17 October 2019

Australia: collaborative research on shared military and maritime heritage

We update you on recent and upcoming developments of research activities carried out in Australia.

‘Sunrise in Roebuck Bay - Japanese Flying Boat Wrecks’ (photo: sheyneg / licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

In recent weeks, Bas Kreuger (commissioned by the Maritime Heritage International Program of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands), carried out research at the National Archives of Australia and the Australian War Memorial. This was part of the research on the Drama of Broome, the Japanese attack on the northwestern Australian city of Broome on 3 March 1942. During this attack, 11 Dutch airplanes were lost and between 70 and 100 people, mostly civilians, were killed.

New research on shared heritage

Agreements have been made with the Western Australian Museum to carry out an above and underwater archaeological research into the four still missing Dutch aircrafts of the Catalina and Dornier type of the Naval Aviation Service. This research expedition is planned for 2020.

In addition, an investigation has started about a Dutch bomber (B-25 bomber N5-254) who was killed in an emergency landing in northwestern Australia in October 1945. The aircraft contained a large amount of money on board destined for the former Dutch East Indies (present day Indonesia) to boost the economy in the former Dutch colony after the Japanese occupation during the Second World War. An Australian team is investigating the location of the device and a possible storage facility.