SpecialEdition

Mission Island

THE STORY SO FAR

The priest on Mission Island radios to warn of the approaching Japanese planes. The church is bombed and he is killed.

INSPIRED BY THESE HISTORICAL EVENTS

The bombing of Bathurst Island

At approximately 8.25 am on 19th February 1942, 14 bombers flew overhead and a large number of planes flew south over Snake Bay at Melville Island. At the Bathurst Island Mission Father McGrath, one of the volunteers with the Navy coast-watching scheme, was alerted by native islanders of the approach of aircraft from the North. Father McGrath sent a radio message to Darwin, which was received but ignored. During the invasion, a RAAF DC3 on the Bathurst Island airstrip was riddled with gunfire by two Zeros and a hole was blasted in the roof of the mission church. The radio was also jammed, preventing further communication with Darwin. (Source: Darwin 1942 by Timothy Hall, The Shadow's Edge: Australia's Northern War by Alan Powell and Baz Luhrmann interview with Brother Edward Bennett, conducted in Alice Springs 27th August 2005)

Bathurst Island

Bathurst Island


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