Stokes Street air raid shelter

Hanlons hideout

Civil defence facility

Stokes Street (between Flinders & Sturt Streets), Townsville 4810

The large reinforced concrete civilian air raid shelters known as 'Hanlon’s Hideout’s (after Civil Defence Minister Ned Hanlon) were concentrated in the CBD where approximately fifteen were sited for workers and shoppers. These were not located in the suburbs as residents were expected to construct their own shelter or slit trench for protection against air attack.

These civilian shelters were demolished in 1946 and were not reused as bus shelters as were ones in Brisbane. Enterprising citizens re-used some small broken concrete sections as pavers in their garden.


In July 1942, the 2nd Group of 14th Kokutai (Air Group), Japanese Naval Air-Force, under the command of Major Misaburo Koizumi, decided to undertake night raids on harbour facilities and airfields at Townsville. In all, five raids were planned; three actually occurred.

The air raids on Townsville occurred over three nights between 25 and 29 July 1942 when Kawanishi flying boats attacked the city. A plan that involved up to seven Rabaul-based aircraft, each flying a return distance of some 3000 miles, would yield little more than propaganda for the Japanese. The actual damage Townsville received from these three raids was one dead rock wallaby at Many Peaks Range and a damaged coconut tree at Oonoonba.


Imperial Japanese Navy Combat Evaluation Sheets for 25 July, 27/28 July, 28 July, 28/29 July, 30/31 July 1942.

Piper, Robert, Townsville Under Attack, Unpublished, 1987.

The North Queensland Line: The Defence of Townsville in 1942". Ray Holyoak unpublished Honours Thesis, James Cook University, Townsville 1998.