CRASH LANDING OF A LOCKHEED HUDSON
AT KILSYTH, NEAR CROYDON, VIC
ON 26 MARCH 1942
RAAF Lockheed Hudson A16-139 of 7 Squadron RAAF, crash landed at Bayswater North, a suburb of Melbourne at the foothills of Mt. Dandenong in Victoria at about 1400 hours E.A.S.T. on 26 March 1942 during bad rain and low visibility. The area may have been called Kilsyth during WWII. The aircraft was on a training search operation to seaward with two or three other Hudson aircraft.
Flying Officer Adams, the pilot, had been flying around looking for familiar landmarks in the bad weather and hoped to land at Laverton Airfield. When they became low on fuel, Adams put his head out the window to try to get a better view. Seeing the top of large gum trees he pulled the aircraft upwards very quickly, though managed to clip the top of one tree. Through a hole in the clouds, he spotted a small paddock and decided to land there. The aircraft skidded through two pine trees and slid on its fuselage through some mud into a chicken yard scattering chickens everywhere. The aircraft stopped just short of a verandah at the rear of the farmer's house.
One of the other Hudsons, A16-168, was seriously damaged after a crash landing at Laverton Airfield in the bad weather.
In December 2000 Kevin Wakeman told me that the aircraft crashed at the corner of Gatwick and Stephenson Rd. in Kilsyth.
Kevin was only 15 yr old at the time. A friend of Kevin, whose parents had a house at the corner of Durham Rd and Mt Dandenong Rd., told Kevin that the aircraft flew over their house at tree top level on its landing run. It followed the route of the proposed freeway and sliced the top off a pine tree just after crossing Colchester road.
It came to rest with the wings against two large pine trees at the other end of the paddock. All these trees are still in existence and still show the scars. The events leading up to the crash are described in Wings June 1991 (or 1992).
Kevin has letters from crew member Barney Hancock who Kevin mentioned was not in the best of health at that time.
Lockheed Hudson A16-139 was manned by a No. 3 Course crew for this flight as follows:-
Flying Officer Arthur Ernest Adams (692) - not injured
Pilot Officer Brian "Barney" Leonard Hancock (406481) - probable injured ribs
Sgt. Brian Robert Bright (407841) - not injured
Sgt. Beverley Kilgour Chandler (21351) - not injured
Note:- Flying Officer Arthur Ernest Adams, Sergeant Brian Robert Bright, and Sergeant Beverley Kilgour Chandler, subsequently died a short time later on 23 May 1942 in the crash of Lockheed Hudson A16-190 near Beverly Island, off the Queensland coast. All three were then attached to 32 Squadron RAAF.
"We Never Disappoint - A History of No. 7
Squadron RAAF 1940-1945"
by Kevin Googler
I'd like to thank Barry Roberts, Kevin Wakeman and Rick Hanning for their assistance with this home page.
Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 28 December 2000
This page last updated 25 August 2016