12 JUNE 1942
CRASH OF A BEAUFORT
IN THE MAREEBA AREA, QLD
RAAF Beaufort, A9-56 (T9608) of 100 Squadron, flew the first operational sortie out of the new Mareeba air strip taking off at 0830 hours on 12 June 1942 to carryout an anti-submarine patrol off the east coast. The Beaufort failed to return from the patrol.
Sgt John Roland Pittman (407971) - Pilot
Sgt. Charles Douglas Hucker (400674) - Navigator
Sgt. Horace Evans Shying (405942) - Wireless Air Gunner
Sgt. Edward Kennion Jones (407679) - Wireless Air Gunner
After the aircraft was reported overdue, Cooktown and Coen were contacted, because it was thought that the aircraft may have landed at one of these two places to refuel, which turned out not to be the case. Attempts were made to contact the aircraft using W/T without success. The crew of a Catalina which was to have relieved Beaufort T9608 on patrol, reported they had not sighted the missing aircraft.
Seven aircraft took off at dawn on 13 June 1942 and searched for the missing aircraft. Nil sightings were reported. A further search by two aircraft was carried out off the coast and inner reef on on 14 June 1942 without success.
It was subsequently Struck Off Charge (SOC). This actually happened before the A9 number was allocated to this aircraft.
SOC = Struck Off Charge = the date that the airframe was disposed of (scrapped/burnt/buried etc.) or deleted from inventory (usually a month after missing or immediately if loss was seen).
NOTE:- Some of the above information was passed on to me by Ross McNeill (RossMcN@aol.com) of Worcestershire, UK, who is a researcher specialising in sea losses of Allied aircraft 1939-45. His Beaufort data comes from the RAF 800 movement cards held at the RAF Museum, Hendon. Ross spent a few months transcribing the info in about 1997.
"Aircraft and Markings of the RAAF 1939 - 1945"
By Geoffrey Pentland
RAAF Casualty Database
I'd like to thank Daniel Leahy and Gordon Birkett for their assistance with this web page.
Can anyone help me with more information?
"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products
© Peter Dunn OAM 2020
This page first produced 7 February 1999
This page last updated 07 February 2020