||HMAS Armidale sunk
||HMAS Armidale was sunk by Japanese
aircraft near Timor. As the Armidale sank Able Seaman Teddy Sheehan
fired at attacking bombers until he was lost with his ship.
||Air battle over Sunchon, North Korea
||In this, the largest air-to-air battle
fought by the RAAF during the Korean war, twelve 77Squadron Meteors
met between 40-50 Chinese Mig-15s. The fight precipitated a change
from an air interception to a ground attack role for No. 77 Squadron.
||First Australian military aircraft
despatched to war
||Australian aircraft and their crews left
to form the 'Mespopotamian Half Flight', fighting in what is now Iraq.
Many were captured at the fall of Kut in 1916.
||Siege of Kut begins in Mesopotamia.
||Nine members of the Australian Flying
Corps serving with 30 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, became trapped in
Kut with the forces of Major General Charles Townsend when the town
was besieged by the Turks. The Kut garrison surrendered in April 1916.
||First AIF disembarked in Egypt
||Though many had expected to go to
Britain, after Turkey's entry into the war the first Australian troops
were sent to Egypt to protect the vital Suez Canal. .
||No. 77 Squadron RAAF returns from Korea.
||77 Squadron achieved a high level of
operational performance throughout the war, flying Mustangs and then
||Royal Australian Navy involvement in the
Persian Gulf approved.
||Approval given by the Australian
Government for the Royal Australian Navy's involvement in the Persian
Gulf. Ultimately 8 Australian ships served in the Gulf.
||First official RAAF operation of World
||A Sunderland aircraft of No. 10 Squadron
RAAF, flew on the first official RAAF operation of the Second World
War. This was the beginning of six years of war for 10 Squadron, which
flew as part of RAF Coastal Command continuously against U-boats in
the battle of the Atlantic.
||Evacuation of Chinnampo, Korea
||HMA Ships Bataan and Warramunga took
part in evacuating Chinnampo, which involved operating in the very
shallow waters of the Taedong River estuary at night.
||HMAS Sydney begins its second patrol off
||Sydney's aircraft were used to protect
South Korean-held islands on Korea's north-west coast.
||Evacuation of ANZAC begins
||Though the Gallipoli campaign had failed
British empire forces at least planned and executed the evacuation
|7 - 8 December
||Japanese aircraft attack the American
Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour. With the Japanese attack on European
possessions in Asia the Second World War was now a truly global
||Japan invades Malaya and Thailand
||This attack (which occurred virtually
simultaneously with the attack on Pearl Harbour) would lead within
three months to the loss of Malaya and Singapore.
||Australia at war with Japan
||Australia announces that it is at war
with Japan. Some 17,000 Australians would die in the
three-and-a-half-year war against Japan, 8,000 as prisoners of war.
||Jerusalem occupied by the Desert Mounted
||The capture of Jerusalem, a city
significant for Christians, Jews and Moslems, was one of the triumphs
for British empire forces in the Middle East in 1917.
||Australians occupy Gona, New Guinea
||The Japanese withdrawal from the Kokoda
trail enabled the allies to plan the encirclement of important
Japanese positions in the Buna, Sanananda and Gona beachhead. Gona was
the first of the three to fall to the allies after weeks of heavy
||Death of Mr Ted Matthews
||About 50,000 Australians served on
Gallipoli. Some 8,000 died in 1915. Ted Matthews was the last survivor
of those who landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.
||HM Ships Repulse and Prince of Wales
||The sinking of these powerful warships
by Japanese torpedo bombers off Malaya came as a shock to those who
had under-estimated Japan's military ability and had relied on the
imagined impregnable Singapore naval base. The sinkings heralded the
significance of air power in the Pacific war.
||Germany and Italy declare war on the
||Though they had no need to do so, the
declaration of war against the United States aligned the world's
greatest economic and military power against them and virtually
ensured their eventual defeat.
||Operation Fauna, Korea
||The 1st Battalion, Royal Australian
Regiment begins Operation Fauna in Korea, its objective is to capture
prisoners and destroy enemy defences. Operation Fauna was a major
trench raid on Chinese positions near Hill 355 to snatch a prisoner.
Although no prisoners were taken, Chinese dispositions near Hill 355
were seriously disrupted.
||HMAS Australia damaged
||The battle cruiser HMAS Australia
damaged in a collision with the battle cruiser HMS Repulse.
||Light Horse fight at Um Rakham
||The Light Horse was deployed against
pro-Turkish Arabs of an Islamic sect known as the Senussi, in Egypt's
||Japanese forces land at Penang, Malaya
||Penang's military importance lay in the
island's port facilities and its stocks of ammunition and stores. When
the allies were unable to stop the Japanese advance on the mainland it
became clear that the island would have to be evacuated.
||Australia's first Governor General
||HMS Royal Arthur, bringing the first
Governor General of Australia, the Earl of Hopetoune, arrives in
||Battle of the Bulge
||Germans launch their final offensive of
the Second World War in the west in the Ardennes Forest, in Belgium.
The offensive, known as the battle of the Bulge, was defeated by
British and American ground and air forces.
||HMAS Perth under fire
||HMAS Perth comes under fire off Dong
||'Arty' Hill, Bougainville, captured
||'Arty Hill', as it was known, was
captured by the Queensland 9th Battalion, and was a major Japanese
position on the Numa Numa Trail leading across Bougainville.
||HMAS Sydney completes a tour of
operations off Korea's west coast.
||Aircraft from Sydney left no operable
railway lines in its area of operations, significantly disrupting
enemy supply routes.
||Last Australian troops evacuated from
||The evacuation of Gallipoli, largely
planned by Brigadier General C.B.B. White, was a triumph of careful
planning and bold execution.
||Second conscription referendum held in
||With the AIF further weakened by the
losses of 1917, W.M. Hughes again asked Australians to vote for
conscription for overseas service. The proposal was again defeated.
||Light Horse capture El Arish
||Originally intended as an outpost for
the defence of the Suez Canal, El Arish became one of the first steps
in the Allied advance on Palestine.
||First United States troops arrive in
||Australia soon became a major base for
US forces in the war against Japan. They were warmly welcomed as
representing a defence for Australia.
||Battle of Magdhaba, northern Sinai.
||The capture of Magdhaba by Chauvel's
Mounted Brigade and the Imperial Camel Corps helped open the way for
the successful Allied campaign in Palestine.
||Benghazi changed hands three times as
the North African campaign ebbed and flowed along the Mediterranean
||Japanese forces capture Hong Kong
||Hong Kong, a tiny British colony on the
Chinese coast, withstood a three-week siege by the Japanese.
||Prime Minister Curtin announces that
'Australia looks to America'.
||Once the United States entered the
Second World War and the United Kingdom's weakness in South East Asia
had been exposed the United States became Australia's main ally; a
situation that would endure long after the war ended.
||7th Division capture 'The Pimple',
Shaggy Ridge, New Guinea
||The four-month battle for Shaggy Ridge
culminated with the capture of this Japanese position on the ridge's
||6th Division in their first action near
||Bardia, the Second AIF's first battle,
involved an attack on an Italian frontier fortress. The preliminary
operations began several days before the main attack was launched..
||Action at Matarikoriko, New Zealand
||Sailors from the Victorian Colonial
warship, Victoria, take part in the action at Matarikoriko, New
Zealand. The Victoria's service in New Zealand waters during the
second Anglo-Maori war, represents the first overseas military
operation by an Australian unit, the beginning of Australia's overseas
||Australians of the 25th Battalion occupy
Pearl Ridge, Bougainville.
||The capture of the heavily defended
Japanese position on Pearl ridge gave the Australians possession of
this important vantage point that provided views over both sides of
||The second convoy of the First AIF
||Volunteers for the Australian Imperial
Force enlisted so readily that a second convoy of reinforcements left
within two months of the first. Many of those aboard its ships would
land on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.
||3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
arrives in South Vietnam
||The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian
Regiment, sailed to Vietnam on HMAS Sydney.