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  • Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

    Don't know how many are aware of the bombing of Darwin and a couple of other key points in northern Australia during WWII, but there is a number of well marked sites and monuments around the forshore of the city, and further out to the former military installations at East Point, that are worth a look if you are ever in the neighbourhood. Darwin was bombed initially on Feb 19th 1942. A number of US and Australian ships were either sunk or damaged including the USS Perry and the Australian corvette HMAS Armidale, along with the hospital ship Centaur. The city and oil storage facilities were extensively damaged along with a number of key building such as the General Post Office. 241 persons were killed in the initial raid. It was the first of many raids that the city would see. Civilian populations were evacuated to southern parts, as the feared follow up invasion could come at anytime. The group that bombed the city came from the same carriers that only 2 months earlier had struck Pearl Harbour, so I guess for a lot of people the fear was quite real. On a personal note I spoke to my father who was 17 at the time and living in Northern New South Wales, he maintains that the military and the government at the time kept the information of the bombings from the Australian population for quite a while. This could only have been to stop general panic amoungst the bulk of the population who were living in either Sydney or Melbourne at the time. Anyway hope this has been of some use to someone.....Cheers
    Monk of Darwin

  • #2
    Originally posted by Monk of Darwin View Post
    Don't know how many are aware of the bombing of Darwin and a couple of other key points in northern Australia during WWII, but there is a number of well marked sites and monuments around the forshore of the city, and further out to the former military installations at East Point, that are worth a look if you are ever in the neighbourhood. Darwin was bombed initially on Feb 19th 1942. A number of US and Australian ships were either sunk or damaged including the USS Perry and the Australian corvette HMAS Armidale, along with the hospital ship Centaur. The city and oil storage facilities were extensively damaged along with a number of key building such as the General Post Office. 241 persons were killed in the initial raid. It was the first of many raids that the city would see. Civilian populations were evacuated to southern parts, as the feared follow up invasion could come at anytime. The group that bombed the city came from the same carriers that only 2 months earlier had struck Pearl Harbour, so I guess for a lot of people the fear was quite real. On a personal note I spoke to my father who was 17 at the time and living in Northern New South Wales, he maintains that the military and the government at the time kept the information of the bombings from the Australian population for quite a while. This could only have been to stop general panic amoungst the bulk of the population who were living in either Sydney or Melbourne at the time. Anyway hope this has been of some use to someone.....Cheers
    Hey Monk, just read your thread here, i am due to go up to Darwin in June 08 for my nieces wedding, will make a point to hjave a look at some of these sites you have mentioned. My Grandfather drove ambulances during the war, he ws based near Fanny Bay when Darwin was bombed, he told me he was very busy during the raids, driving through bombing raids top evacuate the wounded, never have i felt as proud as the day i was allowed to wear his medals as a kid in a ANZAC march.. but anyway im babbling, great post mate , keep it up!

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    • #3
      Any photos from up there or long/lat coordinates so that those of us who can't make it down can take a peak?
      Tray Green

      www.abandofgamers.com

      Battlefield Tours for Wargamers
      Normandy 2007
      ACW Border Wars 2008
      Bulge 2008

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      • #4
        Actually took the time to go out and look at google earth - the resolution there is pretty darn good.

        East Point Gun casement 12 24' 23.18 S 130 49'12.50 E
        and the East Point Military Museum nearby - either of you been there?
        Tray Green

        www.abandofgamers.com

        Battlefield Tours for Wargamers
        Normandy 2007
        ACW Border Wars 2008
        Bulge 2008

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by traygreen View Post
          Actually took the time to go out and look at google earth - the resolution there is pretty darn good.

          East Point Gun casement 12 24' 23.18 S 130 49'12.50 E
          and the East Point Military Museum nearby - either of you been there?
          Hello Traygreen , no cant say i have at all, but im sure Monk will reply in the afirmative when he gets round to reading these comments..... Thanks for those co-ordinates , will take a look myself soon.

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          • #6
            Hi Traygreen, I have been to both locations numerous time. for ceremonies such as Anzac Day, Coral Sea Day and of course the annual bombing of Darwin service (19 February), well worth a look if your in the neighbourhood. I will try and post some photos if I can figure out how to do it. Any clues on how to ?........Cheers Steve
            Monk of Darwin

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            • #7
              Hi Darren, when the time gets closer, let me know maybe we could get together for an ale or coffee, and I could take you around the locations here, if you have enough time to spare.......Steve
              Monk of Darwin

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              • #8
                Re Military museums

                The Chief Minister (like state Governor) here announced on thursday last week, that the government is going to spend 6 million dollars building a brand new WWII museum adjacent to parliament house. They said it should be finished around 2009/2010. Sounds like an exciting proposal, hope they do it right do just slap together an exhibit to cash in on the current interest being shown in Darwin, during the period. I am sure they can come up with a great display, if they contact the right people and source there exhibits and information from all the right places. If either of you is interested there is a book by author Timothy Hall, published in 1980 called 'Darwin 1942, Australia's Darkest Hour' a bit like a text book but an interesting enough read.
                Monk of Darwin

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Monk of Darwin View Post
                  The Chief Minister (like state Governor) here announced on thursday last week, that the government is going to spend 6 million dollars building a brand new WWII museum adjacent to parliament house. They said it should be finished around 2009/2010. Sounds like an exciting proposal, hope they do it right do just slap together an exhibit to cash in on the current interest being shown in Darwin, during the period. I am sure they can come up with a great display, if they contact the right people and source there exhibits and information from all the right places. If either of you is interested there is a book by author Timothy Hall, published in 1980 called 'Darwin 1942, Australia's Darkest Hour' a bit like a text book but an interesting enough read.
                  Wonder if it might be like the meseum they have dedicated to the Tracy victims, my sister in law tells me it is really good, might be a good template for them to use for this new meseum.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Monk of Darwin View Post
                    Hi Darren, when the time gets closer, let me know maybe we could get together for an ale or coffee, and I could take you around the locations here, if you have enough time to spare.......Steve
                    Mate i would be delighted, though its not in June 08.......not interested in baby sitting two kids under 3 while we are up there are you?

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                    • #11
                      Can be rough getting out with little ones. Mine are 14 & 16 with the 16 year old going to college next Fall - so I am just starting to get some time back for myself.

                      Not sure when I can get down there. We are starting our tours in Europe and the US... but who knows... maybe we should start thinking about a trip to the Pacific. Would love to see some pictures in the mean time.

                      I am spending the 3 day weekend here in the US touring a few of our Civil War battlefields. I saw Wilson's Creek and Newtonia today. Will visitit Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove tomorrow
                      Tray Green

                      www.abandofgamers.com

                      Battlefield Tours for Wargamers
                      Normandy 2007
                      ACW Border Wars 2008
                      Bulge 2008

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by traygreen View Post
                        Can be rough getting out with little ones. Mine are 14 & 16 with the 16 year old going to college next Fall - so I am just starting to get some time back for myself.

                        Not sure when I can get down there. We are starting our tours in Europe and the US... but who knows... maybe we should start thinking about a trip to the Pacific. Would love to see some pictures in the mean time.

                        I am spending the 3 day weekend here in the US touring a few of our Civil War battlefields. I saw Wilson's Creek and Newtonia today. Will visitit Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove tomorrow
                        Have fun down there mate!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here is a link to a summary and statistics of the main attack on Darwin for those interested.

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing...(February_1942)


                          It was also a fact many of the Army Provost soldiers (Military Police) that were sent to Darwin to resore order after the air raid went on a major looting and burgary spree in the town, stealing anything of value they could find.
                          They also behaved like maniacs and were often drunk and out of control, scaring the remaining civillians left in Darwin with their sickening behaviour.

                          Several years ago, filmakers even made a documentary about the attack and aftermath called "The Shame of Darwin".

                          It was a very interesting documentary with actual interviews with people who were there during the attack and afterwards.
                          I saw mistakes made by our military, who made the very same mistakes that the US Military made at Pearl Harbor when earlier being warned of incoming enemy aircraft from two different off-shore islands coast watchers and then taking no action.
                          I was also disgusted by the way the Provost's sent there to restore order, acted like vicious thugs and criminals above the law.
                          (It wasn't a pretty picture it painted, but the truth rarely is.)


                          Cheers,
                          Dave
                          Roger, I see them. Attacking now

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Aussie Dave View Post
                            Here is a link to a summary and statistics of the main attack on Darwin for those interested.

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing...(February_1942)


                            It was also a fact many of the Army Provost soldiers (Military Police) that were sent to Darwin to resore order after the air raid went on a major looting and burgary spree in the town, stealing anything of value they could find.
                            They also behaved like maniacs and were often drunk and out of control, scaring the remaining civillians left in Darwin with their sickening behaviour.

                            Several years ago, filmakers even made a documentary about the attack and aftermath called "The Shame of Darwin".

                            It was a very interesting documentary with actual interviews with people who were there during the attack and afterwards.
                            I saw mistakes made by our military, who made the very same mistakes that the US Military made at Pearl Harbor when earlier being warned of incoming enemy aircraft from two different off-shore islands coast watchers and then taking no action.
                            I was also disgusted by the way the Provost's sent there to restore order, acted like vicious thugs and criminals above the law.
                            (It wasn't a pretty picture it painted, but the truth rarely is.)


                            Cheers,
                            Dave
                            Dont believe i have had the pleasure mate, how are you, great to meet every Aussie on this forum, cant remember if i have seen you on here before.

                            Cheers.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was up in Darwin almost exactly a year ago and I went to as many of the museums and sites as I could in a week. We spent a week in Darwin and a week in Kakadu. I can heartily recommend anything up there and I do have photos around here somewhere. There's an aircraft museum opposite the air base if my memory serves me. They have a B-52 and a licence built Sabre among other things. The best were the crashed Japanese aircraft, especially the Zero carcass.
                              There is also a beach (I forget where but it's in town) where they threw old stuff over the cliff. There are engines, propellers and all kinds of WW2 junk just rusting up on the sand below the cliff. You can still discern serial numbers on some of the stuff.
                              Darwin is a beautiful town anyway and I will be back sometime...next time I'll drive up.
                              The truth? You can't handle the truth! No truth handler you! I deride your truth handling abilities!
                              Sideshow Bob.

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