Thursday, February 20

Thankful for the soldiers

A replica fighter plane from 1942
Yesterday marked a rather important date in the history of little old Darwin.

It was the 72nd anniversary of the day that the perils of war hit the Australian shore.

Just before ten o'clock on the morning of 19th February 1942, the same commander responsibly for the attack on Pearl Harbour just ten weeks earlier, led 54 land based bombers and approximately 188 attack aircraft to assault the Northern Territory's capital city. Heavy bombers pattern-bombed the harbour and town followed by Zero fighters attacking the military and civil aerodromes as well as the hospital at Berrimah.

The attacked lasted around forty minutes and was then followed by a second onslaught an hour later which involved high altitude bombing of the Royal Australian Air Force base at Parap. This lasted for around a further 25 minutes. In all at least 243 people were killed in these first two attacks and between 300-400 were wounded. A total of twenty military aircraft were destroyed. Eight ships at anchor in the harbour were sunk and most of both the civil and military facilities in Darwin were destroyed.

These air attacks on the Northern capital continued until November 1943. During this time the Japanese bombed Darwin 64 times.

A modern day soldier dressed in his predecessors uniform
as part of the re-enactment held to commemorate the bombing of Darwin

More photos on how Darwin celebrates this important day in history can be found 
Today I am thankful for all those who tried to defend the city that I now call home. I am also incredibly thankful for each and every member of our armed forces. Be they Army, RAAF or Navy they are all equally awesome in my book.

Signing up to a career that could quite possibly led to combat is nothing to be sneezed at and takes a certain amount of bravery and courage. I have nothing but total admiration for the men and women that are prepared to fight for their (our) country. And just between you and me I have known a few of them in my time and they are all amazing.

I am also thankful that war is not something we in Australia need to worry about on a daily basis. Every year Darwin is home to numerous military training exercises. Living rather close to the air base I am reminded of what it must be like to actually live in a war zone. I am thankful that the planes I hear flying overhead are there just for practise and there is no threat of them dropping bombs upon me.

What are you thankful for this week?

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  1. I am always Thankful for those that serve our country, Australia in the war.
    Thankful as always for you hosting this along with waking up to have another day here on earth.

  2. I never realised how close the war got to us in Australia, til I went to the War Museum in Canberra. The bombing of Darwin - and did you know there were Japanese submarines in Sydney Harbour?! Yes, thankful for our country and the solders who have protected our freedom. Makes my post about a minor winning streak seem a bit trivial though when it comes to the thankfulness stakes! ;-)

  3. I knew a little about the bombings and what I watched from "Australia". It was so close to our people. I'm always grateful to the armed forces.

  4. I will forever be grateful to the armed services. I cannot imagine sending my kids off to war.

  5. I always get very teary at remembrance services, all these young men and women who stood (and fell) so bravely that we might have freedom. My grandfather was an RAF Spitfire pilot and was injured when he parachuted out over Burma in 1944. My dad is writing a book about it, it's fascinating and very sobering.

  6. Hang in there lovely, I know you will get some answers soon, think the best.
    And yes we have a lot to be grateful for in regards to those who gave their lives for us. xxx

  7. What great thanks to write about! It is something thankfully we are sheltered from at the moment.


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