Bombing of Darwin

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by GPRegt, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Maybe I was correct with my guess (from the AWM photo search):

    Studio portrait of PM2243 Signalman (Sig) Alwyn John (Jack, Bobby) Breen of Kyabram, Vic. A member of the Royal Australian Navy Volunteer Reserve (RANVR) before enlisting in the RAN in September 1939, Sig Breen was one of three Australian sailors killed on board HMAS Swan (II) when it was attacked by Japanese aircraft in Darwin Harbour on 19 February 1942. Sig Breen's Roll of Honour record states that he was buried "In stream off Darwin Wharf".
     
  2. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Hi Dave,

    I thought initially it meant "with the outgoing tide" or something similar however the raft seems logical.
     
  3. G'day Tony,

    We had exactly the same stories about mass burials etc after Cyclone Tracy but ours was the worst hit area and we certainly didn't see big mobs of bodies found,if any extra lives were lost I think they would have been long grassers camping along the coast somewhere.
    So I believe the numbers would have been in the ball park at least.

    Those people we have spoken too all seemed to have had a good time and enjoyed the events that were programed for the Anniversary and were happy to have made the trip up here.

    Julia copped a fair serve in the local paper for laughing and talking during the minutes silence though. Didn't even acknowledge our Lord Mayor who does so much towards organizing such events.Did mention our local Senator though who we never hear of except at election time.
    What a shame politicians have to do this at such a solemn occasion.

    Now we sit back and wait for the 80th.

    Cheers Rob

    PS Will see if I can find anything about Buried IN STREAM from our local history buffs.
     
  4. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member

    It was on the news tonight.

    Darwin is and was one of the main Austrailian Naval base during WW2 and was used a lot by the Royal Navy as was Freemantle in Western Austrailia.

    The northern most tip of Austrailia is only around 200km from Papua New Guinea which was occupied by the Japanese during WW2.

    Infact I believe Nothern Austrailia was the next stop and at one point there was serious worries within Austrailia about deploying ANZAC's overseas to help the British Army in Africa or Italy as the Austrailian government thought an invasion was iminent.

    Hi all,

    Wasn't there a law or regulation that prevented Australian conscripts from being deployed outside of Australia? I've read through the thread and I don't think I saw this addressed. I'm not well versed enough on the subject to comment further but maybe some Australians or others are?

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
  5. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Only those divisions that were made up of Volunteers could serve overseas as was the case in WW1 etc.

    The "conscripts" were only allowed to serve in Australia however as New Guinea was an Australian protectorate they were allowed to be sent/serve there.
     
  6. BuffaloChuck

    BuffaloChuck Junior Member

    I am interested in the Japanese War, and I am going to bump up several of these older threads so I can address them more fully in these first few days of my being aboard. I hope folks won't mind this 'cheat' method of loading up 'my topic list'.
     
  7. MARK R

    MARK R Junior Member

    Related to the bombing of Darwin; Pressure was placed on Churchill to provide Spitfire Fighter Aircraft to the defence of the Northern Territories - No1 Fighter Wing was formed in 1942 consisting of 2 RAAF Squadrons and an experienced RAF Squadron bloodied in the battle for Britian; 54(F) SQN RAF.

    My Wife's Grandfather, Cpl. E.G. Herridge RAF served as the parachute packer for 54 Squadron and was based at Parap Airfield, Darwin in 1943&1945 and Livingstone Airfield in 1944. Unfortunately, the 'old boy' passed away last year at the grand old age of 96. Just before he died, I spent many happy hours reminicing about his war time service - he had many fond memories of his time in Austrailia; recounting that he received a right 'rollocking' from his C.O. for carrying and depositing 3 Japanese 60lb unexploded bombs into a bomb crater so he could get back to work following an air raid!....I also have some old photographs belonging to him taken at the time, including a news paper article about him winning £2 for creating the best 'English County Cottage' out of his tented accomodation in the outback - he was a market gardener from Devon before joining up and I suppose he just couldn't help himself!
    I could probably upload a few pictures if anyone was interested.

    Kind regards

    Mark R
     
  8. MARK R

    MARK R Junior Member

    Couple of pictures linked to my earlier post;

    'Grampy' Herridge (left) posing at the gate to his "cottage" in the bush! and a picture showing the effects of Japanese Bombing in Darwin

    Hope they are of interest.

    Kind Regards

    Mark R
     

    Attached Files:

  9. plourbag

    plourbag Junior Member

    I realise that Herakles post #9 was a couple of years ago but I'm new to this site and therefore ask some latitude. The statement,"The residents of Darwin did not, as a group behave very well after the bombing. There was widespread looting and other criminal behaviour. Many of the perpetrators were police. It's mainly because of this that the bombing dropped out of history."

    Herakles either doesn't realise, or at least failed to make it clear that the "perpetrators" were Military Police - not the Northern Territory Police Force.

    Having lived and worked in the Northern Territory for nearly four decades and having some interest in military history, I have read numerous books and accounts of the bombings and can find little, if any, criticism of the NT Police and no accusations of criminal behaviour.
     
  10. No.4CommandoBairn

    No.4CommandoBairn Well-Known Member

    I don't think I ever knew about this (or I've forgotten) - very, very interesting.

    This Forum is amazing - thanks to all for passing on their knowledge.
     
  11. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Prompted by a recent post by Chris Harley (http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/59390-new-cwgc-commemorations-28th-october-2015/?hl=darwin) I realised that some of the civilian casualties from those attacks had only recently been commemorated by the CWGC.

    I remember trying to find a few of the names a couple of years ago listed under Australian civilians with no luck. I was then informed that all civilian casualties from WW2 are on CWGC as British. I looked up a few names to check their details and then promptly forgot about it.

    The recent new commemorations encouraged me to have another look as I couldn't find anywhere near 243 casualties on CWGC for that date that matched.

    I have now had a bit of a look at CWGC versus the best list I can find on casualties (http://www.ozatwar.com/japsbomb/killeddarwin19feb42.htm). Most of them are actually covered and the reason I was having difficulty was that there were a certain number who were service personnel so they are already commemorated, same as Merchant Seamen. Then there are a number of US personnel who obviously aren't covered.

    Also, some died of their wounds two or three dates later so they needed a bit more investigation to match up.

    The following few posts will try to cover all of the known losses:


    GOVERNMENT HOUSE - 1 KILLED

    Miss Daisy Martin Laundry maid for Administrator of the Northern Territory


    POST OFFICE, TELEGRAPH OFFICE, CABLE OFFICE & POSTMASTER'S RESIDENCE - 10 KILLED

    The Post Office, the Telegraph Office, the Cable Office and the Postmaster's residence all suffered either a direct hit or blast and were a complete loss. All the staff of the Post Office and Telegraph Office were killed as follows. This included the Postmaster and his family :

    Mrs. Alice Louisa Bald ** Postmaster's wife
    Mr. Hurtie Clifford Bald ** Postmaster
    Miss Iris Enid Bald ** Typist Tax Department
    Mr. Archibald Thomas Roy Halls ** Telegraphist
    Miss Eileen Carrig Mullen ** Telephonist
    Miss Jean Carrig Mullen ** Telephonist
    Mr. Walter Robert Lewis Rowling PMG Department (died 21 Feb 42 on 2/1 Hospital Ship)
    Miss Jennie Freda Stasinowsky ** Telephonist
    Mr. Arthur Wellesley Wellington ** PO Clerk
    Miss Emily Florence Young ** Telephonist


    DARWIN TOWN - 5 KILLED

    Mr. William J. Bowen Civilian Labourer
    Mr. Sydney De Mills Civilian Fish Trapper
    Charles McNab Carpenter
    Leslie Perkins possibly a seaman

    Mr. Cohoon Civilian unknown - may be his first name or surname or a nickname (not matched with anyone on CWGC)

    As shown on CWGC

    BALD, ALICE LILLIAN
    BALD, HURTLE CLIFFORD
    BALD, IRIS
    BOWEN
    DE MILLS, SYDNEY
    HALLS, ARCHIBALD THOMAS
    MARTIN, DAISY
    MULLEN, EILEEN CARRIG
    MULLEN, JEAN CARRIG
    McNAB, CHARLES
    PERKINS
    ROWLING, WALTER ROBERT LEWIS
    STASINOWSKY, JENY FREDA
    WELLINGTON, ARTHUR WELLESLEY
    YOUNG, FLORENCE EMILY
     
  12. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    THOSE KILLED ON THE WHARVES - 23 KILLED

    There were 70 waterside workers on the wharves at the time of the attack.

    Details of the 23 killed on the wharves are as follows:

    Mr. Gus Brown Wharfie
    Mr. Alan Byers Wharf Labourer (died 26 Feb 42 on 2/1 Hospital Ship)
    Mr. Francisco Augusto Chavez Wharfie - winchman
    Mr. Ricardo Warivin Conanan Wharfie - Hatchman
    Mr. John Roque Cubillo Wharfie - No. 3 Gang
    Mr. Geoffrey Phillip Dangerfield Wharf's A/Foreman
    Mr. Andrew John De Julia Wharfie - Shunter
    Mr. Domingo Dominic Wharfie - No. 3 Gang
    Mr. S. Dove Wharfie - Labourer No. 18 Gang
    Mr. Reginald Hemming Erickson Wharf Superintendent
    Mr. H. Gable Wharf Labourer - No. 1 Gang
    Mr. Colbourne Burleigh Giles Wharf Labourer - No. 17 Gang
    Mr. Ernest Walter Hodges Wharfie - Tractor Driver
    Mr. John Edward Hynes Waterside Worker (died on 25 Feb 42 on 2/1 Hospital Ship) - No. 3 Wharf Gang
    Mr. W. Marr Wharfie
    Mr. Arthur Alexander Mullins Wharf Labourer - No. 2 Gang
    Mr. Frank Oliver Wharfie
    Mr. L. Ray Wharf Labourer
    Mr. Bruce Schilling Wharf Labourer - No. 18 Gang
    Mr. Earl Shores Wharfie
    Mr. Catalano Spain Wharf Labourer - No. 3 Gang
    John Vernon Sundstrom Civilian?

    George Michaels Waterside Worker (died 19 Feb 42) (unable to match with anyone on CWGC)


    As shown on CWGC

    BROWN
    BYERS, ALAN
    CHAVEZ
    CONONAN, RICARDO WARIVIN
    CUBILLO, JOHN ROQUE
    DANGERFIELD, GEOFFREY PHILIP
    DE JULIA, ANDREW JOHN
    DOMINICK
    DOVE
    ERICKSON, REGINALD HEMMING
    GABLE
    GILES, COLBOURNE BURLEIGH
    HODGES, ERNEST WALTER
    HYNES, JOHN EDWARD
    MARR
    MULLINS, ARTHUR ALEXANDER
    OLIVER
    RAY
    SCHILLING
    SHORES
    SPAIN, CATALINO
    SUNDSTROM, JOHN VERNON
     
  13. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    On a side note, there was also a lesser known bombing of the town of Katherine that also led to a civilian casualty - http://www.ozatwar.com/kath01.htm

    "An aboriginal man called Dodger Kodjalwal was killed." - not able to match on CWGC




    Personal note: I was based in Katherine for the duration of the Australian Military exercise "Kangaroo 92" which took place in the first quarter of 1992, at the same time as the NT was commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bombings. My team was invited was invited to a function at the Katherine RSL where the guest of honour was introduced as the daughter of the only casualty from the March 1942 attack on the town.

    I never remembered her name or that of her father, but from the magnificent OZAWAR website I can deduce that her father was Dodger Kodjalwal
     
  14. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    There are two more Australian civilian casualties from Darwin on CWGC - for the 15th of June 1942

    GIESS, RONALD JAMES
    MOGG, NEVILLE

    From an online newspaper Roll of Honour in 1946

    GIESS. In loving memory of. our dear son & Brother, Len, killed by enemy action. Darwin. 15th June, 1942.
    His life a beautiful memory, His passing a silent grief.
    inserted by his loving Mother, Father, Sisters, & Brothers.

    GIESS, Len.— In loving memory of my dear Brother and Brother-in-law, killed by enemy action in Darwin; 15th June, 1942
    Inserted by Barney and Janet.

    GIESS, Len.— A tribute of love and remembrance to my Brother and Brother-in-law, killed by enemy action Darwin, June 15th, 1942.
    Inserted by Jim and Beattie.

    MOGG.— In loving memory of my dearest Son, Neville, killed Darwin, 15th June 1942.
    Four sad years have passed away.
    Yet love and grief remain;
    In life I loved you dearly,
    In death I do the same.
    Inserted by his loving Father.


    (Funeral notice attached)




    The list of bombings of the Northern Territory show a few around that time, the one for the 16th of June has it's own separate page but no mention of casualties on that day. What is known about the raid on the 15th is shown


    14 Jun 42 (1:14 pm) Darwin town area strafed Darwin Raid No. 17
    15 Jun 42 (12:20 pm) Larrakeyah to Stokes Hill, Darwin Darwin Raid No. 18
    16 Jun 42 (12:01pm) Darwin town area Darwin Raid No. 19
     

    Attached Files:

  15. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    This is the memorial to the Post Office Workers. (There is a myriad of plaques I took photos of to all services who were in Darwin during the war)

    Post Office Memorial.JPG Post Office Memorial 2.JPG

    Cheers

    Geoff
     

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