ON 17 JANUARY 1945


On 17 January 1945, USAAF B-24J-15-CO LIberator, #42-73134 "Milady", of the 531st Bombardment Squadron of the 380th Bombardment Group crashed after take-off on the Cox Peninsula west of Darwin in the Northern Territory. All of the crew were killed in this tragic accident. Some remains of the wreckage of "Milady" can still be seen on Cox Peninsula today.

The 531st Bomb Squadron was based at RAAF Darwin and "Milady" was on a practice bombing mission over Quail Island at the time of the accident. The aircraft caught fire and the pilot was able to fly the B-24 Liberator back to the mainland before it crashed killing all of the crew as follows:-

2nd Lt. Bobby T. Neal (O823712)
2nd Lt. Walter E. Scanlon, Jr. (O711027)
2nd Lt. William G. Ward, Jr. (O2064690)
2nd Lt. Richard W. Walsh (O777385)
Sgt. Francisco Caballero (38553915)
Sgt Gerald D. Sacre (17122357)

The above men were all buried in the Rookwood US Military Cemetery in Sydney before their bodies were exhumed and returned the the United States after the war. They may have been buried in the Northern Territory for some time before being relocated to Rookwood Cemetery.


Photo:- Rick Hanning

Wreckage of B-24J Liberator, #42-73134 "Milady"


Photo:- Rick Hanning

Wreckage of B-24J Liberator, #42-73134 "Milady"


Photo:- Rick Hanning

Historical sign erected at the crash site



I'd like to thank Rick Hanning for his assistance with this web 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 6 August 2000

This page last updated 02 February 2020