A Lockheed Hudson 'Herald' newspaper delivery plane, VH-SML, disappeared on 14 September 1954 on a flight from Sydney to Taree. Three men were in the aircraft when it disappeared. The three men killed in the lost aircraft were:-

A large search was carried out by R.A.A.F. and civilian aircraft. No trace of the missing Lockheed Hudson was found.

Approximately 15 months after it had disappeared, at 11.10 am on 22 December 1956, two Butler Air Transport pilots, Captain W. Jenkins and L. Beales, sighted the wrecked plane about six miles north of Chichester Dam and fifteen miles north-north-west of Dungog. They flashed a report to Air Traffic Control, Mascot at 11.30 a.m. 

Captain Jenkins saw something glinting in the sunlight. They circled around for a few minutes and confirmed that it was the wreckage of a Lockheed Hudson. The Hudson had crashed into the crest of a hill in the foothills of the Barrington Ranges, about 20 feet from the top. There was been no sign of fire. The cabin section could not be seen, but the crumpled tail unit was clearly visible from the air.

Later that day an R.A.A.F Dakota aircraft from Canberra flew over the crash site and photographed the wreckage.

Sydney civilian pilot Mr. A. ('Titus') Oates, landed his Tiger Moth on top of a mountainous ridge, six miles from the wreck. He spotted wreckage about one mile north of a surveyor's trig. station which is located five miles north of Chichester.

When he arrived over the wreck, it was getting dark. The next day Mr. Oatesl assisted police in finding the wreckage by circling over the wreckage in his Tiger Moth. 

Police Inspector W.L. Jefferson, of Maitland, lead a police party to the scene of the wreck from Dungog at dawn on 23 December 1956. They reached the wreckage at about midday.


Sydney Morning Herald 23 December 1956
"Plane Wreck On Hill Believed To End 15-month Mystery"



 I'd like to thank Daniel Leahy and Ron Cuskelly for their assistance with this home page.


Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?


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 Peter Dunn 2015


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This page first produced 1 February 2003

This page last updated 31 August 2015