force of forty six bombers and seven 'Zeke" fighters, possibly the
fiercest attack ever launched against an Australian warship, or any
ship of any navy for that matter, were sent to sink her.
opening assault was launched by nine bombers which made bombing runs
in waves of three. Kuru weaved frantically across the water as bombs
exploded all around her. It was her constant manoeuvring and small
size that made her such an elusive target. Next, the Japs tried attacking
in 'box formation' their bombs straddling her. So, it went on, wave
after wave, then fighters, then seaplanes, whilst Kuru's Gunners with
their light armament spat defiance. Raked repeatedly by exploding
shells and bomb shrapnel the little vessel took it all and still managed
to steam defiantly onwards.
Sweeping in one at a time or in formation they threw everything they
had at her and although suffering several casualties and sustaining
a great deal of shrapnel and cannon shell damage she survived
Japs continued their nonstop bombing and strafing runs for seven long,
terrifying hours. During that time more than fifty aircraft, mostly
heavy bombers tried unsuccessfully to sink Kuru.
the hours wore on the Japanese intensified their attack, determined
Kuru would not escape but with the aid of time the sun began to set,
forcing the Japs to call it a day and for HMAS Kuru to return triumphantly
to a heroes welcome in Darwin.