ON 22/23 MAY 1943



On 22/23 May 1943, B-25C Mitchell,  N5-152 (#42-32483) "Tangerine", from 18 Squadron of the Netherlands East Indies Air Force, crashed at night time during take off at Batchelor airfield when it hit a gun pit on the side of the runway. It had a full payload of bombs on board.

NOTE:- According to the history card of this aircraft, the date of the crash was 22 May 1943. 


The crew of "Tangerine" was as follows:-

1st Pilot B. Wetters
2nd Pilot Capt. Eccles
Navigator  Capt. Jesserun
Wireless Operator F. Weber
Air Gunner  Vernon "Mac" McLean

The Navigator Capt. Jessurun, was later on killed in B-25 Mitchell M-409, N5-209 #43-3835 on 14 May 1949.


Mac" McLean was hospitalised for 5 days
and then went on leave. 


nt137a.jpg (76480 bytes) B-25 Mitchell slid sideways off the runway at Batchelor airfield
nt137c.jpg (73769 bytes)] The crumpled nose of the B-25 Mitchell
nt137d.jpg (61739 bytes) B-25 crash at Batchelor airfield
nt137e.jpg (67120 bytes) Cockpit of crashed B-25
nt137g.jpg (17080 bytes) The Bomb Aimer's nose Perspex was recovered by "Mac" McLean from "Tangerine" and is now a feature window in Joan's new house in Townsville
nt137f.jpg (12021 bytes) A view of the feature window from inside the house
macca01.jpg (120511 bytes) "Mac" Mclean with another crew:-

Back Row L - R:- Bob Elliott, "Mac" McLean, Fred Riggs

Front Row L - R:- Bud McKimmin, "Duchie" Holland, Rick Bourne

macca03.jpg (621147 bytes) "Mac" completed his SFTS training at Bundaberg
macca04.jpg (44221 bytes) Coert Munk advised that this is possibly B-25 Mitchell N51-53 which crashed at Batchelor on 9 September 1943. 
macca05.jpg (41152 bytes) A photo taken by "Mac" McLean from a slit trench in Darwin of four Japanese aircraft attacking Darwin



I'd like to thank Mrs Joan McLean of Townsville for her assistance with this home page. Joan's husband, "Mac" McLean continued his RAAF service after the war and at one stage they were both living in the married quarters on top of the Green Street bunker in Townsville. Joan and "Mac" later went on to purchase an old WW2 Igloo in Bundock Street, Townsville from which they ran their furniture business.

I'd also like to thank Coert Munk for confirming the Navigator's correct name and the identification of the aircraft as N5-152.

I'd also like to thank Ed Ragas for his assistance with this home page.


Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?


"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

I need your help


 Peter Dunn 2015


Please e-mail me
any information or photographs

"Australia @ War"
8GB USB Memory Stick

This page first produced 2 November 2001

This page last updated 02 February 2020