COLLISION OF TWO BEAUFORTS
AT JERVIS BAY, NSW
14 APRIL 1943

 


GAF Beaufort profile by Gordon Birkett

GAF Beaufort A9-27

 

On 14 April 1943, two Beauforts collided with each other over Jervis Bay. They were A9-27 and A9-268 from Base Torpedo at Nowra. They were carrying out a series of dummy runs and torpedo attacks on HMAS Burra-bra for a group of accredited War Correspondents on board the ship. The War Correspondents were:-

W/C J.O.P. Dibbs Cpl. D.W. Stephens
S/L A. Gadd Ensign (M.C.) R.R. Payne (US Navy)
F/O C.R. Schlank C.M.M. R.D. Sturgill (US Navy)
F/Lt T.F. Ahern Mr. R.B. Odgers
F/Lt J.R. Wadsworth Mr. L.M. Maitland

 

nsw29a.jpg (30646 bytes)

Beaufort A9-27 leading the 3 aircraft in the final high speed run

 

At the end of the demonstration the 3 Beauforts taking part in the exercise began a high speed low level run past HMAS Burra-bra and commenced a "Prince of Wales" breakup formation. This involves the lead aircraft climbing steeply while the other two aircraft execute steep climbing turns to the left and right.

 

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Beaufort A9-268 hits the water while A9-27 falls towards Jervis Bay
and the third Beaufort pulls away to the left

 

Beaufort A9-27 was the lead aircraft. Unfortunately A9-268's wingtip hit A9-27's tail as A9-27 pulled up vertically. A9-268 immediately rolled over and hit the water, while A9-27 continued to climb almost vertically minus its tail. It eventually lost control and fell into Jervis Bay.

 

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Beaufort A9-27 hits the water

 

The accident was filmed by Fox Movietone News cameraman Eric Bieve and has been shown many times over the years. It also featured in the television documentary "This Fabulous Century". Flight Lieutenant David George Dey and his crew and Flying Officer Raymond Sydney Green and his crew were all killed as per the following list:-

CREW OF A9-268

Flt Lt David George Dey ( 280627)  - Pilot
F/O Rex Lindsay Solomon (408149)
F/O Jack Norman (407561)

Sgt Hugh Sydney George Richardson (410093)

CREW OF A9-27

F/O Raymond Sydney Green (408110)  -  Pilot
Sgt Albert John Bailey (409976)
F/O Maurice Francis Hoban (409118)
P/O Eric William Sweetnam (408077)

 

Green, Hoban and Bailey were buried in the Air Force section of the War Cemetery at Nowra on 15 Apr 43 at 1500 hours. The funeral was attended by Wing Commander Dibbs, Base Torpedo Unit (BTU) staff officers, Instructional crews and personnel of No 7 Beaufort course.

On 17 April 1943, the body of Sweetnam was recovered and buried at 1600 hours with Air Force honours at Nowra. Late on the same day a diving party reported that they had not located the bodies of Dey, Norman, Solomon and Richardson. A Funeral held on 18 April 1943 on board the "Burra-Bra" at 1030 hours attended by the same people as listed for the 15 April Funeral.

 

The following information is from the Commonwealth War Graves home page:-

 

In Memory of

DAVID GEORGE DEY

Flight Lieutenant 280627
Royal Australian Air Force
who died on Wednesday, 14th April 1943. Age 27.

Son of George and Mary Louisa Dey; husband of Ruth Millicent Dey, of Kensington Park, South Australia.

Memorial:  SYDNEY MEMORIAL, New South Wales, Australia
Grave Reference/Panel Number: Panel 5.

 

In Memory of

REX LINDSAY SOLOMON

Flying Officer 408149
Royal Australian Air Force
who died on Wednesday, 14th April 1943. Age 21.

Son of Roy Edward and Florence Solomon, of Bronte, New South Wales.

Memorial: SYDNEY MEMORIAL, New South Wales, Australia
Grave Reference/Panel Number: Panel 5.

 

In Memory of

JACK NORMAN

Flying Officer 407561
Royal Australian Air Force
Born 30 October 1918
who died, 14 April 1943

Son of Eli James Robert and Emily Norman of Glenelg, SA

Memorial: SYDNEY MEMORIAL, New South Wales, Australia
Grave Reference/Panel Number: Panel 5.

 

In Memory of

HUGH SYDNEY GEORGE RICHARDSON

Sergeant 410093
Royal Australian Air Force
who died on Wednesday, 14th April 1943. Age 23.

Son of John Sydney and Agnes Richardson; husband of Ruth Victoria Caroline Richardson, of North Williamstown, Victoria.

Memorial: SYDNEY MEMORIAL, New South Wales, Australia
Grave Reference/Panel Number: Panel 6.

 

In Memory of

RAYMOND SYDNEY GREEN

Flying Officer 408110
Royal Australian Air Force
who died on Wednesday, 14th April 1943. Age 23.

Son of Sydney George James Green and Edith Emma Green, of Hobart, Tasmania.

Cemetery: NOWRA WAR CEMETERY, New South Wales, Australia
Grave Reference/Panel Number: Plot B. Row A. Grave 3.

 

In Memory of

ALBERT JOHN BAILEY

Sergeant 409976
Royal Australian Air Force
who died on Wednesday, 14th April 1943. Age 22.

Son of Thomas Frederick and Mary Bailey, of Coleraine, Victoria.

Cemetery: NOWRA WAR CEMETERY, New South Wales, Australia
Grave Reference/Panel Number: Plot B. Row A. Grave 2.

 

In Memory of

MAURICE FRANCIS HOBAN

Flying Officer 409118
Royal Australian Air Force
who died on Wednesday, 14th April 1943. Age 30.

Son of Thomas Mathew and Christina Hoban, husband of Myra Estelle Hoban, of Suva, Fiji.

Cemetery: NOWRA WAR CEMETERY, New South Wales, Australia
Grave Reference/Panel Number: Plot B. Row A. Grave 4.

 

In Memory of

ERIC WILLIAM SWEETNAM

Pilot Officer 408077
Royal Australian Air Force
who died on Wednesday, 14th April 1943. Age 20.

Son of Herbert William and Erica Sweetnam, of Sandy Bay, Tasmania.

Cemetery: NOWRA WAR CEMETERY, New South Wales, Australia
Grave Reference/Panel Number: Plot B. Row A. Grave 5.

 

NOTE:- Anthony Norman, son of Jack Norman told me that Jack Norman had enlisted on 9 November 1940, and following two years service in the 18th Light Horse Regiment 1938-1939, he was commissioned in the RAAF on 1 October 1942. He saw active service in Sembawang, Singapore and Palembang (Sumatra).

 

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Subject:   A9-566
Date:           Sun, 28 Nov 1999 20:55:29 -0800
From:          "Doug Lee" <douglee@acay.com.au>

Yes Sharp & crew weren't found, also 2 ground staff travelling with them. Don't ask me to remember their names. Its a long time ago.

Yes spent a few weeks in Townsville before heading north, did anti sub patrol.

The only other crashes I had close encounters with were an Anson from 73 squadron at Nowra that flew into Pigeon House Mountain late 43.

Also the two Beauforts that flew into each other at Jervis Bay from 8 OTU.

Also we lost a Beaufort out of Menangle Park, lost an engine on take off & feathered the wrong airscrew.

The others at Sale & Bairnsdale are well documented.

Regards
Doug Lee

 


 

Subject:    Jervis Bay air crash
Date:             Sun, 15 Oct 2000 02:48:56 +1000
From:           "helenw" <helenw@relax.com.au>

Hi there,

I am inquiring into the possibility of obtaining more information about an air crash into Jervis Bay, on April 14th 1943, which resulted in the death of my father, (410093 Sgt Hugh Richardson) I have browsed your site on the internet, & retrieved a list of crashes at that time. What I would really like to know is how I obtain the names of those killed in the same crash (2 aircraft collided), & any other information about the crash, perhaps a casualty report. Would there by any chance be photographs of the crew, prior to the crash. Any information you can offer would be appreciated.

Thankyou

Helen Welch.

 

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This page first produced 5 December 1999

This page last updated 05 September 2015