North Western Area Campaign

North Western Area Campaign
North Western Area Campaign
Part of the Pacific War
B-25 Mitchell bombers from No. 18 (NEI) Squadron near Darwin in 1943. This was one of three joint Australian-Dutch squadrons formed during the war.
B-25 Mitchell bombers from No. 18 (NEI) Squadron near Darwin in 1943. This was one of three joint Australian-Dutch squadrons formed during the war.[1]
Date 1942–1945
Location Northern Australia and the Netherlands East Indies
Result Allied victory

 United States
 United Kingdom
Netherlands Netherlands

 Empire of Japan

The North-Western Area Campaign was an air campaign fought between the Allied and Japanese air forces over northern Australia and the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) between 1942 and 1945. The campaign began with the Japanese bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942 and continued until the end of the war.

While the Japanese attack on Darwin inflicted heavy damage on the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base there, the Allies quickly recovered. Darwin was reinforced to meet the perceived threat of invasion and additional airfields were built to the south of the town. By October 1942 the RAAF's North-Western Area command had been built up to six squadrons, and was conducting daily attacks on Japanese positions in the NEI.[2]

The Allied force continued to expand in 1943 with the arrival of United States Army Air Force B-24 Liberator heavy bomber units, Australian and British Spitfire squadrons and Australian and Dutch medium bomber squadrons. The Spitfires inflicted substantial losses on Japanese raiders as North-Western Area stepped up its attacks on Japanese positions. RAAF Catalina flying boats also successfully laid mines in Japanese shipping routes.[2]


  1. ^ "No. 18 (NEI) Squadron, RAAF". Allies in adversity. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  2. ^ a b Coates (2006). An Atlas of Australia's Wars. pp. p.270. ISBN 0195559142. 


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