Cooper, Anthony, (2011), Darwin Spitfires: The Real Battle for Australia, University of New South Wales Press. The crews of these guns had conducted little recent training due to ammunition shortages. On 19 February 1942 approximately 240 Japanese aircraft attacked Darwin in two separate raids, representing the first ever enemy attack on Australian soil. In February of that year, the Japanese had bombed Darwin and Broome in a succession of raids — their largest attack since Pearl Harbor a few months earlier. [5], Coulthard-Clark, Chris (2001). A second attack followed soon after. At 9:58am on 19 February 1942, war came to Darwin. The few anti-aircraft guns, though in constant action, were overwhelmed. [3], On 3 March 1942, nine Japanese A6M2 Zero fighters attacked the town of Broome, in northern Western Australia. They bombed military bases, the town, and the harbor, sinking several ships, including a US destroyer. Early in the morning the aircraft passed over Bathurst Island and Catholic missionaries based there radioed Darwin. There was a lot of confusion regarding the number of Japanese aircraft involved in these raids. The day after the bombing on February 19, 1942, pilot Sergeant Hajime Toyoshima was returning as one of the 188 aircraft that had bombed Darwin … Dr Lewis said he believed only a relatively small portion of the WWII wreckages and remains in the north had been discovered because of the remote landscape. Townsville was attacked for the second time in the early hours of 28 July when a single flying boat dropped eight bombs which landed in bushland outside the town. 188 Japanese aircraft (including “Kate” Light Bombers, “Val” Dive Bombers and “Zero” Fighters) began bombing Darwin. The third raid on Townsville occurred in the early hours of 29 July when a single flying boat again attacked the town, dropping seven bombs into the sea and an eighth which fell on an agricultural research station at Oonoonba, damaging a coconut plantation. Local Tiwi indigenous man Matthias Ulungura was leading a group of hunters when they came upon the 21-year-old Japanese airman and captured him. Often called ‘Australia’s Pearl Harbour’, the bombing of Darwin by aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy began on 19 February 1942, killing more than 230 people and destroying ships, buildings and infrastructure. The Empire Strikes South, which reveals there were 77 raids on the NT rather than 64, will be launched to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin. It's been a year since bushfire smoke engulfed Canberra. Drawing on the Northern Territory Library’s collections, this is a … 12 Squadron, which was equipped with CAC Wirrawayad… Either; the bombing of Darwin between 1942-43, attacks on Sydney, attacks on any part of Northern Australia outside the NT, or none of the above. LEST WE FORGET 4 Comments Mel Prosser. p.212. These raids sought to prevent the Allies from using bases in northern Australia to contest the conquest of the Netherlands East Indies. The first wave left the Darwin … Allied casualties were 235 killed and between 300 and 400 wounded, the majority of whom were non-Australian Allied sailors. Arriving in two waves, the forty-five… On 19 February 1942 war came to Australia for the first time since white settlement. Killing at least 235 people and causing immense damage, the attacks made hundreds of people homeless and resulted in the abandonment of Darwin as a major naval base. "We'll find more aircraft and more remains, some slight traces as time goes on [but] our ability to penetrate the bush and underwater is [improving] all the time," he said. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. The air attacks on Darwin continued until November 1943, by which time the Japanese had bombed Darwin 64 times. The last enemy aircraft flight into Northern Territory airspace was in June 1944, and the last plane brought down in July of that year. This aircraft was intercepted by four Airacobras and was damaged. [2] These 188 naval aircraft inflicted heavy damage on Darwin and sank eight ships. Although the main defence was provided by RAAF and Allied fighters, a number of Australian Army anti-aircraft batteries in northern Australia were also involved in dealing with the threat of Japanese air raids.[1]. This coordinated land and naval-based air strike surprised the ill-prepared defenders and devastated the port and the shipping concentrated within its harbor. 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