Sergeant Reg Kilpatrick, a newly arrived pilot in 31 Squadron RAAF at Coomalie Creek airfield in the Northern Territory, made a bad landing on the strip and turned his Beaufighter A19-66, upside down. In fact it was not his aircraft. It belonged to Jim Kearney who was quite upset about the demise of his Beaufighter.

"Killer" Kilpatrick was not badly injured, but his navigator suffered a possible skull fracture. Had he not been belted in, he would have been killed.

Beaufighter A19-66 had been delivered to the RAAF in August 1942. It was written off after this accident.



Subject:    Crash of Beaufighter at Coomallie Creek 25/2/43
Date:             Wed, 19 Jan 2000 07:37:43 +1100
From:           cchorton <>

Crash of Beaufighter at Coomalie Creek 25/2/43

Have just received a copy of your article on the above crash from an acquaintance of mine. The navigator involved was my father Harold George Patrick Horton. The crash occurred on landing returning from a mission providing fighter cover for a convoy. The aircraft type was a Beaufighter A19-66. I am not quite sure of his rank at the time but he left the RAAF in late 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant.

He was involved in a further crash with his mate Reg "Killer" Kilpatrick on the 21/11/43 this one at take off. The aircraft type was a Beaufighter A19-82. His log book which I have the original of shows 31 Squadron and the mission was a "strike" which they never made. I know that he suffered some injury as a result of this accident including a broken nose and other injuries.

My father died of cancer in 1971 and is buried with a RAAF plaque in Melbourne.

I hope the above is of assistance. If I can be of any further assistance my home email is

Regards Richard Horton.



"Coomalie Charlie's Commandos - 31 Squadron RAAF"
"Beaufighters at Darwin 1942-43"
by Kenneth Neal McDonald, DFC


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This page first produced 24 October 1999

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