[The bombing of Darwin and aftermath February-March 1942]

Accession Number F04775
Collection type Film
Measurement 16 min 42 sec
Object type Home movie
Physical description 8mm standard/b&w/silent
Maker Sheldon-Collins, Francis
Place made Australia: Northern Territory, Darwin
Date made 19 February 1942; March 1942
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Darwin, Northern Territory, February - March 1942. The scenes (although not in chronological sequence) were taken after the first raid on 19 February and before the second in Mitchell Street from outside the Northern Territory Patrol Service Captain Bell's residence. This building had quite recently been taken over by Commander Tozer RAN captain of HMAS Melville who had previously operated from a suite in the Hotel Darwin. Other scenes (with the exception of those taken of the town area) are much later because after the raid the town area was placed out of bounds by the military police. The scenes were taken from the roof top of the house to which Commander Tozer RAN moved in early March when the Navy with the exception of NOIC and the headquarters staff moved to Myilly Point adjacent to the hospital. The scenes covering the bombing of the Bank of NSW and the burning of oil tanks were from the top of the water tower in Mitchell Street on a vacant lot behind the Victoria Hotel. The films were developed uncensored via Lieutenant Commander McGill at Navy Office and only cover a few weeks before the order that all cameras hads to be sen south. After the first day raids the white ensign flown at Naval Headquaters in Mitchell Street was lowered and hoisted on the outskirts of town and there it remained until the new NOIC Captain CJ Pope assumed command. Film opens briefly showing U.S. personnel in Mitchell Street opposite Captain Bell's residence. Naval barracks previously private houses, Myilly Point. USAAC Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawks the particular model proved useless against the Japanese Zero. Commander Tozer's goats. Goats being milked by Commander's steward Earl Foster. Bombs bursting on RAAF station taken from roof of house at Myilly Point. Army truck. Most vehicles in the Myilly Point area used the loop at the point to turn around. Members of the 2/14 Field Regiment proceeding to slit trenches. Bombs landing on Naval Barracks, Myilly Point and the hospital beach. Scenes of Naval supply store bombed. Naval Paymaster's Office bombed. Two recently filled oil tanks bombed and going up. The tanks burnt for three days and at night blotted out the cinema screen at the Naval Barracks, Myilly Point. Scenes of the town area. View of the burning oil tanks taken from the top of the water tower in Mitchell Street. A month to the day, other tanks were bombed but were out by nightfall because the valves had been rectified to allow drain off. Scene of the Bank of NSW. Anti-aircraft fire from the oval AA battery, the second raid on February 19. The Neptuna takes a direct hit and blows up. Officer's Cook, Lou Hoffman departing the Commander's house with two bottles of gin from Guam for which he traded one bottle of Australian gin. Commander's house. Just prior to the first raid Commander Tozer RAN vacated his suite at the Hotel Darwin and took up residence in the house of Captain Bell who was seconded into the Navy from the Northern Territory Patrol Service. Nurses' quarters of Kahlin Hospital in Mitchell Street after the first raid, February 19. Bomb crater between the nurses' quarters and the hospital. Another crater adjacent to the hospital. Other nurses' quarters. Sweep to view the damage to the hospital. Naval wing at Kahlin Hospital. Another crater adjacent to Naval Wing. Close up of the damage to Naval Wing. The house of Mr West of the Public Works Department taken over by Commander Tozer RAN at Myilly Point. The house was third from the Point and the first and second were later occupied by personnel of the 2/14 Field Regiment under command of Colonel Hone. The regiment set up two field guns, 14 pounders? (18 or 25 pounder perhaps) overlooking Mindil Beach. View of the tank onto which from the bathroom window then the roof for the panoramic views of the bombing of the RAAF Station and Naval Depot, Myilly Point. Houses occupied by the Navy at Myilly Point after evacuating the Naval Depot in Mitchell Street town area. Second raid on Naval Barracks, Myilly Point. Aircraft shot down (P-40?). Supply store damaged. Three supply assistants were in a fox hole underneath, taggered out groggy but unscathed. Supply rating's quarters damaged by blast. P-40 Kittyhawk fighter returning. Dogfight. Aircraft shot down, explosion can be seen slightly to the right of frame. Bren gun carrier. Another raid on the RAAF. Aircraft exploding , better scene of the explosion. Bomb crater near hospital with officer's cook, N.J. Phillips in the crater to give an idea of the depth. Bomb damage Darwin town area results of first raids, the supreme Court area. Administrators residence staff quarters, first raid. Administrators residence, first raid. Blocks of flats nearby first raid. The post office area. The Darwin pier damaged first raid with Neptuna laying on side behind. Another section of the bombed pier. House in Mitchell Street on the outskirts of town on road to Myilly Point. Fresh goat's milk for the Commanding Officer - first born kid latter served at dinner party. Football match on Larrakeyah Parade Ground between Navy and Army. Officer's Cook, Lou Hoffman, as goal umpire. Scenes of town area. Looking over the harbour towards the sunken ships. What was the PMG van. Scene of the Commonwealth Bank. Either John Brown's or Jolleys General store. Scene of Cavenagh Street. The damage was not done by bombing but the Military Police burnt parts of it. Close up of the Bank of NSW and view down Smith Street with the Star Theatre on the right and the Victoria Hotel on the left. View of the crater of the bombed out oil wells taken from the water tower. Cavengh Street Chinatown. Don Hotel. Another view of where the oil tanks were. [Summary adapted from Mr Sheldon Collins scene list]

Film order form
  • Video of [The bombing of Darwin and aftermath February-March 1942] (video)