In the early hours of June 8, 1942, Newcastle came under attack by a Japanese submarine. While many were wary of a possible attack due to the goings on of World War II, the shelling on that winter night still came as a surprise. Between the hours of 2.15am and 2.31am, the I-21 submarine, which was positioned just offshore of Stockton Bight, fired 34 shells at Newcastle. The attack came shortly after the submarine had finished a bombardment on the eastern suburbs of Sydney and just days after a shelling of Sydney Harbour. With Newcastle’s large BHP steelworks employing thousands of people at the time who were contributing to the war effort, it was believed this might have been the target of the attack. However the attack simply created an "air of disquiet rather than inflicting any sort of serious injury. One of the shells that exploded that night did damage a house in Parnell Place, which resulted in one non-fatal injury by shrapnel, and another caused damage to a nearby by tram terminus. In response to the attack, the guns at Fort Scratchley opened fire at around 2.28am, and it is believed this is the only time these guns were fired at an enemy vessel during the war.