History Remembered at Broome Campus

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 14-2-2007

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Broome

Publication Place



THE University of Notre Dame Australia Broome Campus library gallery space will begin another event-packed year with an exhibition commemorating the 65th Anniversary of the strafing of Broome entitled, Australians Under Attack.

More than 100 people were killed when Japanese planes flew in over Roebuck Bay on March 3, 1942. In Australia’s second worst air raid, twenty-four aircraft, including sixteen flying boats, were destroyed. Most of the aircraft had just arrived from the Netherlands East Indies carrying refugees who were still on board.

The exhibition will be officially opened on March 2 at 10.30am by a survivor of the air raid, Lieutenant Commander Doorman (Retired) of the Dutch Navy. Lt Cmdr (Retired) Doorman and his family were among the refugees caught in Roebuck Bay during the raid.

The exhibition from the WA Museum will visit the Broome Campus library from March 2 to March 14. The Broome Historical Society will also provide additional strafing memorabilia. The collection of maps, photographs, newspaper articles, relics and documents offer an insight into the experiences of Australians during a perilous time in the town’s history and includes personal accounts of the frightening episodes of the air attacks on Broome and also Darwin.

Broome Campus librarian Mrs Lyn Quince said the exhibition helped to demonstrate how people coped as everyday items such as food, clothing and fuel became scarce.

A presentation by Charles Darwin University maritime archaeologist, Mr Silvano Jung will continue the commemoration at 7pm.

Mr Jung has written a PH.D thesis on the archaeology of the wrecks and was a technical and historical advisor to both the ABC and National Geographic during the filming of two documentaries about the air raids. His presentation will discuss his research into the flying boat wrecks which remain visible during the town’s spring tides.

“The exhibition and evening talk are open to everyone, which should prove an interesting insight into part of the history of Broome,” Mrs Quince said.