Brian Winspear, served in Royal Australian Air Force, witness to the Bombing of Darwin

Running time
1 min 30 sec
Date made
Place made

The 3-nine-39 radio and video series tells the untold stories of veterans, widows and family members from the Second World War.


And then as a result, Australia is also at war. 3-nine-39, the day the war became real for Australians.

Ray Martin:

I’m Ray Martin. September the 3rd 1939, see’s Australia enter the Second World War. Around a million people enlist out of a population of just 7 million.

99 year old Brian Winspear is one of them. Brian joins the RAAF and is sent to Darwin in 1941 as part of the bomber squadrons flying Lockheed Hudson’s. But when he arrives back in Darwin from a mission on the morning of 19 February 1942, Brian Winspear war suddenly becomes very real.

Brian Winspear:

I remember all the details of the first bombing of Darwin. It’s been tattooed onto my brain for 70, 80 odd years. I remember clearly what they were doing, how they were doing the dive bombing and what the zeros were doing shooting up our aircrafts and setting fire to the aircraft. The dive bombings and the zeros came in. They were very very close to my trench and I could see their faces in their helmets and I’m sure they were smiling.

Ray Martin:

Brian Winspear is one in a million as we remember the Second World War 80 years on.

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