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


19 February 2019

Australia remembers the bombing of Darwin

Today, on the Bombing of Darwin Day, all Australians are encouraged to remember those who protected our shores and tragically died when the Japanese launched bombing raids on Northern Australia during the Second World War.

Minister for Veterans' Affairs Darren Chester said from 19 February 1942 to 12 November 1943, Darwin, and other northern towns including Katherine, Broome, Townsville, Wyndham and Cairns, were bombed by Japanese forces.

"The first attacks on 19 February were by far the most destructive, with 242 Japanese aircraft bombing Darwin in two separate attacks, killing more than 240 people," Mr Chester said.

"Australians should never forget the day the Second World War came to our doorstep, and we should all honour the sacrifices of those who served, and tragically died, in defence of our nation."

In November last year, Darwin was visited by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who laid a wreath at the city's cenotaph. Mr Abe is the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit Darwin since the bombing raids during the Second World War.

"Australia, and in particular the Northern Territory, will always remember the events of 19 February 1942, and they will too remember this historic visit by Mr Abe as a sign of respect to those who served and died," Mr Chester said.

The Bombing of Darwin Day has been a national day of observance since 2011. The Northern Territory Government will recognise the anniversary by conducting a National Day of Observance Commemorative Service in Darwin on Tuesday, 19 February 2018.

On 3 September 2019 we will mark 80 years since the commencement of Australia involvement in the Second World War.



Cedric Szigeti: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466
Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT

Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546) or visit