Eyewitness Accounts continued...
Douglas Lockwood - reporter on the scene
The next witness has similar (low) credibility to Rudman. According this “special representative”, the “first place hit” could not
have been the post office because this eyewitness was in that very building
. He says that the waterfront
was the first place hit and that this was after
News (Adelaide, SA)
Sat 21 Feb 1942
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/arti ... 5/11347102
From Our Special Representative
KATHERINE.- After the second raid I set out with two other pressmen for Adelaide River, and from there came on today in open railway trucks for more than 100 miles of stinging heat, with people being evacuated.
For the first five miles out of town I drove through a black pall of smoke, which was particularly noticeable where two formations of 24 bombers had dropped every thing they had.
When the alarm sounded I was at the post office, and as soon as the warning was given, tried to write an urgent telegram. But when I picked up a pen it was knocked from my fingers by, a falling fragment from the first bombs, which burst round the waterfront.
I made a dash in a car for a slit trench, and by this time bombs were falling all over the place.
From the trench I could see a number of tight formations of six and seven, Messerschmitts at a height of approximately 22,000 ft., but though the planes were so high I could see silvery streaks as the bombs left the racks.
One stick was released directly over me, and I don't mind saying I had a few anxious moments. But they veered off. [...]
The next uncomfortable moment came when a dive-bomber, with one of our fighters on its tail, came down directly over my trench. It released bombs, which landed on the docks.
More pulpy fiction - and this time with the Japanese air force flying German planes!
The article above was reproduced in “The Herald” which established the author of the piece as one Douglas Lockwood.
The Herald (Melbourne, Vic.)
Sat 21 Feb 1942
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/arti ... %20bombing
In his first despatch since the Japanese raids D. W. LOCKWOOD, The Herald’s Darwin correspondent, [...] pays tribute to the anti-aircraft gunners and stresses the need for fighter air-craft.
Two days later, a further account by Lockwood appeared in “The Courier-Mail”.
The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld.)
Mon 23 Feb 1942
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/arti ... 34/2003384
DARWIN IS STRONGER: ARMY RULES,CIVILIANS GO
By Douglas Lockwood. Our Special Correspondent at Darwin.
AFTER two air raids Darwin is now a 'ghost town' from the civilian point of view, but on the other hand it is growing stronger militarily every day, despite Thursday's savage attacks. Nearly all civilians are out of the town and military control is operating.
There are no illusions about Japanese intentions, and probably it is only a matter of time before they return and attempt to wipe out the town.
Bomb craters in the streets around the main road,and marks of armour-piercing machine-gun bullets around the wharf and at the civilian hospital are grim reminders that the bombing was not a dream.
Still waiting for the photos...
From the doubtful shelter of a small hole, which half covered me, I watched both raids. I saw the first stick of bombs released from a tight formation of seven Messerschmitt 110's. [...]
Gunners Did Well
In the second raid two formations of 24 Messerschmitts let go all they had. Zero fighters machine-gunned docks, ships, and wharves. Our planes went out to intercept the attackers and are believed to have shot some down.
[...]It has been confirmed that the Japanese machine-gunned hospitals.
Crater depths show that the raiders used very heavy bombs, which when they hit seemed to keep on hitting.
Rubble from craters was deposited in streets hundreds of yards away, and a cable barrel, weighing about 600lb, was lifted over half a dozen houses and deposited in the grounds of a hotel, 200 yards distant.
Although injured themselves, the nurses limped about gallantly, tending the wounds of others.
Rumours were flying everywhere that Darwin had been bombed again, but these later proved untrue. [...]
A third absurd account, apparently extracted from Lockwood's book “Fair Dinkum”, can be found here:
https://alicespringsnews.com.au/2021/06 ... -years-on/
where he was remembered 40 years after his passing as: “something of a media legend in the Territory”.
Douglas Lockwood of all places was at the post office [...].
Lockwood made for his house where he crawled into a three-inch gutter. What sort of protection was that?
Perhaps not as good as the “slit-trench” (story 1), or the “small hole” (story 2).
From his crevice Lockwood watched a Zero on the tail of an American P40 less than a thousand feet above. Spent machine gun shells fell around as smoke suddenly poured from the P40 that inevitably dived into a death plunge.
When the Neptuna exploded Lockwood watched from his house as lifeboats, the mainmast, steel plates, rafts, spars and funnels floated hundreds of feet into the air like so many soft toys being tossed about a room.
All this would be graphic, first-hand information for Lockwood’s report to The Herald.
Apart from the pulpy prose, this version bears no resemblance to his actual report (linked above) which we were told was: “his first despatch since the Japanese raids”
The account continues...
Lockwood crawled out of his crevice to see USS Peary going down. Behind her he saw the Meigs and the Mauna in the throes of fiery deaths. Then Lockwood watched sailors jumping into the sea from the almost vertical decks of the USS Peary moments before she disappeared below the surface.
When the All Clear sounded Lockwood raced to his typewriter and pounded his first take. This was really the first draft of history. It had to be a scoop given that he represented all the evening newspapers.
Lockwood drove frantically to the telegraph office to file his scoop. He stared aghast at what had been the post office. Nineteen bombs had effectively destroyed the entire PMG communications system! He looked on mournfully as the shattered bodies of nine people were carried from the bomb site and placed on the back of an open truck....
Lockwood was devastated when he saw the heavily censored version of his story in print.
Lockwood, having witnessed each of the most dramatic events of the bombing; the bombs dropping, the ships sinking and death plunging sailors, and then having returned to the bomb-out post office and witnessing the corpses there, was not distraught by the death and carnage, no, he was too busy griping over the censorship. Yeah right.
Perhaps we are supposed to blame all the discrepancies and absurdities in his articles as a result of them being “heavily censored”...
One of Lockwood’s books, written decades after the bombing, is “Australia’s Pearl Harbour, Darwin 1942”. Just for fun, contrast the caliber of his work above with this glowing book review.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/692 ... arwin_1942
This book is an excellent and scholarly review of the happenings that resulted from the bombing of Darwin [...]. Douglas Lockwood has dealt with myth and rumours, and established a factual account in his book, which should be compulsory reading for all seriously interested in Australian history and of the history of World War II.
-----Taking a little detour now from the bombing to look a little at Lockwood himself-----
After the bombing, Lockwood’s career took a turn from journalism.
https://halloffame.melbournepressclub.c ... s-lockwood
Enlisting in the AIF on 15 June, he trained in intelligence and security. He served in New Guinea and on Bougainville in 1944-45 with V and Z Field Security sections. After his discharge on 15 June 1945, he was a war correspondent for The Herald, reporting from the Netherlands East Indies.
Reporting on war (the bombing) -> serving the military ("field security") -> reporting on war (again)
Military intelligence, journalism - same shit, different shovel.
The Petrov affair
The other major event where Lockwood scored a scoop was in Australia’s most controversial espionage fiasco: “The Petrov Affair”. In 1954 Soviet diplomat Petrov defected. Lockwood, and apparently only Lockwood, was able to relay the dramatic circumstances at Darwin airport.
https://halloffame.melbournepressclub.c ... s-lockwood
How he got the story out - by arranging for his office in Melbourne to ring him at the airport every half-hour while the drama was going on around him - is still a lesson for young reporters. (Other journalists, trying frantically to get calls through to the south on lines jammed with government traffic, had to watch and listen helplessly as he dictated the complete story. [...].)
Lockwood's drama, relaying how Petrov’s wife, at the point of taking off for home, decided to disobey her minders, step off the plane and take refuge in Australia, graced the pages of "Life" magazine.
The Herald (Melbourne, Vic.)
Fri 7 May 1954
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/arti ... 20lockwood
THE Petrov affair is the lead story in this week's issue of Life magazine, the well- known American pictorial weekly with a circulation of 5,200,000.
Life runs five pages of pictures with a 1000-word story by colleague Douglas Lockwood, The Herald's Darwin representative.
An important piece of propaganda apparently.
Of particular note is that Douglas’ half brother, Rupert Lockwood, was caught up in all the “reds under the bed” intrigue in the Petrov related Royal Commission two months later.
https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/lockwo ... nest-27609
During the Cold War [Rupert] Lockwood became one of the best-known communists in Australia [...] , he was a gifted orator, prolific pamphleteer, and broadcaster. His activities were the objects of intense scrutiny by the Australian Security Intelligence Organization. In 1954 he was an unwilling and hostile witness when subpoenaed to appear before the royal commission on espionage as the author of the notorious ‘Document J,’ [...]
So, a prominent mainstream journalist, despite his half brother’s open communist connection, swims right into military intelligence.
And in the Petrov affair, one reports on one act of the drama while the other is a suspect in later act.
For me, this is another case of people of “the club”, whatever that club is, playing both sides.