Japanese bombers attacked Darwin. HMA Ships MAVIE and KELAT, USS PEARY, and merchant ships BRITISH MOTORIST, NEPTUNA, ZEALANDIA, MAUNA LOA, and MEIGS, were sunk. HMA Ships PLATYPUS, SWAN, GUNBAR, WARREGO, KARA KARA, KOOKABURRA, KANGAROO, BAROSSA, and COONGOOLA, the hospital ship MANUNDA, USS WILLIAM B PRESTON, and five merchant ships were damaged. One hundred and seventy of the 250 dead in the attack were ships’ complement.
The Walrus from HMAS Australia crashed on landing. “Shortly before noon, and after circling the Walrus came down to land on an oilslick. Owing to some as yet unknown cause, he came in too close to the ship, and crashed head-on into the ship’s port quarter just above the water line, breaking up and bursting into flames immediately. The second whaler as crash boat was immediately lowered, and the first whaler was also sent away as a lifeboat. A motor surf-boat from USS Chicago reached the spot where the aircraft had sunk first, and succeeded in saving the Observer, Sub-Lieutenant Jackson, and the Air Gunner. The pilot, Flying officer E. J. Rowan RAAF, was not seen.