ACCIDENT WITH A SHORT SUNDERLAND FLYING BOAT
AT TOWNSVILLE, QLD ON 28 NOVEMBER 1944

 

At 1020 hours on 28 November 1944, Mark 1 Short Sunderland Flying Boat, A26-6 (ex DP192), of 40 Squadron RAAF, was severely damaged during a travel flight when Flight Lieutenant B. A. Williams was taxying towards the harbour mouth in Townsville, north Queensland when it collided with a timber mooring pole. Because the aircraft was starting to sink, F/Lt. Williams restarted the engines to taxi it to the beach. Unfortunately it sank in about 18 feet of water. One passenger and two crew members were injured. Passenger A/B L.M. Waye (PM6214) was admitted to the sick bay at nearby Camp Magnetic with a bruised arm. He was discharged shortly later. 

CREW
Pilot - Flight Lieutenant B. A. Williams
2nd Pilot - Flying Officer D.L.G. Cushway
Navigator - Flight Lieutenant A.L. McLeod
W/T Operator - Flying Officer A.J. Edward
Warrant Officer F. Smith
Sgt R.N. Everingham
Sgt. M.T. Griffin

PASSENGERS
29 passengers

The aircraft was later converted to components.

On 28 November 1944, 6 Central Recovery Depot RAAF based at Breddan, commenced a salvage operation on Short Sunderland A26-6 at Townsville. They found it had been holed in the bow. It sunk on a sand bar and was covered by the evening high tide. Using equipment and floating bags they refloated the aircraft the next morning and beached it near the Queens Hotel.

Richard Gibbons had asked me if this crash is possibly the incident involving A26-6 (ex DP192) of 40 Squadron RAAF which appears with a photo on p.68 of Chaz Bowyer's book "Sunderland at War" with the caption; "WRITE-OFF. A26-6, one of six Sunderland III's operated by 40 Squadron RAAF in Australia towards the end of the war. This view shows just part of the extensive damage resulting from a collision by Flight Lieutenant Williams with the dolphin at the Townsville harbour entrance, 1944. The aircraft was soon written-off charge as unrepairable."   

 


Photo: via Richard Gibbons

Photo on page 68 of Chaz Bowyer's book "Sunderland at War"
The photo clearly shows the serial A26-8, so is not the same aircraft.

 

Richard Gibbons advised that this aircraft was built at Windermere as DP192 and delivered to the RAAF on 10 November 1943. It arrived in Australia on 1 March 1944 to become A26-6 of 40 Squadron RAAF.

 


Photo: RAAF Townsville Museum

Perhaps this is a photo of A26-6? That looks like Magnetic Island in the background at left
and the swimming enclosure is possibly either the one that was located near today's Rock
Pool on The Strand or the one near the Seaview Hotel or the one near the Tobruk Baths.

 


Photo: RAAF Townsville Museum

Close-up of the above photo

 


Photo: RAAF Townsville Museum

Possibly the same aircraft. Is that the cliffs of Kissing Point in the 
background? Or is this a different Sunderland Crash? I cannot spot all the
aerials on top of the fuselage that can be seen in the above photographs.

 


 

Glenn Forsyth is trying to find information on a Brian Minton, who was a tail gunner in a Sunderland crash during WW2. He was apparently the sole survivor of a Sunderland crash. Can anyone help Glenn?

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Richard Gibbons, from London, UK, for his assistance with this home page.

I'd also like to thank Sheridan Dee for assistance with this web site.

 

REFERENCE

"Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History"
Volume 7 - Maintenance Units

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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"Australia @ War"
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This page first produced 24 July 2000

This page last updated 31 August 2015