ABOUT 1941
CRASH OF A WIRRAWAY

SOUTH OF MACKAY

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Wirraway

 

Subject:     Military Aircraft
Date:              Thu Mar 04 17:14:25 1999
From:            Col Benson <col@sri.org.au>

G'Day Peter

A quick reply to say I have your e-mail. Rather busy on all fronts so may be  a few days before I get to answer you better.

The USAAF B-17C crashed near Mackay at Bakers Creek on 14 June 1943 with the loss of 40 American lives - as far as I can ascertain it was Australia's worst air disaster in terms of lives of which little was known outside of Mackay because of wartime censorship until I got a few minutes on "Australia All Over" about four years ago (before Macca cut me off because he only lets people talk about Aussie things!)

There is a Memorial about 1km from the crash site - nothing remains of the crashed aircraft. The Memorial lists 40 names of those killed plus a sole survivor.

There is another in the District of which little is known - a Wirraway that crashed to the south of Mackay while heading north circa 1941. Two aboard - the young pilot succumbed to burns in Mackay District Hospital several days later. I am not researching that one - our Mackay Sub Branch RSL President is.

I am after as much info as is available about Beautiful Betsy B-24 that crashed Feb 1945 near Biloela. For an ex-RAAF pilot friend who searched for  the plane for years, and has been interested in others in the NT, as well as the B-24 that crashed on Hinchinbrook Is. further north.

Talk to you later

Col Benson

 

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This page first produced 12 March 1999

This page last updated 05 September 2015