No. 12 Repair and Salvage Unit (RSU) RAAF set up camp at Breddan in north Queensland on 15 May 1942. They stayed at Charters Towers until October 1942.

LAC Kevin Doug "Blue" Sewell of 12 RSU contacted me on 26 February 2011 and advised of his involvement following the crash of B-17 Flying Fortress # 41-2497, nicknamed   "Tojo's Nightmare" at Horn Island on 24 March 1944 whilst attached to 12 RSU when it was based at Horn Island:-

"I was associated with 12RSU at the time the fortress crashed and assisted wit the recovery of American crew. When it hit the water the fuel tanks burst spreading fuel everywhere. I, the unit's electrician had to disconnect the aircraft's batteries because of the risk of an explosion. We were on a rising tide and the spilt fuel was covering us very quickly. Another member of our unit stripped off his shorts which I used to cover the battery terminals to prevent sparking and so the job was done OK. As we were a repair and salvage unit, the captain of the aircraft signed it off to us. It was loaded with many different articles but our main concern was saving the cases of different types of grog that was being carried for the American units home base. That was quickly recovered and stored in various places at our camp. With several of the recovered crew we had a joint celebration that night feeling the worse for it next morning."


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This page first produced 18 July 1998

This page last updated 23 September 2015