ON 12 APRIL 1942


A typical Wirraway


On 12 April 1942, Wirraway A20-90 of 12 Squadron RAAF, force landed on a beach at Bynoe Bay following engine failure. The crew of Sergeant John C. Lawrence (pilot) and Sergeant Albert H. Rodd (navigator) were uninjured. Parts of the aircraft were salvaged.

On 18 September 1946 that RAAF decided to investigate the remains of a Wirraway sitting on the edge of Bynoe Harbour, near Darwin. F/Lt. W.K. Swan and a party of five in A24-106 located the wreck and alighted on the harbour. They set off in a dinghy but were defeated from reaching the Wirraway by impenetrable mangroves and undergrowth. After almost three hours they returned to the Catalina and flew back to base. (NAA File A9186 Control 361 pages 264 & 273).

On 19 September 1946, the same party tried again and this time, by anchoring much closer to the Wirraway, succeeded in getting through. The wreckage was in a poor state but they were able to establish its identity A20-90. There was no sign of the crew. It was later established that Wirraway A20-90 of No.12 Squadron, up on a reconnaissance flight on 12 April 1942, suffered an engine failure and made a wheels-up forced landing. Sgts. John Lawrence and Albert Rodd were rescued unharmed. The aircraft was considered not to be salvageable. Sgt. Lawrence was killed twelve months later with No.23 Squadron. (NAA Files A9186 Control 361 pages 264 & 268 and A9845 Control 104 page 28).



I'd like to thank Michael Flanagan for his assistance with this web page.



Manuscript History of 12 Squadron RAAF


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This page first produced 25 July 1999

This page last updated 02 February 2020