3rd March 1942

On this day Broome was attacked for the first time. This was to be the 2nd most devastating raid on the Australian mainland during the war. Eighty six people were killed and 22 aircraft destroyed when nine Japanese Zeros and a Babs observation plane swooped in to strafe the town, airfield and flying boat port. Those killed inlcluded more than 30 injured being ferried aboard a B24 Libertaor bomber that was shot down, Dutch civilian refugees escaping the Netherlands East Indies and at least nine children – with the youngest being only one year old. No bombs were dropped during the raid – all the damage being done by the attackers machine guns and cannons. One Japanese aircraft was shot down during the raid and another crashed on its way home.

There were to be three more raids on the town during the war, the last being in August 1943.