During World War 2, Douglas Shire had the only Eastern Australian mainland civilian casualty inflicted by the enemy. This monument commemorates the attack around 50 metres from where the bomb landed.
The attack occurred in 1942, on the 31st of July. A Japanese aircraft dropped eight bombs in the area at 3.30am. One bomb exploded near a home in Miallo, north of Mossman, Queensland.
Shrapnel pierced the iron walls of the home in rural scrub farmland. One fragment grazed and fractured the skull of 2 1/2 year old Carmel Zullo while she slept, along with lacerations of her legs.
The Japanese bomber missed its intended target by 90 kilometres, following instructions to find an island, a river, and around a mountain. What was to be Double Island off the coast of Cairns, the Barron River, and Mount Whitfield, the inexperienced pilot spotted Snapper Island, the Daintree River, and the Dagmar Range.
Cairns’ and Mossman’s similar navigational landmarks confounded another besides the Japanese pilot. An American airman had the same troubles only three weeks before the bombing.
The stone monument is shaped like a bomb at the top and underneath fitted with a plaque. The plaque gives a brief overview of the bombing incident. The plaque was unveiled by Mrs. Carmel Emmi (nee Zullo), exactly 50 years later on 31st July 1992.
A set of stairs lead from the road up the embankment to the monument. It isn’t ideal for accessibility, but it is close to the road. Parking is limited with the most room on the opposite side of the road. The verge is quite narrow on the same side. We continued ahead for a same spot to turnaround and come back to safely park on the opposite side.
How To Get There
From Wet Tropics Visitor Information Centre, turn right and then right again onto Captain Cook Hwy heading north. Follow Captain Cook Hwy for 14km into Mossman. Continue north out of Mossman, crossing the Mossman River over the Foxton Bridge. From Foxton Bridge, continue along Mossman Daintree Rd for 8.9km and turn left into Bamboo Creek Rd at the brown sign for Historic WWII Bomb Site. Follow Bamboo Creek Rd for 2.2km and veer left into Miallo Bamboo Creek Rd, where there is a green sign for Historic WW II Bomb Site. Continue for another 900m and the monument is on the left with a short set of stairs between it and the road.