Restoration Dornier Engine

The air attack on Broome in March 1942, was the second most deadly attack on the Australian mainland. When nine Jape=anise Zero Fighters destroyed more than twenty Australian, British, US and Dutch aircraft on a sunny morning in Broome, they left behind many broken families and an armada of wrecked flying boats in Roebuck Bay.

The Broome Historical Museum (BHS) air raid collection includes several items salvaged from the wrecks, which are now protected as war graves. The collection is a poignant reminder of the loss of over 88 men, women and children and includes personal items such as children’s toys, and individual papers.

One of the larger items in the BHS collection, the Dornier DOK-24 radial cyclone engine and propellor, retrieved from the wrecks in the late 1970s, was degrading due to the build-up of damaging chlorides. Funding from the Embassy of the Netherlands, the Shire of Broome and the Kimberley Community Grants allowed conservators to travel to Broome and treat the engine using sponge blasting to clean the engine and remove the chlorides. The treatment took four days to complete and is believed to have considerably extended the engine’s life.

You can view the Dornier engine and other objects in the air raid collection at the Broome Historical Museum, open seven days a week at the Town Beach Reserve.