Originally known as the Seahawks, and boasting red and green colours, the Hervey Bay Australian Football Club was established in 1977, and won a Senior premiership in the Bundaberg Australian Football League, in their debut season beating the North Bundaberg Kangaroos by 28 points. The Hervey Bay Seahawks initially played home games at Dundowran Oval.
The Seahawks were then forced into a different League in 1978, due to a majority of the Bundaberg clubs stating that they would disaffiliate their League if Hervey Bay was to participate again that year! The QAFL intervened and allowed the Seahawks to join the Sunshine Coast and Gympie Australian Football League from 1978 until 1981. The long distance travel took its toll, however, Hervey Bay did make the finals in three of the four seasons at the Sunshine Coast.
In 1982, Hervey Bay was readmitted to the Bundaberg Australian Football League and this resulted in instant success with a determined Seahawks gaining Senior Premiership Flags in 1982 and 1983 beating South Bundaberg Magpies both years, and in 1984 over the West Bundaberg Bulldogs. .
The 1985 season brought about a change of image, with the adoption of the Bomber emblem and Essendon-style black and red playing uniforms, as the club transferred to the Wide Bay Australian Football League. The club also fielded a “Seconds” side in the A Grade competition known as Hervey Bay Hawks which got as far as the Preliminary Final in their only season. One thing that did not change was the club’s habit of success, as evidenced by further senior premierships in 1985 over Cooloola Coast Dolphins, and 1986 against the Gympie Cats.
In 1987 the WBAFL and the BAFL merged to form the Bundaberg-Wide Bay Australian Football League. The Bombers contested a grand final in the new competition’s first season but lost to West Bundaberg Bulldogs. By way of making amends they then proceeded to claim the next five flags in succession (1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991 over West Bundaberg Bulldogs in four successive seasons, and 1992 beating South Bundaberg Magpies). This resulted in a run of 11 straight Grand Finals, with 10 Senior Premierships, an achievement that few Senior clubs anywhere in Australia have managed, in any era.
Thanks to the generous donations from Vince Balogh, the club moved to the suburbs of Hervey Bay, forming the Norm McLean Oval in 1991 at Raward Road, Torquay, which is the home of the current Hervey Bay Bombers Club.
The Hervey Bay Bombers won two more Senior Flags in 1994 against South Bundaberg Magpies, and in 1996 against the most competitive Maryborough Bears side seen in this competition.
The Bombers won two more Senior Flags in 2000 and 2002, both against new team ATW Bundaberg Eagles, who had the edge over the Bombers in three successive seasons (1997-1999).
In 2003, Hervey Bay Bombers joined forces with the other BWBAFL clubs, along with 4 Sunshine Coast clubs, to play one season in a Metropolitan League, known as AFL Queensland, Bundaberg Wide Bay Hinterland Division 3. Hervey Bay were Premiers in this League also.
The Bombers won in 2004 in the revamped BWBAFL and again in 2005, to make it 4 Flags in 4 Seasons. All 4 were against ATW Bundaberg Eagles, as was their 2007 Senior Premiership.
In 2009 Bombers defeated Brothers Bulldogs in the Grand Final, which was the club’s 20th Senior Premiership.
Hervey Bay Bombers went through the 2012 season undefeated, winning the Grand Final over ATW Bundaberg Eagles by 10 points.
The Hervey Bay Bombers won the 2013 Grand Final, once again beating ATW Bundaberg in the 13th Grand Final between the two clubs. This time the margin was a massive 79 points.
In 2014, ATW Bundaberg travelled to Hervey Bay for the Grand Final and defeated the Hervey Bay Bombers. It was only the third loss all year to the Bombers who were Minor Premiers.
2015 was the toughest year for the Bombers in many years, with every win being fought hard for. To their credit, they made it to the Preliminary Final but lost it, resulting in an all Bundy Grand Final…. only for the third time since 1986.
The Bombers played their 40th Season in 2016. Unfortunately, like 2015, the Bombers went down in the Preliminary Final, this time to cross town rivals Bay Power, who eventually went down to ATW Bundaberg in the Grand Final.
A much more promising season in 2017 resulted in the Bombers falling short by just 8 points, to eventual Premiers, Maroochydore in the Preliminary Final.
The formation of the Fruitbats in the Queensland Masters in 2004 keeps several ex-Bombers in the game and their colours are an amalgamation of the Seahawks red and green and the Bombers red and black.
A GRADE SENIOR PREMIERSHIPS:
Bundaberg Australian Football League (BAFL) – 1977, 1982, 1983, 1984 (4 total).
Wide Bay Australian Football League (WBAFL) – 1985, 1986 (2 total).
Bundaberg Wide Bay Australian Football League – 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996 (7 total)
AFL Bundaberg Wide Bay – 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 (5 total).
AFL Queensland – Bundaberg Wide Bay Hinterland Division 3 – 2003 (1 total).
AFL Wide Bay – 2009, 2012, 2013 (3 total).
GRAND TOTAL = 22 Senior Premierships from 29 Grand Finals.
40 Seasons (1977 to 2016).