CRASH OF A TIGER MOTH
IN AN OPEN FIELD NEAR
THE ROCKHAMPTON SHOWGROUNDS
ON 11 DECEMBER 1942
RAAF Tiger Moth A17-482 crashed at Wandal in Rockhampton at 7.13 am on 11 December 1942. It crashed on an open allotment near the Rockhampton Show Grounds at Wandal? which is apparently now the location of the Rockhampton State High School.
The pilot, Sergeant H.J. Flint (11838) was badly burnt in the crash. He was rescued by three US Servicemen from the 41st Ordnance Company of the 41st Infantry Division who were camped at the Rockhampton Showgrounds. The pilot died soon afterwards in the hospital and was buried in the Military Section at the Rockhampton Cemetery on the south side of town.
Three American servicemen attempted to rescue the pilot and were later awarded the Soldier's Medal for Bravery on 22 December 1942 by Major General H. H. Fuller at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.
The three men were:-
20941891 T/Sgt. Keith O.J.
20931572 Sgt. Boardman W.C.
20941783 Cpl. Wilson E.W.
Their Citations read as follows:-
By direction of the President, under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved July 2, 1926 (Bull. 8. W.D., 1926) and pursuant to AR 600-45 dated August 8, 1932, as changed, a Soldiers Medal is awarded by the Commanding General, 41st Infantry Division to the following named enlisted men:
MICHAEL E. VAGENSO - d(etails omitted)
JAMES A. GUY - (details omitted)
EARL W. WILSON, (20941783), Technician, Grade V, 41st Ordnance Company, for heroism displayed at Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, on December 11, 1942. When an airplane of the R.A.A.F. crashed and burst into flames near him, Corporal Wilson, at great risk of personal safety, rushed to the blazing wreckage, entered the flaming area, released the pilot from the cockpit and succeeded in dragging him to the ground where another soldier took charge of the injured man. Corporal Wilson sustained severe burns about the hands and face. His courageous action reflects great credit on himself and the military service.
Residence at enlistment: Lusk, Wyoming
WILLIAM C. BOARDMAN, (20931572), Technician, Grade IV, 41st Ordnance Company, for heroism displayed at Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, on December 11, 1942. When an airplane of the R.A.A.F. crashed and burst into flames near him, Sergeant Boardman ran to the blazing wreckage and, with great risk of personal safety entered the flaming area, dragged the pilot's body toward the edge of the fire until he was personally overcome. During this act Sergeant Boardman sustained serious burns about the head, face, arms and hands. His courageous action reflects great credit on himself and the military service.
Residence at enlistment. 4235 NE Prescott Street, Portland, Oregon.
ORVILLE J. KEITH, (20941891), Technician Grade II, 41st Ordnance Company, for heroism displayed at Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, on December 11, 1942. When an airplane of the R.A.A.F. crashed and burst into flames near him, Sergeant Keith ran to the injured pilot, who lay enveloped in flames, and, with great risk of personal safety, dragged him into the clear and began to remove the injured man's burning clothing. His courage and quick action reflects great credit on himself and the military service.
Residence at enlistment: Malta, Montana.
No. 4 Volunteer Air Observer Corps reported on this crash as follows:-
ROCKHAMPTON control advise that TIGER MOTH departed for Mackay - Townsville at 0713 but crashed at Rockhampton Show grounds. Later report said pilot alive but badly injured.
I'd like to thank Ernie Cox for his assistance with this home page and for putting me in touch with Larry Gibson.
I'd also like to thank Larry Gibson from Tasmania who is the son of one of the rescuers, William C. Boardman.
Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?
"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 6 October 2001
This page last updated 14 February 2022