World War II

Think Dili, not Darwin

On 19 February 1942 Darwin was bombed in the first raid of 64 attacks by the Japanese air force. The bombing was designed to disable the infrastructure to prevent it being used against the Japanese push south. Japan had no intention of invading Australia. On the same day, Portuguese Timor was bombed and invaded, and the Japanese stayed there for 4 years. Richard Gregory has illustrated this situation superbly. Click here.

Remembering Darwin and …
On a warm Thursday morning 79 years ago, on 19 February 1942, two forces of Japanese bombers swept over the Arafura Sea to drop bombs on Darwin…When Australians remember the bombing of Darwin – which they should – as a shocking and potentially portentous event in Australia’s history, they might also consider the sufferings of the people of Timor, and Australia’s part in it.
Peter Stanley – Pearls and Irritations -21 February 2021   Pdf found here. 

The Bombing of Dili

Last year it was 79 years since the bombing of Dili, Portuguese Timor. (Darwin was also bombed.) It’s high time we Australians remembered with sorrow the terrible loss of Timorese lives during World War 11. Tens of thousands died as a direct result of helping our Australian soldiers. See graphic here.

There was a rally outside Linda Reynolds’ Office in Perth on Friday 19th February 2020. The Defence Minister was chosen because of the WWII connection. Here’s an image of the event.   And here’s the advertisement in the newspaper.

Anzac Day 2017: Exhibit honours Timorese boys who risked their lives for Australian commandos
James Dexter from the WA Museum talks about the “criados” in Timor Leste in WWII.
Emma Wynne – ABC Radio Perth – 24 April 2017