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March 3, 1942 Air Raid Against Broome
by Stan Gajda

Broome, Western Australia
Broome is 1,350 miles from Perth and was a remote out-of-the-way place during the war. Today it is one of the top tourist attractions in Australia. I don't know what has happened to the wrecks since I was there last in 1987.

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A6M2 Zeros Attack
On March 3, 1942 nine A6M2 Zeros from the 3rd Kokutai (3rd Air Group) led by one C5M2 took off from Keopang Airfield on Timor. Over the target at 9:20am, six Zeros conducted a low level strafing attack over Broome, Broome Airfield and Roebuck Bay at 500'. Three Zeros provided top cover, and the C5M2 flew reconnassance. During the attack, aircraft people fleeing Java were staging through Broome to Perth. This attack resulted in the destruction of 17 aircraft which including Donier Do24 seaplanes, Catalinas, Empire flying boats, Fortresses, Liberators, Hudsons and DC-3s. The only Japanese loss was A6M2 Zero piloted by WO Osamu Kudo who was hit by ground fire and crashed in the sea and was never found.

C5M2 Babs piloted by Akira Hayashi with observer Shinobu Nagasawa
A6M2 Zero piloted by Lt. Zenjiro Miyano (top cover)
A6M2 Zero piloted by 3rd Air Sergent Takashi Kurano (top cover)
A6M2 Zero piloted by 1st Air Private Zempei Matsumoto (top cover)
A6M2 Zero piloted by Chief Air Sergeant Masaki Okazaki
A6M2 Zero piloted by 2nd Air Sergeant Susumu Matsumoto
A6M2 Zero piloted by 1st Air Sergeant Juzo Okamoto
A6M2 Zero piloted by 2nd Air Sergeant Yoshio Hashiguchi
A6M2 Zero piloted by 1st Air Private Yasuo Matsumoto
A6M2 Zero piloted by Warrant Officer Osamu Kudo (KIA)

Dornier Do24 Wrecks
This is probably one of the rares aircraft types in the Pacific. German engineered for the Dutch, this three engine seaplane is a rare wreck in terms of history and type. Sunk during the Japanese attack. I have identified three Dornier Do24's including X-1, X-20 and X-23 at Broome and about 50 miles on the coast south of Broome, the X-36 landed at night and the crew burnt it thinking the Japanese were right behind them.

At very low spring and king tides some of the seaplane wrecks can be reached by wading out to them about a mile offshore. Once I saw these I wanted to explore them, recover relics for the museum and look for more wrecks.

    March 3, 1942 Allied Losses
Dutch Navy Do 24 X-28
Dutch Navy PBY Y-59
Dutch Navy PBY Y-60
Dutch Navy PBY Y-67
Dutch Navy PBY Y-70

Broome Airfield
On land near Broome Airfield there used to be bits and pieces of the B-17s and B-24s etc. There were even 50 cal machine guns around the place back in 1976. Development of the town as a tourist destination and obliterated everything on land since then. The last time I was out on the mud flats was in 1989 and I have never been there since. B-24A 40-2373 was destroyed at the airfield.

After The Battle Magazine issues 28, Broome by Stan Gajda

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