z/26 was received, stating that D/F bearings indicated that many Japanese units were in position 04°00'S, 106°30'E. This was 55 nautical miles north of the Western Striking Force's current position. It was decided to continue on southwards as it was not possible to engage the enemy before dawn and also to await the results of the dawn air reconnaissance. Two enemy reconnaissance aircraft were sighted at 0730GH/27. They commenced to shadow. This was reported to the Commodore Commanding China Force.

By 0800GH/27, the Force had reached the latitude of Babi Island, and as no further information had been received, it again turned north until 0900GH/27. Capt. Howden, the Senior Officer, decided that if air reconnaissance reported that the enemy was not overwhelmingly superior he should engage by daylight. If they were superior he would proceed eastwards to join the Eastern Striking Force in the Surabaya area which had been reported to be expected to proceed westwards to Batavia.

At 1000GH/27, the Force was back in the vicinity of Babi Island and in view of the danger of submarine attack Capt. Howden decided it was not wise to remain in the same area for too long, therefore the Force proceeded to the south-east and then northwards towards the South Watcher Island.

The Commodore Commanding China Force stated in his signal timed 0315Z/27 that air reconnaissance had failed to locate any enemy forces south of Banka therefore Capt. Howden decided to return to Batavia informing the Commodore of his intentions.

As the Force was approaching Edam Island around 1200GH/27 enemy aircraft were sighted but they did not attack. Fires were observed on shore so probably they had already expended their bombs.

At 1305GH/27, eight aircraft approached and dropped a large quantity of small calibre bombs. HMAS Hobart sustained some splinter damage and five ratings were wounded.

The Force entered Tandjong Priok around 1420GH/27. (80)

28 Feb 1942

Operations by the Western Striking Force from 28 February 1942 to 5 March 1942.

The initial object of the operations was to intercept and engage a reported Japanese invasion force.

Around 0045GH(-7.5)/28, the Western Striking Force, made up of the made up of the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Danae (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN), HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Tenedos (Lt. R. Dyer, RN) and HrMs Evertsen (Lt.Cdr. W.M. de Vries, RNN) departed Tandjong Priok (Batavia), in accordance with the Commodore Commanding China Force's signal timed 1021Z/27. An enemy landing force made up of thirty transports escorted by four cruisers and three destroyers had been reported at 1022GH/27 in position 04°20'S, 106°28'E. The Western Task Force had been unable so sail earlier due to delays in fuelling caused by Japanese air attacks. The destroyer HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H. Lambton, RN) which had departed earlier for Tjilatjap had been recalled and joined the Western Task Force three miles south of Edam Island.

Capt. Howden, the Senior Officer, decided to proceed direct to the vicinity of the northern entrance to the Sunda Strait and then to sweep northward to engage the enemy which he thought to be en-route to Bantam Bay, the most likely place to land.

The Western Task Force arrived in position 05°48'S, 105°56'E at 0420GH/28. Course was then altered to the northward. Except for intermittent rain squalls the visibility was good. As no enemy had been sighted by 0500GH/28, course was altered to the southward. The passage of Sunda Strait was made at the Force's maximum speed of 24 knots. HrMs Evertsen had been lost out of sight in the darkness. She had not been seen after around 0400GH/28.

At 0650GH/28, when in position 06°04'S, 105°48'E, HMS Scout dropped astern to rescue a men she sighted on a raft. A lot of wreckage was sighted during the passage of the Sunda Straits.

In order to conserve fuel, speed was reduced to 22 knots at 0850GH/28, to 19 knots at 1000GH/28 and 18 knots at 1600GH/28.

At 2340GH/28, a signal was received from HMAS Perth that she had sighted a destroyer, later amended to being a cruiser.

At 2359GH/28, when in position 04°30'S, 101°05'E, the destroyers were detached to proceed ahead to fuel at Padang. The cruisers reduced speed to 15 knots. The destroyers were sent ahead in order to reduce the time the cruisers had to wait for the destroyers to rejoin. During the passage of the Seaflower Channel [between Siberut and Sipura island] the cruisers inceased speed again.

The cruisers arrived in position 260° Pandan Light 10 miles at 1740GH/1 and zigzagged between that position and Nyamuk Light. It had been hoped that the destroyers would be able to leave harbour around 1800 hours but this did not materialise. HMS Tenedos was seen passing Pandan Island at 2120GH/1 and at 2140GH/1 she secured alongside HMAS Hobart to transfer 512 evacuees. She reported that HMS Scout had previously left harbour with another load of evacuees but that she had to return due to contaminated oil fuel tanks.

In view of the long delay which would be entained in waiting for HMS Scout, Capt. Howden decided to proceed ahead with HMS Tenedos via Siberut Strait [to the north of Siberut Island] and then pass through position 00.32'S, 97.10'E at 15 knots towards the position where the RFA tanker Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917) should be. HMS Dragon, HMS Danae and HMS Scout were then to overtake. HMAS Hobart and HMS Tenedos therefore parted company with HMS Dragon and HMS Danae at 2207GH/1 by which time the evacuees had been transferred. HMS Dragon, HMS Danae and HMS Scout were able to proceed at 0530GH/2. They were ordered to rejoin during daylight on 3 March.

At 0150G/3, the Commander-in-Chief Eastern Fleet's signal 1635Z/2 was received by HMAS Hobart but it could not be decyphered owing to area tables for the East Indies Station not being held. Capt. Howden reduced speed to 8 knots to allow HMS Dragon, HMS Danae and HMS Scout to join around dawn and all ships were in company at 0751G/3.

HMS Dragon had been able to decypher the signal and it stated that auxiliary patrol ship HMS Kedah (Cdr.(Retd.) J.L. Sinclair, DSO, RD, RNR) was in trouble and that her speed had been reduced to three knots. Her position was 02°10'S, 90°40'E. HMS Dragon was then detached after transferring her 136 evacuees to HMAS Hobart at 1115G/3. She was to complete with fuel from the Appleleaf who was estimated to be 40 to 50 miles ahead and then to proceed to the assistance of HMS Kedah. HMS Danae and the destroyers were ordered to proceed ahead, made contact with the Appleleaf to inform her of the oil requirements of HMS Dragon.

A 1033FG/4, the Commander-in-Chief Eastern Fleet's signal 0305Z/4 was received instructing Capt. Howden to proceed with all his ships to Colombo if sufficient fuel remained. The Force therefore altered course for Colombo at 1100FG/4 when in position 05°32'N, 86°45'E.

At 1000F/5, when in position 05°47'N, 79°56'E, HMAS Hobart parted company with HMS Danae, HMS Scout and HMS Tenedos, to proceed ahead at 28 knots so as to arrive 2 hours and 20 minutes earlier then the other ships so as to avoid congestion in the harbour. En-route HMAS Hobart ran a full power trial for 40 minutes to see if any defects might have developed due to the recent near misses from bombing. The results of the trial very highly satisfactory.

HMAS Hobart arrived at Colombo at 1333F/5.

HMS Danae, HMS Scout and HMS Tenedos arrived at Colombo around 1730F/5.

Around 1030F/7, HMS Dragon arrived with HMS Kedah in tow. She had fuelled from the Appleleaf during the afternoon of the 3rd and then proceeded towards the reported position of HMS Kedah which she sighted at 0229G/5 and had her in tow around 0730G/5.

(85)

6 Mar 1942

Convoy SU 2.

This convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports / tankers; Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941), British Aviator (British (tanker), 6998 GRT, built 1924), California Standard (Panamanian (tanker), 11246 GRT, built 1929), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Nevasa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913), Querimba (British, 7769 GRT, built 1925), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926) and Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924).

On departure from Colombo the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), sloop HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) and corvette HMS Tulip (Lt.Cdr. A. Wilkinson, RNR).

Around 2000F/8, when in position 00°37'S, 79°02'E, the British Aviator, California Standard and Querimba were detached to proceed independently. Also HMS Shoreham and HMS Tulip were detached to return to Colombo.

Around 1100H/18, in position 31°16'S, 105°04'E, the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and destroyers USS Alden (Lt. E.E. Evans, USN) and USS John D. Ford (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Cooper, USN) joined the convoy as additional escorts.

The convoy arrived at Fremantle in the morning of February 20th.

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The convoy departed Fremantle in the early afternoon of 22 February 1942. It was made up of the same five transports that had arrived at Fremantle on the 20th with the addition of two more transports, these were the USS Gold Star (4871 GRT, built 1920) and Sea Witch (American, 6021 GRT, built 1940).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart, destroyers USS Alden, USS John D. Ford and the minesweepers HMAS Burnie ( T/Lt. T. Christy, RANR(S)) and HMAS Toowoomba (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) P.H. Hirst, RAN).

Around 0430I/24, when in position 35°34'S, 118°00'E, the Aronda was detached to Albany.

Around 2030I/24 the convoy was dispersed in position 35°30'S, 121°26'E. (86)

26 Mar 1942
Around 0800I/26, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived in Gage Roads off Fremantle. She entered harbour early in the afternoon. (87)

27 Mar 1942
Around 1745I/27, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Fremantle escorting the troopship Monterey (American, 18017 GRT, built 1932) to Melbourne via Adelaide. (87)

31 Mar 1942
Around 1045IK/31, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and the troopship Monterey (American, 18017 GRT, built 1932) arrived at Adelaide from Fremantle.

They departed for Melbourne around 1530IK/31.

Around 1630K/1, HMAS Hobart parted company with the Monterey.

HMAS Hobart arrived off Williamstown around 1900K/1.

She berthed at Williamstown around 0830K/2. (88)

3 Apr 1942
Around 0900K/3, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) departed Williamstown for Sydney. (89)

4 Apr 1942
Around 1045K/4, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Sydney from Williamstown. (89)

6 Apr 1942
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) is taken in hand for repairs / short refit at Sydney. (89)

9 Apr 1942
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) is docked at the Morts Dock Shipyard at Woolwich, Sydney. (89)

2 May 1942
Around 1545K/2, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Hervey Bay.

Around 2100K/2, HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, CB, RN), HMAS Hobart and USS Whipple (Lt.Cdr. E.S. Karpe, USN) departed Hervey Bay to make rendezvous with Task Force 11 which was effected around 0805KL/4. USS Whipple did not join Task Force 11 but was released and proceeded to Port Vila, New Hebrides. (89)

4 May 1942

Battle of the Coral Sea

Allies Forces in the area on 4 May 1942.

The Allied forces in the area were made up of the following units;
Task Force 11; aircraft carrier USS Lexington (Capt. F.C. Sherman, USN, flying the flag of R.Adm. A.W. Fitch, USN), heavy cruisers USS New Orleans (Capt. H.H. Good, USN), USS Minneapolis (Capt. F.J. Lowry, USN, flying the flag of R.Adm. T.C. Kinkaid) and the destroyers USS Phelps (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Beck, USN, with Capt. A.R. Early, USN, commanding DesRon 1 on board), USS Farragut (Cdr. G.P. Hunter, USN), USS Dewey (Lt.Cdr. C.F. Chillingsworth, Jr., USN), USS Worden (Lt.Cdr. W.G. Pogue, USN), USS Monaghan (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Burford, USN), Aylwin (T/Cdr. R.H. Rodgers, USN) and the tanker USS Tippecanoe (Cdr. A. MacOndray, Jr., USN).

Task Force 17; aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (Capt. E. Buckmaster, USN, flying the flag of R.Adm. F.J. Fletcher, USN), heavy cruisers USS Chester (Capt. T.M. Shock, USN), USS Portland (Capt. B. Perleman, USN), Astoria (Capt. F.W. Scanland, USN), and the destroyers USS Morris (T/Cdr. H.B. Jarrett, USN, with T/Capt. G.C. Hoover, USN, commanding DesRon 2 on board), USS Sims (Lt.Cdr. W.M. Hyman, USN), USS Anderson (Lt.Cdr. J.K.B. Ginder, USN), USS Hammann (Cdr. A.E. True, USN), USS Russell (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Hartwig, USN), USS Walke ( Lt.Cdr. T.E. Fraser, USN) and the tanker USS Neosho (T/Capt. J.S. Phillips, USN). The heavy cruiser USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN) and the destroyer USS Perkins (Lt.Cdr. W.C. Ford, USN) were also temporary attached to Task Force 17, these two ships were units of Task Force 44.

Early on the 4th (0805KL/4), Two more units of Task Force 44, the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, CB, RN) and Australian light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) had made rendezvous with Task Force 11.

Prelude up to 4 May 1942.

Task Force 11 and Task Force 17 had met earlier, around 0615LM(-11.5) on 1 May 1942 in position 16°16'S, 162°20'E. Task Force 17 had just spent seven days of upkeep and provisioning at Tonga.

Task Force 11 was then ordered to join the heavy cruiser USS Chicago, destroyer USS Perkins and tanker USS Tippecanoe in position 16°00'S, 161°45'E and with those ships rejoin Task Force 17 the next morning which they did.

It was desirable to take as much fuel out of USS Tippecanoe as possible before she was to return to Port Vila, Efate in accordance with orders from the Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet and to hold as much fuel as possible in USS Neosho as a reserve.

Intelligence reports meanwhile indicated that the long awaited Japanese attack on Port Moresby, New Guinea, might start very soon. Task Force 17 completed fuelling on May 2, but Task Force 11 did not expected to complete fuelling until noon on the 4th. Rear-Admiral Fletcher therefore ordered Rear-Admiral Fitch to fuel his destroyers, if practicable, on northwesterly course at night and rejoin Task Force 17 at daylight May 4 in position 15°00'S, 157°00'E. This was the same rendezvous as had been arranged with Rear-Admiral Crace, RN, which was to join with the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and light cruiser HMAS Hobart.

At 1545LM/2, an air scout from USS Yorktown sighted an enemy submarine on the surface in position 16°04'S, 162°18'E, just 32 miles north of the Task Forces at that moment. The submarine dived but surfaced shortly afterwards as it was again sighted and depth charges by three planes sent out to locate it. Two destroyers were then ordered to search the area but no contact was made. It was thought possible that the Task Forces might have been reported by the enemy. [The enemy submarine in question was the Japanese I-21 (offsite link) en-route from Rabaul to Noumea. She reported the attack but did NOT report that the attacking aircraft were CARRIER BASED aircraft, so the Japanese were still unaware of the American carriers that were operating in the Coral Sea.]

Task Force 17 with USS Neosho continued to the northwestward during the night and topped off destroyers from Neosho on the third. It was intended to top off other ships requiring it after effecting rendezvous with Rear-Admirals Fitch and Crace the next morning. The former had been directed to sent USS Tippecanoe to Efate with a destroyer escort, this he did after his entire force had topped off with fuel. The destroyer USS Worden was ordered to escort the tanker to Efate.

Task Force 17 consistently kept in readiness for action on short notice by topping off destroyers from the tanker, cruiser and the carrier whenever they could receive as mich as 500 barrels of fuel. This condition of readiness paid dividends on the night of May 3 and 6.

At 1900LM/3, Rear-Admiral Fletcher received intelligence reports from the Commander Southwest Pacific Forces stating that five or six enemy vessels had been sighted at 1700 hours on 2 May, off the southern end of Santa Isabel Island possibly heading to Tulagi and that two transports were unloading into barges at Tulagi at an unspecified time. This was just the kind of report he was waiting for. It was regrettable that Task Force 11 was not available yet but it was fortunate that Task Force 17, fully fuelled, was able to stike at daylight on the 4th. USS Neosho, escorted by USS Russell was ordered to proceed to position 15°00'S, 157°00'E to meet Rear-Admirals Fitch and Crace at 0800 hours on 4 May and the combined force was then to proceed eastwards and join Task Force 17 in position 15°00'S, 160°00'E at daylight on 5 May.

Japanese landings at Tulagi on 3 May 1942 and the American response on 4 May 1942.

Tulagi had been evacuated by the Australians based there on 2 May 1942 and the Japanese landed there the following day. The Japanese force that had arrived there and had landed troops and supplies was made up of the minelayer Okinoshima, auxiliary minelayer Koei Maru, destroyers Kikuzuki, Yuzuki, auxiliary submarine chasers Toshi Maru No.3 and Tama Maru No.8, auxiliary minesweepers Wa-1, Wa-2, Hagoromo Maru, Noshiro Maru No.2 and Tama Maru. The transport Azumasan Maru (7623 GRT, built 1933) is also part of the force. (All links are offsite links).

At 2030LM/3, Task Force 17, currently made up of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, heavy cruisers USS Chicago, USS Chester, USS Portland, USS Astoria and the destroyers USS Perkins, USS Sims, USS Anderson, USS Hammann, USS Walke and USS Morris changed course to the north and increased speed to 24 knots and two hours later to 27 knots. At 0701LM/4, USS Yorktown launched a six plane combat air patrol and the first attack group. Combat air patrol was maintained throughout the day and cruisers maintained inner air patrol. The surface force maneuvered south of Guadacanal Island. Three air attacks were made on the Japanese at Tulagi. No enemy ships or aircraft were sighted from the ships of Task Force 17. The last attack group landed back on USS Yorktown at 1702LM/4.

One torpedo plane and two fighters failed to return due to being lost and running out of gasoline. The fighter pilots were recovered from Guadalcanal Island by USS Hammann that same evening. Six scout bombers and two torpedo planes were slightly damaged. USS Perkins was also detached to search for the missing torpedo plane but found no trace of it.

Enemy losses were reported by returning aircraft as two destroyers, one cargo ship and four gunboats sunk. One light cruiser beached and sunk, one destroyer, one heavy cruiser or aircraft tender severely damaged. One cargo ship damaged. Various small craft destroyed. Five single float planes shot down. [Actual damage inflicted on the enemy was as follows; During the first strike the destroyer Kikuzuki was sunk. During the second strike the auxiliary minesweepers Wa-1, Wa-2 were sunk. The Okinoshima , escorted by the Yuzuki were attacked but managed to dodge all torpedoes by radical maneuvering. She sustained some minor damage though, from near misses and strafing. Also the Yuzuki, Azumasan Maru, Koei Maru were damaged as was the Tama Maru which sank two days later as a result of the damage. Also five float planes were destroyed.]

Events between the action of Tulagi and the action of Misima.

During the night of May 4 - 5, Task Force 17, less USS Perkins and USS Hammann, proceeded southeast and south at 23 knots to rendezvous as previously arranged. The two detached destroyers rejoined Task Force 17 in the morning.

At 0825LM/5, USS Yorktown launched four fighters to investigate a radar contact bearing 252°, distance 30 miles. Interception was completed 15 minutes later and an enemy patrol plance was shot down. At this time the patrol plane was fifteen miles from USS Lexington and twenty-seven miles from USS Yorktown, so it might have been trailing Task Force 11 and not Task Force 17. Shortly before rejoining USS Hammann sighted the patrol plane. At 0845LM/5 Task Force 17 made rendezvous with Task Force 11 and HMAS Australia and HMAS Hobart.

Task Force 17 fuelled from USS Neosho on 5 and 6 May 1942. Task Force 11 and Task Force 44 now joined Task Force 17.

The heavy cruisers USS Minneapolis, USS Astoria, USS Portland, USS New Orleans, USS Chester and five of the destroyers were assigned as ' Attack Group ' in case enemy surface ships were to be attacked during a surface action.

HMAS Australia, USS Chicago, HMAS Hobart and two destroyers were assigned as ' Support Group '.

The carriers were assigned four destroyers as close escort.

The remaining two destroyers were assigned to escort the tankers, though one destroyer and one tanker were at Efate.

Intelligence reports were received on a large amount of various types of enemy vessels in the Salomon Sea between New Guinea, New Britain and the Solomon Islands. It was also reported that three enemy carriers were in the area.

It was decided to be in attack position at daylight on 7 May. Tanker USS Neosho was detached to the southwards escorted by USS Sims.

Action of Misima Island, 7 May 1942.

The morning air search was planned to locate the most suitable objective for attack and to obtain positive or negative information regarding enemy carriers of whose movements no information had been received since the previous afternoon. It was quite possible that three enemy carriers might be within striking distane. Unfortunately the search to the east-north-eastward was not completed due to bad weather. A scout searching to the north-westward reported two carriers and two cruisers north of Masima Island. After launching the attack groups, the scouts were recovered and it was learned that an error had been made in using the contact pad and that the pilot had not sighted any carriers. About the time this error was discovered, Army aircraft reported an enemy carrier group close to Misimi and the attack groups were diverted and made contact. The carrier and a light cruiser were claimed sunk in position 10°29'S, 152°53'E. The large number of torpedo and bomb gits and the rapidity of her sinking (within five minutes) must have resulted in the loss of practically all personnel and aircraft aboard the carrier. The light cruiser was reported to sink so quickly that there must have been great loss of life in her also. The attack groups returned to USS Yorktown and USS Lexington around 1338LM/7.

The Japanese carrier sunk was the Shoho, which had been part of the cover force for the Port Moresby landing group. The cover force had been made up of the already mentioned Shoho, the heavy cruisers Aoba, Furutaka, Kako, Kinugasa and the destroyer Sazanami.

The main assault force for the Port Moresby landings was made up of the light cruiser Yubari, minelayer Tsugaru, destroyers Oite, Asanagi, Mutsuki, Mochitsuki, Yayoi, minesweeper W-20, auxiliary minesweepers Hagoromo Maru, Noshiro Maru No.2 and Fumi Maru No.2, the fleet tanker Hoyo Maru (8692 GRT, built 1936) and ten transports with troops and supplies, these were the naval transport Shoka Maru (4467 GRT, built 1935), Mogamigawa Maru (7509 GRT, built 1934), Goyo Maru (8469 GRT, built 1939), Akibasan Maru (4670 GRT, built 1924), Chowa Maru (2719 GRT, built 1940) and the army transports Matsue Maru (7061 GRT, built 1921), Taifuku Maru (3520 GRT, built 1939), Mito Maru (7061 GRT, built 1921), China Maru (5870 GRT, built 1920) and Hibi Maru (5873 GRT, built 1921).

Thoughts were given to launching another strike or search but it was unlikely that another suitable objective was to be found near the location of the attack of this morning. The location of the Japanese 5th Carrier Division was still unknown but it was thought possible that these were within striking distance. Radar contacts and radio interceptions showed that our position was known to the enemy. One four engined enemy patrol bomber had been shot down by fighters from USS Yorktown.

It was decided to head westwards during the night to be in position if the enemy would pass through the Jomard Passage by morning heading for Port Moresby.

At 1659LM/7 an enemy seaplane was sighed but fighters failed to intercept.

At 1747L/7 (clocks had been set to zone -11 at 1700 hours), radar showed a group of planes to the south-eastward on a westerly course. Fighters were sent to intercept and between fifteen and twenty enemy planes were claimed to have been shot down. American losses were three fighters. When American aircraft were landing after dark, three enemy aircraft circled showing light and they made no sign of hostility probably having mistaken our forces for their own. It was realized that the enemy carriers must be in the area for such a mistake to happen. One of these enemy aircraft was shot down by AA gunfire.

Loss of USS Neosho and USS Sims.

While all of the above was going on, at 1051LM/7, a signal, repeated several times, was reveived from USS Neosho that she was being bombed by three enemy aircraft in position 16°50'S, 159°08'E. Later at 1600LM/7, USS Neosho reported that she was sinking in position 16°38'S, 158°28'E.

A subsequent signal from the Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet indicated that USS Sims had also been sunk. Unfortunately, nothing was received as to the type of aircraft which attacked them. It would have been extremely valuable information if it had been reported that they were carrier planes. The destroyer USS Monaghan was detached during the night of May 7-8 to search the next morning for survivors. While well clear of the Fleet, she was also to sent radio signals to the Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet and others. This left seven destroyers and five cruisers with the two carriers.

According to survivors of the USS Sims around 0910LM/7, a lone Japanese twin engined bomber had dropped a single bomb which hit the water rather close to port abreast the forward guns. On man at No.2 gun mount was injured by a fragment but no furher damage was done. The plane then kept shadowing USS Sims and USS Neosho. Weather was clear and the sea smooth.

USS Sims had numerous radar contacts and about 0930LM/7, sixteen high level bombers came in to attack USS Sims and USS Neosho. They dropped bombs but missed the Sims wide, Neosho reported being near missed, but neither ship was damaged.

Survivors from the USS Sims reported that the ships 5" DP gunfire apparently disturbed them with the above result. During these fist two actions 328 rounds of 5" ammunition was expended.

The horizontal bombers disappeared from sight but USS Sims continued to pick up planes on her SC radar. None were sighted, however, until twenty-four dive bombers, appeared around 1130LM/7 [USS Neosho gives the time as 1201/7, but it might be she kept another time zone]. As soon as these aircraft appeared, USS Sims went to flank speed and turned left to take position on the port quarter of the tanker. Fire was opened with the 5" guns in director control when the planes came within range. The attacks were directed promarily at the tanker and came in from various bearings astern in three waves. The planes approached at about 15000 feet and dove close to the ship in shallow dives of about 30°. Bombs were released quite close aboard. Survivors stated that some dive-bombers were destroyed by the blast of their own bombs. USS Sims obtained one direct hit on one of the dive bombers and the plane exploded in the air. The 20mm AA guns fired continuously at the dive bombers as they passed overhead and tracers were seen to pass through the planes, but the projectiles failed to burst and destroy the aircraft. One of the forward 20mm guns jammed early in the action and was not cleared during the remainder of the engagement.

Four aircraft broke off from one wave of Neosho attackers and directed their attack at USS Sims, diving on their succession from astern. All of these planes were single motored, had fixed landing gear, and had a silhoutte similar to that of Japanese dive bombers. The first released a bomb wihch landed in the water about amidships to port. The second released a bomb which landed on no.2 torpedo mount and exploded in the forward engine room. The third released a bomb which apparently hit the after upper deck house and went down through diagonally forward, exploding in the after engine room. The fourth plane is believed to have made a direct hit on No.4 gun but this can not be definitely established.

Numbers three and four gun mounts and the after 20mm guns were put out of commission by the bomb hits, but the forward mounts in local control and one 20mm gun forward continued firing at the planes untill all of them were out of range. The total of rounds fired by the Sims cannot be ascertained, but one survivor states that over 200 rounds were fired from number two mount alone. During this last attack, the paint on the barrel of number one mount blistered and caught fire. The crew, however, continued to fire with the complete length of the barrel in flames. Several planes were brought down by gun fire during this attack. It is believed that the bombs dropped were of about 500 pounds size. USS Sims broke in two and sank around noon.

Though there are only thirteen survivors of the Sims, these men are from widely separated battle stations and it was possible to reconstruct a fairly accurate account of her last moments. The survivors of the USS Sims then made for the USS Neosho was had been abandoned but was still afloat.

USS Neosho meanwhile had also been dive bombed. The majority of the dive bombers had been forced to released their bombs early due to effective AA gunfire which claimed to have shot down three of the attackers. One of these planes made a suicidal run into the ship hitting no.4 gun enclosure. Non the less the ship was hit by about five bombs, three near the bridge and two aft. It is also believed that at least two of the ships boilers exploded.

The Commanding Officer gave order to ' prepare to abandon ship ' but some must have misunderstood the order or only heard ' abandon ship ' some personnel in some part of the ship began to do so. Neosho's motor whale boat and the motor whale boat from the Sims were then dispatched to round these up. They picked up men and put them on raft so they could continue their search for more men in the water. After the boats were then full they returned to the ship. It was however to close near sunset to sent the boats out again to collect the rafts as it was also feared that the Neosho could sink at any moment due to her listing badly. The liferafts then drifted away with their occupants.

A muster roll was held and with the known casualties it was established that 4 officers and 154 men were missing. Accounted for were 16 officers and 94 men. The survivors on Neosho had been joined by only 15 survivors from the Sims. To righten the ship from it's 30° list, three valves in starboard wing tanks were opened, three other valves could not be opened due to them being damaged. Power could however not be restored.

During the night of 7/8 May, two surivivors (wounded), one from the Neosho and one from the Sims died. They were buried at sea in the morning of the 8th.

On the 9th, three more men (all from the Neosho), were buried at sea.

Shortly after noon on the 10th, an Australian Hudson aircraft was sighted and information was passed. Also on this day, three more men (all from the Neosho), were buried at sea.

Shortly before noon on the 11th, a Calatina aircraft was sighted and 1.5 hours later, the destroyer USS Henley (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN) arrived on the scene. Just as well as by now the Neosho would not have held out much longer. The survivors were then taken on board the destroyer, a total of 123 officers and men. At 1522L/11, USS Neosho slid underneath the waves with her colors flying after having been scuttled by a torpedo and gunfire from the Henley. Position was 15°35'S, 155°36'E.

USS Henley then set course for Brisbane arriving there on the 14th. On the 12th an ex Sims survivor had died from his wounds as did an ex Neosho survivor on the 13th. Both were buried at sea on the 13th.

On 16 May 1942, the destroyer USS Helm (Lt.Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN), which had also been searching in the area picked up four survivors from a life raft. One of these however died shortly afterwards. These survivors were also taken to Brisbane where the Helm arrived on 18 May 1942.

As a result of the confusion on board USS Neosho the Commanding Officer suggested to change the order ' prepare to abandon ship ' Navy wide to ' fall in at boats and raft stations ' and to only use the words ' abandon ship ' if this was actually to be done.

Carrier battle, 8 May 1942.

As shore based aircraft had not detected the two Japanese carriers and our intelligence was not sure of their position either with reporting that they could be either east or west of Task Force 17, a 360° degree search was launched at dawn. At 0828L/8, a scout from USS Lexington reported two carriers, four heavy cruiser and three destroyers. This was amplified seven minutes later as two carriers, four heavy cruisers and many destroyers bearing 028°, 175 miles from our own force (enemy approximate position would then be 11°51'S, 156°04'E). An intercepted radio transmission showed that Task Force 17 had been sighted by the enemy at 0822L/8.

The Japanese carrier force was made up of the aircraft carriers Zuikaku, Shokaku, heavy cruisers Myoko, Haguro and the destroyers Ushio, Akebono, Airake, Yugure, Shiratsuyu and Shigure.

Around 0900LM/8, attack groups were launched. Cruisers and destroyers were around the carriers in a circular screen. During the morning two radar contact resulted in no interception. One visual contact resulted in the destruction of a four engine enemy bomber / scout. At 1055L/8, radar indicated a large group of enemy aircraft bearing 020°, range 68 miles. Fighters were sent to intercept them.

American aircraft commenced to attack the enemy carriers out twenty minutes earlier then the Japanese aicraft commenced their attack on Task Force 17. The attack group from Yorktown arrived ahead of the attack group from Lexington although the almost attacked around the same time. The Yorktown bombers and torpedo planes made a coordinated attack on the northernmost enemy carrier. They reported six 1000 pound bomb hits and three, possibly four torpedo hits. When leaving they reported the enemy carrier ablaze forward and obviously severely damaged. The Lexington group reported three bomb and five torpedo hits on an enemy carrier of the Shokaku-class. When last seen she was on fire, settling and turning in a circle. It was thought that both enemy carriers had been severely damaged. In fact both air groups had attacked the same carrier.

The Japanese attack on Task Force 17 started around 1115L/8. USS Yorktown was hit by one bomb and suffered many near misses. USS Lexington suffered at least two torpedo and two bomb hits besides many near misses by both torpedoes and bombs. Both ships remained operational immediately following these attacks and damage they had sustained. There were troubles with the elevators in USS Lexington though.

Following the Japanese air attacks and the return of our aircraft an informal estimate of the situation was made. Consideration was given to making another attack or sending in the Attack Group for a surface attack. A returning Lexington pilot had reported that one enemy carrier was undamaged.

At 1422L/8, a report was received that an additional enemy carrier may have joined the enemy force. Three boilers in USS Yorktown which had been out of commission, were placed in use again and the ship was capable of 30 knots. Damage had reduced the speed of USS Lexington to 24 knots.

Radio interceptions showed that some aircraft of the Shokaku had landed on Zuikaku, this must mean that the Shokaku was damaged and that the aircraft were unable to land on her. The idea of making another attack was abandoned when it became apparent that USS Yorktown had only eight fighters, twelve bombers and eight torpedo planes serviceable. The idea of making a surface attack was also abandoned due to the fact that they then would not be with the carriers to provide protection against enemy air attack. Course was therefore set to the southward. It was intended to transfer operational aircraft from the Lexington to the Yorktown and then sent the Lexington to Pearl Harbour to effect repairs, however it was not to be.

At 1445L/8, USS Lexington reported that she had suffered a serious explosion and seven minutes later it was reported that the fires could not be controlled. The explosion was caused by leaking gasoline and the forming of fumes which eventually ignited. At 1610L/8, USS Lexington reported that they were abandoning lower deck spaces and at 1657L/8 they reported that all power had been lost. At 1710L/8, they started abandoning ship. Around 1737L/8, a big explosion ripped through the ship, possibly caused by ammunition exploding.

Rear-Admiral Kinkaid was then tasked to take charge of the rescue operations with USS Minneapolis, USS New Orleans, USS Phelps, USS Anderson, USS Hammann and USS Morris. They rescued over 2700 officers and men. USS Lexington was beyond salvage and was eventually scuttled by torpedoes from USS Phelps in position 15°05'S, 155°16'E. Five torpedoes were fired of which at least three hit.

Operations by Task Force 17.3 / Task Force 44.

At daylight on the 7th (0645LM/7), Rear-Admiral Crace, Royal Navy, had been detached with the ' Support Force ' made up of HMAS Australia, USS Chicago, HMAS Hobart, USS Perkins and USS Walke and reinforced with the destroyer USS Farragut. They were to proceed to the Jomard passage to destroyer enemy transports and light cruisers heading towards there. The group was known as Task Force 17.3.

Around 1130LM/7, an enemy shadowing aircraft was sighted by this group.

At 1506LM/7, Task Force 17.3 was attacked by eleven enemy torpedo bombers. No hits were obtained and five of the attackers were shot down. One torpedo passed close down the Port side of HMAS Hobart.

At 1513LM/7, they were attacked by nineteen high level bombers. Bombs fell close to HMAS Australia but no hits were obtained.

At 1519LM/7, three high level bombers attacked but they did no damage. It was later found out that this had been Allied aircraft which had attacked in error.

At 1055LM/8, a single shadowing aircraft was sighted.

In the afternoon of the 18th, HMAS Hobart fuelled USS Perkins.

At 2013LM/8, HMAS Hobart and USS Walke were detached to proceed to the Grafton Passage and then onwards to Australia.

At 1235LM/9, HMAS Hobart and USS Walke entered the Grafton Passage.

At 0045KL/10, HMAS Hobart and USS Walke parted company with each other. HMAS Hobart set course for Brisbane while USS Walke proceeded to Townsville.

Meanwhile USS Farragut fuelled from HMAS Australia in the morning of the 8th.

At 1947LM/9, a signal was received that Task Force 17.3 was released from operations with Task Force 17 and reverted to being Task Force 44 under operational command of ComSoWesPacFor.

Around 0735LM/10, Task Force 44 set course for the Grafton Passage which they entered around 1745LM/10.

Task Force 44 arrived in Cid Harbour around 1145KL/11 where they fuelled. The cruisers from the Australian Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Kurumba (3798 GRT, built 1916), and the destroyers from the cruisers. Around 1900KL/11, USS Chicago and USS Perkins departed for Sydney where they arrived in the morning of the 14th. HMAS Australia and USS Farragut proceeded to Brisbane where they arrived in the afternoon of the 13th.

11 May 1942
Around 1600L/11, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) arrived at Brisbane from operations. (90)

2 Jun 1942
HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, CB, RN), Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) conducted close range AA exercises in Moreton Bay. (91)

3 Jun 1942
Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, CB, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN), Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and the destroyers USS Henley (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN, with Cdr. L.B. Austin, USN, commanding Destroyer Division 7 on board), USS Helm (Lt.Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) and USS Perkins (Lt.Cdr. W.C. Ford, USN) conducted exercises off Brisbane. (92)

4 Jun 1942
During 4/5 June 1942, Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Canberra (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, CB, RN), HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN), Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and the destroyers USS Henley (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN, with Cdr. L.B. Austin, USN, commanding Destroyer Division 7 on board), USS Bagley (Lt.Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Helm (Lt.Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) and USS Perkins (Lt.Cdr. W.C. Ford, USN) conducted exercises off Brisbane.

All ships returned to Brisbane / Moreton Bay on completion of the exercises on the 5th, except for HMAS Australia and USS Helm which had been detached P.M. on the 4th to proceed to Sydney. (92)

13 Jun 1942
Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN, hoisted his flag in HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN).

Later this day Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, CB, RN, hauled down his flag on board HMAS Canberra (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN). (91)

14 Jun 1942
Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN, transferred his flag from HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) to HMAS Canberra (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN). (93)

23 Jun 1942
Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Henley (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN, with Cdr. L.B. Austin, USN, commanding Destroyer Division 7 on board), USS Bagley (Lt.Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN) departed Brisbane for an offensive sweep in the Coral Sea. (93)

28 Jun 1942
Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Henley (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN, with Cdr. L.B. Austin, USN, commanding Destroyer Division 7 on board), USS Bagley (Lt.Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN) arrived at Noumea from operations. No contact with the Japanese had been made though. (93)

29 Jun 1942
Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Henley (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN, with Cdr. L.B. Austin, USN, commanding Destroyer Division 7 on board), USS Bagley (Lt.Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN) departed Noumea to return to Brisbane. (93)

1 Jul 1942
Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Henley (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN, with Cdr. L.B. Austin, USN, commanding Destroyer Division 7 on board), USS Bagley (Lt.Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN) arrived at Brisbane / Moreton Bay from Noumea. (91)

7 Jul 1942
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) conducted exercises with RAAF aircraft in Moreton Bay. (94)

8 Jul 1942
Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Henley (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN, with Cdr. L.B. Austin, USN, commanding Destroyer Division 7 on board), USS Bagley (Lt.Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN) conducted exercises off Brisbane. (95)

14 Jul 1942
Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Ralph Talbot (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN) departed Brisbane for Wellington, New Zealand. (91)

19 Jul 1942
Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Ralph Talbot (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN) arrived at Wellington from Brisbane. (96)

22 Jul 1942
A convoy for the upcoming landings at Guadacanal departed Wellington, New Zealand for Fiji.

The convoy, designated Task Force 62, was made up of two units;
Task Group 62.1 was the actual convoy made up of the Naval Transports; USS McCawley (AP 10) (8156 GRT, built 1928) (Capt. C.P. McFeathers, USN), USS Barnett (AP 11) (8153 GRT, built 1928) (Capt. H.E. Thornhill, USN), USS Heywood (AP 12) (8424 GRT, built 1919) (Capt. H.B. Knowles, USN), USS George F. Elliott (AP 13) (8424 GRT, built 1918) (Capt. W.O. Bailey, USN), USS Fuller (AP 14) (8424 GRT, built 1919) (Capt. P.S. Theiss, USN), USS Neville (AP 16) (8424 GRT, built 1918) (Capt. C.A. Bailey, USN), USS Hunter Liggett (AP 27) (13712 GRT, built 1922) (Cdr. L.W. Perkins, USCG) and USS American Legion (AP 35) (13737 GRT, built 1921) (Cdr. T.D. Warner, USN) and the Naval Cargo Ships; USS Bellatrix (AK 20) (8280 GRT, built 1942) (Cdr. W.F. Dietrich, USN), USS Fomalhaut (AK 22) (5028 GRT, built 1942) (Cdr. J.D. Alvis, USN), USS Alchiba (AK 23) (6198 GRT, built 1939) (Cdr. J.S. Freeman, USN) and USS Libra (AK 53) (6155 GRT, built 1941) (Cdr. W.B. Fletcher, Jr., USN).

The convoy was escorted by Task Group 62.2, which was made up the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Blue (Cdr. H.N. Williams, USN), USS Mugford (Lt.Cdr. E.W. Young, USN), USS Ralph Talbot (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN), USS Henley (Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN).

Around 1400M/23, the destroyers USS Bagley (Lt.Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Helm (Lt.Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) joined coming from Auckland.

Around 1330M/26, rendezvous was made with three US Task Forces. USS Salt Lake City parted company to join Task Force 11.

Task Force 62 was joined by several more Naval Transports / Naval Cargo Ships which were; USS President Jackson (AP 37) (9255 GRT, built 1940) (T/Capt. C.W. Weitzel, USN), USS President Adams (AP 38) (9255 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. F.H. Dean, USN), USS President Hayes (AP 39) (9255 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. F.W. Benson, USN), USS Crescent City (AP 40) (7987 GRT, built 1940) (Capt. I.N. Kiland, USN) and USS Alhena (AK 26) (7101 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. C.B. Hunt, USN).

Also a fire support group joined, it was made up of the heavy cruisers USS Astoria ( Capt. W.G. Greenman, USN), USS Quincy ( Capt. S.N. Moore, USN), USS Vincennes (Capt. F.L. Riefkohl, USN), AA cruiser USS San Juan (Capt. J.E. Maher, USN) and the destroyers USS Dewey (Lt.Cdr. C.F. Chillingsworth, Jr., USN), USS Hull ( Lt.Cdr. R.F. Stout, USN), USS Gridley (Lt.Cdr. F.R. Stickney, Jr., USN), USS Ellet (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gardner, USN), USS Wilson (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Price, USN) and USS Buchanan (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Wilson, USN).

Also joining were the high speed transports (former destroyers) USS Colhoun (T/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Madden, USN), USS Gregory (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Bauer, USN), USS Little (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Lofberg, Jr., USN) and USS McKean (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Shinners, USN) as the high speed minesweepers (also former destroyers) USS Southard (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Cochran, USN), USS Hopkins (Lt.Cdr. B. Coe, USN), USS Zane (T/Lt.Cdr. P.L. Wirtz, USN) and USS Trever (Lt.Cdr. D.M. Agnew, USN).

The convoy arrived at Fiji (off Koro Island) on 28 July 1942. There landing exercises were carried out on 29 and 30 July.

31 Jul 1942
Late in the afternoon of 31 July 1942, the Amphibious Force under Rear-Admiral R.K. Turner, USN (in the transport USS McCawley) departed Fiji for Operation Watchtower, the landings on Guadalcanal.

The Amphibious Force was made up of the following units;

Task Group 62.1 (Transport Group X-Ray) made up of the Naval Transports / Naval Cargo Ships;

Task Group 62.1.1;
USS Fuller (AP 14) (8424 GRT, built 1919) (Capt. P.S. Theiss, USN), USS American Legion (AP 35) (13737 GRT, built 1921) (Cdr. T.D. Warner, USN) and USS Bellatrix (AK 20) (8280 GRT, built 1942) (Cdr. W.F. Dietrich, USN).

Task Group 62.1.2;
USS McCawley (AP 10) (8156 GRT, built 1928) (Capt. C.P. McFeathers, USN), USS Barnett (AP 11) (8153 GRT, built 1928) (Capt. H.E. Thornhill, USN), USS George F. Elliott (AP 13) (8424 GRT, built 1918) (Capt. W.O. Bailey, USN) and USS Libra (AK 53) (6155 GRT, built 1941) (Cdr. W.B. Fletcher, Jr., USN).

Task Group 62.1.3;
USS Hunter Liggett (AP 27) (13712 GRT, built 1922) (Cdr. L.W. Perkins, USCG), USS Fomalhaut (AK 22) (5028 GRT, built 1942) (Cdr. J.D. Alvis, USN), USS Alchiba (AK 23) (6198 GRT, built 1939) (Cdr. J.S. Freeman, USN) and USS Betelgeuse (AK 28) (6198 GRT, built 1939) (T/Capt. H.D. Power, USN) (joined at sea on 3 August 1942).

Task Group 62.1.4;
USS President Adams (AP 38) (9255 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. F.H. Dean, USN), USS President Hayes (AP 39) (9255 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. F.W. Benson, USN), USS Crescent City (AP 40) (7987 GRT, built 1940) (Capt. I.N. Kiland, USN) and USS Alhena (AK 26) (7101 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. C.B. Hunt, USN).

Task Group 62.2 (Transport Group Yoke) made up of the Naval Transports and High Speed Transports.

Task Group 62.2.1;
USS Zeilin (AP 9) (14124 GRT, built 1921) (Capt. P. Buchanan, USN) (joined at sea on 3 August 1942), USS Heywood (AP 12) (8424 GRT, built 1919) (Capt. H.B. Knowles, USN), USS Neville (AP 16) (8424 GRT, built 1918) (Capt. C.A. Bailey, USN) and USS President Jackson (AP 37) (9255 GRT, built 1940) (T/Capt. C.W. Weitzel, USN).

Task Group 62.2.2;
USS Colhoun (T/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Madden, USN), USS Gregory (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Bauer, USN), USS Little (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Lofberg, Jr., USN) and USS McKean (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Shinners, USN).

Task Group 62.3 was the Fire Support Group, made up of the heavy cruisers USS Astoria ( Capt. W.G. Greenman, USN), USS Quincy ( Capt. S.N. Moore, USN), USS Vincennes (Capt. F.L. Riefkohl, USN) and the destroyers USS Dewey (T/Cdr. C.F. Chillingsworth, Jr., USN), USS Hull (T/Cdr. R.F. Stout, USN), USS Ellet T/Cdr. F.H. Gardner, USN) and USS Wilson (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Price, USN).

Task Group 62.4 was also a Fire Support Group, made up of the AA cruiser USS San Juan (Capt. J.E. Maher, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral N. Scott, USN) and the destroyers USS Monssen (T/Cdr. R.N. Smoot, USN) and USS Buchanan (T/Cdr. R.E. Wilson, USN).

Task Group 62.5 was the Minesweeping Group, it was made up of the high speed minesweepers (former destroyers) USS Southard (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Cochran, USN), USS Hovey (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Heald, USN), USS Hopkins (Lt.Cdr. B. Coe, USN), USS Zane (T/Lt.Cdr. P.L. Wirtz, USN) and USS Trever (Lt.Cdr. D.M. Agnew, USN).

Task Group 62.6 was the Screening Group, it was made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Blue (Cdr. H.N. Williams, USN), USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN), USS Ralph Talbot (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN), USS Henley (Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN).

Some ships had to fuel at sea and only joined the Amphibious Force the following day around noon.

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Around 0900M/1, the destroyers USS Dewey and USS Mugford were detached to make rendezvous with the transport USS Zeilin and cargo ship USS Betelgeuse. They joined the Betelgeuse around 1540M/1. USS Zeilin joined around 2330M/1. They rejoined Task Force 62 around noon on 3 August.

Around 1115M/2, the destroyers USS Selfridge, USS Bagley, USS Blue, USS Ralph Talbot, USS Henley and USS Jarvis parted company with Task Force 62 to proceed to Port Vila, Efate to fuel. They arrived off Mele Bay around 0700L/3 but found the the tanker from which they were to fuel, the Esso Little Rock (11237 GRT, built 1941) was not there. They left around 1100L/3 to rejoin Task Force 62 to refuel at sea.

Around 1800L/2, HMAS Hobart, USS Southard USS Hovey, USS Hopkins, USS Zane and USS Trever parted company with Task Force 62 to proceed to Port Vila, Efate to fuel. They too left around 1130L/3 to rejoin Task Force 62 to refuel at sea.

USS Colhoun, USS Gregory, USS Little and USS McKean also arrived off Mele Bay to fuel, they too then set course to rejoin Task Force 62 to refuel at sea.

On 4 August 1942, refuelling at sea took place; The oiler USS Cimarron (T/Capt. R.M. Ihrig, USN) briefly joined Task Force 62 and she fuelled HMAS Hobart, USS Ralph Talbot and USS Patterson. USS Alhena fuelled USS Blue and USS Helm. USS Crescent City fuelled USS Selfridge and USS Trever. USS Fuller fuelled USS Ellet and USS Wilson. USS Hunter Liggett fuelled USS Dewey and USS Hull. USS Libra fuelled USS Monssen and USS Buchanan. USS Neville fuelled USS Southard and USS Hopkins. USS President Adamas fuelled USS Mugford and USS Jarvis. USS President Hayes fuelled USS Bagley and USS Henley. USS President Jackson fuelled USS Hovey and USS Zane.

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Around 1615L/6, the Amphibious Force took up their approach dispositions. ' Force X ' was to land on Guadacanal and ' Force Y ' was to land on Tulagi.

' Force X ' was made up of was made up of the transports and cargo vessels of Task Group 62.1.1, Task Group 62.1.2, Task Group 62.1.3, Task Group 62.1.4, the ships of Fire Support Group 62.3 and part of Screening Group Task Group 62.6. The ships of the Screening Group that were part of ' Force X ' were the following, HMAS Australia, HMAS Hobart, USS Selfridge, USS Mugford, USS Ralph Talbot, USS Patterson and USS Jarvis.

' Force Y ' was made up of the transports and cargo vessels of Task Group 62.2.1, the high speed transports of Task Group 62.2.2, the ships of Fire Support Group 62.4, the high speed minesweepers of Minesweeping Group 62.5 and part of Screening Group Task Group 62.6. The ships of the Screening Group that were part of ' Force Y ' were the following, USS Chicago, HMAS Canberra, USS Bagley, USS Blue, USS Helm and USS Henley.

' Force Y ' took station six miles astern of ' Force X '.

[For continuation of the events see the event ' Operation Watchtower, the landings on Guadacanal and Tulagi ' for 7 August 1942.]

7 Aug 1942

Operation Watchtower, the landings on Guadacanal Island and the subsequent Battle of Savo Island.

Allied forces taking part;

For this operation Task Forces 61 and 62 were deployed. In overall command was Vice-Admiral R.L. Ghormley, USN who was at Noumea in the Miscellaneous Auxiliary USS Argonne (AG-31) (Cdr. F.W. Connor, USN).

Task Group 61.1 was the Air Support Force under overall command of Rear-Admiral L.Noyes, USN. It was made up of the following units;

Task Group 61.1.1;
Aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (Capt. D.C. Ramsey, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral F.J. Fletcher, USN), heavy cruisers USS New Orleans (Capt. W.S. Delany, USN), USS Minneapolis (Capt. F.J. Lowry, USN), and the destroyers USS Phelps (T/Cdr. E.L. Beck, USN, with Capt. S.B. Brewer, USN on board), USS Farragut (Cdr. G.P. Hunter, USN), USS Macdonough (Lt.Cdr. E. van E. Dennet, USN), USS Worden (T/Cdr. W.G. Pogue, USN) and USS Dale (Cdr. H.E. Parker, USN).

Task Group 61.1.2;
Aircraft carrier Enterprise (Capt. A.C. Davis, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral T.C. Kincaid, USN), battleship USS North Carolina (Capt. G.H. Fort, USN), heavy cruiser USS Portland (Capt. L.T. Du Bose, USN), AA cruiser USS Atlanta (Capt. S.P. Jenkins, USN) and the destroyers USS Balch (T/Cdr. H.H. Tiemroth, USN, with Capt. E.P. Sauer, USN on board), USS Benham (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Taylor, USN), USS Maury (T/Cdr. G.L. Sims, USN), USS Gwin (Cdr. J.M. Higgins, USN) and USS Grayson (T/Cdr. F.J. Bell, USN).

Task Group 61.1.3;
Aircraft carrier USS Wasp (T/Capt. F.P. Sherman, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L.Noyes, USN), heavy cruisers Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS San Francisco (Capt. C.H. McMorris, USN) and the destroyers USS Farenholt (T/Cdr. Lt.Cdr. E.T. Seaward, USN, with Capt. R.G. Tobin, USN on board), USS Aaron Ward (T/Cdr. O.F. Gregor, USN), USS Lang (T/Cdr. E.A. Seay, USN), USS Stack (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Greenacre, USN) and USS Sterett (Cdr. J.G. Coward, USN).

There was also the fuelling group made up of the oilers USS Kanawha (T/Capt. K.S. Reed, USN), USS Cimarron (T/Capt. R.M. Ihrig, USN), USS Platte (Capt. R.H. Henkle, USN), USS Sabine (T/Capt. H.L. Maples, USN) and USS Kaskaskia (T/Capt. W.L. Taylor, USN). These were usually escorting by destroyers from the air support force.

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The Amphibious Force under Rear-Admiral R.K. Turner, USN (in the transport USS McCawley) was made up of the following units;

Task Group 62.1 (Transport Group X-Ray) made up of the Naval Transports / Naval Cargo Ships;

Task Group 62.1.1;
USS Fuller (AP 14) (8424 GRT, built 1919) (Capt. P.S. Theiss, USN), USS American Legion (AP 35) (13737 GRT, built 1921) (Cdr. T.D. Warner, USN) and USS Bellatrix (AK 20) (8280 GRT, built 1942) (Cdr. W.F. Dietrich, USN).

Task Group 62.1.2;
USS McCawley (AP 10) (8156 GRT, built 1928) (Capt. C.P. McFeathers, USN), USS Barnett (AP 11) (8153 GRT, built 1928) (Capt. H.E. Thornhill, USN), USS George F. Elliott (AP 13) (8424 GRT, built 1918) (Capt. W.O. Bailey, USN) and USS Libra (AK 53) (6155 GRT, built 1941) (Cdr. W.B. Fletcher, Jr., USN).

Task Group 62.1.3;
USS Hunter Liggett (AP 27) (13712 GRT, built 1922) (Cdr. L.W. Perkins, USCG), USS Fomalhaut (AK 22) (5028 GRT, built 1942) (Cdr. J.D. Alvis, USN), USS Alchiba (AK 23) (6198 GRT, built 1939) (Cdr. J.S. Freeman, USN) and USS Betelgeuse (AK 28) (6198 GRT, built 1939) (T/Capt. H.D. Power, USN).

Task Group 62.1.4;
USS President Adams (AP 38) (9255 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. F.H. Dean, USN), USS President Hayes (AP 39) (9255 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. F.W. Benson, USN), USS Crescent City (AP 40) (7987 GRT, built 1940) (Capt. I.N. Kiland, USN) and USS Alhena (AK 26) (7101 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. C.B. Hunt, USN).

Task Group 62.2 (Transport Group Yoke) made up of the Naval Transports and High Speed Transports.

Task Group 62.2.1;
USS Zeilin (AP 9) (14124 GRT, built 1921) (Capt. P. Buchanan, USN), USS Heywood (AP 12) (8424 GRT, built 1919) (Capt. H.B. Knowles, USN), USS Neville (AP 16) (8424 GRT, built 1918) (Capt. C.A. Bailey, USN) and USS President Jackson (AP 37) (9255 GRT, built 1940) (T/Capt. C.W. Weitzel, USN).

Task Group 62.2.2;
USS Colhoun (T/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Madden, USN), USS Gregory (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Bauer, USN), USS Little (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Lofberg, Jr., USN) and USS McKean (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Shinners, USN).

Task Group 62.3 was the Fire Support Group, made up of the heavy cruisers USS Astoria ( Capt. W.G. Greenman, USN), USS Quincy ( Capt. S.N. Moore, USN), USS Vincennes (Capt. F.L. Riefkohl, USN) and the destroyers USS Dewey (T/Cdr. C.F. Chillingsworth, Jr., USN), USS Hull (T/Cdr. R.F. Stout, USN), USS Ellet T/Cdr. F.H. Gardner, USN) and USS Wilson (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Price, USN).

Task Group 62.4 was also a Fire Support Group, made up of the AA cruiser USS San Juan (Capt. J.E. Maher, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral N. Scott, USN) and the destroyers USS Monssen (T/Cdr. R.N. Smoot, USN) and USS Buchanan (T/Cdr. R.E. Wilson, USN).

Task Group 62.5 was the Minesweeping Group, it was made up of the high speed minesweepers (former destroyers) USS Southard (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Cochran, USN), USS Hovey (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Heald, USN), USS Hopkins (Lt.Cdr. B. Coe, USN), USS Zane (T/Lt.Cdr. P.L. Wirtz, USN) and USS Trever (Lt.Cdr. D.M. Agnew, USN).

Task Group 62.6 was the Screening Group, it was made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Blue (Cdr. H.N. Williams, USN), USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN), USS Ralph Talbot (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN), USS Henley (Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN).

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Around 1615L on 6 August 1942, the Amphibious Force had taken up their approach dispositions. ' Force X ' was to land on Guadacanal and ' Force Y ' was to land on Tulagi.

' Force X ' was made up of was made up of the transports and cargo vessels of Task Group 62.1.1, Task Group 62.1.2, Task Group 62.1.3, Task Group 62.1.4, the ships of Fire Support Group 62.3 and part of Screening Group Task Group 62.6. The ships of the Screening Group that were part of ' Force X ' were the following, HMAS Australia, HMAS Hobart, USS Selfridge, USS Mugford, USS Ralph Talbot, USS Patterson and USS Jarvis.

' Force Y ' was made up of the transports and cargo vessels of Task Group 62.2.1, the high speed transports of Task Group 62.2.2, the ships of Fire Support Group 62.4, the high speed minesweepers of Minesweeping Group 62.5 and part of Screening Group Task Group 62.6. The ships of the Screening Group that were part of ' Force Y ' were the following, USS Chicago, HMAS Canberra, USS Bagley, USS Blue, USS Helm and USS Henley. ' Force Y ' took station six miles astern of ' Force X '.

The landings, 7 August 1942.

At 0224L/7, the moon rose and though it was on the wane and lacked only five days to new moon, it was of great assistance in making the western end of Guadalcanal and then Savo Island, both of which began to show up very clearly.

' Force Y ' set course to pass to the northward of Savo Island and at 0330L/7, HMAS Australia lad ' Force X ' towards Savo Island to pass to the south of it.

It was expected that the enemy would have some type of patrol in the passages on either side of Savo Island and from 0245L/7, the naval escorts were in the first degree of readiness for action. However no patrol were met and when between Savo Island and Cape Escperance, ' Force X ' changed course to proceed direct to the disembarkation area off the north shore of Guadalcanal Island.

As ' Force X ' would pass within six thousand yard of Lunga Point when approaching the disembarkation area, and as enemy AA batteries at least were known to be mounted in the vicinity of the Point, it had been arranged that USS Quincy would come forward from the rear of the formation and take particular responsibility for silencing enemy fire from the Point whilst the formation was drawing past it.

' Force Y ' had in the meantime passed west of Savo Island and then leaving Savo Island to starboard had altered course to the eastward for the disembarkation area off Tulagi Island.

Sunrise was at 0633L/7 and in accordance with pre-arranged shedule, the aircraft of the cruiser escort of both squadrons were launched at 0615L/7 to provide A/S and anti-MTB patrols for the transport groups. After this initial patrol, aircraft patrols were maintained for A/S duties. This was done for every day the Amphibious Force was in the area.

Also around 0615L/7, Allied carrier aircraft were sighted on their intial sortie. The missions assigned to this sortie were as follows;
16 Fighters were to destroy enemy aircraft including seaplanes on the water, motor torpedo boats and submarine in the Tulagi - Gavutu area. With any remaining ammunition, attack anti-aircraft installations on Gavutu.
20 Fighters, mission as above but to be carried out in the area along the north coast of Guadalcanal between Point Cruz and Togama Point.
24 dive bombers, were to destroy naval vessels, anti-aircraft guns and shore batteries in the Tulagi - Gavutu area.
24 dive bombers, were to do the same as the above but along the north coast of Guadalcanal between Point Cruz and Togama Point.

The carrier groups (Air Support Force) were operating close south and south-west of the combat area.

The approach of the Amphibious Force had been a complete surprise to the enemy and no fewer then 18 enemy aircraft were destroyed on the water in this initial sortie of the Allied carrier borne aircraft. No enemy naval surface vessels were encountered and despite previous reports of land based Zero fighters being maintained in the area, none were met.

As ' Forces X and Y ' were approaching their diesembarkation areas, the naval vessels of the escort opened a bombardment on shore targets such as gun positions and encampment areas and on boats and barges moored in close to the shore.

On the Guadalcanal side, a motor auxiliary vessel proceeding from Tulagi to Lungo was fired on by destroyers and shortly afterwards was set on fire by our fighter aircraft. This vessel burned so furiously that it was thought to have been carrying petrol.

Meanwhile other cruiser-borne aircraft had been launched to act as liaison planes over the Tulagi and the Guadalcanal areas. These liaison planes were maintained over their respective areas throughout daylight each day and gave invaluable information regarding the location of enemy troops, batteries and strong points, and later regading the progress of our attacking forces.

' Forces X and Y ' reached their disembarkation areas at 0650L/7 and 0720L/7 respectively and remained underway but stopped, outside the 100 fathom line. The process of lowering, manning and equipping attack boats at once whilst the screening forces acted in accordance with the special instructions they had previously been issued. Broadly, each transport group had an outer arc of screening destroyers and then cruisers between them and the destroyers. With this arrangement both the cruisers and the transports had an anti-submarine screen and against air attack, the enemy aircraft had to pass two outer circles of fire before reaching the transports which would obviously be their objective. In addition the cruisers were able to manoeuvre inside the destroyer screen and yet maintain close support of their transport group.

Throughout daylight carrier borne fighter aircraft were maintained over the combat area as defence against enemy air attack. Fighter Direction was being exercised from USS Chicago to whom a Fighter Direction Group from one of the carriers had been transferred.

In addition to the intial (0615 hours) missions and to the maintenance of fighters over the combat area, the Air Support Force also maintained dive bombers and fighters over both the Tulagi and Guadacanal areas which were available on call to attack shore targets. In the event of enemy air attack the fighters of these patrols would support the aircraft providing fighter protection.

The H-hour, which was the time the troops would actually reach the beaches was set at 0800L/7 for the Tulagi landing at 0910L/7 for the landing on Guadalcanal.

On the Tulagi side, prior to the main landing, there was a secondary landing in the vicinity of Haleta with the object of seizing the promontory and thereby ensuring that the enemy could not fire on the boats making the major landing from the higher ground.

The landings at Haleta and on beach blue (the major landing beach) were accomplished without enemy opposition and the Tulagi landing force soon occupied the northern portion of Tulagi island which was their first objective.

The landing at Haleta had been preceded by a bombardment in which USS San Juan expended 100 rounds of 5" and the destroyers USS Monssen and USS Buchanan each 80 rounds of 5". For 20 minutes these destroyers also stationed themselves as ' goal posts ' to guide the landing craft in towards the main landing zone.

Between 0740L/7 and 0745L/7, USS San Juan expended 560 rounds in bombarding a hill on Tulagi Island. Between 0750L/7 and 0755L/7 were each to expend 200 rounds in close support of the landing and also the northern part of Tulagi Island was dive bombed by 18 aircraft each carrying a 1000lb. bomb. Immediately afterwards followed the landing on the main beach (' Blue beach '). Immediately afterwards USS San Juan fired another 560 rounds against the same hill (Hill 208). The high speed minesweepers were also to spent 60 rounds each on targets on Tulagi and Gavutu Islands. USS Monssen and USS Buchanan were also ordered to each expend 100 round on targets on the southern end of Tulagi Island.

During this period USS San Juan and several destroyers reported sighting a submarine periscope. Heavy depth charge attacks were made and though there is no direct eidence that a submarine was sunk by these attacks, the submarine was not seen again. [No Japanese submarine was present though.]

Meanwhile on the Guadalcanal side, the heavy cruisers USS Astoria, USS Quincy, USS Vincennes and the destroyers USS Dewey, USS Hull, USS Ellet and USS Wilson had been moving close along the north shore of the island keeping targets under almost continuous bombardment. Large fires were raging at Kukum where the enemy was known to have AA batteries and a stores dump.

From 0840L/7, the destroyers had stationed themselves off ' Red Beach ' to mark the line of departure for the attack boats and the ends of the beach were marked by aircraft using coloured smoke bombs.

For the five minutes preceding the actual landing on ' beach Red ' a furious bombardment was put down on the beach area. USS Astoria, USS Quincy, USS Vincennes in this brief interval each fired 45 round of 8" and 200 rounds of 5" whilst the destroyers each fired about 200 rounds. The landing was effected without resistance and our marine forces were on the attack towards Lunga and to seize the line of the Tenaru River without coming into real contact with the enemy. As positions were occupied it became more and more obvious that the enemy had been completely surprised and had taken to the interior of the Island without waiting to render useless any of their plants, stores or material. The aerodrome was found to be intact and the landing strip only required rolling to make it available for our own aircraft. It was evident from the plans captured, from the amount of material and stores captured and from the extensive works which had been started that the establishment of a first class air base on Guadacanal had been the enemy's intention.

A certain number of Japanese pioneer workers were captured and from interrogation it was learned that the garrison which had retired inland was probably 300 strong and that there had escaped with them a considerable number of construction workers.

On the Tulagi side another secondary landing had been made at Halavo. The boats carrying in this landing force had been engaged by shore guns on Bungana and Gatuvu and these defences had also opened fire on the destroyer minesweepers which were supporting the landing. On requist from Rear-Admiral Scott, Rear-Admiral Crutchley sent the destroyer USS Henley to assist in silencing these guns.

On completion of their fire support duties, the destroyer minesweepers streamed their sweepers and made the first sweep in towards Gavutu. No mines were found and the sweepers then carried out a clearance sweep in the Lengo Channel and buoyed the swept lane. Again no mines were found and therefore without waiting for further clearance sweeps, the transports and supply ships moved in close to the beaches to expedite disembarkation of further troop elements and of stores. The minesweepers were released from further sweeping missions and were assigned A/S duties in the landing areas.

On Tulagi Island the landing force having occupied the northern half of the Island, now prepared for the assault against the southern end of the Island where the enemy forces were concentrated. This part of the Island was then subjected to intense aerial and ship bombardment in which task force 62.4 was reinforced by USS Ellet. There were several large explosions and several large fires were started.

At about 1120L/7, a message was received from a Coast Watcher on Bougainville Island reporting a strong force of enemy bombers passing over the Island to the south-east. At about the same time message was received from our shore intelligence advising that enemy submarines were on the move. Shortly after noon it was decided that for the remainder of the day all fighters over the landing area were to be used to protect the Amphibious Force against air attack.

At 1315L/7, our fighters made contact with the enemy bombers about fifteen miles were of Savo Island. One aircraft was soon seen shot down in flames in the vicinity of the Island. At 1323L/7 all ships of ' Force X ' opeened fire on a formation of about 18 Type 97 (Mitsubishi Ki-21) heavy bombers coming over in tight formation and supported by 9 Zero fighters. A pattern bombing attack was carried out by the enemy, the leader giving the release signal by buring a bright light in his glassed-in bomb aimers position in the nose. The bombs were probably 500 pounders. All fell to the north-west of the transports. During their withdrawal the enemy formation continued to be engaged by our fighters. It was later reported that two enemy bombers had been shot down and two had been damaged.

In the assault against the southern portion of Tulagi Island our landing forces was meeting with stiff resistance and in the assault against Gavutu, which however was successfully captured, our marines suffered very heavy casualties.

At 1500L/7, about ten enemy dive bombers came in from the westward and attacked destroyers on the screen to the west of the transports. We had had no warning by radar or from fighter patrols of the approached of this force. Ships at once opened fire and our fighters dived down to attack the enemy, two of which were seen to be shot down. However, USS Mugford received a direct hit aft with a 250 lb. bomb causing loss of life, considerable damage to the after superstructure and putting out of action the two after gun mountings. It is probable that our fighters accounted for many more of this enemy force of dive bombers as dog fights were seen in progress west of Savo Island and the enemy must have been at a disadvantage regarding speed.

During the afternoon the landing of material and stores had progressed on the Guadalcanal side but at Tulagi this operation was held up because the whole Island was not yet in Allied hands. American dive bombers over ' Force X ' periodically attacked target on the north coast of Guadalcanal as the Liaison planes pointed them out. On the other side, the enemy occupied portion of Tulagi Island and Tanambago Island had both been further hammered by ship bombardment and dive bombing and there were large fires burning furiously in each of these areas.

At 1830L/7 (sunset was at 1818 hours), the Screening Group was ordered to take up night dispositions as had been instructed earlier;
Two destroyers were stationed to seaward of Savo Island covering the entrances either side of Savo Island as radar and A/S guard patrols.
Two groups, each with three 8" cruisers screened by two destroyers on patrol covering the approaches from north of Savo Island and from south of Savo Island to the transport groups.
Close A/S and anti-MTB screens of destroyers and destroyer minesweepers around the transports.
USS San Juan and HMAS Hobart screened by two destroyers underway between the two transport groups as cover against enemy light forces, entering the combat area from the eastward.

At 2000L/7, the situation with regard to the progress of the marine landing forces was as follows;
On Guadacanal all troops ashore occupying on the west the line of the Tenaru river and to the east a line about longtitude 160°06'E. No major contact with the enemy garrison forces had been made.
In the Tulagi area , Tulagi itself was occupied except the easternmost end where the enemy were still resisting. Gavutu was captured, but with heavy losses on our side. Tanambago was still in the hands of the enemy and our forces were preparing to attack. Halavo was occupied by the Allied forces.

The very stiff resistance offered by the enemy on the Tulagi side called for reinforcement of our forces on Tulagi and Gavutu. These reinforcements were necessarily drawn from the forces held for the occupation of Ndeni in the 3rd phase of the operation and thereby threw out of gear, the planned shedule.

During the night the beach on the Guadacanal side became so congested with gear and equipment landed from the transports and store ships, that unloading had to be suspended.

On the Tulagi side the unloading operation had still not been commenced.

The night passeed without any form of interference from the enemy.

8 August 1942.

Sunrise was at 0638L/8. At 0500L/8, Rear-Admiral Crutchley had ordered the outer patrol units to return to the transport areas and to re-assume their day screen.

As enemy submarines might reach the area today, Rear-Admiral Crutchley ordered the destroyer minesweepers to form an A/S patrol to the westward of the Sealark and Lengo Channels. In addition all cruiser borne aircraft, except one or two for liaison duties, were now available for A/S patrols. At least three at the same time were kept in the air.

At 1027L/8, a message from a coast watcher on Bougainville Island reported 40 heavy bombers proceeding to the south-east. Shortly afterwards the transports were ordered to get underway. Both ' Force X ' and ' Force Y ' were formed independently and manoeuvred between Guadalcanal and Florida Islands awaiting the expected air attack.

At 1200L/8, HMAS Australia sighted 23 large twin engine torpedo bombers to the eastward approaching from behind the clouds over Florida Island. The alarm was given and soon all ships in ' Force X ' were engaging the aircraft which came in low to execute a torpedo bombing attack. A magnificent curtain of bursting high explosive was put up and enemy aircraft were everywhere crashing in flames. Torpedoes were dropped mostly at long range but many of the aircraft continued to fly in towards the formation to strafe personnel. The destroyer USS Jarvis was struck on the starboard side forward by a torpedo and the transport USS George F. Elliott was set on fire by an enemy aircraft flying deliberately into her superstructure. The destroyer USS Dewey was ordered to assist USS Jarvis and try to tow her into shallow water and the destroyer USS Hull was ordered to assist the burning transport.

After the attack on ' Force X ' the torpedo bombers turned towards Savo Island and were then raked by AA fire from ' Force Y '. It is estimated that 12 of the eenmy torpedo bombers were shot down. The attack had been presses well home by a strong force but was badly designed in that all the aircraft attacked from the same direction so enabling us to concentrate the full volume of our AA gunfire on them ans simplifying the avoiding action it was necessary to take. Synchronised with this torpedo bomber attack on ' Force X ' the transports were attacked by a number of high level bombers supported by Zero fighters. Bombs fell close to some of the transports but no damage was caused to any of the Allied ships.

USS Jarvis reached shallow water under her own power going astern and was able to anchor. Inspection showed that her engines and boilers were undamaged but the bottom of her hull was open between stations 30 and 55. She would be able to make four to seven knots under her own power and that night she was sailed to make the beat of her way to Vila but has not been seen or heard since. It was reported that the crew of one of the Japanese aircraft shot down had opened revolver fire on USS Jarvis when she approached their rubber boat to pick them up. The Japanese then shot themselves to avoid being taken prisoner.

The transport USS George F. Elliott continued to burn fiercely but with the assistance of the destroyer USS Hull which had been sent to her. It seemed at one time that the fire would be got under control. However the fire later gained, reached her fire rooms and she had to be abandoned. USS Hull fired four torpedoes into the ship but the burning wreck later grounded in shoal water.

After this attack the transports returned to the unloading areas and the transfer of stores and equipment to the beaches was resumed.

Around 1400L/8, the transport groups were again got under way as warning had been received of another force of enemy bombers proceeding towards the area. No attack developed, however, and at 1630L/8 the unloading operations were again resumed.

In the land areas our troops had extended their occupation area on Guadalcanal and now held from Tenaru to Kukum including the air field.

On the northern side we had completed the capture of Tulagi Island, had consolidated on Gavutu Island and had taken Tanambogo Island though a few isolated snipers had yet to be mopped up.

At 1830L/8, Rear-Admiral Crutchley ordered to naval forces to take up night dispositions as for the previous night.

The situation at the ends of this, the second day, was not quite as favourable as had been expected.
Air raids and the threat of air raids causing the transports to get under way to meet them had delayed the unloading operations.
Part of a night's unloading had been lost because of the congestion on the beach on the Guadalcanal side.
On the Tulagi side the unloading had barely begun because the Island of Tulagi had not been fully conquered earlier.
Owing to the very stiff resistance offered by the enemy on the northern side, it had been necessary to employ additional marine forces and these had been draen from the reserve which was intended to occupy Ndeni (Santa Cruz Islands) in the 3rd phase of the operation.
So far our losses due to enemy air attack had been one transport and heavy damage to two destroyers. However the enemy continued to receive air reinforcements at Rabaul. Enemy seaplane tenders were moving south and one could expect as heavy and possibly more frequent attacks on our sight with possibly not such lucky results for the Allies.
Commander Task Force 61 had said that the time had come for him to withdraw the carrier forces.
Enemy submarines were known to be on their way to the area and could be expected at any moment.

At 2045L/8, Rear-Admiral Crutchley was ordered to proceed to the transport USS McCawley for a conference with Rear-Admiral Turner. So at 2055L/8, Rear Admiral Crutchley ordered Captain Bode of the USS Chicago to take charge of the patrol in the southern entrance while HMAS Australia parted company to proceed to the transports of ' Force X '.

During the conference it was decided to retire from the area the following day despite the fact that by no means all material and stores had been landed. Orders were given to give priority to the most vital material and stores to be landed that night.

During the day a report had been received that an enemy force of three cruisers, three destroyers and two seaplane tenders or gunboats had been sighted east of Bougainville Island steering south-east. Rear-Admiral Crutchley asked Rear-Admiral Turner what he thought of this enemy force was up to. Rear-Admiral Turner replied that it was his opinion that the enemy force was destined for Rekata Bay possibly from there to operate torpedo carrying float planes against our forces and that we would have to expect two torpedo attacks a day instead of one. Rear-Admiral Turner also informed Rear-Admiral Crutchley that he had requisted for the next day, full scale bombing of these ships which he felt sure would be in Rekata Bay.

9 August 1942 and the Battle of Savo Island.

It was 0115L/9, when Rear-Admiral Crutchley rejoined HMAS Australia and after 0130L/9, when she got clear of the transport area it was decided not to rejoin the patrol in the southern entrance. HMAS Austalia then patrolled near the transports inside the destroyer screen.

The patrols during this night had been organised as follows; The destroyers USS Blue and USS Ralph Talbot were on the outer radar and A/S patrol, USS Blue off the southern entrance and USS Ralph Talbot off the northern entrance. Patrolling to the south east of Savo Island were patrolling USS Chicago, HMAS Canberra, USS Bagley and USS Patterson. HMAS Australia had originally been with them. Patrolling to the east-north-east of Savo Island were the USS Vincennes, USS Quincy, USS Astoria, USS Helm and USS Wilson.

Not long afterwards, at 0146L/9, green flares were dropped by aircraft. They began to show up to the southward and south-eastward of ' X ' transport area.

At 0150L/9, a flare was dropped in the direction of the channel south-west of Savo Island. Almost at once a few tracer rounds were sighted which were thought to be Oerlikon fire from a ship in the southern patrol group engaging the aircraft that had dropped the flare. However immediately afterwards a burst of heavy surface gunfire was observed to the east of the source of the tracer.

A night naval action then commenced which, as seen from HMAS Australia appreared to move to the tight and to increase tremendously in intensity. HMAS Australia had received no enemy report from either of the Allied guard units or from any ship in the cruiser forces.

What was happening was the following. A Japanese attack force had left Rabaul to attack the Allies. This was the same force that had been sighted an reported but was thought to include seaplane tenders. This was however not the case as the Japanese force was made up of the heavy cruisers Chokai (flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Mikawa), Aoba, Furutaka, Kako, Kinugasa, light cruisers and the destroyer Tenryu, Yubari and the destroyer Yunagi (all offsite links).

They managed to slip by the destroyer USS Blue which despite her radar outfit did not detect the Japanese. The Japanese however, did sighted the destroyer and managed to evade her and proceeded to pass to the southward of Savo Island but before arriving the another destroyer was sighted and evaded. This was the heavily damaged USS Jarvis which was leaving the area for Efate. It seems that the Jarvis also did not see the Japanese but this can not be varified as the destroyer was lost later the same day with all hands. The Japanese destroyer Yunagi was either detached or lost contact with the remainder of the Japanese Force. She had a brief exchange of gunfire with the Jarvis.

The flares that had been dropped came from floatplanes catapulted by the Japanese cruisers. The Japanese then encounted, the ' Southern group ' made up of the USS Chicago, HMAS Canberra, USS Bagley and USS Patterson. The Allies were taken completely by surprise, with their ships not being in first degree of readiness. Not all guns were manned. The Allied crews had been on the alert for two days and it had been decided to rest the crew during the night as much as possible as no attack was expected during the night and enemy air attacks were again expected the following day.

As a result the Japanese engaged the Allied southern patrol force from close range. HMAS Canberra was quickly disabled by gunfire and torpedo hits. Before HMAS Canberra was able to return fire she was already hit by around 24 shells and one or two torpedoes. Both boiler rooms were put out of action, power and lighting were lost and the ship was heavily on fire.

USS Chicago, second in line, was also hit by gunfire and a torpedo in her bow. She retired to the west for about 40 minutes and apparently made no attempt to raise the alarm or give info to other Allied ships on what just happended. For this Captain Bode was heavily criticized. He later committed suicide.

USS Bagley was not damaged in the engagement and managed to fire four torpedoes but they did not hit. After the battle she went to the aid of USS Astoria but also picked up survivors from USS Vincennes and USS Quincy.

USS Patterson, was the first ship to sight the Japanse and the Commanding Officer ordered torpedoes to be fired, however the order was not heard by the torpedo officers when she also opened fire with her guns and in the end no torpedoes were fired by USS Patterson. She was also the only ship that transmitted an enemy report by TBS. Her Commanding Officer had instructed his watch crew to be on their alert as he did not trust the aircraft report on the seaplane tenders. He had also decided to take the watch in which he though it most likely the Japanese might attack himself while all the Commanding Officers of the other ships were asleep. She was hit by enemy gunfire and No.3 and No.4 guns were out of action although No.4 gun soon was able to resume firing. She was also narrowly missed by an enemy torpedo. When the action was over she assisted the heavily damaged HMAS Canberra but the cruiser was beyond salvage and had to be scuttled.

The Japanese then continued around Savo Island at high speed where they encountered the other Allied patrol group, the ' Northern group ', made up of USS Vincennes, USS Quincy, USS Astoria, USS Helm and USS Wilson. Japanese torpedoes were already underway towards the ' Northern group '.

When the aircraft flares were fired the ships of the ' Northern group ' rang the alarm and went to action stations but despite this they too were overwhelmed by the Japanese which now had become divided after the first action. The American ' Northern Force ' was then being attacked from both sides. The Chokai, Aoba, Kako and Kinugasa form one group, the other group was made up of the Furataka, Tenryu and Yubari the other group. In the following action the heavy cruisers USS Vincennes and USS Quincy were sunk while the USS Astoria was heavily damaged. Salvage attempts failed and she later sank as well.

At about 0156L/9, the ' Northern group ' was illuminated and engaged. Fire was returned but the Allied cruisers were soon heavily hit by enemy gunfire and torpedoes. USS Vincennes soon lost electric power but her turrets continued firing in local control. She then received two torpedo hits which halted the ship. Also several fires broke out. The enemy ceased fire around 0215L/9. By 0230L/9 she was listing heavily and the order was given to abandon ship. She sank around 0245L/9.

USS Quincy was hit by the enemy's opening salvo. She was able to open fire but was soon heavily hit topside and fires were soon blazing. She then received a torpedo hit. She turned over at 0235L/9. A large hole was then revealed on her port side.

USS Astoria was able to open fire before being hit but she too was then heavily hit by enemy gunfire which started large fires. By the time the enemy ceased fire she she had lost all power. Her main armament had been able to get off around ten salvoes. Destroyers and destroyer minesweepers went to her aid in fighting the fires but she was beyond salvage and finally sank around 1215L/9.

USS Helm had been unable to identify the enemy in the confusing action and did not open fire.

USS Wilson had fired 212 rounds of 5" at the enemy. She had aimed at the enemy's searchlights for the most part.

Around 0215L/9, USS Ralph Talbot, the other picket destroyer, had turned south-east on observing the action. Around 0230L/9 was illuminated and engaged by the retiring enemy. She sustained fairly extensive superficial damage.

Some damage was inflicted on the enemy, Chokai was hit several times by USS Quincy and USS Astoria. Her No.1 gun turret was hit and out of action. Aoba was hit once. Kinugasa was hit twice. The floatplanes from Aoba and Kako were lost. The biggest loss for the Japanese came the following day where the Kako was torpedoed and sunk by the American submarine USS S-44 (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Moore).

Following the battle most of the wounded that had been picked up by the destroyers were transferred to the transports Barnett and Fuller.

The retirement from the area, which had been planned at 0730L/9, could not be proceeded with. HMAS Canberra was unable to proceed and was ordered to be scuttled. She sank around 0800L/9 with torpedoes fired by USS Ellet after gunfire and torpedoes from USS Selfridge had failed to do the job.

Around 0850L/9, the transports got underway again as coast watchers on Bougainville again reported enemy aircraft on their way. By 1100L/9, no air attacks had developed and unloading was resumed.

Around 1530L/9, the majority of the transports transports of ' Force X ', less USS McCawley got underway eastwards through the Lengo Channel. They were escorted by USS Chicago, USS Mugford, USS Ralph Talbot, USS Patterson, USS Ellet, USS Dewey, USS Southard, USS Hovey, USS Hopkins, USS Zane and USS Trever.

Around 1545L/9, the transports of ' Force Y ' and USS McCawley departed the Tulagi area. They also proceeded eastwards through the Lengo Channel. They were escorted by HMAS Australia, HMAS Hobart, USS San Juan, USS Selfridge, USS Bagley, USS Blue, USS Helm, USS Henley, Hull, USS Wilson, USS Monssen, USS Buchanan, USS Colhoun, USS Gregory, USS Little and USS McKean.

Both forces set course for Nouméa, New Caledonia where they arrived on 13 August 1942. On the 11th, USS Chicago, which had been unable to keep up with the convoy due to her damage was detached to proceed to Nouméa singly escorted by USS Mugford and USS Patterson arriving there on the 14th.

19 Aug 1942
Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) departed Noumea to join the Carrier Fleet (Task Force 61) at sea. Task Force 61 was still operating in the area covering operations in the Guadalcanal area.

21 Aug 1942

Continued operations in the Guadacanal - Tulagi area.

21 August 1942.

Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) made rendezvous with the Carrier Fleet (Task Force 61).

They then joined Task Force 11 (Task Group 61.1), made up of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (Capt. D.C. Ramsey, USN, flying the flag of vice-Admiral F.J. Fletcher, USN), heavy cruisers USS Minneapolis (Capt. F.J. Lowry, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H. Wright, USN), USS New Orleans (Capt. W.S. Delany, USN) and the destroyers USS Phelps (T/Cdr. E.L. Beck, USN, with Capt. S.B. Brewer, USN on board), USS Farragut (Cdr. G.P. Hunter, USN), USS Macdonough (Lt.Cdr. E. van E. Dennet, USN), USS Worden (T/Cdr. W.G. Pogue, USN) and USS Dale (Cdr. H.E. Parker, USN).

USS Selfridge was however ordered to join Task Force 18 (Task Group 61.3), made up of the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (T/Capt. F.P. Sherman, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L. Noyes, USN), heavy cruisers Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS San Francisco (Capt. C.H. McMorris, USN), AA cruiser USS San Juan (Capt. J.E. Maher, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral N. Scott, USN) and the destroyers USS Farenholt (T/Cdr. Lt.Cdr. E.T. Seaward, USN, with Capt. R.G. Tobin, USN on board), USS Aaron Ward (T/Cdr. O.F. Gregor, USN), USS Buchanan (T/Cdr. R.E. Wilson, USN), USS Lang (T/Cdr. E.A. Seay, USN), USS Stack (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Greenacre, USN) and USS Sterett (Cdr. J.G. Coward, USN).

These was also Task Force 16 (Task Group 61.2) made up of the aircraft carrier Enterprise (Capt. A.C. Davis, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral T.C. Kincaid, USN), battleship USS North Carolina (Capt. G.H. Fort, USN), heavy cruiser USS Portland (Capt. L.T. Du Bose, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral M.S. Tisdale, USN), AA cruiser USS Atlanta (Capt. S.P. Jenkins, USN) and the destroyers USS Balch (T/Cdr. H.H. Tiemroth, USN, with Capt. E.P. Sauer, USN on board), USS Benham (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Taylor, USN), USS Ellet (T/Cdr. F.H. Gardner, USN), USS Maury (T/Cdr. G.L. Sims, USN), USS Grayson (T/Cdr. F.J. Bell, USN) and USS Monssen (T/Cdr. R.N. Smoot, USN).

A ' Surface Attack Group ' was then formed in case it would be needed, although the ships assigned remained with the carriers for the moment. It was was made up of the following units;
USS San Juan (Independent Flagship)
1st Division; USS North Carolina, USS Minneapolis and New Orleans.
2nd Division; USS Portland, USS Salt Lake City and USS San Francisco.
3rd Division; the third division was to be formed from the screen on signal, the screen was made up of the AA cruiser USS Atlanta and the destroyers USS Selfridge, USS Maury, USS Worden, USS Benham, USS Lang, USS Aaron Ward, USS Bagley and USS Patterson. 4th Division; heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and the light cruisers HMAS Hobart and USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) although this last cruiser was yet to join.

The ' Carrier Attack Group ' was made up of the three aircraft carriers and the remaining destroyers.

Vice-Admiral Fletcher outlines the mission of the ' Air Attack Group as being;
To destroy enemy forces prior to and while in the Tulagi - Guadalcanal area,
To defend the own carriers.

The mission of the ' Surface Attack Group ' was given as the defence of the carriers against hostile surface attack.

At sunset, the cruisers USS Minneapolis, USS New Orleans, USS San Francisco, USS Salt Lake City and the destroyers USS Selfridge, USS Worden, USS Patterson, USS Benham, USS Lang and USS Maury parted company with the rest of the fleet to form a scouting line 20 miles ahead of the main fleet to guard against night surface attack. They were to rejoin the main force after daylight.

Meanwhile on Guadalcanal, around 0200L/21, an enemy force of about 700 troops attempted to break through our defences at the mouth of the Tenaru River. There was heavy hand to hand fighting until about 0900L/21when the enemy, then retiring, was out-flanked and trapped with their backs to the beach. Fighting continued till about 1700L/21 when our infantery, supported by tanks, completed the destruction of the enemy. 670 Japanese were killed and a few were taken prisoner. Allied casualties were 28 marines killed and 72 wounded. According to an enemy prisoner, their landing force had sailed from Truk on 16 August 1942 in six destroyers and had been landed on 18 August 1942 at a point 18 miles east of Lunga [They had been landed near Cape Taivu by the destroyers Kagero, Arashi, Hagikaze, Hamakaze, Tanikaze and Urakaze (all offsite links)].

At about mid-day four of the fighters now based on Guadalcanal engaged six enemy Zero fighters over the area. One Zero was shot down and one of our own fighters crashed on landing owing to inability to extend the undercarriage.

During the afternoon the seaplane tender (former destroyer) 2314 McFarland (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Alderman, USN) and the high speed transports USS Colhoun (T/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Madden, USN), USS Gregory (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Bauer, USN), USS Little (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Lofberg, Jr., USN), USS McKean (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Shinners, USN), USS Stringham (Lt.Cdr. C.E. Boyd, USN) and uSS Manley (Lt. O.C. Schatz, Jr., USN) (also former destroyers) arrived at Guadacanal with provisions, gear, materials and some personnel. The USS McFarland had aviation gasoline on board. During the approach of this force, a torpedo fired by a submarine passed astern of USS McFarland. If genuine this may have been an attack by the Japanese submarine I-123 (offsite link) who was in the area and did not return from patrol.

At 0900L/21, the seaplane tender USS MacKinac (T/Capt. N.R. Hitchcock, USN), which was operating planes from Ndeni (Santa Cruz Islands) reported being attacked sustaining some damage and casualties. It was later find out this had been allied aircraft which had attacked in error.

22 August 1942.

At 0615L/22, when about 60 miles south of Guadalcanal the aircraft carriers flew off a striking force to attack target of opportunity in the Guadalcanal area. It is considered that this force probably had no success as no enemy were reported in the area this particular morning. During the day the Carrier Groups were kept roughly between San Cristobal and Rennel Islands but no enemy surface foreces were reported within range of our striking forces. An enemy flying boat was shot down by fighters. At the end of the day course was shaped to the eastward and after clearing San Cristobal, changed to the northward and westward to reach a position about 45 miles eastward of the southern end of Malaita Island by daylight the next morning. Ll/22, after the destroyers USS Blue (Cdr. H.N. Williams, USN), USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) and USS Henley (Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN) had escorted the storeships USS Fomalhaut (AK 22) (5028 GRT, built 1942) (Cdr. J.D. Alvis, USN) and USS Alhena (AK 26) (7101 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. C.B. Hunt, USN) through the lengo Channel to Tulagi and Guadalcanal, USS Blue was struck aft by a torpedo which was thought to have been fired by an enemy Motor Torpedo Boat. [The attacker was actually the destroyer Kawakaze, which had been on patrol in the Guadacanal area.] The stern of the destroyer was blown off. She reached Lunga in tow and though disabled, remained seaworthy. USS Alhena discharged her cargo of rations, water, distilling outfits, weapons, ammunition, aviation lubricating oil and bombs. USS Fomalhaut discharged at Guadalcanal a cargo consisting of rations, aviaton spirit, water, distilling outfits, ammunition and materials.

USS McFarland, USS Colhoun, USS Gregory, USS Little and USS McKean left the Guadalcanal area after having discharged their cargoes. USS Stringham and USS Manley remained in the area after having finished unloading. They were to assist USS Helm and USS Henley in screening the Fomalhaut and Alhena.

The morning air reconnaissance reported a Japanese ship, thought to be a light cruiser in approximate position 05°00'N, 159°00'E proceeding south-east at 24 knots. As it was thought this ship might be en-route to attack our seaplane tender at Ndeni so USS MacKinac and the destroyer minelayer USS Breese (T/Cdr. H.F. Staut, USN) were ordered to leave that place.

The light cruiser USS Phoenix which was to join the Fleet arrived at Noumea from Sydney. However she required repairs to one gun turret which were estimated to take 48 hours.

23 August 1942.

At 0630L/23, the three carrier groups had reached a position about 45 miles to the east of the south end of Malaita Island and throughout the day operated between this position and a positiom 70 miles to the south-east. CAP fighter patrols one again accounted for a Japanese flying boat. Our own reconnaissance aircraft made three submarine sightings. [These were the Japanese submarine I-17 (twice) and I-19 (offsite links).] These sightings seems to confirm an earlier intelligence report which had been received indicating a line of enemy submsrines stretching north-west from Ndeni (Santa Cruz Islands).

At 1030L/23, a reconnaissance aircraft reported an enemy force of two cruisers, three destroyers and four transports in approximate position 05°00'N, 160°00'E steering south towards Guadalcanal at 17 knots. At 1515L/23 USS Saratoga launched a striking force of 37 torpedo and dive bombers to attack this enemy force, then estimated to bear 320°, 260 miles from our own carrier forces. From the airfield on Guadalcanal a striking force of 9 dive bombers escorted by fighters was also launched but neither of these striking forces made contact with the enemy. This was not surprising as the reconnaissance aircraft had made only the initial sighting report and with passing rain stroms and a good deal of cloud it was essential that the enemy was effectively shadowed and reported if our striking forces were to reach them to deliver an attack. All the aircraft of these striking forces landed at Guadalcanal airfield. The carrier group then rejoined USS Saratoga the next morning. During the night the Japanese destroyer Kagero had bombarded the area of the airfield.

The enemy convoy sighted by the reconnaissance aircraft had been made up of the transports Boston Maru (5438 GRT, built 1919), Daifuku Maru (3194 GRT, built 1907) and Kinryu Maru (9310 GRT, built 1938). They had a close escort made up of the light cruiser Jintsu and the patrol boats Patrol Boat No.1, Patrol Boat No.2, Patrol Boat No.34 and Patrol Boat No.35.

Five Catalina flying boats were to attack this convoy with bombs and torpedoes in moonlight but these also could not find it. It was later heard that the enemy convoy had made a drastic alteration of course to the north-west. It was a pity that failure on the part of the reconnaissance plane to make further reports had led to so much wasted efforts of the Allied air striking forces.

In the evening Task Force 18 (USS Wasp group), parted company and proceeded to the south to refuel from USN tankers in approximate position 13°00'S, 164°00'E.

As no attack had developed against Ndeni, USS MacKinac and USS Breese returned to Graciosa Bay.

During the afternoon it became clear that the damaged destroyer USS Blue could not towed away from the Guadalcanal area. She was therefore scuttled in the evening by scuttling charges and gunfire (a torpedo had missed) from USS Henley.

During the night of 23/24 August, Task Forces 11 and 16 proceeded to the south-east, then to the north and finally to the westward to be back in the same area as today for continued operations. (5)

24 Aug 1942

Continued operations in the Guadacanal - Tulagi area / Battle of the Eastern Solomons.

24 August 1942.

At daylight on 24 August, Task Forces 11 and 16 had reached a position about 50 miles east of the southern end of Malaita Island.

The composition of Task Force 11 was as follows; the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (Capt. D.C. Ramsey, USN, flying the flag of vice-Admiral F.J. Fletcher, USN), heavy cruisers USS Minneapolis (Capt. F.J. Lowry, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H. Wright, USN), USS New Orleans (Capt. W.S. Delany, USN), HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Phelps (T/Cdr. E.L. Beck, USN, with Capt. S.B. Brewer, USN on board), USS Farragut (Cdr. G.P. Hunter, USN), USS Macdonough (Lt.Cdr. E. van E. Dennet, USN), USS Worden (T/Cdr. W.G. Pogue, USN), USS Dale (Cdr. H.E. Parker, USN), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN).

Task Force 16 was made up of Enterprise (Capt. A.C. Davis, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral T.C. Kincaid, USN), battleship USS North Carolina (Capt. G.H. Fort, USN), heavy cruiser USS Portland (Capt. L.T. Du Bose, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral M.S. Tisdale, USN), AA cruiser USS Atlanta (Capt. S.P. Jenkins, USN) and the destroyers USS Balch (T/Cdr. H.H. Tiemroth, USN, with Capt. E.P. Sauer, USN on board), USS Benham (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Taylor, USN), USS Ellet (T/Cdr. F.H. Gardner, USN), USS Maury (T/Cdr. G.L. Sims, USN), USS Grayson (T/Cdr. F.J. Bell, USN) and USS Monssen (T/Cdr. R.N. Smoot, USN).

Task Force 18, made up of the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (T/Capt. F.P. Sherman, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L. Noyes, USN), heavy cruisers Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS San Francisco (Capt. C.H. McMorris, USN), AA cruiser USS San Juan (Capt. J.E. Maher, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral N. Scott, USN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, on board), USS Farenholt (T/Cdr. Lt.Cdr. E.T. Seaward, USN, with Capt. R.G. Tobin, USN on board), USS Aaron Ward (T/Cdr. O.F. Gregor, USN), USS Buchanan (T/Cdr. R.E. Wilson, USN), USS Lang (T/Cdr. E.A. Seay, USN), USS Stack (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Greenacre, USN) and USS Sterett (Cdr. J.G. Coward, USN) was some 250 miles to the southward to fuel from the tankers USS Cimarron (T/Capt. R.M. Ihrig, USN), USS Platte (Capt. R.H. Henkle, USN). These tankers were escorted by the destroyers USS Clark (T/Capt. M.T. Richardson, USN) and USS Gwin (Cdr. J.M. Higgins, USN). The tanker group had departed Efate on 23 August 1942. Fuelling commenced around 0920L/24.

Allied reconnaissance aircraft were soon in contact with the enemy surface forces and it became clear that widespread enemy movement was under way. At 0800L/24, a convoy of five ships was sighted. This convoy was escorted by a cruiser, three destroyers and a submarine. Location of the convoy was was to the south of Bougainville steering to the south-east. Later there were reports of two cruisers and two destroyers in the New Ireland - Isabel Island area.

Following these sightings our reconnaissance aircraft sighted strong enemy naval forces to the north-east of Ontong Java Atoll steering to the southward. These naval forces when sighted were about 300 miles north of Task Forces 11 and 16. When this strong enemy naval force was sighted USS Saratoga had just landed on her aircraft which had stayed overnight on the airfield at Guadalcanal.

Vice-Admiral Fletcher ordered all ships to have steam for full speed by 1200L/24. The Task Forces then proceeded to the north and east whilst preparing air strike groups to attack the enemy.

The aircraft reports of the enemy naval forces when plotted failed to give a clear picture of the situation because the reports were not amplified and were not kept up to date. It was obvious, also, that the enemy types were being mistaken, particularly that destroyers were being reported as cruisers. However the reports showed that the enemy had a very considerable naval force, including an aircraft carrier, to the northward of the Allied Task Forces 11 and 16.

The Japanese forces operating in the area were the following; The ' Main Force ' was made up of the heavy cruisers Atago, Takao, Maya, Myoko, Haguro, light cruiser Yura and the destroyers Asagumo, Yamagumo, Kuroshio, Oyashio and Hayashio.
The ' Support Force ' was made up of the battleship Mutsu, seaplane tender Chitose and the destroyers Natsugumo, Murasame, Harusame and Samidare.
The ' Carrier Force ' was made up of the aircraft carriers Shokaku, Zuikaku and the destroyers Akigumo, Yugumo, Makigumo, Kazagumo, Shikinami.
The ' Cover Force ' was to provide cover for the ' Carrier Force ' and was made up of the battlecruisers Hiei, Kirishima, heavy cruisers Kumano, Suzuya, Chikuma, light cruiser Nagara and the destroyers Akizuki, Hatsukaze, Maikaze, Nowaki, Tanikaze and Yukikaze.
The ' Distraction Force ' was made up of the light carrier Ryujo, heavy cruiser Tone and the destroyers Amatsukaze and Tokitsukaze (all links are offsite links).

Around 1330L/24, USS Saratoga launched a striking force against the ' Ryujo ' Force. The striking force was made up of 30 dive bombers and 8 torpedo bombers. Around 1530L/24, they attacked the Ryujo and managed to heavily damage the Japanse carrier with bombs and torpedo(es). The damaged carrier sinks later the same day in position 06°10'S, 160°50'E.

Shortly after 1405L/24, two large enemy carriers were sighted by a reconnaissance aircraft from USS Enterprise. At 1430L/24, it was however decided not to launch the available striking force from USS Enterprise (only 25 aircraft were available), as these aircraft would not be able to return before dark. Two of the scouts from USS Enterprise attacked the Shokaku with bombs. One very near miss was obtained and she suffered some minor damage to her hull.

The strike force from the Enterprise however was launched to clear the deck between 1625L/24 and 1640L/24 when Japanese aircraft were detected to be approaching. The strike force was ordered to search for and attack the damaged Ryujo and then land on Guadalcanal. They however did not find the Ryujo.

Around the same time USS Saratoga also launched her remaining eight attack planes to attack the enemy battleship and cruiser force reported to the north. They later attacked the Chitose (They identified the target as the Mutsu.) All aircraft, except for one dive bomber which had returned early and two torpedo aircraft which landed on San Christobal Island, returned to the carrier.

At 1602L/24, the radar on the USS Enterprise detected a large unidentified flight of aircraft coming towards, bearing 320°, range 88 miles. At that time there were 25 fighters on Combat Air Patrol and USS Saratoga had 20 ready on deck. The sun was bearing 325°, so the enemy was approaching from the direction of the sun. The radar contact was however soon lost and was not picked up again for 17 minutes. USS Saratoga meanwhile launched her aircraft and a returning search group was ordered to stay clear as enemy attack was imminent but not all picked up this message. It is believed that the Japanese were trailing these returning aircraft.

At 1619L/24, the enemy flight was picked up again on the same bearing but now at a range of 44 miles. Some fighters in the meantime had landed for refuelling while others were launched. In all there were now 38 fighters on CAP. At 1625L/24, one section of our fighters sighted the enemy consisting of about 36 bombers with many Zero fighters above and below. They were then about 33 miles from the Enterprise which at that time was about 10 miles to the north-west of the Saratoga. Shortly afterwards also enemy torpedo aircraft were seen.

USS Saratoga then launched an additional 15 fighters bringing the total in the air to 53. Fighter direction was however not as effective as it could have been due to much non-essential chatter on the radio.

At a range of about 25 miles the enemy split into multiple sections and veered to the north. It was during this interval that the radar screen became confused with the many enemy groups, our returning search aircraft, the Enterprise strike group just launched to attack the Ryujo, the second Saratoga attack group and the many fighters in the air. This, with the poor radio discipline, made it difficult to obtain correct information on the various enemy groups and to control our fighters.

When the enemy aircraft were about 14 miles from the Enterprise, a fighter reported them to be at 18000 feet. Our fighters attacked promptly but had to climb through Zero fighters to reach the bombers, hence the majority of the dive bombers were not intercepted until they were in their dives.

Meanwhile Task Force 61 was doing 27 knots, manoeuvring radically with maximum rudder. The screen came in to close support distance, 2000 yards for cruiser and destroyer within 1800 yards. The USS North Carolina was at 2500 yards from the USS Enterprise proceeding at her full speed.

At 1641L/24, USS Enterprise was near missed by the first group of enemy dive bombers. but soon more groups came in and in the end USS Enterprise was hit by three bombs and suffered many near misses. Many of the attackers were shot down or damaged (Japanese gives 18 dive bombers and 6 fighters lost out of 27 dive bombers and 10 fighters). Repairs were made on board the USS Enterprise and she was able to remain in operation.

Meanwhile speed had been increased to 30 knots by USS Enterprise and her cruiser and destroyer escort. The result was that the North Carolina dropped behind and was now also attacked by Japanese aircraft, she was not hit but suffered three near misses.

During the night of 24/25 August 1942, Task Forces 11 and 16 retired to the south. Task Force 11 was to refuel and Task Force 16 with the Enterprise was to retire for repairs. Task Force 18, having refuelled proceeded northwards.

With the enemy still at large the seaplane tender USS MacKinac (T/Capt. N.R. Hitchcock, USN) and destroyer minelayer USS Breese (T/Cdr. H.F. Staut, USN) were ordered again to retire from Ndeni (Santa Cruz Islands). (5)

25 Aug 1942

Continued operations in the Guadacanal - Tulagi area following the Battle of the Eastern Solomons.

25 August 1942.

During the night of 24 August/ 25 August, Task Forces 11 and 16 retired to the south to refuel or retire from the area for repairs respectively. Task Force 18 had completed fuelling and now proceeded northwards to take their place.

The composition of Task Force 11 was as follows; the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (Capt. D.C. Ramsey, USN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral F.J. Fletcher, USN), heavy cruisers USS Minneapolis (Capt. F.J. Lowry, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H. Wright, USN), USS New Orleans (Capt. W.S. Delany, USN), HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Phelps (T/Cdr. E.L. Beck, USN, with Capt. S.B. Brewer, USN on board), USS Farragut (Cdr. G.P. Hunter, USN), USS Dewey (T/Cdr. C.F. Chillingsworth, Jr., USN), USS Macdonough (Lt.Cdr. E. van E. Dennet, USN), USS Worden (T/Cdr. W.G. Pogue, USN), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN).

Task Force 16 was made up of Enterprise (Capt. A.C. Davis, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral T.C. Kincaid, USN), battleship USS North Carolina (Capt. G.H. Fort, USN), heavy cruiser USS Portland (Capt. L.T. Du Bose, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral M.S. Tisdale, USN), AA cruiser USS Atlanta (Capt. S.P. Jenkins, USN) and the destroyers USS Balch (T/Cdr. H.H. Tiemroth, USN, with Capt. E.P. Sauer, USN on board), USS Benham (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Taylor, USN), USS Ellet (T/Cdr. F.H. Gardner, USN), USS Maury (T/Cdr. G.L. Sims, USN), USS Grayson (T/Cdr. F.J. Bell, USN) and USS Monssen (T/Cdr. R.N. Smoot, USN).

Task Force 18, made up of the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (T/Capt. F.P. Sherman, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L. Noyes, USN), heavy cruisers Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS San Francisco (Capt. C.H. McMorris, USN), AA cruiser USS San Juan (Capt. J.E. Maher, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral N. Scott, USN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, on board), USS Farenholt (T/Cdr. Lt.Cdr. E.T. Seaward, USN, with Capt. R.G. Tobin, USN on board), USS Aaron Ward (T/Cdr. O.F. Gregor, USN), USS Buchanan (T/Cdr. R.E. Wilson, USN), USS Lang (T/Cdr. E.A. Seay, USN), USS Stack (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Greenacre, USN) and USS Sterett (Cdr. J.G. Coward, USN).

The battleship USS North Carolina, the AA cruiser USS Atlanta and the destroyers USS Grayson and USS Monssen were ordered to detach from Task Force 16 and join the other Task Forces.

Another Task Force, Task Force 17, made up of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (Capt. C.P. Mason, USN , flying the flag of Rear-Admiral G.D. Murray, USN), heavy cruisers USS Northampton (Capt. W.D. Chandler, Jr., USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.H. Good, USN), USS Pensacola (Capt. F.L. Lowe, USN), AA cruiser USS San Diego (Capt. B.F. Perry, USN) and the destroyers USS Morris (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Boyer, USN, with Capt. G.C. Hoover, USN on board), USS Hughes (T/Cdr. D.J. Ramsey, USN), USS Anderson (T/Cdr. R.A. Guthrie, USN), USS Mustin (T/Cdr. W.F. Petersen, USN), USS Russell (T/Cdr. G.R. Hartwig, USN) and USS O'Brien (T/Cdr. T. Burrowes, USN) were approaching the New Hebrides area from the eastward. With them was also the tanker USS Guadalupe (T/Capt. J.S. Freeman, USN). Originally intended as reinforcements but they now could take the place of Task Force 16. USS Guadalupe parted company with Task Force 17 on this day as did USS Hughes which was detailed to escort the tanker.

Shortly after midnight during the night of 24/25 August, enemy destroyers shelled our positions in the Guadalcanal / Tulagi area but they inflicted almost no damage. Casualties among our troops were two killed and three wounded. Some dive bombers took off from Henderson Field and claimed to have obtained on hit on an enemy destroyer. The Japanese destroyers which were operating in the Guadalcanal / Tulagi area this night were the Kagero, Isokaze, Kawakaze, Mutsuki and Yayoi. Our positions on Guadacanal were also bombed by high level bombers shortly before noon this day.

After daylight on the 25th, Task Force 11 and part of Task Force 16 commenced fuelling from the tankers USS Cimarron (T/Capt. R.M. Ihrig, USN), USS Platte (Capt. R.H. Henkle, USN) and USS Sabine (T/Capt. H.L. Maples, USN) which were escorted by the destroyers USS Clark (T/Capt. M.T. Richardson, USN), USS Dale (Cdr. H.E. Parker, USN) and USS Gwin (Cdr. J.M. Higgins, USN).

On completion of the fuelling USS Enterprise, USS Portland, USS Balch, USS Benham and USS Ellet parted company to leave the operations area. USS Maury was ordered to proceed to Tulagi. She rejoined on the 28th. Task-Force 16 arrived at Tonga on 30 August 1942.

Meanwhile Task Force 18 was operating in support of the Marines on Guadalcanal. Three enemy reconnaissance aircraft were shot down by fighters from USS Wasp. In addition aircraft from USS Wasp reconnoitred Rakata Bay which was suspected to be used by the enemy but the Bay was found to be empty.

Two submarine contacts were obtained by Task Force 18 on the 25th. The destroyer USS Grayson sighted a ship on the horizon and was detached to invesitigate. The ' ship ' turned out to be a large submarine which submerged. USS Grayson then attacked with several patterns of depth charges. She was later joined by USS Patterson. When USS Grayson ran out of depth charges USS Monssen took over from her. In the end the Japanese submarine, which was the I-9 (offsite link), managed to escape damaged. The other submarine contact was attacked by a dive bomber from USS Enterprise which claimed a direct hit.

26 August 1942.

Shortly after midnight Task Force 11 (Saratoga Group) completed fuelling and reinforced by USS North Carolina, USS Atlanta, USS Grayson and USS Monssen proceeded northwards to join Task Force 18 (Wasp Group).

At 1215L/26, our positions on Guadacanal were raided by sixteen twin engined enemy bombers supported by twelve Zero fighters. Allied land based fighters intercepted them and shot down seven bombers and five fighters for the loss of one fighter including its pilot.

On joining up both Carrier Task Forces operated during the night of 26/27 August on the parallel of 11°S, between San Christobal Island and the Santa Cruz Islands.

27 August 1942.

During the day the carrier groups had steered to the southward and by sunset had reached position 12°00'S, 165°00'E. In the afternoon the CAP had shot down a large four-engined enemy flying boat which attempted to shadow the carrier forces.

Allied reconnaissance aircraft from Ndeni again found enemy naval forces to the north-east of the Solomons. The forces comprised a battleship, cruisers and destroyers. They were reported on various courses during the day but always in the vicinity of position 02°00'S, 162°00'E.

According to intelligence more and more units of the Japanese Fleet were known to be in the area as were a lot of the Japanese senior naval commanders. This indicated the magnitude of the effort the Japanese are preparing to make in the area.

The Allied Commander South Pacific (Vice-Admiral Ghormley) decided that every effort should be made to reinforce our positions in the Guadalcanal - Tulagi area.

During the day the seaplane tender (former destroyer) McFarland (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Alderman, USN) relieved the destroyer minelayer USS Breese (T/Cdr. H.F. Staut, USN) at Ndeni thus joining the seaplane tender USS MacKinac (T/Capt. N.R. Hitchcock, USN) there.

In the Guadalcanal - Tulagi area there were no reports of enemy activity. A large patrol had been sent to attack a Japanese outpost at Kukumbona (seven miles west of Lunga Point). In the afternoon four additional fighters landed at Henderson Field. On their way in they had damaged and hopefully destroyed a large four-engined enemy flying boat.

During the night Task Forces 11 and 18 cruised around latitude 12°00'S between meridians 165°00'E and 162°00'E.

28 August 1942.

At daylight the two carrier groups were sixty miles south of San Cristobal Island and operated throughout the day to provide cover for a convoy en-route to the Guadacanal - Tulagi area from the New Hebrides area.

This convoy was made up of the transports USS William Ward Burrows (AP 6) (4577 GRT, built 1929) (T/Cdr. E.I. McQuiston, USN) and Kopara (New Zealand, 679 GRT, built 1938). They were escorted by the destroyer minelayers 2157 Gamble (Lt.Cdr. S.N. Tackney), 2368 Tracy (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Collis, USN) and the high speed transports (former destroyers) USS Colhoun (T/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Madden, USN), USS Gregory (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Bauer, USN) and USS Little (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Lofberg, Jr., USN).

Reconnaissance aircraft found no enemy naval forces in the area north-east of the Solomon Islands. Enemy submarine activity in the area between 05°S and 15°S, and 160° to 170° has greatly increased during the last few days and it is estimated that there area now at least ten enemy submarines in the area. It would appear that the enemy is aware of the approximate vicinity of our forces and is andeavouring to achieve some success against our carriers with this concentration of submarines. However, the carrier forces have an ample number of screening destroyers and strong A/S air patrols which are maintained during daylight and have been keeping the submarines down and scoring some successes against them.

During the day Rear-Admiral Scott transferred from the USS San Juan to the San Francisco. The USS San Juan then parted company to join Task Force 16 (the Enterprise Group) as she had a defective gun mount for which she needed to undergo repairs.

In the Guadalcanal area, the US Marines patrol returned after dealing with the enemy detachmentt at Kukumbona. US casualties had been five killed and ten wounded. Enemy casualties uncertain.

An afternoon air patrol from Guadalcanal located an enemy force comprising three large destroyers and one smaller one seventy miles to the northward and steering south. Eleven dive bombers took off and attacked this force resulting in one large destroyer blowing up and sinking, one large destroyer being hit amidships and set on fire and the smaller destroyer being hit and left proceeding at slow speed and in distress. The remaining large destroyer escaped. One of our dive bombers failed to return. It was reported that these destroyer had carried considerable quantities of gear on deck. The destroyer attacked were the Asagiri which was sunk while the Shirakumo and Yugiri sustained heavy damage and the Amagiri sustained minor damage. [All these destroyers were the same size as all belonged to the Fubuki-class, all links are offsite links.]

It was learnt that about 100 Japanese had landed on Mahige Island (South end of Isabel Island) the previous afternoon from two rafts. It is probable that this party consised of survivors from the transport which had been sunk about 120 miles to the northward on the 25th by our aircraft.

During the night of 28/29 August 1942, both carrier groups proceeded to the northward.

29 August 1942.

At daylight the carrier groups were in approximate position 10°00'S, 163°00'E, able to cover the arrival at Guadalcanal of the convoy mentioned earlier. In this position Task Forces 11 and 18 were joined by Task Force 17. During the day they operated to the southward reaching latitude 12°S by sunset.

At 0440L/29, our position in Guadalcanal was bombed by 6 enemy aircraft and at 1155L/29 our position was again bombed. In this raid, which was carried out by 18 twin-engined bombers, supported by 9 fighters, our shore based fighters intercepted and shot down at least three enemy bombers and four enemy fighters (Type Zero). In addition one bombers was brought down by AA fire. Two Allied fighters were destroyer on the ground and two were damaged in aerial combat. Some ammunition and AA material had been destroyed. Allied casualties were 3 killed and 9 wounded.

The Commanding General Guadalcanal has reported that only the F4F Wildcat fighters are able to compete against the enemy's bombing formations owing to the great height at which they approach.

At 1250L/29, our convoy arrived in the Tulagi area with a much needed cargo of ammunition, rations, aviation spirit and stores. After unloading, the three high speed transports (former destroyers) will remain in the area to transport Marine raider detachments in mopping up operations against outlying enemy detachments.

The next movement of supplies to Guadalcanal area began today with the departure from Esperitu Santo of the destroyer USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) escorting the patrol tenders YP 239, YP 284 and YP 326 and of the destroyer USS Henley (Lt.Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) escorting the Naval Cargo Ship USS Betelgeuse (AK 28) (6198 GRT, built 1939) (T/Capt. H.D. Power, USN).

A report was received the enemy cruisers or destroyers have left Faisi (Shortland Islands) to proceed to Guadalcanal at high speed. Orders were therefore given for the USS William Ward Burrows, Kopara and their escort to retired to the eastward through the Lengo Channel and to return to the area the next day to complete unloading. Indeed the Japanese destroyers Isokaze, Kawakaze, Suzukaze and Umikaze had departed followed by the Fubuki, Hatsuyuki and Murakumo. They landed Japanese troops near Cape Taivu during the night of 28/29 August 1942.

During the night of 29/30 August 1942, the Carrier Groups cruiser in the vicinity of position 12°00'S, 164°00'E.

30 August 1942.

At daylight the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) finally joined the Carrier Forces which at 0800M/12 were reorganized as follows;
Task Force 61 (Vice-Admiral F.J. Fletcher, USN)
Task Group 61.1, under Vice-Admiral Fletcher was made up of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, battleship USS North Carolina, heavy cruisers USS Minneapolis, USS New Orleans, AA cruiser USS Atlanta and the destroyers USS Phelps, USS Farragut, USS Dewey, USS Macdonough, USS Worden, USS Grayson and USS Monssen.
Task Group 61.2, under Rear-Admiral G.D. Murray, USN, was made up of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, heavy cruisers USS Northampton, USS Pensacola, light cruiser USS Phoenix, AA cruiser USS San Diego and the destroyers USS Morris, USS Anderson, USS Mustin, USS Russell, USS O'Brien, USS Bagley and USS Patterson.
Task Group 61.3, under Rear-Admiral L. Noyes, USN, was made up of the aircraft carrier USS Wasp, heavy cruisers HMAS Australia, USS San Francisco, USS Salt Lake City, light cruiser HMAS Hobart and the destroyers USS Selfridge, USS Farenholt, USS Aaron Ward, USS Buchanan, USS Lang, USS Stack and USS Sterret.

During the day the combined Task Force operated in the vicinity of position 12°30'S, 164°00'E.

In the Guadalcanal area there was an aerial engagement in the forenoon in which Allied fighters shot down 8 land-based enemy type Zero fighters for a loss to themselves if 4 aircraft of which 1 pilot was rescued. Around 1500M/30, 18 enemy bombers attacked Allied ships unloading of Kukum during which the high speed transport USS Colhoun was sunk. No other ships were hit. During the night of 29/30 August the transport William Ward Burrows had grounded on Sylvia shoal off Tulagi. She was towed off, with great difficulty, the following day. It was believed that USS Gamble and USS Little each destroyed an enemy submarine in the area on the 29th. [USS Gamble indeed sunk the I-123 (offsite link).]

In the afternoon 17 F4F fighters and 4 scout dive bombers arrived as reinforcements at Henderson Field.

During the afternoon an enemy force of four cruisers was located between Isabel and New Georgia Islands, proceeding to the north-west. They were then bombed by the aircraft which made the sighting but no hits were obtained. [More likely this were destroyers though.]

During the night of 30/31 August 1942 the combined carrier forces steered to the northward. Task Force 18 / 61.3 ('Wasp'-Group) was to be detached during the night to proceed to Noumea for fuel, provisions, ammunition and a few days of in harbour. Task Forces 11 / 61.1 and 17 / 61.2 would reach latitude 10°S at daylight to continue the operations.

31 August 1942.

Shorty after midnight, Task Group 61.3 turned to the southward to proceed to Noumea as planned.

However, at 0748M/31, in position 10°34'S, 164°18'E, USS Saratoga was hit by a torpedo from the Japanese submarine I-26 (offsite link) which had fired a salvo of six. The torpedoes were spotted by USS Macdonough which alerted the carrier which was able to dodge the other torpedoes, one of which had broken surface as well. The carrier came to a standstill. Prior to the attack, at 0310M/31, the new SG radar of USS North Carolina had detected a surface contact and at 0337M/31, USS Farragut had been detached to investigate but she could not find anything [obviously, the submarine had submerged and tried to get into an attack position.]

Towing gear was then rigged and USS Minneapolis and USS New Orleans were ordered to make ready to take the disabled carrier in tow but at 0835M/31, USS Saratoga was able to get underway on one shaft and commenced to leave the area. the destroyer USS Monssen was left behind with orders to keep the sumbarine down until sunset and then rejoin. At the same time USS Phelps obtained a contact. While maintaining contact USS Macdonough came in and dropped depth charges. USS Monssen then took over.

Around 1018M/31, the destroyer USS Bagley joined from Task Force 17 / 61.2 to reinforce the damaged carrier's destroyer screen. Eight minutes later a second shaft could be used to propel the damaged carrier which by now was back on an even keel.

At 1043M/31, all power was however lost and she was dead in the water again. At 1204M/31, a towline was established with the cruiser USS Minneapolis and towing commenced around half an hour later.

Around 1310M/31, both usable shafts were back 'online' and she was able to propel herself again. Towing was still continued though and the ship was towed into the wind and at 1330M/31, 29 aircraft were flown off to Esperitu Santo. Tow was casted at 1637M/31.

During 1 September 1942, 5 more aircraft were flow off to Esperitu Santo while 2 returned from there. Also an A/S patrol was maintained throughout the day. Around 1842M/1, the tug Navajo (T/Cdr. J.A. Ouellet, USN), escorted by the destroyer Laffey (Lt.Cdr. W.E. Hank, USN) joined.

On 2 september USS Saratoga flew off 2 aircraft to Esperitu Santo and a total of 32 fighters to Efate. also the Task Group, less the Saratoga fuelled from the tanker USS Guadalupe which had arrived escorted by the destroyer USS Dale. Also during the day personnel and bagage were transferred to the destroyers USS Monssen and USS Grayson. Early in the afternoon 17 aircraft landed on from Esperitu Santo for gear, torpedoes, etc.. These aircraft later took off again to return to Esperitu Santo but one crashed on taking off, the pilot being rescued by USS Navajo. Again A/S patrols were maintained throughout the day.

On 3 September fuelling was completed and USS Guadalupe and USS Dale were detached around 1245M/3. As usual air patrols were maintained throughout the day. Task Force 11 arrived at Tonga on 6 September 1942.

Meanwhile around 1200M/1, Task Force 18 / Task Group 61.3 turned around. The destroyers then fuelled from the bigger ships.

On 31 August 1942, in the Guadalcanal area, moonlight air patrol had located two enemy cruisers and two destroyers near Cape Taivu. They were close inshore and are thought to have been discharging troops and cargo. Dive bombers then attacked them forcing them to withdraw. [In fact during the night of 31 August / 1 September, 1000 troops and stores were landed by the Japanese destroyers Kagero, Kawakaze, Suzukaze, Umikaze, Fubuki, Amagiri, Hatsuyuki and Murakumo.]

In the afternoon the USS Betelgeuse escorted by USS Henley arrived at Guadalcanal. On board were much needed stores including aviation spirit. Also on board were 200 Navy construction personnel to assist in unloading operations. On their departure these two ships were to evacuate 400 POW's. Also on this day the Kopara completed unloaded and departed escorted by the USS Tracy.

Around 1800M/31, HMAS Australia, HMAS Hobart and USS Selfridge parted company with Task Group 61.3 with orders to proceed to Brisbane, Australia.

Around 1900M/31, USS Phoenix, USS Bagley and USS Patterson parted company with Task Group 61.2 also with orders to proceed to Brisbane, Australia. All these ships were to revert to the control of the Commander-in-Chief South-West Pacific.

2 Sep 1942
Around 1330L/2, HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN on board) are joined by USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) joined company. They then continued their passage to Brisbane. (5)

3 Sep 1942
In the afternoon, Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) arrived in Moreton Bay. They arrived at Brisbane early in the evening. (5)

6 Sep 1942
While at Brisbane, around 1230K/6, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), is hit and damaged by the transport John Wise (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942). HMAS Hobart sustained some damage on the port side near the Ward Room. The hull underwater was inspected by divers but no damage was found under the water line. Repairs to the damage commenced around 2000K/6 and were completed around 1130K/10. (97)

7 Sep 1942

Operations by Task Force 44 in the south-west Pacific / Milne Bay area.

7 September 1942.

Around 1100K/7, ships of Task Force 44, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) departed Brisbane to patrol in the Coral Sea so as to be in position to support operations in the Milne Bay area if called upon. Reinforcements were to join as soon as possible as some ships of Task Force 44 had been detached on other duties or were undergoing repairs.

On departure from Brisbane it had been intended to conducted gunnery exercises using a target that was being towed by the auxiliary M/S trawler HMAS Tongkol (?). Bad weather conditions hover prevented the exercises proceeding as the towline of the target fouled the srew of HMAS Tongkol. USS Bagley briefly stood by the M/S trawler but rejoined the other ships later the same day.

8 September 1942.

At 1200K/8, Task Force 44 was in position 23°27'S, 154°45'E, course 345°, speed of advance 15 knots.

Around 1 830K/9, USS Selfridge and USS Bagley parted company with the cruisers for a night encounter exercise. On completion of the exercise they rejoined the cruisers.

9 September 1942.

During the forenoon Allied bomber aircraft made contact with the force in order to learn the recognition and identification of our ships.

At 1200K/9, Task Force 44 was in position 17°42'S, 152°58'E, course 345°, speed of advance 15 knots.

At 1500K/9, course was reversed to make contact with the destroyers USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) and USS Henley T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) who were approaching the area coming from Efate. They were however not sighted and at 1745K/9 course was shaped to the north-west and speed was increased to 22 knots.

10 September 1942.

Around 0700K/10, USS Helm and USS Henley were sighted and joined company and the force then entered the area in which it had been intended to operate. Course was thus set to the northward at 15 knots to get within striking distance of Milne Bay whilst awaiting the results of our land based reconnaissance aircraft.

At 1200K/10, Task Force 44 was in position 13°45'S, 148°47'E, course 350°, speed of advance 15 knots.

Around 1145K/10, HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), with her repairs completed, departed Brisbane to join Task Force 44 at sea.

By 1800K/10, no reports of enemy forces had been received to Task Force 44 retired to the southwards for the night.

11 September 1942.

At daylight Task Force 44 turned and steered towards the north-east to await the result of this mornings air reconnaissance.

At 1200K/11, Task Force 44 was in position 12°49'S, 147°49'E.

The forenoon air searches had not located any enemy forces within reach of Milne Bay. Task Force 44 therefore turned to the south-east and USS Selfride and USS Bagley were ordered to fuel from HMAS Australia and USS Phoenix. Fuelling was barely begun when an aircraft report was received placing two enemy destroyers east of the Trobriand Islands at noon steering to the south-west. As this was the type of force that had previously been sent into Milne Bay and that when these ships would continue to Milne Bay they would find the destroyer HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) and two transports there.

Fuelling was at once stopped and Rear-Admiral Crutchley ordered Captain Flynn to proceed, from position 13°09'S, 148°03'E, with USS Selfridge, USS Helm, USS Henley and USS Bagley at 28 knots towards Milne Bay to destroy any enemy force entering or found in the bay or to withdraw to the southward in case the enemy was forced to withdraw due to our bombing by land based striking forces or to withdraw by early dawn if his force had entered Milne Bay and contact had not been made with the enemy.

Meanwhile HMAS Australia and USS Phoenix would proceed to the northward to be in position to provide cover if needed. At 1600K/11, a reconnaissance aircraft reported an enemy cruiser north of Woodlark Island and on a southerly course. It was seen that this enemy vessel could also reach Milne Bay during the night and Rear-Admiral Crutchley therefore turned his cruisers towards China Strait at 22 knots. At 1630K/11, an air striking force from Port Moresby attacked the two enemy destroyers which had now reached Normanby Island and scored on hit on the stern of one of them, setting her on fire and bringing her to a standstill. The second enemy destroyer was last seen at 1725K/11, heading 160° at 30 knots. No other report subsequent to the original sighting report was received of the enemy cruisers. It seemed, therefore, that one enemy destroyer and one enemy cruiser might enter the Milne Bay area during the night and that Captain Flynn's force would be ample to deal with them. [The Japanese destroyers were the Isokaze and Yayoi of which the last one was sunk in position 08°45'S, 151°25'E.]

By 2030K/11, no further information had been received and so being confident that cruiser support was not required, Rear-Admiral Crutchley turned HMAS Australia and USS Phoenix to the southward to make rendezvous with HMAS Hobart the next morning. Speed was set to 17 knots.

12 September 1942.

Around 0800K/12, HMAS Hobart joined having steamed from Brisbane at 22 knots. The three cruisers then shaped course to the northward to make contact with the four destroyers now withdrawing from the Milne Bay area.

At 1200K/12, the cruisers were in position 14°03'S, 148°02'E steering 000° at 15 knots.

Around 1600K/12, the destroyers rejoined. USS Helm and USS Henley were at once fuelled by HMAS Australia and USS Phoenix.

Captain Flynn reported that they had entered Milne Bay at 2345K/11 and then swept to the westward to 150°33'E and then patrolled east and west between that longtitude and 150°54'E on either side of latitude 10°24'S. They had cleared China Strait at 0615K/12 and had sighted nothing of interest. HMAS Arunta and two transports then entered the Bay at 0600K/12.

On completion of fuelling the two destroyers Task Force 44 set course to the south-west of the night.

13 September 1942.

At 0630K/13, USS Selfridge and USS Bagley commenced fuelling from HMAS Australia and USS Phoenix.

At 1200K/13, Task Force 44 was in position 12°21'S, 147°37'E, steering 130° at 15 knots.

14 September 1942.

At 1200K/14, Task Force 44 was in position 14°07'S, 149°25'E, steering 050° at 15 knots.

Shortly after noon, HMAS Henley obtained a promising A/S contact which was immediately attacked with a full pattern of depth charges after which contact was lost. An A/S patrol launched by HMAS Australia then patrolled the area of the attack but found no sign of an enemy submarine being present.

During the night the force proceeded to the southward.

15 September 1942.

At 1200K/15, Task Force 44 was in position 14°02'S, 149°00'E, steering 010° at 15 knots.

Around 1400K/15, Task Force 44 turned to the South-West to proceed to Challenger Bay, Palm Islands to fuel.

16 September 1942.

At 0545K/15, USS Phoenix launched two aircraft for A/S patrol off Grafton Passage through which the force was to pass.

Task Force 44 passed through the Grafton Passage around 0745K/15 and arrived at Challenger Bay around 1545K/15. They now had to wait for the tanker to arrive, meanwhile the sloop HMAS Warrego (Lt.Cdr. A.D.C. Inglis, RN) conducted A/S patrol off the bay. This duty was later taken over by HMAS Castlemaine (T/Lt.Cdr. P.J. Sullivan, RANR(S)).

A transport with fresh supplies was also sent from Townsville. (98)

10 Sep 1942
Around 1145K/10, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) departed Brisbane to make rendezvous with Task Force 44.

[For more info see the event ' Operations by Task Force 44 in the south-west Pacific / Milne Bay area ' for 7 September 1942.] (97)

18 Sep 1942

Continued operations by Task Force 44 in the south-west Pacific / Milne Bay area.

18 September 1942.

Around 0900K/18, Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) and USS Henley T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) sailed from Challenger Bay (Palm Islands) to operate again to the south of New Guinea. On sailing USS Selfridge developed a steering gear defect and she had to be left behind to effect repairs and join on completion of these. The chartered tanker British Sailor (British, 5576 GRT, built 1918) and supply ship Yunnan (British, 2812 GRT, built 1934) also departed for Townsville escorted by HMAS Castlemaine (T/Lt.Cdr. P.J. Sullivan, RANR(S)).

Around 1730K/18, Task Force 44 cleared the Grafton Passage and shaped course to the north-east at 15 knots. USS Selfridge rejoined around 1800K/18 having completed repairs to her steering gear.

19 September 1942.

At 1200K/19, Task Force 44 was in position 13°24'S, 148°46'E, course 110°, speed of advance 15 knots.

As HMAS Stuart (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN), which had been at Milne Bay with four transports, had to retire to Port Moresby to fuel, Task Force 44 changed course to the northward at 1600K/19 so as to give close cover to these ships. By 2100K/19 there had been no report of enemy activity in the area and Task Force 44 turned to the southward for the night.

20 September 1942.

At 0600K/20, Task Force 44 turned to the north-west.

At 1200K/20, Task Force 44 was in position 12°37'S, 149°07'E, course 330°, speed of advance 15 knots.

Around 1600K/20, Task Force 44 changed course to the southward to meet the destroyer USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) which was coming north from Sydney having completed repairs there.

During the day USS Bagley reported her gun director out of action. This additional casualty now makes it necessary for her to be the first destroyer to be withdrawn to Sydney for overhaul.

21 September 1942.

Around 0800K/21, USS Mugford joined.

At 1200K/21, Task Force 44 was in position 14°09'S, 149°07'E, course 080°, speed of advance 14 knots.

Around 1400K/21, course was altered to the northward. USS Bagley was then detached to proceed to Sydney so as to arrive there during daylight on 24 September.

Around 1800K/21, Task Force 44 turned to the westward as no enemy sightings had been made by our reconnaissance aircraft.

22 September 1942.

Around 0600K/22, course was altered to the eastward.

At 1200K/22, Task Force 44 was in position 13°29'S, 147°49'E, course 060°, speed of advance 15 knots. This course was maintained until 2000K/22 by which time there had been no enemy sightings by our reconnaissance aircraft and Task Force 44 retired to the southward during the night.

23 September 1942.

At 1200K/23, Task Force 44 was in position 12°26'S, 150°05'E, course 070°, speed of advance 15 knots.

At 1300K/23, course was altered to the north and at 2000K/23 course was altered to 220° for the night.

24 September 1942.

During the forenoon HMAS Hobart and the destroyers were fuelled by HMAS Australia and USS Phoenix.

At 1200K/24, Task Force 44 was in position 15°45'S, 148°37'E, course 120°.

Fuelling was completed around 1300K/24, and course was changed to north with speed set at 15 knots.

25 September 1942.

During the forenoon two unidentified aircraft flew over the Task Force at 15000 feet. Visibility was poor and it was hoped the aircraft did not see Task Force 44. They later disappeared of the radar screen steering a steady course of 190°.

At 1200K/25, Task Force 44 was in position 13°45'S, 148°02'E, course 060°, speed of advance 15 knots.

At 2000K/25, Task Force 44 turned to the south for the night.

26 September 1942.

Around 0600K/26, Task Force 44 turned to the east-north-east.

At 1200K/26, Task Force 44 was in position 14°41'S, 149°46'E, course 030°, speed of advance 15 knots.

By 1800K/26, no reports of enemy warships within reach of Milne Bay had been received course was set for the Grafton Passage as Task Force 44 needed to refuel.

27 September 1942.

Around 1130L/27, Task Force 44 entered the Grafton Passage. Half an hour later USS Mugford, which had collected mails from all ships, parted company to proceed to Townsville so as to arrive there around 1830L/27. She had orders to remain at Townsville overnight and having embarked mails, stores and personnel for Task Force 44, to leavy harbour around 0800L/28 and then rejoin the force at Cid Harbour.

At 1230L/27, HMAS Australia's aircraft was launched to fly to Townsville with despatches. the aircraft was recovered at 1800L/27 when Task Force 44 was near the Brook Islands.

28 September 1942.

At 0730L/28, Task Force 44, less USS Mugford, reached Cid Harbour and began fuelling and provisioning from the chartered tanker British Sailor (British, 5576 GRT, built 1918) and supply ship Merkur (Australian, 5946 GRT, built 1924).

At 1400L/28, USS Mugford arrived from Townsville.

A/S patrol of the area was maintained during daylight hours on 28 and 29 September by a Catalina flying boat. (98)

30 Sep 1942

Continued operations by Task Force 44 in the south-west Pacific / Milne Bay area.

30 September 1942.

At 0530L/30, USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) departed Cid Harbour to pick up mails at Townsville. She was to join Task Force 44 at sea later the same day.

At 0700L/30, Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) and USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) departed Cid Harbour to operate again to the south of New Guinea.

Around 1330L/30, USS Henley rejoined and the mails were distributed among the other ships. HMAS Australia's aircraft, which had flown to Townsville with despatches, was recovered at 1615L/30.

At 1750L/30, a man fell overboard on board HMAS Hobart but he was quickly recovered.

Around 2200L/30, Grafton Passage was cleared and Task Force 44 shaped course 060° at 15 knots.

1 October 1942.

At 1200L/1, Task Force 44 was in position 14°57'S, 149°21'E, course 060°, speed 15 knots.

At 1300L/1, course was altered to 010°.

At 1830L/1, course was altered to 280° and to 230° at 2100L/1.

2 October 1942.

At 0700L/1, course was again shaped in the general direction of Milne Bay.

At 1200L/2, Task Force 44 was in position 14°42'S, 148°21'E, course 030°, speed 15 knots.

At 1900L/2, course was altered to the north.

At 2100L/2, Task Force 44 retired to the south-south-east for the night.

Around 1900L/2, USS Helm was detached to the Grafton Passage as a signal had been received from the Commander-in-Chief South-West Pacific that could not be decyphered. USS Helm was to transmit a signal to inform the Commander-in-Chief South-West Pacific of this.

3 October 1942.

At 0900L/3, Task Force 44 turned to the north-west.

At 1200L/3, Task Force 44 was in position 15°03'S, 150°00'E. USS Helm rejoined and course was then shaped to the north. Speed still 15 knots.

At 2100L/3, Task Force 44 turned to the south-west for the night.

4 October 1942.

At 0900L/4, course was altered to 070°.

At 1200L/4, Task Force 44 was in position 14°50'S, 148°54'E, course 340°, speed 15 knots.

Around 1845L/4, course was altered to the southward to reach a position suitable for fuelling the destroyers out of range of enemy air reconnaissance.

5 October 1942.

Around 0730L/5, HMAS Hobart, which had on board mails from all ships of Task Force 44, parted company to proceed to Sydney to give leave to her crew and to undergo a short refit.

During the morning, USS Helm and USS Mugford fuelled from HMAS Australia and USS Selfridge and USS Henley from USS Phoenix.

During the fuelling operation the aircraft of HMAS Australia provided A/S patrol, unfortunately when it got alongside to be picked up it hit the ships side, capsized and sank. The crew was picked up.

At 1127L/5, course was set in the direction of China Strait.

At 2130L/5, course was altered to the southwestward for the night.

6 October 1942.

At 0645L/6, Task Force 44 altered course to the north-east. USS Phoenix now had to supply the dawn A/S patrol from now on.

At 1200L/6, Task Force 44 was in position 14°33'S, 148°37'E, course 050°, speed 15 knots.

At 2030L/6, Task Force 44 altered course to 250°, to rendezvous with the destroyer USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN), which is coming from Sydney, the following day.

7 October 1942.

At 0640L/7, Task Force 44 altered course to 107° along USS Patterson's approach route to the rendezvous position in 14°00'S, 148°00'E.

Around 0702L/7, USS Patterson was sighted ahead and then joined company. She delivered correspondence from Sydney to all ships.

Around 0910L/7, USS Henley parted company to proceed to Sydney for her maintenance period. She had collected mails from all ships of Task Force 44.

At 1200L/7, Task Force 44 was in position 14°26'S, 149°09'E, course 070°, speed 15 knots.

At 1600L/7, course was altered to 330° and at 2100L/7 to the westward for the night.

8 October 1942.

At 0642L/8, Task Force 44 altered course to 170°.

At 1200L/8, Task Force 44 was in position 14°27'S, 147°29'E, course was now altered to 025°, speed still 15 knots.

At 2100L/8, course was altered to 170°, speed was now 13.5 knots.

9 October 1942.

At 0637L/9, course was altered to 110°, speed 15 knots.

At 1000L/9, course was altered to 340°,

At 1200L/9, Task Force 44 was in position 14°23'S, 149°25'E.

At 1600L/9, course was shaped for Grafton Passage as the fuel in Task Force 44 was no longer sufficient to provide for an operation in the Milne Bay area at high speed with a safe margin for return to base.

10 October 1942.

The Grafton Passage was reached around 0800L/10.

At 1545L/10, Task Force 44, anchored in Challenger Bay, Palm Island. Fuelling was commenced from the chartered tanker Aase Maersk (British, 6184 GRT, built 1930). The supply ship Yunnan (British, 2812 GRT, built 1934) was also present with provisions and mail for all ships. (98)

7 Oct 1942
Around 1630L/7, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), arrived at Garden Island, Sydney to give leave to her crew and for a short refit. (99)

8 Oct 1942
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) is taken in hand for a short refit at Sydney. (99)

16 Oct 1942
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) is docked in the Sutherland Dock at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard. (99)

20 Oct 1942
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) is undocked at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard and then returned to the Garden Island naval base. (99)

21 Oct 1942
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) completed her refit at Sydney. (99)

22 Oct 1942
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) conducted D/G trials at Sydney. These were followed by RDF and compass swing trials. These last had to be abandoned due to the unsuitable weather conditions. (99)

23 Oct 1942
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) conducted RDF trials off Sydney. (99)

24 Oct 1942
Around 0250L/24, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) departed Sydney to rejoin Task Force 44. Her sailing had been delayed by a few hours due to a defect to her crane which required repairs. (99)

25 Oct 1942
Around 0800L/25, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), arrived in Moreton Bay (near Brisbane) from Sydney.

About one hour later Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN, struck his flag in HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and hoisted it in HMAS Hobart.

HMAS Australia and the destroyer USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) then departed Moreton Bay for Sydney. (99)

25 Oct 1942

Continued operations by Task Force 44 in the south-west Pacific / Milne Bay area.

25 October 1942.

Around 1800L/25, Task Force 44, made up of the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Brisbane to patrol in the area to the south of New Guinea.

26 October 1942.

By 0100L/26, Task Force 44 was clear of the searched channel to Moreton Bay. Course was then shaped to the north-north-east.

At 1200L/26, Task Force 44 was in position 24°24'S, 155°08'E, course 345°, speed of advance 17.5 knots.

27 October 1942.

At 1200L/27, Task Force 44 was in position 17°47'S, 152°55'E, course 350°, speed of advance 14.5 knots.

At 1600L/27, course was altered to 300°.

28 October 1942.

At 0820L/28, the destroyer USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) departed Brisbane to join Task Force 44 at sea.

At 1200L/28, Task Force 44 was in position 14°27'S, 148°58'E, course 030°, speed of advance 15 knots.

At 2100L/28, course was altered to the south for the night.

29 October 1942.

At 1200L/29, Task Force 44 was in position 13°55'S, 148°49'E, course 340°, speed of advance 15 knots.

At 2030L/29, course was altered to the southward for the night.

30 October 1942.

At 0940L/30, USS Henley joined coming from Brisbane. She transferred mails to all the other ships of the Task Force. A south-easterly course was then shaped and USS Phoenix fuelled all four destroyers to top them up to about 75% capacity.

At 1200L/30, Task Force 44 was in position 14°18'S, 148°14'E, course 130°, speed of advance 8 knots due to the fuelling operations.

At 1430L/30, Task Force 44 was ordered to return to Brisbane by the Commander-in-Chief South-West Pacific. Course was set accordingly.

31 October 1942.

At 1200L/31, Task Force 44 was in position 17°22'S, 153°01'E, course 170°, speed of advance 15 knots.

1 November 1942.

At 0645L/1, a B 17 bomber arrived to take photographs of the Task Force.

At 1200L/1, Task Force 44 was in position 22°55'S, 154°55'E, course 130°, speed of advance 14 knots.

2 November 1942.

At 1115/2, Task Force 44 entered to north-west swept channel to Moreton Bay. They arrived at Brisbane in the second half of the afternoon. (98)

5 Nov 1942
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises in Moreton Bay. (100)

6 Nov 1942
Task Force 44, made up of the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN), USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) conducted gunnery followed night exercises in the Brisbane area. They returned to Moreton Bay the following morning.

USS Bagley and USS Patterson had parted company around 1545L/6 for escort duties. These destroyers therefore did not participate in the night exercises. (100)

11 Nov 1942
Around 2200L/11, Task Force 44, made up of the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Moreton Bay for Cid Harbour. (98)

13 Nov 1942
Around 1200L/13, Task Force 44, made up of the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) arrived at Cid Harbour.

Around 1400L/13, the destroyer USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) joined.

Around 1530L/13, the destroyer USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) joined.

The following day Task Force 44 fuelled from the chartered tanker Aase Maersk (British, 6184 GRT, built 1930) after she had arrived from Brisbane escorted by HMAS Geelong (A/Lt.Cdr. C.G. Hill, RANR(S)).

Around 1900L/14, the destroyer USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) joined. (98)

15 Nov 1942

Continued operations by Task Force 44 in the south-west Pacific / Milne Bay area.

15 November 1942.

At 1900L/15, Task Group 44.4, made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Cid Harbour to patrol in the area to the south of New Guinea. Rear-Admiral Crutchley had been ordered that half his force was to proceed on patrol to cover shipping movements in the New Guinea area. The other half of his force was to proceed to a forward reef anchorage.

16 November 1942.

At 1200L/16, Task Group 44.4, was in position 17°05'S, 146°06'E.

At 2100L/16, Task Group 44.6, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) departed Cid Harbour for Challenger Bay (Palm Islands).

17 November 1942.

At 0500L/17, when Task Group 44.6 was abreast Townsville, USS Bagley was detached to that place to land despatches and to embark mails. Also a sick rating was landed for hospitalisation.

At 0845L/17, Task Group 44.6 (minus USS Bagley, anchored in Challenger Bay which USS Bagley rejoining around 1325L/17. Task Group 44.6 kept at 2 hours notice for steam.

At 1200L/17, Task Group 44.4, was in position 12°30'S, 147°19'E.

18 November 1942.

At 0800L/18, the chartered tanker Aase Maersk (British, 6184 GRT, built 1930) arrived in Challenger Bay.

At 1200L/18, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°30'S, 149°24'E.

Information was received that convoy movements in the New Guinea area were delayed

Japanese forces, made up of one cruiser and two destroyers were reported at Buna, New Guinea. 12 B-17 bombers attacked them and the cruiser and one destroyer were reported to have been sunk. [In fact three destroyers were at Buna, these were the Asashio, Kawakaze and Umikaze of which the last two were damaged.]

19 November 1942.

At 0800L/19, the supply ship Merkur (Australian, 5946 GRT, built 1924) arrived at Challenger Bay.

Task Group 44.6 then completed with fuel and provisions.

At 1200L/16, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°24'S, 148°40'E.

20 November 1942.

At 0800L/20, the Aase Maersk departed Challenger Bay with 6294 tons of fuel remaining. She proceeded to Townsville to fuel Task Group 44.4 there.

At 1200L/20, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°48'S, 147°48'E. USS Phoenix fuelled the three destroyers of her Task Group during the day.

21 November 1942.

At 0800L/20, the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville to supply Task Group 44.4 there.

At 1000L/20, Task Group 44.4 departed Challenger Bay to relieve Task Group 44.6 on patrol. Grafton Passage was cleared around 1900L/20.

At 1200L/21, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°14'S, 147°57'E.

22 November 1942.

At 0915L/22, rendezvous was made between Task Groups 44.4 and 44.6 in approximate position 14°00'S, 148°00'E. Exercises were then carried out, despatches were exchanged by line and both groups then opened out for radar calibration.

At 1200L/22, Task Group 44.4 was detached to withdraw to the Palm Islands for fuel and stores. Task Group 44.6 commenced patrol. Noon position was 13°49'S. 148°29'E.

23 November 1942.

At 1200L/23, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°35'S, 149°48'E.

Around 1330L, Task Group 44.4 arrived at Challenger Bay. USS Phoenix then fuelled USS Helm and USS Mugford while USS Phoenix and USS Patterson fuelled from the Aase Maersk which had returned to Challenger Bay as did the Merkur.

USS Phoenix sent two of her floatplanes to Townsville with despatches.

24 November 1942.

At 0140L/24, USS Phoenix completed fuelling from the Aase Maersk.

At 0800L/24, the Aase Maersk departed Challenger Bay for Townsville.

Around 0815L/24, USS Bagley parted company with Task Group 44.6 to transmit a signal near Osprey Reef. She rejoined Task Group 44.6 around 1910L/24.

At 0915L/24, USS Patterson departed Challenger Bay for Townsville to transport two hospital cases there.

At 1200L/24, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°10'S, 150°09'E.

25 November 1942.

At 1200L/25, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°45'S, 149°48'E.

At 1755L/25, USS Patterson returned to Challenger Bay from Townsville.

26 November 1942.

At 0850L/26, HMAS Hobart commenced fuelling USS Bagley for a little over an hour. Apparently the destroyer was a bit short of fuel.

At 1200L/26, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°24'S, 150°38'E.

At 1740L/26, the minesweeper HMAS Colac (T/Lt.Cdr. S.B. Komoll, RANR(S)) arrived at Challenger Bay with mails for the ships of the Task Group.

27 November 1942.

At 1000L/27, the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville.

At 1100L/27, Task Group 44.4 departed Challenger Bay to relieve Task Group 44.6 on patrol.

At 1200L/27, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°02'S, 149°35'E.

Around 1915L/27, Task Group 44.4 cleared the Grafton Passage.

28 November 1942.

Around 0915L/27, rendezvous was made between Task Groups 44.4 and 44.6 in approximate position 14°00'S, 148°00'E. Exercises were then carried out, despatches were exchanged by line.

At 1200L/28, Task Group 44.6 was detached to withdraw to the Palm Islands for fuel and stores. Task Group 44.4 commenced patrol. Noon position was 13°51'S. 148°31'E.

29 November 1942.

Around 0700L/29, Task Group 44.6 entered the Grafton Passage. USS Bagley was then detached to proceed to Townsville to land mails and hospital cases.

At 1200L/29, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°25'S, 148°58'E.

At 1430L/29, Task Group 44.6 arrived at Challenger Bay where the Aase Maersk and Merkur had also arrived and fuelling and provisioning was commenced. This was completed the following morning.

30 November 1942.

At 1200L/29, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°34'S, 148°46'E.

Around 1515L/30, USS Bagley arrived at Challenger Bay from Townsville to rejoin Task Group 44.6.

At 1700L/30, the Aase Maersk departed Challenger Bay for Townsville with 2059 tons of fuel still on board.

1 December 1942.

At 1200L/1, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°53'S, 149°08'E.

Around 1300L/1, the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville.

2 December 1942.

At 1200L/29, Task Group 44.4, was in position 14°35'S, 148°32'E.

3 December 1942.

Shortly before noon the Merkur and the tanker USS Victoria (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Olsen, USNR) arrived at Challenger Bay from Townsville.

At 1200L/3, Task Group 44.4, was in position 14°05'S, 149°30'E.

Around 1600L/3, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Challenger Bay from Sydney (via Brisbane). Rear-Admiral Crutchley then transferred his flag from HMAS Hobart to HMAS Australia.

4 December 1942.

At 0815L/4, USS Henley departed Challenger Bay for escort duties.

At 0930L/4, Task Group 44.6, now made up of HMAS Hobart, USS Selfridge and USS Bagley departed Challenger Bay to relieve Task Group 44.4 on the Coral Sea patrol. While clear off Challenger Bay, HMAS Hobart conducted refuelling at sea trials with USS Victoria.

At 1200L/4, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°33'S, 148°57'E.

Around 1915L/4, Task Group 44.6 cleared the Grafton passage and commenced patrol.

During the day the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville and then onwards to Brisbane.

5 December 1942.

Around 0900L/5, Task Group 44.4 entered the Grafton Passage.

At 1200L/5, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°42'S, 149°57'E.

Around 1700L/5, Task Group 44.4 arrived at Challenger Bay, Palm Island.

Around 2200L/5, USS Phoenix and USS Mugford departed Challenger Bay for Sydney for overhaul and give leave.

The following temporary Task Force organisation came into effect on the 5th;
Task Group 44.3 was made up of HMAS Australia, USS Helm, USS Henley and USS Patterson.
Task Group 44.5 was made up of HMAS Hobart, USS Selfridge and USS Bagley.

6 December 1942.

At 1200L/6, Task Group 44.5 (former Task Group 44.6), was in position 14°26'S, 149°25'E.

7 December 1942.

At 1200L/7, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°07'S. 148°28'E.

8 December 1942.

At 1200L/8, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°21'S, 149°38'E.

9 December 1942.

At 1200L/9, Task Group 44.5, was in position 13°54'S, 149°00'E.

Around 2359L/9, USS Bagley was detached from Task Group 44.5 for escort duties.

10 December 1942.

Around 0830L/10, USS Henley arrived at Challenger Bay where she fuelled from USS Victoria. Commander E.W. Young, USN then hoisted his pennant as Commander Destroyer Division Seven on board USS Henley.

At 1145L/10, Task Group 44.3 departed Challenger Bay. While clear off Challenger Bay, HMAS Australia conducted refuelling at sea trials with USS Victoria.

At 1200L/10, Task Group 44.5, was in position 13°39'S, 148°34'E.

11 December 1942.

Around 0930L/11, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 made rendezvous with each other and exercises were then commenced.

Around 1020L/11, USS Bagley rejoined Task Group 44.5 having returned from escort duties.

Around 1500L/11, the Task Groups parted company. Radar calibration test were then carried out. Task Group 44.3 took over the patrol in the Coral Sea while Task Group 44.5 set course for the Dunk Island anchorage where the ships of this task group were to fuel and resupply.

Also on this day the Merkur departed Brisbane escorted by the minesweeper HMAS Goulburn (Lt.Cdr. B. Paul, RANR(S)). USS Victoria departed Townsville for Dunk Island.

12 December 1942.

At 0745L/12, Task Group 44.5 entered the Grafton Passage.

At 0900L/12, USS Selfridge parted company with Task Group 44.5 to proceed to Cairns.

At 1200L/12, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°22'S, 149°27'E.

Around 1300L/12, Task Group 44.5, minus USS Selfridge, arrived at Dunk Island where the ships were fuelled by USS Victoria.

At 1715L/12, USS Selfridge arrived at Dunk Island from a short call at Cairns.

Today it was noted that Japanese air reconnaissance reached further into the Coral Sea presumable to search for Allied aircraft carriers. Seems that an operation in the New Guinea area might be on shortly.

13 December 1942.

At 1200L/13, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°27'S, 149°14'E.

Around 1300L/13, Allied reconnaissance aircraft reported two Japanese cruisers and three destroyers about 200 miles north-west of Vitiaz Strait and proceeding south-east at high speed. This was obviously a force with reinforcements for the New Guinea area. The enemy force was successfully shadowed and tracked all day but attacks by Allied bombers were apparently unsuccessful. [The force reported was actually made up of five destroyers; Yugumo, Kazagumo, Arashio, Inazuma and Isonami.

14 December 1942.

The reported enemy force had landed troops near Gona, New Guinea during the night. The force was again tracked by Allied reconnaissance aircraft from daylight onwards. They were proceeding at high speed towards Rabaul. Bombing attacks were again unsuccessful.

At 0630L/14, USS Patterson completed with fuel from HMAS Australia.

At 1200L/14, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°28'S, 148°47'E.

At 1800L/14, USS Patterson parted company with Task Group 44.5 for Cairns and subsequent escort duty.

On this day the Merkur arrived at Townsville where she embarked mails for Task Force 44. She departed for Dunk Island later the same day.

During the day, Japanese reconnaissance in the Coral Sea came as far south as 14°S.

15 December 1942.

At 1200L/15, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°33'S, 149°31'E.

16 December 1942.

At 0700L/16, USS Bagley departed Dunk Island with mails for Cairns.

At 1200L/16, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°23'S, 149°47'E.

At 1340L/16, Task Group 44.5, minus USS Bagley, departed Dunk Island to make rendezvous with Task Group 44.3.

Around 1730L/16, USS Bagley rejoined Task Group 44.5 with mails from Cairns.

17 December 1942.

Around 0930L/17, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 made rendezvous. Exercises were then commenced.

Around 1500L/17, Task Group 44.3 and 44.5 parted company with the former setting course for Dunk Island while Task Group 44.5 took over the Coral Sea patrol.

18 December 1942.

Around 1200L/18, Task Group 44.3 reached Dunk Island where the destroyers were fully fuelled by USS Victoria. HMAS Australia also fuelled from the tanker but was still 600 tons short when the tanker was empty. Provisions were supplied by the Merkur.

At 1200L/18, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°06'S, 149°04'E.

Around 1530L/18, USS Patterson arrived at Dunk Island from escort duties. She then rejoined Task Group 44.3.

19 December 1942.

At 1130L/19, USS Victoria departed Dunk Island for Brisbane, via Townsville.

At 1200L/19, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°10'S, 149°32'E.

During the day Japanese air reconnaissace even proceeded further to the south. An aircraft was tracked as far as latitude 16°S in longtitude 153°E.

Also on this day the Aase Maersk arrived at Townsville where she embarked mails. She then departed for Dunk Island.

20 December 1942.

At 0800L/20, the Aase Maersk arrived at Dunk Island.

At 1200L/20, Task Group 44.5, was in position 13°30'S, 148°23'E.

21 December 1942.

At 1030L/21, the supply ship Yunnan (British, 2812 GRT, built 1934) arrived at Dunk Island with provisions for Task Group 44.3.

At 1200L/21, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°00'S, 149°24'E.

At 1800L/21, the Yunnan departed Dunk Island for Townsville.

At 2000L/21, the Merkur departed Dunk Island for Townsville.

22 December 1942.

At 0630L/22, USS Mugford arrived at Palm Island following her overhaul at Sydney.

At 0800L/22, USS Patterson then left Dunk Island for Sydney for overhaul.

During the forenoon, HMAS Australia and USS Mugford completed with fuel from the Aase Maersk.

At 1200L/22, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°18'S, 150°17'E.

At 1400L/22, Task Group 44.3, now made up of HMAS Australia, USS Henley, USS Mugford and USS Helm departed Dunk Island for patrol. USS Mugford however developed engine problems and had to be left behind for repairs. She sailed a few hours later to overtake and join Task Group 44.3 the following morning.

23 December 1942.

At 0915L/23, USS Mugford rejoined Task Group 44.3. Task Force 44.5 was sighted by Task Group 44.3 around the same time.

At 1000L/23, Both task groups commenced exercises.

At 1640L/23, the exercises were completed. Task Group 44.3 proceeded on patrol while Task Group 44.5 set course for Challenger Bay.

24 December 1942.

At 0740L/24, Task Force 44.5 entered the Grafton Passage. They were clear 40 minutes later.

Around 0900L/24, USS Bagley parted company with Task Force 44.5 to proceed to Townsville for mails and to land hospital cases.

At 1200L/24, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°35'S, 148°57'E.

Around 1515L/24, Task Force 44.5 arrived in Challenger Bay where the ships commenced fuelling from the Aase Maersk and embarking stores from the Merkur.

Around 1940L/24, USS Bagley arrived at Challenger Bay from Townsville.

25 December 1942.

At 1200L/25, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°34'S, 149°05'E.

26 December 1942.

At 1200L/26, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°24'S, 149°09'E.

Around 1800L/26, USS Mugford parted company with Task Group 44.3 and set course for Brisbane where she is to conduct exercises.

27 December 1942.

At 1200L/27, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°14'S, 148°56'E.

28 December 1942.

At 0950L/28, Task Force 44.5 departed Challenger Bay to make rendezvous with Task Force 44.3.

At 1200L/28, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°04'S, 148°56'E.

29 December 1942.

Around 1000L/29, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 met in approximate position 14°S, 148°'E. Exercises were then commenced.

At 1415L/29, the Task Groups parted company with Task Group 44.3 setting course for the Palm Islands while Task Group 44.5 took over the Coral Sea patrol.

As of 29 December 1942, Task Force 44 was orginised as follows;
Task Group 44.3 made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and the destroyers USS Henley and USS Helm.
Task Group 44.5 made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart and the destroyers USS Selfridge and USS Bagley.
Task Group 44.7 made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix and the destroyers USS Mugford and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN).

30 December 1942.

Around 0830L/30, Task Group 44.3 entered the Grafton Passage.

At 1200L/30, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°03'S, 149°25'E.

Around 1530L/30, Task Group 44.3 arrived at Challenger Bay, Palm Islands to embark fuel and stores from the Aase Maersk and Merkur.

31 December 1942.

At 1200L/31, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°21'S, 149°21'E.

1 January 1943.

During the morning HMAS Hobart fuelled USS Bagley and USS Selfridge.

At 1200L/1, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°07'S, 149°15'E.

2 January 1943.

At 0740L/2, USS Henley departed Challenger Bay, Palm Islands for Townsville with mails where she arrived around 1400L/2.

At 1200L/2, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°12'S, 150°03'E.

3 January 1943.

Around 0730L/3, USS Henley departed Townsville with mails for Task Force 44. She arrived at Challenger Bay around 0930L/3.

Around 1015L/3, Task Group 44.3 departed Challenger Bay to make rendezvous with Task Group 44.5.

At 1200L/3, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°01'S, 150°16'E.

4 January 1943.

Around 0900L/4, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 made rendezvous. Mails were then transferred by USS Henley.

Around 1005L/5, USS Bagley parted company with Task Group 44.5 to proceed to Sydney for upkeep.

Around 1230L/4, the Task Groups parted company with Task Group 44.3 proceeding on patrol while Task Group 44.5 set course for Cid Harbour.

5 January 1943.

At 0920L/5, Task Group 44.5 (HMAS Hobart and USS Selfridge) entered the Grafton Passage.

At 1200L/5, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°26'S, 149°37'E.

6 January 1943.

Around 0700L/6, Task Group 44.5 (minus USS Bagley arrived at Cid Harbour.

Around 0930L/6, Task Group 44.7 (minus USS Ralph Talbot) arrived at Cid Harbour.

Around 1005L/6, the chartered tanker Aase Maersk arrived at Cid Harbour to supply ships of Task Groups 44.5 and 44.7 with fuel.

At 1200L/6, Task Group 44.3, was in position 13°22'S, 147°05'E.

7 January 1943.

Around 0650L/7, the Aase Maersk departed Cid Harbour for Townsville.

Around 0945L/7, USS Selfridge departed Cid Harbour for Townsville where she was to be provisioned.

At 1200L/7, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°01'S, 148°11'E.

Around 1345L/7, HMAS Hobart departed Cid Harbour for Brisbane.

On this day the organisation of Task Force 44 changed.
Task Force 44.5 was disbanded.
Task Group 44.3 was made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and the destroyers USS Henley and USS Helm.
Task Group 44.5 was made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix and the destroyers USS Selfridge and USS Mugford. (98)

8 Jan 1943
Around 0600L/8, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) entered the swept channel into Moreton Bay.

Around 0800L/8, USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) joined company for AA gunnery exercises on a sleeve target towed by RAAF aircraft. The exercises were completed around 0910L/8.

Around 1325L/8, HMAS Hobart arrived at Brisbane. (101)

14 Jan 1943
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises in Moreton Bay on a target that was being towed by the auxiliary M/S trawler HMAS Tongkol (?). (101)

15 Jan 1943
The light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) and HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Stephenson, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises off Moreton Bay. On completion of the exercises HMAS Vendetta returned to Moreton Bay early on the 16th. The other two ships remained at sea for night encounter exercises with HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN). These were followed by a refuelling at sea exercises during which HMAS Hobart refuelled HMAS Warramunga. On completion of the exercises, HMAS Hobart, HMAS Warramunga and USS Patterson returned to Moreton Bay / Brisbane in the early afternoon of the 16th. (102)

22 Jan 1943
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) conducted exercises in Moreton Bay. (101)

23 Jan 1943
Around 1215L/23, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) departed Brisbane for Challenger Bay. She cleared the swept channel to Moreton Bay by 1800L/23. (101)

25 Jan 1943
Around 1200L/25, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) arrived at Challenger Bay, Palm Islands.

Later in the day she fuelled from the tanker USS Victoria (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Olsen, USNR). (101)

29 Jan 1943
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) conducted exercises off Challenger Bay, Palm Islands. (101)

31 Jan 1943
Around 0715L/31, Task Group 44.5, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyer USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Challenger Bay, Palm Islands.

Around the same time, Task Group 44.7, made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) and USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) departed Dunk Island.

The two Task Groups made rendezvous around 0930L/31 and exercises were commenced.

Exercises were completed by noon and then Task Group 44.5 set course for Dunk Island while Task Group 44.7 set course for Challenger Bay, Palm Islands.

Both Task Groups arrived at their destinations later the same afternoon. (103)

3 Feb 1943
Around 2315L/3, Task Group 44.5, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyer USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Dunk Island.

Around 0500L/4, USS Patterson was detached to Townsville.

Around 0730L/4, HMAS Hobart arrived at Challenger Bay, Palm Island.

Around 1325L/4, HMAS Hobart departed Challenger Bay to make rendezvous with USS Patterson returning from Townsville.

After Rendezvous was effected exercises were carried out and they arrived at Dunk Island around 1800L/4. (104)

6 Feb 1943
Around 0650L/6, Task Group 44.5, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyer USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Dunk Island.

Around 0700L/6, Task Group 44.7, made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Dunk Island.

Around 0900L/6, the two Task Groups met and exercises were commenced.

On completion of the exercises around 1230L/6, Task Group 44.5 set course for Challenger Bay, Palm Islands while Task Group 44.7 set course for Dunk Island.

Around 1330L/6, Task Group 44.5 was joined by USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board).

Around 1400L/6, Task Group 44.5 arrived at Challenger Bay.

Around 1530L/6, Task Group 44.7 anchored off Dunk Island. (105)

10 Feb 1943
As of 10 February 1943, the organisation of Task Groups 44.5 and 44.7 was as follows;
Task Group 44.5 was made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN).
Task Group 44.7 was made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN).

Around 1250L/10, Task Groups 44.5 and 44.7 departed Challenger Bay for exercises from which they returned around 1910L/10. (105)

15 Feb 1943
Around 0200L/15, Task Group 44.7, made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Challenger Bay.

They were followed around 0320L/15 by Task Group 44.5, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) also departed.

Around 0445L/15, night encounter exercises commenced between these two Task Groups. The exercises were completed around 0530L/15.

Around 0600L/15, the destroyers commenced conducting dawn torpedo attacks on the cruisers. These were followed by further exercises.

Around 0930L/15, the two Task Groups parted company.

Around 1150L/15, Task Group 44.5 anchored off Dunk Island.

Around 1945L/15, Task Group 44.7 anchored in Kennedy Sound for the night. They got underway again around 0700L/16.

Task Group 44.7 arrived at Brisbane around 1500L/17. (105)

18 Feb 1943
Around 0815L/18, the destroyers of Task Group 44.5, USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Dunk Island for exercises.

They were followed around 0900L/18, by the other member of Task Group 44.5, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN).

Exercises commenced around 0930L/18 and were completed around 1110L/18.

HMAS Hobart returned to Dunk Island around 1300L/18.

The destroyers continued exercising and returned around 1615L/18. (106)

23 Feb 1943
Around 0845L/23, the destroyers of Task Group 44.5, USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Dunk Island for exercises.

They were followed around 0930L/23, by the other member of Task Group 44.5, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN).

Exercises commenced around 1030L/23 and were completed around 1425L/23.

Around 1545L/23, Task Group 44.5 returned to Dunk Island. (106)

25 Feb 1943
Around 1315L/25, the destroyers of Task Group 44.5, USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Dunk Island for exercises.

They were followed around 1430L/25, by the other member of Task Group 44.5, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN).

Exercises commenced around 1530L/25 and were completed around 2330L/25.

Around 0210L/26, Task Group 44.5 anchored in Challenger Bay. (106)

1 Mar 1943

Around 0730L/1, USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) departed Townsville for exercises.

Around 0820L/1, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Challenger Bay, Palm Island for exercises.

Around 0915L/1, the ships of Task Group 44.5 commenced exercises.

Around 1300L/1, exercises were completed.

Around 1355L/1, Task Group 44.5 anchored in Challenger Bay although USS Selfridge arrived around half an hour earlier. (107)

4 Mar 1943
Around 0645L/4, Task Group 44.5, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyer USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Challenger Bay for exercises.

They returned to Challenger Bay around 1245L/4. (107)

7 Mar 1943
Around 0300L/7, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) departed Cleveland Bay for Townsville where she arrived around 0815L/7.

Around 1205L/7, she departed for Dunk Island where she arrived around 1725L/7. (108)

9 Mar 1943
Around 0800L/9, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Bagley (T/Cdr. T.E. Chambers, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Dunk Island for exercises.

On completion of the exercises they proceeded to Challenger Bay where they arrived between 1230 and 1300 hours. (109)

17 Mar 1943
Around 1505L/17, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) departed Challenger Bay, Palm Islands for exercises.

Around 1845L/17, the destroyers USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. T.E. Chambers, USN), USS Helm (T/Cdr. W.B. Braun, USN), USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Challenger Bay to join the exercises.

Exercises continued until the following day and also included underway refuelling exercises with the tanker USS Victoria (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Olsen, USNR).

On completion of the exercises all ships, which was since 15 March 1943 known as Task Force 74, arrived at Dunk Island in the afternoon of 18 March 1943. (110)

21 Mar 1943
Around 0730L/21, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) departed Dunk Island for Townsville where she arrived around 1220L/21.

She departed for Sydney around 1545L/21. (108)

24 Mar 1943
Around 0800L/24, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) entered Sydney Harbour. One hour later she commenced to de-ammunition the ship for refit. (108)

25 Mar 1943
After having completed de-ammunitioning, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), is taken in hand for refit at the Garden Island naval base. (108)

8 Apr 1943
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) is towed from the Garden Island naval base to the Cockatoo Island Dockyard where she is docked in the Sutherland dry dock. (111)

14 Apr 1943
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) is undocked. The ship was then ammunitioned and fuelled. (111)

16 Apr 1943
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) conducted D/G trials at Sydney. (111)

17 Apr 1943
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) conducted A/S, RDF and compass swing trials at Sydney.

Around 1900K/17, HMAS Hobart departed Sydney to rejoin Task Force 74. (111)

19 Apr 1943
Around 1650K/19, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) arrived in Cid Harbour from Sydney. (111)

19 Apr 1943
Around 1830K/19, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) departed Cid harbour for exercises.

Around 1845K/19, USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with T/Capt. F.R. Walker, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Helm (T/Cdr. W.B. Braun, USN) and USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) departed Steamer Passage, Palm Island for exercises. They were joined shortly afterwards by USS Bagley (T/Cdr. T.E. Chambers, USN) coming from Townsville.

Around 1930K/19, HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN) departed Cid harbour for exercises.

Exercises were carried out during the night and the following morning.

All ships arrived at Challenger Bay, Palm Island around 1000K/20 (the destroyers) and 1300K/20 (the cruisers). (112)

26 Apr 1943
Ships from Task Force 74, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with T/Capt. F.R. Walker, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Helm (T/Cdr. W.B. Braun, USN) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Challenger Bay for exercises. These also included underway refuelling exercises with the RFA tanker Bishopdale (8406 GRT, built 1937).

On completion of the exercises Task Force 74 anchored off Dunk Island in the afternoon. (112)

29 Apr 1943
Around 0730K/29, the RFA tanker Bishopdale (8406 GRT, built 1937) departed Dunk Island for exercises.

Around 0815K/29, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN) and the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) also departed.

Around 0900K/29, the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with T/Capt. F.R. Walker, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Helm (T/Cdr. W.B. Braun, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN), USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) also departed.

On completion of the exercises all ships arrived at Challenger Bay early in the afternoon. USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) (112)

3 May 1943
Around 0700K/3, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), USS Helm (T/Cdr. W.B. Braun, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) and USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) departed Challenger Bay for exercises.

Around 1300K/3, they returned to Challenger Bay. (113)

4 May 1943
Around 0850K/4, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), and USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) departed Challenger Bay for exercises.

On completion of this days exercises they anchored off Wheeler Reef around 1300K/4.

Around 0950K/5, they weighed anchor to continue the exercises.

Around 1230K/5, on completion of the exercises, USS Henley was detached to Townsville.

Around 1450K/5, HMAS Hobart arrived at Challenger Bay. (114)

7 May 1943
Around 1330K/7, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), USS Helm (T/Cdr. W.B. Braun, USN) and USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) departed Challenger Bay for exercises and subsequent passage to Cid Harbour.

Around 0700K/8, HMAS Hobart commenced underway refuelling exercises with the RFA tanker Bishopdale (8406 GRT, built 1937).

All ships arrived at Cid Harbour in the second half of the morning. (113)

15 May 1943
Around 0745K/15, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), USS Perkins (T/Cdr. G.L. Ketchum, USN, with COMDESRON 5, T/Capt. J.H. Carter, USN on board) and USS Conyngham (T/Cdr. J.H. Ward, USN) departed Cid Harbour for exercises.

They returned around 1530K/15. (114)

25 May 1943
Around 0730K/25, the destroyers USS Perkins (T/Cdr. G.L. Ketchum, USN, with COMDESRON 5, T/Capt. J.H. Cartes, USN on board), USS Mahan (T/Cdr. J.T. Smith, USN), USS Drayton (T/Cdr. V.A. King, USN), USS Flusser (T/Cdr. J.A. Robbins, USN), HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) departed Cid Harbour for exercises.

Around 0830K/25, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN) and light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) also sailed to join the exercises.

On completion of the exercises all ship returned to Cid Harbour arriving the around or shortly after midnight. (115)

27 May 1943
Around 0730K/27, the destroyers USS Perkins (T/Cdr. G.L. Ketchum, USN, with COMDESRON 5, T/Capt. J.H. Cartes, USN on board), USS Drayton (T/Cdr. V.A. King, USN), USS Flusser (T/Cdr. J.A. Robbins, USN), HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) departed Cid Harbour for exercises.

Around 0830K/27, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN) and light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) also sailed to join the exercises.

On completion of the exercises all ship returned to Cid Harbour arriving between around 1630K/27 and 1800K/27. (115)

31 May 1943
Around 1245K/31, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Perkins (T/Cdr. G.L. Ketchum, USN, with COMDESRON 5, T/Capt. J.H. Cartes, USN on board), USS Flusser (T/Cdr. J.A. Robbins, USN), HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) departed Cid Harbour for exercises which would include night exercises.

They arrived at Challenger Bay around 0950K/1.

(116)

8 Jun 1943
Around 1510K/8, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN) and light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) departed Challenger Bay for exercises.

They were followed around 1630K/8 by the destroyers USS Perkins (T/Cdr. G.L. Ketchum, USN, with COMDESRON 5, T/Capt. J.H. Cartes, USN on board), USS Mahan (T/Cdr. J.T. Smith, USN), USS Flusser (T/Cdr. J.A. Robbins, USN) and USS Smith (T/Cdr. R.A. Theobald, Jr., USN) which were to join the exercises.

Around 2030K/8, the destroyers USS Perkins and USS Smith were detached to proceed to Brisbane for A/S exercises, ammunitioning and to give leave to the crew.

Around 0615K/9, HMAS Australia, HMAS Hobart, USS Mahan and USS Flusser arrived at Cid Harbour. (117)

13 Jun 1943
Around 1800K/13, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) departed Cid Harbour for Cleveland Bay (near Townsville).

14 Jun 1943
Around 0555K/14, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) anchored in Cleveland Bay where she embarked mails for Task Force 74 as was as an RAAF liaison officer.

Around 0800K/14, exercises with RAAF aircraft were commenced.

At 1025K/14, one of the aircraft crashed into the sea. All four crewmembers were rescued by HMAS Hobart after which the exercises continued.

Around 1400K/14, the exercises were completed and HMAS Hobart set course to return to Cleveland Bay where she arrived around 1500K/14, the disembark the RAAF personnel.

Around 1655K/14, HMAS Hobart dropped anchor in Challenger Bay, Palm Islands. (118)

15 Jun 1943
Around 0715K/15, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) departed Challenger Bay for more exercises with RAAF aircraft.

Around 1410K/15, the exercises having been completed, she returned to Challenger Bay. (118)

18 Jun 1943
Around 0715K/18, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) departed Challenger Bay for more exercises with RAAF aircraft.

Around 1540K/18, the exercises having been completed, she returned to Challenger Bay. (118)

20 Jun 1943
Around 0745K/20, the Commanding Officer of Task Force 74, Rear-Admiral Crutchley, his operations officer and some staff transferred from the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN) to the destroyer HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) which then took them to Townsville for a meeting with the Commander-in-Chief South-West Pacific, the Commanding Officer of Task Force 76 and their staffs.

The conference was held on board HMAS Arunta in the early afternoon and pending operations were fully discussed. On completion of the conferance HMAS Arunta returned to Challenger Bay.

During the forenoon, HMAS Australia, light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Flusser (T/Cdr. J.A. Robbins, USN), USS Helm (T/Cdr. W.B. Braun, USN) and USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) conducted exercises with RAAF aircraft. On completion of the exercises they returned to Challenger Bay.

Early in the evening HMAS Hobart departed again for more exercises with RAAF aircraft. She returned to Challenger Bay on completion of the exercises around 0055K/21. (119)

21 Jun 1943
Around 0945K/21, Task Force 74, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN), USS Flusser (T/Cdr. J.A. Robbins, USN), USS Helm (T/Cdr. W.B. Braun, USN) and USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) departed Challenger Bay for exercises.

All ships returned to Challenger Bay in the afternoon with the exception of USS Flusser which proceeded to Townsville on completion of the exercises.

From 1845K/21 to 0030K/22, HMAS Hobart again went to sea for exercises with RAAF aircraft. (119)

22 Jun 1943
Around 0915K/22, Task Force 74, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN), HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) and USS Helm (T/Cdr. W.B. Braun, USN) departed Challenger Bay for exercises with RAAF aircraft.

On completion of these exercises the destroyers proceeded to Townsville to land the dummy aircraft torpedoes they had recovered. HMAS Warramunga returned to Challenger Bay later the same day.

HMAS Hobart returned to Challenger Bay late in the afternoon.

HMAS Australia returned to Challenger Bay in the evening. (119)

24 Jun 1943
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises off Pandora Reef. (118)

26 Jun 1943
Around 0600K/26, the destroyer HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) departed Challenger Bay with mails for Cairns.

Around 1000K/26, Task Force 74, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN) and USS Lamson (T/Cdr. P.H. Fitzgerald, USN) departed Challenger Bay for the Flinders Group.

Around 1600K/26, Task Force 74 was joined by HMAS Arunta.

Around 0915K/27, Task Force 74 arrived in the Fly Channel, Flinders Group. (119)

29 Jun 1943
Around 0645K/29, Task Force 74, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN) and USS Lamson (T/Cdr. P.H. Fitzgerald, USN), departed Flinders Group to provide cover for operations in the Solomon Islands area. They were to patrol to the south of the Louisiades.

The destroyer HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) was to have departed with them but was delayed due to mechanical problems. After repairs she sailed to join at sea which she did around 1300K/29.

At 1200K/30, Task Force 74 was in position 11°59'S, 150°52'E.

At 1200K/1, Task Force 74 was in position 13°07'S, 151°30'E.

After sunrise on 2 July, HMAS Warramunga and HMAS Arunta were fuelled by HMAS Australia.

At 1200K/2, Task Force 74 was in position 13°50'S, 150°48'E.

At 1200K/3, Task Force 74 was in position 12°27'S, 149°54'E.

At 1200K/4, Task Force 74 was in position 12°42'S, 151°05'E.

At 2200K/4, Task Force 74 set course to return to the Flinders Group to fuel and resupply.

At 1200K/5, Task Force 74 was in position 12°42'S, 148°12'E.

At 0915K/6, Task Force 74 anchored off the western side of Stanley Island, Flinders Group.

During the day Task Force 74 was provisioned by the stores ship USS Mizar and fuelled from the Mizar and the chartered tanker Aase Maersk (British, 6184 GRT, built 1930). (120)

10 Jul 1943
Around 0800K/10, Task Force 74, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN), HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) and USS Lamson (T/Cdr. P.H. Fitzgerald, USN), departed Flinders Group first for a few hours of exercises after which they proceeded to provide cover for operations in the Solomon Islands area. They were again to patrol to the south of the Louisiades.

At 1200K/11, Task Force 74 was in position 12°04'S, 150°15'E.

At 1200K/12, Task Force 74 was in position 13°25'S, 151°10'E.

During the morning of 13 July, HMAS Warramunga and HMAS Arunta were fuelled by HMAS Australia.

At 1200K/13, Task Force 74 was in position 13°45'S, 150°45'E.

As three Allied cruiser had been damaged in a naval battle with the Japanese and one destroyer had been sunk it was anticipated by Rear-Admiral Crutchley that his force would be called up to reinforce the Allied Fleet in the Solomons. Course was therefore set accordingly and the Commander-in-Chiefs were informed. These later indeed ordered Task Force 74 to proceed to Tulagi. This was later changed to Esperitu Santo.

At 1200K/14, Task Force 74 was in position 13°06'S, 156°16'E.

At 1200L/15, Task Force 74 was in position 14°17'S, 162°58'E.

Around 0900L/15, Task Force 74 arrived at Esperitu Santo. (121)

17 Jul 1943
Around 0830L/17, the destroyers of Task Force 74, HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN), HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) and USS Lamson (T/Cdr. P.H. Fitzgerald, USN) departed Esperitu Santo for an A/S sweep off the harbour.

Around 0900L/17, the cruisers of Task Force 74, HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN) and HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) departed the harbour and joined the destroyers.

Course was then set for position 12°30'S, 163°00'E.

Around 0700L/18, rendezvous was made with DESRON 21, made up of the destroyers USS Nicholas (T/Cdr. A.J. Hill, Jr., USN, with COMDESRON 21, T/Capt. F.X. McInerney, USN on board), USS Redford (T/Cdr. W.K. Romoser, USN), USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. M. Hall, Jr., USN) and USS O'Bannon (T/Cdr. D.J. MacDonald, USN). The destroyers of Task Force 74 were then detached. Course was set to operate between position 11°30'S, 164°20'E and 12°30'S, 166°30'E.

At 1200L/18, Task Force 74 was in position 12°30'S, 163°58'E.

At 1300L/18, USS Jenkins was detached to perform escort duties.

At 1200L/19, Task Force 74 was in position 12°06'S, 164°56'E.

At 1515L/19, Task Force 74 was ordered to operate in the northern half of area ' Fox ' (Area ' Fox ' was a circle with a radius of 100 miles from position 14°30'S, 162°00'E.)

At 1115L/20, orders were received from the Commander 3rd Fleet directing Task Force 74 to proceed to Esperitu Santo via Bougainville Strait so as to arrive at daybreak the next morning. Course was then set to 105°, speed 23 knots. The Force was zig-zagging.

At 1846L/20, in position 15°07'S, 163°34'E, HMAS Hobart was struck on the port side aft by a torpedo fired by a submarine. [This was the Japanese I-11 (offsite link).] At this time HMAS Australia and HMAS Hobart were formed in column 600 yards apart and were screened by USS Nicholas, USS Radford and USS O'Bannon. Base course was 105°, speed 23 knots and British zig-zag no.38 was being carried out. The night was clear and dark (starlit) and the moon had not yet risen. Sea slight.

in accordance with the zig-zag plan, course had been altered to 115° (10° right of base course) at 1835L/20 and at 1845L/20 course was altered to 135° (30° right of base course). HMAS Australia had just made or were making this latter alteration of course of course but, by HMAS Hobart's clock the wheel would have been put over in another 20 seconds.

On being struck HMAS Hobart immediately reported ' Jig Emerg '. This was by night the emergency turn procedure. So the remainder of the force was manoeuvred clear to starboard. The destroyers USS Nicholas and USS Radford were ordered to stand by HMAS Hobart while HMAS Australia screened by USS O'Bannon continued on. By TBS Rear-Admiral Crutchley informed T/Capt. McInerney that he would make the initial report (signal) of the happening and that he was to make subsequent reports in order to keep all authorities advised of Hobart's condition and off progress being made in getting her clear of the area.

The initial report of Rear-Admiral Crutchley was passed only after considerable communication difficulty for, in spite of the urgent priority given in the transmission, no station answered immediately except Thursday Island (which answered within two minutes). There was much traffic between ships and shore stations on both Task Force Commander's frequency and ship-shore wave. Radio Noumea eventually accepted the message after considerable delay.

After clearing to the southward, HMAS Australia and USS O'Bannon shaped course for Bougainville Strait and re-commenced zig-zag.

On receipt of the report of the casualty to HMAS Hobart, the Commander 3rd Fleet immmediately despatched tugs and additional escorts and also ordered COMPATWING 1 to provide A/S cover from dawn on 21 July until HMAS Hobart and escorts reached Esperitu Santo.

HMAS Australia and USS O'Bannon arrived at Esperitu Santo around 0700L/21. Shortly afterwards USS Jenkins arrived having completed her escort duties. All three then immediately completed with fuel and stores.

Shortly afterwards USS O'Bannon was ordered to proceed on escort duties. HMAS Australia and USS Jenkins were kept at one hour notice for sea.

During the day, reports from COMDESRON 21 in USS Nicholas with HMAS Hobart and escorts showed that the damaged ship was making good progress towards Espiritu Santo and would arrive after dark.

At 0510K/21, the destroyer USS Saufley (T/Cdr. B.F. Brown, USN) had joined HMAS Hobart, she was followed by three tugs, at 0815K/21, the USS Apache (Lt. C.S. Horner, USN) joined, followed at 0930K/21 by the USS Sioux (Lt.(jg) L.M. Jahnsen, USN) and at 1015K/21 by the USS Vireo (T/Lt. C.H. Stedman, USN).

At 1230K/21, USS Apache was detached.

At 1440K/21, USS Saufley was detached.

At 1700K/21, USS Sioux secured to HMAS Hobart forwards and took her in tow.

At 1725K/21, USS Vireo secured alongside on the starboard side. She casted off after 15 minutes.

At 0145L/22, HMAS Hobart safely reached Segond Channel and she dropped anchor around 0230K/22. USS Nicholas and USS Radford were ordered to hasten completion of logistic requirements and Rear-Admiral Crutchley reported to the Commander 3rd Fleet that HMAS Australia, USS Nicholas, USS Radford and USS Jenkins would be ready on two hour's notice from 1600K/22.

Damage to HMAS Hobart was severe. She was taken in hand at Esperitu Santo for temporary repairs before she was able to proceed to Sydney for permanent repairs. (121)

18 Aug 1943
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) conducted trials at Esperitu Santo. (122)

21 Aug 1943
Around 1000L/21, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) escorted by HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) departed Esperitu Santo for Sydney. (122)

26 Aug 1943
Around 1130K/26, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) arrived at Sydney from Esperitu Santo. (122)

27 Aug 1943
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) commenced de-ammunitioning and de-storing the ship at the Garden Island naval base at Sydney. (122)

29 Aug 1943
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) completed de-ammunitioning at the Garden Island naval base at Sydney. she is then taken in hand for action damage repairs and refit. (122)

6 Sep 1943
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) is towed to the Sutherland Dry Dock at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard.

The dock is pumped out on the 8th.

HMAS Hobart remained repairing and refitting at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard until December 1944. (123)

7 Dec 1944
With her repairs and refit completed, HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) proceeded from the Cockatoo Island Dockyard to the Garden Island naval base. This was the first time she moved under her own power since arriving at Sydney on 26 August 1943.

From 7 to 11 December 1944 the ship was ammunitioned at the Garden Island naval base.

Some outstanding work was completed by 14 December 1944 and on this day storing the ship was also completed. (124)

15 Dec 1944
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) conducted D/G and sea trials at / off Sydney. (124)

18 Dec 1944
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) conducted speed, fuel consumption and gunnery trials off Sydney. (124)

19 Dec 1944
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) conducted compass swing trials at Sydney. (124)

20 Dec 1944
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) conducted speed trials on the measured mile. On completion she proceeded to the Cockatoo Island Dockyard. (124)

21 Dec 1944
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) is docked in the Sutherland Dock at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard for the inclining experiment and the tilt test. (124)

22 Dec 1944
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) is undocked and immediately proceeded to sea. Course was set to Jervis Bay where she anchored early in the evening. (124)

25 Dec 1944
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) proceeded from Jervis Bay to Sydney. (124)

30 Dec 1944
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) departed Sydney for Port Phillip (Melbourne). (124)

31 Dec 1944
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) arrived at Williamstown from Sydney. (124)

2 Jan 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) conducted exercises in Port Phillip. (125)

3 Jan 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) conducted exercises in Port Phillip. (125)

4 Jan 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) conducted exercises in Port Phillip. (125)

5 Jan 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) conducted exercises in Port Phillip. (125)

6 Jan 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) proceeded up river to Melbourne. (125)

8 Jan 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) conducted exercises in Port Phillip. (125)

9 Jan 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) conducted exercises in Port Phillip. (125)

10 Jan 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) conducted radar calibration trials to the south-east of Cape Otway for 36 hours. She then returned to Port Phillip on the 11th and anchored off Frankston early in the evening. (125)

12 Jan 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) conducted trials in Port Phillip. (125)

13 Jan 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN), with Admiral G.C.C. Royle, KCB, RN embarked, departed Melbourne for Sydney where she arrived the following day. En-route exercises and a full power trial had been carried out.

At Sydney she was taken in hand for a post work-up repair period which was estimated to take about three weeks.

[As no more reports of proceedings are available for HMAS Hobart after January 1945 some details from February 1945 onwards might be missing.] (125)

7 Feb 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) departed Sydney for rangefinding and inclination exercises (RIX).

On completion of the exercises HMAS Hobart set course for Brisbane, while HMAS Quiberon returned to Sydney. (126)

8 Feb 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) arrived at Brisbane from Sydney. (127)

11 Feb 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) departed Brisbane for Manus. (127)

15 Feb 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) arrived at Manus from Brisbane.

It appears that at Manus she continued her exercise programme. (127)

5 Mar 1945
Task Unit 74.1.1, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN) and the destroyers HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Warramunga (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC and Bar, RN) arrived at Manus from Leyte.

The Task Unit was then joined by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) which had completed her work-up programme at Manus. (128)

7 Mar 1945
Task Unit 74.1.1, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Warramunga (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC and Bar, RN) conducted exercises off Manus. (128)

10 Mar 1945
Task Unit 74.1.1, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Warramunga (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC and Bar, RN) conducted exercises off Manus.

On completion of the exercises HMAS Shropshire and HMAS Arunta set course for Sydney while HMAS Hobart and HMAS Warramunga set course for Leyte to report to CTF 74. (128)

14 Mar 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and HMAS Warramunga (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC and Bar, RN) arrived at Leyte from Manus. (129)

16 Mar 1945
The light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Fletcher (T/Lt.Cdr. R.R. Green, USN) and USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. P.D. Gallery, USN) departed Leyte for Subic Bay. (130)

18 Mar 1945
The light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Fletcher (T/Lt.Cdr. R.R. Green, USN) and USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. P.D. Gallery, USN) arrived at Subic Bay from Leyte.

HMAS Hobart now joined Task Group 74.3 of which the two destroyers were already part of. (131)

24 Mar 1945

Landings off Cebu, as part of operation Victor II.

Around 0700I/24, Task Group 74.3 departed Subic Bay for operations. It was made up of the following units;
Task Unit 74.3.1 was made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (T/Capt. J.H. Duncan, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN) and the destroyers USS Nicholas (T/Cdr. D.C. Lyndon, USN, with COMDESRON 21, T/Capt. J.K.B. Ginder, USN on board) and USS O'Bannon (T/Lt.Cdr. J.A. Pridmore, USN).
Task Unit 74.3.2 was made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Abbot (T/Lt.Cdr. F.W. Ingling, USN) and USS Taylor (T/Lt.Cdr. H.H. de Laureal, USN).
Task Unit 74.3.3 was made up of the light cruiser USS Boise (T/Capt. W.M. Downes, USN) and the destroyer USS Fletcher (T/Lt.Cdr. R.R. Green, USN) and USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. P.D. Gallery, USN).

Around 1645I/24, Task Unit 74.3.3 parted company to proceed to Mangarin Bay, Mindoro where they were to remain in reserve.

At 1530I/25, the Attack Force (see below) was joined by the patrol vessel PCE(R)-850 (Lt. J.C. Mallien, USNR) which had on board members of the 8th Army staff. She came from Panay Gulf.

Around 1600I/25, off the southern point of Negros Island, the destroyer HMAS Warramunga (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC and Bar, RN) joined Task Units 74.3.1 and 74.3.2. She had on board maps for the naval bombardments which were then distributed.

Around 2100I/25, they made rendezvous with the Attack Force to the north-west of Siquijor Island. They then proceeded up Bohol Strait to make for the landing beaches to the south of Cebu City. Task Force 74 was stationed 10 miles ahead of the Attack Force.

The Attack Force (Task Group 78.2) had departed Leyte around 1800I/24 and comprise the following units;
Task Unit 78.2.1 was the headquarters (Communications Command) ship USCGC Spencer (Cdr. J.R. Hinnant, USCG, with the overall commander T/Capt. A.T. Sprague, USN on board).
Task Unit 78.2.2 were the fast transports USS Lloyd (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Taylor, USNR, with T/Cdr, Wm.S. Parsons, USN, Commanding Officer COMTRANSDIV 103, on board), USS Newman (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Thieme, USNR), USS Kephart (Cdr. I.H. Cammarn, USNR) and USS Cofer (Lt. H.C. McClees, USNR).
Task Unit 78.2.3 was the LCI unit which was made up of the following LCI(L)'s; USS LCI(L)-972 (Lt. L.B. Brown, USNR, with COMLCI(L)FLOT 15, T/Cdr. W.V. Deutermann, USN on board), USS LCI(L)-607 (Lt. C.V. Fox, USNR), USS LCI(L)-609 (Lt. K.N. Krecke, USNR), USS LCI(L)-613 (Lt. E.E. Kern, USNR), USS LCI(L)-683 (Lt.(jg) B.H. Keppel, USNR), USS LCI(L)-685 (Lt. P.T. O'Hare, USNR), USS LCI(L)-686 (Lt.(jg) B.H. Keppel, USNR), USS LCI(L)-963 (Lt. W.A. Tomb, Jr., USNR), USS LCI(L)-965 (Lt. A.T. Wellman, USNR), USS LCI(L)-966 (Lt.(jg) R.E. Dein, USNR), USS LCI(L)-970 (Lt. W.A. Moore, Jr., USNR), USS LCI(L)-976 (Lt. W.C. Lawton, USNR), USS LCI(L)-977 (Lt. J.T. Morgan, Jr., USNR), USS LCI(L)-978 (Lt.(jg.) L.B. Huckabee, USNR), USS LCI(L)-980 (Lt.(jg.) K.R. Hopkins, USNR) and USS LCI(L)-984 (Lt.(jg) F.J. Keller, USNR).
Task Unit 78.2.4 was the LSM unit which was made up of the following LSM's; USS LSM-168 (Lt. R. Whelan, USNR, with COMLSMGR 24, T/Lt.Cdr. G.F. Baker, USN on board), USS LSM-35 (Lt. J.M. Burke, USNR), USS LSM-50 (Lt. J.C. Rogers, USNR), USS LSM-150 (Lt. G.B. McCauley, USNR), USS LSM-151 (Lt. W.H. Fitzgerald, USNR), USS LSM-219 (Lt. H. Burns, USNR), USS LSM-225 (Ens. F.C. Sheppard, USNR), USS LSM-237 (Lt. J.L. Poole, USNR), USS LSM-268 (Lt. N. Steinberg, USNR), USS LSM-316 (Lt. W.F. Ney, USNR) and USS LSM-317 (Lt. W.J. Ayres, USNR).
Task Unit 78.2.5 was the LST unit which was made up of the following LST's; USS LST-640 (Lt. F.P. McKenney, Jr., USNR, with COMLSTFLOT 24, T/Capt. H.B. Hudson, USN on board), USS LST-18 (Lt. F.C. Merriam, USCGR), USS LST-171 (Lt. R.L. McGirl, USNR), USS LST-181 (Lt.(jg) C.V. Lynch, USNR), USS LST-454 (Lt. D.J. Morrison, USNR), USS LST-457 (Lt. W.W. Hacker, USNR), USS LST-560 (Lt. H.T. Holsapple, USNR), USS LST-595 (Lt. A.C. Jackson, USNR), USS LST-619 (Lt. J.M. Brennan, USNR), USS LST-638 (Lt. F. Data, USN), USS LST-709 (Lt. G.P. Cruikshank, USNR), USS LST-777 (Lt. W.F. Lagotic, USN), USS LST-922 (Lt. R.A. Stallings, USN). It also included three LCT's, USS LCT-747 (?), USS LCT-830 (?) and USS LCT-1296 (?).
Task Unit 78.2.51 was the LST tractor unit which was made up of the following LST's; USS LST-597 (Lt. W.H. Loving, USNR, with COMLSTGR 70, T/Cdr. D.P. Stickley, USN on board), USS LST-467 (Lt. M.B. Taylor, USN), USS LST-941 (Lt. L.M. Edwards, USN) and USS LST-1035 (Lt. M. Perry, USN).
Task Unit 78.2.6 was the support unit; it was made up of the following LCI(R)'s; USS LCI(R)-230 (Lt.(jg) R.M. Prestidge, USNR, with T/Cdr. D.H. Day, USN on board), USS LCI(R)-225 (Lt.(jg) A.F. McCormick, USN), USS LCI(R)-340 (Lt.(jg) J.O. Luby, USN), USS LCI(R)-341 (Lt. E.W. Slavik, USNR), USS LCI(R)-342 (Lt.(jg) J.A. Hynes, USNR) and the following LCS(L)'s; USS LCS(L)-30 (Lt. C.H. Sanders, USNR, with COMLCS(L)GR 1, Lt.Cdr. W.F. Hunt, USNR on board), USS LCS(L)-28 (Lt. R.H. Bost, USNR), USS LCS(L)-29 (Lt. J.F. McNamara, USNR) and USS LCS(L)-50 (Lt. B.T. Clark, USNR).
Task Unit 78.2.7 was the control unit and was made up of the following patrol vessels; USS PC-1134 (Lt. O.A. Barge, Jr., USNR with Cdr. A.J. Petersen, USNR on board) and USS PC-1133 (Lt. H.G. Wheelock, USNR).
Task Unit 78.2.8 was the screen and was made up of the following destroyers; USS Flusser (T/Lt.Cdr. K.G. Robinson, USN with COMDESRON 5, T/Capt. F.D. McCorkle, USN on board), USS Shaw (T/Lt.Cdr. V.B. Graff, USN), USS Conyngham (T/Lt.Cdr. F.W. Bampton, USN), USS Drayton (T/Lt.Cdr. V.A. Dybdal, USN) and USS Smith (T/Lt.Cdr. E.H. Huff, USN).
Task Unit 78.2.9 was the minesweeping unit and was made up of the following YMS's; USS YMS-68 (Lt. G.L. O'Neil, USNR, he was also commanding the minesweeping group), USS YMS-9 (Lt. B.F. Hildes, USNR), USS YMS-46 (Lt.(jg) C.W. Lorer, USNR), USS YMS-52 (Lt.(jg) R.J. Ball, USNR), USS YMS-313 (Lt.(jg) W.H. Reibold, USNR), USS YMS-339 (Lt.(jg) M.E. Fitzgerald, USNR), USS YMS-340 (Lt. P. Schminke, USNR) and USS YMS-481 (Lt.(jg) T.D. Anglin, USNR).
Task Unit 78.2.10 was the beach party made up of Beach Party No. 5.
Task Unit 78.2.11 was the demolition party and was made up of the USS LCI(D)-228 (Lt.(jg) R.W. Kearns, USNR).
Task Unit 78.2.12 was the salvage and service unit and was made up of the tug USS ATA-179 (Lt.(jg) T.C. McClaren, USNR).

At 0538I/26, Task Units 74.3.1 and 73.3.2 were ordered to act independently and take assigned stations to cover minesweeping units. HMAS Warramunga was ordered to patrol in the Hilutungan Channel.

At 0700I/26, USS Phoenix and HMAS Hobart opened the bombardment. For spotting duties two aircraft had been launched by USS Phoenix, one to spot her own gunfire and the other to spot for HMAS Hobart.

Between 0740I/26 and 0750I/26, USS O'Bannon, USS Nicholas, USS Taylor and USS Abbot all join in on bombardment duties.

The bombardment was ceased around at 0825I/26.

At the same time the bombardment started the Attack Force was in it's sheduled position and the command ' Deploy ' was executed. The approach began.

At 0716I/26, the Commander Minesweeping Unit reported that his operations were on schedule with negative results to that time.

Around 0745I/26, USS Spencer anchored in position. The Commander Minesweeping Unit reported completion of sweeping of area ' Orchestra ' with negative results. At 0750I/26, the LST unit carrying LVT's [LVT = Landing Vehicle, Tracked] anchored in position. The control officer reports the Control Vessels anchored in position at the line of departure. The Close Support Unit had gained station. LST's commenced launching LVT's and LCVP's [a type of landing craft]. All units were conforming to the shedule.

At 0815I/26, the first wave (LVT's) left the line of departure. Destroyer bombardment of the beach area ceased at 0822I/26, Close support fire by LCS's and LCI(R)'s began at 0820I/26. The first wave landed at 0828I/26 followed by the second wave (LVT's) at 0831I/26. At 0835I/26, the third wave (LCVP's) landed. At 0837I/26, the Commander Close Support Unit reported mortar fire on the left flank of the beach. The landing force reported the presence of large quantities of land mines on the beach from the hight water mark to the edge of the coconut grove back of the beach. The fourth and fifth waves (LCVP's) landed on shedule, followed by the sixg and seventh waves (LCM's). The artillery embarked in the latter unloaded without difficulty. Reports from the beach indicated that LVT's on the right flank had been able to cross the beach. Troops were working inland. No enemy opposition had developed. Land mines were being cleared. Wave eight (DUKW's) beached at 0910I/26 in time.

Beginning about 0900I/26, a continuous series of explosions took place in Cebu City and it was apparent that the Japanese were destroying the city. Strangely no explosions were noted in the dock area. Sporadic mortar fore landed on the beach, but all in one rather small section which was kept clear and no damage resulted. At 0912I/26, HMAS Hobart took a suspected mortar site under fire. At 0917I/26, the Air Observer reported seeing two enemy planes take off from Lahug air strip. The Combat Air Patrol could not find them. They were not picked up by radar and were not seen again and it is believed that the aircraft flew across the island at low altitude.

Wave 9 (LCI) was slightly delayed. The LCI's could not beach due to the submerged log boom obstacle that had not hampered earlier small craft. They were unloaded just off the beach by LCVP, LCM and LCT. Unloading was completed at 1030I/26. The UDT [Underwater Demolition Team] began the task of clearing the obstruction. The LCT's beached satisfactorily at 0930I/26 and unloaded.

LSM's were held up from beaching until the obstruction could be cleared. Pontoon sections were launched from LST's and towed to a position just off the beach. The high priority LST's were brought in and ramp to ramp unloading into LCT's got underway. At 1045I/26, the Beachmaster called in the first LSM. At 1100I/26, USS LSM 168 reported that he was unloading tanks without difficulty. However, it was apparent that the beach gradient would in general prevent the satisfactory beaching of LSM's and LST's for unloading. Not only was the gradient too low, but a small sand bar off the beach caused both types to ground aft with ramps in varying depths from 5 to 7 feet of water. For a limited with, LSM's could beach fairly well. They beached three at a time and unloaded throughout the day but slowly and with the assistance of bulldozers to haul out drowned vehicles.

At 1130I/26, one roadway had been cleared thru the beach mines ashore and two others were nearing completion. Vehicles were beginning to move across the beach. Ramp to ramp inloading was getting underway. At 1148I/26 mortar of 75mm fire bracketed the control lone and nearby LST's and the PC's and LST's were directed to move to seaward.

The first LST was called in and beached about 1300I/26 and work began immediately to rig a pontoon causeway ramp. Unloading commenced at 1435I/26. Inloading continued with no further enemy gunfire on the beach or unloading area.

At 1535I/26, USS Conyngham reported sighting a possibly periscope in the channel from Cebu Harbour. USS PC 1133 was ordered to investigate. At 1610I/26, USS Flusser and USS Conyngham opened fire on an object sighted in Cebu Harbour Channel. It was reported as the conning tower of a small submarine that broached apparently from running on a bar while submerged. Although straddled, actual hits could not be varified. The Task Group got underway immediately and cleared the harbour, formed cruising disposition and steamed in Bohol Strait for the night, returning to the anchorage at daylight on 27 March. USS PC 1134, USS PC 1133, USS Kephart, USS Newman and USS Cofer were directed to conduct a sonar searxh of the anchorage and vicinity. USS Flusser remained in the area available for fire support if needed. The Close Support Unit remained to screen beached ships against small craft attacks. At 1800I/26, sound search results had so far been negative and the two remaining loaded LSM's and two LST's returned and beached to be unloaded during the night. No positive results were obtained from the A/S search of the anchorage and lower harbour area, but at 0035I/27, USS Newman sighted a midget submarne on the surface in position 10°09'N, 123°51'E. USS Newman opened fire with automatic weapons at 100 yards scoring many hits, attempted to ram but the submarine submerged. Two patterns of depth charges were dropped, one with a shallow setting as ramming missed and second with deep settings. Sonar contact was not regained. There were no other enemy contacts during the night.

At 1700I/26, the Cruiser Covering Force was released and left the area. USS Phoenix, USS Nicholas, USS O'Bannon and USS Taylor set course for Mangarin Bay, Mindoro where they arrived around 1115I/27 where the fuelled and ammunitioned. They departed Mangarin Bay around 1900I/27 for Subic where they arrived around 1000I/28.

HMAS Hobart and HMAS Warramunga set course for Leyte where they were to fuel and ammunition and then proceed to Subic Bay afterwards. They arrived at Leyte (San Pedro Bay) around 0815L/27. They departed Leyte on the 28th and arrived at Subic Bay around 0800I/30.

At 1900I/26, USS Kephart was recalled from the A/S search. The first returning echolon was formed and was known as Task Unit 78.2.15. It was made up of USS Abbot, USS Kephart, USS LSM-168, USS LSM-35, USS LSM-219, USS LSM-150, USS LSM-316, USS LCI(L)-965, USS LCI(L)-980 and USS LCI(L)-984 was ordered to return to Leyte. USS LCI(L)-965, apparently disabled, was being towed by USS LSM-316. They arrived at Leyte on the 28th.

Ongoing minesweeping operations meanwhile all had negative results. Sweeping of the area south of Mactan Island and Cebu Harbour inside the 100 fathom curve to San Fernando was completed.

Upon arrival at the anchorage around 0730I/27, LST beached or commenced unloadinf in stream as directed by the Beachmaster. At 0945I/27, 4 LCI(L)'s were detached to Sibonga, Cebu with 600 guerilla troops. They were covered by an LCS and and LCI(R). This group returned around 1545I/27, mission accomplished. At 1500I/27, an Army detachment using LVT's landed on Cauit Island, covered by LCS's and LCI(R)'s. The minesweeping detachment swept Olango Channel with negative results. During the afternoon troops occupied Cebu City. The docks were reported as essentially undamaged.

At 1900I/27, the second return echolon, known as Task Unit 78.2.16, made up of USS Newman, USS Cofer, PC-1134, PC-1133, USS LST-560, USS LST-595, USS LST-597, USS LSM-50, USS LSM-151, USS LSM-225, USS LSM-237, USS LSM-268 and USS LSM-317 departed for Leyte where they arrived on the 29th.

At 1930I/27, a single unidentified enemy plane flew over the beach and anchorage area. Three or four bombs were dropped harmlessly. No radar warning was received due to the low altitude of the plane over the island, and the plane was not sighted until overhead. A smoke haze lay over the anchorage from fires in Cebu City that made visibility poor during the twilight period. There were no other enemy incidents during the night and the unloading of LST's continued.

On 28 March, unloading continued. Progress was such that it was estimated that it would be completed around 1500I/28. The minesweeping unit swept the southern approaches to Cebu Harbour, area ' Stagedoor ', to 15 feet with negative results. The Close Support Unit covered the northern advance of Army elements from Cebu towards Mandaue and also of one company landing on Mactan Island to secure it.

By 1500I/27, indeed all LST's were unloaded and by 1600I/27 the last returning echolon, Task Unit 78.2.17, was formed up to proceed to Leyte. It was made up of USS Flusser, USS Shaw, USS Drayton, USS Smith, USS PCE(R)-850, the remaining 13 LST's and 2 LCI(R)'s [identities unknown to us]. They arrived at Leyte on 29 March.

At 2320I/27, USS PCE(R)-850 parted company with Task Unit 78.2.17 to land the staff officers she had on board at Tolosa.

At 1800I/27, CTG 78.2 (in USS Spencer turned over command of the objective area to CTU 78.2.14 (COMLCIFLOT 15) and departed for Leyte escorted by USS Conyngham. At Cebu remained 11 LCI's, 4 LCS's, 3 LCI(R)'s, 3 LCT's and the 8 YMS minesweepers. (132)

6 Apr 1945
Around 0500I/6, Task Group 74.3.1., made up of the light cruisers USS Phoenix (T/Capt. J.H. Duncan, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Nicholas (T/Cdr. D.C. Lyndon, USN, with COMDESRON 21, T/Capt. J.K.B. Ginder, USN on board), USS Fletcher (T/Lt.Cdr. R.R. Green, USN), USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. P.D. Gallery, USN), USS Taylor (T/Lt.Cdr. H.H. de Laureal, USN) and HMAS Warramunga (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Subic Bay for Manila Bay where they arrived around 0830I/6. (133)

7 Apr 1945
Around 1600I/7, Task Group 74.3.1., made up of the light cruisers USS Phoenix (T/Capt. J.H. Duncan, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Nicholas (T/Cdr. D.C. Lyndon, USN, with COMDESRON 21, T/Capt. J.K.B. Ginder, USN on board), USS Fletcher (T/Lt.Cdr. R.R. Green, USN), USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. P.D. Gallery, USN), USS Taylor (T/Lt.Cdr. H.H. de Laureal, USN) and HMAS Warramunga (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Manila Bay for Subic Bay where they arrived around 1900I/7. (133)

10 Apr 1945
Around 0800I/10, Task Group 74.3, made up of the light cruisers USS Phoenix (T/Capt. J.H. Duncan, USN, flying the flag of COMCRUDIV 15, T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Nicholas (T/Cdr. D.C. Lyndon, USN, with COMDESRON 21, T/Capt. J.K.B. Ginder, USN on board), USS Fletcher (T/Lt.Cdr. R.R. Green, USN), USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. P.D. Gallery, USN), USS O'Bannon (T/Lt.Cdr. J.A. Pridmore, USN), USS Taylor (T/Lt.Cdr. H.H. de Laureal, USN) and HMAS Warramunga (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Subic Bay for exercises.

Around 1700I/10, Task Group 74.2, made up of the light cruisers USS Denver (Capt. T.F. Darden, Jr., USN, flying the flag of COMCRUDIV 21, T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Riggs, USN), USS Cleveland (T/Capt. H.G. Hopwood, USN), USS Montpelier (T/Capt. W.A. Gorry, USN) and the destroyers USS Conway (T/Cdr. J.H. Besson, Jr., USN, with COMDESDIV 44, T/Capt. S.G. Hooper, USN on board), USS Stevens (T/Cdr. G.W. Pressey, USN), USS Cony (T/Cdr. A.W. Moore, USN), USS Eaton (T/Cdr. C. Brown, USN), USS Young (T/Cdr. D.G. Dockum, USN) and USS Sigourney (T/Lt.Cdr. F. Hale, Jr., USN) joined the exercises until 2345I/10 when they parted company.

All ships of Task Group 74.3 returned to Subic Bay on 11 April. Some rather early in the day but some, which had continued with exercises arrived later in the day. (133)

16 Apr 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN), HMAS Warramunga (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC and Bar, RN) and USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. P.D. Gallery, USN) conducted AA gunnery exercises off Subic Bay.

HMAS Warramunga however had to return early to land a suspected case of apendicitis. (134)

1 May 1945

Operation Oboe I, Allied landings at Tarakan.

The Cruiser Covering Group and Fire Support Group (Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN), known as Task Group 74.3, was made up of the light cruisers USS Phoenix (T/Capt. J.H. Duncan, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN), USS Boise (T/Capt. W.M. Downes, USN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Nicholas (T/Cdr. D.C. Lyndon, USN, with COMDESRON 21, T/Capt. J.K.B. Ginder, USN on board), USS Fletcher (T/Lt.Cdr. R.R. Green, USN), USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. P.D. Gallery, USN), USS O'Bannon (T/Lt.Cdr. J.A. Pridmore, USN), USS Taylor (T/Lt.Cdr. H.H. de Laureal, USN) and HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN).

The Tarakan Attack Group (Rear-Admiral F.B. Royal, USN) was made up of the following units;
Task Group 78.1 was made up of the Amphibious Force Command Ship USS Rocky Mount (T/Capt. F.A. Hardesty, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral F.B. Royal, USN).
Task Group 70.1.9 was the MTB support unit, which was made up the Motor Torpedo Boat Tender USS Wachapreague (Lt.Cdr. H.A. Stewart, USNR, with COMMTBRON 36, Lt.Cdr. F.D. Tappaan, USNR on board) and the following Motor Torpedo Boats, MTBRON 9 made up of USS PT-156, USS PT-157, USS PT-159, USS PT-160, USS PT-161, USS PT-162, USS PT-187, USS PT-318 and USS PT-319 as well as MTBRON 36 made up of USS PT-522, USS PT-523, USS PT-524, USS PT-525, USS PT-526, USS PT-527, USS PT-528, USS PT-529, USS PT-530, USS PT-531 and USS PT-532. MTB RON 9 was to operate from Malamaui and MTB RON 36 was to operate from Tawi Tawi.
Task Group 78.1.11 was the transport unit made up of Landing Ships HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. A.P. Cousin, RANR(S)), HMAS Westralia (A/Cdr. E.W. Livingston, RANR(S)), Landing Ship Dock USS Rushmore (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Jansen, USNR) and the Attack Cargo Ship Titania (T/Cdr.(Retd.) M.W. Callahan, USN).
Task Group 78.1.12 was the LST unit, which was made up the following LST's; USS LST-466 (Lt. B.M. Bryant, Jr. USCG, with COMLSTFLOT 7, T/Capt. G.A. Sinclair, USN, on board), USS LST-67 (Lt. R.L. McGirl, USNR), USS LST-171 (Lt. M.B. Taylor, USNR), USS LST-467 (Lt. M.B. Taylor, USNR), USS LST-562 (Lt. F.P. Lawrence, USNR), USS LST-584 (Lt. D.B. Russell, USNR), USS LST-585 (Lt. A.P. Morse, USNR), USS LST-590 (Lt. B.J. Arnett, USN), USS LST-613 (Lt. H.P. Rollinck, USNR), USS LST-626 (Lt. M.J. Codoner, Jr., USNR), USS LST-637 (Lt. R.A. Vielhaber, USNR), USS LST-667 (Lt. W.S. Biernat, USN), USS LST-697 (Lt. J.E. Tanner, USNR), USS LST-711 (Lt. F.C. Huntley, USNR), USS LST-742 (Lt. W.W. Holmes, USNR), USS LST-743 (Lt. F.H. Emerick, USNR), USS LST-924 (Lt. L. Tinsley, USN), USS LST-993 (Lt. A.W. Bates, USNR), USS LST-1025 (Lt. C.L. Curfman, USNR), USS LST-1027 (Lt. P.J. Shropshire, Jr., USNR) and USS LST-1035 (Lt. M. Perry, USNR).
Task Group 78.1.13 was the LSI unit, which was made up the following LSI(L)'s; USS LCI(L)-624 (Lt. E.F. Harris, USNR, with COMLCIFLOT 24, Cdr. A.V. Jannotta, USNR, on board), USS LCI(L)-625 (Lt.(jg) C.E. Bole, USNR), USS LCI(L)-626 (Lt.(jg) L.H. Keckler, USNR), USS LCI(L)-634 (Lt.(jg) A. Gain, USNR), USS LCI(L)-655 (Lt.(jg) E. Kingdon Hurlock, USNR), USS LCI(L)-699 (Lt.(jg) P.B. Gates, USNR), USS LCI(L)-700 (Lt.(jg) J.E. Howe, USNR), USS LCI(L)-712 (), USS LCI(L)-1008 (Lt.(jg) R.I. Basch, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1025 (Lt.(jg) W.C. Kingsley, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1072 (Lt.(jg) M.B. Kirby, USNR) and USS LCI(L)-1076 (Lt.(jg) H.S. Fish, USNR).
Task Group 78.1.14 was the LSM unit, which was made up the following LSM's; USS LSM-269 (Lt. H.T. Turner, Jr., USNR, with COMLSMGR 19, T/Lt.Cdr. W.A. Burgett, USN, on board), USS LSM-151 (Lt. W.H. Fitzgerald, USNR), USS LSM-224 (Lt. D.B. Wrensch, USNR) and USS LSM-267 (Lt. R.F. Ruben, USNR).
Task Group 78.1.15 was the LCT unit, which was made up the following LCT's; USS LCT-1317 (With COMLCTgR 74, Lt. DeMoss, USNR on board), USS LCT-1310, USS LCT-1312, USS LCT-1314, USS LCT-1316, USS LCT-1319, USS LCT-1321, USS LCT-1323, USS LCT-1325, USS LCT-1327, USS LCT-1329 and USS LCT-1331. [LCT's were being towed to the landing area.]
Task Group 78.1.21 was the Screen, which was made up of the destroyers USS Waller (T/Cdr. H.leR. Thompson, Jr., USN), USS Philip (T/Cdr. J.B. Rutter, Jr., USN), USS Bailey (T/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Johnson, USN), USS Bancroft (T/Lt.Cdr. C.E. Pond, USN), USS Caldwell (Lt.Cdr. D.R. Robinson, USNR), USS Drayton (T/Lt.Cdr. V.A. Dybdal, USN), USS Smith (T/Lt.Cdr. E.H. Huff, USN). and the frigates HMAS Barcoo (A/Lt.Cdr. C.G. Hill, RANR(S)), HMAS Burdekin (Lt.Cdr. T.S. Marchington, RD, RANR(S)) and HMAS Hawkesbury (Lt.Cdr. H.J. Weston, RANR(S)).
Task Group 78.1.22 was the Destroyer Escort Unit, made up of the escort destroyers USS Formoe (T/Lt.Cdr. J.C. Spencer, USN) and USS Charles E. Brannon (Lt.Cdr. O.M. Shirey, Jr., USNR).
Task Group 78.1.3 was the Support Unit which was made up of the following units.
Task Group 78.1.31 was the LCS Unit and was made up of the following LCS's; USS LCS(L)-50 (Lt. B.T. Clark, USNR, with T/Cdr. D.H. Day, USN on board), USS LCS(L)-8 (?), USS LCS(L)-28 (Lt. R.H. Bost, USNR), USS LCS(L)-43 (Lt.(jg) E.A. Blakley, USNR), USS LCS(L)-44 (J.M. Leggat, USNR) and USS LCS(L)-48 (Lt. D.E. Widel, USNR).
Task Group 78.1.32 was the LCI(R) Unit and was made up of the following LCI(R)'s; USS LCI(R)-71, USS LCI(R)72, USS LCI(R)74 and USS LCI(R)338.
Task Group 78.1.33 was the LCI(M) Unit and was made up of the following LCI(M)'s; USS LCI(M)-359 (Ens. T.S. Adair, USNR) and USS LCI(M)-362 (Lt.(jg) R.W. Kearns, USNR).
Task Group 78.1.34 was the Demolition Unit and was made up of the following USS LCI(D)-29 (Lt. J.F. McNamara, USNR) and USS LCI(D)-228 (Lt.(jg) R.W. Kearns, USNR).
Task Group 78.1.41 was Control Unit Red and was made up of; USS PC-1120 (Lt. J.R. Goodrich, USNR) and USS LCI(L)-624 (this last was assigned to this unit for the assault only).
Task Group 78.1.42 was Control Unit Green and was made up of; USS SC-698 (?) and USS SC- 746 (?).
Task Group 78.1.5 was the minesweeping unit and was made up of the high speed transport USS Cofer (Lt. H.C. McClees, USNR) and the minesweepers (YMS's) USS YMS-51 (Lt.(jg) A.L. Giesenschlag, USNR), USS YMS-68 (Lt. G.L. O'Neil, USNR), USS YMS-73 (Lt. J.H. Frederick, USNR), USS YMS-313 (Lt.(jg) W.H. Reibold, USNR), USS YMS-314 (Lt.(jg) J.W. Easton, USNR), USS YMS-329 (Lt. W.L. Ballew, USNR), USS YMS-334 (Lt.(jg) P.G. Rafferty, USNR), USS YMS-340 (Lt. P. Schminke, USNR), USS YMS-363 (Lt. F.A. Struve, Jr., USNR), USS YMS-364 (Lt. C.K. Soper, USNR) and USS YMS-481 (Lt.(jg) t.D. Anglin, USNR). These were split up into four Task Groups; Task Unit 78.1.51 was made up of four of the YMS's, Task Unit 78.1.52 was also made up of four of the YMS's, Task Unit 78.1.53 was made up of three of the YMS's and Task Unit 78.1.54 was made up of the USS Cofer and four LCVP's.
Task Group 78.1.6 was the Service Unit, made up of Task Unit 78.1.61 (the Survey Unit) made up of the survey vessel (frigate) HMAS Lachlan (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Tancred, RAN, with Cdr. K.E. Oom, RAN on board) and the net tender USS Satinleaf (Lt. Lt. P.F. Taylor, USN). Task Unit 78.1.62 (the Salvage Unit) made up of the tugs USS ATR-61 (Lt. W.M. Heywood, USNR) and USS Vireo (Lt.(jg) M.E. Seymour, USNR). Task Unit 78.1.63 (the Fire Fighting Unit) made up of the LCI(L)'s, LCI(L)-185 [this can't be correct as this LCI had been transferred to the Royal Navy on completion and was sunk of Normandy on 6 June 1944.], USS LCS(L)-961 (?), USS LCS(L)-1000 (?) and USS LCS(L)-1071 (?).
Task Group 78.1.7 was the Press Unit, which was made up of the patrol vessel USS PCE(R)-849 (Lt. C. Sanders, USNR), USS LCI(L)-635 (Lt. H. Hopkins, USNR) and the small army cargo ship FP 47.

The Cruiser Covering Force and Fire Support Group departed Subic Bay on 24 April 1945. The minesweeping and hydrographic groups left Leyte on 22 April, joined at Zamboanga with other units coming from Malabang, Mindanao, and arrived at the objective on 27 April, and commenced minesweeping and hydrographic survey.

Minesweeping was difficult, because the many types of mines encountered and water conditions. The approach of the main force through preferred ' Track Baker ', south of Menoeloen Island, had to be abandoned because of the possibility that mines there had not yet been swept. This necessitated approaching though ' Track Able ' which afforded deeper water, but was much less in width. A red conical top buoy and a black top buoy of Japanese origin were found by the Hydrographic Group and left remaining, the latter buoy being the mid-channel. A buoy was planted at Point Whirlaway, buoy 2 south of Point Equinox, and buoy 3 was planted marking the break-off point for Tracks Able and Baker. Buoys 1 and 4 were also planted, as ordered, in positions as previously charted. The Hydrographic Group on the afternoon of ' Peter minus One day ' [Peter Day was 1 May 1945] installed fixed whire lights on the mid-channel buoy (Point Whirlaway) and numbers 2 and 4 buoys to aid the approach of the Attack Group. The harbour entrance range was lighted. Beach reconnaissance and marking of gaps through obstacles for assault waves and slots for LST's were completed on 30 April, without casualties, despite enemy mortar and machine gun fire from the beach. These groups retired each night prior to ' Peter Day ' at the objective.

On 27 April, ten motor torpedo boats arrived at Tawi Tawi and commenced operations on the east coast of northern Borneo the following day.

On 26 April 1945, the ' Pulau Sadau ' attack echolon daparted Morotai Straits. The Sadau attack echolon was known as Task Group 78.1.16 and was made up from ships from other units which were to rejoin their repective units on ' Peter Day '. The following ships were part of Task Group 78.1.16; USS Philip, USS PC-1120, USS LST-667 with USS LCT-1331 in tow, USS LSM-151, USS LSM-359, USS LSM-362, USS LCI(L)-172, USS LCI(L)-185 [???], USS LCI(L)-961, USS LCI(L)-1000, USS LCI(L)-1071, USS LCS-8 and USS LCS-48.

The main assault force departed on the 27th. Both echolons involved in the two separate assaults arrived in their respective areas off the designated beaches on time, the main assault force arriving one hour ahead of time to allow for the transit to the anchorage area of the last ships of the strung out approach formation through the narrow track ' Able '. The landings proceeded exactly as had been planned.

The preliminary naval bombardment was conducted by the Cruiser Covering Group on ' Peter Day ' [1 May 1945] with only the destroyers participating. This Group had also covered the Minesweeping Group in their activities from 27 April to 1 May. The Minesweeping Group on 27 April first made exploratory sweeps from the hundred fathom curve to ' Point Whirlaway ' with negative results. They then next obtained negative results in sweeps of Areas ' Fork ', ' Spoon ' and ' Knife ' to Point ' Baker '. One thousand yards north and south of the sides of Area ' Knife ', west of Point ' Baker ', four magnetic mines were swept. LCVP sweeps, the same day, explored Spatula and swept two chemical horned type mines south-west of Menoeloen Island, apparently newly laid. The Covering Force could not safely proceed west of ' Point Baker ', so did not. On 28 April, three magnetic mines in area ' Knife ', and seven enemy horned mines were swept in area ' Spatula ', south-west of Menoeloen Island. Two magnetic mines were still known to be in area ' Spatula ' and not yet swept. One of these magnetic mines self detonated near a YMS in area ' Knife ', west of ' Point Baker ', approach ' Track Baker ', after two days of sweeping, was still not considered safe for the passage of the Cruiser Covering Force.

On 29 April, magnetic sweeps were negative in areas ' Knife ' and ' Spatula '. A floating mine was sunk by gunfire four miles east of No.2 buoy. Nine additional enemy contact mines were swept south-west of Menoeloen Island. A one-thousand yard check sweep was made on both sides of ' Approach Track Baker '. Area ' Plate ' was swept within 1200 yards of the beaches and the LCVP's made two sweeps within 400 yards of the pier, all negative. By this time, five magnetic mines in area ' Knife ' were still unaccounted for, as well as two west of the southern tip of Tarakan. Sweepers on 30 April were to continue their magnetic and acoustic sweeps in areas ' Knife ', ' Spatula ' and ' Plate ' and leave by the north channel (' Track Able ') alone. The cruisers could not yet safely venture into area ' Knife '.

On 30 April, two influence mines were swept west of the south tip of Tarakan, and two additional enemy mines south-west of Menoeloen Island were swept after the landing and fire support parties had passed through route ' Baker '. Later, one of the fire support destroyers, USS Jenkins, on retiring, struck a mine 1000 yards off the center of ' Track Baker '. The sweepers swept two more mines in ' Approach Track Baker ' immediately after this incident. Five ' influence ' mines were reported removed at an unknown location. Because ' Track Baker ' was now not considered safe, the sweepers concentrated on ' Track Able ' which was still found negative. That night the Attack Group safely transited ' Track Able ', as had been recommended, and began the assault on ' Peter Day ', 1 May 1945.

The Sadau Attack Force meanwhile had landed around 0800I/30 which was on shedule. They landed without opposition. The landings were completed two hours later.

At 1527I/30, the Commander Task Group 74.3, reported the USS Jenkins having been mined. Casualties were light despite the destroyer being extensively damaged.

Around 1730I/30, two mines were reported swept in the area where USS Jenkins had been mined. This was on ' Approach Track Baker '.

Around 1900I/30, USS Wachapreague and MTBRON 36 (minus six of the MTB's) departed Tawi Tawi for the objective area.

Around 2000I/30, USS Jenkins was reported to be dead in the water and leaking.

At 2010I/30, USS Waller reported hearing a torpedo noise and went on to investigate. Four minutes later she attacked a good sound contact with depth charges. Half an hour later she reported oil on the water and then delivered another depth charge attack on that spot. At 2045I/30, she lost contact. USS Formoe was then ordered to remain in the area and conduct an A/S search.

At 0520I/1, the order ' Deploy ' was given to go ahead with the landings. Ten minutes later USS Rocky Mount anchored in berth 4 in Area ' Mike '.

At 0630I/1, USS LST-562 reported a torpedo passing underneath her bow. The torpedo came from the direction off Cape Pasir. Nine minutes later destroyers opened fire at the mouth of the river near Cape Pasir as it was considered likely the torpedo had been fired from here. At the same time USS LST-562 reported a small submarine surfacing astern of her which immediately submerged again. HMAS Barcoo was ordered to investigate.

At 0646I/1, USS LST-637 launched the first LVT [Landing Vehicle Tracked] as the landing operations commenced. By 0705I/1, all LVT's from various ships had been launched.

At 0651I/1, USS Rushmore launched LCM's and USS Titania had launched all her boats.

At 0654I/1, HMAS Manoora reported her boats in the water. At the same time USS Rushmore reported a torpedo glanced off her port beam without damage. It came from the direction of Cape Pasir.

At 0655I/1, the dawn Combat Air Patrol arrived on station. At the same time USS LST-467 launched LVT's. All LVT's was launched by 0659I/1.

At 0700I/1, All assault causeway LST's and USS Rushmore on station in ' LST Area Two '. HMAS Manoora, HMAS Westralia and USS Titania were all on station in ' Transport Area Mike '.

At 0702I/1, USS LST-1027 launched the first causeway.

At 0705I/1, CTU 78.1.12 (LST Unit) reported all LVT's to have been launched.

At 0707I/1, the Support Line formed up.

At 0712I/1, USS Rushmore reported all her boats to have been launched while boat waves from HMAS Manoora were observed proceeding to the Line of Depature.

At 0714I/1, LCM's from USS Rushmore were observed forming up well behind ' LST Area ' so as to remain out of the way.

At 0722I/1, USS SC-746 reported to be on station on the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0724I/1, All waver for landing area ' Green ' were formed up.

At 0725I/1, USS LST-637 stood out beyond ' LST Area Two ' to clear the area.

At 0726I/1, USS LST-584 and USS LST-585 launched causeways. The causeways from USS LST-590, USS LST-711, USS LST-743, USS LST-993 and USS LST-1027 had meanwhile also been launched.

At 0731I/1, the ' Line of Departure ' was formed.

At 0733I/1, waves 1, 2 and 3 for ' Red Beach ' were formed up and were moving to the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0736I/1, the LCS Support Group was ordered into position ahead of the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0738I/1, CTG 78.1 ordered CTU 78.1.5 to resweep area ' Spatula ' in ordered that ' Track Baker ' may be made safe. Area ' Platter ' also was to be swept for mines.

At 0739I/1, B-24's were observed coming in for air strikes on the beach area. At the same time the Engineer Demolition Party was dispatched from USS LST-667.

At 0742I/1, all waves for ' Red Beach ' were formed up.

At 0747I/1, CTU 78.1.3 reported all ships of the Support Unit ready and on station.

At 0750I/1, air strikes on the beach area commenced, though this was a little late.

at 0756I/1, the first wave was dispatched to ' Red ' and ' Green ' beaches. LCI(M)'s opened mortar fire. At the same time four B-24's came over for an air strike on the beach area.

At 0800I/1, LCS(L)'s opened fire with 3" and 40mm guns.

At 0801I/1, the second wave was dispatched to ' Red ' and ' Green ' beaches.

At 0802I/1, six B-24's came over for an air strike on the beach area. Their bombs landed right on the target.

At 0806I/1, the third wave was dispatched to ' Red ' and ' Green ' beaches.

At 0809I/1, Red flares were sent up by support craft, to direct naval gunfire to shift inland.

At 0811I/1, wave four was dispatched to ' Green ' beach.

At 0815I/1, the first wave landed on ' Green ' beach followed one minute later by the first wave on ' Red ' beach.

At 0818I/1, the second wave landed on ' Green ' beach.

At 0819I/1, the Reserve Battalion from HMAS Westralia was observed moving up to the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0820I/1, the second wave landed on ' Red ' beach.

At 0822I/1, CTG 78.1 directed the reserves to be held at the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0824I/1, USS LST-590 moved up to the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0825I/1, the third wave landed on ' Green ' beach followed one minute later by the third wave on ' Red ' beach.

At 0826I/1, the fifth wave was despatched to ' Red ', ' Yellow ' and ' Green ' beaches. Also the fourth wave landed on ' Green ' beach.

At 0829I/1, USS LST-697 and USS LST-711 moved up to the ' Line of Departure ' with causeways.

At 0831I/1, the sixth waves were dispatched to ' Red ' and ' Green ' beaches. Also USS LST-993 moved up to the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0833I/1, Task Unit 78.1.3 ceased immediate gunfire support scheduled firings.

At 0836I/1, troops reported covering positions were taken without opposition. Bridge was intact and landings were made practically dry.

At 0839I/1, the fifth wave landed on ' Red ', ' Yellow ', and ' Green ' beaches.

At 0844I/1, the sixth wave landed on ' Green one ' beach followed one minute later by the sixth wave on ' Red two ' beach.

At 0845I/1, Red Beachmaster Unit reported ' Red two ' beach to be obstructed, with large logs and a defensive wall on the beach.

At 0847I/1, haze, smoke and dust obscured the beach area.

At 0848I/1, the Air Force requisted permission to make another air strike.

At 0850I/1, the Australian Principal Beachmaster Advanced Command Post indicated the condition of LST slots on ' Yellow ' beach. Extensive bull-dozing was required on some slots. He also indicated that ' Red ' beach was not ready for LST's. Also at this time all causeway LST's were observed on the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0906I/1, CTG 78.1 ordered CTU 78.1.4 to ' land the reserves '.

At 0907I/1, USS LST-584 was ordered to beach.

At 0915I/1, the seventh wave, containing the reserves was sent into ' Green ' beaches. Also USS Rushmore reported that her LCM's were completely unloaded.

At 0918I/1, USS LST-584 beached on ' Red ' beach slot 1 with causeway beached dry.

At 0920I/1, the eight wave was dispatched to ' Green ' beach.

At 0921I/1, USS LST-585, with causeways, beached on ' Red ' beach slot 2.

At 0923I/1, USS LST-590 was ordered to beach.

At 0925I/1, the ninth and last wave was dispatched to ' Green ' beach.

At 0927I/1, a B-25 strike on enemy barracks commenced. Also the seventh wave landed.

At 0930I/1, USS LST-171 was ordered to beach.

At 0931I/1, USS LST-743, with causeways, beached on ' Yellow ' beach slot 5.

At 0932I/1, the eight wave landed.

At 0936I/1, USS LST-590, with causeways, beached on ' Red ' beach slot 3.

At 0937I/1, CTG 78.1 ordered general unloading.

At 0939I/1, the ninth wave landed.

At 0941I/1, USS LST-711, with causeways, beached on ' Yellow ' beach slot 4.

At 0955I/1, USS LST-993, with causeways, beached on ' Yellow ' beach slot 6.

At 1001I/1, USS LST-1027, with causeways, beached on ' Yellow ' beach slot 7.
The line up of LST's was now as follows;
Slot 1, Red Beach, USS LST-584,
Slot 2, Red Beach, USS LST-585,
Slot 3, Red Beach, USS LST-590,
Slot 4, Yellow Beach, USS LST-711,
Slot 5, Yellow Beach, USS LST-743,
Slot 6, Yellow Beach, USS LST-993,
Slot 7, Yellow Beach, USS LST-1027.

At 1020I/1, CTU 78.1.4 directed LCI's to proceed to north pier and unload two at a time.

At 1022I/1, enemy mortar fire landed in the water off ' Green Two ' beach.

At 1024I/1, USS LCI(L)-625 and USS LCI(L)-1025 were observed alongside USS LST-590 on the beach.

At 1025I/1, artillery fire was observed near ' Green Two ' beach.

At 1030I/1, USS LST-584 and USS LST-590 started unloading.

At 1034I/1, LCI Fire Support Craft observed heading back from the beach to form a picket line. Also Brigadier Whitehead and his staff went ashore.

At 1035I/1, USS SC-698 directed USS Titania and HMAS Westralia to head towards ' Green Two ' beach.

At 1042I/1, HMAS Manoora ordered to direct small craft with cargo to ' Green Two ' beach for unloading.

At 1104I/1, USS LCI(L)-634 and USS LCI(L)-1076 were observed alongside USS LST-584 on ' Red ' beach.

At 1106I/1, Captain Dugan, Chief of Staff, and party left USS Rocky Mount for an inspection of the beaches.

At 1125I/1, a huge explosion was observed to the right of ' Green ' beach.

At 1142I/1, mortar fire was observed falling on the beachhead area.

At 1143I/1, USS LCI(L)-1076 was unloaded and retracted from the beach.

At 1145I/1, USS LST-742 ordered to beach on the starboard side of USS LST-584.

At 1150I/1, nine LCI(L)'s have unloaded. USS LCI(L)-699 was awaiting instructions.

At 1154I/1, USS LST-171 beached 650 feet off the beach aft of USS LST-584 and USS LST-585 on ' Red ' beach.

At 1157I/1, USS LCS-44 was fired upon by enemy mortar one mile south of ' Green Two ' beach.

At 1204I/1, the Commander 26th Brigade, 9th Australian Division, assumed command ashore of his troops.

At 1216I/1, USS LST-171 retracted from ' Red ' beach still unable to beach in a cleared area.

At 1230I/1, the ' Line of Departure ' was dissolved.

At 1308I/1, USS O'Bannon was relieved of fire support duties and was ordered to stand by USS Jenkins.

At 1315I/1, USS Wachapreague and MTB RON 36 (minus 6 PT boats) stood in and reported to CTG 78.1 for duty.

At 1325I/1, the Principal Beachmaster indicated that it was now impossible to unload more LCM's and LCT's.

At 1339I/1, it was reported that the docks ware usable by hand labor only. The crane on the long pier was reported to be unserviceable.

At 1349I/1, the unloading of LCVP's and LCM's stopped due to the rapid falling of the tide and consequent stranding of the boats.

At 1356I/1, the unloading of LCT's bogged down by mud.

At 1401I/1, it was reported that unloading at the piers was limited to the landing of bulk stores. Damage hindered unloading at the southern pier.

At 1437I/1, it was reported that the northern pier was found to be intact but that the tide was hindering unloading.

at 1454I/1, CTG 78.1 directed no night retirement from the objective area because of the slowness in unloading and so that good advantage might be taken of the high tide. No real enemy opposition had been encountered so far.

At 1500I/1, USS Cofer and the YMS minesweepers reported to CTU 78.1.2 in USS Waller for duty as A/S screen for the night.

At 1524I/1, CTG 78.1 ordered all ships to maintain sufficient armed sentries for protection against hostile small craft and swimmers.

At 1538I/1, Captain Dugan and party returned to USS Rocky Mount after inspecting beachhead and conferring with Landing Craft Control Officer, Beach Group Commander and the Commander, 26th Infantery Bridgade.

At 1539I/1, USS SC-746 reported that there was a possible ' Q ' boat unmannned in bushes north of Cape Karis.

At 1557I/1, Rear-Admiral Berkey came aboard USS Rocky Mount.

At 1600I/1, HMAS Hobart and HMAS Warramunga were released by CTG 78.1 and departed the Tarakan area for Hollandia via Morotai.

At 1610I/1, USS ATR-61 ordered to tow USS Jenkins alongside USS Phoenix and remain to assist.

At 1715I/1, Rear-Admiral Berkey left USS Rocky Mount.

At 1736I/1, two LCS's were stationed off Sadau to prevent movement of enemy craft into the anchorage during the night.

At 1942I/1, CTG 78.1 advised all ships that general unloading would continue during the night and that recognition of our own small craft was mandatory.

At 2008I/1, all beached LST's turned on lights and illuminated the beach and docks.

At 2044I/1, USS LST-697 was ordered to proceed to Causeway 1.

At 2045I/1, USS LST-924 was ordered to proceed to Causeway 6.

At 2047I/1, all ships and craft were ordered to use full running lights in the Transport Area.

At 2052/1, USS LST-613 was ordered to proceed to Causeway 4.

At 2100I/1, USS LST-171 was ordered to proceed to Causeway 2.

At 2120I/1, USS LST-626 was ordered to proceed to Causeway 4.

At 2130I/1, USS LST-171 beached.

At 2137I/1, USS LST-613 beached. By 2200I/1, USS LST-626, USS LST-697 USS LST-924 were also beached.

At 0048I/2, the beach was reported to be under mortar fire.

At 0155I/2, HMAS Manoora reported that she was completely unloaded.

At 0653I/2, CTG 78.1 ordered USS VireoUSS LST-584 to assist in retracting any of the LST's from the beach.

At 0710I/2, CTG 78.1 ordered USS LST-1025 and USS LST-1035 to assist other LST's in retracting from the beach.

at 0746I/2, CTG 78.1 ordered USS ATR-61, unless required by USS Jenkins, to report to CTU 78.1.4 to aid in retraction of LST's.

At 0800I/2, B-25 bombers commenced a call air strike 1000 yards in front of own front lines.

At 0906I/2, CTG 78.1 ordered USS LCS-8 to destroy two small boats east of Cape Pasir.

At 0916I/2, PT'boats with B-25 cover commenced operating to the north of Tarakan island.

At 1028I/2, Major General Wootten, General Officer Commanding 9th Australian Division, came aboard USS Rocky Mount having been flown in from Morotai.

At 1045I/2, the destroyer USS Robinson (T/Cdr. R.E. Malpass, USN) arrived.

At 1050I/2, USS Vireo was ordered to relieve USS ATR-61 and reported to CTG 74.3 to tow USS Jenkins to Leyte. USS ATR-61 was to return to the Transport Area to assist LST's.

At 1100I/2, Major General Wootten went ashore to the Brigade Headquarters.

At 1125I/2, an air strike by three B-25's was observed north-west of the beach area.

At 1127I/2, the tanker USS Winooski (Lt.Cdr. T.B. Christenson, USNR) arrived.

At 1130I/2, Rear-Admiral Berkey came aboard USS Rocky Mount.

At 1200I/2, HMAS Manoora, HMAS Westralia and USS Rushmore escorted by USS Bancroft and USS Charles E. Brannon departed the Tarakan area for Morotai to reload and then return.

Also around 1200I/2, enemy shells landed near USS Wachapreague. PT boats alongside shifted berth to avoid being hit by gunfire of splinters.

At 1220I/2, CTU 78.1.13 reported that all LCI(L)'s were unloaded.

At 1258I/2, only one LCT was reported unloaded, four LCT's were waiting for LST's on the beach to retract.

At 1310I/2, Rear-Admiral Berkey left the flagship with Rear-Admiral Royal. They went ashore to confer with Brigadier Whitehead and inspect the beachhead.

At 1322I/2, CTG 78.1 directed six LCI(L)'s for screening duty to report to CTU 78.1.3 prior to 1700I/2.

At 1530I/2, camouflaged batteries at Cape Djoeata (in the north-west of Tarakan Island) sank USS YMS-481 and damaged USS YMS-334 and YMS-364. USS Cofer and USS LCS-8 and USS LCS-28 silenced the battery. USS LCS-44, USS LCI(L)-1008 and LCVP's rescued survivors close inshore under direct enemy fire. USS YMS-51 and USS YMS-340 which were also sweeping in the area were not hit.

At 1530I/2, Rear-Admiral Royal and Major General Wootten returned to USS Rocky Mount.

At 1543I/2, four B-25's strafed and bombed the Cape Djoeata area. after they were finished, USS Fletcher bombarded the same area.

At 1555I/2, COMLSTGR 44 shifted his flag to USS LST-924.

At 1600I/2, Major General Wootten departed for Morotai by aircraft with Captain Hains, Assistant Chief of Staff to Rear-Admiral Royal.

At 1630I/2, four P-38's also made low bombing and strafing runs on gun emplacements on Cape Djoeata.

At 1635I/2, USS YMS-340 and USS YMS-364 put wounded men from the YMS engagement on board USS Rocky Mount.

At 1740I/2, USS LCS-44 sighted a mine in position 03°23'8"N, 117°30'E. CTU 78.1.3 was later ordered to search for and destroy this mine.

At 1811I/2, USS Fletcher took on board wounded from the YMS engagement from USS LCS-44. She later transferred them to USS Rocky Mount.

At 2015I/2, CTG 78.1 directed all LST's to illuminate all causeways and beaches but at ' Flash Red ' to darken ship until alert is over.

At 0751I/3, USS ATR-61 stood in to assist LST's retracting from the beach.

At 0830I/3, USS Phoenix proceeded to the vicinity of Sadau Island to fire on enemy coastal batteries and installations in the Cape Djoeata area. She opened fire at 0850I/3.

At 0920I/3, USS LST-697 retracted from the beach.

At 0925I/3, USS LST-711 retracted from the beach.

At 0928I/3, USS LST-626 retracted from the beach.

At 0929I/3, PT-boats made runs parallel to the beach to create waves to assist in retracting the LST's.

At 0931I/3, USS LST-171 retracted from the beach.

At 0940I/3, USS LST-613 retracted from the beach.

At 1000I/3, CTU 78.1.2 assumed control of naval gunfire support.

At 1010I/3, USS LST-924 retracted from the beach. USS LST-584, USS LST-585, USS LST-590, USS LST-711, USS LST-743, USS LST-993 and USS LST-1027 remained on the beach.

At 1025I/3, Rear-Admiral Berkey came aboard USS Rocky Mount. He departed again at 1103I/3.

At 1033I/3, USS Phoenix returned from the Sadau Island area on completion of her bombarding duties.

At 1300I/3, USS Phoenix, USS Boise, USS Nicholas, USS Taylor and USS O'Bannon departed the Tarakan area to return to Subic Bay where they arrived around 1100I/5.

At 1700I/3, CTG 78.1, in USS Rocky Mount, escorted by USS Caldwell, departed Tarakan for Morotai where they arrived around 1400I/5. Command had been turned over to Captain Gray (CTG 78.1.16) on board USS Formoe.

At 1830I/3, CTG 78.1.92 with COMLSTGR 44 in USS LST-924 with USS LST-171, USS LST-613, USS LST-626 and USS LST-697 departed the Tarakan area escorted by USS Philip, USS SC-746, USS YMS-51 and USS YMS-363. Seven LST's were still fast in the mud on the beach. The remaining eight other LST's had commenced to unload from the stream. Unloading continued slowly but steadily as did the fighting on the island against increasing opposition. CTG 78.1.92 arrived at Morotai around 1730I/5.

[The report of CTG 78.1 ends here.]

At 0700I/5, HMAS Manoora and HMAS Westralia departed Morotai to return to Tarakan with reinforcements and supplies. They were still escorted by USS Bancroft and USS Charles E. Brannon. They arrived at Tarakan around 0830I/7.

At 1800I/5, CTG 78.1.93 made up of USS LCI(L)-624, USS LCI(L)-625, USS LCI(L)-626, USS LCI(L)-634, USS LCI(L)-655, USS LCI(L)-699, USS LCI(L)-700, USS LCI(L)-712, USS LCI(L)-1008, USS LCI(L)-1025, USS LCI(L)-1072, USS LCI(L)-1076, USS LCI(R)-71, USS LCI(R)-72, USS LCI(R)-74, USS LCI(R)-338, USS LCI(M)-359, USS LCI(M)-362, USS LCI(D)-29, USS LCI(D)-228 departed the Tarakan area for Morotai where they arrived around 1700I/8. They were escorted by USS Waller, USS Cofer, USS PC-1120, USS YMS-6, USS YMS-68, USS YMS-73, USS YMS-313, USS YMS-314, USS YMS-329, USS YMS-334 and USS YMS-364.

At 1200I/7, CTG 78.1.94, made up of the tanker USS Winooski and the frigate HMAS Hawkesbury departed Tarakan for Polloc Harbour where they arrived around 1430I/8.

At 1730I/7, USS LST-924, USS LST-171, USS LST-613, USS LST-626, USS LST-697, escorted by USS Philip and USS Caldwell, departed Morotai for Tarakan with supplies.

At 1730I/7, having unloaded, HMAS Manoora and HMAS Westralia departed Tarakan to return to Morotai. They were still escorted by USS Bancroft and USS Charles E. Brannon. They arrived at Morotai around 1600I/9.

At 0800I/8, CTG 78.1.96 made up of USS LST-466, USS LST-467, USS LST-562, USS LST-637, USS LST-742, USS LST-1035, USS LCI(L)-635, USS LCI(L)-961, USS LCI(L)-985, USS LCI(L)-1000, USS LCI(L)-1071, USS ATR-61 towing USS YMS-51 departed Tarakan for Morotai where they arrived around . They were escorted by USS Robinson, USS Rudderow, USS PCE(R)-849, USS PC-1120 and USS SC-698.

Fighting on Tarakan continued until 19 June. The island was declared secure on 21 June 1945. [Up to this time supplies kept coming in but it goes to far to list these shipping movements here.]

2 May 1945
Around 0800I/2, HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC and Bar, RAN) arrived at Morotai from the Tarakan area.

[We have been unable to find out when they left Morotai for Hollandia.]

6 May 1945
Around 0910I/6, HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC and Bar, RAN) arrived at Hollandia from Morotai. (135)

7 May 1945
Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN, hoisted his broad pendant on board HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) (136)

9 May 1945
Around 1430K/9 the destroyer HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN) departed Manus followed around 1800K/9 by the light cruiser HMS Newfoundland (Capt. R.W. Ravenhill, CBE, DSC, RN).

Around 1720K/9, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN) and the destroyer HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN) departed Hollandia.

Both forces made rendezvous off Cape Wom around 0800K/10 and the 'Wewak support force' arrived off Wewak around 1300K/10.

After a preliminary run along the coast to search for the targets the sheduled bombardment commenced.

Around 1600K/10, the force retired to seaward for the night.

At 0630K/11, the 'Wewak support force' made rendezvous with the 'Wewak force' made up of the sloop HMAS Swan (Lt. W.J. Dovers, RAN) and minesweepers/corvettes Colac (Lt. K.J. Hopper, RANR(S)) and HMAS Dubbo (T/Lt. F.W. Roberts, RANR(S)) and the assault forces proceeded to their fire support areas. From 0730K/11, targets were successfully engaged to cover the assault on Red Beach. The bombardment was completed at 0840K/11.

After the landing the 'Wewak support force' retired to seaward.

Around 1230K/11, HMS Newfoundland obtained an A/S contact which was subsequently depth charged by HMAS Arunta. Both destroyers then continued to search the area during the afternoon, but no further contact was obtained.

Around 1700K/11, HMAS Hobart and HMS Newfoundland carried out another bombardment after which the force was released around 1900K/11 and proceeded to Hollandia arriving there at 0700I/12. (137)

20 May 1945
Around 1310I/20, HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN) and HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN) departed Hollandia for Subic Bay. (138)

25 May 1945
Around 0800I/25, HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN) and HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN) arrived at Subic Bay. (139)

28 May 1945
Around 0800I/28, Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN, transferred his broad pendant from HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) to HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN) which then departed Subic Bay for Manila. (139)

30 May 1945
Around 1000I/30, HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN) returned to Subic Bay from Manila. The Commodore then transferred his broad pendant to HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN). (139)

1 Jun 1945
The light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN) and the destroyers USS Killen (T/Cdr. J.L. Semmes, USN) and USS Albert W. Grant (T/Cdr. G.S. Higginbotham, USN) conducted AA gunnery exercises off Subic Bay. (140)

10 Jun 1945

Operation Oboe VI, Allied landings at Brunei.

Composition of the forces taking part was as follows;
Task Group 78.1 was the Brunei Attack Group under Rear-Admiral Royal and was made up of the Amphibious Force Command Ship USS Rocky Mount (T/Capt. F.A. Hardesty, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral F.B. Royal, USN).
Task Group 74.3 was the Cruiser Covering Group under Rear-Admiral Berkey and was made up of the following units.
Task Unit 74.3.1, was Fire Support Unit One (Brown Beach), and was made up of the light cruisers USS Boise (T/Capt. W.M. Downes, USN), USS Phoenix (T/Capt. H.L. Challenger, USN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN) and the destroyers USS Killen (T/Cdr. J.L. Semmes, USN) and USS Albert W. Grant (T/Cdr. G.S. Higginbotham, USN).
Task Unit 74.3.2, was Fire Support Unit Two (Green Beach), and was made up of the light cruiser USS Nashville (T/Capt. A. MacOndray, Jr., USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN) and the destroyers HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN) and USS Conner (T/Lt.Cdr. W.A. Sissons, USN).
Task Unit 74.3.3, was Fire Support Unit Three (White Beach), and was made up of the destroyers USS Charette (T/Lt.Cdr. G.P. Joyce, USN), USS Bell (T/Lt.Cdr. B.H. Shupper, USN) and USS Burns (T/Cdr. J.T. Bullen, Jr., USN).
Task Group 74.2 provived distant cover from a position to the west of Brunei Bay. This force was made up of the light cruisers USS Montpelier (T/Capt. W.A. Gorry, USN, flying the flag of T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Riggs, USN (COMCRUDIV 12)), USS Cleveland (T/Capt. H.G. Hopwood, USN), USS Columbia (T/Capt. M.E. Curts, USN), USS Denver (T/Capt. T.F. Darden, Jr., USN) and the destroyers USS Conway (T/Cdr. J.H. Besson, Jr., USN, with T/Capt. S.G. Hooper, USN (COMDESDIV 44) on board), USS Stevens (T/Cdr. G.W. Pressey, USN), USS Cony (T/Lt.Cdr. T.C. Siegmund, USN), USS Eaton (T/Cdr. C. Brown, USN), USS Hart (T/Cdr. W.D. Coleman, USN) and USS Metcalf (T/Cdr. D.L. Martineau, USN).
Task Group 70.1 was the Motor Torpedo Boat Group under T/Capt. S.S. Bowling, USN and was made up of the following units.
Task Unit 70.1.7 which was made up the Motor Torpedo Boat Tender USS Willoughby (T/Lt. J.P.E. Brouilliette, USN, with COMMTBRON 13, Lt.Cdr. A.W. Fargo, Jr., USNR on board). The following Motor Torpedo Boats were part of this Task Unit, from MTBRON 13; USS PT-74, USS PT-75, USS PT-76, USS PT-78, USS PT-80, USS PT-81, USS PT-82, USS PT-83, USS PT-84 and from MTBRON 16; USS PT-223, USS PT-241 and USS PT-298.
Task Group 78.1.1 was the Transport and Landing Craft Unit under T/Capt. H.B. Hudson, USN and was made up of the following units.
Task Unit 78.1.11 was the Transport Unit under A/Capt. A.P. Cousin, RANR(S) which was made up the Landing Ships HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. A.P. Cousin, RANR(S)), HMAS Westralia (A/Cdr. E.W. Livingston, RANR(S)), HMAS Kanimbla (Cdr. A.V. Bunyan, RANR(S)), Landing Ship Dock USS Carter Hall (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Host, Jr., USNR) and the Attack Cargo Ship Titania (T/Cdr.(Retd.) M.W. Callahan, USN) and the high speed transports (Transport Division 103), USS Lloyd (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Taylor, USNR, with T/Cdr, Wm.S. Parsons, USN, Commanding Officer COMTRANSDIV 103, on board), USS Newman (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Thieme, USNR), USS Liddle (Lt.Cdr. W.D. Kennedy, USNR), USS Kephart (Cdr. I.H. Cammarn, USNR) and USS Diachenko (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Johnson, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.12 was the LST Unit under T/Capt. H.B. Hudson, USN, which was made up the following LST's from LST Flotilla 24; USS LST-640 (Lt. F.B. McKenney, Jr., USNR, with COMLSTFLOT 24, T/Capt. H.B. Hudson, USN on board), USS LST-560 (Lt. H.T. Holsapple, USNR), LST-591 (Lt. R.C. Allen, USN), USS LST-595 (Lt. A.C. Jackson, USNR), USS LST-619 (Lt. J.M. Brennan, USNR), USS LST-638 (Lt. F. Data, USN), LST-696 (Lt. G.A. Hayward, USN), LST-806 (Lt. J.E. Montgomery, USNR), LST-912 (Lt. L.R. White, USN), LST-936 (Lt. M.E. Bolen, USN), LST-937 (Lt. G.W. Mitchell, USN), USS LST-941 (Lt. L.M. Edwards, USN) and LST-942 (Lt. H.F. Austin, USNR). From LST Flotilla 15 under T/Capt. L.J. Manees USN, USS LST-574 (Lt. W.F. Kruaeger, Jr., USNR, with COMLSTFLOT 15, T/Capt. L.J. Manees USN on board), USS LST-573 (Lt. G.W. Hessemer, USNR), USS LST-626 (Lt. M.J. Codoner, Jr., USNR), USS LST-709 (Lt. V.N. Jamieson, USNR), USS LST-751 (Lt. R.E. Garris, USNR), USS LST-922 (Lt. R.A. Stallings, USN), USS LST-1025 (Lt. C.L. Curfman, USNR) and USS LST-1027 (Lt. P.J. Shropshire, Jr., USNR). From LST Flotilla 22, USS LST-584 (Lt. D.B. Russell, USNR), USS LST-585 (Lt. A.P. Morse, USNR), USS LST-590 (Lt. B.J. Arnett, USN), USS LST-637 (Lt. R.A. Vielhaber, USNR) and USS LST-1035 (Lt. M. Perry, USNR). From LST Flottila 8 under T/Capt. E. Watts, USN, USS LST-614 (Lt. J.F. Stanfill, USN, with COMLSTFLOT 8, T/Capt. E. Watts, USN on board), USS LST-562 (Lt. F.P. Lawrence, USNR), USS LST-613 (Lt.(jg) D.B. Emmons, USNR), USS LST-667 (Lt. W.S. Biernat, USN), USS LST-697 (Lt. J.E. Tanner, USNR), USS LST-742 (Lt. W.W. Holmes, USNR), USS LST-743 (Lt. F.H. Emerick, USNR) and USS LST-993 (Lt. A.W. Bates, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.13 was the LCI Unit under T/Capt. F.B.C. Martin, USN (COMLCI(L)FLOT 8), which was made up the following LCI(L)'s; USS LCI(L)-546 (Lt.(jg) H.K. Wells, USNR with T/Capt. F.B.C. Martin, USN, on board), USS LCI(L)-544 (Lt.(jg) W.L. Hall, USNR), USS LCI(L)-577 (Lt. E.J. Morgan, USNR), USS LCI(L)-636 (Lt. J.A. Moore, USNR), USS LCI(L)-661 (Lt.(jg) P.B. Pylant, USNR), USS LCI(L)-662 (Lt. G.L. Gates, USNR), USS LCI(L)-701 (Lt. H.O. Cheney, USNR), USS LCI(L)-702 (Lt. H.A. Hamilton, USNR), USS LCI(L)-703 (Lt.(jg) V.E. Harris, USNR), USS LCI(L)-713 (Lt.(jg) W.W. Parris, USNR), USS LCI(L)-744 (Lt.(jg) J.B. Vallely, USNR), USS LCI(L)-745 (Lt.(jg) J.R. Garland, USNR), LCI(L)-746 (Lt.(jg) W.F. Foley, USNR), USS LCI(L)-749 (Lt.(jg) W.F. Foley, USNR), USS LCI(L)-753 (Lt. G.B. Strother, USNR), USS LCI(L)-955 (Lt.(jg) D.C. Alexander, USNR), USS LCI(L)-958 (Lt. W.R. McCracken, USNR), USS LCI(L)-960 (Lt.(jg) E.H. Chittenden, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1019 (Lt. H.D. Curtman, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1060 (Lt. C.J. Wolfe, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1074 (Lt. R.G. Harvey, USNR) and USS LCI(L)-1075 (Lt. R.B. Smiley, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.14 was the LSM Unit under T/Cdr. W.E. Verge, USN (COMLSMFLOT 7), which was made up the following LSM's; USS LSM-54 (Lt. D.L. Newborg, USNR, with T/Cdr. W.E. Verge, USN on board), USS LSM-50 (Lt. J.C. Rogers, Jr., USNR), USS LSM-51 (Lt. J.O. Potts, Jr., USNR), USS LSM-52 (Lt. J.H. Colquitt, USNR), USS LSM-53 (Lt. A.H. Nelson, USNR), USS LSM-63 (Lt. R.B. Hinze, USNR), USS LSM-64 (Lt. S.B. Whitehead, USNR), USS LSM-65 (Lt. L.D. Stephens, USNR), USS LSM-67 (Lt. K.D. Higgins, USNR), USS LSM-68 (Lt. W.R. Walker, USNR), USS LSM-128 (Lt. M.M. de Picabia, USNR), USS LSM-133 (Lt. C.D. Davis, USNR), USS LSM-138 (Lt. W.G. Arnold, USNR), USS LSM-139 (Lt. L.R. Mapes, USNR), USS LSM-168 (Lt. R. Whelan, USNR), USS LSM-203 (Lt. F.L. Townsley, USNR), USS LSM-219 (Lt. H. Burns, USNR), USS LSM-225 (Lt.(jg) F.C. Sheppard, USNR), USS LSM-237 (Lt. J.L. Poole, USNR) and USS LSM-269 (Lt. H.T. Turner, Jr. USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.15 was the LCT Unit under Lt. DeMoss, USNR (COMLCTGR 74), which was made up the following LCT's; USS LCT-1310, USS LCT-1312, USS LCT-1314, USS LCT-1317, USS LCT-1319 and USS LCT-1331.
Task Unit 78.1.16 was the 'Brown' Assault Unit under T/Capt. H.B. Hudson, USN. It was made up of ships listed above; HMAS Manoora, HMAS Westralia, USS Carter Hall, USS Titania, USS LST-640, USS LST-560, USS LST-585, USS LST-591, USS LST-595, USS LST-619, USS LST-637, USS LST-638, USS LST-696, USS LST-709, USS LST-806, USS LST-912, USS LST-936, USS LST-937, USS LST-941, USS LST-942, USS LST-1025, USS LCI(L)-744, USS LCI(L)-745, USS LCI(L)-746, USS LCI(L)-749, USS LCI(L)-955, USS LSM-168, USS LSM-50, USS LSM-51, USS LSM-52, USS LSM-53, USS LSM-63, USS LSM-64 and USS LSM-65.
Task Unit 78.1.17 was the 'Green' Assault Unit under T/Capt. L.J. Manees, USN. It was made up of ships listed above [except for USCGC Spencer]; fighter direction ship USCGC Spencer (Cdr. J.R. Hinnant, USCG), HMAS Kanimbla, USS LST-574 and USS LSM-237.
Task Unit 78.1.18 was the 'White' Assault Unit, also under T/Capt. L.J. Manees, USN. It was made up of ships listed above; USCGC Spencer, USS Lloyd, USS Newman, USS Liddle, USS Kephart, USS Diachenko, USS LST-574, USS LST-584, USS LST-667, USS LST-751, USS LST-922, USS LCI(L)-636, USS LCI(L)-701, USS LCI(L)-702, USS LCI(L)-703, USS LSM-168, USS LSM-67, USS LSM-68, USS LSM-138, USS LSM-203, USS LSM-219 and USS LSM-225.
Task Unit 78.1.19 was the Reinforcement Unit under T/Capt. E. Watts, USN. It was made up of ships listed above; USS LST-614, USS LST-590, USS LST-613, USS LST-626, USS LST-697, USS LST-742, USS LST-743, USS LST-993, USS LST-1027, USS LST-1035, USS LCI(L)-960, USS LCI(L)-544, USS LCI(L)-577, USS LCI(L)-661, USS LCI(L)-662, USS LCI(L)-753, USS LCI(L)-1019 and USS LCI(L)-1060.
Task Unit 78.1.20 was the Reserve Unit under T/Cdr. W.E. Verge, USN. It was made up of ships listed above; USS LST-562, USS LST-573, USS LCI(L)-713, USS LCI(L)-958, USS LCI(L)-1074, USS LCI(L)-1075, USS LSM-54, USS LSM-133, USS LSM-139 and USS LSM-269.
Task Group 78.1.2 was the screen under T/Capt. R.H. Smith, USN (COMDESRON 22) and was made up of the following units.
Task Unit 78.1.21 was the Destroyer Unit which was made up of the following destroyers; from DesRon 22, DesDiv 43, USS Robinson (T/Cdr. R.E. Malpass, USN, with T/Capt. R.H. Smith, USN (COMDESRON 22) on board), USS Saufley (T/Lt.Cdr. F.W. Silk, USN), USS Waller (T/Cdr. H.leR. Thompson, Jr., USN), USS Philip (T/Cdr. J.B. Rutter, Jr., USN), from DesDiv 28, USS Bancroft (T/Lt.Cdr. C.E. Pond, USN, with T/Capt. L.W. Pancoast, USN (COMDESDIV 28) on board), USS McCalla (T/Lt.Cdr. E. Vinock, USN), USS Caldwell (Lt.Cdr. D.R. Robinson, USNR), USS Edwards (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Weiss, USNR), USS Frazier (T/Lt.Cdr. J.N. Renfro, USN, with T/Capt. G.L. Sims, USN (COMDESRON 14) on board) and USS Bailey (T/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Johnson, USN).
Task Unit 78.1.22 was the Destroyer Escort Unit which was made up of the following destroyers escorts; from ComCortDiv 77, USS Douglas A. Munro (Lt.Cdr. E.S. Stevens, USNR, with COMCORTDIV 77, Cdr. H.G. White, USNR on board), USS Dufilho (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Nienau, USNR), USS Charles E. Brannon (Lt.Cdr. O.M. Shirey, Jr., USNR), USS Albert T. Harris (T/Lt.Cdr. S. King, USN), USS Jobb (Lt.Cdr. N.L. Field, USNR) and USS Day (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Read, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.23 was the Frigate Unit under Lt.Cdr. H.J. Weston, RANR(S), which was made up of the following frigates; HMAS Hawkesbury (Lt.Cdr. H.J. Weston, RANR(S)) and HMAS Barcoo (A/Lt.Cdr. C.G. Hill, RANR(S)).
Task Group 78.1.3 was the Support Unit under T/Capt. R.E. Arison, USN, which was on board the USS LCI(L)-778 (Lt. W.B. Chinn, USNR) and was made up of the following units.
Task Unit 78.1.31 was the LCS Unit, under T/Capt. R.E. Arison, USN, which was made up of the following LCS's; USS LCS(L)-42 (Lt. R.S. Sondree, USN), USS LCS(L)-45 (Lt. E.M. Lang, USNR), USS LCS(L)-46 (Lt. W.P. McCarthy, USNR), USS LCS(L)-47 (Lt. F.E. Butler, USN), USS LCS(L)-58 (Lt. D. Gregory, USNR), USS LCS(L)-59 (Lt. N.L. Claxton, USNR) and USS LCS(L)-60 (Lt. W.H. White, Jr., USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.32 was the LCI(G) Unit, under Lt.Cdr. A.M. Holmes, USNR, which was made up of the following LCI(G)'s; USS LCI(G)-69 (Lt.(jg) H.R. Roesti, USNR, with Lt.Cdr. A.M. Holmes, USNR, on board), USS LCI(G)-23 (Lt. E.P. Wurtzebach, USNR), USS LCI(G)-64 (Lt.(jg) R.K. Call, USNR), USS LCI(G)-65 (Lt.(jg) W.J. McKeon, USNR), USS LCI(G)-68 (Lt.(jg) J.D. Devaney, USNR) and USS LCI(G)-70 (Lt.(jg) V.B. Millsap, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.33 was the LCI(R) Unit, under Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sargent, USNR, which was made up of the following LCI(R)'s; USS LCI(R)-71 (Lt.(jg) C.C. Benson, USNR, with Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sargent, USNR, on board), USS LCI(R)-31 (Ens. D.B. Hummel, USNR), USS LCI(R)-34 (Lt.(jg) F.W. Schwarz, USNR), USS LCI(R)-72 (Ens. C.R. Weiner, USNR), USS LCI(R)-74 (Ens. V.J. Goerke, USNR) and USS LCI(R)-338 (Ens. J.S. Hageman, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.34 was the LCI(M) Unit which was made up of the following LCI(M)'s; USS LCI(M)-362 (Lt.(jg) H.A. Petersen, USNR), USS LCI(M)-359 (Ens. T.S. Adair, USNR) and USS LCI(M)-431 (Lt.(jg) J.C. Elkins, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.35 was the Demolition Unit which was made up of the high speed transport USS Kline (Lt. B.F. Uran, USNR) and the LCI(D)'s USS LCI(D)-29 (Lt. R.M. Burnes, USNR) and USS LCI(D)-228 (Lt.(jg) R.W. Kearns, USNR). Also part of this Task Unit were four Naval Combat Demolition Units (frogmen).
Task Unit 78.1.36 was the 'Brown' Support Unit under Lt.Cdr. Holmes and was made up from ships from the above units; USS LCS(L)-58, USS LCS(L)-59, USS LCS(L)-60, USS LCI(S)-1000 (?) and USS LCI(S)-1071 (?), USS LCI(R)-31, USS LCI(R)-34, USS LCI(G)-69, USS LCI(G)-70, USS LCI(M)-359, LCI(M)-362, LCI(D)-29 and two of the Naval Combat Demolition Units (NCDU 20 and 24).
Task Unit 78.1.37 was the 'Green' Support Unit under Capt. Arison and was made up from ships from the above units; USS LCI(L)-778, USS LCS(L)-42, USS LCS(L)-47, USS LCI(G)-65, USS LCI(G)-68, USS LCI(R)-74, USS LCI(R)-338 and USS LCI(S)-961.
Task Unit 78.1.37 was the 'White' Support Unit under Lt.Cdr. Sargent and was made up from ships from the above units; USS LCS(L)-45, USS LCS(L)-46, USS LCI(S)-985, USS LCI(G)-23, USS LCI(G)-64, USS LCI(R)-71, USS LCI(R)-72, USS LCI(M)-431, USS LCI(D)-228 and two of the Naval Combat Demolition Units (NCDU 2 and 3).
Task Group 78.1.4 was the Landing Craft Control Unit under Lt. Goodrich, USNR. It was made up of the patrol vessels USS PC-1120 (Lt. J.R. Goodrich, USNR), USS PC 1122 (Lt. J.S. Fullerton, USNR), USS SC-698 (Lt. J.C. Hedges, USNR), USS SC-732 (Lt.(jg) I.L. Mann, Jr., USNR), USS SC-741 (Lt.(jg) P.L. Schilling, USNR) and USS SC-750 (Lt.(jg) F.C. Cuthbertson, USNR).
This Task Group was split up into the following Task Units;
Task Unit 78.1.41 was Control Unit 'Brown' and was made up of USS PC-1120, USS SC-698 and USS SC-732.
Task Unit 78.1.42 was Control Unit 'Green' and was made up of USS SC-741 and USS SC-750.
Task Unit 78.1.43 was Control Unit 'white' and was made up of USS PC-1122 and USS LCI(L)-546. This last was attached for the duration of the assault only.
Task Group 78.1.5 was the Minesweeping Group under Lt.Cdr. T.R. Fonick, USNR. It was made up of the following units;
Task Unit 78.1.51 was Sweep Unit One which made up of the minesweepers USS Sentry (Lt.Cdr. T.R. Fonick, USNR, (COMMINDIV 34)), USS Salute (Lt. J.R. Hodges, USNR), USS Scout (Lt. E.G. Anderson, USNR), USS Scrimmage (Lt. R. van Winkle, USNR) and USS Scuffle (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Johnson, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.52 was Sweep Unit Two which made up of the YMS's; USS YMS-51 (Lt.(jg) A.L. Giesenschlag, USNR), USS YMS-68 (Lt. G.L. O'Neil, USNR), USS YMS-73 (Lt. J.H. Frederick, USNR) and USS YMS-363 (Lt. F.A. Struve, Jr., USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.53 was Sweep Unit Three which made up of the YMS's; USS YMS-4 (Lt.(jg) F.D. Bender, USNR), USS YMS-39 (Lt. R.M. Sullivan, USNR), USS YMS-340 (Lt. P. Schminke, USNR) and USS YMS-365 (Lt.(jg) F.C. Huff, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.54 was Sweep Unit Four which made up of the YMS's; USS YMS-6 (Lt. M. McVickar, USNR), USS YMS-259 (Lt. M. Goedjen, USNR), USS YMS-313 (Lt.(jg) W.H. Reibold, USNR) and USS YMS-314 (Lt.(jg) J.W. Easton, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.55 was Sweep Unit Five (Support Unit) which made up of the high speed transport USS Cofer (Lt. H.C. McClees, USNR), LSM USS LSM-1 (Lt. E.J. Flowers, USNR), 4 LCVP's and 2 ML's.
Task Group 78.1.6 was the Hydrographic Survey Group under Lt.Cdr. G.D. Tancred, RAN. It was made up of the following ships; frigate HMAS Lachlan (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Tancred, RAN), net tender USS Satinleaf (Lt. Lt. P.F. Taylor, USN) and the YMS USS YMS-160 (Lt. E.C. Bolton, USNR).
Task Group 78.1.7 was the Salvage and Service Group. It was made up of the following units;
Task Unit 78.1.71 was the Salvage Unit and was made up of the tugs USS Pinto (Lt. R. Brown, USNR) and USS ATR-61 (Lt. W.M. Heywood, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.72 was the Fire Fighting Unit and was made up of the LCI(S)'s; USS LCS(L)-961 (?), USS LCS(L)-985 (?), USS LCS(L)-1000 (?) and USS LCS(L)-1071 (?).
Task Unit 78.1.73 was the Service Unit and was made up of the tanker USS Winooski (Lt.Cdr. T.B. Christenson, USNR), landing craft repair ship USS Achilles [former LST-455] (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Gherini, USNR) and the LST (as logistics ship) USS LST-473 (Lt. E.H. Davis, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.74 was the Press Unit and was made up of the patrol vessel USS PCE(R)-849 (Lt. C. Sanders, USNR), USS LCI(L)-635 (Lt. H. Hopkins, USNR) and the small army cargo ship FP 47.

At 1400I/4, the Brunei Attack Group under the command of Rear-Admiral Royal, USN in his flagship USS Rocky Mount departed Morotai for the objective area (Brunei Bay). The mission of this Attack Group was to transport, protect, land, firmly establish on shore the 9th Australian Division in the Brunei Bay area and support it in subsequent operations in order to secure Brunei Bay for use as and advanced fleet base and to protect resources in the area. The assault troops were the veteran 9th Australian Division and such supporting elements, equipment and supplies as would be needed immediately on Zebra Day (wich was set for June 10th). The main assault echelon contained 85 ships with an additional screening force of 6 destroyers, 3 destroyer escorts, 2 PC's and 4 SC's (patrol vessels). A second echelon consisting mainly of LST's and LCI's plus escorts departed Morotai on 5 June and arrived at Brunei Bay on 11 June. Other units, including LCM's and LCT's sailed from Tarakan via Tawi Tawi and also arrived on 11 June. One MTBRON with its tender from Mindoro joined the main assault echelon at sea on 9 June.

The Brunei Attack Group, enjoining fair weather, sailed without incident through the Celebes and Sulu Seas, and overcame the navigational difficulties presernted by Basilan and Balabac Straits without mishap. Although air protection was provided, and dawn and dusk alerts maintained, no enemy planes appeared enroute and no submarine contacts were reported by the screening vessels.

On 9 June (Zebra minus one), off the northwest coast of Borneo, the convoy was joined by USS Boise, USS Killen and USS Albert W. Grant. USS Boise had on board General MacArthur (CinCSWPA) to observe the landings at Brunei Bay.

The Cruiser Covering Group (TG 74.3) departed Subic Bay on 5 June. The Cover Group (TG 74.2) got underway from Subic Bay on 7 June.

The Minesweeping and Hydrographic Groups, which had departed Morotai on 2 June arrived off Brunei Bay in the early morning of 7 June. These units then began operations under the protection of the Cruiser Covering Group and the Fire Support Group commanded by Rear-Admiral Berkey, USN. On 7 June the minesweepers swept 34 contact mines on a north-south line at the main (southwestern) entrance to Brunei Bay in area 'Piccolo'. Areas 'Cornet', 'Trumpet', 'Bassoon' and 'Flute' were swept with negative results. Preliminary hydrographic survey work by HMAS Lachlan indicated that British Admiralty charts were accurate for the area. All sheduled operations were completed without enemy interference. Several large smoke columns in the vicinity of Brunei town indicated that enemy had begun destruction of installations in that area.

On 8 June minesweeping operations continued on shedule and 34 contact mines were swept in area 'Picollo' making a total of 68 mines swept through the second day of operations. At 1516I/8, USS Salute struck a mine which resulted in serious damage. Casualties were reported as 6 enlisted men killed, 3 enlisted men missing in action and 37 wounded. She subsequently sank at 2300I/8 in position 05°08'5"N, 115°05'E, the spot being marked by an obstruction buoy. Reconnaissance of 'Brown' Beeach, Labuan Island was carried out by an underwater demolition team. Swimmers closed to the high water mark along the entire beach, and found a firm sandy bottom. A thorough search revealed no underwater obstacles or mines, and there was little sign of recent activity along the beach. Light enemy opposition on shore inflicted no casualties. Planes of a scheduled bombing strike which failed to check in with the Advance Commander Support Air in USS Nashville dropped their bombs in the water of 'Brown' Beach while the swimmers were approaching the beach and inflicted casualties to the extent of 1 missing and 3 wounded. Buoys number 6 to 16, inclusive, were placed in position, and the original beach on the outer shoal was found still in position.

Reconnaissance of 'Green' Beach revealed a sandy bottom with gradual gradient. No obstructions or mines were found and the beach was marked with small white flags on either flank.

On the same day, the Fire Support Group gave the various landing beach areas a thorough bombardment. USS Phoenix and USS Conner plus gunboats gave 'Brown' Beach good coverage and exploded a large ammunition dump. HMAS Hobart, USS Charette and USS Burns covered 'White' Beach destroying serveal suspected gun emplacements and other targets.

On 9 June, Areas 'Trombone', 'Xylophone', 'Drum', 'Harp', 'Horn' and 'Piccolo' in Brunei Bay were swept with negative results. One mine was swept at the southern boundary of Area 'Piccolo' during a check-sweep making a total of 69 mines swept through the 3rd day of operations. USS Scuffle reported that the explosion of mines in gear streamed to 60-foot depth might indicate that an anti-sweep feature was used by the enemy to blow the mines when they were caught by the sweeping gear. A reconnaissance of 'White' Beach, Maura Island, revealed a hard sandy bottom with no obstructions or mines. Buoys 17, 18 and 19 were laid as hydrographic boats made a complete circuit of Maura Island unmolested. Soundings agreed with the charts.

'Brown', 'Green' and 'White' Beach Areas were again well covered by naval gunfire and a suspected gun emplacement on Pappan Island was thoroughly saturated. Heavy air strikes on Labuan Island and Brunei Bluff drew light inaccurate AA fire. USS LCI(G)-23 ran hard aground south of Maura Island. Commander of 'White' Support Unit assisted by PT boats stood by until she could get off at high tide.

Four PT boats arrived in Brunei Bay at 1500I/9 and commenced patrolling the objective area. Two boats strafed Sipitang town the night of the 9th with no return fire. The other two boats patrolled with no enemy contact to Mangalong River.

On Zebra Day (10 June), the Brunei Attack Group sailed into Brunei Bay in the early morning hours under the protecting guns of the Fire Support Group. At Point 'Lamb', inside the Bay, the assault units broke off and proceeded to the respective Transport Areas to deploy in accodance with directives of the Assault Unit Commanders.

After the 'Brown' Assault Unit had taken up its position of Labuan Island, it was attacked by an enemy plane at 0650I/10. This plane, identified as a twin-engined 'Nick', dropped one bomb near the Transport Area without damage to shipping. The plane was at about 500 feet altitude. It was fired upon but managed to get away.

The bombardment of 'Brown' Beach began at 0805I/10 by the large fleet units of Fire Support Unit One, being joined 5 minutes later by the small support craft with rockets and guns of smaller calibre. Fire Support Unit Two began the bombardment of 'White' and 'Green' Beaches at 0813I/10 and 0815I/10 respectively. Fire at all three points was so heavy and accurate that enemy troops retreated from the landing areas, enabling landings at all three beaches to be made unopposed. The hulk of a merchant vessel in Victoria Harbour was hit repeatedly by close support craft to insure that there were no operational guns aboard to fire on our landing craft.

At 0915I/10, the first waves in LCVPs and LVT's landed simultaneously at 'Brown', 'Green' and 'White' beaches, on shedule. These three separate landings, at different points as far apart as 18 miles, were carried out with precision and dispatch. The beaches were quickly secured and all assault waves were landed by 1003I/10, with the remaining waves on call. Fire support from naval craft was reported to be most effective as was that of the close support craft near shore. B-24's, although somewhat delayed in arriving, carried out attacks on areas in rear of the beaches with good results.

After the 'Brown' Beach Area was secured at 1100I/10, General MacArthur went ashore from USS Boise, accompanied by Lt.Gen. Morshead, COC I Australian Corps, Rear-Admiral Royal, Air Vice Marshal Bostock, General Kenney and others, for an inspection tour of Labuan Island.

The LSM's began unloading on 'Brown' Beach before 1200I/10 and the LST's at approximately 1500I/10.

Vitoria Town on Labuan Island was found deserted and almost completely destroyed. Australian Infantry and Tanks moved inland from 'Brown' Beach against little opposition and by 1129I/10 the 24th Brigade was within sight of Labuan airfield. From this point on the opposition increased. Maura Island was completely reconnoitred without locating any enemy. At 'Green' Beach by nightfall the Australians had captured Brooketon and had avanced 3000 yards towards Brunei Town. At 1724I/10 troops were landed on Hamilton Peninsula, Labuan Island, and at 1830I/10, Major General Wootten, GOC 9th Australian Division assumed command ashore.

During minesweeping on Zebra day, 3 mines were swept in Area 'Banjo', making a total of 72 mines swept up to date.

Before nightfall of Zebra day the transports and cruisers moved out to the middle of Brunei Bay to anchor in Transport Area 'Tare' as a precaution against enemy planes and suicide craft. Support craft and ships of the screen (TU 78.1.2) formed two concentric screening circles around the anchorage area as anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, and anti-boat protection.

On 11 June (Zebra +1), a YMS unit in area 'Banjo' off Labuan Island, swept 25 contact mines making a total of 97 mines swept since the beginning of the operation. There were 9 gear casualties from uncharted pinnacles. Areas 'Tenor', 'Ceillo', 'Chimes' and 'Violin' were swept with negative results.

During the morning, General MacArthur, Lt. Gen. Morshead, Rear-Admiral Royal, and Maj. Gen. Wootten inspected Brooketon area including 'Green' and 'White' beaches.

During the day, troops of the 24th Brigade advanced 3500 yards north of Labuan airstrip encountering opposition to the west and northwest. In the 'Green' Beach area troops advanced 7400 yards southwest on the Brunei Road and those on the Hamilton Peninsula went forward 800 yards. Maura Island was reported secured. A total of 30 Australian casualties were reported to date in all sections.

B-24's and Beaufighters continued to bomb and straft in the various areas as directed by Commander Support Air in USS Rocky Mount.

Durnig the night of 10/11 June, PT boats strafed Tutong, seria, Kuala Belait, Lutong and Miri. Damage was inflicted without drawing any enemy fire. The Japanese were observed to be setting fire to oil well and tanks in the Seria area. PT boat patrols within Brunei Bay were negative, and were discontinued after this day's work.

During the day the LCI's and one attack cargo ship were unloaded and departed. LST unloading progressed rather slowly owing to slow handling ashore.

It was reported that 50 Japanese troops with machine guns and rifles had landed at Menumbok.

Around 0800I/11, USS Cleveland, USS Hart and USS Metcalf parted company with TG 74.2 to report for duty with TG 74.3. The remainder of TG 74.2 then left the Brunei Bay area to proceed towards the Balikpapan Area via Tawi Tawi.

After a final inspection ashore General MacArthur departed the Brunei Bay area around 1315I/11 in USS Boise escorted by USS Killin and USS Albert W. Grant. They proceeded to Jolo.

On 12 June, 5 additional mines were swept in Area 'Banjo', bringing the total to 102. Other areas in Brunei Bay were swept with negative results.

HMAS Hobart and USS Metcalf effectively bombarded towns on the southern tip of the Klias Penisula.

Air strikes were staged on target areas in the objective area as well as Beaufort, Weston and Keningau. Good support was furnished to ground troops.

The Australian lines on Labuan remained virtually unchanged. However, good advantages were made toward Brunei Town resulting in the capture of Brunei airstrip. Hamilton Peninsula was completely secured. Australian casualties to date totaled 15 killed and 49 wounded.

General unloading of shipping was proceeding at a satisfactory rate.

There were indications that the enemy might be staging an evacuation of Jesselton where some small ship activity was reported.

On the night of 11/12 June, PT boats had again strafed Miri and Tutong starting fires. Boats received return machine gun and rifle fire from Miri without sustaining damage.

On 13 June, in minesweeping operations of Miri-Lutong-baram Point Area, minesweepers swept 31 contact mines on their first sweep, losing 5 sets of gear due to exploding mines. An additional 61 mines were swept later the same day making a total of 92 for the day. Additional sweeping gear was requisted by Commander Minesweeping Unit because of the heavy loss of gear to mine explosions since the beginning of the operations on 7 June. While sweeping, the minesweepers were fired upon by 3" guns ashore. About 25 rounds were fired all falling short. The battery ceased fired when destroyers heading in towards the shore. They were unable to close within range due to floating mines.

USS Metcalf bombarded caves and gun positions in hills on the northern end of Labuan Island. The caves appeared unused and the gun positions unoccupied.

The 20th Brigade captured Brunei Town, and made further advances on Labuan Island occupying the road west of Timbalai airfield and also advancing two-thirds of the way up the east coast.

Mitchell and Lightning aircraft rendered support to ground troups. One enemy aircraft (Dinah) approached our aircraft which were strafing Miri airstrip, but retired when fired upon. One other enemy aircraft (a Nick) was shot down over Brunei Bay at 1934I/13 by night fighters capably vectored by the fighter director team in USCGC Spencer.

During the night of 13/14 June 1945, PT boats strafed Cape Lobang and Miri. They reported receiving either 75mm or 90mm return fire from the vicinity of Pujut.

On 14 June, minesweepers of Miri cut 29 contact mines on their first sweep. A total of 72 mines were swept this day, giving 164 mines to date in this area. USS Scrimmage lost all gear and USS Scout and USS Sentry were able to sweep with starboard gear only. YMS vessels had such difficulty in cutting mine moorings that they planned to use explosive cutters. Mines caught in YMS gear slowed ships almost to a stop. Mines appeared deeply set and thickly planted. The minesweepers drew fire from the beach on their first pass, but the remainder of the day was quiet.

The 24th Brigade advanced to the northern tip of Labuan Island and advanced down Brunei-Tutong road with little opposition.

All assault shipping was unloaded as of this date. However the Reserve Unit was not yet committed.

At 2055 all ships went to General Quarters as enemy aircraft were reported. Two bombs were dropped on Labuan Island at 2103I/14 and one bomb fell in the anchorage area without damage to shipping. At 2230I/14, three enemy planes approached from the east. AA fire from ships shot down one of them.

On the night of 14/15 June 1945, PT boats worked south to Niah River (south of Miri) and north to Usukan Bay. Both patrols were negative.

On 15 June minesweeping continued in the Miri-Lutong area. Mines swept in that area to date total 246 mines. Minefield appears to be a continuous line extending from shoal water west of Baram Point in a southeasterly direction, following curve of shore line approximately 9 miles off shore. Heavy loss of minesweeping gear necessitated recalling the minesweepers to Brunei Bay. 9 YMS's continued to sweep. The channel east of Labuan was swept for five days with negative results and it is now considered safe for navigation.

Troops reached Kilanis settlement on Brunei-Tutong Road without enemy contact. On Labuan, the enemy pocked 1000 yards west of Labuan airstrip continued to resist.

USS McCalla and USS Philip bombarded targets in the Miri-Lutong area. Hits were scored on suspected gun emplacements and targets of opportunity. No return fire was observed.

On 16 June, 92 additional mines were swept in the Miri-Lutong area making a total of 338 swept to date. Many sets of YMS gear fouled with mines are in the area, but it was considered inadvisable to attempt recovery at this time since such efforts would interfere with sweeping. Progress in sweeping continued slow due to numerous losses of gear and the heavy chain mooring by which the mines are anchored.

Mopping-up activity continued on Labuan Island and troops advanced to a point halfway to Tutong along the Brunei-Tutong road.

At 0840I/16, the Liberty ship Helena Modjeska (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944) ran aground in Victoria Harbour but was pulled off by USS Pinto at 0947I/16.

Weston was reported to have been evacuated by the enemy. Troops are scheduled to land there on the 17th.

Captain H.B. Hudson, USN, is to assumme status of senior commander on 17 June for operational and administrative control of naval units except for Task Force 74 when CTG 78.1 will leave the area.

As of 1800I/16, Australian casualties in all sectors were 40 killed and 100 to 120 wounded. Enemy casualties on Labuan Island as of 1800I/16 were as follows; 205 counted dead, 29 estimated dead. 20 Wounded. 5 POW's. Enemy casualties in the Brunei Area as of 1800I/15 were as follows; 70 counted dead, 20 estimated dead. 6 POW's.

At 0930I/17, Weston was captured. Minesweeping in the Miri-Lutong Area was continued this date. CTG 78.1, Rear-Admiral Royal in USS Rocky Mount, departed the area at 1800I/17. The Cover Force, Task Group 74.3, also departed the area on this day arriving at Tawi Tawi on the 19th. Earlier that day the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN) had arrived. Commodore Farncomb now took over the fire support duties for which HMAS Hobart, HMAS Arunta, USS Hart and USS Metcalf remained with him. he hoisted his broad pendant in HMAS Shropshire. (141)

17 Jun 1945
Around 1000I/17, HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN) arrived off Labuan Island. Commodore Farncomb took over the fire support duties for which HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN), HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN), USS Hart (T/Cdr. W.D. Coleman, USN) and USS Metcalf (T/Cdr. D.L. Martineau, USN) remained with him. He hoisted his broad pendant in HMAS Shropshire. CTG 74.3 then left the area around 1720I/17 for Tawi Tawi.

On 18 June, HMAS Shropshire conducted a bombardment of the Japanese stronghold on Labuan Island between 1455I/18 and 1550I/18.

At 1655I/19, Commodore Farncomb transferred his flag from HMAS Shropshire to HMAS Arunta for the upcoming landings at Lutong (just north of Miri). (142)

20 Jun 1945

Landings at Lutong.

Composition of the forces taking part was as follows;
Task Group 74.1 was the Fire Support Group under Commodore Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and destroyers HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN), USS Hart (T/Cdr. W.D. Coleman, USN) and USS Metcalf (T/Cdr. D.L. Martineau, USN).
Task Unit 76.20.50 was the Lutong Assault Unit under T/Capt. F.B.C. Martin, USN (COMLCI(L)FLOT 8) which flew his flag in USS LCI(L)-546 (Lt.(jg) H.K. Wells, USNR).
Task Unit 76.20.51 was the LSM Unit under T/Cdr. W.E. Verge, USN (COMLSMFLOT 7) which was made up of the following LSM's; USS LSM-54 (Lt. D.L. Newborg, USNR, with T/Cdr. W.E. Verge, USN on board), USS LSM-133 (Lt. C.D. Davis, USNR) and USS LSM-269 (Lt. H.T. Turner, Jr. USNR).
Task Unit 76.20.52 was the LST Unit under Lt. F.P. Lawrence, USNR and was made up of the following LST's; USS LST-562 (Lt. F.P. Lawrence, USNR), USS LST-573 (Lt. G.W. Hessemer, USNR) and USS LST-667 (Lt. W.S. Biernat, USN).
Task Unit 76.20.53 was the LCT / LCM Unit under Lt. DeMoss, USNR (COMLCTGR 74), which was made up the following LCT's; USS LCT-1310, USS LCT-1312, USS LCT-1317 and USS LCT-1331. Also one LCM was attached to this unit.
Task Unit 76.20.54 was the Control Unit under Lt. J.R. Goodrich, USNR. It was made up of the patrol vessels USS PC-1120 (Lt. J.R. Goodrich, USNR) and USS SC-732 (Lt.(jg) I.L. Mann, Jr., USNR).
Task Unit 76.20.55 was the Support Unit under Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sargent, USNR, which was made up of the following LCS(L)'s; USS LCS(L)-46 (Lt. W.P. McCarthy, USNR), USS LCS(L)-58 (Lt. D. Gregory, USNR), USS LCS(L)-60 (Lt. W.H. White, Jr., USNR), LCI(R)'s; USS LCI(R)-71 (Lt.(jg) C.C. Benson, USNR), USS LCI(R)-72 (Ens. C.R. Weiner, USNR), USS LCI(R)-74 (Ens. V.J. Goerke, USNR), LCI(M)'s USS LCI(M)-359 (Ens. T.S. Adair, USNR), USS LCI(M)-431 (Lt.(jg) J.C. Elkins, USNR) and LCS(L)(S)'s USS LCS(L)-961 (?) and USS LCS(L)-985 (?).

Around 1530I/19, the Lutong Assault Unit departed Brunei Bay for the operation. Escort was proviced by the three destroyers from Task Group 74.1. Commodore Farncomb flew his flag in HMAS Arunta. HMAS Shropshire and HMAS Hobart remained standy-by at Brunei Bay and would be called upon for bombardment duties if needed.

At 0701I/20, the order 'Deploy' was given.

At 0738I/20, USS PC-1120 reported that the ' Line of Departure ' had been established.

At 0830I/20, the destroyers began their bombardment duties.

At 0911I/20, wave 1 departed for the beach led by the Support Craft. Mortar ships began their bombardment duties.

At 0914I/20, the 2nd wave departed for the beach.

At 0917I,20, the 3rd wave departed for the beach.

At 0921I/20, support craft began firing a rocket barrage.

At 0925I/20, the rocket bomberdment ceased.

At 0926I/20, the 4th wave departed for the beach.

At 0930I/20, wave 1 landed.

At 0932I/20, wave 2 landed.

At 0935I/20, wave 3 landed. Also the destroyers ceased their bombardment.

At 0942I/20, wave 4 landed.

at 1014I/20, the Beachmaster requisted that the second assault force be landed.

At 1017I/20, CTU 76.20.50 ordered the second assault for be landed. These troops were were taken in by LCVPs as they became available.

At 1024I/20, LCT's and LCM's were ordered to get underway and beach.

At 1043I/20, USS LCM-269 was sent in to beach and test conditions for unloading.

At 1102I/20, USS LCS(L)-961 and USS LCS(L)-985 were ordered to help broached LCVP's.

At 1123I/20, all troops of the second assault had been landed.

At 1132I/20, the beachmaster reported that an LCVP from USS LST-667 was sunk 15 yards from the beach.

At 1317I/20, LVT's commenced reloading on USS LST-573 and USS LST-562.

At 1415I/20, CTU 76.20.53 reported that USS LCT-1317 completed unloading at 1119I/20, USS LCT-1312 at 1145I/20 and USS LCT-1310 at 1152I/20.

At 1530I/20, the ' Line of Departure ' was dissolved by CTU 76.20.50.

At 1740I/20, USS LCT-1331 completed unloading.

At 1915I/20, USS LSM-54 and USS LSM-133 beached.

At 0400I/21, USS Hart was detached to make rendezvous with HMAS Shropshire and HMAS Hobart in position 05°30'N, 114°45'E. The cruisers departed Brunei Bay around 0630I/21. Rendezvous was effected around 0900I/21 but by then they had been ordered to return to Brunei Bay taking USS Hart with them.

At 0930I/21, CTU 76.20.50 went ashore to observe unloading and to arrange for the return of released POW's to Brunei Bay.

At 1050I/21, the Beachmaster informed CTU 76.20.50 that the reserves would not be needed and may return to Brunei Bay.

At 1325I/21, all LSM's were unloaded and retracted from the beach.

At 1800I/21, Task Unit 76.20.50 got underway to return to Brunei Bay. They were screened by USS Metcalf, USS PC-1120, SC-732 and the minesweepers USS YMS-4 (Lt.(jg) F.D. Bender, USNR), USS YMS-6 (Lt. M. McVickar, USNR), USS YMS-51 (Lt.(jg) A.L. Giesenschlag, USNR), USS YMS-68 (Lt. G.L. O'Neil, USNR), USS YMS-259 (Lt. M. Goedjen, USNR), USS YMS-313 (Lt.(jg) W.H. Reibold, USNR) and USS YMS-340 (Lt. P. Schminke, USNR).

USS LCS(L)-46 and USS LCS(L)-58 remained at Lutong.

At 0645I/22, HMAS Arunta returned to Brunei Bay. Commodore Farncomb then left the destroyer and re-hoisted his broad pendant in HMAS Shropshire.

Task Unit 76.20.50 returned to Brunei Bay in the morning of the 22nd, around 0900I/22.

(143)

22 Jun 1945
Around 1800I/22, HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN), HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN), USS Hart (T/Cdr. W.D. Coleman, USN) and USS Metcalf (T/Cdr. D.L. Martineau, USN) departed Brunei Bay for Tawi Tawi where they arrived around 0800I/24. (142)

27 Jun 1945
In the morning HrMs Tromp (A/Capt. F. Stam, RNN) bombarded Japanese shore guns off Balikpapan.

Later that day Tromp joined Task Force 74.1 which was made up of the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN), the Australian light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN), the Australian destroyer HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN) and the US destroyers USS Hart (Cdr. W.D. Coleman, USN) and USS Metcalf (Cdr. D.L. Martineau, USN). (144)

1 Jul 1945

Operation Oboe II, Allied landings at Balikpapan.

Part I, the pre-landing phase.

Composition of the forces taking part was as follows;
Task Group (TG) 78.2 was the Balikpapan Attack Group under Vice-Admiral D.E. Barbey, USN, made up of the following units.
TG 78.2.1 was the Group Flagship Unit under T/Capt. K.D. Ringle, USN, made up of the Amphibious Force Command Ship USS Wasatch (T/Capt. K.D. Ringle, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.G. Noble, USN) and fighter direction ship USCGC Spencer (Cdr. J.R. Hinnant, USCG).
TG 78.2.2 was the Transport Unit under A/Capt. A.P. Cousin, RANR(S), made up the Landing Ships HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. A.P. Cousin, RANR(S)), HMAS Westralia (A/Cdr. E.W. Livingston, RANR(S)), HMAS Kanimbla (Cdr. A.V. Bunyan, RANR(S)), Landing Ship Dock USS Carter Hall (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Host, Jr., USNR) and the Attack Cargo Ship Titania (T/Cdr.(Retd.) M.W. Callahan, USN).
TG 78.2.3 was the Fast Transport unit under T/Cdr, Wm.S. Parsons, USN, COMTRANSDIV 103, made up of the High Speed Transports USS Lloyd (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Taylor, USNR, with T/Cdr, Wm.S. Parsons, USN, Commanding Officer COMTRANSDIV 103, on board), USS Newman (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Thieme, USNR), USS Liddle (Lt.Cdr. W.D. Kennedy, USNR), USS Kephart (Cdr. I.H. Cammarn, USNR) and USS Diachenko (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Johnson, USNR).
TG 78.2.4 was the LSM Unit under T/Capt. D.J. Wientraub, USN on board the Landing Craft Flotilla Flagship USS LCFF-789 (Lt. R.J. Minnich, USNR), made up of the following units;
LSM Group 4; under Lt.Cdr. R.C. Johnson, USN, up of the following LSM's; USS LSM-18 (Lt. W.B. Wilder, USNR, with T/Lt.Cdr. R.C. Johnson, USN on board), USS LSM-19 (Lt. E.L. McComb, USNR), USS LSM-21 (Lt. C.L. Crayne, USN), USS LSM-22 (Lt. W.E. Rivinius, USNR), USS LSM-257 (Lt. E.C. Nufer, USNR), USS LSM-258 (Lt.(jg) J. Black, USNR), USS LSM-310 (Lt. E.P. White, USNR) and USS LSM-311 (Lt. P.M. Brooks, USNR).
LSM Group 5; under Lt.Cdr. E.G. Smith, USNR, made up of the following LSM's; USS LSM-36 (Lt. M.S. McLeod, USNR, with T/Lt.Cdr. E.G. Smith, USNR on board), USS LSM-37 (Lt. G.W. Smith, USNR), USS LSM-130 (Lt. L.R. French, USNR), USS LSM-141 (Lt. E.A. Quinlan, USNR), USS LSM-148 (Lt. F.W. Cely, USN), USS LSM-150 (Lt. G.B. McCauley, USNR) and USS LSM-205 (Lt. D.W. Barton, USNR).
LSM Group 6; under T/Lt.Cdr. E.E. Weire, USN, made up of the following LSM's; USS LSM-42 (Lt. S.I. Burton, USNR, with T/Lt.Cdr. E.E. Weire, USN on board), USS LSM-38 (Lt. H.A. Seitz, USNR), USS LSM-39 (Lt. G.C. Hollowell, USNR), USS LSM-40 (Lt. C.L. Garrett, USNR), USS LSM-223 (Lt. P.C. Hawn, USNR), USS LSM-224 (Lt. D.B. Wrensch, USNR) and USS LSM-267 (Lt. R.F. Ruben, USNR).
TG 78.2.5 was the LST Unit under T/Capt. F.J. Mee, USN, made up of the following units;
LST Flot 22 under T/Capt. F.J. Mee, USN, made up of the following LST's; USS LST-632 (Lt. G.W. Chandler, USNR, with COMLSTFLOT 22, T/Capt. F.J. Mee, USN on board), USS LST-639 (Lt. G.M. Brown, USNR), USS LST-714 (Lt. R.F. Williams, USNR), USS LST-721 (Lt. R.B. Safford, USNR), USS LST-935 (Lt. B.B. Wells, USN) and USS LST-938 (Lt. H.W. Limes, USNR).
LST Flot 7 under T/Capt. G.A. Sinclair, USN, made up of the following LST Groups;
LST Group 19, under Cdr. J.E. van Zandt, USNR, made up of the following LST's; USS LST-466 (Lt. J.P. Witherspoon, USNR, with COMLSTFLOT 7, T/Capt. G.A. Sinclair, USN, on board), USS LST-181 (Lt.(jg) C.V. Lynch, USNR), USS LST-245 (Lt. M.J. McCabe, USNR), USS LST-470 (Lt. M. Loring, USNR), USS LST-471 (Lt. J.K. Haman, USNR) and USS LST-474 (Lt. G.L. Hull, USNR, with COMLSTGR19, Cdr. J.E. van Zandt, USNR on board).
LST Group 20, under Cdr. D.M. Baker, USNR, made up of the following LST's; USS LST-452 (Lt. R.D. Jones, USNR, with COMLSTGR20, Cdr. D.M. Baker, USNR on board), USS LST-454 (Lt. D.J. Morrison, USNR), USS LST-456 (Lt.(jg) E.J. Lambert, USNR), USS LST-457 (Lt. W.W. Hacker, USNR) and USS LST-462 (Lt. W.D. Gregory, USNR).
From LST Group 21 were the following LST's; USS LST-66 (Lt. W.J. Holbert, USCGC), USS LST-168 (Lt. H. Twiford, USCG) and USS LST-206 (Lt. S.F. Regard, USCG).
From LST Flot 8
LST Group 23, under T/Cdr. T.C. Linthicum, USN, made up of the following LST's; USS LST-1018 (Lt. P.F. Williams, USNR, with COMLSTGR23, T/Cdr. T.C. Linthicum, USN on board), USS LST-395 (Lt. C.W. Saale, USNR), USS LST-397 (Lt. E.W. Teasley, USNR), USS LST-911 (Lt. M.T. Saffield, USNR), USS LST-1016 (Lt. J.W. Chapman, USNR) and USS LST-1017 (Lt. B.I. Sobel, USNR).
From LST Groups 22 and 24 were the following LST's; USS LST-666 (Lt. J.H. Reid, USNR), USS LST-673 (Lt. J.K. Athow, USNR), USS LST-694 (Lt. J.D. McLaughlin, USNR), USS LST-740 (Lt. A.G. McMahon, USNR) and USS LST-910 (Lt. H.V. Ruble, USN).
From LST Flot 15 were the following LST's; USS LST-579 (Lt. H.B. Severs, USNR), USS LST-703 (LT. E.H. Marsland, USNR), USS LST-753 (Lt. T.J. Dailey, USNR) and USS LST-777 (Lt. W.F. Lagotic, USN).
TG 78.2.6 was the LCI Unit under Cdr. A.V. Jannotta, USNR, made up of the following LCI(L)'s from LCIFLOT24;
USS LCI(L)-624 (Lt. E.F. Harris, USNR, with COMLCIFLOT 24, Cdr. A.V. Jannotta, USNR, on board), USS LCI(L)-622 (Lt. H.V. Smith, USNR), USS LCI(L)-625 (Lt.(jg) C.E. Bole, USNR), USS LCI(L)-634 (Lt.(jg) J.J. Connolly, USNR), USS LCI(L)-636 (Lt. J.A. Moore, USNR), USS LCI(L)-655 (Lt. E. Kingdon, Hurlock, USNR), USS LCI(L)-699 (Lt. P.B. Gates, USNR), USS LCI(L)-700 (Lt.(jg) J.E. Howe, USNR), USS LCI(L)-712 (Lt. R.I. Basch, USNR), USS LCI(L)-999 (Lt.(jg) C.P. Castle, USN), USS LCI(L)-1002 (Lt. E.B. Schicker, Jr., USNR), USS LCI(L)-1003 (Lt.(jg) J.W. Jessee, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1008 (Lt.(jg) W.A. Green, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1025 (Lt. W.C. Kingsley, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1072 (Lt. M.B. Kirby, USNR) and USS LCI(L)-1076 (Lt. O.E. Caldcleugh, USNR).
TG 78.2.7 was the Control Unit under Cdr. A.J. Petersen, USNR, made up of the following patrol vessels; USS PC-1134 (Lt. O.A. Barge, Jr., with Cdr. A.J. Petersen, USNR on board), USS PC-610 (Lt. J.K. Winter, USNR), USS SC-698 (Lt. J.C. Hedges, USNR), USS SC-747 (Lt.(jg) R.E. Oberfeld, USNR) and USS SC-750 (Lt.(jg) F.C. Cuthbertson, USNR).
TG 78.2.8 was the Close Support Unit under T/Cdr. D.H. Day, USN, was made up of the following LCS(L)'s; USS LCS(L)-8 (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Thomas, USNR), USS LCS(L)-27 (Lt.(jg) J.M. Bledsoe, USNR), USS LCS(L)-28 (Lt. R.H. Bost, USNR), USS LCS(L)-29 (Lt. J.F. McNamara, USNR), USS LCS(L)-30 (Lt. C.H. Sanders, USNR), USS LCS(L)-41 (Lt.(jg) A.P. Marincovich, USNR), USS LCS(L)-43 (Lt.(jg) E.A. Blakley, USNR), USS LCS(L)-44 (Lt. J.M. Leggat, USNR), USS LCS(L)-48 (Lt. D.E. Widel, USNR) and USS LCS(L)-50 (Lt. B.T. Clark, USNR). The following LCI(R)'s; USS LCI(R)-230 (Lt.(jg) E.L. Grimes, USNR, with T/Cdr. D.H. Day, USN on board), USS LCI(R)-31 (Ens. D.B. Hummel, USNR), USS LCI(R)-34 (Lt.(jg) F.W. Schwarz, USNR), USS LCI(R)-73 (Lt.(jg) W.V. Ferguson, USN), USS LCI(R)-226 (Ens. J.W. Joyce, USNR), USS LCI(R)-331 (Lt.(jg) E.F. Sheeran, USNR), USS LCI(R)-337 (Ens. G.W. Green, USN) and USS LCI(R)-338 (Ens. J.S. Hageman, USNR). The following LCI(G)'s; USS LCI(G)-21 (Lt.(jg) J.G. Gent, USNR), USS LCI(G)-22 (Lt.(jg) W.F. Saul, USNR), USS LCI(G)-24 (Lt.(jg) G.D. Rankin, USNR), USS LCI(G)-61 (Lt.(jg) R.M. Prann, USNR), USS LCI(G)-66 (Lt.(jg) J.A. Kraus, USNR) and USS LCI(G)-67 (Lt.(jg) G.J. Puhl, USNR).
TG 78.2.9 was the Minesweeping Unit under Lt.Cdr. T.R. Fonick, USNR, made up of the following units;
Task Unit (TU) 72.2.91 was made up of the minesweepers USS Sentry (Lt.Cdr. T.R. Fonick, USNR, (COMMINDIV 34)), USS Scout (Lt. E.G. Anderson, USNR) and USS Scuffle (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Johnson, USNR).
TU 72.2.92 under Lt.Cdr. D.W. Blakeslee, USNR, was made up of the YMS's; USS YMS-9 (Lt.(jg) W.E. Vermillion, USNR), USS YMS-10 (Lt.(jg) R.D. Waterman, USNR), USS YMS-39 (Lt. R.M. Sullivan, USNR), USS YMS-46 (Lt.(jg) T. Markin, USNR), USS YMS-47 (Lt. R.H. Heller, USNR), USS YMS-49 (lt.(jg) D.E. Reysa, USNR), USS YMS-50 (Lt(jg) B.G. Stern, USNR), USS YMS-51 (Lt.(jg) A.L. Giesenschlag, USNR), USS YMS-53 (Lt.(jg) F.W. Ketner, USNR), USS YMS-65 (lt. C.R. Silk, USNR), USS YMS-73 (Lt. J.H. Frederick, USNR), USS YMS-84 (Lt. J.V. Barton, USNR), USS YMS-95 (Lt.(jg) G.E. Newby, Jr., USNR), USS YMS-224 (Lt.(jg) F.J. Weingartner, USNR), i>USS YMS-269 (Lt. P.J. Ganey, USNR), USS YMS-314 (Lt.(jg) J.W. Easton, USNR), USS YMS-315 (Lt. E.E. martin, Jr., USNR), USS YMS-335 (Lt.(jg) R.F. Klick, USNR), USS YMS-336 (Lt.(jg) J.A. Reid, USNR), USS YMS-339 (Lt.(jg) M.E. Fitzgerald, USNR), USS YMS-364 (Lt. C.K. Soper, USNR), USS YMS-365 (Lt.(jg) F.C. Huff, USNR), USS YMS-366 (Lt. (jg) T.J. Duncan, Jr., USNR), USS YMS-367 (Lt.(jg) E.E. Huppenbauer, Jr., USNR), USS YMS-368 (Lt.(jg) C.D. Drago, USNR) and USS YMS-392 (Lt. W.H. Kendrick, USNR). As tenders for the minesweepers there were the high speed transport USS Cofer (Lt. H.C. McClees, USNR) and the LSM USS LSM-1 (Lt. E.J. Flowers, USNR).
TG 78.2.10 was the Beach Party Unit.
TG 78.2.11 was the Demolition Unit under Lt. States, was made up of the high speed transports USS Kline (Lt. B.F. Uran, USNR) and USS Schmitt (Lt. T.A. Melusky, USNR) and two underwater demolition teams.
TG 78.2.12 was the LCT Unit under Lt. Buckley. This unit was made up of the following LCT's;
LCT Group 73 was made up of USS LCT-1293 (with Lt. Buckley on board), USS LCT-1081, USS LCT-1289, USS LCT-1291, USS LCT-1295, USS LCT-1297, USS LCT-1299, USS LCT-1301, USS LCT-1302, USS LCT-1304, USS LCT-1306, USS LCT-1308, USS LCT-1325 and USS LCT-1329.
LCT Group 21 was made up of USS LCT-1298 (with Lt. Coffin (COMLCTGR21) on board), USS LCT-83, USS LCT-178, USS LCT-372, USS LCT-373, USS LCT-864, USS LCT-898, USS LCT-990, USS LCT-992, USS LCT-1016, USS LCT-1296 and USS LCT-1327.
TG 78.2.13 was the Salvage and Firefighting Unit under Lt.Cdr. H. Pond, USNR, made up of the salvage vessel Cable (Lt.Cdr. H. Pond, USNR), USS LCI(S)-700 (?), USS LCI(S)-702 (?), USS LCI(S)-1000 (?) and USS LCI(S)-1071 (?) and the tug USS ATR-61 (Lt. W.M. Heywood, USNR).
TG 78.2.14 was the Service Unit under Lt.Cdr. Wallace, made up of the following ships; oiler USS Chepachet (Lt.Cdr. H.K. Wallace, USNR), gasoline tankers USS Sakatonchee (Lt. F.C. Steinmetz, USNR), USCG Gualala (?), landing craft repair ship USS Creon [Former LST-1036] (Lt. M.G. Pooley, USNR), landing craft LST's USS LST-67 (serving as ammunition ship) (Lt. R.L. McGirl, USNR), USS LST-171 (Lt. M.B. Taylor, USNR), USS LSM-129 (Lt. W.A. Farmer, USNR), cargo ship USS Poinsett (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Baughman, USNR), army cargo ships FS 164, FS 361, auxiliary Banshee (?), auxiliary trawler USS YP-421 (Lt.(jg) W.E. Baker, USN), tug USS Pinto (Lt. R. Brown, USNR) and floating crane USS YD-65.
TG 78.2.15 was the Screening Unit under COMDESRON 5, T/Capt. F.D. McCorkle, USN, made up of the following units;
Destroyer Squadron 5 was made up of the following destroyers; USS Flusser (T/Lt.Cdr. K.G. Robinson, USN with COMDESRON 5, T/Capt. F.D. McCorkle, USN on board), USS Drayton (T/Lt.Cdr. V.A. Dybdal, USN), USS Conyngham (T/Lt.Cdr. F.W. Bampton, USN) and USS Smith (T/Lt.Cdr. E.H. Huff, USN).
Destroyer Squadron 14 was made up of the following destroyers; USS Frazier (T/Lt.Cdr. J.N. Renfro, USN, with COMDESRON 14, T/Capt. G.L. Sims, USN on board) and USS Bailey (T/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Johnson, USN).
Destroyer Squadron 22 was made up of the following destroyers; USS Robinson (T/Cdr. R.E. Malpass, USN, with COMDESRON 22, T/Capt. R.H. Smith, USN on board), USS Saufley (T/Lt.Cdr. F.W. Silk, USN), USS Waller (T/Cdr. H.leR. Thompson, Jr., USN), USS Philip (T/Cdr. J.B. Rutter, Jr., USN).
There were also five destroyer escorts part of the Screening Unit, these were; USS Chaffee (Lt.Cdr. A.C. Jones, USNR), USS Edwin A. Howard (Lt.Cdr. F.D. Denfeld, USNR), USS Jesse Rutherford (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Jordan, USNR), USS Key (T/Lt.Cdr. F.D. Buckley, USN) and USS Leland E. Thomas (Lt.Cdr. B.J. Dunn, USNR). The frigate HMAS Gascoyne (Lt. E.J. Peel, RAN) was also part of Screening Unit.
TG 78.2.16 was the Press Unit, made up of the USS LCI(L)-635 (Lt. H. Hopkins, USNR) and the small army cargo ship FP 47.
TG 78.2.17 was the Hydrographic Unit under A/Cdr. C.G. Little, DSC, RAN, made up of the sloop HMAS Warrego (A/Cdr. C.G. Little, DSC, RAN), USS YMS-196 (Lt. C.W. Griffith, USNR) and USS Mango (Lt. H.R. Greenley, USNR).

To provide cover for the operation the following Units were deployed.
TU 70.1.5 was the Motor Torpedo Boat Unit under Lt.Cdr. Tappan, made up of two Motor Torpedo Boat Tenders; USS Mobjack (Lt.Cdr. J.H. McClain, USNR) and USS Varuna (Lt. C.J. Kalb, USN) and the tug USS ATR-56 (Lt. E.C. McCoy, USNR). These ships served 23 Motor Torpedo Boats of MTB Squadrons 10 and 27.
MTBRON 10 was made up of the following Motor Torpedo Boats; USS PT-108, USS PT-116, USS PT-124, USS PT-125, USS PT-163, USS PT-167, USS PT-168, USS PT-169, USS PT-170, USS PT-171 and USS PT-174.
MTBRON 27 was made up of the following Motor Torpedo Boats; USS PT-356, USS PT-357, USS PT-358, USS PT-359, USS PT-360, USS PT-361, USS PT-372, USS PT-373, USS PT-374, USS PT-375, USS PT-376 and USS PT-377.
Task Force (TF) 74 was the Support and Covering Group under T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Riggs, USN, made up of the following units.
TG 74.1 under Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN, was made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Hart (T/Cdr. W.D. Coleman, USN) and USS Metcalf (T/Cdr. D.L. Martineau, USN).
TG 74.2 under T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Riggs, USN, was made up of the light cruisers USS Montpelier (T/Capt. W.A. Gorry, USN, flying the flag of T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Riggs, USN (COMCRUDIV 12)), USS Cleveland (T/Capt. H.G. Hopwood, USN), USS Columbia (T/Capt. M.E. Curts, USN), USS Denver (T/Capt. T.F. Darden, Jr., USN), HrMs Tromp (A/Capt. F. Stam, RNN) and the destroyers USS Conway (T/Cdr. J.H. Besson, Jr., USN, with COMDESDIV 44, T/Capt. S.G. Hooper, USN on board), USS Stevens (T/Cdr. G.W. Pressey, USN), USS Cony (T/Lt.Cdr. T.C. Siegmund, USN), USS Eaton (T/Cdr. C. Brown, USN), USS Killen (T/Cdr. J.L. Semmes, USN), USS Albert W. Grant (T/Cdr. G.S. Higginbotham, USN, with COMDESDIV 112, T/Capt. B.J. Mullaney, USN, on board) and HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN).
TG 74.3 under T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN, was made up of the light cruisers USS Nashville (T/Capt. A. MacOndray, Jr., USN, flying the flag of COMCRUDIV 15, T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN), USS Phoenix (T/Capt. H.L. Challenger, USN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral D.E. Barbey, USN, Commander Balikpapan Attack Force, CTF 78) and the destroyers USS Conner (T/Lt.Cdr. W.A. Sissons, USN, with COMDESRON 51, T/Capt. H.J. Martin, USN), USS Charette (T/Lt.Cdr. G.P. Joyce, USN, with COMDESDIV 102, T/Capt. J.W. Callahan, USN on board), USS Bell (T/Lt.Cdr. B.H. Shupper, USN) and USS Burns (T/Cdr. J.T. Bullen, Jr., USN).
TG 78.4 was the Escort Carrier Group under T/Rear-Admiral W.D. Sample, USN, made up of the following escort carriers; USS Suwanee (T/Capt. D.S. Cornwell, USN, with COMCARDIV22, T/Rear-Admiral W.D. Sample, USN on board), USS Block Island (T/Capt. F.M. Hughes, USN), USS Gilbert Islands (T/Capt. L.K. Rice, USN). They were escorted by the destroyer USS Dale (T/Lt.Cdr. S.M. Zimny, USNN) and the destroyer escorts USS Mitchell (Lt.Cdr. J.K. Carpenter, USNR), USS Donaldson (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Hartmann, USNR), USS Cloues (Lt.Cdr. K.G. Rich, USNR), USS Lamons (Lt.Cdr. H.C.M. Lamkin, USNR) and USS Kyne (Lt.Cdr. C.F Sweet, Jr., USNR).

The day of the landings was set at 1 July 1945, which was known as 'Fox' day. But as usual before a landing operation a period om minesweeping and bombardments preceeded the landings. We deal with these operations first.

The mission of the minesweepers was to clear the channels, approaches, anchorages, landing beaches and other designated areas of Allied and enemy mines prior to 'Fox' day in Balikpapan Bay, Borneo, NEI, to allow safe passage for the Balikpapan Attack Group.

Enemy minefields were reported off shore southeast of Balikpapan and also across the harbour entrance. Sutstantial enemy ground forces and many coast defence and duel purpose guns were known to be present defending the beaches. The enemy was expected to make every effort to harass and repulse the pre-'Fox' day operations.

Extensive Allied minelaying activity was conducted by RAAF Caralinas between February and October 1944 in Balikpapan Harbour and approaches. Of the total of 126 Allied infuence mines planted a possible 93 were still assumed to be active and requested sweeping prior to the landings on 'Fox' day. Due to the quantity and types of Allied mines present in the area it was agreed that a minimum of 16 days would be required to provide an approach chennel and to cover fire support areas to a reasonable degree of safety for landing operations to be conducted.

Minesweeping operations pre-'Fox' day

On 11 June 1945 ('Fox' day-20), at 0700I Oboe II, 'A' echelon got underway from Morotai for Balikpapan. The following vessels were part of this echelon. USS Smith, USCG Gualala, USS YMS-10, USS YMS-46, USS YMS-47, USS YMS-49, USS YMS-50, USS YMS-52, USS YMS-53, USS YMS-95, USS YMS-315, USS YMS-335, USS YMS-336, USS YMS-339, USS YMS-364, USS YMS-366, USS YMS-368 and USS YMS-392.

At 0900I/13, USS Drayton departed Morotai to rendezvous with 'A' echelon.

At 1430I/13, TG 74.2 departed Tawi Tawi to rendezous with 'A' echelon. TG 72.2 was divided into five groups for fire support duty, these were;
TU 74.2.1 was Fire Support Unit Able, made up of USS Montpelier and USS Conway.
TU 74.2.2 was Fire Support Unit Baker, made up of USS Denver and USS Eaton.
TU 74.2.3 was Fire Support Unit Charlie, made up of USS Columbia and USS Cony.
TU 74.2.4 was Fire Support Unit Dog, made up of HrMs Tromp (to join later) and USS Stevens.
TU 74.2.5 was Fire Support Unit Echo (to join later), made up of USS Cleveland, USS Killen and USS Albert W. Grant.
USS Hart, USS Medcalf and HMAS Arunta were still operating off Brunei Bay on the 13th and only joined later.

At 1745I/13, USS Cofer departed Tawi Tawi to rendezvous with 'A' echelon.

Around 0720I/14, all groups joined in position 01°01'N, 119°38'E. USS Smith and USS Drayton then departed for Morotai. The other ships then set course for the operations area.

At 0642I/15, TU 78.2.92 arrived at the 100 fathom curve due east of the objective. YMS commenced streaming minesweeping gear and began sweep of apporach track for moored and acoustic mines in wedge formation. USS Cofer, USCG Gualala and TG 74.2 following them into swept water. At 1324I/15 the right and left flank of the YMS formation proceeded independently as had been planned. At 1622I/15 the right and left flank reformed wedge formation and commenced sweeping the approach track on an easterly course. At 2222I/15 sweeping ceased and the gear was recovered at the 100 fathom curve. All results of sweeping were negative.

At 0650I/16, the YMS Unit was detached to carry out assigned moored, magnetic and acoustic exploratory sweep of the fire support areas. At 0901I/16, minesweeping LCVP's commenced exploratory sweep of reported Japanese minefields. They returned at 1425I/16 from their minesweeping operations. At 1915I/16, all sweeping ceased and the YMS also retired for the night. Again no mines were swept this day.

At 0625I/17, minesweeping operations commenced in the fire support areas. These operations ceased at 1905I/17 when the YMS retired for the night. All results were again negative.

At 0630I/18, minesweeping operations commenced in the assault and close fire support areas. At 1253I/18, USS YMS-50 exploded an allied influence mine under her bow and was seriously damaged. At 1300I/18, USS YMS-50 was taken under fire by enemy shore batteries. The cruiser support group opened up with counter battery fire. At 1312I/18, LCVP's from USS Cofer proceeded to the rescue of personnel and also attempted to tow USS YMS-50. At 1448I/18, the LCVP's were also taken under fire and the attempts to tow USS YMS-50 were abandoned. All personnel was rescued. USS Denver then opened fire on the hulk of USS YMS-50 which then finally sank. At 1815I/18, minesweeping operations ceased and the YMS retired for the night. At 1855I/18 a Japanese float plane (Pete) closed TU 78.2.92, USS Cofer opened fire. The Combat Air Patrol took up chase of the aircraft. No further enemy air activity was reported. One influence mine was swept which damaged USS YMS-50.

At 0625I/19, YMS's commenced scheduled sweep of assault and close support areas. At 1100I/19, the sweepers were taken under fire by shore batteries and the support group then silenced these. At 1250I/19, the YMS minesweepers were again taken under fire by shore batteries but no damage was sustained. At 1900I/19, the minesweepers recovered their gear and then got underway again to retire for the night.

At 0640I/20, the YMS commenced scheduled sweep of fire support areas. At 1322I/20, USS YMS-368 exploded an Allied influence mine near her stern causing severe structural damage. USS Cofer effected temporary repairs and the vessel remained afloat. At 1850I/20 minesweeping was ceased, gear recovered and the minesweepers retired for the night. One influence mine was swept on this date which damaged USS YMS-368.

At 0600I/21, the YMS commenced scheduled operation in assault and close support areas. At 1038I/21 the YMS Unit came under fire from shore batteries. No damage was sustained. At 1258I/21, they again came under fire by enemy shore batteries and yet again at 1450I/21. At 1455I/21, USS YMS-335 was struck by a shell on her 3" gun platform. She sustained four killed and five wounded. At 1916I/21, minesweeping operations ceased and the YMS retired for the night. No mines were swept on this day.

At 0530I/22, YMS commenced scheduled sweep in assault and close support areas. At 1006I/22, the YMS came under fire from shore batteries. At 1014I/22, USS YMS 10 was struck in the bow, above the waterline, by a shell. There were no personnel casualties. At 1430I/22, USS Sentry, USS Scout, USS YMS-39, USS YMS-314, USS YMS-365 and USS LSM-1 arroved on the objective area. Lt.Cdr. Fonick then took over command of TU 78.2.9 from Lt.Cdr. Blakeslee. At 1658I/22, the YMS again came under fire. They retired for the night at 1956I/22. No mines were swept on this day.

At 0530I/23, YMS commenced operations in assault and close support areas. At 1006I/23 they again came under fire from shore batteries. USS YMS-364 was struck by an enemy shell which failed to explode. At 1310I/23, USS YMS-368 was damaged by a mine explosion. She was taken in tow by USS YMS-335 and they departed for Tawi Tawi. At 1515I/23, shore batteries again opened fire on the YMS. No damage was sustained. At 1841 the YMS retired for the night. Again no mines were swept on this day.

At 0540I/24, YMS commenced scheduled operations in the assault area. USS Scout with 6 YMS conducted a moored sweep of the approach track to broaden the existing swept channel. At 1253I/24, USS YMS-9 reported for duty with TU 78.2.9. The TU came under sporadic fire from shore batteries during the day. No damage was sustained. At 1920I/24, TU 78.2.9 units retired for the night. Once again no mines were swept during this day.

At 0530I/25, YMS commenced scheduled operations in assault lane and close support area. At 0905I/25, the leading YMS were taken under fire by shore batteries but no damage was sustained. At 1105I/25, USS YMS-52 exploded an influence mine. At 1343I/25, USS YMS-365 detonated an influence mine which damaged her sweep. She retired from the area to effect repairs. Also YMS-39 detonated one influence mine and cut one moored mine in her sweep which was sunk by gunfire. At 1845I/25, TU 78.2.9 proceeded to the anchorage area of Balikpapan. Three influence and one moored mine were swept during the day. At 2030I/25 they came under attack by four enemy aircraft. At 2033I/25, USS Cofer was attacked by three enemy aircraft which fired torpedoes which passed under her bow. One aircraft was shot down by USS Cofer. Another aircraft was shot down by USS Cofer in conjunction with other ships of TU 78.2.9. A third aircraft was shot down by USS Sentry.

At 0611I/26, YMS commenced scheduled operations in the assault area. At 0700I/26, USS Scuffle and USS YMS-196 reported for duty with TU 78.2.9. At 1008I/26, an influence mine exploded during minesweeping operations in the assault area. At 1200I/26, three more contact mines were swept in the area which were destroyed by USS Stevens. At 1343I/26, USS YMS-365 detonated an influence mine with magnetic sweep. At 1424I/26, USS YMS-365 exploded a mine, thought to be of influence type, directly beneath her. The keel was broken amidships. USS YMS-364 proceeded to remove her survivors. All personnel was saved. USS YMS-196 joined in the rescue and opened fire on the hulk of the damaged minesweeper which resulted in her bow section being sunk. The stern finally sank at 1645I/26. At 1547I/26, USS YMS-39 exploded a mine, believed to be an Allied magnetic mine. Her superstructure disintergrated and the vessel capsized and sank in less than one minute. Two additional mine explosions occurred in short succession the first approximately 100 yards abean and the second near electrode of long log. USS YMS-196 proceeded to rescue the survivors. Three of the crew were killed and one was missing. LCVP's from USS Cofer and USS Schmidt assisted in the rescue of surivors from USS YMS-39 and USS YMS-365. At 1855I/26, minesweeping ceased and the minesweepers proceeded to the anchorage. Six influence and three moored mines had been swept. Destroyers took fire support stations on this day to render close support during sweeping operations. Further enemy gunfire directed against the minesweepers was sporadic and inaccurate.

At 0610I/27, YMS commenced scheduled operations in the assault area. At 1310I/27, USS YMS-392 detonated an influence mine without sustaining damage. At 1840I/27, minesweeping operations ceased and the minesweepers proceeded to the anchorage. One influence and one moored mine were swept on this date.

At 0614I/28, YMS commenced scheduled operations in the assault area. At 1405I/28, USS YMS-47 exploded an Allied influence mine under her stern. A large hole was the result and the after compartments were flooded. USS YMS-366 and USS YMS-49 assisted by LCVP's from USS Cofer, USS Kline and USS Schmitt succeeded in rescuing all personnel and in towing USS YMS-47 out of the mine field. USS YMS-47 was taken alongside USS Scout for pumping and emergency repairs. Although the after deck was awash the engine room compartments were pumped out and the vessel stayed afloat. At 1920I/28, minesweeping ceased and the minesweepers returned to the anchorage. two influence mines were swept on this day, one of which damaged USS YMS-47.

At 0610I/29, YMS commenced scheduled operations in the assault area. These operations were ceased at 1850I/29 when they returned to the anchorage. Four moored contact mines were swept on this date.

YMS again commenced minesweeping operations in the assault area on 30 June [no time given in the report but must have been after dawn.] At 0945I/30, USS YMS-314 exploded an Allied influence mine about 100 feet astern. She sustained minor damage. At 1300I/30, USS YMS-65 and USS YMS-269 reported for duty with TU 78.2.9. At 1927I/30, minesweeping operations ceased and all YMS returned to the anchorage. One influence and three moored contact mines were swept this date.

At 0615/1, on 'Fox' day, YMS commenced scheduled sweeping operations in the area adjacent to the landing beach. USS YMS-196 was released from duty with TU 78.2.9 and she joined the Hydrographic Unit. At 1815I/1, USS YMS-84, USS YMS-224 and USS YMS-367 reported for duty with TU 78.2.9. At 1917I/1, minesweeping operations ceased for the day and the YMS returned to the anchorage. One moored mine was swept on this day. Total to this date, 15 Allied influence mines and 13 enemy moored contact mines were swept.

Pre-'Fox' day operations by Underwater Demolition Teams.

At 1700I/20, the temporary formed TU 78.2.93 departed Morotai for the operations area. This TU was to render close in fire support to the Underwater Demolition Teams during their pre-invasion operations of destroying underwater obstacles in the landing areas. These opertions would cover a day of six days in which reconnaissance and three days in which obstacle demolition operations were successfully carried out. TU 78.2.93 was made up of USS LCS(L)-30 (with COMLCS(L)GR 1, Lt.Cdr. W.F. Hunt, USNR on board), USS LCS(L)-8, USS LCS(L)-28, USS LCS(L)-29, USS LCS(L)-41, USS LCS(L)-43, USS LCS(L)-44 and USS LCS(L)-48. Taking passage with them from Morotai were also USS Schmitt, USS YMS-9 and USS Mango.

Around 1100I/24, TU 78.2.93 entered the Balikpapan area and reported to CTU 74.2 and 78.2.9 for duty. No assignment was given for the remainder of the day.

Around 0715I/25, The LCS(L) were in position to give fire support for underwater demolition work in the alternate landing areas at Manggar and Manggar Ketjil. A heavy concentration of 3", 40mm and 20mm was delivered into the immediate beach areas to eliminate, if possible, any sniper and machine gun positions. At 0800I/25, when the swimmers were taken into the beach, the fire was decreased and was concentrated in the tree tops along the beach. By 1000I/25 the reconnaissance was completed and all units retired and anchored.

Pre-dawn on the 26th, all ships of TU 78.2.93 got underway towards the Manggar Ketjil area to support obstacle demolition activities of the Underwater Demolition Teams. At 0700I/26 ships on station commenced strafing the beach. Between 0700 and 0820 hours, when swimmers embarked, fire was ceased several times to allow low level air strikes to be carried out. At 1025I/26, swimmers completed their assignment and charges were set off. Shortly thereafter units withdrew from a successful days work and anchored as before.

At 0430I/27, ships got underway and proceeded towards the assault beach at Klandasan. The passage was through unswept and hazardous water and a maximum speed of five knots was maintained at all times. To insure safe navigation the USS Stevens maintained an accurate radar plot and transmitted instructions via voice radio. By 0740I/27, all ships were anchored at short stay 2300 yards from the beach and commenced firing into the beach area. Eight small enemy mortar and gun fire was received from the beach. At 0840I/27, the swimmers commenced their reconnaissance work and completed this around 1030I/27. Several ships observed enemy gun emplacements and either took them under fire or reported them to enable larger units to do a more effective job. On completion of the operation all ships retired to the anchorage.

At 0345I/28, TU 78.2.9 got underway. USS Stevens again did an excellent job of plotting the ships through the mine fields. At 0745I/28, all ships anchored 1200 yards from the beach and the order to open fire was given. At 0840I/28, obstacle demolition began. Several enemy gun emplacements began to fire on the demolition teams and the support ships. At 1020I/28, USS LCS(L)-8 received a hit in the conn and at 1041 she received two more. Four men were slightly injured from shrapnel. Prior to this at 0740I/28, USS LCS(L)-41 received four hits from small automatic weapons. Damage was slight. At 1040I/28, the demolition charge was detonated and retirement commenced. The ships then returned to the anchorage.

On 29 June TU 78.2.9 conducted no operations.

At 0610I/30, the ships of TU 78.2.9 again go underway for the Klandasan area where the Underwater Demolition Teams were to complete their operations. Heavy air strikes and bombardment aided greatly in keeping enemy fire to a minimum. The Demolition Teams commenced operations at 0840I/30 and at 0945I/30 they were finished and detonated the charges. No damage was inflicted by the enemy on this day.

Pre-'Fox' day operations TG 74.2.

TG 74.2, at that moment made up of the light cruisers USS Montpelier, USS Columbia, USS Denver and the destroyers USS Conway, USS Stevens, USS Cony and USS Eaton, departed Tawi Tawi around 1430I/13. They then made rendezvous with TU 78.2.92 around 0720I/14 in position 01°01'N, 119°38'E. They then escorted this TU to the Balikpapan area.

It was the mission of TG 74.2 to destroyer enemy personnel, defences, installations and facilities in the Balikpapan Area in the vicinity of the landing beaches by gunfire and by directing air force aircraft in attack missions until the arrival of the Attack Group Commander.

On 15 June TG 74.2 with TU 78.2.93 arrived in the Balikpapan area. At 0745I/15 the COMTASKGR 74.2 directed the group to form the Fire Support Units as listed above (HrMs Tromp was to arrive later) and then for the Units to proceed independently with the cruisers streaming paravanes.

At 0807I/15, USS Denver completed streaming paravanes and proceeded with USS Stevens and USS Eaton in support of the minesweepers.

Shortly after noon a flight of B-24's bombarded Balikpapan. Following the read a large column of black smoke was sighted rising from the Manggar area and later also from the area of Signal Hill.

At 0719I/16, USS Stevens was ordered to assist the minesweepers with navigation using her SG radar.

At 1027I/16, USS Conway made a depth charge attack on an A/S contact but it was later thought to have been a submerged wreck.

At 0720I/17, USS Stevens was again detached to assist the minesweepers with navigation.

Around 1230I/17, a flight of B-24's bombarded Balikpapan. They did not made contaced with the Commander Support Aircaft on board USS Montpelier.

Around 1430I/17, three squadrons of Liberators bombarded the target area. These had contacted the Commander Support Aircraft on board USS Montpelier successfully before they started their attacks.

At 1450I/17, USS Denver commenced a bombardment from long range with an aircraft spotting.

At 1500I/17, USS Montpelier commenced a bombardment with an aircraft spotting.

In the evening of the 17th TU 74.2 was attacked by enemy aircraft but no damage was sustained. It was estimated that seven aircraft had attacked. Their result was several near misses.

At 1000I/18, B-24 bombers attacked Balikpapan again. The entire area of the attack was shrouded by smoke. One hour later eight more B-24 squadrons were over the target area but six of them bombard the secondary target, the Manggar area, due to bad visibility over the primary target.

At 1256I/18, the Fire Support Units opened a counter battery fire after USS YMS-50 had been mines and taken under fire by the enemy.

At 1516I/18, wounded and survivors from USS YMS-50 were put on board USS Montpelier.

At 1602I/18, USS Denver sank the wreck of USS YMS-50 with gunfire.

Around 1000I/19, the first B-24's of the day arrived over the target area. More strikes followed during the day.

At 1230I/19, USS YMS-10 reported being fired upon. USS Stevens was ordered to give her support and she was able to silence the enemy gun.

At 1340I/19, USS Conway was detached to give navigational aid to the YMS minesweepers. She rejoined on completion of this task at 1725I/19.

At 1625I/19, HrMs Tromp arrived from Morotai and reported for duty with TG 74.2.

During the morning of 20 June the destroyers fuelled from the cruisers.

Around noon air strikes commenced. More strikes followed during the afternoon.

At 1530I/20, HrMs Tromp dropped two depth charges on an A/S contact but lost the contact immediately afterwards. The A/S contact was probably a wreck.

In the afternoon of the 20th some wounded men from the damaged USS YMS-368 were put on board USS Denver for treatment.

Around 0920I/21, B-24's arrived to commence this day's air attacks.

Around 1140I/21, USS Denver opened fire on enemy coast batteries.

Around 1255I/21, cruisers and destroyers again opened fire on enemy coast batteries after USS YMS-52 had been fired upon.

At 1452I/21, YMS's were taken under fire by a previously unreported enemy battery. USS YMS-335 was hit. The destroyers were ordered to take silence this enemy coast battery. Four casualties and five wounded from USS YMS-335 were later transferred to USS Montpelier.

At 1535I/21, USS Conway was detached to give navigational aid to some YMS minesweepers. On completion of this duty she rejoined her Unit. Some cover fire was provided from time to time by the cruiser and destroyers of TU 74.2.

At 0915I/22, the first air strike of the day hit the target area. As usual air strikes continued throughout the day.

At 1000I/22, the leading YMS was taken under fire by enemy guns. TF 74.2 replied with a heavy barrage.

At 1657I/22, USS YMS-53 was taken under fire by the enemy. TF 74.2 replied with gunfire.

During 23 June 1945, USS Montpelier, USS Denver, USS Columbia, HrMs Tromp, USS Conway, USS Stevens, USS Cony, USS Eaton, USS Cofer, USS Schmitt and USCG Gualala were fuelled by USS Chepachet which had arrived escorted by USS Leland E. Thomas. On completion of the fuelling operations they left for Tawi Tawi.

At 0835I/23, USS Denver and USS Conway were fired upon by enemy coastal batteries. these were immediately taken under fire and the enemy guns ceased fire.

At 1130I/23, a target that had been taken under fire by USS Montpelier blew up with a series of violent explosions. This must have been an ammunition dump.

At 1145I/23, air strikes commenced.

At 1303I/23, YMS were taken under fire by enemy shore batteries. These were quickly silenced by counter battery fire from the cruisers and destroyers.

On 24 June 1945, several ships of TG 74.2 were ammunitioned by USS LST-67 which had arrived escorted by USS Bell. This continued also on 25 June. Upon completion of ammunitioning these were ordered to proceed to Tawi Tawi.

At 0415I/24, USS Cony was detached to aid the YMS with navigation during their operations.

At 0840I/24, an enemy AA battery, which had opened fire on spotting aircraft, was taken under fire and silenced by USS Columbia.

At 1015I/24, USS Denver reported having knocked out an enemy gun.

Around 1100I/24, heavy air strikes commenced. Several bombs however landed way too close to Allied ships.

At 0400I/25, USS Denver, USS Conway and USS Cony were ordered to provide fire support during operations of Underwater Demolition Team 11 during operations on the Manggar and Manggar Ketjil beaches. B-25's also supported the operation with low level bombing attacks. One B-25 crashed, its crew being rescued by USS Cony.

At 0959I/25, the leading YMS was taken under fire by enemy shore batteries. USS Montpelier, USS Eaton and USS Stevens replied with counter battery fire.

Around 1113I/25, B-24's commenced the days air attacks on Balikpapan.

At 1155I/25, USS Bell silenced an enemy gun with several salvoes.

In the evening of the 25th, enemy aircraft attacked the forces in the Balikpapan area but no damage was done by them. Several attackers were shot down.

During the night of 25/26 June 1945, USS Cony conducted a night harassing mission off the Manggar / Manggar Ketjil beaches.

At 0500I/26, USS Denver and USS Conway were ordered to join USS Cony off the the Manggar / Manggar Ketjil beaches to give support to the Underwater Demolition Teams that were to operate there this morning. On completion of the operations they rejoined the remainder of TF 74.2.

At 0735I/26, the operations by the Underwater Demolition Teams commenced. B-24's and B-25's also assisted with bombing strikes which were very effective and were completed around 0815I/26. More air strikes on the Balikpapan area were conducted later in the morning and very early in the afternoon.

After USS YMS-365 had hit a mine. Her survivors were later put on board USS Columbia as did the survivors from USS YMS-39 which had also been mined later the same afternoon.

At 0610I/27, USS Stevens was detached to aid the LCS with navigation during their support of the Underwater Demolition Teams at Klandasan beach.

Around 0815I/27, air strikes commenced.

At 0950I/27, fire was opened on enemy guns in the beach area.

Around 1000I/27, TG 74.1, made up of HMAS Shropshire, HMAS Hobart, HMAS Arunta, USS Hart and USS Metcalf arrived in the area from Tawi Tawi.

Around 1105I/27, USS Edwin A. Howard, USS Mobjack and eight Motor Torpedo Boats (from MTB RON 10; USS PT-163, USS PT-167, USS PT-170, USS PT-174 and from MTB RON 27; USS PT-361, USS PT-372, USS PT-373 and USS PT-377) arrived in the area from Tawi Tawi.

During the night of 27/28 June 1945, four Motor Torpedo Boats patrolled the area. These were from MTB RON 10; USS PT-167 and USS PT-170 and from MTB RON 27; USS PT-372 and USS PT-377.

At 0425I/28, USS Stevens was detached to again aid the LCS with navigation during their support of the Underwater Demolition Teams.

At 0547I/28, Both TG 74.1 and 74.2 were ordered to take up their assigned bombardment stations.

At 0650I/28, firing from the beach against the LCS(L)'s was reported. The cruisers were ordered to commence a bombardment.

At 0758I/28, B-25's commenced bombarding the beach area in support of the Underwater Demolition Teams. The strike lasted for about 10 minutes.

The enemy was much more active this day and from time to time engaged our forces which each time replied with gunfire to silence the enemy guns.

At 1026I/28, USS LCS(L)-28 was hit. Five minutes afterwards she reported to have lost steering control but last she regained control after having effected repairs.

At 1030I/28, the demolition charges set by the Underwater Demolition Units went off, on schedule despite the enemy's efforts to frustrate their work.

During the night of 28/29 June 1945, USS Stevens conducted a night harassing mission along the Klandalan beaches while MTB's (from MTB RON 27; USS PT-361 and USS PT-373) operated off the Manggar beaches. Also patrolling were from MTB RON 10; USS PT-163 and USS PT-174 to the south of Balikpapan and from MTB RON 27; USS PT-372 and PT-377 off the Pengah River mouth.

At 1142I/29, the first flight of B-24's started to attack targets in the vicinity of Signal Hill. More attacks followed throughout the day.

At 1245I/29, a B-25 crashed into the sea. Two survivors were picked up by a floatplane from USS Montpelier and later put on board the cruiser.

Late in the afternoon / early in the evening, the destroyers, less USS Stevens, fuelled from the cruisers.

During the night of 29/30 June 1945, USS PT-163 and USS PT-170 patrolled to the south-west of Balikpapan. PT-167 and USS PT-377 patrolled between the Manngar River estuary and Sepinggan.

At 0830I/30, the LCS(L)'s were in position off Klandasan beach and opened fire to cover the Underwater Demolition Team swimmers. Air strikes also commenced shortly before 0900 hours.

At 0924I/30, the Underwater Demolition Teams reported having completed their objective. They had sustained no casualties, opposition had been light this morning.

USS Chepachet, escorted by Leland E. Thomas, had also returned from Tawi Tawi to fuel ships from TU's 74.1 and 74.2. During the day she fuelled; USS Montpelier, USS Conway, USS Denver, USS Stevens, USS Columbia, USS Edwin A. Howard, HMAS Shropshire, USS Schmitt, HMAS Hobart and USS Killen.

At 1645I/30, fire was opened on enemy shore batteries by USS Hart after USS YMS-314 was taken under fire which herself also replied with her 3" gun.

Around 1925I/30, TG 74.1 and 74.2 retired from the area for the night minus USS Denver and USS Hart remained off Klandasan to cover the area from possible minelaying operations by the enemy. Also USS Metcalf remained behind for a night harassing fire mission.

During the night of 30 June / 1 July, USS PT-372 and USS PT-377 patrolled between Manggar and Sambodja and USS PT-361 and USS PT-373 patrolled between between Stalkoedo and Manggar Ketjil.

'Fox' day approaching, more cover forces arriving in the area.

As 'Fox' day (1 July 1945) was now approaching more cover forces were despatched to the area.

At 0610I/26, TG 78.4, the Escort Carrier Group departed Leyte for Balikpapan. It was made up of the escort carriers USS Suwanee, USS Block Island and USS Gilbert Islands which were escorted by They were escorted by the destroyer USS Dale and the destroyer escorts USS Mitchell, USS Donaldson, USS Cloues USS Lamons and USS Kyne.

At 1900I/28, USS Nashville, USS Charette and USS Bell from TG 74.3 departed Tawi Tawi to make rendezvous with the Escort Carrier Group which they did at 0809I/29.

At 0838I/29, the light cruiser USS Phoenix and the destroyers USS Conner and USS Burns also joined. They had departed Morotai around 0630I/28.

After these forces had joined company the organisation now became as follows;
TG 78.4 under command of T/Rear-Admiral W.D. Sample, USN, was divided into the following Units;
TU 78.4.1 was the Escort Carrier Unit under T/Rear-Admiral W.D. Sample, USN (COMCARDIV 22), made up of the escort carriers USS Suwanee, USS Block Island and USS Gilbert Islands. On board USS Block Island was T/Rear-Admiral D. Ketcham, USN (COMCARDIV 27) as Second in Command).
TU 78.4.2 was the Screen under T/Capt. J.H. Martin, USN (COMDESRON 51), made up of the destroyers USS Conner, USS Charette, USS Bell, USS Burns, USS Dale and the destroyer escorts USS Mitchell, USS Donaldson, USS Cloues, USS Lamons and USS Kyne.
TU 78.4.3 was the Cruiser Unit under T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN, made up of the light cruisers USS Nashville and USS Phoenix (with CTF 78 embarked).

After TG 78.4 had formed up course was set for the Balikpapan area.

These was also TG 74.2 which departed Manila Bay for Balikpapan via Tawi Tawi at 1800I/27, TG 74.2.5, made up of the light cruiser USS Cleveland and the destroyers USS Albert W. Grant and USS Killen. On board the USS Cleveland was Army General MacArthur, Commander in Chief Southwest Pacific Aera (CinCSWPA), and his staff. In the morning of the 29th of June they made a short call at Tawi Tawi to pick up the latest mail for the CinCSWPA.

Now back to TG 78.4, at 1448I/29, USS Lamons obtained an A/S contact in position 01°34'N, 119°59'E and an emergency turn was made.

At 1454I/29, USS Lamons dropped a full pattern of depth charges. USS Dale went over to assist and both remained at the scene to hunt the possible enemy submarine while the remainder of the TG continued their passage towards Balikpapan. They rejoined the TG at 1924I/29.

During the 29th a continues CAP and A/S patrol had been maintained for the TG from 0636I/29 to 1920I/29.

On 30 June 1945 CAP and A/S patrol were maintained over the Balikpapan area from 0657I/30 to 1918I/30 and also over the own TG from 1352I/30 to 1918I/30. In the afternoon some of the escorts (USS Burns, USS Conner, USS Charrette, USS Dale and USS Bell) fuelled from either USS Suwanee and USS Block Island. Otherwise passage was uneventful and TG 78.4 arrived east of Balikpapan around 0730I/30.

TG 74.2 arrived in the Balikpapan area in the evening of 30 June.

Passage of the landing forces to the Balikpapan area.

The bulk the Balikpapan Attack Group (TG 78.2, see above) departed Morotai for the landing area on 26 June 1945 so as to arrive in the operations area on 30 June ('Fox'-1). Passage was uneventful and the first units crossed the 100 fathom curve shortly before midnight during the night of 30 June / 1 July. (145)

1 Jul 1945

Operation Oboe II, Allied landings at Balikpapan.

Part II, the landing phase.

Composition of the forces taking part was as follows;
Task Group (TG) 78.2 was the Balikpapan Attack Group under Vice-Admiral D.E. Barbey, USN, made up of the following units.
TG 78.2.1 was the Group Flagship Unit under T/Capt. K.D. Ringle, USN, made up of the Amphibious Force Command Ship USS Wasatch (T/Capt. K.D. Ringle, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.G. Noble, USN) and fighter direction ship USCGC Spencer (Cdr. J.R. Hinnant, USCG).
TG 78.2.2 was the Transport Unit under A/Capt. A.P. Cousin, RANR(S), made up the Landing Ships HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. A.P. Cousin, RANR(S)), HMAS Westralia (A/Cdr. E.W. Livingston, RANR(S)), HMAS Kanimbla (Cdr. A.V. Bunyan, RANR(S)), Landing Ship Dock USS Carter Hall (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Host, Jr., USNR) and the Attack Cargo Ship USS Titania (T/Cdr.(Retd.) M.W. Callahan, USN).
TG 78.2.3 was the Fast Transport unit under T/Cdr, Wm.S. Parsons, USN, COMTRANSDIV 103, made up of the High Speed Transports USS Lloyd (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Taylor, USNR, with T/Cdr, Wm.S. Parsons, USN, Commanding Officer COMTRANSDIV 103, on board), USS Newman (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Thieme, USNR), USS Liddle (Lt.Cdr. W.D. Kennedy, USNR), USS Kephart (Cdr. I.H. Cammarn, USNR) and USS Diachenko (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Johnson, USNR).
TG 78.2.4 was the LSM Unit under T/Capt. D.J. Wientraub, USN on board the Landing Craft Flotilla Flagship USS LCFF-789 (Lt. R.J. Minnich, USNR), made up of the following units;
LSM Group 4; under Lt.Cdr. R.C. Johnson, USN, up of the following LSM's; USS LSM-18 (Lt. W.B. Wilder, USNR, with T/Lt.Cdr. R.C. Johnson, USN on board), USS LSM-19 (Lt. E.L. McComb, USNR), USS LSM-21 (Lt. C.L. Crayne, USN), USS LSM-22 (Lt. W.E. Rivinius, USNR), USS LSM-257 (Lt. E.C. Nufer, USNR), USS LSM-258 (Lt.(jg) J. Black, USNR), USS LSM-310 (Lt. E.P. White, USNR) and USS LSM-311 (Lt. P.M. Brooks, USNR).
LSM Group 5; under Lt.Cdr. E.G. Smith, USNR, made up of the following LSM's; USS LSM-36 (Lt. M.S. McLeod, USNR, with T/Lt.Cdr. E.G. Smith, USNR on board), USS LSM-37 (Lt. G.W. Smith, USNR), USS LSM-130 (Lt. L.R. French, USNR), USS LSM-141 (Lt. E.A. Quinlan, USNR), USS LSM-148 (Lt. F.W. Cely, USN), USS LSM-150 (Lt. G.B. McCauley, USNR) and USS LSM-205 (Lt. D.W. Barton, USNR).
LSM Group 6; under T/Lt.Cdr. E.E. Weire, USN, made up of the following LSM's; USS LSM-42 (Lt. S.I. Burton, USNR, with T/Lt.Cdr. E.E. Weire, USN on board), USS LSM-38 (Lt. H.A. Seitz, USNR), USS LSM-39 (Lt. G.C. Hollowell, USNR), USS LSM-40 (Lt. C.L. Garrett, USNR), USS LSM-223 (Lt. P.C. Hawn, USNR), USS LSM-224 (Lt. D.B. Wrensch, USNR) and USS LSM-267 (Lt. R.F. Ruben, USNR).
TG 78.2.5 was the LST Unit under T/Capt. F.J. Mee, USN, made up of the following units;
LST Flot 22 under T/Capt. F.J. Mee, USN, made up of the following LST's; USS LST-632 (Lt. G.W. Chandler, USNR, with COMLSTFLOT 22, T/Capt. F.J. Mee, USN on board), USS LST-639 (Lt. G.M. Brown, USNR), USS LST-714 (Lt. R.F. Williams, USNR), USS LST-721 (Lt. R.B. Safford, USNR), USS LST-935 (Lt. B.B. Wells, USN) and USS LST-938 (Lt. H.W. Limes, USNR).
LST Flot 7 under T/Capt. G.A. Sinclair, USN, made up of the following LST Groups;
LST Group 19, under Cdr. J.E. van Zandt, USNR, made up of the following LST's; USS LST-466 (Lt. J.P. Witherspoon, USNR, with COMLSTFLOT 7, T/Capt. G.A. Sinclair, USN, on board), USS LST-181 (Lt.(jg) C.V. Lynch, USNR), USS LST-245 (Lt. M.J. McCabe, USNR), USS LST-470 (Lt. M. Loring, USNR), USS LST-471 (Lt. J.K. Haman, USNR) and USS LST-474 (Lt. G.L. Hull, USNR, with COMLSTGR19, Cdr. J.E. van Zandt, USNR on board).
LST Group 20, under Cdr. D.M. Baker, USNR, made up of the following LST's; USS LST-452 (Lt. R.D. Jones, USNR, with COMLSTGR20, Cdr. D.M. Baker, USNR on board), USS LST-454 (Lt. D.J. Morrison, USNR), USS LST-456 (Lt.(jg) E.J. Lambert, USNR), USS LST-457 (Lt. W.W. Hacker, USNR) and USS LST-462 (Lt. W.D. Gregory, USNR).
From LST Group 21 were the following LST's; USS LST-66 (Lt. W.J. Holbert, USCGC), USS LST-168 (Lt. H. Twiford, USCG) and USS LST-206 (Lt. S.F. Regard, USCG).
From LST Flot 8
LST Group 23, under T/Cdr. T.C. Linthicum, USN, made up of the following LST's; USS LST-1018 (Lt. P.F. Williams, USNR, with COMLSTGR23, T/Cdr. T.C. Linthicum, USN on board), USS LST-395 (Lt. C.W. Saale, USNR), USS LST-397 (Lt. E.W. Teasley, USNR), USS LST-911 (Lt. M.T. Saffield, USNR), USS LST-1016 (Lt. J.W. Chapman, USNR) and USS LST-1017 (Lt. B.I. Sobel, USNR).
From LST Groups 22 and 24 were the following LST's; USS LST-666 (Lt. J.H. Reid, USNR), USS LST-673 (Lt. J.K. Athow, USNR), USS LST-694 (Lt. J.D. McLaughlin, USNR), USS LST-740 (Lt. A.G. McMahon, USNR) and USS LST-910 (Lt. H.V. Ruble, USN).
From LST Flot 15 were the following LST's; USS LST-579 (Lt. H.B. Severs, USNR), USS LST-703 (LT. E.H. Marsland, USNR), USS LST-753 (Lt. T.J. Dailey, USNR) and USS LST-777 (Lt. W.F. Lagotic, USN).
TG 78.2.6 was the LCI Unit under Cdr. A.V. Jannotta, USNR, made up of the following LCI(L)'s from LCIFLOT24;
USS LCI(L)-624 (Lt. E.F. Harris, USNR, with COMLCIFLOT 24, Cdr. A.V. Jannotta, USNR, on board), USS LCI(L)-622 (Lt. H.V. Smith, USNR), USS LCI(L)-625 (Lt.(jg) C.E. Bole, USNR), USS LCI(L)-634 (Lt.(jg) J.J. Connolly, USNR), USS LCI(L)-636 (Lt. J.A. Moore, USNR), USS LCI(L)-655 (Lt. E. Kingdon, Hurlock, USNR), USS LCI(L)-699 (Lt. P.B. Gates, USNR), USS LCI(L)-700 (Lt.(jg) J.E. Howe, USNR), USS LCI(L)-712 (Lt. R.I. Basch, USNR), USS LCI(L)-999 (Lt.(jg) C.P. Castle, USN), USS LCI(L)-1002 (Lt. E.B. Schicker, Jr., USNR), USS LCI(L)-1003 (Lt.(jg) J.W. Jessee, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1008 (Lt.(jg) W.A. Green, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1025 (Lt. W.C. Kingsley, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1072 (Lt. M.B. Kirby, USNR) and USS LCI(L)-1076 (Lt. O.E. Caldcleugh, USNR).
TG 78.2.7 was the Control Unit under Cdr. A.J. Petersen, USNR, made up of the following patrol vessels; USS PC-1134 (Lt. O.A. Barge, Jr., with Cdr. A.J. Petersen, USNR on board), USS PC-610 (Lt. J.K. Winter, USNR), USS SC-698 (Lt. J.C. Hedges, USNR), USS SC-747 (Lt.(jg) R.E. Oberfeld, USNR) and USS SC-750 (Lt.(jg) F.C. Cuthbertson, USNR).
TG 78.2.8 was the Close Support Unit under T/Cdr. D.H. Day, USN, was made up of the following LCS(L)'s; USS LCS(L)-8 (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Thomas, USNR), USS LCS(L)-27 (Lt.(jg) J.M. Bledsoe, USNR), USS LCS(L)-28 (Lt. R.H. Bost, USNR), USS LCS(L)-29 (Lt. J.F. McNamara, USNR), USS LCS(L)-30 (Lt. C.H. Sanders, USNR), USS LCS(L)-41 (Lt.(jg) A.P. Marincovich, USNR), USS LCS(L)-43 (Lt.(jg) E.A. Blakley, USNR), USS LCS(L)-44 (Lt. J.M. Leggat, USNR), USS LCS(L)-48 (Lt. D.E. Widel, USNR) and USS LCS(L)-50 (Lt. B.T. Clark, USNR). The following LCI(R)'s; USS LCI(R)-230 (Lt.(jg) E.L. Grimes, USNR, with T/Cdr. D.H. Day, USN on board), USS LCI(R)-31 (Ens. D.B. Hummel, USNR), USS LCI(R)-34 (Lt.(jg) F.W. Schwarz, USNR), USS LCI(R)-73 (Lt.(jg) W.V. Ferguson, USN), USS LCI(R)-226 (Ens. J.W. Joyce, USNR), USS LCI(R)-331 (Lt.(jg) E.F. Sheeran, USNR), USS LCI(R)-337 (Ens. G.W. Green, USN) and USS LCI(R)-338 (Ens. J.S. Hageman, USNR). The following LCI(G)'s; USS LCI(G)-21 (Lt.(jg) J.G. Gent, USNR), USS LCI(G)-22 (Lt.(jg) W.F. Saul, USNR), USS LCI(G)-24 (Lt.(jg) G.D. Rankin, USNR), USS LCI(G)-61 (Lt.(jg) R.M. Prann, USNR), USS LCI(G)-66 (Lt.(jg) J.A. Kraus, USNR) and USS LCI(G)-67 (Lt.(jg) G.J. Puhl, USNR).
TG 78.2.9 was the Minesweeping Unit under Lt.Cdr. T.R. Fonick, USNR, made up of the following units;
Task Unit (TU) 72.2.91 was made up of the minesweepers USS Sentry (Lt.Cdr. T.R. Fonick, USNR, (COMMINDIV 34)), USS Scout (Lt. E.G. Anderson, USNR) and USS Scuffle (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Johnson, USNR).
TU 72.2.92 under Lt.Cdr. D.W. Blakeslee, USNR, was made up of the YMS's; USS YMS-9 (Lt.(jg) W.E. Vermillion, USNR), USS YMS-10 (Lt.(jg) R.D. Waterman, USNR), USS YMS-39 (Lt. R.M. Sullivan, USNR), USS YMS-46 (Lt.(jg) T. Markin, USNR), USS YMS-47 (Lt. R.H. Heller, USNR), USS YMS-49 (lt.(jg) D.E. Reysa, USNR), USS YMS-50 (Lt(jg) B.G. Stern, USNR), USS YMS-51 (Lt.(jg) A.L. Giesenschlag, USNR), USS YMS-53 (Lt.(jg) F.W. Ketner, USNR), USS YMS-65 (lt. C.R. Silk, USNR), USS YMS-73 (Lt. J.H. Frederick, USNR), USS YMS-84 (Lt. J.V. Barton, USNR), USS YMS-95 (Lt.(jg) G.E. Newby, Jr., USNR), USS YMS-224 (Lt.(jg) F.J. Weingartner, USNR), i>USS YMS-269 (Lt. P.J. Ganey, USNR), USS YMS-314 (Lt.(jg) J.W. Easton, USNR), USS YMS-315 (Lt. E.E. martin, Jr., USNR), USS YMS-335 (Lt.(jg) R.F. Klick, USNR), USS YMS-336 (Lt.(jg) J.A. Reid, USNR), USS YMS-339 (Lt.(jg) M.E. Fitzgerald, USNR), USS YMS-364 (Lt. C.K. Soper, USNR), USS YMS-365 (Lt.(jg) F.C. Huff, USNR), USS YMS-366 (Lt. (jg) T.J. Duncan, Jr., USNR), USS YMS-367 (Lt.(jg) E.E. Huppenbauer, Jr., USNR), USS YMS-368 (Lt.(jg) C.D. Drago, USNR) and USS YMS-392 (Lt. W.H. Kendrick, USNR). As tenders for the minesweepers there were the high speed transport USS Cofer (Lt. H.C. McClees, USNR) and the LSM USS LSM-1 (Lt. E.J. Flowers, USNR).
TG 78.2.10 was the Beach Party Unit.
TG 78.2.11 was the Demolition Unit under Lt. States, was made up of the high speed transports USS Kline (Lt. B.F. Uran, USNR) and USS Schmitt (Lt. T.A. Melusky, USNR) and two underwater demolition teams.
TG 78.2.12 was the LCT Unit under Lt. Buckley. This unit was made up of the following LCT's;
LCT Group 73 was made up of USS LCT-1293 (with Lt. Buckley on board), USS LCT-1081, USS LCT-1289, USS LCT-1291, USS LCT-1295, USS LCT-1297, USS LCT-1299, USS LCT-1301, USS LCT-1302, USS LCT-1304, USS LCT-1306, USS LCT-1308, USS LCT-1325 and USS LCT-1329.
LCT Group 21 was made up of USS LCT-1298 (with Lt. Coffin (COMLCTGR21) on board), USS LCT-83, USS LCT-178, USS LCT-372, USS LCT-373, USS LCT-864, USS LCT-898, USS LCT-990, USS LCT-992, USS LCT-1016, USS LCT-1296 and USS LCT-1327.
TG 78.2.13 was the Salvage and Firefighting Unit under Lt.Cdr. H. Pond, USNR, made up of the salvage vessel Cable (Lt.Cdr. H. Pond, USNR), USS LCI(S)-700 (?), USS LCI(S)-702 (?), USS LCI(S)-1000 (?) and USS LCI(S)-1071 (?) and the tug USS ATR-61 (Lt. W.M. Heywood, USNR).
TG 78.2.14 was the Service Unit under Lt.Cdr. Wallace, made up of the following ships; oiler USS Chepachet (Lt.Cdr. H.K. Wallace, USNR), gasoline tankers USS Sakatonchee (Lt. F.C. Steinmetz, USNR), USCG Gualala (?), landing craft repair ship USS Creon [Former LST-1036] (Lt. M.G. Pooley, USNR), landing craft LST's USS LST-67 (serving as ammunition ship) (Lt. R.L. McGirl, USNR), USS LST-171 (Lt. M.B. Taylor, USNR), USS LSM-129 (Lt. W.A. Farmer, USNR), cargo ship USS Poinsett (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Baughman, USNR), army cargo ships FS 164, FS 361, auxiliary Banshee (?), auxiliary trawler USS YP-421 (Lt.(jg) W.E. Baker, USN), tug USS Pinto (Lt. R. Brown, USNR) and floating crane USS YD-65.
TG 78.2.15 was the Screening Unit under COMDESRON 5, T/Capt. F.D. McCorkle, USN, made up of the following units;
Destroyer Squadron 5 was made up of the following destroyers; USS Flusser (T/Lt.Cdr. K.G. Robinson, USN with COMDESRON 5, T/Capt. F.D. McCorkle, USN on board), USS Drayton (T/Lt.Cdr. V.A. Dybdal, USN), USS Conyngham (T/Lt.Cdr. F.W. Bampton, USN) and USS Smith (T/Lt.Cdr. E.H. Huff, USN).
Destroyer Squadron 14 was made up of the following destroyers; USS Frazier (T/Lt.Cdr. J.N. Renfro, USN, with COMDESRON 14, T/Capt. G.L. Sims, USN on board) and USS Bailey (T/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Johnson, USN).
Destroyer Squadron 22 was made up of the following destroyers; USS Robinson (T/Cdr. R.E. Malpass, USN, with COMDESRON 22, T/Capt. R.H. Smith, USN on board), USS Saufley (T/Lt.Cdr. F.W. Silk, USN), USS Waller (T/Cdr. H.leR. Thompson, Jr., USN), USS Philip (T/Cdr. J.B. Rutter, Jr., USN).
There were also five destroyer escorts part of the Screening Unit, these were; USS Chaffee (Lt.Cdr. A.C. Jones, USNR), USS Edwin A. Howard (Lt.Cdr. F.D. Denfeld, USNR), USS Jesse Rutherford (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Jordan, USNR), USS Key (T/Lt.Cdr. F.D. Buckley, USN) and USS Leland E. Thomas (Lt.Cdr. B.J. Dunn, USNR). The frigate HMAS Gascoyne (Lt. E.J. Peel, RAN) was also part of Screening Unit.
TG 78.2.16 was the Press Unit, made up of the USS LCI(L)-635 (Lt. H. Hopkins, USNR) and the small army cargo ship FP 47.
TG 78.2.17 was the Hydrographic Unit under A/Cdr. C.G. Little, DSC, RAN, made up of the sloop HMAS Warrego (A/Cdr. C.G. Little, DSC, RAN), USS YMS-196 (Lt. C.W. Griffith, USNR) and USS Mango (Lt. H.R. Greenley, USNR).

To provide cover for the operation the following Units were deployed.
TU 70.1.5 was the Motor Torpedo Boat Unit under Lt.Cdr. Tappan, made up of two Motor Torpedo Boat Tenders; USS Mobjack (Lt.Cdr. J.H. McClain, USNR) and USS Varuna (Lt. C.J. Kalb, USN) and the tug USS ATR-56 (Lt. E.C. McCoy, USNR). These ships served 23 Motor Torpedo Boats of MTB Squadrons 10 and 27.
MTBRON 10 was made up of the following Motor Torpedo Boats; USS PT-108, USS PT-116, USS PT-124, USS PT-125, USS PT-163, USS PT-167, USS PT-168, USS PT-169, USS PT-170, USS PT-171 and USS PT-174.
MTBRON 27 was made up of the following Motor Torpedo Boats; USS PT-356, USS PT-357, USS PT-358, USS PT-359, USS PT-360, USS PT-361, USS PT-372, USS PT-373, USS PT-374, USS PT-375, USS PT-376 and USS PT-377.
Task Force (TF) 74 was the Support and Covering Group under T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Riggs, USN, made up of the following units.
TG 74.1 under Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN, was made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Hart (T/Cdr. W.D. Coleman, USN) and USS Metcalf (T/Cdr. D.L. Martineau, USN).
TG 74.2 under T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Riggs, USN, was made up of the light cruisers USS Montpelier (T/Capt. W.A. Gorry, USN, flying the flag of T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Riggs, USN (COMCRUDIV 12)), USS Cleveland (T/Capt. H.G. Hopwood, USN), USS Columbia (T/Capt. M.E. Curts, USN), USS Denver (T/Capt. T.F. Darden, Jr., USN), HrMs Tromp (A/Capt. F. Stam, RNN) and the destroyers USS Conway (T/Cdr. J.H. Besson, Jr., USN, with COMDESDIV 44, T/Capt. S.G. Hooper, USN on board), USS Stevens (T/Cdr. G.W. Pressey, USN), USS Cony (T/Lt.Cdr. T.C. Siegmund, USN), USS Eaton (T/Cdr. C. Brown, USN), USS Killen (T/Cdr. J.L. Semmes, USN), USS Albert W. Grant (T/Cdr. G.S. Higginbotham, USN, with COMDESDIV 112, T/Capt. B.J. Mullaney, USN, on board) and HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN).
TG 74.3 under T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN, was made up of the light cruisers USS Nashville (T/Capt. A. MacOndray, Jr., USN, flying the flag of COMCRUDIV 15, T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN), USS Phoenix (T/Capt. H.L. Challenger, USN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral D.E. Barbey, USN, Commander Balikpapan Attack Force, CTF 78) and the destroyers USS Conner (T/Lt.Cdr. W.A. Sissons, USN, with COMDESRON 51, T/Capt. H.J. Martin, USN), USS Charette (T/Lt.Cdr. G.P. Joyce, USN, with COMDESDIV 102, T/Capt. J.W. Callahan, USN on board), USS Bell (T/Lt.Cdr. B.H. Shupper, USN) and USS Burns (T/Cdr. J.T. Bullen, Jr., USN).
TG 78.4 was the Escort Carrier Group under T/Rear-Admiral W.D. Sample, USN, made up of the following escort carriers; USS Suwanee (T/Capt. D.S. Cornwell, USN, with COMCARDIV22, T/Rear-Admiral W.D. Sample, USN on board), USS Block Island (T/Capt. F.M. Hughes, USN), USS Gilbert Islands (T/Capt. L.K. Rice, USN). They were escorted by the destroyer USS Dale (T/Lt.Cdr. S.M. Zimny, USNN) and the destroyer escorts USS Mitchell (Lt.Cdr. J.K. Carpenter, USNR), USS Donaldson (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Hartmann, USNR), USS Cloues (Lt.Cdr. K.G. Rich, USNR), USS Lamons (Lt.Cdr. H.C.M. Lamkin, USNR) and USS Kyne (Lt.Cdr. C.F Sweet, Jr., USNR).

At 0550I on 1 July 1945, 'Fox' day the ordered 'deploy' was given and executed.

At 0700I/1, the cruisers and destroyer commenced the scheduled pre-landing bombardment.

At 0726I/1, splashed were seen near the LCI(R)'s.

At 0734I/1, enemy shore batteries were seen to be active.

At 0736I/1, USS Conyngham reported being fired upon. Two minutes later this shore battery was silenced by gunfire from USS Drayton.

At 0742I/1, the Close Support Unit left the line of departure for their first run on the beaches.

At 0745I/1, the first rocket run on the beaches was completed.

At 0805I/1, six B-24 bombers began their attack run which was completed at 0815I/1.

At 0819I/1, USS Smith was straddled twice by gunfire from an enemy shore battery.

At 0821I/1, USS Cony was straddled by gunfire from an enemy shore battery.

At 0825I/1, 17 B-24's attacked their assigned target.

At 0830I/1, USS Smith reported that she had silenced the shore battery that had been firing on her.

At 0834I/1, the first wave crossed the line of departure.

At 0837I/1, the second wave crossed the line of departure.

At 0844I/1, the first wave reported that it was now 1300 yards from the beach.

At 0846I/1, the first wave was taken under fire from the beach.

At 0853I/1, the third wave crossed the line of departure.

At 0854I/1, USS Conyngham opened fire on an enemy shore battery.

At 0855I/1, the first wave landed, 5 minutes early, on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches.

At 0856I/1, the support craft opened fire on the beaches flanks.

At 0857I/1, the second wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches.

At 0858I/1, the naval bombardment of 'Hill 87' commenced, also the fourth wave crossed the line of departure.

At 0903I/1, the third wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches. Also the fifth wave crossed the line of departure.

At 0904I/1, the support ships on the left flank were subjected to accurate enemy mortar and small calibre fire.

At 0908I/1, the sixth wave crossed the line of departure. Also the fourth wave landed on 'Red' and 'Yellow' beaches.

At 0909I/1, the fourth wave landed on 'Green' beach.

At 0911I/1, the fifth wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches.

At 0911I/1, the seventh wave crossed the line of departure.

At 0915I/1, USS Conyngham, USS Smith and USS Cony completed their fire support duties and joined the screen. Also the eighth wave crossed the line of departure.

At 0916I/1, HrMs Tromp completed her fire support duties.

At 0918I/1, the ninth wave crossed the line of departure. Also the close support craft and the third wave returning from the beach were taken under enemy 3" fire. Splashes were seen very close and USS Flusser immediately opened fire on these guns. No further enemy fire was received.

At 0920I/1, USS Montpelier completed her fire support duties.

At 0920I/1, the sixth wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches.

At 0924I/1, HMAS Shropshire relieved USS Cleveland on her station.

At 0925I/1, close support craft on the left flank came under intermittent 37mm fire as did the control board for 'Red' and 'Yellow' beaches. One minute later some of the craft came under mortar fire. Fire was returned on the position the mortar fire came from.

At 0928I/1, USS SC-750 spotted several flashes from shore batteries. The support craft engaged them in counter-battery fire.

At 0928I/1, the eighth wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches. Also USS Stevens, USS Denver and USS Montpelier opened fire on an enemy gun which was firing on the close support craft. Also the tenth wave crossed the line of departure.

At 0933I/1, the eleventh wave crossed the line of departure.

At 0935I/1, the ninth wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches. Also five P-38 aircraft attacked enemy defensive positions at the back of the beaches. They completed their strike five minutes later. Also mortar fire was seen to come from the hill behind 'Red' beach.

At 0936I/1, the seventh wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches.

At 0939I/1, USS PC-610 reported 40mm gunfire falling close aboard.

At 0940I/1, the twelfth wave crossed the line of departure.

At 0942I/1, the tenth wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches.

At 0943I/1, the thirteenth wave crossed the line of departure.

At 0944I/1, USS Denver completed her scheduled bombardment while USS Montpelier resumed counter-battery fire.

At 0945I/1, HMAS Hobart, with the aid of an air spotter, opened fire on an enemy shore battery.

At 0946I/1, the eleventh wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches.

At 0949I/1, USS Conway opened fire on an enemy shore gun.

At 0950I/1, the fourteenth wave crossed the line of departure.

At 0953I/1, the twelfth wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches.

At 0957I/1, the line of departure for 'Red' beach came under enemy fire.

At 1000I/1, the whole line of departure came under enemy fire.

At 1000I/1, troops on shore reached the first phase line.

At 1001I/1, the thirteenth wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches.

At 1003I/1, the fourteenth wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches.

At 1005I/1, the fifteenth wave crossed the line of departure.

At 1015I/1, the fifteenth wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches.

At 1019I/1, the sixteenth wave crossed the line of departure.

At 1020I/1, HMAS Hobart opened fire on an enemy battery 200 yards inland from the beach.

At 1035I/1, USS Columbia opened fire on an enemy position.

At 1036I/1, USS Bell was straddled by enemy fire.

At 1037I/1, the seventeenth wave, which was the last of the organized waves, crossed the line of departure. Also the sixteenth wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches.

At 1040I/1, USS Eaton opened fire on an enemy shore battery. She obtained several direct hits on this gun ten minutes later.

At 1050I/1, LCS Group 1 retired 2500 yards to the east of their assigned position to avoid shell fire from the beach.

At 1051I/1, HrMs Tromp opened fire on an enemy shore battery.

At 1055I/1, the seventeenth wave landed on 'Red', 'Green' and 'Yellow' beaches.

At 1059I/1, USS Eaton, which needed to replenish ammunition, was relieved by HMAS Arunta.

At 1100I/1, it was reported that the troops had avanced about 1000 yards inland with only light casualties.

At 1108I/1, USS LCS-29 reported that she had spotted two enemy gun emplacements.

At 1130I/1, General MacArthur, Vice-Admiral Barbey, Lieut.General Morshead and Air Marshall Bostock went ashore to inspect the positions.

At 1140I/1, it was reported that USS Smith had been hit by a 3" shell which furtunately failed to explode.

At 1143I/1, the control craft moved to their post-assault positions.

At 1200I/1, it was reported that the troops were now two miles inland.

At 1213I/1, USS Eaton and USS Conway went alongside USS LST-67 to replenish ammunition.

At 1253I/1, USS Metcalf relieved USS Conway on her assigned fire support station.

At 1300I/1, the front lines were more or less the same as at 1200I/1.

At 1308I/1, USS Stevens was assigned to direct fire support duty on request for the troops ashore.

At 1315I/1, four aircraft from USS Suwanee attacked an enemy vehicle convoy which left almost all vehicles destroyed or damaged.

At 1340I/1, USS Gilbert Islands reported that one of her aircraft had been shot down by enemy AA fire behind the enemy lines.

At 1601I/1, USS Montpelier reported that the enemy is conducting demolitions near the radar station.

At 1605I/1, USS Cleveland, with General MacArthur on board departed the operations area for Manila. USS Hart and USS Metcalf escorted her.

At 1750I/1, USS Columbia, USS Stevens and USS Eaton were assigned fire support mission for the upcoming night.

At 1752I/1, USS Stevens opened fire on an enemy coast defence gun.

At 1815I/1, USS Montpelier reported that she had fired a salo on the above mentioned gun position.

At 1841I/1, USS Killen was assigned to the fire support mission for the upcoming night instead of USS Eaton.

At 1930I/1, convoy 02-T was ordered to depart the objective area for Morotai. This convoy was made up of HMAS Manoora, HMAS Kanimbla, HMAS Westralia, USS Titania and USS Carter Hall. They were escorted by USS Lloyd, USS Liddle and USS Diachenko.

At 1935I/1, USS Killen opened fire on a shore target.

At 2145I/1, USS Stevens was ordered to use harassing fire at irregular intervals during the night.

At 2141I/1, USS Stevens was ordered to fire 10 rounds per hours and 5 star shells per hour.

At 0630I/2, all night fire support missions were completed.

At 0720I/2, USS Stevens was relieved on her fire support station so she could replenish. The relief destroyer was USS Saufley.

At 0840I/2, USS Killen opened fire on an enemy defended position.

At 0840I/2, USS Killen and both opened fire on an enemy defended positions.

At 1222I/2, USS Denver departed the area for Leyte. She was escorted by USS Cony.

At 1245I/2, HMAS Shropshire opened fire on enemy AA gun positions.

At 1323I/2, CRUDIV 12 departed the area, these were USS Montpelier and USS Colombia escorted by USS Eaton, USS Conway and USS Stevens.

At 1326I/2, USS Albert W. Grant was assigned to fire on enemy positions. This was completed at 1355I/2.

At 1400I/2, USS Albert W. Grant again opened fire on enemy positions. This was completed at 1430I/2.

At 1520I/2, USS Albert W. Grant engaged an enemy AA position.

At 1530I/2, USS Philip engaged an enemy gun position. She ceased fire 15 minutes later.

At 1605I/2, USS Saufley engaged an enemy AA position with the aid of an air spotter.

At 1708I/2, USS Saufley reported that she had hit the enemy position.

At 1709I/2, HMAS Arunta opened fire on enemy gun positions.

At 1830I/2, Convoy 02-U departed the operations area for Morotai. This convoy was made up of Task Units (TU) 78.2.71 (for Morotai) and 78.2.72 (for Tawi Tawi).
TU 78.2.71 was made up of USS LST-632, USS 397, USS 639, USS LCFF-789, USS LSM-18, USS 19, USS 21, USS 22, USS 36, USS 37, USS 38, USS 39, USS 40, USS 42, USS 130, USS 148, USS 150, USS 151, USS 205, USS 223, USS 224, USS 257, USS 258, USS 267, USS 310, USS 311, USS LCI-624, USS LCI-622, USS LCI-625, USS LCI-626, USS LCI-634, USS LCI-655, USS LCI-699, USS LCI-700, USS LCI-712, USS LCI-999, USS LCI-1002, USS LCI-1003, USS LCI-1008, 1025, USS LCI-1072 and USS LCI-1076. Army cargo ship FS-164 was also with this force which was escorted by USS Smith, USS Drayton and USS PC-610.
TU 78.2.72 was made up of USS LST-452, 454, 457, 694 and USCG Gualala. They were escorted by USS Newman and USS Kephart.

At 1920I/2, four destroyers were assigned to fire star shells during the night over the landing area for illumination.

At 0925I/3, convoy O2-K arrived from Morotai in the operations area.
This convoy was made up of USS LST-466, USS LST-171, USS LST-181, USS LST-245, USS LST-456, USS LST-470, USS LST-471, USS LST-474, USS LST-573, USS LST-579, USS LST-673, USS LST-714, USS LST-910, USS LST-911 and USS Creon. The transports Francis A. Wardwell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William Matson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Balikpapan (Dutch, 1279 GRT, built 1939). This convoy had been escorted by the destroyers USS Frazier, USS Bailey, USS Waller and the destroyer escorts Chaffee and USS Key.

At 0937I/3, USS Flusser engaged four enemy guns. she ceased fire at 1020I/3.

At 0938I/3, USS Conyngham also engaged a shore target. She ceased fire at 1058I/3.

At 1037I/3, HMAS Shropshire opened fire on enemy AA guns. She ceased fire at 1140I/3.

At 1158I/3, USS Flusser opened fire on enemy AA guns.

At 1300I/3, HMAS Shropshire, HMAS Hobart, HMAS Arunta and USS Albert W. Grant departed the objective area for Tawi Tawi.

At 1640I/3, USS Philip which had been engaging enemy troops was relieved by USS Burns.

At 1739I/3, USS Philip was instructed to fire star shell every ten minutes for the next ten hours and then every thirty minutes for the remaining hours of darkness.

At 1900I/3, USS Wasatch departed the operations area for Morotai. She was escorted by USS Schmidt. Also USS Suwanee, USS Block Island and USS Gilbert Island departed the operations area for Leyte. They were escorted by the destroyer USS Dale (T/Lt.Cdr. S.M. Zimny, USNN) and the destroyer escorts USS Mitchell (Lt.Cdr. J.K. Carpenter, USNR), USS Donaldson (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Hartmann, USNR), USS Cloues (Lt.Cdr. K.G. Rich, USNR), USS Lamons (Lt.Cdr. H.C.M. Lamkin, USNR) and USS Kyne (Lt.Cdr. C.F Sweet, Jr., USNR).

At 2235I/3, USS Bell commenced firing star shell every ten minutes during the hours of darkness.

At 2244I/3, USS Charette commenced harassing fire against enemy troops.

At 2343I/3, USS Burns commenced harassing fire against enemy troops. Fire was ceased at midnight.

At 0935I/4, most of the remaining cruisers and destroyers opened up a 'special' 4th July bombardment on enemy troop concentrations, buildings and supplies.

At 1310I/4, USS Phoenix opened fire on enemy guns which were firing on our troops. Fire was ceased at 1520I/4, the enemy guns had been neutralized.

At 1536I/4, USS Bell commenced firing on a suspected enemy gun position.

At 1720I/4, USS Phoenix opened fire on enemy guns which were firing at the Manggar airstrip.

At 1830I/4, convoy O2-W departed the operations area for Morotai. This convoy was made up of TU 78.2.73 which was made up of USS LST-395, USS LST-666 (towing USS YMS-95), USS LST-703, USS LST-721, USS LST-740, USS LST-935, USS LST-938, USS LST-1016, USS LST-1017, USS LST-1018, USS LCS(L)-8, USS LCS(L)-41, USS LCS(L)-43, USS LCS(L)-44, USS LCS(L)-48, USS LCI(R)-31, USS LCI(R)-34, USS LCI(R)-226 and USS LCI(R)-338. They were escorted by USS Flusser, USS Conyngham, USS YMS-10, USS YMS-314, USS YMS-336 and USS YMS-364.

At 1915I/4, USS Bell and USS Saufley commenced a bombardment mission.

At 2100I/4, USS Charette and USS Conner commenced firing star shell every 10 minutes for an area to the northeast of Balikpapan. They did this until 2230I/4.

At 2230I/4, USS Bailey commenced firing star shell every 30 minutes for the remainder of the night.

At 1230I/5, USS Nashville, USS Charette, and USS Burns commenced fire support duty for Australian troops which were to land off Point Penajam across the river from Balikpapan. the troops landed there around 1324I/5 and encountered no opposition.

At 1335I/5, USS Nashville ceased bombarding the area to the north of Point Penajam.

At 1350I/5, USS Charette, and USS Burns ceased bombarding the area to the north of Point Penajam.

At 1940I/5, convoy O2-X departed the operations area for Morotai. This convoy was made up of TU 78.2.74 which was made up of USS LST-168, USS LST-181, USS LST-245, USS LST-471, USS LST-579, USS LST-673, USS LST-714, USS LST-753 and USS LST-911. They were escorted by the destroyer USS Bailey and the escort destroyer USS Edwin A. Howard.

Also at 1940I/5, convoys 02-J and 02-N arrived. [no details currently available.]

At 2150I/5, HMAS Gascoyne arrived in the operations area.

At 1135I/6, HrMs Tromp, USS Conner and USS Bell were ordered to stand by for fire support.

At 1550I/6, convoy 02-Y departed for Morotai. This convoy was made up of TU 78.2.75 which was made up of USS LST-474, USS LST-456, USS LST-466, USS LST-470, USS LST-910. They were escorted by USS Frazier and USS Chaffee.

At 2007I/6, HrMs Tromp departed the operations area for Morotai.

At 2030I/6, USS Phoenix reported that between 1455I/5 and 1930I/5 she had engaged an area from which out troops were being fired upon. The air spotter reported the gunfire as very effective.

At 0730I/7, convoy 02-O arrived from Morotai. This convoy was made up of HMAS Manoora, HMAS Kanimbla and HMAS Australia escorted by USS Lloyd, USS Liddle and USS Diachenko.

At 0800I/7, HMAS Shropshire, USS Killen and USS Albert W. Grant arrived from Tawi Tawi.

At 1000I/7, USS Nashville and USS Charette departed the operations area for Leyte.

At 1100I/7, USS Phoenix, USS Conner, USS Bell and USS Burns departed the operations area for Subic Bay.

At 1800I/7, USCG Spencer departed the operations area for Manila. She was escorted by USS Kline.

[Operations in the Balikpapan area, rounding up the last enemy resitance continued on for a while but with the departure for the flagship USCG Spencer the initial amphibious landings were completed.] (145)

3 Jul 1945
Around 1300I/3, Task Group 74.1, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN), USS Albert W. Grant (T/Cdr. G.S. Higginbotham, USN, with COMDESDIV 112, T/Capt. B.J. Mullaney, USN on board) and USS Killen (T/Cdr. J.L. Semmes, USN) departed the Balikpapan area for Tawi Tawi where they arrived around 1300I/4. (146)

10 Jul 1945
Around 1900I/10, HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) departed Tawi Tawi for Morotai where she was to replenish ammunition. 146)

12 Jul 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) departed Morotai for Manus. (147)

15 Jul 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) arrived at Manus. (148)

16 Jul 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN, with Commodore J.A. Collins, CB, RAN, on board), HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Bataan (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN) departed Manus for Manila.

Apperently they arrived at Manila on the 18th as on that day Commodore Collins took over command of Task Unit 74.1 from Commodore Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN.

HMAS Hobart, HMAS Bataan and USS Killen (T/Cdr. J.L. Semmes, USN) arrived at Subic Bay around 1000I/22. USS Killen had joined them as additional escort around 0715I/22.

HMAS Warramunga arrived at Subic Bay the following day. (149)

24 Jul 1945
On 24 July 1945, Task Force 74, under T/Rear-Admiral R.F. Good, USN, departed Subic Bay for exercises.

Task Force 74 was made up of the following Task Units;
74.1 under Commodore J.A. Collins, CB, RAN, was made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore J.A. Collins, CB, RAN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Albert W. Grant (T/Cdr. G.S. Higginbotham, USN, with COMDESDIV 112, T/Capt. B.J. Mullaney, USN on board), USS Killen (T/Cdr. J.L. Semmes, USN), HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Bataan (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN).
74.2 under T/Rear-Admiral R.F. Good, USN, was made up of the heavy cruisers USS San Francisco (T/Capt. J.E. Whelchel, USN, flying the flag of T/Rear-Admiral R.F. Good, USN), USS Tuscaloosa (T/Capt. J.G. Atkins, USN), USS New Orleans (T/Capt. J.E. Hurff, USN) and the destroyers USS Haraden (Lt.Cdr. L.J. O'Brien, Jr., USN, with COMDESRON 51, T/Capt. H.J. Martin, USN), USS Stevens (T/Cdr. G.W. Pressey, USN), USS Hart (T/Cdr. W.D. Coleman, USN), USS Metcalf (T/Cdr. D.L. Martineau, USN), USS Shields (T/Lt.Cdr. G.T. McDaniel, Jr., USN, also COMDESDIV 115) and USS Wiley (T/Cdr. B.P. Field, Jr., USN).
74.3 under T/Capt. H.L. Challenger, USN, was made up of the light cruisers USS Phoenix (T/Capt. H.L. Challenger, USN), USS Nashville (T/Capt. A. MacOndray, Jr., USN) and the destroyers USS Charrette (T/Lt.Cdr. G.P. Joyce, USN, with COMDESDIV 102, T/Capt. W.H. Watson, Jr., USN), USS Conner (T/Lt.Cdr. W.A. Sissons, USN), USS Bell (T/Cdr. B.H. Shupper, USN) and USS Burns (T/Cdr. J.T. Bullen, Jr., USN).

At 0730I/24, the destroyers commenced leaving Subic Bay in the following order; HMAS Bataan, USS Killen, USS Haradan, USS Albert W. Grant, USS Hart, USS Charrette, USS Bell, USS Burns and USS Conner. From 0743I/24, the cruisers USS San Francisco, USS New Orleans, USS Tuscaloosa, USS Phoenix, USS Nashville and USS Shropshire commenced leaving Subic Bay.

At 0953I/24, the Task Force commenced scheduled AA exercises. These were completed at 1146I/24.

At 1159I/24, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart and the destroyers HMAS Warramunga, USS Wiley and USS Stevens joined the formation. These had departed Subic Bay shortly before 1000I/24.

At 1900I/24, USS Hart and USS Conner were detached for picket duty and did not participate in this night's exercises.

Around 2015I/24, the formation closed the imaginary enemy for a simulated attack. This exercise took about half an hour and included simulated torpedo attacks.

The Task Force then cruised in the general area off Subic Bay throughout the night.

At 0627I/25, USS Conner returned from picket duty and resumed her station in the destroyer screen. At 0655I/25, USS Hart also rejoined. On returning from their picket stations both destroyers acted as target for tracking drills.

Tactical maneuver exercises were carried out durning the morning.

At 1300I/25, schedules AA firing exercises commenced.

At 1706I/25, Destroyer Division 102 left the formation and formed in column in the following order; USS Charrette, USS Bell, USS Conner and USS Burns. At 1807I/25, Destroyer Division 102 formed a scouting line with an interval of 5 miles between ships. At 2002I/25, the division maneuvered to close the range to the remainder of the Task Force and at 2114I/25 they commenced torpedo attacks on the cruisers with a simulated firing of torpedoes at 2131I/25. At 2142I/25 the exercises were completed. USS Charrette and USS Conner took station in the destroyer screen while USS Bell and USS Burns took station as picket destroyers for the night.

At 0603I/26, USS Burns returned from picket duty followed by USS Bell at 0640I/26. Both destroyers took up station in the screen.

At 0936I/26, commenced Force tactical maneuvers which were completed around 1252I/26. At 1152I/26, USS Stevens had been detached to investigate a reported plane crash.

At 1302I/26, scheduled AA firing exercises commenced. At 1413I/26, USS Stevens rejoined. AA exercises were completed at 1500I/26. At 1433I/26, CTF 74 hoisted his flag in USS Tuscaloosa, having transferred from USS San Francisco by means of USS Albert W. Grant.

At 1503I/26, USS Tuscaloosa, USS New Orleans, USS Charrette, USS Conner, USS Bell and USS Burns parted company for Manila Bay where they arrived later the same day. These ships were now known as Task Unit 74.4.

All the other ships proceeded to Subic Bay also arrived there later in the afternoon of the 26th. (150)

29 Jul 1945
Task Force 74 was informed that a Japanese convoy had been reported to the south, in the Gulf of Siam, and that they were to intercept.

Therefore, around 0200I/29, the heavy cruisers USS San Francisco (T/Capt. J.E. Whelchel, USN, flying the flag of T/Rear-Admiral R.F. Good, USN), HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore J.A. Collins, CB, RAN), light cruisers USS Phoenix (T/Capt. H.L. Challenger, USN), USS Nashville (T/Capt. A. MacOndray, Jr., USN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Haraden (Lt.Cdr. L.J. O'Brien, Jr., USN, with COMDESRON 51, T/Capt. H.J. Martin, USN), USS Stevens (T/Cdr. G.W. Pressey, USN), USS Hart (T/Cdr. W.D. Coleman, USN), USS Shields (T/Lt.Cdr. G.T. McDaniel, Jr., USN, also COMDESDIV 115), HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Bataan (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN) departed Subic Bay.

Around 0325I/29, also the heavy cruiser USS New Orleans (T/Capt. J.E. Hurff, USN) and the destroyers USS Bell (T/Cdr. B.H. Shupper, USN) and USS Burns (T/Cdr. J.T. Bullen, Jr., USN) departed Manila Bay to join the other ships of Task Force 74 at sea which they did around 0800I/29.

Around 1015I/29, Task Force 74 reversed course after having been recalled.

Around 1145I/29, USS New Orleans, USS Bell and USS Burns were detached to return to Manila Bay while the other ships returned to Subic Bay. All ships around at their destination around 1730I/29.

31 Jul 1945
Exercises were commenced by ships from Task Force 74.

Around 0630I/31, the destroyers USS Wiley (T/Cdr. B.P. Field, Jr., USN) and USS Hart (T/Cdr. W.D. Coleman, USN) departed Subic Bay for A/S exercises with the submarine USS Carbonero (T/Cdr. C.L. Murphy, USN).

Around 0700I/31, the heavy cruiser Tuscaloosa and the destroyers Shields and Metcalf departed Manila Bay for exercises.

Around 0730I/31, the heavy cruisers USS San Francisco (T/Capt. J.E. Whelchel, USN, flying the flag of T/Rear-Admiral R.F. Good, USN), HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore J.A. Collins, CB, RAN), light cruisers USS Phoenix (T/Capt. H.L. Challenger, USN), USS Nashville (T/Capt. A. MacOndray, Jr., USN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Haraden (Lt.Cdr. L.J. O'Brien, Jr., USN, with COMDESRON 51, T/Capt. H.J. Martin, USN), USS Stevens (T/Cdr. G.W. Pressey, USN), USS Shields (T/Cdr. G.B. Madden, USN, also COMDESDIV 115), USS Metcalf (T/Cdr. D.L. Martineau, USN), HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Bataan (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN) departed Subic Bay for exercises.

Around 0800I/31, the heavy cruiser USS New Orleans (T/Capt. J.E. Hurff, USN) and the destroyers USS Bell (T/Cdr. B.H. Shupper, USN) and USS Burns (T/Cdr. J.T. Bullen, Jr., USN) departed Manila Bay for exercises.

Exercises commenced around 0930I/31.

Around 1515I/31, USS Carbonero proceeded to Subic Bay escorted by USS Hart. USS Hart then rejoined USS Wiley around 1730I/31 and both destroyers then joined the other ships of Task Force 74 for the exercises.

During the night of 31 July / 1 August, USS Stevens and USS Metcalf were detached to serve as picked destroyers. They rejoined shortly after 0700I/1.

On the two above destroyers rejoining, USS Bell and USS Burns detached for A/S exercises with USS Carbonero.

AA exercises were conducted during the morning of 1 August and at noon USS Bell and USS Burns rejoined on completion of their A/S exercises, which were then taken over by USS Stevens and USS Metcalf.

The remainder of the day was spent conducting gunnery and tactical exercises. Around 1645I/1, USS Stevens and USS Metcalf rejoined on completion of their A/S exercises.

Around 2130I/1, USS Bell and USS Hart were detached to take up picket stations for the night. They rejoined around 0700I/2.

Around 1400I/2, USS San Francisco, USS Haraden, USS Stevens and HMAS Bataan parted company to proceed to Manila Bay where they arrived around 1630I/2.

The remainder of Task Force 74 arrived at Subic Bay around the same time.

17 Aug 1945
HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore J.A. Collins, CB, RAN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN), HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Bataan (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN) departed Subic Bay for Japan via Leyte and Okinawa.

They arrived in Tokyo Bay on 31 August 1945.

Sources

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  2. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for September 1939
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  4. Report of proceedings of HMA Squadron + Report of proceedings of HMAS Stuart for September 1939 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for September 1939
  5. Report of proceedings of HMA Squadron
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  7. ADM 53/107769
  8. ADM 53/107770
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  10. ADM 199/382
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  23. ADM 199/136
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  98. Report of proceedings of Task Force 44
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  107. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for March 1943 + War diary of COMDESRON 4 for March 1943
  108. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for March 1943
  109. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for March 1943 + War diary of USS Phoenix for March 1943
  110. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for March 1943 + War diary of USS Phoenix for March 1943 + War diary of USS Mugford for March 1943
  111. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for April 1943
  112. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for April 1943 + War diary COMDESRON 4 for April 1943
  113. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for May 1943 + War Diary of USS Helm for May 1943
  114. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for May 1943
  115. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for May 1943 + War Diary of USS Perkins for May 1943
  116. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for June 1943 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for May 1943 + War Diary of USS Perkins for May 1943 + War Diary of USS Perkins for June 1943
  117. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for June 1943 + Report of proceedings of Task Force 74 for June 1943 + War Diary of USS Perkins for June 1943
  118. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for June 1943
  119. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for June 1943 + Report of proceedings of Task Force 74 for June 1943
  120. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for June 1943 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for July 1943 + Report of proceedings of Task Force 74 for June 1943 + Report of proceedings of Task Force 74 for July 1943
  121. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for July 1943 + Report of proceedings of Task Force 74 for July 1943
  122. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for August 1943
  123. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for September 1943
  124. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for December 1944
  125. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for January 1945
  126. War diary Naval Officer in Charge, Sydney for February 1945 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for February 1945
  127. ADM 199/2556
  128. Report of proceedings of Task Group 74.1 for March 1945
  129. Report of proceedings of HMAS Warramunga for March 1945
  130. War Diary COMDESRON 21 for March 1945
  131. War Diary of USS Phoenix for March 1945
  132. Action report of COMTASKGR 74.3 on Cebu City operations 24 - 28 March 1945 + Action report of COMTASKGR 78.2 on Cebu City operations
  133. War Diary COMDESRON 21 for April 1945
  134. Report of proceedings of HMAS Warramunga for April 1945
  135. War Diary Commander Naval Base Hollandia May 1945
  136. Action report of HMAS Hobart on operation Deluge
  137. ADM 53/121909 + Report from HMAS Hobart
  138. War diary NOIC Hollandia for May 1945
  139. War diary COMCRUDIV 12 for May 1945
  140. War diary COMCRUDIV 15 for June 1945
  141. Report on operation Oboe VI by CTG 78.1
  142. Action report from HMAS Shropshire 17-22 June 1945
  143. Action report CTU 76/20.50 on the Lutong operation
  144. Files 2.12.03.6855 and 2.12.27.121 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  145. Report by COMTASKGROUP 78.2 on the Balikpapan operation + Report by COMTASKGROUP 78.2.9 on the Balikpapan operation
  146. War diary COMCRUDIV 15 for July 1945
  147. ADM 187/50
  148. War diary Manus naval base for July 1945
  149. War diary Manus naval base for July 1945 + War diary of COMCRUDIV 15 for July 1945
  150. War diary COMDESDIV 102 for July 1945

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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