Darwin, Australia

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The following article is about the city called Darwin in Australia. For the article on Charles Darwin please see: Charles Darwin

Darwin is a city and port in northern Australia. It is the capital of the Northern Territory, and by far the largest city in that territory. It is named after Charles Darwin, and is the most cyclone-ravaged city in Australia. [1]

World War II

In World War II, Darwin was the target of several Japanese bombing attacks.

The first attack on Darwin was on the morning of February 19, 1942. It was launched from a Japanese carrier group which included the fleet carriers Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, and Soryu, all of which were veterans of the Pearl Harbor attack.[2] The attacking force consisted of over 150 carrier based bombers, with 36 escorting Zeros. Another attack by over 50 land-based, twin-engine bombers took place at midday. The bombings sank the destroyer USS Peary and several other ships, and destroyed several buildings.[3] The Japanese lost only a few planes in the raid, while several defending Allied planes were shot down. 243 people were killed, mostly on the ships that were sunk.

This attack, and another attack on the town of Broome on the northern coast two weeks later, raised fears that Japan would invade Australia next. Many officers in the Japanese military wanted to do exactly that, but other objectives (such as the attack on Midway) were given priority, and the invasion never materialized.

Darwin endured more raids, but the Japanese effort was more focused on dislodging Allied forces from New Guinea, so the city would usually go several weeks between attacks. On March 18, the American Ninth Pursuit Squadron, equipped with P-40 Warhawks, arrived at Darwin to take up defense duties. Japanese bombers attacked again on April 4, and the fighters downed four Mitsubishi "Betties" and probably downed a Zero for the loss of two P-40s. Subsequent raids suffered similar losses.[4]


  1. http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v5/i1/darwin.asp
  2. A History of War at Sea, by Helmut Pemsel, Naval Institute Press, 1975
  3. The Lonely Ships, by Edwin P. Hoyt, Jove Books, 1976
  4. P-40 Warhawk Aces of the Pacific, by Carl Molesworth, Osprey Publishing, 2003