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Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

An Australia Remembers plaque commemorates the 53rd anniversary of the shelling of Newcastle by a Japanese submarine during World War Two.

The Shelling of Newcastle was conducted by the Japanese submarine I-21 in the early hours of 8 June 1942. The bombardment followed the Attack on Sydney Harbour on 31 May, and was conducted shortly after I-24 shelled the eastern suburbs of Sydney. During the attack I-21 fired 34 shells at Newcastle, including eight illumination rounds, but caused little damage. The Australian gunners at Fort Scratchley fired four shells at the submarine, but scored no hits.

Fort Scratchley in Newcastle in New South Wales was one of the few gun installations in eastern Australia that had an opportunity to fire at the Japanese during World War Two and exercised that opportunity. At about 2.15 am on 8 June 1942, Japanese submarine I-21 under the command of Captain Kanji Matsumura, shelled Newcastle. I-21 had travelled across Stockton Bight and positioned itself about nine kilometres north east of Newcastle. I-21 travelled eastwards firing almost directly across the stern of the submarine. Their orders were to shell the Newcastle shipyards.

The Japanese gun crew broke out 20 shells from the ready locker. They also brought up another 14 rounds from the armoury below decks. 8 of the shells were "illuminators" or "star shells". All 34 shells were fired at Newcastle. After 13 minutes of firing, the guns at Fort Scratchley returned fire with 4 rounds. I-21 continued firing for another 3 minutes until all 34 shells had been fired. The shelling caused minimal damage and no casualties in Newcastle.


Address:Nobbys Road, Fort Scratchley Historic Site, Newcastle East , 2300
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.926426
Long: 151.790831
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:08-June-1942
Actual Event End Date:08-June-1942


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 8th June, 1995
Front Inscription

Australia Remembers
1945 - 1995

To Commemorate The
53rd Anniversary Of
The Shelling Of Newcastle By The
Japanese submarine 1-21 On 8 June 1942
And The Return Of Fire By
The Guns Of Fort Scratchley

Date unveiled : 8 June, 1995.


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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