PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 5752

40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BOMBING OF DARWIN

Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 18/02/1982

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 5752

PRIME MINISTER
FOR MEDIA THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18 1982
ANNIVERSARY OF THE BOMBING OF D) ARWIN
Friday, February 19, is the 40th anniversary of one of the
most significant days in the history of Australia., ' It marks
the first occasion when Australia was attacked by an external
aggressor.
On the morning of 19 February 1942, Darwin was attacked by
81 Japanese aircraft carrying experieniced aircrew who had
participated in the devastating raid at Pearl Harbour on
December 7 1941. This sudden attack on Darwin caused
considerable loss and damage to Australian and allied
shipping in the harbour. It also caused extensive
destruction in the town itself. At-11: 45 am, a second attack
was made by _ 54 land-based Japanese bombers, concentrating
on the RAAF base which was almost completely destroyed.
Total casualties from the two attacks on that morning were
243 killed anid 253 wounded.
The news of this first enemy attack on home soil electrified
all Australians. " The Battle of Australia has begun", warned
the Sydney Morning Herald.
Special services at the Darwin Cenotaph have been arranged for
tomorrow by the Lord Mayor of Darwin, Mr Cecil Black, to
* commemorate this important event in Australia's history.
It is a day all Australians should remember.
000---

Transcript 5752