Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This image is licensed under CC BY-NC

ID number ART21687
Title First 'Zero' Japanese fighter brought down on Australian mainland
Collection Art
Object type Drawing
Maker Hodgkinson, Roy (Artist)
Place made Australia: Northern Territory, Darwin
Date made 1942
Medium gouache on paper
Measurement overall: 48.6 x 64.3 cm


The wreckage of an aircraft shot down over the mainland in Darwin on 19 February 1942. This aircraft is not actually a Zero as it is referred to by the artist but instead is a Aichi D3A carrier based dive bomber. Two of these aircraft were shot down on February 19, one on the mainland and one in Darwin Harbour. The only Zero that was shot down crashed on Melville Island. The pilot of this aircraft was buried in two humble graves, as his remains were found on two consecutive days. Roughly chopped saplings were placed around the graves and the epitaph which reads 'Unknown Japanese Airman Died 19.2.42.' was punched on an old jam tin.