Northern Territory Government

Military Units in the Northern Territory, 1939-1945

This website showcases military units that served in the Northern Territory during the Second World War, indexed by military service from the links above, then by unit name.  The Northern Territory Library has a unique collection of resources on the Second World War in north Australia.  Many of the library’s works relate to unit histories and personal narratives not held by any other library in Australia. Some archival material held by the Northern Territory Archives Service has also been included.

If you have a relative who served in a unit in the Northern Territory during the Second World War, this website should help you to locate where their unit was stationed and information available on the unit. The list of books and articles for each unit has been compiled using Trove. The lists on Trove show where copies of the material can be located in libraries within your state or territory.

Many of the photographs used in this website are held by the Northern Territory Library and indexed in PictureNT. Some personal anecdotes collected by the Library can also be found via StoryNT. You also have the option to contribute your own information.

There are a number of books which have not been included in this website’s resource lists simply because they mention most of the units that served in the Territory. These books should be consulted as a matter of course when researching any individual unit.

These core texts include:

  • ALFORD, Bob:  Darwin’s Air War.  Darwin: Aviation and Historical Society  of the Northern Territory, 2011
  • BRADFORD, John:   In the Highest Traditions… RAN Heroism Darwin 19 February 1942 . Henley Beach, SA: Seaview Press, 2000
  • DERMOUDY, Peter:    Down the Track : a Military Buff's Guide to the Stuart Highway. Darwin : Peter Dermoudy, 1989
  • MCKENZIE SMITH, Graham R.:  Australia's Forgotten Army Volume 2. Defending the Northern Gateways, Northern Territory and Torres Strait, 1938 to 1945. Canberra : Grimwade Publications, 1994 
  • RAYNOR, Robert: The Army and the Defence of Darwin Fortress. Plumpton, NSW: Rudder Press, 1995
  • RAYNOR, Robert: Darwin and Northern Territory Force. Wollongong: Rudder Press, 2001

Excellent background reading includes:

  • POWELL, Alan: The Shadow’s Edge. Darwin: CDU Press, 2007
  • LEWIS, Tom:  A War at Home. 3rd ed. Darwin: Tall Stories, 2010

The Northern Territory Library created a Roll of Honour exhibitionwith biographies and photographs of those who died as a result of the Bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942. At East Point in Darwin, the Darwin Military Museum has created a memorial wall which lists the names of 1671 people who were killed or died of disease during the war in northern Australia.

Australian War Memorial naming conventions are used for Infantry Units and a glossaryof abbreviations and acronyms is available. National Library of Australia permitted the use of the background photograph.

Should you wish to add any suggestion or correction please contact us by email at