Title: Charlie’s Swim
Author: WRIGHT EDITH
Illustrator: LEDDEN-LEWIS, CHARMAINE
Publication date: 01/04/2022
Publishing status: Active
Age range 9 to 12
During WWII after the Japanese invasion of Java, more than 1000 refugees from the Dutch East Indies, many in flying boats, passed through Broome, which was a major refuelling point and a significant Allied military base. On 3 March 1942 Broome was attacked by Japanese fighter planes, killing at least 88 civilians and Allied military personnel.
Charlie s Swim is based on the true story of the author s Uncle Charlie (Charles D Antoine) who was working inside a flying boat when the attack began. In the midst of flying bullets, blazing fires and sharks, Charlie saw a woman and child desperately trying to keep afloat and without hesitation went to their rescue.
In 1944, Charlie was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the Royal Humane Society of Australasia in recognition of his efforts and he was awarded four medals for bravery from the Dutch government. It took a further 80 years for the Australian government and military to formally recognise this bravery.
'One morning Charlie was working inside a seaplane. He suddenly heard planes flying overhead, and they seemed incredibly low. Charlie went outside. When he looked up he saw enemy planes swooping towards the bay.
Dimension: 250mm X 250mm