16 AUGUST 1943
CRASH OF A BEAUFORT AT ROSS RIVER
TOWNSVILLE, QLD
ON 16 AUGUST 1943

 

beaufort.jpg (13398 bytes)
Bristol Beaufort

 

Pilot Officer Bevan Lutwych West (407264) was ferrying Bristol Beaufort, A9-383 from 1 Aircraft depot at Laverton Airfield to a northern base when it ground looped on landing at Ross River airfield on 16 August 1943. Soon after touching down, the aircraft commenced an uncontrolled swing to the left, which developed into a ground loop. The starboard tyre burst, and the aircraft hit a fence, causing considerable damage to the starboard engine and mainplane. F/O R.T. Cooper and Sgt. J.R. Matthews were the other two crew members.

The aircraft was delivered to 12 Repair and Salvage Unit on 19 August 1943 and converted to components.

A signal from 7 Squadron RAAF stated that the tail wheel shimmied on landing, and when inspected after the accident, the locking device was found to be sheared. It was assumed that this caused or contributed to the cause of the swing on landing.

F/Lt Bevan Lutwych West (407264) of 13 Aircraft Repair Depot (13 ARD) at Breddan was later involved in a serious incident in Lockheed Ventura A59-14 when his aircraft collided with a wireless mast and neon sign above Molloy's Hotel in Mackay, north Queensland while buzzing the city area just after 9 am on Friday 20 October 1944. F/Lt West was subsequently court martialled and found guilty on three charges and was dismissed from the RAAF effective 7 December 1944.

 

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.

I also received information on the above crash from a list of aircraft crashes compiled by Bruce Stewart from a series of books called "Aircraft in Australian Service" by Stewart Wilson.

 

REFERENCE BOOK

"Diary of WWII - North Queensland"
Complied by Peter Nielsen

"Aircraft and Markings of the RAAF 1939 - 1945"
By Geoffrey Pentland

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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 Peter Dunn OAM 2020

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This page first produced 25 April 1999

This page last updated 25 February 2020