ON 1 JULY 1943


At approximately 1030 hours on 1 July 1943, P-39D-BE Airacobra A53-12 GR-T of 82 Squadron RAAF forced landed after its engine seized on some vacant land near Bulli Rifle Range, Sandon Road, in New South Wales while it was participating in a Practice Interception exercise. The pilot, Flying Officer Reginald Charles Barlow (403998), was seriously injured. Flying Officer Barlow received a fractured right leg, a possible fracture of the right femur and various injuries to his head a neck.

The wrecked aircraft was guarded by police from Bulli until VDC personnel took over.

A53-12 was still carrying its previous 24 Squadron Code GR-T at the time of this accident after being transferred from 24 Squadron in June 1943. The aircraft was converted to components on 26 August 1943. Apparently its remains were crated and returned to the USAAF 5th Air Force.


Photo:- "P-39 Airacobra in RAAF Service" by Gary Byk

P-39 Airacobra A53-12 being recovered


The impact of the forced landing caused the P-39's rain deflector to deploy. The stains that can be seen along the top side of the nose were due to transmission fluid escaping when the reduction gear housing and oil tank were destroyed on impact.


NOTE:- Page 81 of Gary Byk's book states the aircraft crashed 1 mile NE of the Bulli Rifle Range. ADF Serials web page states that it crashed 1 mile east of the Bulli Rifle Range. Both of those locations would place the aircraft in the sea off the beach rather than in a vacant block as per the Police Report. Ian McDonell advised that he thinks it may have been near McCauley's Beach, just north of the Bulli Rifle Range.



P-39 Airacobra in RAAF Service" by Gary Byk

ADF Serials RAAF A53 Bell P-39D, P-39F & P-400 Airacobra



I'd like to thanks Ian McDonell and Greg Murphy for their assistance with this web page.


Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?


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I need your help


 Peter Dunn OAM 2020


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This page first produced 21 June 2022

This page last updated 22 June 2022