First bomb raid on Singapore

The first air raid on Singapore happened during WWII.

On Monday, 8 December 1941, at about 4:00 am, the first bombs were dropped on Singapore, killing 61 people and injuring more than 700. A large number of those injured were Gurkhas from the 2/2 Gurkha Regiment. The raid was carried out by 17 Japanese naval bombers based in Saigon (Ho Chih Min City). The bombs hit Raffles Place, and the airfields at Seletar and Tengah. The Air Raid sirens sounded at 4:15 am but the street lights of Singapore remained lighted. Despite heavy anti-aircraft fire, the raiders had the advantage of bright moonlight and a cloudy sky. On the same day, Singora (Songkhla), Patani in Thailand and Kota Baru in Malaysia were invaded. These were part of an audacious Japanese military offensive starting with the attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbour  the day before.

Jeanne Chua

Lee, G. B. (1992). Syonan: Singapore under the Japanese 1942-1945 (pp. 18, 24). Singapore: Singapore Heritage Society.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 LEE)

Singapore: An illustrated history 1941 - 1984 (p.16). (1984). Singapore: Information Division, Ministry of Culture.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN)

Tan, B. L. (1996). The Japanese Occupation 1942 - 1945: A pictorial record of Singapore during the war (pp. 16, 26-27). Singapore: Times Editions.
(Call no.: RSING 940.5425 TAN)

The information in this article is valid as at 1998 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

History>>Asia>>Southeast Asia>>Singapore
Bombing, Aerial--Singapore
World War, 1939-1945
Events>>Historical Periods>>World War II and Japanese Occupation (1939-1945)

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