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The bombing of Singapore was an attack on 8 December 1941 by seventeen bombers of the Imperial Japanese Navy, flying from Saigonmarker in southern Vietnammarker. The attack began at around 4:00 AM, shortly after Japanese forces landed in Malaya.

The streets were still brightly lit despite air raid sirens going off in time, allowing pilot navigators to locate their targets without difficulty. Allied anti-aircraft guns immediately returned fire. The British battleships Prince of Wales and Repulse also responded, but due to cloudy skies no aircraft was shot down.

The bombers all returned safely to Saigon after succeeding in bombing Raffles Place, Tengah Air Basemarker, and Seletar Airportmarker. 61 people were killed and more than 700 were injured. Most of the casualties were troops of the 2/2nd Gurkha Rifles, 11th Indian Infantry Division.

It is not clear as to why the Japanese Navy conducted such an air raid using only seventeen bombers. The attack on the two airfields failed to disrupt Allied air operations. However, it could be considered as a diversionary attack to distract the British from the Japanese troop landings in Malaya on that same day.

Singapore was left alone for a few weeks following the raid before being bombed again up until the British surrender.

File:SgBofors.jpg|British Bofors 40 mm gunFile:G3M Type 96 Attack Bomber Nell G3M-26s.jpg|Mitsubishi G3M Nell bombers

List of attacks by date

Two women grief over a child killed in an air raid on 3 February 1942



8: (4:00 am) Raffles Place, RAF Tengahmarker, RAF Seletarmarker. 61 killed and 700 wounded.



12: (10:00 am) One Japanese bomber damaged.

(afternoon) Four Japanese Ki-27 Nates and three Brewster Buffalos shot down.

15: (N/A) One Dutch Buffalo shot down; pilot killed.

16: (N/A)


1: (N/A)

3: (N/A) One cargo ship, Empire Evenlode, sunk.

8: (morning) Sarimbun. Six Japanese aircraft and one Hawker Hurricane shot down.

See also

External links


  1. Brewster Buffalo: in Dutch service

  • Lee, G. B. (1992). Syonan: Singapore under the Japanese 1942-1945 (pp. 18, 24). Singapore: Singapore Heritage Society.
  • Singapore: An illustrated history 1941 - 1984 (p. 16). (1984). Singapore: Information Division, Ministry of Culture
  • Tan, B. L. (1996). The Japanese Occupation 1942 - 1945: A pictorial record of Singapore during the war (pp. 16, 26-27). Singapore: Times Editions

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