ON 12 JUNE 1944

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Mk 4 Vultee Vengeance A27-534 (41-31442) was forced to ditch in the Princess Charlotte Bay area of far north Queensland about 10 miles south of Port Stewart after an engine failure on 12 June 1944. The aircraft was being ferried by a 23 Squadron RAAF pilot attached to 13 ARD from Higgins Airfield to Garbutt Airfield in Townsville.

The crew, as follows, were uninjured in this forced landing:-

F/Lt Robert Gray Marshall (400097) - Pilot
Sqn Ldr Warren

When the aircraft did not arrive at Cooktown enquiries were made and it was eventually assumed it had crashed somewhere. Arrangements were then made between Higgins Operations Room and 13 Squadron RAAF to search the area the following morning. Two Beauforts searched between Higgins Airfield and Iron Range and a Lockheed Ventura searched the area between Cooktown and Iron Range. The downed Vultee Vengeance was spotted by the Lockheed Ventura A59-63 and water and supplies were dropped to the two survivors.

The two survivors were later picked up by Walrus X9559 from No. 5 Communications Flight at Garbutt Airfield which flew them to No. 27 OBU where they stayed the night and travelled to Townsville the next morning.


Photo:- Jim Parker

The remains of Vultee Vengeance A27-534 were recently rediscovered by Jim Parker


NOTE:- Another sources states that the accident happened on 13 June 1944 rather than 12 June 1944.



I'd like to thank Michael Musumeci, Gordon Birkett and Jim Parker for their assistance with this web page.


Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?


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 Peter Dunn 2015


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This page first produced 26 July 2015

This page last updated 02 February 2020