LB-30 LIBERATOR DESTROYED
DURING A JAPANESE BOMBING RAID ON DARWIN
ON 19 FEBRUARY 1942

 

On 19 February 1942, a USAAF LB-30A, AL521, Liberator, of the 7th Bomb Group, was destroyed on the ground during the first Japanese bombing raid on Darwin in the Northern Territory.

This aircraft had only just ferried General Patrick Hurley from Java on the previous day (see below). The Captain of AL521 was Lt. C.B. Kelsay, of the 7th BG. Only one crew member was killed Sgt. H.M. McTavish (6549162), with Sgt L. Beck, upper Turret gunner wounded. This aircraft was the long nose LB30 export version.

At 0615 hrs on 18 February 1942, Lt. Kelsay in LB‑30A No. AL‑521 of the 7th Bomb Group had taken off from Malang in Java for Darwin, Australia. Gen. Hurley was aboard. A party consisting of Maj Gen Brereton, Col Eubank, Air Marshall Sir Richard Pierce, Brig Gen Patrick Hurley, (Ambassador to New Zealand) had earlier arrived in Malang with Lt Kelsay (or Kelsey) in LB-30 at 1730 hrs on 17 February 1942 for the purpose of awarding decorations to members of the 19th Group.

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

"Tocumwal to Tarakan"
"Australians and the Consolidated B-24 Liberator"
By Michael V. Nelmes

 

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This page first produced 19 August 1999

This page last updated 11 January 2017