RAHS Day Lecture: Direct Hit – The Bombing Of Darwin Post Office

The explosion of the MV Neptuna and clouds of smoke from oil storage tanks, hit during the first Japanese air raid on Australia’s mainland, at Darwin on February 19, 1942. In the foreground is HMAS Deloraine, which escaped damage, RAN Historical Collection [Public domain via Wikimedia Commons]

Join us at History House on Wednesday 3 May for our next free day lecture. Brett Bowden will present ‘Direct Hit – The Bombing Of Darwin Post Office’.

On the floor of the Northern Territory Parliament is a small plaque that reads: “ON 19 FEBRUARY 1942 AN ENEMY BOMB FELL HERE AND KILLED TEN PEOPLE.” It commemorates a major event in Australian history when 188 Japanese fighters and bombers launched a deadly air raid on Darwin. Among the targets was the Darwin Post Office, which suffered a direct hit. Taking cover in a slit trench in the backyard of the Postmaster’s residence were nine members of the Postmaster-General’s Department, including the Postmaster, his wife and daughter – all nine were killed instantly.

Brett Bowden is Professor of History and Politics at Western Sydney University. Recent major publications include The Strange Persistence of Universal History in Political Thought (2017), Direct Hit: The Bombing of Darwin Post Office (2016), Civilization and War (2013), and the multi award-winning Empire of Civilization: the Evolution of an Imperial Idea (2009).

Click here to reserve your place online, email history@rahs.org.au or call (02) 9247 8001.

Date and Time: Wednesday 3rd May @ 1pm – 2pm
Venue: History House – 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Cost: FREE (Refreshments will be served following the lecture)

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