ON 11 MARCH 1943

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DH84 Dragon A34-30 of No. 2 Ambulance Air Unit crashed on take-off from a gravel runway in heavy rain at Cairns Airfield at about 2240 Z hours on 11 March 1943. The aircraft did not reach sufficient speed to clear trees at the end of the strip. The pilot dropped the aircraft back down onto the runway and applied the brakes. This proved to be inadequate to stop the aircraft so the pilot performed a ground loop. The aircraft was extensively damaged but luckily there were no injuries to the pilot and four passengers, only minor cuts and abrasions.

Those on board the aircraft were as follows:-

Flying Officer Robert Murray Buchanan (408622) - Pilot
Flying Officer Gordon Harry Camens (252421) - passenger
Sergeant Keith Drysdale Green (15981)  - passenger
Leading Aircraftsman Edward Michael Farrell (420929) - passenger
Leading Aircraftsman Reginald George Bonser (20978) - passenger

During the course of the move from Breddan to Macrossan, on 25 March 1943, 12 Repair and Salvage Unit RAAF (12 RSU) received DH84 Dragon (A34-30) of 2 AAU for repairs.


DH84 Dragon A34-30 at Macrossan having been repaired by 12 RSU
after being extensively damaged in a crash at Cairns.


An unidentified 12 RSU airman with the DH84 Dragon A34-30 at
Macrossan prior to its transfer back to 2 AAU on 23 July 1943.



Operations Record Book for 25 Operational Base Unit RAAF



I'd like to thank Des Lang for his assistance with this web page and for passing on from Yvonne Conroy the above copies of her late husband’s (Cels “Bluey” Conroy) photographs.


Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?


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This page first produced 16 March 2017

This page last updated 02 February 2020