Darwin was attacked at 9.58am on 19 February 1942 by 188 Japanese aircraft led by Commander Mitsuo Fuchida. Of the 46 allied ships in Darwin Harbour, 21 were sunk. Raids continued until November 1943. 243 lives were lost in the ? rst raid. All the staff of the Post Of? ce and Telegraph Of? ce were killed including the Postmaster Hurtle Bald, his wife Alice and their daughter Iris, 20. The Police Barracks were hit. Constable McNab was one of the wounded. The administrator, Mr Charles Abbott, whose residence and of? ce were wrecked by bombs, set up a temporary of?ce in police headquarters and ordered the evacuation of women, old men and wounded in a freight train. Police were ordered to shoot at the feet of young men who tried to board the train.Following the raids the Northern Territory Police were seconded to the North Australia Observation Unit (NAOU), nicknamed the ‘Nackeroos’ or ‘Curtin’s Cowboys’. The NAOU was created in mid-March 1942, a week after Broome was strafed.