ON 31 OCTOBER 1944


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RAAF Vultee Vengeance A27-421 crashed on landing (?) at Batchelor on 31 October 1944. It was returning from Wyndham to Fenton, and was  piloted by Frank Ellis. The Aircraft Accident Data card stated that the "A/C swung into a drain in an attempt to avoid a motor vehicle. U/C leg collapsed".

I obtained most of the above information when I spoke to Frank Ellis (lives at East Brisbane) on 14 March 2000. The following is a transcript of part of our conversation on that day:-

"This one was a straight finger job on my part. I was gawking around, I came in and landed and suddenly this utility went past me in front and I thought "Oh gee, a utility" like that see. Operational fatigue. You just flew and you flew. I sort've veered and next minute "Clunk, bang". Wasn't watching and I veered and she sort've grounded and off into the ditch. She did a wheel and undercarriage in."

"Ah Gawd, I lied about that too, I told them he was much closer than he was, that fellow. That was a real finger job, my own fault."


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Subject:     Vultee crash at Batchelor(?)
Date:              Thu, 23 Nov 2000 14:59:53 +1100
From:            Brian Coleman <>


I have no record in my diary of a crash at Batchelor Strip on 31 October 1944. We, 18 (NEI) Squadron, had aircraft returning from deployment to Truscott on that day.

14 aircraft left Batchelor on 26 Oct and returned 31 Oct. Three of these were from 4 Flight where I was the Aircraft Electrician. (No's N5-166, N5-176 & N5-211).

Does this help in determining the location of the Vultee crash?


Brian Coleman



Subject:    Vengenace crash
Date:             Wed, 27 Dec 2000 17:54:57 +1000
From:           Chris Jamesson <>

Hey there,, yep definately Batchelor as can be seen from the Aircraft casualty card that i've scanned for you. Also added the Aircraft Accident Data card for this particular aircraft enjoy :)

Cheers, Chris

p.s I have all the aircraft casualty cards for Vengeances if you're interested

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Aircraft Accident Data Card


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This page first produced 5 April 2000

This page last updated 21 February 2020