U.S.S. William B. PrestonPrint Page
A plaque commemorates the men who lost their lives on American destroyer USS William B. Preston during the bombing of Darwin in 1942.
USS Willam B Preston was struck by bombs during the Japanese air attack on Darwin in 1942. The ship lost 10 crew members in the bombing and was severely damaged but was able to make her way out of the harbour into the open sea.
|Address:||The Esplanade, Darwin Cenotaph, Bicentennial Park, Darwin, 0800|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -12.466727|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||03-September-1939|
|Actual Event End Date:||15-August-1945|
USS WILLIAM B. PRESTON (AVD 7)
OPERATING AS A UNIT OF THE US ASIATIC FLEET, COMMANDED BY LCDR ETHERIDGE GRANT, USN, WITH VP22 SQUADRON COMMANDER LCDR FRANK O`BEIRNE, USN ABOARD, THE SHIP WAS ANCHORED IN DARWIN HARBOUR ON 19 FEBRUARY 1942 TENDING SEAPLANES OF PATWINGTEN SQUADRONS VP22, VP 101, AND VP 102 WHEN JAPANESE AIR FORCES ATTACKED. STRUCK BY BOMBS WHILE UNDERWAY THE SHIP LOST TEN MEMBERS OF HER CREW AND WAS SEVERELY DAMAGED, BUT UNDER THE SKILLFUL HANDLING OF LT. LESTER O. WOOD, USN, WHO WAS ACTING COMMANDING OFFICER, WAS ABLE TO GAIN THE OPEN SEA. AFTER REPAIRS IN SYDNEY, SHE RETURNED TO WESTERN AUSTRALIA FOR CONTINUED WAR OPERATIONS. THE CATALINA SHOT DOWN THIS DATE WAS PILOTED BY LT. THOMAS H. MOORER, U.S.N. LATER, AS A FULL ADMIRAL, HE SERVED AS CHAIRMAN, US JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF.
THIS PLAQUE IS DEDICATED TO THE BRAVE MEN OF USS WILLIAM B. PRESTON AND HER ATTACHED AIRCRAFT WHO LOST THEIR LIVES 19 FEBRUARY 1942 DURING THE BATTLE OF AUSTRALIA.