City of Darwin wishes to advise that due to ongoing impacts of recent wet weather occurring across Darwin, the venue for the Bombing of Darwin commemorative service has changed from the Darwin Cenotaph to the Darwin Convention Centre. The event will still take place on Monday 19 February 2024, from 9.30am.
On 19 February 1942, Darwin was devastated when 680 bombs, weighing more than 114,000 kilograms, fell on the harbour, in the first and largest air raid against Australia during World War II.
The Bombing of Darwin took a devastating toll on the city and its people, with over 230 lives lost, more than 400 people wounded and widespread destruction of ships, buildings and infrastructure.
Today, the Bombing of Darwin is recognised as a National Day of Observance, a time for reflection, remembrance and gratitude.
City of Darwin will commemorate and honour the city’s unique link to war with a public event at the Darwin Cenotaph from 9.30am on Monday 19 February 2024.
City of Darwin Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis said it was an important time to reflect and learn about the events that took place in Darwin during WWII.
“The Bombing of Darwin was the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australian soil which left hundreds of servicemen and civilians dead and injured,” Mr Vatskalis said.
“What some people might not know is that the number of bombs dropped on Darwin on 19 February 1942 exceeded those dropped on Pearl Harbor a few months prior.
“Each year, we come together as a city and a nation to pay tribute to those who lost their lives and the community that rendered aid, shaping the character of our city today.
“We encourage everyone, from locals to visitors and people interstate and overseas, to stop and reflect on the sacrifices made on 19 February and express gratitude to those who faced this pivotal moment in our nation’s history,” he said.
The Bombing of Darwin commemorative ceremony will include a re-enactment of the events that took place 82 years ago, a performance by the Band of the 1st Brigade, Australian Defence Force catafalque party, commemorative address, wreath laying, RAAF flyover and the 8/12th Regiment firing of guns.
There will be an additional commemoration event taking place at the US S Peary Memorial at The Esplanade, Bicentennial Park.