The town of Katherine marks the southern most point of Japanese bombing raids on the Northern Territory in World War II. It was bombed once in the early afternoon of 22 March, 1942. Dorothy Hall was preparing lunch for her family that day. Ann Cox also witnessed the attack, and later wrote of her experience.
Several sites reflecting Katherine’s wartime role are well worth a visit, including the former meat works, home to Australian General Hospital units; the gallon store at Knotts Crossing which still bears shrapnel scars and a bomb crater from the raid that late wet season Sunday in 1942.
Now the Katherine Museum, the former Old Katherine Aerodrome terminal building was completed in 1945 by the Allied Works Council. The strategic importance of Katherine after the outbreak of the war in the Pacific promoted immediate improvements to the airfield. However, due to continuing inadequacies of the airfield, two new bomber bases were constructed – Manbulloo Airfield (completed in 1943) and Tindal (completed in December 1944).