Raid on Darwin (2 May 1943)
|Japanese raid on Darwin (2 May 1943)|
|Part of the Pacific War|
Two Spitfires taking off from an airstrip near Darwin in March 1943
|Empire of Japan|| Australia
|Commanders and leaders|
|Suzuki Minoru||Clive Caldwell|
|27 Zero fighters
|33 Spitfire fighters
Darwin anti-aircraft guns
|Casualties and losses|
|6-10 aircraft destroyed
8 aircraft damaged
|2 pilots killed
1 soldier killed
14 Spitfires destroyed or damaged
Minor damage to buildings
The Japanese raid on Darwin of 2 May 1943 was a significant battle in the North Western Area Campaign of World War II. During the raid a force of over 20 Japanese bombers and Zero fighters attacked the Australian town of Darwin, Northern Territory, inflicting little damage on the ground. This attack was the 54th Japanese airstrike over Australia. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) unit responsible for protecting the town, No. 1 Wing RAAF, intercepted the Japanese force after it had completed its attack, and suffered heavy losses from the Japanese fighters, aggravated by fuel shortages. The results of the battle led to public concern, and No. 1 Wing adopted new fighting tactics which proved successful in countering later raids.
- Department of Defence (1943–1946). "Enemy Air Raid No 54 on Darwin - 2nd May 1943.". Record A5954, 524/2. National Archives of Australia.
- Alexander, Kristen (2005). "The day the planes "all fell into the sea": Darwin Raid 54-2 May 1943". Sabretache (Canberra: Military Historical Society of Australia).
- Alexander, Kristen (2006). Clive Caldwell, Air Ace. St. Leonards: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-74114-705-0.
- Cooper, Anthony (2011). Darwin Spitfires : The Real Battle for Australia. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. ISBN 978-1-74223-227-0.
- Helson, Peter (1997). The forgotten Air Force : the establishment and employment of Australian air power in the North-Western area, 1941-1945. Masters Thesis. Canberra: Australian Defence Force Academy, UNSW.
- Odgers, George (1968). Air War Against Japan 1943–1945. Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Series 3 – Air (reprint ed.). Canberra: Australian War Memorial.
- Thomas, Andrew (2009). Spitfire Aces of Burma and the Pacific. Osprey Aircraft of the Aces. Botley: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-422-0.