ON 17 JUNE 1940


At about 1610 hours on 17 June 1940, Lockheed Hudson A16-58 of 6 Squadron RAAF crashed approximately 5 miles north of Windsor in New South Wales. The aircraft crashed and burnt, killing the two crew members as follows:-

Flight Lieutenant James Ballinghall Dundas Hamilton
Pilot Officer Wallace Malcolm Netherleigh Stewart


Daily Telegraph (Sydney) of Tuesday 18 June 1940, page 5


Wreck Ablaze In Orchard
A R.A.A.F. bomber crashed and was then shattered into fragments by an explosion yesterday at Freeman's Reach, four miles from Windsor. The two occupants were blown to pieces.

They were:

Flight-Lieut. James Ballingall Dundas Hamilton, 29.
Air-Cadet Wallace Malcolm Stewart, 22.

The plane burst into flames, which shot over 100 feet into the air.

The plane was seen gliding steeply and at a high speed, with the engine apparently throttled back, towards the ground.

It hit the ground in an orchard with terrific impact, and almost immediately there followed a loud explosion which was heard a mile away, and shook windows of houses nearby.

Fragments Scattered
Pieces of the plane were flung over a radius of 50 yards. A few fragments, including the instrument board, were found 100 yards away.

Some parts were recognisable to expert airmen only after a close scrutiny.

The two occupants must have been killed outright.

The plane crashed into a small orchard on the property of the Freeman's Reach schoolmaster, Mr. Reginald Marsh.

One Wing Down
"I was chopping wood near the house," he said. "I looked up and saw the plane, then about 200 feet up, sweeping towards the earth.

"One wing seemed to be lower than the other, and the next instant it crashed.

"The explosion was terrific. I ran to the orchard and ran among the strewn pieces, which were burning fiercely.

"I realised that none of the occupants could have survived."

Mr. Marsh's small daughter was walking across one of the paddocks, when the plane crashed about 100 yards from her.

A cow in a nearby enclosure was singed by the heat from the fire, and the flames destroyed about 50 of Mr. Marsh's fruit trees. "

Like Car Hitting House
Mr. R. Chambers, who was spending a holiday in the district, was only 200 yards from the plane when it struck the ground.

"I felt the blast from the fire strike shoulder high," he said.

A man living a quarter of a mile away ran from his house.

The concussion of the explosion gave him the impression that a car had crashed into his house.

Sergt. Dawes, of Windsor police, and armed RA.A.F. sentries guarded the wreckage last night.

Executive officers of the Air Force made a preliminary examination, and an inquiry will open today.

20ft. Furrow
From early observations and eye witnesses' stories, it appears that one wing of the plane struck the ground first.

A furrow was ploughed through the hard ground for about 20 feet. There one engine dug into the soil.

The plane then appeared to have turned over, the second engine being thrown 25 yards farther on.

Won Air Scholarship
Cadet Stewart was the only child of Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Stewart, of Raglan Street, Mosman.

He was educated at the Church of England Grammar School.

Stewart was for many years a member of the Junior Air League. He won a League scholarship, and was called up to serve with the R.A.A.F at the outbreak of war.

He began his training as a pilot at Mascot, and later went to Richmond.

Flight-Lieut. Hamilton joined the R.A.A.F in Victoria in December, 1933. He was promoted Flying-Officer in 1935 and Flight-Lieut, in October last year.



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This page first produced 10 September 2022

This page last updated 13 January 2023