In early March 1942 Allied forces in the Netherlands East Indies surrendered and the lightning Japanese conquest of South East Asia was complete. Amid fears of a Japanese invasion of Australia, two understrength RAAF squadrons of Lockheed Hudsons began a brave fight back against the enemy from the Darwin area. These modest initial efforts were the beginnings of an unwavering campaign by Allied bombers waged from Northern Australia until the end of the war in August 1945.
As the Hudson squadrons were rebuilt throughout 1942, they were joined by a unique Dutch squadron operating B-25 Mitchells. From 1943 USAAF Liberators joined the fight, and their great range enabled them to attack targets deep within the NEI. From 1944 they were replaced by RAAF Liberators.
Other RAAF squadrons used an assortment of aircraft including Vengeances, Beauforts, Mitchells, Venturas and Catalina flying boats. The last type waged an important mining campaign against Japanese held ports in the NEI and later to the Philippines and beyond.
Drawing on a wealth of new sources, Bombers North presents for the first time the full story of a little-known bomber offensive waged from remote northern Australia.