CRASH OF A VULTEE VENGEANCE
INTO THE SEA IN NELSONS BAY
ON THE MOVING TARGET RANGE,
PORT STEPHENS, NSW
ON 7 APRIL 1944
Profile by Michael Claringbould
At 1007 hours on 7 April 1944, RAAF Vultee Vengeance A27-91, of 4 OTU ORB, crashed into the sea in Nelsons Bay on the moving target range, Port Stephens, New South Wales whilst carrying out dive-bombing exercises. It hit the water about 200 yards from the Target Boat.
Pilot Officer James Percival Plastow (6734), pilot, and Flight Sergeant Basil Oliver Lowe (412555), navigator, were both killed.
The RAAF "Aircraft Accident Data" card stated:-
"Pilot allowed insufficient height to recover a dive - A/C struck the water at an angle of 45°, exploding on impact."
"Error of judgment on the part of pilot in commencing to recover from dive at too low an altitude, such error of judgment being contributed to by glassy condition of the surface of the sea."
The body of F/Sgt Lowe was recovered immediately after the accident. Funeral arrangements were made with Jonah Bevan and Sons, Funeral Contractors, of Stockton. F/Sgt Lowe was buried in the War Cemetery, Sandgate, NSW at 1530 hours on 8 April 1944. He is buried in Grave No. K.D. 12.
The body of Pilot Officer Plastow was not recovered until Tuesday, 11 April 1944. Funeral arrangements with the same funeral contractor. Pilot Officer Plastow was buried in Grave No. K.D. 11 at 1130 hours on 12 April in the War Cemetery, Sandgate, NSW.
Photo:- via Brian Becconsall
Jim Plastow in winter uniform
"No. 4 OTU R.A.A.F. Williamtown and R.A.A.F. Vultee
by John Lever
I'd like to thank Wynnum B. Graham and Gordon Clarke for their assistance with this home page.
I would also like to than Brian Becconsall for his assistance with this web page. Brian is a cousin of Pilot Officer Plastow.
Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 6 June 2001
This page last updated 30 August 2015