Japanese Air Raid near Mossman
on 30/31 July 1942

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visits since 22 October 2000


Sub Lieutenant Mizukura made the final raid on what they thought was Cairns after seeing some lights. At 3.30 a.m. on 31 July 1942 Mizukura reported that he dropped 8 bombs. Where these 8 bombs fell has never been established.  However one bomb fell that same night on a sugar cane farm at Saltwater, 16 kms from Mossman. It exploded about 50 meters from a galvanised shed owned by Felice Zullo. His two and a half year old daughter received a wound to the head from shrapnel which pierced the house and smashed a number of windows. She was in her cot at the time.

The bomb left a large crater seven metres across and one metre deep. Metal fragments from the bomb were later found with Japanese markings on them. Mikukura arrived back at Rabaul at 10.10 am after a 17 hour flight.

The little girl grew up to become Mrs. Carmel Emmi, of Albany Creek in Brisbane, Queensland. She was reported in the Sunday Mail in 1989 as follows:-

"My mother said it was  bright moonlit night and very cold.  She said the blast woke her and she saw I was covered in blood.   She thought I had been killed and started screaming.  I know I'm a unique part of Queensland history, but it's something I could have done without."

Carmel spent 3 months recovering in hospital.  She has been left with a large scar under her hair.

Carmel Emmi unveiled a plaque on a memorial stone on Bamboo Creek Road after the turnoff to Whyanbeel on 31st July 1991. The plaque reads as follows:-

"At 3.30 am on 31st July 1942 a Japanese aircraft dropped eight bombs in this Shire, one landing 50 metres directly behind this point. Carmel Zullo, aged 2 1/2 years was asleep in the home of her parents when the bomb exploded nearby. Shrapnel pierced the iron walls of the house, one fragment grazing Carmel's skull."

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Sub Lieutenant Kiyoshi Mizukura flew an Emily flying boat on two raids against Townsville and another near Mossman

Sub Lieutenant Kiyoshi Mizukura in Japan many years after the war

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Japanese Air Raids in Australia



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This page first produced 22 October 2000

This page last updated 02 December 2008