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DARWIN HEAVILY BOMBED IN 2 RAIDS
ATTACKS BY 93 PLANES :
4 SHOT DOWN
DAMAGE "CONSIDERABLE": CASUALTIES UNKNOWN
DARWIN WAS HEAVILY BOMBED BY 93 JAPANESE
PLANES IN TWO RAIDS YESTERDAY.
Mr. Curtin, Prime Minister, announced last night that the first
attack was made by 72 twin-engined bombers, accompanied by fighters. The second was by 21 twin-engined bombers.
"It is known for certain that 4 enemy aircraft were brought down," he said.
"Damage to property has been considerable, but reports so far to hand do
not give precise particulars as to loss of life."
In a communique announcing the first raid, Mr. Drakeford, Air Minister,
said that preliminary reports indicated that the attack was concentrated on the township. Shipping in the harbour was also bombed.
There were some casualties and damage to service installations. The raid
lasted about one hour.
The first raid began about 10am (Darwin time). The second took place in
In his announcement last night Mr. Curtin said :— " The Government regards
these attacks as most grave and makes it quite clear that a severe blow has been struck in this first battle on Australian soil.
''It will be a source of pride to the public to know that the armed forces and
civilians conducted themselves with the gallantry that was traditional in people
of British stock.
"Although the information does not disclose details of
casualties, it must be obvious that we have suffered. "We must face with fortitude the first onslaught and
remember that whatever the future holds in store for us we are Australians and will fight grimly and victoriously.
"Let us each vow that this blow at Darwin and the loss
it has involved and the suffering it has occasioned will have the effect of making us gird up our loins and nerve our steel. We, too, in every other city can face these assaults.
"Let it be remembered that Darwin has been bombed,
but it has not been conquered."
After announcing the first
raid yesterday morning Mr. Curtin said :—
"Australia has now experi- enced the physical contact of war within Australia. Face it as Australians!
"As head of the Government, I know there is no need to say anything else. Total mobili- sation is the Government's policy for Australia. Until the time elapses when all the
necessary measures can be put
into effect, all Australians must voluntarily answer the Govern- ment's call for the complete giving of everything to the
"What we have feared has now happened, and Australia, for the first time in its history, has been subjected to attack," said Mr. Dunstan, Premier, yesterday.
"The enemy had crossed the threshold of our native land. Our testing time is at hand, and people must face things in the light of reality. There is no room for conjecture or com- placency."
We could no longer have doubts regarding the enemy's intentions nor his ability to bomb this country. The feel-
ing of splendid isolation no longer remained. Our mettle was about to be tested, but he was confident none of us
would be found wanting. Unity must be our watchword, na- tional service our one desire. Only by a united effort could we play the part that was ex- pected of us. Nothing less than our best, given ungrudg- ingly, would do.
Senator Ashley, PMG, said yesterday that cable services would not be interrupted as a result of the bombing of Dar- win. Even if the cable system were temporarily destroyed communication would be car- ried on through other chan- nels.
HEADLINES IN LONDON
Evening newspapers play up the Darwin raid with front page streamers. Headlines were :— Evening Standard: "Australia: First Bombs. Radio Closes Down as Japanese Raid Dar- win." Evening News: "First Bombs on Australia. Darwin Attacked for Hour." Star: "Australia Has Its First Air Raid. Port Darwin Bombs Cause Casualties and 'Service' Damage."
MAP OF AUSTRALIA AND NEI,
with circles, 500 miles apart, based on Darwin, at which the first
enemy blow at the continent was struck yesterday when Japanese aircraft raided the town, farther north there have been Allied successes-direct hits scored on enemy shipping in Banka Strait, off the cast coast of Sumotra, by U-S Flying Fortresses; bombing of an enemy-occupied aerodrome at Palem bang, and destruction of 4 Japanese planes near Java by U-S aircraft. Blackened areas in the map
are those occupied by the Japanese.
AERIAL VIEW OF DARWIN HARBOUR,
where shipping was attacked when enemy aircraft raided the
town yesterday morning. The township extend to the left of this picture. Yesterday's raid was the first '
first launched by the enemy in Australia itself.