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    Western Australia (WA)  Australia

Location
Western Australia (WA) encompasses the entire western third of Australia. Borders the Northern Territory (NT) to the northeast.

Broome  located on the northern coast bordering Roebuck Bay suffered two Japanese air raids.
Roebuck Bay  borders Broome used as a seaplane anchorage.
Wyndham  suffered two Japanese air raids.
Derby  includes Derby Airfield that was attacked once.
Pearce  located to the north of Perth includes Pearce Airfield.
Perth  coastal city that was an important base for submarines.
Truscott  includes Truscott Airfield.
Corunna Downs  includes Corunna Downs Airfield.
Drysdale (Kalumburu)  northernmost settlement in Western Australia includes Drysdale Airfield.
Fremantle  coastal city and Allied Naval base

Wartime History
The German raider Kormoran had entered the Indian Ocean in May 1941 and in the following six months sank eight merchant ships, none in Australian waters although it sailed within the Australian Station. At 4 pm on 19 November 1941, HMAS Sydney returning to Fremantle from Java sighted the Kormoran about 200 miles west of Carnarvon, Western Australia. For 90 minutes the Kormoran tried to pass itself off as a Dutch vessel but when all chance of deception evaporated opened fire on HMAS Sydney with guns and torpedoes. The action lasted 30 minutes with both ships being crippled and set ablaze. Both sank and the entire complement of HMAS Sydney was lost.

During 1943, surface raiders and submarines operated in the Indian Ocean but mainly along the African and Indian coasts. In June 1943 a German raider sank two ships about 1000 miles off the Western Australian coast, outbound from Fremantle and Exmouth.

Surface raiders and submarines continued to operate in the Indian Ocean in 1944 to the south of India and into the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The last sinkings on both the eastern and western coasts of Australia were made by the same German U-boat, U-862. It left Djakarta on 17 November 1944 to operate off the west coast of Australia but then continued along the south coast through Bass Strait into the Tasman Sea. On 25 December, U-862 sunk the Liberty ship Robert J Walker, 100 miles north of Gabo Island and on 6 February 1945 while returning to Djakarta sank the motor vessel Peter Silvester. This was the last submarine attack on the Australian Station.

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Last Updated
July 17, 2019

 

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