On This Day
1941 > WW2
On This Day - 1941
- November 28, 1941
The Commanding Officer of the German raider KORMORAN, (CAPT T. Detmers), was interrogated at Carnarvon, WA. On the same day HMAS HEROS found a Carley float from HMAS SYDNEY. The float had been badly damaged by shell fire, and was the only substantial wreckage ever recovered from SYDNEY. The float is now on permanent display in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
- November 27, 1941
The sloop HMAS PARRAMATTA, (CMDR J. H. Walker, RAN), was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U559, while on passage to Tobruk. Of the ships complement of 162, there were only 24 survivors. 21 were picked up by HMS AVON VALE, (destroyer), while another three managed to swim ashore to the Libyan coast, and were rescued by advancing British troops.
HMAS HEROS recovered a Carley type lifefloat and two lifebelts, 160 miles north-west of Carnarvon, WA. They were believed to be from HMAS SYDNEY, (cruiser), sunk by the German raider KORMORAN.
- November 26, 1941
CAPT Theodor Detmers, (German raider KORMORAN), claimed the last signal hoisted by HMAS SYDNEY, (cruiser), was the two flags IK:- ‘You should prepare for a hurricane or a typhoon’. The signal was not understood.
- November 25, 1941
HMAS NIZAM, (destroyer), and HM Ships JERVIS, JACKAL, and HOTSPUR, (destroyers), picked up 450 survivors from HMS BARHAM, (battleship), sunk by the German submarine U331 south of Crete.
- November 23, 1941
The Bathurst class minesweeper, (corvette), HMAS DELORAINE, (LCDR D. A. Menlove, RANR(S)), was commissioned. DELORAINE was laid down in Mort’s Dock, Sydney, on 19 March, 1941, and launched on 29 July 1941. Dame Mary Hughes, (wife of the Minister for Navy), performed the launching ceremony.
HMAS NAPIER, (destroyer), took off the crew of the transport GLEN ROY, torpedoed by German aircraft near Tobruk. The ship was later beached.
- November 19, 1941
HMA Ships HOBART NAPIER and NIZAM, (destroyers), supported the Battle Fleet in the bombardment of key German and Italian defences in the Halfaya Pass, Libya.
The cruiser HMAS SYDNEY, (CAPT J. Burnett, RAN), was lost with all hands, (41 RAN officer, 1 RAAF officer, 592 RAN ratings, 2 RN ratings, 4 NAAFI personnel, 5 RAAF aircrew), in an engagement with the German raider KORMORAN, approximately 130 miles off the coast of WA (26-34S, 111-00E). KORMORAN sank soon after the battle, but her captain and 314 other crew survived. Both wrecks were discovered in March 2008 off the WA coast.
SBLT R. J. Hardstaff, RAN, was serving in HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, (battleship), when she and HMS VALIANT were sunk by Italian frogmen-charioteers in Alexandria Harbour. He was serving in HMAS HOBART when she was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1943.
- November 17, 1941
The cruiser HMAS SYDNEY, (CAPT J. Burnett, RAN), handed over the escort of the troop ship ZEALANDIA, to HMS DURBAN in Sunda Strait.
- November 15, 1941
HMAS CANBERRA, (cruiser), was damaged in a collision with the transport KATOOMBA, at Fremantle, WA.
HMAS VAMPIRE, (destroyer), was damaged in a collision with the steamer PERAK, off Keppel Harbour, Singapore. VAMPIRE, which had just completed a long refit, returned to the dockyard for repairs.
- November 13, 1941
HMS ARK ROYAL, (aircraft carrier), was torpedo by the German submarine U81, 25 miles east of Gibraltar. LEUT V. A. T. Smith, RAN, was awarded the DSC for outstanding service in the ship, between April 1941, and the date of the sinking. Smith was an observer in the carrier, and was shot down twice by German aircraft during operations in the Mediterranean.
- November 11, 1941
HMAS SYDNEY, (cruiser), sailed on her last voyage as escort to the transport ZEALANDIA.