FIRE IN A B-25 MITCHELL
AT BATCHELOR AIRFIELD, NT
ON 18 AUGUST 1944
Subject: Aircraft crashes Northern
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2000 16:27:26 +1100
From: Brian Coleman <email@example.com>
It's me again. Thought you may be interested in the following.
>From my diary, 18 Squadron (NEI) Crashes during my time with the Squadron.
2-1-1945 B-25 N5-211 crashed on take off, Batchelor. Total write off.
I spent from 30-12-1944 to 7-1-1945 tracing noises in the radio equipment of this aircraft, finally finding a loose connection which cured the problem, then it crashed the next day. I don 't have any casualties listed.
27-1-1945 A Ventura (Number and type unknown) crashed at approx 5am at the end of Gould Strip. No survivors.
9-2-1945 N5-217 crash landed at RSU. Wheels failed to lower, flew around to use up fuel before belly landing at RSU. (Presumably at Gorrie, my diary record is not specific on this point).
After the crash of 211, I then had to help with salvaging equipment for use as spares. I have a memento of this in the form of a scar on my back, which I received climbing through the broken perspex of the waist gunners window.
Also if it is any help I have recorded the loss of N5-222 on 15-9-1945 due to AA fire during a raid. "Failed to return"
I also remember a fire which destroyed a B-25 in its revetment, at Batchelor. It shows how time plays with our memories. I seemed to remember that it was N5-167 which burnt, and that it was replaced by N5-218 (J model), however on reading my diary, I find that 218 arrived on the Squadron into my Flight (4 Flight) on 21-7-1944 only 8 days after I arrived on the Squadron, and that N5-170 caught fire on 18-8-1944. and according to my diary not much damage was done. Can't find any other reference to a fire, so this must have been the one, and yet I know that we were all evacuated from the area because there were primed 500 lb bombs under the bomb bay and that they exploded with the heat, sending large pieces of casing into the bush. We gathered in a revetment on the other side of the taxy way to watch, much to the concern of the Engineering Officer who wanted us to disappear from the site altogether. I do remember that it was a marvellous fireworks display.
Incidentally, N5-167 was still doing operations in December of 1944, and N5-218 was replaced with N5-242 (J model) on11-1-1945.
Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?
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