Harold Dihm - HMAS Hobart hit by torpedo

Running time
2 min
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We were going towards Espiritu Santo and I had dog watched four to eight in the afternoon and of course I had to get the billy of water because had nothing, you'd get a big billy. On the Aussie we had to go up to the sickbay vat, because a big vat there with the water in, that's all we had for the lot of us. So we'd fill that up and instead of going through the bulkheads, I walked over the upper deck down towards the torpedo space to go down there, which went straight into the engine room nearly.

I was looking aft and the Hobart was over there on our starboard quarter and next thing, boomp. This torpedo hit her. That's the first time I've seen anything because I was always below. Not many seen it I think, because I was looking straight at it. Well, she just erupted, the stern just lifted right out of the water and we had to take off because they couldn't leave the main ship with an admiral on board there.

The Warramunga and Arunta looked after her and the two American destroyers escorted us into the Espiritu Santo and she came in later. It was a lucky shot from a long way off because the American destroyers were, they just changed over. The Australian destroyer was for'ard and the Yanks behind but they changed over and the Yanks went forward and the Warramunga aft because the Yanks used to have to nearly stop to pick up any submarines and that whilst the Warramunga and Arunta they could pick them up no matter what they were doing. The Yanks probably missed it, but it was a lucky shot apparently from a long way off. As I say, being down below we don't see much, just hear it, feel it ..."

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