DEFENDING THE NORTH

Lieutenant David ‘Bo’ Davis was a former Broome pearler who had retired to Melbourne prior to The Second World War. When war broke out he volunteered and was appointed as the Deputy Naval Officer in charge of Broome and Port Hedland district.

Pearl luggers for use by the military during the war.
Donated by Brian & Kim Davis.

Among Davis’s tasks was the requisitioning of pearl luggers for use by the military during the war.

He requisitioned this pearl lugger and in 1942 captained it on a secret reconnaissance mission to search for Japanese activity along the remote north west Australian coastline.

This White Ensign flag identified the requisitioned pearling lugger, HMAS Heather, as a British naval ship.

The flag was signed by the crew, who had also worked on the vessel when it was used for pearling.

While requestioning vessels helped the war effort, the pearling industry suffered greatly as a result and never fully recovered.

White Ensign flag identified the requisitioned pearling lugger, HMAS Heather, as a British naval ship
Donated by Brian & Kim Davis.
Dutch medal
Donated by Brian & Kim Davis
Davis was present for the 3 March Japanese raid and received this Netherlands Cross of Merit for his actions on the day.

The citation read:

Lieut. Davis as deputy Naval Officer in charge of Broome, Port Hedland district during an enemy attack on Netherlands at Broome on March 3 1942, showed conspicuous organising ability, handled transport in a masterly manner and rendered great assistance to those on board the plane.

The Daily News (Perth), 18 July 1944

 

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