DETAILS OF THOSE KILLED
DURING JAPANESE RAIDS ON DARWIN, NT
ON 19 FEBRUARY 1942

 

Modern history seems to record that there were 243 deaths in Darwin on the 19 February 1942 after two major air raids by Japanese aircraft. Anecdotal evidence would seem to suggest there were many more deaths than this.

Tom Minto, First Mate on the Hospital Ship "Manunda" expressed some doubt about the identity of the 3 men from HMAS Swan who were brought on board "Manunda". 19 bodies were taken ashore from "Manunda" and laid out on the ground in front of the Naval Signal Station. The bodies stayed there all day in the hot sun. The order was given for the bodies to be collected from the shore at 10.30pm that night. They were to be buried at sea. The official records show that this happened, but Tom Minto's Report states:- 

"We were told we would not be required to take the bodies as they had been disposed of. I did not ask any further questions."

The Australian War Graves Commission states that Army casualties were buried at sea,. The Northern Territory Memorial and the Sydney Memorial show them as having "no known graves". One source, who was filling sandbags on the shore remembers quite clearly that there was a long trench dug in the area between the current Darwin Casino and Kahlin Beach. The Manager of the Mindil Beach Caravan Park sold the land in 1978 for the development of the Darwin Casino. During earth works for the project many human remains were found in a deep trench. The Northern Territory News on 3 October 1981 claimed they were aboriginal remains. Later reports claimed they were remains of Mocassin fishermen. Henry Lee was in Darwin at the time of the Japanese attack and stated in the Newspaper:-

"The bombing victims were buried at Frances Bay, along Mindil Beach and in a huge bomb hole on the hillside near Darwin Hospital. The bodies were mainly those washed up from sunken ships. Most could not be identified. There was on nursing sister with identity discs who was given a proper burial."

The nursing sister is most likely to have been Sister de Mestre form the Manunda. Is it possible that the "Manunda" bodies were actually buried at sea and some of them washed ashore.

A senior Army Matron recalls that the bodies from "Manunda" were seen at Catherine Cemetery. A Darwin historian believes they were exhumed and reburied at the Adelaide River War Cemetery. Here the early grave markers were made of wood and soon disappeared as time passed due to white ants or grass fires.

 

The Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour database shows only 18 deaths for Military personnel killed in Darwin on 19 February 1942. 

 

DETAILS OF THOSE LISTED ON THE AWM ROLL OF HONOUR DATABASE

 

RAAF BASE - 7 KILLED

Barton, Leonard Arthur 18368 LAC RAAF Stn Hq Darwin Darwin Ground Battle
Latham, Philips Stonham  32932 LAC SHq Darwin (RAAF) Darwin Ground Battle
Neaylon, Francis  20361 Aircraftman Class 1 SHq Darwin RAAF Darwin Ground Battle
Schulz, Albert Victor Leske  28222 LAC SHq Darwin RAAF Darwin Ground Battle
Simons, Robert Frederick  26040 Cpl RAAF Stn Hq Darwin Darwin Ground Battle
Smith, Stanley George  45738 Aircraftman Class 1 SHq Darwin RAAF Darwin Ground Battle
Tindal, Archibald Robert  76 Wing Commander Hq North Western Area Darwin Darwin Ground Battle

 

KILLED ASHORE AT BERRIMAH HOSPITAL 1 KILLED

Gardiner, Roy Stewart VX129388 Cpl 7 MD ORD WKSPS AAOC (Army) Australia Killed In Action in Berrimah Hospital

 

THOSE KILLED ON THE WHARVES - 23 KILLED

There were 70 waterside workers on the wharves at the time of the attack.

Details of the 23 killed on the wharves are as follows:-

Mr. Gus Brown Wharfie
Mr. Alan Byers Wharf Labourer (died 26 Feb 42 on 2/1 Hospital Ship)
Mr. Francisco Augusto Chavez Wharfie - winchman
Mr. Ricardo Warivin Conanan Wharfie - Hatchman
Mr. John Roque Cubillo Wharfie - No. 3 Gang
Mr. Geoffrey Phillip Dangerfield Wharf's A/Foreman
Mr. Andrew John De Julia Wharfie - Shunter
Mr. Domingo Dominic Wharfie - No. 3 Gang
Mr. S. Dove Wharfie - Labourer No. 18 Gang
Mr. Reginald Hemming Erickson Wharf Superintendent
Mr. H. Gable Wharf Labourer - No. 1 Gang
Mr. Colbourne Burleigh Giles Wharf Labourer - No. 17 Gang
Mr. Ernest Walter Hodges Wharfie - Tractor Driver
Mr. John Edward Hynes Waterside Worker (died on 25 Feb 42 on 2/1 Hospital Ship) - No. 3 Wharf Gang
Mr. W. Marr Wharfie
George Michaels Waterside Worker (died 19 Feb 42)
Mr. Arthur Alexander Mullins Wharf Labourer - No. 2 Gang
Mr. Frank Oliver Wharfie
Mr. L. Ray Wharf Labourer
Mr. Bruce Schilling Wharf Labourer - No. 18 Gang
Mr. Earl Shores Wharfie
Mr. Catalano Spain Wharf Labourer - No. 3 Gang
John Vernon Sundstrom Civilian?

 

THOSE KILLED ON SHIPS

SHIP KILLED WOUNDED DETAILS
SS British Motorist 2 -  
USAT Don Isidro 12 -  
SS Florence D 4         (3 crew + 1 rescued crew member of Catalina)    
HMAS Gunbar - RAN Minesweeper 1 -  
HMAS Kangaroo 1 - Moore
HMAS Kara Kara 2 -  
Manunda - Hospital Ship 13      (12 crew plus 1 patient) 18 Seriously wounded

40+ minor wounds

 
USAT Meigs 1    
MV Neptuna 36 ?  
USS Peary 88 ?  
SS Portmar - US Transport 1 -  
USS William B. Preston 14    
HMAS Swan - RAN Sloop 3 22 Breen, Purdon, and Sault
MV Tulagi - Merchant ship 4   4 members of the US Army's 148th Field Artillery died on MV Tulagi
SS Zealandia 2 - Two were mortally wounded on SS Zaealandia and later died after movement to HMAHS Manunda. 142 survived
TOTAL 184 107 plus  

 

.

Can you help me with names of those killed
on any ships in Darwin on 19 February 1942?

 

US AIRCREW KILLED DURING JAPANESE RAIDS ON 19 FEBRUARY 1942 - 4 KILLED

19 Feb 42 In Darwin Harbour USAAF P-40 Kittyhawk Lt. Charles Hughes of 33rd Pursuit Squadron USAAF killed, hit by Japanese aircraft, 
19 Feb 42 In Darwin Harbour USAAF P-40 Kittyhawk Major Floyd J. Pell (0-20701) of 33rd Pursuit Squadron USAAF killed when he bailed out too low after aircraft hit hit by Japanese aircraft, 
19 Feb 42 near Gunn Point, east of Darwin USAAF P-40 Kittyhawk Jack R. Peres 33rd Pursuit Squadron USAAF killed, shot down by Japanese aircraft. 
19 Feb 42 In Darwin Harbour USAAF P-40 Kittyhawk Lt. Elton S. Perry of 33rd Pursuit Squadron USAAF killed, shot down by Japanese aircraft.
19 Feb 42 Darwin Airfield USAAF LB-30A Liberator Sgt. H.M. McTavish (6549162) was killed, with Sgt L. Beck, upper Turret gunner wounded.

An official US Record titled "Report of Air Attack on Base Section No. One" shows the following two entries for the USAAC:-

Floyd J. Pell Major 0-20701 Air Force
H. M. McTavish S/Sgt 6549162 Air Force

It does not show the other three pilots above (Peres, Perry and Hughes). Perhaps they were killed in the second raid on that day. McTavish was killed in LB-30A AL521 which was destroyed at on the ground in Darwin during this raid.

 

THOSE KILLED IN THE TOWN AREA

 

GOVERNMENT HOUSE - 1 KILLED

Miss Daisy Martin Laundry maid for Administrator of the Northern Territory

 

POST OFFICE, TELEGRAPH OFFICE, CABLE OFFICE & POSTMASTER'S RESIDENCE - 10 KILLED

The Post Office, the Telegraph Office, the Cable Office and the Postmaster's residence all suffered either a direct hit or blast and were a complete loss. All the staff of the Post Office and Telegraph Office were killed as follows. This included the Postmaster and his family :-

Mrs. Alice Louisa Bald ** Postmaster's wife
Mr. Hurtie Clifford Bald ** Postmaster
Miss Iris Enid Bald ** Typist Tax Department
Mr. Archibald Thomas Roy Halls ** Telegraphist
Miss Eileen Carrig Mullen ** Telephonist
Miss Jean Carrig Mullen ** Telephonist
Mr. Walter Robert Lewis Rowling PMG Department (died 21 Feb 42 on 2/1 Hospital Ship)
Miss Jennie Freda Stasinowsky ** Telephonist
Mr. Arthur Wellesley Wellington ** PO Clerk
Miss Emily Florence Young ** Telephonist

** initially buried in the Military Section of the Adelaide River Cemetery and later transferred to the civilian section.

 

DARWIN TOWN - 5 KILLED

Mr. William J. Bowen Civilian Labourer
Mr. Cohoon Civilian unknown - may be his first name or surname or a nickname
Mr. Sydney De Mills Civilian Fish Trapper
Charles McNab Carpenter
Leslie Perkins possibly a seaman

 

This makes the above total of those killed = 236 dead

 

Another source quotes the following:- 

"The first air raids on Darwin were over by 12.40p.m. on 19 February 1942. At least 292 people were dead or dying 22 on the Darwin wharf, 17 in the town area, 177 on the harbour, seven at the RAAF base, four in the air, six other service personnel, 18 on the Florence D and Don Isidro, and 41 others either on the Manunda or in unclear circumstances. We will never know how many other people may have died but were not taken into account."

 

US Army Personnel Wounded at Darwin on 19 February 1942

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank John Richards and Gordon Birkett for their assistance with this web page.

 

REFERENCES

"Wrecks in Darwin Waters"
By Tom Lewis

"Darwin's Air War - 1942-1945. An Illustrated History"
By the Aviation Historical Society of the Northern Territory

"Hospital Ships - Manunda, Wanganella, Centaur, Oranje"
by Rupert Goodman

"In the Highest Traditions ... RAN heroism Darwin 19 February 1942"
by John Bradford

Roll of Honour - Northern Territory Library

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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This page first produced 10 February 2002

This page last updated 02 March 2017