Forgotten History - The Bombing of Darwin - 19 Feb 1942

Sunday, February 19, 2023
by Toni Pankaluic

Most of us have heard of the World War II sneak attack in Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i, however do you know much about our very own attack on the Australian mainland in Darwin in 1942?  The 19th of February marks the 81st anniversary of that sneak attack.

Joining 4ZZZ's Eliot and Toni to chat about the Bombing of Darwin was Dr Norman Cramp the Director of the Darwin Military Museum at East Point in Darwin.

For a deep dive...

Check out the Darwin Military Museum's website, that features an eye-opening experience spotlighting the 1942 bombing raids.

Did you know Darwin was bombed approximately 683 times during the raids? And in 1942, cities such as Broome and Townsville were also attacked?

The Nackeroos were a horseback patrol unit who, alongside Indigenous locals, played a pivotal role in defending Northern Territory's coastal areas during WWII. The book 'Curtin's Cowboys: Australia's Secret Bush Commandos' explores The Nackeroos in great detail. For more on First Nation Australians in combat, Dr Cramp wrote 'Worth fighting for: Territorian indigenous military service from the great war to Vietnam' which explores the contribution of Indigenous soldiers who fought for the nation throughout the 20th century. 

A timeline of some significant events on the Pacific Front involving Australia & the United States:

- Dec 7 1941: Attack on Pearl Harbor

- Feb 8-15 1942: Fall of Singapore

- Feb 19 1942: Bombing of Darwin

- May 4-8 1942: Battle of the Coral Sea 

Toni Pankaluic

Toni Pankaluic is a Journalist and contributor to Brisbane Line