DESTRUCTION AT THE MAIN WHARF AND ON THE HARBOUR
On 18 February 1942, a convoy from Darwin, laden with troops and supplies for the hard-pressed Australian Timor garrison, was forced to return when it came under heavy attack by Japanese bombers. Many residents of Darwin became apprehensive when the convoy returned to their harbour and they learnt the reason for it doing so. With ships of the convoy crowding the harbour, it was clear to many that Darwin was likely to become a Japanese target. On the next day their fears proved to be justified when Japanese warplanes launched a devastating attack on the harbour, town and airfields.
The Australian transports Neptuna and Barossa were struck by Japanese bombs while berthed at Darwin's main wharf. The ammunition carried by Neptuna produced a massive explosion. A stunned onlooker risks his life to view the devastation.
The tanker British Motorist lies on its side in Darwin harbour after direct hits by two Japanese bombs. The crew had to battle burning fuel oil to reach the shore.