Northern Territory Government

Roll of Honour

Other Published Accounts


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The Lowe Commission

The Lowe report, titled Commission of Inquiry concerning the circumstances connected with the attack made by Japanese aircraft at Darwin on 19th February, 1942, released its findings to federal parliament six weeks after the bombing, on 31 March 1942. Justice Lowe, the Commissioner, examined 110 witnesses and inspected bomb damaged buildings and installations; he gathered a vast mass of documentary evidence. The report estimated casualties as 'approximately 250'.

The full report wasn't released to the public until 1945. However, the Prime Minister did make a statement about the total number of casualties immediately after receiving this report, a statement that was widely reported by the media. All newspapers stated that casualties were 'not likely to exceed 240'.

Headline  Newspaper State Article
Tuesday 31 March 1942

Losses in Darwin: February raid report

The Sydney Morning Herald

(NSW)

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17794977

Report on Darwin raid released

The Canberra Times

(ACT)

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2586452

240 deaths in first Darwin raid

The Argus

(VIC)

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8240009


Australian War Memorial publication 

In November 1942, the Australian War Memorial published an account of the bombing in Soldiering on: the Australian Army at home and overseas prepared by some of the boys.

Newspaper reviews of this book produced a further news cycle about the bombing; Full Story Of Darwin Raid, published on 17 December 1942 in the Morning Bulletin, claims that details about the Japanese attack, not previously disclosed, are outlined in the book.

Further reports are listed below.

Headline Newspaper State Article
Wednesday 9 Dec 1942

Darwin Raid Story: Disclosures in Army Book

The Sydney Morning Herald

(NSW)

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17808053

Thursday 11 Dec 1942

Intimate Story of our Army

The Courier-Mail

(QLD)

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article50120510

Friday 12 Dec 1942

History recorded by its makers

The Argus

(VIC)

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12009269