Sunday History Photo / NT

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 08:48
ThreadID: 91953 Views:3248 Replies:11 FollowUps:2
This Thread has been Archived
Today is a special day here in the NT, we remember the 19th February 1942.

My aim today is to show not the photo’s of Darwin Damage , I think you all have probably seen those many times, but to show some of the many Documents I have and a Video YouTube clip I made up last year showing many of the buildings damaged not normally seen before accompanied by some interesting Audio.
I will be heading off to Darwin later this morning for today’s events.

On 19 February 1942 mainland Australia came under attack for the first time when Japanese forces mounted two air raids on Darwin. The two attacks, which were planned and led by the commander responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbour ten weeks earlier, involved 54 land-based bombers and approximately 188 attack aircraft which were launched from four Japanese aircraft-carriers in the Timor Sea. In the first attack, which began just before 10.00 am, heavy bombers pattern-bombed the harbour and town; dive bombers escorted by Zero fighters then attacked shipping in the harbour, the military and civil aerodromes, and the hospital at Berrimah. The attack ceased after about 40 minutes. The second attack, which began an hour later, involved high altitude bombing of the Royal Australian Air Force base at Parap which lasted for 20–25 minutes. The two raids killed at least 243 people and between 300 and 400 were wounded. Twenty military aircraft were destroyed, eight ships at anchor in the harbour were sunk, and most civil and military facilities in Darwin were destroyed.

Image Could Not Be Found
Image Could Not Be Found
Image Could Not Be Found
Image Could Not Be Found
Image Could Not Be Found
Image Could Not Be Found

Contrary to widespread belief at the time, the attacks were not a precursor to an invasion. The Japanese were preparing to invade Timor, and anticipated that a disruptive air attack would hinder Darwin's potential as a base from which the Allies could launch a counter-offensive, and at the same time would damage Australian morale. With Singapore having fallen to the Japanese only days earlier, and concerned at the effect of the bombing on national morale, the government announced that only 17 people had been killed.
The air attacks on Darwin area continued until November 1943, by which time the Japanese had bombed Darwin and other Top End sites 64 times. During the war other towns and bases in Northern Territory were also the target of Japanese air attacks, with bombs being dropped on Katherine, Adelaide River, and Hughes, Fenton, Batchelor and Long Airstrips.

gift by Daughter

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: J & Me - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 09:13

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 09:13
Thanks Doug
Very well done.
AnswerID: 478109

Reply By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 09:20

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 09:20
Gee Doug
You almost made me cry. That is the best one so far. I remember peoples names and street names from my visits in the sixties when there was still not much curb and gutter in town.

Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 478113

Reply By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 09:33

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 09:33
Thanks once again Doug. I had not realised Darwin had such a sustained attack over such a long time. Just shows the fortitude of the people up there at the time to endure such huge losses of life and property. Bob

AnswerID: 478115

Reply By: Off-track - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 10:17

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 10:17
Fantastic Doug!

I learned a few more things out of that SHP and that is what annoys me with Australia. There has been and still is very little teaching/acknowledgement today of what Darwin and a few other towns endured through the war. Heck, most people would think that Darwin only got bombed once and wouldnt even know about Derby, Broome, Wyndham, Katherine, Port Hedland and Townsville! Not sure about today but it certainly wasnt taught in school when I went.

Ask any Australian about Pearl Harbour and they will know more about that. Hear more from the news about Whitney Houston than yesterdays ceremonies in Darwin.

Thanks for filling some of that gap.

AnswerID: 478117

Reply By: Wombatx8 - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 12:45

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 12:45
Thanks for another great story. I look forward to your post every Sunday, it is the first thing I log onto every Sunday.
AnswerID: 478127

Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 13:30

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 13:30
Thanks Doug

I have just completed my blog/travelogue of our short visit to Darwin. We had no idea just how much damage was done by the bombings. I think there were at least 62 air raids on Darwin during 1942 and 1943. All before my time of course, and we learnt nothing of this at school, thinking Australia was isolated from the War. Our entire visit to Darwin (apart from shopping and maintenance) centred on War history.

I will now spent a while going through all your documents and photos.


Red desert dreaming

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 478132

Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 20:51

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 20:51
Was a Fantastic day, I see you mention documents, and photo's , I have been researching this site for over 2 years and it's just 600m from where I live.


gift by Daughter

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

FollowupID: 753661

Reply By: blue one - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 16:49

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 16:49
Ta Doug,
Nice service today, very pleasant under the trees with the breeze.


AnswerID: 478147

Reply By: Wayne David - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 17:20

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 17:20
Doug T (NT) - What can I say Doug? I huge thanks to you for this effort.

Am I alone in thinking that Darwin had the one bombing?

And as for Katherine, Adelaide River, Hughes, Fenton and Batchelor, I had no idea about it at all. But I bloody well do now!!!! Thanks to you.

What gives with the lack of official information and recognition, even today, about this very important time in Australia's history?

Thanks again mate - Wayne
AnswerID: 478150

Follow Up By: Wayne David - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 17:25

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 17:25
Just as a quick follow-up......

Only a week ago I watched a movie about John Curtin & his time as Australia's Prime Minister. It's a shame the movie didn't tell more of the story so that we could better understand the thinking & feeling of the time.

Instead it left the viewer with the definite view that there was a single bombing episode by the Japanese and his fight with Churchill to get our troops back from Africa to help defend Australia.
FollowupID: 753640

Reply By: blue one - Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 21:49

Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at 21:49
Hey Doug,
Saw in the NT News that Mt Bundey is being sold, wanna go halves? LOL

If I win lotto I would buy it in a flash.

What are you going to do?

If you need a hand finding a job I have some contacts in construction at Palmerston and Larrakeyah.


AnswerID: 478170

Reply By: Member - Michael N (QLD) - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 00:22

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 00:22

I must concur, this post has to be your best presentation so far. I was just in awe of the houses. They have many different designs but from the photos they take me back to a time when life was much simpler and all the mod cons we have today could not have been imagined.
I will be in Darwin about early May and it will be a thrill to visit all the WW11 sites and soak up the history.
Thank you very much for your efforts to relay the history of this great Nation.


Mick N
AnswerID: 478180

Reply By: mylestom - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 14:03

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 14:03
Thank you Doug, very much appreciated the work and the time taken.
Have a old mate who was in Darwin (RAAF) during the time and he was hoping to get back but just recently suffered a stroke.

If ok will give him a copy, he is a top bloke.

Will be back in Darwin in approx Jun this year. Was there during service early 80's. One of the must see places to visit during travels around this great country.

Tnks again very much appreciated.

Ex RAAF and Veterans Advocate
AnswerID: 478205

Sponsored Links