A Day in History


19-Jan-1945 U862 surfaces in the Cook strait. It then made a course to Indonesia.
20-Jan-1941 Training establishment HMNZS Tamaki commissioned by Commander Dennistoun on Motuihe Island.
20-Jan-1944 HMNZS Tasman, a training establishment is commissioned at Lyttelton.
21-Jan-1926 The second D-class cruiser of the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy HMS Diomede arrives in Auckland


3-Feb-1931 Napier Earthquake. HMS Veronica was berthed at Napier and her ship’s company rendered valuable assistance as well as providing the only link with the outside world via her radio. The next day HMS Dunedin and Diomede arrived with supplies and medical support.
5-Feb-1840 After arriving aboard HMS Herald, Captain Hobson is ashore at Waitangi undertaking negotiation with the assembled Maori chiefs.
5-Feb-1921 With the formation of the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy, HMS Philomel, escorted by HMS Chatham, sails for the last time to Devonport to become a training ship.
6-Feb-1840 The Treaty of Waitangi is signed.
6-Feb-1940 HMS Leander attends the low-key Centennial celebrations at Waitangi.
6-Feb-1990 A charter conferring the right for the RNZN to parade in full marching order in the lands of the Tai Tokerau was signed
7-Feb-1863 HMS Orpheus wrecked on the Manukau Bar
8-Feb-1840 HMS Herald fires an 21-gun salute in recognition of the signing of the treaty
8-Feb-1993 First classes of Basic Branch Trainees & Apprentices join the new HMNZS Tamaki in the North Yard, Devonport Naval Base
10-Feb-1715 The first diving equipment accepted into Royal Naval service
11-Feb-2006 The hull of HMNZS Canterbury (L421) launched at Rotterdam
12-Feb-1942 ANZAC Squadron assembled at Suva – consisted of HMNZS Achilles, Leander, Monowai, HMAS Australia, USS Lanso, Chicago, Perkins
12-Feb-1943 Patrol launch HMNZS Rawea sunk after a collision with a merchant vessel
14-Feb-1779 Captain James Cook is killed while ashore at Kealakekua Bay in Hawaii.
14-Feb-1942 Japanese aircraft bomb Darwin.
15-Feb-1942 Singapore formally surrenders to the Japanese by the British Officer commanding.
17-Feb-2010 The Off-shore Patrol Vessel HMNZS OTAGO was accepted into the RNZN in a ceremony in Melbourne Australia
22-Feb-1944 The corvette HMNZS Arabis commissioned into the RNZN
23-Feb-1940 HMS Achilles arrives in Auckland after the Battle of the River Plate
24-Feb-1928 Shore parties are landed from the cruisers HMS Dunedin & Diomede to support the local civil authorities during the Mau disturbances
26-Feb-1951 HMNZS Bellona struck by an errant rocket fired by an RAAF aircraft
27-Feb-1847 Senior engineers become commissioned officers in the Royal Navy reflecting the impact of the new technology on naval operations
27-Feb-1941 HMS Leander sinks the Italian raider Ramb I in the Indian Ocean
27-Feb-1951 The Government orders RNZN personnel to deploy to the wharves to take over from the striking watersiders. The RNZN receives a donation from grateful shipping companies that is used in part to construct the swimming pool located on the South Yard.
27-Feb-1990 The Rum issue is abolished in the RNZN


1-Mar-1864 Uniform was introduced for the Royal Naval Reserve Officers
1-Mar-1919 Surveying ships were painted white
1-Mar-1995 HMNZS Southland was decommissioned
2-Mar-1940 HMS Dunedin intercepts the German MV Heidelberg in the West Indies
2-Mar-1943 Battle of the Bismark Sea
2-Mar-1951 HMNZS Hawea departs for her first deployment to Korea
2-Mar-1954 HMNZS Kaniere arrives Auckland from Korea
3-Mar-1942 Sub Lieutenant J. McDonald awarded DSC for MTB operations in the English Channel
3-Mar-1953 HMNZS Kaniere departs Auckland for Korea
4-Mar-1915 HMS Maori sinks U.8 near the Varne light vessel. First success with indicator nets
4-Mar-1940 HMS Leander rescues survivors of ships sunk by the German raider HKS Coburg and the captured Norwegian ship Ketty Brovig which was used as an additional raider by the Germans.
4-Mar-1942 HMS Stronghold and HMAS Yarra sunk 300 miles south of Java. A number of New Zealanders were lost in Stronghold.
4-Mar-1955 HMNZS Black Prince accidentally bombards the post office at Currarong, near Jervis Bay NSW. It is not known what offensive capacity the post office had or what level of threat it posed to our vessel.
5-Mar-1944 80th Motor Launch Flotilla arrived Russell Islands (refer 7 February)
5-Mar-1956 The Bird-class minesweeper/trawler HMNZS Tui commissioned into RNZN service as an Oceanographic Research Vessel
5-Mar-1993 Commodore Auckland re-designated Maritime Commander, New Zealand
6-Mar-1941 Winston Churchill declares that the Battle of the Atlantic has begun.
7-Mar-1941 HMS Arbutus (which was commissioned into the RNZN in 1944) sinks U-71 in the NW Approaches
8-Mar-1297 First recorded use of the word ‘Admiral’ in English
8-Mar-1940 HMS Dunedin captures German MV Hannover in West Indies
8-Mar-1842 HMNZS Monowai transports 34 Battalion, 2nd NZEF from Tonga to New Caledonia.
8-Mar-1852 HMNZS Hawea arrives Auckland from Korea (1st Deployment)
11-Mar-1845 Battle of Kororareka [now Russell] shore party from HMS Hazard fights alongside of men from the 96th Regiment. Four sailors are killed and are buried ashore.
12-Mar-1909 Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward makes offer of a battleship to the Royal Navy to be paid for by New Zealand
12-Mar-1984 A Wasp helicopter piloted by Lieutenant J. Adams RN crashes in Auckland
13-Mar-1942 An aircraft from the Japanese submarine I-25 flies over Auckland
14-Mar-1921 New Zealand Naval Board instituted by Order-in-Council
15-Mar-1951 First class of RNZN Cadets sent to the Royal Australian Navy College
15-Mar-1918 HMS Furious recommissioed into the RN- this is the first aircraft carrier equipped with lifts.
15-Mar-1966 HMNZS Inverell & Kiama commissioned into the RNZN for Fisheries Protection and Training duties
16-Mar-1889 HMS Calliope clears the harbour at Apia during a cyclone – the other warships in harbour were swamped or driven ashore. Credit is given to the steaming properties of the Westport coal she had in her bunkers
17-Mar-1942 HMAS Bungaree begins laying fixed minefields in the approaches to Auckland. 422 mines are laid.
17-Mar-1912 Captain L.E.G Oates of the 5th Royal Inskilling Dragoons died in the Antarctic – voluntarily walking into a blizzard in a vain attempt to improve the chances of Captain Scott’s party surviving. He uttered the immortal line “I am just going outside and a I may be a little time”
17-Mar-1942 At the request of the New Zealand government, the Royal Australian Navy supplied their minelayer HMAS Bungaree to begin laying fixed minefields on the approaches to Auckland. 422 mines were laid out of the 1400 purchased from Australia at cost of 1.5 million pounds.
19-Mar-1953 HMNZS Rotoiti returns from Korea after its second deployment
19-Mar-1982 Landing of Argentine party on South Georgia that proceeded to raise the Argentine flag. HMS Endurance sent to take flag down and escort the party off the island.
20-Mar-1945 Lieutenant (A) A R Burgham awarded the DSC for operations with the Russian convoys
20-Mar-1953 First naval helicopter lift of troops into combat – RN Sikorskis in Malaya
21-Mar-1944 Stoker PO A Fielind awarded the DSM for his action during the torpedo damage to HMNZS Leander in July 1943
24-Mar-1970 Queen’s Colour presented to RNZN by Queen Elizabeth II. This replaced the colour given by her in 1953 upon her coronation
26-Mar-1985 Inshore Patrol Craft HMNZS Wakakura commissioned in RNZN service
27-Mar-1945 Lieutenant M.R. Carter RNZNVR awarded the DSC for service in ML569 clearing minefields off the coast of Southern France in advance of the Allied landings in August 1944 known as Operation DRAGOON.
28-Mar-1860 Battle of Waireka in the Taranaki. Seaman William Odgers from HMS Niger awarded the Victoria Cross – the first to be awarded in New Zealand.
28-Mar-1961 HMNZS Taranaki commissioned for RNZN service.
28-Mar-1868 Engine Room Artificers established
28-Mar-1944 HMNZS Waima, Castle Class Minesweeper commissioned.
30-Mar-1942 HMNZS Manuka, first magnetic minesweeper to be in built in New Zealand commissioned.
31-Mar-1956 HMNZS Tasman , Training Establishment at Lyttleton paid off
31-Mar-1951 Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Naval Volunteer Reserves granted straight stripes, but retain distinctive curl and buttons.
31-Mar-2005 The frigate HMNZS Canterbury was decommissioned from RNZN service.
31-Mar-1936 HMS Achilles commissioned for service with the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy by the ship’s company of HMS Diomede which was paid off.
31-Mar-1964 Ministry of Defence established. Rear Admiral Peter Phipps was appointed as the first Chief of Defence Staff.


1-Apr-1918 The Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service are combined to form the Royal Air Force
1-Apr-1947 Mutiny at HMNZS Philomel by 200 ratings over pay. Some return to duty but the majority are discharged.
2-Apr-1889 Cordite patented for use as a propellant for shells by the Royal Navy
3-Apr-1944 The Fleet Air Arm attack the German battleship Tirpitz, HMS Royalist is part of the cruiser escort. Ty Lieutenant (A) j. Armitage RNZNVR a senior observer with 830 Squadron FAA flying off HMS Victorious is awarded the DSC.
5-Apr-1940 The German raider Orion departs from its home port in Germany carrying 228 mines to be laid in the approaches to Auckland.
5-Apr-1952 HMNZS Inverell commissioned into RNZN service
5-Apr-1943 HMNZS Hawea commissioned into RNZN service as a minesweeper
7-Apr-1943 HMNZS Moa is sunk by Japanese aircraft in Tulagi Harbour. Five ratings were killed and fifteen injured.
7-Apr-1988 HMNZS Endeavour III is commissioned into RNZN service
8-Apr-1926 Canadian built First World War minesweeper TR1 commissioned into NZ Division of Royal Navy service as HMS Wakakura
9-Apr-1915 Contract signed by the Royal Navy for motor launches to be built in the United States. 200 New Zealanders would serve in these vessels from 1916
9-Apr-2010 The Off-shore Patrol Vessel (OPV) HMNZS Otago arrives at the Devonport Naval Base
10-Apr-1965 Ton-class minesweepers HMS Hickleton and HMS Santon commissioned into the RNZN for patrol work off Singapore, Malaya and Borneo during the Indonesian Confrontation.
11-Apr-1942 Establishment of the Women’s’ Royal New Zealand Naval Service approved by the war cabinet.
15-Apr-1941 Bird-class minesweeper HMS Moa launched
15-Apr-1947 HMNZS Arbutus & Arabis depart NZ for the United Kingdom for paying off and as part payment for the six Loch-class frigates.
15-Apr-2000 Te Taua Moana Marae opened
16-Apr-1947 The WRNZNS are permanently re-established
16-Apr-2009 Inshore Patrol Vessels HMNZS Hawea, Pukaki, Rotoiti, Taupo handed over to the RNZN at Whangarei.
17-Apr-1917 HMS Philomel commissioned as a depot ship at Wellington.
17-Apr-1956 The cruiser HMNZS Bellona paid off
17-Apr-2009 The Inshore Patrol Vessels HMNZS Rotoiti, Hawea, Pukaki and Taupo had the ‘Mauri’ (life force) laid at Whangarei
17-Apr-1956 The cruiser HMS Royalist is commissioned into RNZN service by the ship’s company of Bellona. This is the last cruiser to service with the RNZN.
18-Apr-1797 The mutineers at Spithead petition the Board of the Admiralty for an increase in pay that had not been changed for over 100 years
23-Apr-1918 Operation ZO the attack on Zeebrugge and Ostend by the Royal Navy. Many VC were won on this day, some by ballot as it was difficult to choose one individual over another. Many New Zealanders serving with the coastal forces participate in the attack including CPOMM Roy Alexander RNR who is awarded a DCM for his action on ML 1839
24-Apr-1941 Main evacuation from Greece completed AB Alan Beck; coxswain of the Motor Cutter Phoebe awarded a DSM
24-Apr-1943 HMNZS Monowai departs New Zealand for service as a troopship.
24-Apr-1924 The cruiser HMS Dunedin arrives in New Zealand for service with the NZ Division of the Royal Navy
25-Apr-1915 New Zealand, Australian, British, Indian, and French troops begin landing on Gallipoli
26 Apr1915 Australian and New Zealand troops begin to consolidate their foothold at ANZAC cove.
26 Apr 1951 The frigate HMNZS HAWEA arrives at Sasebo to begin its deployment off Korea.
27 Apr 1944 The RNZN motor launch ML400 is damaged when an American ammunition ship blows up in Tulagi Harbour Solomon Islands.
28-Apr-1864 HMS Miranda lands guns and sailors to begin the bombardment of Gate Pa. She is in company with HMS Calliope, Esk, and Falcon.
28-Apr-1952 At midnight a state of war between the Allies and Japan is terminated as the peace treaty comes into effect.
29-Apr-1864 Battle of Gate Pa, Captain Hamilton of the Esk is killed leading the naval brigade. The township in the Waikato is named in his honour. A sailor is awarded the VC for rescuing his mortally wounded captain from the pa.
30-Apr-1917 The Q-ship HMS Prize in action with the u-boat U-93. Lieutenant William Sanders RNR awarded a VC for his leadership in this action.
30-Apr-1937 The cruiser HMS Dunedin is paid off and the crew transfer to commission the cruiser HMS Leander.
30-Apr-2009 HMNZS ROTOITI (IPV) is commissioned into the RNZN at Whangarei
1-May-2009 HMNZS Hawea (Inshore Patrol Vessel) was commissioned into RNZN Service
1 May 1899 The Admiralty negotiates to use the Calliope dry-dock.
4-May-1910 The Royal Canadian Navy is established
4-May-1942 Battle of the Coral Sea begins – this is the first major naval engagement where the two fleets did not sight each other.


5-May-1942 Attack on the Vichy French port of Diego Suarez on the island of Madagascar Lieutenant ‘Bunty’ Palmer is present in command of the minesweeper HMS Cromarty
6-May-2010 HMNZS Wellington (Offshore Patrol Vessel) was commissioned into RNZN Service in Melbourne, Australia
6-May-1957 off caps at payment replaced by hand salute
7 May 1765 The warship HMS Victory is launched
8-May-1945 V E Day in Europe as German forces surrender unconditionally.
9-May-1924 The cruiser HMS Chatham, the first warship to serve with the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy leaves the station. New Zealanders in the ship’s company are drafted to the cruiser HMS Dunedin
10-May-1924 The cruiser HMS Dunedin assumes duty as the Flagship of the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy
12-May-1942 AB A. Horsefall is awarded a DSM while serving aboard Motor Gunboat 13.
12-May-1943 HMNZS Aroha the first of the Castle-class minesweepers to be built in New Zealand is commissioned into RNZN service.
13 May 1764 Harrison’s fourth chronometer successfully tested in HMS Tartar
13 May 1787 The first convict convoy sails to Australia
13-May-1943 The Axis forces surrender to the Allies in Tunisia thus ending the North African campaign
14-May-1941 The minesweeper HMS Puriri strikes a German mine laid by the raider Orion and sinks about five miles off Cape Brett. Five of the ship’s company are lost.
14-May-1982 SAS troopers are landed by Sea Kings from HMS Hermes to destroy Argentinean aircraft on Pebble Island – on the same day the British Task Force became subject to the Naval Discipline Act.
14-May-2009 HMNZS Pukaki (Inshore Patrol Vessel) was commissioned into RNZN Service in Whangarei, New Zealand
15-May-1957 First test of a British thermonuclear device at Malden Island as part of Operation GRAPPLE. The frigates HMNZS Pukaki and Rotoiti are present serving as weather ships.
17-May-1944 Task Force 66, including HMNZS GAMBIA and many New Zealanders serving in the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Navy ships, launched air attacks on the Japanese naval base at Sourabaya, Java.
18-May-1942 Miss R. Herrick and Miss F.H. Fenwick appointed Director and Deputy Director of WRNZNS (refer 11 April).
18-May-1957 HMNZS Pukaki arrived back in Auckland on Sunday after the nuclear test at Christmas Island had been completed and assessed as a successful detonation. Pukaki’s primary task at Operation GRAPPLE (the testing at Christmas Island 1956-1958) had been weather reconnaissance and reporting. The British government had requested two frigates for this purpose. Ideal test requirements demanded weather conditions that ensured the mushroom cloud would disperse over nearly 5,000 miles of empty sea away from Pacific Islands and Japan. Weather balloons were launched every six hours from the balloon hut on the upper deck of Pukaki and the tracking terminated when the balloon burst at over 70,000 feet (21 km). The Navy Museum holds Oral Histories from sailors onboard Pukaki during Operation GRAPPLE.
19 May 1847 New Zealand Gunboat, manned by personnel from HMS CALLIOPE, assisted in the repulse of an attack on Wanganui. The last Naval participation in the first New Zealand War.
19-May-1940 HMS LEANDER calls at Colombo
22 May 1945 HMNZS Achilles joins the British Pacific Fleet for the final operations off Japan.
24 May 1941 HMS Hood sunk by the Bismarck. Out of her ship’s company of over 1,000 men only three survivors are recovered, and HMS Prince of Wales was also damaged by the Bismarck.
26 May 1940 The evacuation of the BEF and French forces from Dunkirk begins – this was known as Operation DYNAMO.
26 May 1988 HMNZS Endeavour arrives in Auckland for the first time.
28 May 1941 Evacuation of Crete is begun as the Allied defences are overwhelmed by the German forces.
28 May 1993 HMNZS Irrirangi decommissioned.
29-May-2009 HMNZS Taupo (Inshore Patrol Vessel) was commissioned into RNZN Service in Whangarei, New Zealand
31-May-1916 Battle of Jutland. The RN Grand Fleet fought the Imperial German Navy’s High Seas Fleet. Whilst a draw tactically, the RN won the strategic victory. The battle cruiser, HMS NEW ZEALAND, fought as part of the battle cruiser fleet and suffered a hit on her ‘X’ turret.


1-Jun-1929 The headquarters for the Auckland division on the RNVR are opened by the Governor General in St Mary’s Bay. It 1948 it was named as NGAPONA.
1-Jun-1941 Evacuation of Crete concludes. Those soldiers unable to be evacuated are taken into captivity including 2,180 New Zealanders. About half the Allied forces on Crete were evacuated but the operation cost three cruisers and six destroyers from the RN Mediterranean fleet as well as 2,000 men.
1-Jun-1946 The cruiser HMNZS BLACK PRINCE enters service with the RNZN
2-Jun-1916 A seaplane operated by the German raider Wolf captures the merchant ship WAIRUNA at Raoul Island.
3-6 Jun 1942 Battle of Midway. The Imperial Japanese Navy loses four fleet aircraft carriers during the battle in a triumph of USN intelligence gathering. This victory enabled the Guada canal landing to go ahead in August.
6-Jun-1944 D-Day Denis Glover, the NZ writer, wins a DSC for exemplary courage and utmost determination as a Lieutenant in command of a landing craft.
7-Jun-1949 Loch-class frigate HMNZS ROTOITI commissioned into the RNZN.
8 Jun 1944 To illustrate how successful the Allied disinformation effort was, despite the successful landings on 6 June, Adolf Hitler is still convinced that this was only a diversionary attack and the real effort was still to be made.>/td>
8 Jun 1982 Landing ships, SIR GALAHAD and SIR TRISTRAM, are abandoned after air attack by Argentinean aircraft off Fitzroy Cove in the Falkland Islands. SIR GALAHAD is sunk by RN vessels but SIR TRISTRAM is salvaged.
8 Jun 2009 Demolition begins on the Old Diving school buildings at Shoal Bay.
9 Jun 1860 An initial commission to an officer with subsequent appointments replaced the practice of issuing separate commissions for each appointment.
10 Jun 1940 Italy enters the Second World War as part of the Axis with Germany – New Zealand declares war on her the next day.
12 Jun 1917 Lieutenant Commander William Sanders VC awarded the DSO.
12 Jun 2007 Multi Role Vessel HMNZS Canterbury commissioned into RNZN service.
13 Jun 1940 German Raider Orion enters New Zealand waters and lays 228 contact mines on the northern and eastern approaches to the Hauraki Gulf. One of these mines would sink the RMS Niagara.
14 Jun 1789 Captain William Bligh arrives at Timor after a 5,823km voyage in an open boat after the mutiny on HMS Bounty.
14 Jun 1917 After the disastrous losses in merchant shipping due to unrestricted U–boat warfare by April 1917, the Admiralty finally approves the convoying of merchant shipping. This has the effect of considerably reducing the losses of merchant ships by the end of 1917.
14 Jun 1941 HMS Leander engages with Vichy French destroyers in company with HMS Coventry, Griffin, Hero and two destroyers.
30-Jun-1971 HMNZS Endeavour (ex USS Namakagon) paid off from RNZN service
30-Jun-1919 The last ship carrying demobilised men from the NZ Mounted Rifle Brigade departs Port Said for New Zealand


1-Jul-1914 Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) formed from the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps
1-Jul-1946 HMNZS Gambia paid off from RNZN service.
1-Jul-1975 HMNZS Monowai (ex MV Moana Roa) commissioned into RNZN service
1-Jul-1998 The frigate HMNZS Waikato is decommissioned
1-Jul-1999 The last message sent in Morse code by RNZN signallers
2-Jul-1771 Lieutenant James Cook returned to Britain on HMS Endeavour from his first voyage
6-Jul-1949 The Loch-class frigates HMNZS Rotoiti & Kaniere commissioned into RNZN service
9-Jul-1940 First men depart for under Scheme ‘F’ – recruits for the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm
9-Jul-1951 State of with that came into existence on 3 September 1939 officially terminated.
10-Jul-1943 Operation HUSKY – landings on Sicily Lieutenant Charles ‘Bunty’ Palmer RNZNVR awarded a Bar to his DSC for his part in the operation while in command of the minesweeper HMS Cromarty
11 Jul 1951 Shore party from HMNZS Rotoiti land at Sogan Ni Point, North Korea. Two North Korean soldiers are taken prisoners. AB E.J. Button was awarded the DCM.
12 Jul 1771 Lieutenant James Cook returns to Britain from his first voyage.
12 Jul 1776 Captain James Cook departs Britain aboard HMS Resolution on his third and ultimately fatal voyage.
13-Jul-1942 Stoker Petty Officer B.E. Bennett awarded the DSM for service in the T-class submarine HMS Torbay
13-Jul-1942 Lieutenant G.J. Macdonald awarded a Bar to his DSC while in command of MTB 241 and the leader of the 21st MTB Flotilla.
13 Jul 1943 HMNZS Leander hit by a Japanese torpedo at the Battle of Kolombangara in the Solomon Islands. 27 men are killed and 15 wounded. By superb damage control she makes it to the port of Tulagi for temporary repairs.
14 Jul 1974 HMS Hermes, Andromeda and Rhyl evacuate British citizens off Cyprus after the Turkish invasion.
15 Jul 1914 HMS Philomel commissioned for naval service in New Zealand by Captain P. Hall-Thompson.
16 Jul 1945 The Manhattan Project detonates the first nuclear device (TRINITY) at the Alamogordo air base in New Mexico
16 July 1983 Inshore Patrol Craft HMNZS Moa commissioned into RNZN service.</td.
17 Jul 1945 First combined attack on the Japanese mainland island of Honshu by the British Pacific Fleet the cruiser HMS Black Prince is part of the fleet.
17 Jul 1945 HMNZS Achilles departs Auckland for paying off.
18 Jul 1914 The Royal Navy holds a Fleet Review as war clouds gather over Europe.
19-Jul-1588 The Golden Hind sights the Spanish Armada off Lizard Head and reported the intelligence to Plymouth where Drake reputedly finished his game of bowls.
19-Jul-1779 Admiralty orders that fruit juice be given to sailors to prevent scurvy.
20-Jul-1940 Six FAA Swordfish off HMS Eagle locate and sink the Italian destroyers Nembo & Ostro in Tobruk Roads.
21-Jul-1588 First engagement with the Spanish Armada off the Eddystone. Sir Francis Drake is ordered to keep watch overnight on the Spanish.
21-Jul-1842 A RN brigade participates on the capture of Chinkiang during the First Opium War with China
22-Jul-1805 Vice Admiral Sir Robert Calder with his fleet takes on nineteen French and Spanish ships as part of the 1805 Atlantic Chase that was the lead-up to the Battle of Trafalgar. Unfortunately Vice-Admiral Calder was court-martialled for his conduct of the battle.
22-Jul-1942 United States forces depart New Zealand for the Solomon Islands to conduct landings on Guadalcanal – Operation WATCHTOWER
23 Jul 1759 Keel of HMS Victory Nelson’s flagship laid down at Chatham.
23-Jul-1940 HMS Achilles requisitions the Vich French ship Commissaire Rommel
23-Jul-1942 Minesweeper HMNZS Hinau commissioned
24-Jul-1704 Admiral Sir George Rooke aboard HMS Royal Katherine leads the fleet with English and Dutch Marines to capture Gibraltar. The Marines resist French and Spanish attempts to retake the Rock for six months. The Royal Marines have this battle as their only Battle Honour on their colours.
24-Jul-1797 Nelson leads an attempt to capture Santa Cruz. Due to insufficient troops the landing attempt fails and the battle costs Nelson his right arm.
25-Jul-1944 Sub-Lieutenant (A) M.C. Farrer RNZNVR from FAA 831 Squadron is awarded the DSC for successfuly attacking two merchant ships in Bobo Harbour Norway.
25 Jul 1944 Lieutenant (A) J.E. Armitage, RNZNVR is awarded the DSC for operations against the Tirpitz while flying off the carrier HMS Victorious.
26 Jul 1914 Order for dispersal of Fleets assembled for the Royal Review is countermanded – this is the first step towards mobilisation by the Royal Navy as Europe heads towards war.


1-Aug-1994 Calliope Drydock leased to Babcock Skellerup
2-Aug-1917 First Deck Landing of an aircraft aboard HMS Furious by Commander E.N. Dunning
4-Aug-1914 War declared against the Central Powers
5-Aug-1864 By order of the Admiralty, the White Ensign is allocated exclusively to the Royal Navy. The Merchant Navy was to use the Red Ensign and the Blue Ensign was for Naval Reserve and Government vessels.
6-Aug-1885 First night gunnery practice by searchlight carred out by HMS Alexandra
7-Aug-1815 Napoleon leaves Plymouth aboard HMS Northumberland for exile in St. Helens
7-Aug-1873 Formation of the Royal Navy Artillery Volunteers
8-Aug-1892 Torpedo Boat Destroyer accepted by the Admiralty as a new vessel classification.
16 Aug 1861 The Moorsom percussion fuse introduced into Royal Naval service.
17 Aug 1882 Men of a Naval Brigade are landed at Alexnadira to suppress rioting. They deploy Gatling Guns which has the desired effect of “curbing the native’s enthusiasm for mischief “.
18 Aug 1915 The badly damaged British submarine E13 is stranded on the Danish coast after engaging with the German navy. The vessel is interned and sold off in 1919 one of the very few British naval vessels to have met this fate.
19 Aug 1943 HMNZS Tui sinks Japanese submarine I-17 with the assistance of USN aircraft.
20 Aug 1940 SS Turakina sunk by the German raider Orion 300nm off Cape Egmont
21 Aug 1740 Admiral Vernon known as ‘Old Grog’ ordered the rum issued to the sailors to be watered down.
22 Aug 1918 HMS Hood is launched on the Clyde. It is named for Rear-Admiral Sir Horace Hood who was killed at the Battle of Jutland. He was one of three RN flag officers to be killed in action during the First World War.
23 Aug 2008 HMNZS Taupo is named by the wife of the Governor General, Lady Susan Satyanand
24 Aug 1831 Long Service and Good Conduct Medal are introduced into the Royal Navy.
25 Aug 1914 Royal Marines landed at the port of Ostend on the Belgian Coast. In order to prevent their capture by German forces, they are withdrawn on 31 August.
26 Aug 1941 The Bird-class minesweeper HMS Tui launched by the Countess Jellicoe.
27 Aug 1976 The nuclear-powered USS Truxton visits Wellington.
28 Aug 1914 Battle of Heligoland Buight – first contact between the RN Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet in the North Sea. HMS New Zealand is present as part of the Battlecrusier force.
29 Aug 1939 HMS Achilles departs NZ for her war station in the South Atlantic
29 Aug 1945 HMNZS Gambia and the Allied Fleet anchor in Tokyo Bay for the formal surrender.
30 Aug 1914 New Zealand forces occupy German Samoa. Escorted by HMS Philomel
31 Aug 1870 First successful trial of the Whitehad torpedo
31-Aug-1976 HMNZS Inverell paid off


1 Sep 1916 Commander Armstrong sent by RN to recruit New Zealanders to serve with the RNVR to man the Motor Launches of Coastal Command
2 Sep 1945 Japanese delegation signs the instrument of surrender aboard HMNZS Missouri but Japanese armies were still fighting Soviet forces in Manchuria.
3 Sep 1939 The liner Athenia sunk off the coast of Britain – the first merchant ship to be lost in the Second World War
3-Sep-1939 The Second World War Begins
3-Sep-1939 HMS Wellington leaves New Zealand for wartime deployment
3-Sep-1939 Winston Churchill becomes First Lord of the Admiralty
4 Sep 1861 Midshipman E. St. J. Daniel is made to forfeit his Victoria Cross by Royal Warrant for “a disgraceful offense and “by deserting from Our service”. His is the only naval VC of the eight that have been returned.
5 Sep 1940 The United States in return for using British bases in the Carribean give the Royal Navy fifty destroyers and ten escorts.
5-Sep-1940 The United States lends Britain 50 destroyers for use as naval bases in the West Indies. These vessels are desperately needed for the battle against U-boats and convoy protection
5-Sep-2008 First Maverick missile fired by a Seasprite in the Hauraki Gulf against a floating target
6-Sep-1936 HMS Achilles arrives in Auckland for the first time.
6-Sep-1945 Japanese forces in New Guinea, New Britain and the Solomon Islands surrender aboard HMS Glory
7 Sep 1807 Seventy ships of the Danish Navy surrenders to the Royal Navy at Copenhagen.
8 Sep 1943 Italy surrenders to the Allies. Mussolini flees and chaos breaks out in POWs camps as the Italian guards walk away.
8-Sep-1943 Steward E. Barton awarded the DSM for his actions in tending to the wounded aboard HMNZS Moa after an engagement with Japanese barges in the Solomons.
9 Sep 1935 First landing of a rotary wing aircraft on a warship in this case HMS Fuirous
10 Sep 1917 The Geddes memorandum on the reorganisation of the Admiralty is issued.
11 Sep 1970 The USS Charles H. Davis is commissioned into RNZN service as HMNZS Tui
11-Sep-1943 The surrendered Italian fleet arrives at Malta
11-Sep-1945 Lieutenant A B Cole RNZNVR awarded the DSC for his actions as boarding officer in the capture of the U-boat U-1024
12-Sep-1931 Invergordon Mutiny
13-Sep-1841 Lieutenant Snow landed at Sandspit (now Devonport) to establish a signal station and storehouse. Evidence is being sought that he also opened the first pub for sailors….
13/09/1948 The RN Loch-class frigates HMS Loch Achalnalt is commissioned into RNZN service as HMNZS Pukaki and HMS Loch Shin is commissioned as HMNZS Taupo.
13 Sep 1841 Lieutenant Snow is landed at Sandspit (now Devonport) to establish a signal station and storehouse.
14 Sep 1918 HMS Argus the first flush-deck carrier is commissioned into service with the Royal Navy.
15-Sep-1950 the United Nations forces under the command of Douglas McArthur land at Inchon on the west coast of the Korean Peninsula to relieve the Pusan perimeter. HMNZS Tutira and Pukaki served as part of the naval force supporting the landings.
15 Sep 1950 Operation CROMITE the landings at the port of Inchon begin – within a few days the North Korean forces are hurriedly retreating from the Pusan pocket.
16 Sep 1966 First Leander-class frigate in RNZN service is commissioned as HMNZS Waikato
16-Sep-1921 Last class of Trainees embarked on TS Amokura
16-Sep-1945 Japanese formally surrender in Hong Kong – HMNZS Arbutus is present with the Allied fleet
17 Sep 1946 HMNZS Achilles paid off from RNZN service.
18 Sep 1714 George, Elector of Hanover, landed at Greenwich to become King George I as the ancestor of HM Queen Elizabeth II
18-Sep-1917 SS Port Kembla sunk by a mine laid by the German raider Wolf
20-Sep-1999 HMNZS Canterbury and Endeavour support the INTERFET landing at East Timor.
21-Sep-2000 The Bridge Simulator was opened at Philomel
21-Sep-1867 First models of time and percussion fuses introduced into the Royal Navy
22-Sep-1863 The gunboat HMS Pioneer departs Sydney for the Waikato River where it will play a role in the forthcoming campaign
22-Sep-1943 Colony-class cruiser HMS Gambia commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy. To date, she remains the largest vessel to have served with the RNZN.
23-Sep-1993 Hulks of the former HMNZS Lachlan, Pukaki, Rotoiti are towed for breaking up in the Philippines.
23-Sep-1940 King George VI announced the institution of the George Cross and George Medal.
23-Sep-1940 Operation MENACE – the raid on Vichy French naval forces at Dakar is a failure.
24-Sep-2006 MRV HMNZS Canterbury arrives at Williamstown for fitting of military equipment.
24-Sep-1850 Rum ration halved by the withdrawal of the evening tot by the RN.
25-Sep-1939 First use of air warning radar at sea by HMS Rodney, Sheffield against Luftwaffe attack.
26-Sep-1963 The White Ensign is hoisted at HMNZS Tamaki at Narrow Neck after the relocation from Motiuhe Island
28-Sep-1948 HMS Loch Achracy commissioned into the RNZN as HMNZS Kaniere
29-Sep-1758 Horatio Nelson born.
30-Sep-1994 Old Cookery school and shower block adjacent to the South West corner of Calliope Dock demolished


1-Oct-1827 Battle of Navarino – the last fleet action under sail.
1-Oct-1920 The cruiser HMS Chatham commissioned into the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy. From this point on, all ships serving with the RNZN would carry the prefix HMNZS.
1-Oct-1941 The Title of Royal New Zealand Navy granted by His Majesty King George VI
1-Oct-1946 HMNZS Bellona commissioned into service with the RNZN
1-Oct-1948 HMS Lock Ech commissioned into RNZN Service as HMNZS Hawea
1-Oct-1982 The Leander-class frigate HMS Bacchante is commissioned into RNZN Service as HMNZS Wellington
2 Oct 1901 The RN’s first submarine is launched as HM s/m No. 1 and later renamed Holland 1
3 Oct 1906 HMS Dreadnought begins sea trials
4 Oct 1977 The survey vessel HMNZS Monowai is commissioned into RNZN service.
5-Oct-1962 The USN Papsco-class tanker USS Namakogan is commissioned into RNZN Service as HMNZS Endeavour
5 Oct 1943 Lt Cdr R J Cameron RNZNVR awarded the DSC for minesweeping operations in the Gulf of Bone (Algeria)
5-Oct-1970 HMNZS Waikato suffers a major fire in the engine-room while exercising in New Zealand waters
6-Oct-1998 HMNZS Monowai leaves Auckland for the United Kingdom under her new owners.
7-Oct-1769 Lieutenant James Cook in command of HMS Endeavour sights New Zealand.
7-Oct-1949 HMNZS Lachlan commissioned into RNZN Service as a survey vessel
7-Oct-1950 The Loch-class frigate HMNZS Rotoiti departs for its first deployment to Korea
7 Oct 1980 RN institutes the Armilla Patrol. HMS Coventry is the first ship deployed (she would be lost during the Falklands War)
8-Oct-1769 Lieutenant James Cook lands at Kaiti Beach at what is now Gisborne. He also begins the first survey of New Zealand.
8 Oct 1806 RN undertakes the first rocket bombardment in naval history when the port of Toulon is attacked.
9-Oct-1805 Just days before the Battle of Trafalgar Nelson writes his famous memorandum that “No captain can do wrong if he places his ship alongside that of an enemy.”
10-Oct-1930 The trawler James Cosgrove taken up for service as a minesweeper.
10 Oct 2009 HMNZS Canterbury departs for Samoa to take supplies for the disaster relief after the Tsunami struck on 30 September.
11 Oct 1942 Battle of Cape Esperance, an USN task force successfully attacked a Japanese force protecting a Japanese troop convoy preventing Japanese reinforcements reaching the defenders on Guadalcanal.
12 Oct HMS Ajax the first cruiser in the Mediterranean Fleet to be equipped with radar sinks two Italian torpedo boats and badly damaged a destroyer.
12-Oct-1917 The New Zealand Division carries out an assault to capture the village of Passchendaele. Due to an inadequate bombardment the German defences are not suppressed. In approximately one hour over 800 New Zealanders are killed. This is the single worst loss of life in New Zealand’s military history. It would take another month before the Canadians finally secured the village. One of the dead was Dave Gallagher, the captain of the 1905 All Blacks.
13-Oct-1940 HMS Maori sinks two German merchant ships in the North Sea
13-Oct-1922 Supply Branch established by Order-in-Council
14-Oct-1939 The battleship HMS Royal Oak sunk by U-47 in Scapa Flow
15-Oct-1942 King George VI grants Royal to Womens’ New Zealand Naval Service
16-Oct-1914 The Main Body of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force departs New Zealand for service in the First World War. HMS Philomel escorts the troopships
17-Oct-1884 Sick Berth Branch established by Order-in-Council
17-Oct-1945 HMNZS Wakakura paid off
18-Oct-1996 Mercandian Queen II commissioned into RNZN service as HMNZS Charles Upham
19-Oct-2009 A Regional Charter for the Nelson City and Tasman and Marlborough Districts granting freedom of the region was issued to HMNZS Pukaki
20-Oct-1941 Bird-class corvette HMNZS Kiwi is commissioned into service with the RNZN
21-Oct-1805 Battle of Trafalgar Vice Admiral Viscount Nelson defeats a combined Spanish and French fleet but is mortally wounded during the battle.
21-Oct-1925 The cruiser HMS Diomede commissioned into service with the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy
21-Oct-1940 HMNZS Leander in action with HMAS Yarra & HMS Auckland against Vichy French destroyers off the Syrian coast.
21-Oct-1940 Construction begins on Isle-class minesweepers for the New Zealand Navy
21-Oct-1941 Construction begins on Fairmile launches for the New Zealand Navy
21-Oct-1942 The first of the Fairmiles’ is commissioned into service for the RNZN
22-Oct-1942 HMAS Bungaree begins laying a fixed minefield in the Bay of Islands
22-Oct-1971 The frigate HMNZS Canterbury is commissioned into service with the RNZN
23-Oct-1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf – the last major surface action of the Second World War ends in a major defeat for the remaining Japanese surface fleet.
25 Oct 1694 Royal Hospital Greenwich founded by Charter of William and Mary
26 Oct 1995 HMNZS Tui arrives at DNB from Operation VALERIAN. She will not go to sea again
27-Oct-1943 Lieutenant Charles ‘Bunty’ Palmer DSO RNZNVR is badly wounded when his minesweeper HMS Cromarty strikes a mine and sinks in Bonifacio Strait.
27-Oct-1994 HMNZS Wellington, Waikato and Southland saluted the Broad Pendant of the Commodore Auckland. The return salute was fired by an all female gun crew. This was the first occasion that a full female gun crew had returned the salute.
27-Oct-2007 HMNZS Wellington is launched in Melbourne by the Lady Sponsor Dame Sian Elias
28 Oct 1940 First German acoustic mine recovered. The RN hurriedly begins designing countermeasures.
28 Oct 1958 First flight of the Wasp helicopter
29-Oct-2009 HMNZS Kahu is decommissioned at Devonport Naval Base
30-Oct-1951 Waiouru W/T Station commissioned as HMNZS Irirangi
31-Oct-2009 A Regional Charter for the Whangrei, Kaipara and Far North Districts granting freedom of the region was issued to HMNZS Taupo
31 Oct 1971 Far East Fleet established in 1946 is paid off.


1-Nov-1914 Battle of the Coronel. An RN squadron is defeated by the German Pacific Squadron under the command of Vice-Admiral Graf von Spee. It was during this battle that the RN used wireless for the first time.
1-Nov-1965 HMNZS Royalist suffers salt water contamination in all her boilers and a subsequent main steam failure while on passage in the Coral Sea. She is towed back to Devonport and never sails again as a unit of the RNZN.
2-Nov-1918 The last two merchant ships to be sunk in the First World War are torpedoed by UC-74 in the Mediterranean.
3-Nov-1914 Admiral von Spee in reply to a German civilian who had proposed the toast ‘Damnation to the British Navy’ after the Battle of the Coronel states ‘I drink to the memory of a gallant and honourable foe’
3-Nov-1942 Lieutenant H.J. Bull was awarded the DSC for his part in the evacuation of Singapore as CO of ML310. After being attacked by the Japanese, Bull used a small craft to make his escape with two ratings to Java.
5-Nov-1854 Battle of Inkerman in the Crimea.
5-Nov-1995 HMNZS Southland leaves Auckland under tow to be scrapped in the Philippines.
5-Nov-1997 HMNZS Tui leaves Auckland under tow to be sunk as an artificial reef in the Bay of Islands.
6-Nov-1941 HMNZS Killegray an Isles-class minesweeper commissioned into RNZN service
7-Nov-1983 HMNZS Otago paid off from service with the RNZN
8-Nov-1942 Operation TORCH begins this was the Allied Landings in North Africa with a combined US and British force. New Zealanders flying with the Fleet Air Arm operated in support of the landings.
9 Nov 1914 RAN cruiser HMAS Sydney sinks the German cruiser SMS Emden at the Cocos Islands and removed a threat to the ANZAC troopships
10 Nov 1891 The cruiser HMS Philomel is first commissioned into the Royal Navy
11 Nov 1918 Armistice Day – the German Armistice went into effect at 1100 11 November 1918 bringing the fighting to an end. The Armistice remained in effect until the peace treaty was agreed to in June 1919.
12 Nov 1944 Operation CATECHISM Lancaster bombers from Bomber Command sink the Tirpitz at Tromso Norway
13 Nov 1942 Nightime engagement off Guadacanal. An American fleet of five cruisers and eight destroyers engages a Japanese fleet consisting of two battleships, one cruiser and eleven destroyers bombarding the Marine positions at Henderson Field. The engagement was fought at very close range and soon one USN cruiser and four destroyers are sunk and the others badly damaged. The senior American commanders are killed in action. The Japanese lose one battleship and two destroyers.
14 Nov The NZ author Dennis Glover, is awarded the DSC his part in landing commandos on D-Day
15 Nov 1934 The sheerlegs are demolished on Calliope Jetty
16 Nov 1940 Three German freighters interned in the Mexican port of Tampico attempt to break out and reach a French port. When an escorting USN destroyer appears one of the German ships is scuttled and the other two return to internment.
17 Nov 1917 HMS New Zealand as part of the 1st Battle crusier Squadron takes part in a minor action off Heligoland
18 Nov 2006 HMNZS Otago the Off Shore Patrol Vessel is launched in Melbourne by Dame Syliva Cartwright
19 Nov 1941 The RAN cruiser HMAS Sydney engages with the German raider Kormoran. Sydney is lost with all hands while some of the Kormoran’s crew manage to reach Australia. This starts decades of conspiracy theory and investigations until the wrecks of both vessels were located recently.
20 Nov 1863 Battle of Rangiriri. A British force under General Cameron attacks the Maori fortifications anchored on the Waikato River. Men from the supporting warships were called upon to attack when infantry assaults had been repelled. After to determined efforts they too were withdrawn.
21 Nov 1918 Der Tag (The Day) The German High Seas Fleet leaves their home ports and meets up with the Grand Fleet in the North Sea. Surrounded by Allied warships with guns loaded, the German warships are escorted into Scapa Flow. This is part of the agreements reached in the Armistice of 11 November.
22 Nov 1944 British Pacific Fleet formally established under the command of Admiral Air Bruce Fraser – included the cruisers HMNZS Achilles & Gambia
22 Nov 1941 The cruiser HMS Devonshire sinks the German raider Atlantis in the South Atlantic.
23 Nov 1912 The battle cruiser HMS New Zealand commissioned into the Royal Navy.
23 Nov 1939 AMC HMS Rawalpindi sunk by KMS Scharnhorst in the Iceland-Faroes Gap. Under the commanding officer, the poor armed AMC kept up a furious attack on the German battleship for fifteen minutes until she was sunk by gunfire.
24 Nov 1944 HMNZS Gambia arrived in Wellington its first New Zealand port visit since commissioning into the RNZN.
24 Nov 1875 The British government takes a controlling interest in the Suez Canal.
25 Nov 1940 SS Holmwood sunk by the German raider Komet near the Chatham Islands.
27 Nov 1940 SS Rangitane sunk by the German raider Orion 300nm off East Cape. One of her life-buoys is on display in the Navy Museum.
28 Nov 1917 An Admiralty memo no. 245 establishes the Women’s Royal Naval Service. The Wrens are formed.
30-Nov-1973 A WASP helicopter NZ 3093 suffers engine failure and crashes into the Auckland harbour while on a training mission. The helicopter is recovered but written off.


1-Dec-1966 The New Zealand Naval Board is entirely composed of New Zealanders for the first time.
2-Dec-1993 Work begins on the foundations for the Achilles six-inch turret and director control tower at the main entrance to Philomel
2-Dec-1945 First landing of a jet aircraft onto the deck of an aircraft carrier when a Sea Vampire is lands on the carrier HMS Ocean.
3-Dec-1950 The Loch-class frigate HMNZS Pukaki returns from its first deployment to Korea
7-Dec-1941 Tora! Tora! Tora! Japanese naval aircraft attack Pearl Harbour in the morning. Fortunately the USN carriers are at sea and the Japanese do not target the fuel oil tanks and dry docks enabling Pearl Harbour to keep operating as a naval base.
8-Dec-1914 Battle of the Falkland Islands. The Royal Navy defeats the Imperial German Navy and avenges its defeat at the Battle of the Coronel.
8-Dec-1941 Japanese forces invade Malaya
8-Dec-2007 Final Parade at HMNZS Ngapona at St Mary’s Bay – Ngapona is then relocated to Devonport Naval Base, HMNZS Philomel
9-Dec-1979 HMNZS Tasman the training establishment at Devonport paid off
10-Dec-1941 Royal Navy battleships HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse sunk by Japanese carrier aircraft off Malaya.

1 Response to A Day in History

  1. nick says:

    HMNZS ROYALIST suffered the loss of one of the two propulsion units. The second one was flashed up and we came home under our own steam at 21 knts, not stopping for customs. We were only towed by a pom survey ship to keep us away from reefs, and again by the ocean going tug Carlock, which ran its main bearings and had to go back to Moresby.. Chief Mech Joe Maitland was mainly responsible for making more feed water and restarting the engines.. I was there!!

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