CRASH OF A B-25C MITCHELL
AT BATCHELOR AIRFIELD, NT
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|
|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.
|B-25 Mitchell slid sideways off the runway at Batchelor airfield|
|]||The crumpled nose of the B-25 Mitchell|
|B-25 crash at Batchelor airfield|
|Cockpit of crashed B-25|
|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|
|A view of the feature window from inside the house|
|"Mac" Mclean with
Back Row L - R:- Bob Elliott, "Mac" McLean, Fred Riggs
Front Row L - R:- Bud McKimmin, "Duchie" Holland, Rick Bourne
|"Mac" completed his SFTS training at Bundaberg|
|Coert Munk advised that this is possibly B-25 Mitchell N51-53 which crashed at Batchelor on 9 September 1943.|
|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?
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 2 November 2001
This page last updated 10 September 2018