Miallo Japanese Bombing Site
Japanese Bombing Memorial
Miallo-Bamboo Creek Road, Miallo 4837
This memorial was unveiled by Carmel Emmi (née Zuilo) on the fiftieth anniversary of an attack on 31 July 1942 by a lone Japanese aircraft, which dropped a total of eight bombs over the Mossman area. One exploded in a cane field about 50 metres behind the site of the memorial, causing damage to the Zuilo family farmhouse and injuring two-year-old Carmel. This was the last of four Japanese bombing raids on the Queensland mainland. The Zuilo house has since been demolished.
During the night of 26 July 1942, three Japanese long range Kawanishi H8K (Emily) flying boats, flying direct from Rabaul to Townsville, dropped a total of six bombs which exploded harmlessly in the sea near the wharves. Night raids on Townsville were repeated in the early mornings of 28 and 29 July, on each subsequent occasion by a single Emily flying boat operating from Rabaul. The raids were carried out by the 2nd Group of 14th Kokutai (Air Group), Japanese Naval Air Force, under the command of Major Misaburo Koizumi, who planned to undertake night raids on harbour facilities and airfields at Townsville. In all, five raids were planned; three actually occurred.
A fourth Japanese raid was planned for Townsville on the night of 31 July, however the lone Emily flying boat may have experienced engine difficulties and decided to drop its load of eight bombs over the Mossman area. One bomb exploded in a farm at Miallo, north of Mossman, damaging the Zuilo family’s house and injuring Carmel Zuilo. Although the attack marked the end of Japanese raids on the Queensland mainland, raids on Horn Island in the Torres Strait continued until June 1943. Japanese raids in the Darwin and Kimberley region continued until November 1943.
There is a plaque located on the memorial with the inscription:
JAPANESE AIR RAID ON DOUGLAS SHIRE - 1942
At 3.30 a.m. on 31/7/42, a Japanese aircraft dropped eight bombs in this Shire, one landing fifty metres directly behind this point.
Carmel Zullo aged 2 1/2 years was asleep in the home of her parents when the bomb exploded nearby. Shrapnel pierced the iron walls of the house, one fragment grazing Carmel’s skull. She was the only civilian casualty inflicted by the enemy on the Eastern Australian mainland throughout World War 2. This plaque was unveiled by Mrs. Carmel Emmi (nee Zullo) on 31/7/92 at a public ceremony to commemorate the attack, fifty years later.
Pearce, Howard (contributing author).
DERM, Oonoonba Bomb Crater draft entry, CHIMS.
Howard Pearce (Ed.). Heritage Trails of the Tropical North: A heritage tour guide to far north Queensland, Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane, 2001.