There were many heroes during the Japanese raid on 3 March 1942, and one of them was Aboriginal man Charlie D’Antoine. He was a Broome local who was preparing a flying boat for refuelling when the raid occurred.

Charlie D'Antoine local hero during Japanese Air Attack

Source: National Library of Australia

This article appeared in Perth’s Sunday Times on 15 March 1942. In 1992, Charlie D’Antoine’s niece, Mary Cowley, said of it:
Unfortunately the report quoted, the then Inspector of Broome, as saying ‘He is just a lad and although he has coloured skin, he proved his right to be known as a white man’. I guess they meant well at the time, but that kind of thing is very hurtful.
(North West Telegraph, 11 March 1992)

The main thing I was worried about was not the Japanese bullets coming from above, but the sharks from down below.

Charlie D’Antoine, 1992 (North West Telegraph, 11 March 1992)

Charlie D’Antoine with his Bravery Award at the 50 year anniversary of the Broome Raids
D’Antoine at an event in 1992 marking the 50th anniversary of the Broome raid.

He is wearing a medal that was awarded to him by the Dutch government, and holding a bravery certificate he received from the Royal Humane Society of Australasia in 1944.

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