At age 97, Bendigo resident Bill Hosking is one of the few Darwin Defenders still alive.
So it is only fitting he be front and centre at the Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch's commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin on Saturday.
At the height of World War II, Darwin was subjected to 64 air raids between February 19, 1942 and November 12, 1943.
Hundreds of people died, and the attacks caused extensive damage to the city, its port and the RAAF aerodrome.
Leading aircraftman Hosking defended Darwin for nine months as a teenager.
He was about 75 miles south of Darwin when the Japanese attacked on February 19, 1942.
Almost 200 Japanese aircraft were sighted shortly before 10am, and it wasn't long afterwards that the first raid started.
Two air raids were launched on the city that day, involving more than 260 Japanese aircraft in total.
"They rustled through the air," he said.
For the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin in 2012, Mr Hosking and his son Graham and grandson Alister travelled to Darwin to be part of the commemoration.
On Saturday, it is hoped the trio will be joined by Mr Hosking's great-grandson Will Gould at Saturday's service to have four generations of the family present to mark a pivotal event in Australia's history
Saturday's service at the RSL headquarters in Havilah Road will begin at 9.30am with a siren, replicating the air raid warning from Darwin on that fateful day.
A Hawkei army vehicle will be on display from the Thales plant in Bendigo.
It will be a short service with a laying of a wreath to remember the fallen.
The service is open to the public with those attending required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
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