CRASH OF A P-40E WARHAWK
AT BERRIDALE, NSW
ON 28 MARCH 1942

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USAAF P-40E Warhawk (Kittyhawk), 41-5576 #53, of the 8th Pursuit Squadron of the 49th Fighter Group, flown by Lieutenant Chester Namola, made a forced landing at "Wheat Hill" property, Berridale in New South Wales on 28 March 1942.

Lt. Namola was one of four US pilots from Canberra who became lost over the coast near Eden in a dense fog (some sources state they were lost in a storm) on 28 March 1942. Lieutenants Takala and Musial were both killed when their aircraft crashed. Lt. Namola flew inland and was lucky enough to find just enogh clear sky to allow him to make a safe forced landing. He was assisted by a number of local Berridale residents after the crash and he stayed overnight with Frederick Powrie, the Headmaster for the Berridale Public School.

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Lt. Chester Namola a few days prior to his death on 16 June 1942.

Lieutenant Namola survived this crash but was later listed as Missing in Action (MIA) when he was shot down by the Japanese over Darwin Harbour during a bombing raid on 16 June 1942.

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Memorial Plaque at the Berridale State School

 

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The Memorial to Lt. Chester Namola at Berridale State School

 

Lt.  "Doc" Fielder crash landed on a coastal sandbar
at Aslings Beach, Eden, NSW on 28 March 1942

 

Lt. Takala crashed south of Eden, NSW on 28 March 1942

 

Lt. Musial crashed at Narrabarba near Eden, NSW on 28 March 1942

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I'd like to thank Rick Hanning for his assistance with the above information.

 

REFERENCE BOOK
Ferguson S.W. & Pascalis William K., "Protect & Avenge - The 49th Fighter Group in World War II"

 

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This page first produced 13 March 2000

This page last updated 12 August 2007