CRASH OF A WIRRAWAY
AT FRENCH STREET, COORPAROO,
ON 11 APRIL 1940
Wirraway A20-25 of 23 Squadron RAAF, made a forced landing at French Street, Coorparoo in Brisbane, in south east Queensland at 1100 hours on 11 April 1940 after an engine failure. The pilot, Pilot Officer Beaufort Mosman Hunter Palmer was uninjured. The undercarriage and airscrew were damaged in the forced landing. The pilot, Beau Palmer was disciplined for damaging his Wirraway during this forced landing at Coorparoo whilst performing aerobatics above the home of his future wife, Daphne James-Gill.
Beau Palmer was the first pilot to land at the newly established RAAF Archerfield. He landed at Archerfield on about 4 July 1940 six days before the official opening of RAAF Archerfield to deliver a consignment of alcohol for the newly completed officer's club. He then lead his squadron in to land at Archerfield on 10 July 1940 for the official opening of RAAF Archerfield. Beau Palmer later received a Distinguished Flying Cross for an attack on 5 Japanese tanks advancing on Australian troops on Bougainville. Beau Palmer, DFC passed away on 22 November 2011 on the Gold Coast.
In October 2011, Jim Mumford told me of his recollections from 71 years ago of this crash. Jim said the time of impact would be correct because when he returned to class after lunch break most of the class were missing, their parents having collected them to watch the action at the crash site. Jim heard the teachers mention a crashed plane.
Jim's path home at 3 p.m. led down Cavendish Road into Jellicoe Street and across Burke's paddock, now known as Wembly park. The plane lay parallel to Woodrow Drive roughly opposite the junction with Jackson Street. The houses shown in Woodrow Drive between Armuna Street and the creek in the satellite pictures did not exist then.
Jim said that the retrieval crew had erected a huge three legged hoist beside the crashed Wirraway ready to lift it onto a low loader parked alongside. The propeller had been removed. It was neatly bent to indicate a powerless landing. Most of the houses shown in Temple Street did exist and the landing was made 20 to 30 metres from their back fences.
I'd like to thank Jim Mumford for his assistance with this web page.
Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 25 September 2005
This page last updated 30 August 2015