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Japanese missions against Coomalie Creek Airfield
November 23, 1942 - November 10, 1943

November 22, 1942 (Raid 1)
Around midnight on November 22, 1942, a formation of Japanese bombers at high altitude bombed Coomalie Creek Airfield but all their bombs fell did no damage, falling into the scrub nearby. At least two Japanese bombers were claimed as shot down. Note: this air raid is sometimes listed as November 23, 1942.

November 27, 1942 (Raid 2)
In the early hours of November 27, 1942 a formation of Japanese bombers
dropped bombs on Coomalie Creek Airfield. Only two or three hit the runway, the rest fell into the scrub nearby. Before the "all clear"in the dark, Squadron Leader Gordon Savage, the Officer Commanding of "A" Flight, 31 Squadron was riding an Indian motorcycle to inspect the runway but fell into a bomb crater, with the motorcycle falling atop him, pinning him in the crater. Afterwards, a 31 Squadron staff car drove along the runway and discovered Savage pinned in the bomb crater and pulled him out safely with only a few cuts and bruises. Unknown to the occupants of the car, they had parked over an unexploded Japanese bomb.

March 2, 1943 (Raid 3)
(IJN) At 2:30pm Coomalie Creek Airfield was placed on "Yellow Alert", expecting a possible air raid based on the sighting of a Japanese reconnaissance aircraft earlier in the day off Bathurst Island. At 2:34pm, six A6M2 Zeros strafe Coomalie Creek Airfield. Destroyed at the end of the runway was Beaufighter A19-31. All the other aircraft were parked in revetments and only one was slightly damaged. On the ground, three men were wounded, none seriously. During the air raid, Beaufighter A19-17, flown by "Bluey" Armstrong, was returning to Coomalie Creek airfield, from a cross country exercise at the time of the raid, and was attacked by three Zeros. He managed to escape to the south. Afterwards, three of the Zeros were claimed as shot down over the sea by Spitfires. They also damaged three other Zeros.

August 13. 1943 (Raid 4)
Japanese air raid

On 13 August 1943 at about 11:12pm, 9 Japanese bombers attacked Fenton and Coomalie Creek airfields in the Northern Territory. 10 Spitfires took off to defend the airfields against the Japanese aircraft. There were no losses on both sides.

The following is Arthur Backholer's recollection of this bombing raid at Coomalie Creek on 13 August 1943. Arthur was a Medical Orderly at 1 Medical Receiving Station RAAF (1 MRS) at Coomalie Creek between 1942 and 1943:-

Japanese bombers appeared to favour the full moon for their air raids. The light from the full moon and the clear atmosphere of the tropics cast bright shadows at ground level. On 13 August 1943, near midnight, Japanese planes attacked Fenton and Coomalie Creek airfields. Located within 5 km of 31 Squadron RAAF at Coomalie Creek, 1 MRS became a victim of this raid when within minutes of the sirens being sounded, 26 bombs exploded in the Hospital grounds. There were no causalities at 1 MRS, but it was a dreadful experience for those few bedridden patients who were unable to go to the slit trenches.

August 21, 1943 (Raid 5)
Japanese air raid.

Coomalie Creek airfield, Fenton airfield was also bombed

November 10, 1943 (Raid 6)
Japanese air raid.

Japanese aircraft dropped five bombs about one mile from the detachment Camp site for 9 Works Maintenance Unit (9MWU) RAAF near Coomalie Creek airfield in the Northern Territory.

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