Direct Hit: The Bombing of Darwin Post Office
- Usually Ships in 2 to 4 Weeks
Media: BOOK - paperback, 144 pages
Author: B. Bowden
Other: b&w photos, maps, appendixes, indexes
Publisher: Rosenberg Publishing
On the morning of 19 February 1942 over 180 Japanese fighter planes and bombers launched a surprise attack on Darwin. It was the first, and largest of 64 attacks on the city and its surrounds during the Second World War. The official death toll was 243, although that figure was contested by some.
Ten of those casualties were employees of the then Postmaster General's Department (PMG) killed when the Post Office suffered a direct hit. They included a husband, wife, and daughter, and two sisters.
In 'Direct Hit' Brett Bowden tells the story of that raid, concentrating on the postal and telecommunications staff, and by way of tribute gives brief biographies of those PMG employees who died when the war came to Australian shores for the first time. It includes graphic first-hand accounts of the raid and its immediate aftermath, many photographs, official correspondence, and extracts from the Lowe Commission of Inquiry into the raid. Three appendixes list all raids and all PMG staff at the time of the attack.
The book also provides a brief history of the development of the Darwin area and contains new information on the aftermath of the raid. This includes accounts of departmental enquiries, and, more importantly, of the brave and inventive work of survivors, some of whom were injured, as they got on with the job of promptly restoring postal and telecommunications services in the most trying of circumstances. It is a story that deserves to be better known.
Preface and Acknowledgements
Post Office Hit
Roll of Honour
Back on the Air
Appendix 1. Japanese Air Raids on the Australian Mainland
Appendix 2. Air Raids on Darwin ad Surrounds
Appendix 3. PMG Staff in Darwin on 19 February 1942