10 JULY 1943
CRASH OF A BEAUFORT BOMBER

AT BOHLE RIVER AIRFIELD

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Bristol Beaufort

 

RAAF Beaufort bomber, A9-229, of 8 Squadron RAAF, piloted by Flight Lieutenant Edward Alfred Dorward (251607) took off from Bohle River Airfield near Townsville in north Queensland at about 0930 hours on 10 July 1943 to take part in some low-level bombing practice with 250lb G.1. Mark IV bombs against Cordelia Rocks which is about 21 miles NNW of Townsville and about 5 1/2 miles NE of Rattlesnake island. The bombing exercise commenced at about 0950 hours. The first two bombs were released satisfactorily.

The third bomb was released at about 200 feet and an air speed of 210 knots and exploded on impact with the water. The jar of the explosion was felt throughout the Beaufort. Shortly after this, the turret gunner noticed oil flowing from the vicinity of the oil cooler in the starboard mainplane and advised F/Lt Dorward who took the aircraft to approximately 1,000 feet and jettisoned the remaining 250lb bomb. He feathered the starboard airscrew and headed back to Bohle River Airfield on one engine.

Another aircraft was obstructing the runway on his approach to land at Bohle River Airfield and as a result Beaufort A9-229 eventually touched down more than half way down the runway. As the landing was made without flaps, his landing speed was much higher than normal and applying the brakes was unable to stop the aircraft before it ran into rough ground at the end of the runway. F/Lt Dorward retracted the undercarriage and ground looped the aircraft.

 

NOTE:- There are a number of discrepancies in official records with the spelling of the pilot's surname, his first two initials and his rank at the time of the accident.

The Confirmatory Memorandum written by Wing Commander G.D. Nicoll, the Commanding Officer of 8 Squadron RAAF based at Bohle River Airfield on 30 July 1943 refers to the pilot as being Flight Lieutenant S. A Dorward and then as Flight Lieutenant B. A. Dorward in the same memo.

On the National Archives web site he is referred to as Flying Officer Edward Alfred Dorwood (251607) in the Repatriation file associated with this crash and just as Edward Alfred Dorward (251607) in his service file.

A search for the Service No. 251607 in the WWII Nominal Roll shows him as Squadron Leader Edward Alfred Dorward when he was discharged from the RAAF on 7 March 1946.

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

"Diary of WWII - North Queensland"
Complied by Peter Nielsen

"Aircraft and Markings of the RAAF 1939 - 1945"
By Geoffrey Pentland

 

NOTE:-  I also received information on this crash from a list of aircraft crashes compiled by Bruce Stewart from a series of books called "Aircraft in Australian Service" by Stewart Wilson.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

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This page first produced 8 February 1999

This page last updated 01 March 2017