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The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
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Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

10 February 2017

Commemorations for 75th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin

Minister for Veterans Affairs’ Dan Tehan said Australians will pause and reflect on the 75th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin on 19 February.

More than 240 people died during two separate attacks when 242 Japanese aircraft bombed Darwin on 19 February 1942.

Mr Tehan said the attacks had brought the Second World War to Australian shores and we should pause to remember those killed and those who defended Darwin on this national day of observance.

A national commemoration organised by the Northern Territory Government will recognise the anniversary with a service at the Cenotaph on the Darwin Esplanade at 9.30 am on Sunday 19 February, with an air raid siren sounded at 9.58 am to mark the precise time the first attack took place. The Australian American Association of the Northern Territory will also conduct a USS Peary Memorial Service.

“The bombing of Darwin Day has been a national day of observance since 2011 but other towns across Australia’s north were also bombed, including Katherine, Broome, Townsville, Wyndham and Cairns,” Mr Tehan said.

“Australia has been fortunate that global conflict has rarely reached our shores and the 75th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin is an opportunity to reflect on the lives lost because of the attack and to be grateful for the men and women of our armed forces who fight to defend us.

“On the 75th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin the country will stop, pause and reflect on a significant moment in our history and how it has shaped Australia.”

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.