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Dr Thomas Anthony "Tom" Lewis, OAM (born 1958) is an Australian author, military historian, editor, teacher, and former naval officer. An author since 1989, Lewis worked as a high school teacher, and served as naval officer for 20 years, seeing active service in Baghdad during the Iraq war, and working in East Timor. In June 2003, Lewis was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for meritorious service to the Royal Australian Navy, particularly in the promotion of Australian naval history.[1][2]


Thomas Anthony Lewis

Nationality Australia
OccupationMilitary Historian and Author



After reconstituting the Royal Australian Naval College Historical Collection, with which his Order of Australia is largely connected, Lewis was the Director of the Darwin Military Museum from 2009 until April 2014, when he took up full-time research on several World War I and II projects. Amongst these are his role as Lead Historian and Creative Designer for The Borella Ride, the re-enactment of the journey of Albert Borella VC to sign up for military service in 1915.

Dr Lewis was also Lead Historian for The Territory Remembers, a project of the Northern Territory Government to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the first attacks on Australia during the Second World War.

Lewis is the author or co-author of 14 books, all of which are works of military history except for one which charts the Tasman Bridge disaster – he was raised largely in Tasmania, although born in London. He was the editor of Headmark, the Journal of the Australian Naval Institute, from 2005 until 2016. His most recent works are: Carrier Attack (Avonmore Books), a forensic examination of the air raids of 19 February 1942 on Darwin; Honour Denied – Teddy Sheean, A Tasmanian Hero (Avonmore Books), launched in Hobart in May 2016 by the Tasmanian Premier, and "The Empire Strikes South" (Avonmore); launched in Darwin on 15 February 2017 by the Administrator of the Northern Territory.

In late 2013 Lewis was elected to the Chairmanship of the Order of Australia Association (NT) for a three-year term, which was renewed in 2016. In 2015 he was appointed the Chairman of the Northern Territory Place Names Committee for three years, and in 2018 he was elected an alderman of the City of Palmerston. Lewis is also currently a teacher in the Northern Territory.

Academic qualificationsEdit

Lewis holds the qualifications of Doctorate of Philosophy (Charles Darwin University 2004); Master of Arts (University of Queensland 1993); Diploma of Education (University of Tasmania 1984); and Bachelor of Arts (University of Tasmania 1983).


  • Darwin Sayonara, Boolarong, 1991 – children's novel centred on the events of WWII in Darwin, Australia, 1942.
  • Wrecks in Darwin Waters, Turton and Armstrong, 1991 – details the ship and aircraft wrecks, many from attacks in WWII and Cyclone Tracy in 1974, that may be found in waters near Darwin, Australia.
  • Sensuikan I-124, Tall Stories, 1997 – dealing with the sinking of IJN submarine I-124 by HMAS Deloraine.[3]
  • A War at Home, Tall Stories, 1999 – about the Japanese attacks on Darwin on 19 February 1942.[4][5]
  • By Derwent Divided, Tall Stories, 2001 – tells the story of the Tasman Bridge disaster in the state of Tasmania, and the subsequent maritime events.[6]
  • Australian Naval Leaders. A study of nine naval officers of the Royal Australian Navy, with analysis of their careers and effectiveness. RAN College, 2006.
  • 10 Shipwrecks of the Northern Territory. (Co-author, Edited by Paul Clark). Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, 2008.
  • Captain Hec Waller – a Memorial Book. (Co-author, Edited by John Waller). Drawquick Printing, 2008.
  • Zero Hour in Broome. Avonmore Books, South Australia, 2010. Analyses the second biggest air raid, in terms of fatalities, ever made on Australia.
  • Darwin's Submarine I-124. Avonmore Books, South Australia, 2011. A study of the combat action of 20 January 1942 which sent this 80-man submarine to the seabed, where it remains intact outside Darwin today.
  • The Submarine Six. Avonmore Books, South Australia, 2012. Biographies of the six men after whom the Collins-class submarines were named: Robert Rankin, John Collins, Emile Dechaineux, Hec Waller, Teddy Sheean, and Hal Farncomb.
  • Lethality in Combat. BigSky Publishing, Australia, 2012. A study of the reality of battlefield behaviour, across six wars. Examines battle enthusiasm, prisoner-taking, and actions against civilians as combatants, and shows the reality is far more grim than usually understood.
  • Carrier Attack. Avonmore Books, South Australia, 2013. A forensic study of the first air raid against Australia, which took place on 19 February 1942. With many appendices disproving many of the myths of the raid.
  • Honour Denied – Teddy Sheean, A Tasmanian Hero. Avonmore Books, South Australia, 2016. A study of the last fight of HMAS Armidale, and the action taken by Teddy Sheean which many argue should have been rewarded with a Victoria Cross.
  • The Empire Strikes South. (Avonmore, 2017); a study of Japanese air activity over Northern Australia in World War II. Includes appendices of all aircraft shot down and airmen killed in the war.


  1. ^ "It's an Honour - Honours - Search Australian Honours".
  2. ^ "Talk with Dr. Tom Lewis OAM" (PDF). Northern Territory Library. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2008. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
  3. ^ David M. Stevens. "Japanese submarine operations against Australia 1942–1944". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
  4. ^ "Quarterly Newsletter Archived 29 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). The Australian Association for Maritime History, March 2000.
  5. ^ A War at Home Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Lewis, Tom (September – October 2002). "Deterrence, Capacity and Skill Retention" (pdf). Australian Defence Force Journal (156). ISSN 1320-2545. Retrieved 12 March 2008.

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