5 AUGUST 1945



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A68-546, P-51K-15-NT, of 86 Squadron RAAF, crashed on landing at Bohle River airstrip on 5 August 1945.  The aircraft had only clocked up 5 hours flying time at the time of the incident.  The pilot, Flight Lieutenant P.M. Boulton, received severe head injuries.


On 5 August 1945, ten ferry pilots were delivering new P-51 Mustangs from No. 2 Aircraft Depot 2 AD to 86 Squadron RAAF at Bohle River airfield. It was a windy day and after seven mustangs had landed, they taxied to the up-wind side of the runway at a location two thirds from the northern end of the strip. They threw up a large cloud of dust which drifted across the runway. The eighth Mustang to land was A68-546, flown by Flight Lieutenant Peter Martin Boulton (411990) of No. 2 Aircraft Depot. He approached for his landing on full flap, with his elevator trim in the tail heavy position.

Just as he touched down his vision was obscured by the cloud of dust blown up by the other seven Mustangs to his port side. He applied full throttle, presumably to take off and go around again. With the flap and trim settings that he had applied, the torque of the large engine literally rotated the aircraft around the propeller shaft. The Mustang did a half roll into the scrub beside the runway ripping the engine from the fuselage.

The "Preliminary Report (Internal) of Flying Accident or Forced Landing" shows the "Nature of the Accident" as follows:-

"Aircraft swerved left when touching down, Pilot opened throttle to take-off, thus avoiding collision with stationery aircraft. Aircraft went into steep climb, dropped left wing, rolle don back at approx. 30 feet and nosedived to left."

The "Preliminary Report (Internal) of Flying Accident or Forced Landing" shows the "Probable Cause" as follows:-

"Elevator trim tabs set 15 degrees tail heavy. When pilot opening throttle pilot could not hold against trim."

F/Lt Boulton was seriously injured, but later recovered in the Garbutt base hospital. Flying Officer B.A. Nott, the Flying Control Officer for the day at Bohle airfield, was very critical of all the Mustang ferry pilots. They showed no discipline in entering the circuit area, and they ignored red lights. Their leader landed against an insistent red Aldis light, then taxied against red lights and a red Verey flare. The Court of Enquiry blamed the accident on this lack of discipline by the ferry pilots.


NOTE:- The "Preliminary Report (Internal) of Flying Accident or Forced Landing" shows the pilots name as F/Sgt. P.M. Voulton rather than the correct surname of Boulton.



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

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

"86 Squadron 1943-45 - Men, Kittyhawks and Mustangs"
By Peter F. Howard


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This page first produced 15 June 1998

This page last updated 07 February 2020