CRASH OF AN AIRSPEED OXFORD
ON DEAL ISLAND, BASS STRAIT, TAS
ON 23 SEPTEMBER 1943
Airspeed Oxford AS-618 of No. 1 Operational Training Unit RAAF (No. 1 OTU) took off from East Sale in Victoria on an operational training mission over Bass Strait and crashed near the Lighthouse on Deal Island in Bass Strait at about 0935 hours E.S.T. on 23 September 1943 killing all on board as follows:-
F/Sgt Joseph Docherty (411878) - Pilot
Sgt. Norman Stirling Graham (418504)
Sgt. Peter Albion Hendrickson (419937)
P/O Kenneth Roy Cowling (419605)
The Lighthouse Keeper at the time, Harry Ford, saw the aircraft crash near the Lighthouse.
The four deceased airmen were initially buried on Deal Island but were then reburied in the military section of Springvale Cemetery in Victoria.
NOTE:- Howard Young told me that the Ranger in charge of the Bass Strait Islands told a friend of his that as well as having the wreckage of a crashed Air-Speed Oxford on it, Deal Island has the wreckage of an aircraft on the other side of the island to the Oxford, in a gully leading down to the sea. The wreckage has two V12 motors. Perhaps it is a P38 Lightning or a Mosquito, was the speculation. Colin Tigwell told me that a man in Tasmania told him that the Americans used to fly P-38's down from the islands to pick up Tasmanian whisky!
Mark Pilkington has reported that a Desoutter Monoplane, VH-UPR of Hart Aircraft Company had force landed on Deal Island just after 10am on 14 January 1933. The pilot was Jack Turner, Chief Pilot for Hart Aircraft Co., and the passenger was Mr. Thompson of Flinders Island.
I'd like to thank Tony Clark, Mark Hill, Colin Tigwell, Howard Young and Mark Pilikington for their assistance with this web page.
Lighthouses of Australia Monthly Bulletin May/June 2005 - Vol 8 No 3
Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 24 June 2015
This page last updated 29 October 2018