12. World War Two


During World War Two many Australian Men were lost to the war. 27 men from Darwin lost their lives and are now remembered on the War Memorial. The Majority of the men lost their lives whilst in New Guinea, Malaya, and Egypt with a few being lost on home soil. On September 3rd 1939 Britain, Australia, France and New Zealand declared war on Germany but it wasn't until the end of 1939 that Australian warships arrived in the Mediterranean. In the beginning of 1942 many battles were being fought in the Asian Pacific, notably Australian troops fought against the Japanese in New Guinea on what is now known as the KokodaTrack. Over 120 000 people contributed to the battle at Kokoda, including New Guineas, Americans and Japanese. On February 19th 1942 Darwin harbourwas bombed by the Japanese twice that day. 252 serving men and civilians lost their lives. Although many men were killed in action and large number of men died of wounds, diseases and starvation (particularly the Australian men who were taken as Prisoners of War (POW) by the Japanese).

The largest number of Darwin enlistee deaths occurred during July - December 1943. During this period many operations and invasions occurred throughout different areas of the war. Operation Husky began on the 9thJuly 1943; The allied forces invaded Sicily, Italy. During the time many raids on Hamburg occurred.