POSSIBLE CRASH OF A B-25 MITCHELL
IN THE BUNYAVILLE STATE FOREST, BRISBANE
ON AN UNKNOWN DATE

 

There is an unsubstantiated "story" that an aircraft, possibly a B-25 Mitchell bomber, crashed in the Bunyaville State Forest area, at Pine Rivers in Brisbane, possibly during WW2.

There is still evidence today of a few trees cut off at the top at the site in the Bunyaville State Forest. There is also a depression in the ground, small bits of a radial engine, and some remnants of Japanese and American ammunition. Most of this ammunition has now been recovered by various people over the years. There is a huge bomb crater in a creek just below the possible crash site. There is also a wooden/earthen bunker type structure about 60 metres away from the crash site on some high ground overlooking the crater.

One possible theory is that the aircraft crashed in the area loaded with bombs and ammunition which did not explode. Rather than try to recover the ordnance it may be possible that they built the wooden and earth bunker to hide in, while they systematically detonated all of the ordnance. It is uncertain why there would be Japanese ammunition located at the site. There was an unconfirmed report that prior to the 1970's there was a large radial engine sitting on a creek bank in the area. It disappeared in the 1970's.

Another theory could be that there was no aircraft crash at this site and it was merely an area established by the Army either during the war or just after the war to detonate unwanted ordnance in a controlled fashion. Recent research confirms that the latter was the correct theory.

The military bunker at Bunyaville was established with the permission of the Forestry Sub-Department in August 1943 under Regulation 54 of National Security (General) Regulations, as part of an area which was designated as a bomb cemetery and experimental explosive testing ground. The bomb cemetery remained in use until July 1945 and was used by both Australian and American forces.

American munitions disposal activities in the forest caused a bushfire in late October 1944 when hot bomb fragments ignited the undergrowth. In July 1945 the Australian Military Forces notified the Forestry Sub-Department that they no longer required the bunker and that Forestry could regain possession of the site.'

 

qld55j.jpg (133287 bytes) A few trees with cut of tops
qld55h.jpg (122831 bytes) The large crater now overgrown with grass
qld55c.jpg (145285 bytes) My visit to the timber and earth bunker overlooking the crater on 4 March 2001
qld55d.jpg (148166 bytes) The timber and earth bunker
qld55e.jpg (140413 bytes) Entrance to the timber bunker
qld55f.jpg (147187 bytes) Timber and earth Bunker
qld55g.jpg (157274 bytes) Timber and earth bunker
qld55i.jpg (132031 bytes) Bomb casing shrapnel
qld55l.jpg (28547 bytes) Aluminium cylinder about 12 inches long with nut and threaded plug which were originally stuck inside the crushed end of the cylinder - Can anyone identify what this is?
qld55m.jpg (50111 bytes) Closeup of the nut
qld55n.jpg (23213 bytes) Closeup of the threaded plug
qld55o.jpg (43482 bytes) Groove in the aluminium cylinder
qld55p.jpg (22628 bytes) Part of a cooling fin from a radial engine perhaps?
qld55q.jpg (25211 bytes) Other side of the above item
qld55r.jpg (28747 bytes) L - R:- A piece of bomb casing shrapnel, and 2 pieces of aluminium
qld55s.jpg (46840 bytes) Some Japanese ordnance found at the site
qld55k.jpg (129126 bytes) A live 25 lbs smoke shell, a 25 lbs detonator cap and a 2lb anti-tank practice projectile found in the creek bed during a visit to site on 4 March 2001. The Army were advised and the 25lb shell was taken away by the Army on 5 March 2001 for detonation in case there was any residue left inside.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Mark Walker for his assistance with information on this possible crash.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 2 March 2001

This page last updated 31 August 2015