Revealed in this recently released book is the little known fact that a 19-year-old Australian , Keith Falconer , in a secret base in Townsville, North Queensland , intercepted a Japanese radio message containing vital information that led to Operation Vengeance in which America shot down the bomber in which Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto , responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbour , was travelling on April 18 , 1943 .
Radio message interceptor Falconer was not aware that the encrypted enemy message contained the itinerary for Admiral Yamamoto's proposed morale boosting flight to bases . The Townsville intercepted message was promptly passed on to Brisbane and US Navy cryptographers . (One account , without mentioning Townsville , says radio listening posts in Pearl Harbour, Washington and Melbourne picked up the initial vital itinerary . )
Harvard educated Admiral "Eddie" Yamamoto , Naval Attache to Washington 1919-1921, a marshal admiral , commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet, is shown here addressing navy pilots in Rabaul , New Guinea , a few hours before he died. The approval to "get Yamamoto " was supposedly given by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt .
The Admiral and his staff took off from Rabaul in two bombers , escorted by six fighters , and headed for Balala , a small island off Bougainville . They were intercepted by US Army planes from Guadalcanal , fitted with long range tanks, and vengeance extracted .
Author Collie details how a fake Queenslander building was built near Townsville to house the purpose built intercept station . Early Darwin eavesdropping on the enemy is covered in the book , published by Allen and Unwin .
More interesting WWll history came to light as a result of a visit to the reading room at Special Collections , Eddie Koiki Mabo Library , James Cook University , Townsville , when this postcard for Queensland WWll historic places www.ww2places.qld.gov.au was obtained .
The Little Darwin WWll file contains photographs of New Guinea , Townsville and the Northern Territory , ephemera ; a Japanese sword from Bougainville and a painting .