LEST WE FORGET
Leading Aircraftman Phillips Stonham LATHAM
Service No: 32932
Born: Sydney NSW, 22 May 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 5 August 1940
Unit: Headquarters, RAAF Station Darwin
Died: Air Raid: Darwin, 19 February 1942, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Adelaide River War Cemetery, NT
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leslie Frederic and Gladys Caroline Latham, of Baan Baa, New South Wales.
Roll of Honour: Baan Baa NSW
Remembered: Panel 97, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Boggabri War Memorial, Boggabri NSW
The following is a summary of the damage resulting from the bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942.
The total death roll has been assessed at 238, the figure being subject to several qualifications. Of this total, at least 157 died in ships. Fourteen civilians were killed in the town and 21 on the wharf. The RAAF and the USAAF each had 7 fatal casualties and the army 2. Apart from 78 people treated for minor injuries, the three hospitals ashore admitted 148 wounded. To this total must be added those who were taken direct to the Manunda.
Five merchant ships were sunk, 3 were beached and one other and the Manunda were damaged. Three naval vessels were sunk—USS Peary, the 14-ton Australian lugger Mavie and the supply hulk Kelat and eight were damaged. Twenty-three aircraft were destroyed—10 USAAF Kittyhawks, 6 RAAF Hudsons, 3 USN Catalinas, one USAAF Liberator and 3 USAAF Beechcraft transports. A Hudson and a Wirraway that was in a hangar for repair were damaged. As a counter to all these Allied losses it was possible to claim only 5 Japanese aircraft shot down with another 5 probably destroyed, the credit being shared by the American Kittyhawk pilots and the Australian anti-aircraft gunners.
Extract from Gillison, D.N. (Douglas Napier) (254475) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Pages 430-1
The seven RAAF members killed were:
Leading Aircraftman Leonard Arthur Barton (18368)
Leading Aircraftman Phillips Stonham Latham (32932)
Aircraftman Class 1 Francis Neaylon (20361)
Leading Aircraftman Albert Victor Leske Schulz (28222)
Corporal Robert Frederick Simons (26040)
Aircraftman Class 1 Stanley George Smith (45738)
Wing Commander Archibald Robert Tindal (76)
Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9301, 32932
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line