On this day in history: Japanese submarine sunk in Australian waters

Image: AJ Davis, retrieved from Australian War Memorial

On this day in history, January 20, 1942, the Bathurst class corvette, HMAS Deloraine led by Lieutenant Commander DA Menlove (Royal Australian Naval Reserve) attacked and sunk the Japanese submarine I-124 north of Darwin, Australia.

Another two of the overall sixty Australian minesweepers, commonly known as corvettes, HMA Ships Katoomba and Lithgow, assisted HMAS Deloraine in her undertaking.

I-124 was the first enemy submarine sunk in Australian waters and one of just four minelaying submarines in the Japanese Navy. Lieutenant Commander Menlove was awarded the Australian Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for his part in the action.

The corvettes were built during World War II in Australian shipyards as part of the Commonwealth Government’s wartime shipbuilding programme. Twenty were built on Admiralty order but manned and commissioned by the Royal Australian Navy. Thirty-six (including Deloraine) were built for the Royal Australian Navy and four for the Royal Indian Navy.

Source: Royal Australian Navy

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