CRASH OF A P-39 AIRACOBRA
NEAR WOODSTOCK AIRFIELD
ON 27 JULY 1942
On 27 July 1942, the aircraft of the 35th Fighter Squadron of the 8th Fighter Group, USAAF, took off to fly from Woodstock airfield to the Weir Airfield in Townsville, which was normally a 20 minute flight. Hervey Carpenter of the 35th Fighter Squadron stated that 2nd Lieutenant Gilbert L. Oxley (0-428558) took off in the first P-39 Airacobra, but soon lost power and fell into the gum trees near the Woodstock airfield and crashed and burnt. Oxley, who had also spent some time in the 80th Fighter Squadron, died in this tragic accident.
Someone (name not supplied in e-mail) in the USA contacted me on 4 November 2008 indicating that they had just purchased an aviation cadet bracelet on E-bay. It is still in its box, the inside of which is inscribed by one "G.L. Oxley, 41-H" and also by another fellow, "Jack Boyle", who also added the words "Thanks for a swell job of instructing." My contact found out that Oxley (who also added his officer's serial number) was at Cimarron Field in Oklahoma for training in 1941 (class 41-H being the first class of cadets to graduate from there). He found this out because there is a record of an accident Oxley while stationed there due to a landing craft issue. It is assumed that John R. "Jack" Boyle was there as well.
2nd Lieutenant Gilbert L. Oxley was probably initially buried at the US Military Cemetery Townsville, and was then reburied at the US Military Cemetery Ipswich on 24 July 1945 before his body was eventually returned to the US and he was interred at Arlington National Cemetery in 1948.
Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?
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© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 23 September 2000
This page last updated 09 December 2017