ON 20 JULY 1944

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A USAAF B-25 Mitchell was extensively damaged when it crashed whilst taking off at Cairns Airfield in far north Queensland. The B-25 failed to gain sufficient speed to become airborne before reaching the end of the airfield. The B-25 struck the earth levee bank just past the end of the runway with its tail. The aircraft bounced about 20 feet into the air, but the pilot was able to right the aircraft and made a crash landing in the scrub adjoining the airfield.

25 Operational Base Unit's crash waggon was manned and proceeded immediately to the crash scene but no further action was required as no fire resulted and the passengers had been able to free themselves from the crashed aircraft. Crew members were uninjured and injuries to the passengers were as follows:-

Captain John A. Walter 0564549 - fractured right tibia
0571160 2nd Lieutenant Les A. Cofer - lacerated scalp, shock and abrasions
0564418 Captain William T. Storte - fractured ribs
0855780 Captain Robert P. Lake - abrasions and shock

All inured personnel were admitted to the American Naval base Hospital, Cairns and their condition was regarded as satisfactory.



Operations Record Book for 25 Operational Base Unit RAAF


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This page first produced 15 March 2017

This page last updated 27 February 2019