FORCED LANDING OF A  VULTEE VENGEANCE
ON TUDU ISLAND, JUST SOUTH
OF WARRIOR REEF, QLD
ON 20 MARCH 1944

 

vult01.jpg (12286 bytes)

Vultee Vengeance

 

Official records state that the wreckage of an RAAF Vultee Vengeance, A27-223 of 23 Squadron RAAF, was located submerged on Warrior Reef on an unknown date. The Vultee Vengeance's History (Movements, Casualties, Etc.) Card appears to state that the aircraft had crash landed in sea near Warrior Island (and not Reef) on 22 March 1944 during a cyclone. It apparently made a forced landing at low tide on the shore near Warrior Island/Reef on a flight from Wards Field to Higgins Field.

 

 History (Movements, Casualties, Etc) Card for Vultee Vengeance A27-223

 

The entries on the History Card are a bit confusing as to the date of the incident. However the RAAF Unit History Sheets (Form 50) for 23 Squadron RAAF show that the forced landing happened on 20 March 1944. See below. I have decided to use that date for this web page as the crash date.

 

RAAF Unit History Sheets (Form 50) for 23 Squadron

 

No. 4 Volunteer Air Observers Corps (4 VAOC) in Townsville Operations Record Book shows the following entry on the 20 March 1944:-

"1250 112M.F.S. reported as aircraft forced landed on small island 8 miles N.E. of DUNGENESS ISLAND. V.A.O.C. reported lugger Viking in vicinity on VAOC duties. 112 M.F.S. reported crew of the aircraft on beach of WARRIOR ISLAND and instructed the Viking to proceed to the Island and pick them up. Viking picked up crew of VULTEE VENGEANCE A.27-223. P/O NICHOLLS slight abrasions to face, F/SGT. A. ALLEN abrasions to hands. Both of 23 SQUADRON. Aircraft badly damaged."

I was contacted by Senior Constable John Latham of Water Police Whitsunday on 21 November 2013 regarding some aircraft wreckage found by his friend Brett Norris on a beach on Tudu Island just south of Warrior Reef. An engine was located in the water approximately 60 metres from the beach. One of the islanders was of the belief that it was a Japanese Zero that had crashed there with a female pilot!! John advised that it was a hand-me-down story and cannot be verified.

With the help of some of my internet aviation friends they have identified the wreckage in the photographs below as a Vultee Vengeance which confirms for me that this is the remains of Vultee Vengeance A27-223.

Warrior Reef and Tudu Island are both part of Queensland.

It was recommended that the wreck be allotted to No. 1 Repair and Salvage Unit (1 RSU) for a salvage and Survey Report. It was deemed not repairable after 14 days.

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 


Photo:- Brett Norris

 

SOURCE:-   Aircraft Crash Sites - Australia

Crash:         No. 75

Position:     09.37 - 143.08

Department of Aviation Chart No:       3097

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

"Aircraft of the RAAF 1921- 71"
By Geoffrey Pentland & Peter Malone

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Senior Constable John Latham of Water Police Whitsunday and Brett Norris for their assistance with this web page.

I'd also like to than, Gordon Birkett, Daniel Leahy, Bob Alford, Bob Livingstone and Pete Johnston for their assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

"Australia @ War" Research Products

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

Disclaimer

Please e-mail me
any information or photographs


"Australia @ War"
8GB USB Memory Stick

This page first produced 18 June 1999

This page last updated 14 February 2017