CRASH OF AN AVRO ANSON
ON MT. NEBO, IN THE D'AGUILAR RANGES
NEAR BRISBANE, QLD 
ON 7 AUGUST 1942

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RAAF Avro Anson W2053 crashed on Mt. Nebo on 7 August 1942 whilst returning to its base at Lowood airfield from a sea patrol off Bundaberg. The aircraft was attached to No. 71 (Reserve) Squadron at Lowood airfield at the time of the crash. Reserve squadrons were in Cadre form only and relied on aircrew provided from other flying units. No. 71 (Reserve) Squadron aircrew were allocated for duty with the squadron from No. 8 Service Flying Training School at Bundaberg in Queensland. Mt Nebo is about 16 miles from Brisbane in the D'Aguilar Ranges. 

The Investigation into the cause of the accident by Flight Lieutenant Cliff Lanham of Coolangatta found that the pilot, Sgt. K.W. Patrick, was temporarily blinded while flying at 1,220 metres by the Army search lights operating around the Brisbane area. The pilot indicated that the strong rays from three or four searchlights from different parts of Brisbane blinded him. While trying to dodge them he lost control of the aircraft. 

He finally regained control of the aircraft at 450 metres after the aircraft had dived downwards. He then set a course for Lowood airfield across the ranges to the west of Mount Coot-tha. After a short time one of the crew shouted out "Look out. Trees." The pilot pulled back on the control column, but was too late. The Arvo Anson crashed into the top of the trees on Mount Nebo.  The aircraft was completely wrecked and beyond repair. Both engines and both wings were torn from the aircraft on impact. The fuselage plummeted through the trees and ended up 2 metres from the trunk of a very large tree.

The crew of three were lucky to survive with only slight injuries. The opened the hatches and stepped out of the wrecked aircraft. The crew were as follows.:- 

Sgt. K.W. Patrick (Pilot)
Sgt. J.H. Mellersh (Observer)
Sgt. D.V. Montey (Wireless Air Gunner)

One of them was in hospital for 3 weeks.

The aircraft was salvaged by No. 71 (Reserve) Squadron and allocated to No 3 Aircraft Depot at Amberley airfield and converted to components on 14 October 1942. 

 

Avro Anson W2053 crashed on Mt. Nebo on 7 August 1942

 

On 2 March 1977, a Piper Comanche crashed about 1 km from the Avro Anson crash site. The pilot, Paul Pavletich was killed. A helicopter from No. 9 Squadron RAAF at Amberley located the wreckage of the Piper Comanche. There are organised bush walks to the site of the Piper Comanche crash.

 

Can anyone pinpoint the actual crash site of this Avro Anson?

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Stephen Szczurek for his assistance with this home page.

 

REFERENCES

Article in Brisbane Courier Mail, 08 March 1977 regarding crashed Piper Comanche.

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 24 October 2002

This page last updated 31 August 2015