ON 19 MAY 1942


Wackett Gannet A14-6 of 2 Air Ambulance Unit 2AAU RAAF Detachment at Batchelor, went missing on a flight from Batchelor Airfield to Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory to pick up a patient on 19 May 1942. The crew of the missing aircraft were as follows:-

Sgt. Francis Edward Smallhorn (408882)- pilot
A.C.1 George Henry Booth (37389) - W/T Operator
Cpl. Edward Philip Bronk (12653) - Nursing Orderly

North Western Area Headquarters began an air search for the missing aircraft on 20 May 1942 with four Lockheed Hudson aircraft of 2 Squadron and 13 Squadron. The Lockheed Hudsons continued their search on 21 May 1942 over Groote Eylandt.

The air search for the missing Gannet A14-6 was discontinued on 27 May 1942. Squadron Leader Thompson began investigating by contacting aborigines in the search area. It was written off in this incident.

The three crew members were found on Millingimbi Island when they walked into camp at Millingimbi Mission Station on 20 June 1942 after been missing for a full month. An Avro Anson was dispatched to Millingimbi on 21 June 1942 to pick up the three crew members to fly them back to Batchelor Airfield. They then proceeded south on one months sick leave.

13 Squadron reported the position of the crashed aircraft as 012 degrees 00 minutes South, 128 degrees 40 minutes East on track 280 degrees from Darwin.


Photo:- ADF Serials

Cpl Bronk at left and Sgt Smallhorn beside their crashed Wackett Gannet A14-6


Photo:- NAA Item ID 203208152

Cpl. Edward Philip Bronk (12653)


I would like to thank Gordon Birkett and Phil Herdman of the Arnhem Land Historical Society for heir assistance with this web page.


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This page first produced 17 December 1999

This page last updated 08 July 2022