Defenders set for commemoration
Organisers of a 75th Darwin Defenders commemoration ceremony in Horsham on February 20 hope to have two of the last surviving Defenders at the event.
Invitations have gone to Frank Fisher of Nhill and Ben Kennett, Hamilton, to attend the ceremony at Horsham College’s I. O. Maroske Hall.
David Sudholz, the nephew of Darwin Defender the late Bob Sudholz, will be guest speaker at the gathering.
Guests will include descendants and family members of Darwin Defenders and year-10 students from Horsham district schools.
Organisers are encouraging the public to attend to gain an understanding of the events based on ‘When War Came to Australia’.
During the Second World War, on February 19, 1942, 243 Japanese aircraft attacked Darwin against inadequate defences. Bombing raids continued until November 12, 1943.
The sustained Japanese attack on Darwin and other nearby settlements remains one of significant events in Australian history.
Stationed in Darwin at the time were 900 Wimmera and southern Mallee personnel, which formed the Horsham-based 19th Machine Gun Battalion.
A Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941, had horrified the world. On that day, the Japanese used 350 planes to drop 271 bombs and torpedoes.
The Japanese launched more than twice the firepower used at Pearl Harbour against Darwin two months later.
On February 19, Japanese planes dropped 683 bombs, or 114,620 kilograms of explosives.
A free bus will provide pick-up services in Horsham from 8.50am. It will pick up people outside Garden Village on River Road, outside the front of Horsham Library and from Trinity Manor car park.
People seeking information can call Sheryl on 0427 642 257 or Lynne on 0438 215 825. the most