CRASH OF A BOOMERANG
AT RAAF MENANGLE, NSW
ON 30 MAY 1945

 

Sub-Lieutenant Kenneth Ernest Vogan RNVR of 1843 Squadron, H.M.S. Nabthorpe, was killed on 30 May 1945 when Boomerang A46-76 of 83 Squadron RAAF dived vertically into a hillside at RAAF Menangle, in New South Wales approximately 8 minutes after take-off.

Sub-Lieutenant Vogan had not flown a Boomerang before. Boomerang A46-76 was recognised as one of 83 Squadron's most airworthy aircraft. The aircraft was reserved for Navy ATX exercises or sorties entailing high speed attacks. Su-Lieutenant Vogan was very keen to fly the Boomerang and had been made fully conversant with the characteristics of Boomerang aircraft prior to taking off by the Commanding Officer of 83 Squadron RAAF. Matt Denning believes Vogan may have experienced some rudder lock which caused him to crash not far from Menangle Airfield.

Witnesses saw the Boomerang only during the last 200 feet of its dive to earth. All evidence proves that the aircraft was serviceable at the time of take-off. The medical fitness of the pilot could not be accurately assessed as the Court of Inquiry was unable to obtain a medical certificate from the pilot's unit, as his unit had moved out of the area prior to the sitting of the Court.

On the morning of 30 May 1945, the Commanding Officer of 83 Squadron RAAF, with his two Flight Commanders and two other pilots flew over to Royal Naval Air Station Schofield. They were shown over 1843 Squadron's Corsairs and after a full cockpit check, flew the aircraft with conspicuous success. Subsequently, the Boomerangs returned to Menangle. Lieutenant Davis RCNVR, who in the absence of Lieutenant Commander Chilton, who was on leave, was acting as Squadron Commander, authorised a flight of Corsairs to accompany them to Menangle.

 


NAA Photo

Crash site of Boomerang A46-76

 


NAA Photo

Crash site of Boomerang A46-76

 


NAA Photo

Some wreckage of Boomerang A46-76

 


NAA Photo

Some wreckage of Boomerang A46-76

 


NAA Photo

Scattered wreckage of Boomerang A46-76

 


NAA Photo

Mangled wreckage of Boomerang A46-76

 

When I accessed "The MONAB Story - A history of the mobile airfields of the Royal Navy" on 20 November 2023 it incorrectly stated that Sub-Lieutenant Vogan had been killed in a Corsair of 1843 Squadron from Royal Naval Air Station Schofield.

Vogan was buried in the Sydney War Cemetery Rookwood (Burial No. 573) in Plot 2W, Row C, Grave 12.

 

REFERENCES

"The MONAB Story - A history of the mobile airfields of the Royal Navy"

"Boomerang A46-76 - Court of Inquiry re accident to at Menangle on 30.5.1945 - Vogan K E Sub/Lt (RN) 1843 killed" - NAA File

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Matthew Denning and Jonathan Rollason for their assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

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 Peter Dunn OAM 2020

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This page first produced 20 November 2023

This page last updated 22 November 2023