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3 corrections, most recently by culroym - Show corrections

"JAPS. KNEW WHERE TO STRIKE"

Witnesses Tell of Darwin Raids

SYDNEY, Sunday. — Vivid eye-witness descriptions of

the Japanese raid on Darwin on Thursday were given by passengers from Darwin, 2 of them injured, who arrived in Sydney yesterday in a flying-boat which left Darwin at dawn on Friday. A few machinegun bullet holes in the flying-boat gave evi-

dence of the raid.

Capt A A Koch of Qantas Em- pire Airways who was carried ashore on a stretcher wearing only pyjamas slippers and an overcoat in which he left the hospital said that judg- ing from the unfaltering way in which the Japanese found their tar- gets with the first run of bombs it was obvious they knew exactly where to strike. He added that he was convinced that the enemy was get- ting regular information out of Dar-

win.

Capt Koch who was in hospital when the raid began was comman- der of the flyingboat which was shot down near Koepang on January 30. He was bombed 4 times in Koepang.  

"I heard the wail of the sirens and the roar of planes overhead almost simultaneously," he said. "I managed to get under my bed before the first bombs fell and a wing of the hospital was hit. The nurses got the other patients under the beds, and then after the first shock took them to the beach 200 yards away. A doctor and nurse helped me to the shelter of some bushes and covered me with a mattress. A doctor was in the middle of an ap- pendix operation when the raid started but I don't know what hap- pened to the patient.

Capt H. B. Hussey and Capt A. H. Crowther were probably re- sponsible for saving the flying-boat which was at anchor in the har- bour at the beginning of the raid. Capt Hussey was in a barber's shop   when the alarm sounded.

"I did not have time to walk 100 yards before the planes were over- head and bombs falling on the town." he said. "I had to dodge pieces of falling stone and masonry hurled high into the air by explo- sions. As soon as the fall of bombs ceased Capt Crowther and I ran to the wharves. Dense smoke screened the flying-boat from the attackers although bombs were dropped between it and a ship again and again. We went out to it and taxied away. We could still hear bombs falling so we decided to try to save the plane. We took off and flew down the coast returning at

dusk."

One of the last women to leave the town was Mrs V. Hansen for- merly of Melbourne, who was doing an essential war job in Darwin. Most of the women left on Thursday

night.

"I was in the Hotel Darwin when I first heard the sirens and the planes seemed to sweep overhead at the same instant," she said. " I don't mind admitting that I felt terrible until the first shock was over."

Mrs Hansen said that all women except nursing sisters were leaving   Darwin. The nurses were given no choice, but the sisters were given the choice of staying at their jobs or leaving, and of course they all decided to stay.

Mrs Hansen is going to Melbourne to stay with her mother Mrs A. H.

Nielsen.

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