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On This Day

24th December 1974

On this day Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin with devastating force. Wind gusts were recorded at up to 240km/hr before recording equipment broke. Tracy destroyed 70% of buildings in Darwin including 80% of its houses. 71 people were killed. Over the following 4 days over 35,000 people were evacuated from Darwin the majority by air.
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30th June 1943

On this day 30th June 1943 27 Japenese G4M “Betty” bombers along with their Zero escorts attacked the airfiled at Fenton south of Darwin. This was to be the first of several raids on this field. The runway was bombed, 3 B-24 Liberator bombers were destroyed and several others damaged. No one was killed, but…
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22nd and 23rd January 1943

On this morning and the subsequent morning (23rd January 1943) 76 squadron based at Strauss Airfield south of Darwin and equipped with Kittyhawks RAAF -was attacked by Japanese aircraft. No casulaties or damage to aircraft were reported. 76 squadron were the 2nd RAAF squardron to be euipped with (P40E) Kittyhawks and had served in Milne…
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24th October 1942

On the 24 October 1942 the Japanese bombed Batchelor at approximately 0430 hours, dropping bombs across the administrative buildings at OB Batchelor Headquarters. Fortunately no personnel were injured and no squadron aircraft were damaged. Chas Nottle recalled: “In all the time I was at Batchelor there was only one occasion we had to go for…
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27th September 1942

On the 27th September 1942 the Japanese bombed Darwin and Bynoe Harbour. 04:56am Bynoe Harbour Darwin (Raid No. 38) and 05:44am Darwin town area (Frances Bay) Darwin (Raid No. 39).
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23rd August 1942

On this day 23rd August 1942, the Japanese bombed Hughes airfield resulting in the loss of one Wirraway and one Brewster Buffalo. Ammuniiton and fuel dumps were also hit.
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16th June 1942

On this day 16th June 1942 at 12:0pm (midday) there was another bombing raid on Darwin. The raid included 27 B4M (Betty) bombers and 27 zero fighters accompanying them. In the ensuing fight 5 P40 kittyhawks were shot down or badly damaged and then wrecked in attempted landings, while two zeros and two bombers were…
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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.…
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19th February 1942

On this day Darwin was BOMBED for the first time in World War 2. A further 63 raids were to follow over the next 21 months. 188 Japanese aircraft were launched from 4 aircraft carriers to the north west of Darwin arriving with total surprise just before 10am. The first raid lasted around 28 –…
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15th February 1942

On this day Singapore fell to to The Japanese after only 1 week of fighting. 130,000 British, Indian and Australian troops surrendered in one of the most stinging defeats of World War 2.
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7th December 1941

On this day the war in the Pacific commenced when 353 Japanese aircraft launched from 6 aircraft carriers some 350km from Hawaii. The attack resulted in the sinking of six American ships (three of which were subsequently recovered and returned to service), the destruction of 188 aircraft and the loss of approximately 2400 lives. Luckily…
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7th January 1897

On this day Darwin was devastated by a cyclone – the first of 3 major cyclones to hit Darwin over the next 120 years. The pearling fleet was sunk, houses destroyed and the roof blew off the Vic Hotel in Smith St.
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5th February 1869

On this day George Woodroffe Goyder the South Australian Surveyor General – arrived in Darwin harbour to survey and establish the town of Palmerston ( present day Darwin).
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