Sunday, August 19, 2012


One of the last living defenders of Darwin during World War II has died.
Gunner Jack Mulholland was stationed on what is now Darwin's esplanade area, when the Japanese launched their first raid on the city in February 1942.
He was in his mid-90s when he died last Tuesday after a long illness.
Tom Lewis from Darwin's Military Museum says he was a brave soldier whose memory will live on.
"We intend to remember him here in the displays we have," he said.
"We also have him on a permanent loop film and when he was up here we interviewed him and he actually wrote a book too and he was also a great friend of the museum."
Mr Lewis says there are only three defenders of Darwin thought to be still alive.
"Jack should be remembered here always as one of the original defenders of Darwin," he said.
"We need to remember these people, remember their names and their contributions."
For the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin in February, Gunner Mulholland told the ABC that the attack remains a silent legacy.
"Nobody says anything about what happened in Darwin and Darwin was a battle. Ask the blokes who were in the ships when they were being pounded. And as far as I'm concerned the name should be the battle for Darwin," he said.
Gunner Mulholland was 20 at the time, an anti-aircraft gunner, when Japanese bombs rained out of the morning sky.
He never forgot the horrors he saw.
"Oil on the harbour alight, blokes trying to swim, I had a fantastic view of the harbour and it's a battle which has never been acknowledged," he said.
To see a video interview, go to


  1. Oh yes... the Japanese bombing of Darwin, the Japanese Submarine making it into Sydney Harbour etc. etc. etc... still remain largely a hidden part of our Australian History. May you now R.I.P Gunner Jack Mulholland and, on the behalf all Australians, I thank you.

  2. I was an adult before I knew that Darwin had suffered bombing on a large scale... I was always led to believe that Australia all but escaped any damage or 'intrusion'... I did know about a sub found in Sydney harbour, but not the whole story... so much was left out of the history books.I wonder if we will ever know the true extent. We owe so much to all the 'Jacks' and 'Jills' who defended our country and worked in so many ways for the war effort... here and overseas...


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