Thursday October 21 2010

Today we not only remember its the anniversary of Trafalgar Day, and the death of Admiral Lord Nelson, but it is 66 years ago that HMAS Australia was hit by a Japanese aircraft crashing into her bridge, mortally wounding her Captain Captain Emile Dechaineux DSC RAN.  Thirty of Australia’s crew were also killed or died of wounds, including her commanding officer, another 64 were wounded, 26 of them seriously. The badly damaged Australia, escorted by Warramunga, was forced to withdraw from the battle and sailed to Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides for repairs.

Captain Emile Dechaineux DSC, RAN.
Captain Emile Dechaineux DSC, RAN.

There is some discussion about the claim made that this attack was in fact the first Kamikaze attack made on a warship, the first Kamizake attack appears to have been planned and  implemented some time later that day October 21, 1944, than this specific attack on HMAS Australia.

Notwithstanding claims and counter claims about the first deliberate attack by a Japanese aircraft as a Kamakaze, Australia was still badly damaged and suffered crew losses.

General Douglas MacArthur fulfils his promise
“I will return” as he wades ashore at Leyte in October 1944.

The citation in this photo claims Kamikaze damage to HMAS Australia, that has been challenged.
It is likely that the first planned Kamikaze attack by a
Japanese aircraft took place later on that day October 21, 1944.


This site was created as a resource for educational use and the promotion of historical awareness. All rights of publicity of the individuals named herein are expressly reserved, and, should be respected consistent with the reverence in which this memorial site was established.

Copyright© 1984/2014 Mackenzie J. Gregory All rights reserved