CRASH OF A SPITFIRE
AT LIVINGSTONE AIRFIELD, NT
ON 23 NOVEMBER 1943

 

Spitfire Mk. F.VC, A58-21 (BS300), of 457 Squadron RAAF, piloted by Flying Officer Arthur John Gould (404062) ran off the runway on take off from Livingstone Airfield for a practice flight at about 1640 hours on 23 November 1943. The Spitfire struck a vehicle parked on a nearby roadway killing the two occupants as follows:-

Flying Officer Charles Henry Bell (118432) of 1 Radio Installation and Maintenance Unit
LAC Eric Harvey McCarthy (80427) of 1 Radio Installation and Maintenance Unit

Flying Officer Gould was to take part in a formation flying exercise with four other Spitfires from No. 457 Squadron. At 1605 hours F/O Gould taxied from the dispersal roadway on to the north end of the Strip, waited until three other Spitfires of the formation had taken off. He then commenced his takeoff leading a Spitfire piloted by Sergeant George McCallum Jude (419181) in a formation takeoff.

F/O Gould's Spitfire was very close to the eastern edge of the Strip when he commenced his run and after having travelled approximately 300 yards, his port wheel struck a flare path lamp on the edge of the strip. Track indications are that the port tyre commenced to deflate after striking the lamp, causing the aircraft to swing to the left across the drain and on to the main north-south road immediately adjacent to the Strip.

The Spitfire ran along the road for a distance of approximately 300 yards, still running slightly left, until it struck a utility motor vehicle parked on the eastern side of the road, instantly killing the two occupants. The impact swung the Spitfire almost completely round, and it proceeded for a further 75 yards before stopping across the pipeline at the side of the road. The Pilot was uninjured.

 

Spitfire A58-21 (ZP-G) resting on the pipeline after the tragic accident

 

Spitfire A58-21

 

Spitfire A58-21 resting on the pipeline after the tragic accident

 


Photo:- Doug Tilley October 2009

Possible propeller damage to the pipeline

 


Photo:- Doug Tilley October 2009

Possible propeller damage to the pipeline

 


Photo:- Doug Tilley October 2009

Possible propeller damage to the pipeline

 

Spitfire A58-21 arrived in Australia on SS Raranga on 10 November 1942.  It was approved to be converted to Components in October 1945.

 

REFERENCES

ADF Serials Web Page on Spitfires

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Doug Tilley for his assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 5 October 2009

This page last updated 18 October 2016