This Month In Australian Military History
Date Year Title Event 1 October 1918 Australian Light Horsemen take Damascus The Light Horse advances into Damascus, the Syrian capital, at the end of the long and victorious advance that ended the First World War in the Middle East 2 October 1943 9th Division captures Finschhafen Finschhafen, in New Guinea, subsequently becomes the base for the protracted Huon Peninsula campaign, 1943-44. 3 October 1918 Lieutenant J. Maxwell, VC Lieutenant J. Maxwell, 18th Battalion, originally from Sydney, New South Wales, performed the action that resulted in him being awarded the Victoria Cross, on the fortified 'Beaurevoir line', near Estrees, France. 3 October 1992 Dedication, Australian Vietnam Veterans' National Memorial The Vietnam Veterans' National Memorial, Anzac Parade, Canberra, was opened by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Paul Keating, MP, and honours those Australians who served and died in the war in Vietnam. 3 - 8 October 1951 Battle of Maryang-San, Korea The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, made a successful assault against Chinese positions on Hill 317 (Maryang-San) and held the important feature in the face of fierce counter-attacks. 4 October 1917 Sergeant L. McGee, VC Sergeant L. McGee, 40th Battalion, originally from Campbelltown, Tasmania, wins the Victoria Cross near Ypres, Belgium. It was a posthumous award. 4 October 1917 Lance Corporal W. Peeler, VC Lance Corporal W. Peeler, 3rd Pioneer Battalion, originally from Castlemaine, Victoria, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Broodseinde Ridge, during the battle of Ypres, Belgium. 5 October 1918 Capture of Montbrehain, France Montbrehain was the AIF's final action in France in the First World War, in which the 2nd Division captured the village at a cost of 430 casualties. 5 October 1918 Lieutenant G. Ingram, VC Lieutenant G. Ingram, 24th Battalion, originally from Bendigo, Victoria, wins the Victoria Cross at Montbrehain, east of Peronne, France. 5 October 1951 HMAS Sydney in Korean waters The commencement of the aircraft carrier, HMAS Sydney's, first patrol off Korea's west coast made Australia the third country (after the USA and Britain) to operate a carrier in the Korean War. The carrier operated Firefly and Sea Fury aircraft (both types can be seen in the Memorial's Aircraft Hall). 5 October 1951 Second Australian battalion committed to Korea From September 1950 the main Australian army unit in Korea had been the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. The Australian Government annouced that the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment would join it in March 1952. 6 October 1971 HMAS Sydney at Vung Tau The carrier embarked the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, as Australia's participation in the Vietnam war wound down. 7 October 1950 UN command forces authorised to cross 38th parallel In the northern autumn of 1950 when it seemed that the North Koreans had been defeated, the United Nations General Assembly authorised UN command forces to pursue North Korean troops across the parallel. The subsequent advance precipitated China's entry into the war. 7 October 1951 Fighting continues at Maryang-San, Korea The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, drives towards 'The Hinge' on Hill 317, the final obstacle to throwing the Chinese from the feature and fends off strong counter-attacks. 8 October 1942 Templeton's Crossing 25th Brigade, 7th Division, contacts Japanese rear-guard at Tempelton's Crossing. The pursuit of the Japanese retreating along the Kokoda Trail involved hard fights. Templeton's Crossing was named after an officer of the 39th Battalion, lost without trace in the retreat from Kokoda. 9 October 1950 United Nations Forces advance into North Korea Following the surprise landing at Inchon, behind North Korean lines, United nations forces rapidly pushed back the North Koreans and advanced deep into North Korea. 10 October 1917 Battle of Poelcappelle, Western Front Australian divisions continued to attack in the third battle of Ypres. The attack on Poelcappelle, launched amid heavy rain, was to cost 1250 casualties for no gain of ground. 11 October 1944 Australians land at Jacquinot Bay, New Britain The Australians' arrival opened the successful New Britain campaign in which a small Militia force successfully contained the large Japanese garrison holding Rabaul. 12 October 1917 Captain C. Jeffries, VC Captain C. Jeffries, 34th Battalion, originally from Wallsend, New South Wales, wins the Victoria Cross at Passchendaele, Belgium It was a posthumous award. 13 October 1969 HMAS Brisbane returns to Sydney This was the end of the Brisbane's first deployment to Vietnam. A turret from HMAS Brisbane is on display outside the Memorial. 14 October 1927 HMAS Adelaide at Solomon Islands HMAS Adelaide arrives at the British Solomon Islands Protectorate as part of a British punitive expedition. The Royal Australian Navy operated as part of a British empire force in one of the first instances in which Australian forces intervened in regional affairs. 15 October 1942 Fighting at Templeton's crossing 25th Brigade, 7th Division, drive Japanese attackers back from Templeton's crossing 16 October 1967 Royal Australian Navy Helicopters deploy to Vietnam An RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam (RANHFV '67) joins the US Army's 135th Aviation Company at Vung Tau, supporting American troops in South Vietnam. 17 October 1950 Sariwon, Korea 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment in action at Sariwon, Korea. In a bold bluff, the battalion's second-in-command, Major Ferguson, convinces at least 1,500 North Korean soldiers to surrender at Sariwon during confused fighting. 18 October 1944 HMAS Geelong sunk HMAS Geelong was one of four corvettes lost during the Second World War. It collided with an American merchant ship off New Guinea. 18 October 1967 HMAS Perth hit HMAS Perth struck by return fire near Cape Lai, Vietnam, while on the United States 7th Fleet 'gunline'. This was the only occasion on which an Australian warship suffered casualties from enemy fire during the Vietnam War. 19 October 1945 War Widow's Guild of Australia founded The guild's first president was Mrs Jessie Vasey, widow of Major General G.A. Vasey. It is still an active organisation today. Major General Vasey was killed in an aircraft accident near Cairns while returning to operational service. 20 October 1900 New South Wales naval contingent enters Peking New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia sent naval contingents as part of a British empire force deployed against anti-western Chinese secret societies. 21 October 1915 Australian Red Cross Missing and Wounded Enquiry Bureau established Miss Vera Deakin, daughter of ex-Prime Minister Alfred Deakin, establishes the Australian Red Cross Missing and Wounded Enquiry Bureau in Cairo. The Missing and Wounded Enquiry Bureau handled many thousands of enquiries from Australian families seeking information on wounded and missing soldiers during the First World War. 21 October 1916 5th Australian Division on Western Front The 5th Australian Division entered the front line near Flers on the Somme. By October the Somme battlefield was a waste of mud-bound craters. The troops' misery is depicted in the Somme Winter diorama in the Memorial's galleries. 21 October 1944 HMAS Australia damaged by Kamikaze aircraft
The Japanese first used special air units (Tokkō-tai) to undertake suicide attacks on warships in the Allied fleet supporting the American landings on Leyte in the Phillipines.
22 October 1946 Corporal J. Sewell, GC Corporal J. Sewell, 10th Australian Bomb Disposal Platoon, British Commonwealth Occupation Force, was awarded the George Medal for his rescue of Japanese survivors after an explosion in a boat carrying high explosives. 22 October 1950 Battle of the Apple Orchard, Yongju, Korea. C Company, 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, involved in their first major action of the Korean War in an apple orchard near Yongju. 23 October 1942 Battle of El Alamein begins The battle of El Alamein, in Egypt, one of the turning point battles of the Second World War, began with a massive artillery bombardment preceding attacks by British and Australian divisions. 23 - 31 October 1942 Sergeant W.H. Kibby, VC Sergeant W.H. Kibby, 2/48th Battalion, originally from Durham in the United Kingdom, wins the Victoria Cross at the battle of El Alamein, Egypt. 24 October 1942 Eora Creek, Kokoda Trail The 16th Brigade, 7th Division, continued to drive the Japanese back along the Kokoda Trail but met heavy resistance at Eora Creek in late October. 25 - 26 October 1942 Private P.E. Gratwick, VC Private P.E. Gratwick, 2/48th Battalion, originally from Katanning, Western Australia, wins the Victoria Cross at El Alamein, Egypt. 27 October 1950 Chinese enter the Korean War Having secretly moved at least 180,000 men into North Korea, Chinese forces began attacking south, surprising UN Command. 28 October 1916 First conscription referendum Dismayed by heavy losses at Fromelles and Pozières on the Western Front, Prime Minister W.M. Hughes proposed that conscription be introduced for overseas service. The proposal was defeated. 29 - 30 October 1950 Australians reach Chongju Australian troops of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, reach Chongju, the most northerly point of their advance into North Korea. In two days fierce fighting against determined North Korean opposition the Australians clear Chongju and the surrounding ridges. 30 October 1918 Armistice with Turkey Armistice signed with Turkey, ending Turkish involvement in the First World War. Australian troops had taken a prominent part in the war against the Ottoman empire, especially on Gallipoli and in Sinai-Palestine. 31 October 1917 Beersheba, Palestine At Beersheba the 4th Light Horse Brigade's bold charge against Turkish positions at Beersheba, seized a critical wells that enabled British empire forces to break the Ottoman line near Gaza and advance into Palestine.