Edith Wright & Charmaine Ledden-Lewis
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.