ON 13 AUGUST 1943


On 13 August 1943 at about 11:12pm, 9 Japanese bombers attacked Fenton and Coomalie Creek airfields in the Northern Territory. 10 Spitfires took off to defend the airfields against the Japanese aircraft. There were no losses on both sides.

The following is Arthur Backholer's recollection of this bombing raid at Coomalie Creek on 13 August 1943. Arthur was a Medical Orderly at 1 Medical Receiving Station RAAF (1 MRS) at Coomalie Creek between 1942 and 1943:-

Japanese bombers appeared to favour the full moon for their air raids. The light from the full moon and the clear atmosphere of the tropics cast bright shadows at ground level. On 13 August 1943, near midnight, Japanese planes attacked Fenton and Coomalie Creek airfields. Located within 5 km of 31 Squadron RAAF at Coomalie Creek, 1 MRS became a victim of this raid when within minutes of the sirens being sounded, 26 bombs exploded in the Hospital grounds. There were no causalities at 1 MRS, but it was a dreadful experience for those few bedridden patients who were unable to go to the slit trenches.



I'd like to thank Arthur Backholer, Medical Orderly at 1 MRS 1942-1943, for his assistance with this web page.



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


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This page first produced 9 July 2006

This page last updated 02 March 2017