JAPANESE BOMBING RAID
ON DARWIN RAAF AIRFIELD
ON 30 MARCH 1942

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visits since 19 July 2000

 

On Monday 30 March 1942, the Japanese carried out another bombing raid on the RAAF airfield at Darwin.

George Preddy and 7 other pilots of the 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, USAAF were in the air at 2.00pm and patrolled for about 30 minutes. They returned to base to refuel. During refuelling and air raid alert was sounded and they scrambled to intercept the Japanese bombers. One Kittyhawk was forced to return with engine trouble.

They managed to get in the air about 15 minutes before the Japanese bombers arrived. Before they could intercept the bombers, the American Kittyhawks were pounced upon at about 11,000 feet by a group of Japanese Zeros.

McComsey was forced to bale out of his badly hit Kittyhawk during this encounter. He landed in a swamp and after a terrible night in the swamp managed to return to base the next day.

Sells also received significant gunfire damage to his Kittyhawk but was able to return to base. George Preddy had a perfect shot on a Zero but missed the opportunity for a "Kill" due to not turning on a gun switch. Porter's tail assembly was badly damaged by Japanese gunfire.

The Unit History Sheet - Detail of Operations, Sheet No. 55  for Darwin "B" Flight, 13 Squadron RAAF has the following entry:-

30.3.1942.     Seven H/B escorted by 6 type "O" SSF attacked Darwin Aerodrome dropping 25-30 250 lbs and 500 lbs, and some fragmentation bombs causing no damage. Enemy aircraft casualties Nil, own one P.40 destroyed, one damaged.

There was a second bombing raid on the RAAF Darwin Aerodrome on 30 March 1942.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this air raid?

 

REFERENCE

George Preddy
Top Mustang Ace
by Joe Noah & Samuel L. Sox, Jr.

"Darwin Bombed"
"The Unit History of 14 Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery"
by Jack Mulholland

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to than Gordon Birkett for his assistance with the Unit History Sheet - Detail of Operations for 13 Squadron RAAF.

 

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This page first produced 19 July 2000

This page last updated 29 December 2003