Dec. 28, 1944: USAAF B-24 Liberators sank the Japanese motor sailboat No.38 Tachibana Maru off Flores Island, Netherland East Indies.
Pictured here is the soldier, Sgt. Gordon Rugg (411954) of the RAAF.
The happy crew of Lockheed Hudson A16-246 of 6 Squadron RAAF after their return from attacking Japanese destroyers which had been shelling Australian positions in Milne Bay during the final phase of the Japanese operation. Identified, left to right: 409412 Pilot Officer (PO) Stuart W Irving, Wireless Air Gunner (WAG) and Second Pilot; 416074 Sergeant (Sgt) Cedric L Hawkes, Navigator; 411756 PO William A de Salis, pilot; and 411954 Sgt Gordon D Rugg, WAG. De Salis's crew bombed and strafed the Japanese destroyer fleet twice during September, on 3 and 11, both raids in A16-245. The remainder of the month was spent flying patrols and searches of the islands and inlets in the Milne Bay region. Although the Squadron was based at Horn Island, de Salis's crew were part of a detachment of 6 Squadron Hudsons reinforcing Milne Bay.