CRASH OF A P-39 AIRACOBRA
IN THE OCEAN OFF TOWNSVILLE
ON 14 MAY 1942

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2nd Lt. Howard C. Welker of the 40th Pursuit Squadron had engine failure in his P-39 Airacobra off Townsville on 14 May 1942.  He made a forced landing in the sea close to shore, and swam to the local lighthouse, where he spent a day and night without shoes or water.  He was found the next day by a team of painters from the lighthouse tender SS Cape Leeuwin who had arrived to paint the lighthouse.  They returned to Townsville on 18 May 1942.

One possibility for the crash location is Cleveland Bay, the main bay adjacent to Townsville which if correct would mean the possible lighthouse would be the Cape Cleveland Lighthouse.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Edward Rogers for his assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

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This page first produced 11 January 2013

This page last updated 29 March 2013