Two Avro Ansons (L9162 and N4876) on a cross country training flight from No. 2SFTS at Wagga, NSW, collided near Brocklesby in New South Wales on 29 September 1940 at 10:45am. The two aircraft locked together in flight. Avro Anson L9162 was the lower aircraft and N4876 the upper one. Brocklesby is north east of Corowa and Rutherglen in New South Wales.


Photo:- from Doug Brenkley via Russell Cooper

Avron Ansons L9162 (lower) and N4876 (upper) near Brocklesby, NSW


The crew of the bottom aircraft L9162, LAC Jack I. Hewson and LAC Hugh G. Fraser bailed out along with the observer from the top aircraft (N4876) LAC Ian M. Sinclair. The pilot of N4876, LAC Leonard G. Fuller, managed to fly both aircraft about 8 kms, using the power from his starboard engine. He belly landed the two aircraft safely in a paddock belonging to Mr T. Murphy, approximately 5 miles south west of Brocklesbury.

John Hewson told me that the only reason that the two aircraft stayed airborne was due to Jack Hewson increased his engines to full power immediately after the collision and locked his controls when the two aircraft came together. Otherwise they would have spiralled out of control with the weight.

LAC Jack Hewson was the only person injured in the accident. He spent four months in hospital after the accident and did not resume flying until the end of January 1941. When the collision occurred, he was not wearing his parachute and Hugh Fraser had to pass it to him through the wreckage of the cockpit. Jack Hewson then had to put the parachute on sitting on the floor. The collision occurred at about 3,000 feet and the aircraft were losing height all the time. By the time Jack Hewson got the parachute on he then had to climb out through the broken perpex onto the starboard wing and slid off at about 900 ft.

When Jack Hewson opened his parachute he had not clipped it on properly and it tangled and he was upside down. It finally opened fully at about 100 feet and he slammed into the ground so hard that his spine was jarred and he was temporally paralysed. Jack's son, John Hewson told me that his grandmother told him that she went to Randwick Hospital when they brought Jack up from Wagga and his whole upper body was in a surgical brace. It was a German doctor named Hertz who worked on him and repaired the damage.  Jack Hewson continued flying right through to November 1945 and finished as a C-47 skipper with 38 Squadron and nearly 2,500 flying hours.


via John Hewson

Log book of LAC Jack Hewson
(click on thumbnail to enlarge)


Photo:- by John Dallinger, via Jack McNally of 24 Squadron RAAF


Photo:- by John Dallinger, via Jack McNally of 24 Squadron RAAF


Photo:- from Doug Brenkley via Russell Cooper


L9162 was written off, but N4876 continued to fly after repairs. Fuller went on to fly with the RAAF in Europe and was awarded the DFM. Unfortunately he was killed at East Sale in 1944 when he was hit by a bus while riding a bike.


Photo:- from Doug Brenkley via Russell Cooper


Daniel Leahy's family's farm was 'next door' to this Murphy's farm. At the time Daniel's uncle was sick and witnessed the whole thing. Apparently he even took photos of the event. There is apparently a plaque on the roadside near where the accident happened.


Photo:- from Doug Brenkley via Russell Cooper


Photo:- from Doug Brenkley via Russell Cooper


Tim Fischer unveiled a memorial to the accident in 1990. It was a pretty big local event with a couple of thousand people attending along with Charles Fraser, Hugh Fraser's brother and Len Fuller's brother Col Fuller.


Photo:- via John Hewson


Photo:- via John Hewson

View of the cockpit area of Jack Hewson's aircraft, the lower one, after the top aircraft had been removed.

Photo:- by John Dallinger, 
via Jack McNally of 24 Squadron RAAF

Can anyone identify this person?



I'd like to thank Doug Brenkley, Russell Cooper and Daniel Leahy for their assistance with this web page. Doug Brenkley is writing a book about the Air base at Geraldton during WW2. Daniel Leahy lives about 30 minutes from the crash site.

I'd also like to thank John Hewson, son of Jack Hewson, the pilot of the lower aircraft L9162.


Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?


"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

I need your help


 Peter Dunn 2015


Please e-mail me
any information or photographs

"Australia @ War"
8GB USB Memory Stick


This page first produced 2 May 2005

This page last updated 27 January 2020