The painful truth about the bombing of Darwin

Feb 17, 2017

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RAAF veteran and Darwin bombing survivor Brian Winspear says we need to do more to remember the attack that killed hundreds of Australians.

Brian arrived in Darwin on the day of the bombing and no one had any idea what was about to happen, he says.

“At one stage I watched 12 mates burn to death in a crash on take-off.

“The first inkling we had was when a flock of what looked like bees descended on the aerodrome all dropping bombs and shooting up aeroplanes.

“We lost all but one of aircraft.”

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“The nasty bits are etched on my brain and I think of them often,” Brian told David and Will on FIVEaa breakfast.

“At one stage I watched 12 mates burn to death in a crash on take-off. Death is all around you and you’re not far from it yourself.

“The four blokes that came from number nine corps -- I was the only survivor, and also the squadron had lost three quarters of its air crew.

“You got used to death. There’s no mourning, no funerals -- just stick your head down and keep doing what you had to.”

Australian squadrons received US presidential citations, according to Brian, “but the Australian government has never done anything”.

“I believe there should be a medal presented to the people that protected Australia at that stage -- a Darwin defenders medal or something like that.

“All the families of those 200 people that were killed protecting Darwin, they’ve been through hell. I think it’s about time that we did something.”

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