Dr Tom Lewis OAM – Military Historian
Dr Tom Lewis OAM is a consultant military historian as well as a best-selling author. He served for nearly 20 years as a Royal Australian Navy officer, seeing service in Baghdad, Iraq; and in East Timor. He is the author of 12 books.
Tom’s history books include many detailing northern Australian history in WWII. One of his first was Wrecks in Darwin Waters, for which he carried out hundreds of scuba dives in Darwin Harbour. This was followed by others such as Darwin’s Submarine I-124, detailing the sinking of the first Japanese submarine in WWII by the RAN; Zero Hour in Broome, analysing the second biggest air raid on Australia; as well as A War at Home, which details the air raids on Darwin of 19 February 1942, and which is now in its fourth edition. The Submarine Six, released from Avonmore Books, discussing the sterling qualities of the six men who had Royal Australian Navy submarines named after them, three of whom have been considered for retrospective decorations up to and including the Victoria Cross.
Tom’s latest works are Lethality in Combat, (from the Army History Unit through BigSky Publishing) which discusses the reality of battlefield combat, with implications for modern war; and Carrier Attack, an extensive technical analysis of the first Darwin raid, revealing many unknown aspects of that attack, published in October 2013. In 2014 he was awarded the Charles Darwin University Essay Prize in the NT Literary Awards – which saw over 430 entries – for his article: “The Myth of Government Cover-up in the first Darwin Raids.” This was his ninth literary prize.
Dr Lewis is in popular demand from radio and television stations across Australia for his insightful comments on military history and how it intersects with modern-day life. He has appeared in several documentaries, and is a regular speaker to community groups on military history.
As a museum director he led two museums to success; the Royal Australian Naval College Historical Collection in Jervis Bay – for which services he received the Order of Australia Medal; and the Darwin Military Museum in the Northern Territory, where he was Director for five years.
Dr Lewis was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2003. Later decorations include the Australian Active Service Medal; the Iraq Campaign Medal, and in 2007 the United States Army Commendation Medal. He lives in Darwin, and is married with two daughters.