Darwin Military Museum Australia, Darwin

Darwin Military Museum

The Darwin Military Museum was originally established as an artillery museum by the Royal Australian Artillery Association (NT) Inc (RAAA) to exhibit photographs and artefacts from Darwin's history during World War II. The Museum now has a large exhibit of items from the war, including Navy, Army and Air Force items from Australian, US and other armed forces. It is set amongst concrete gun emplacements and other fortifications in an area that was one of the most heavily fortified parts of Australia during the war.

At the peak around 1943, there were over 110,000 armed forces personnel based in Darwin and nearby areas. It was from Darwin that General Douglas MacArthur launched his campaign to liberate Manila and more generally to reclaim the Philippines from Japanese occupation.

During the war, Darwin was bombed 64 times over almost two years, with the first two raids alone on 19 February 1942 resulting in the deaths of an estimated 243 people. Other sources place the figure as much higher, even up to 1000, and a memorial plaque on the Darwin Esplanade overlooking the harbour says 292 people were killed. ABC TV News on 28 February 2010 carried an item saying that the Darwin City Council has commissioned naval historian John Bradford to determine the truth on how many died.