5 MARCH 1945
CRASH OF A HUDSON

IN THE SEA AT MACHAN'S BEACH
JUST NORTH OF BARRON RIVER, QLD
KILLING MAJOR GENERAL GEORGE ALAN VASEY

 

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Hudson

 

RAAF Hudson, A16-118 (VMZI-FM), crashed into the sea about 400 yards out from Machan's Beach, just north of the mouth of the Barron River near Cairns on 5 March 1945.  Major General George Alan Vasey, C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., was tragically killed along with other Australian service personnel as follows:-

Major General G.A. Vasey AIF
M/Gen R.M. Downes AIF Medical Corps
Colonel R.H. Russell AIF Medical Corps
Lieut/Col G.A. Bertram AIF
Lieut W. Riggall AIF PA to Gen. Vasey
Cpl E.L. James AIF Batman to Gen Vasey
F/Lt J.W. Newell RAAF
F/Off D.J. Bassett RAAF
F/Off G. Thomson RAAF
W/Off B.S. Frieze RAAF
LAC John Dudley Moore RAAF

The bodies of Russell, Riggall, Bassett and Moore were not found at the time of the crash.  Their names are commemorated on the Sydney War Cemetery Memorial.  The bodies recovered were buried in the Cairns War Cemetery.

The pilot had been warned not to take off due to a cyclone in the area, however they left from Townsville and crashed near Cairns.

The Mulgrave Shire Council named the esplanade on the beach at Trinity Beach "Vasey Esplanade" in honour of one of Australia's most distinguished soldiers. They also erected a plaque in a brick memorial wall to commemorate the loss of the above 11 service personnel in this tragic crash on 5 March 1945.

Robyn Lamperd-jobson's mother (now deceased) always vowed and declared that "Dud" Moore, her uncle, was killed in an air crash with some Army generals and that there was some cover up as it was supposedly sabotage. She never mentioned the cyclone to her family. She said it was some meeting they were flying to......she worked as a secretary at Archerfield aerodrome at the time. When her uncle John Dudley Moore left she always says he tapped on her window to say hooray-and she was last in family to see him alive. 

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NOT TO BE SHOT AT OR EXPORTED
An airman's Letters Home 1942-1945
By Leslie Harold Sullivan
Winner of the 1994 Heritage Award

Letters 8 March 19454
Well, as you can see I had an eventful return trip, which took 12 times as long as the flight down, so I am back to reality here. You have no doubt read of the tragic air crash off Cairns in which AIF General George Vasey was killed when the RAAF Lockheed Hudson bomber went down in the sea in bad weather.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Robyn Lamperd-jobson for her assistance with this home page.

 

Can anyone help me with more details on this crash?

 

REFERENCE BOOK

"Diary of WWII - North Queensland"
Complied by Peter Nielsen

"Aircraft of the RAAF 1921- 71"
By Geoffrey Pentland & Peter Malone

 

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 9 February 1999

This page last updated 13 January 2017