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.
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.
The flag was signed by the crew, who had also worked on the vessel when it was used for pearling.
While requisitioning vessels helped the war effort, the pearling industry suffered greatly as a result and never fully recovered.
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