FORCED LANDING AT SEA
OF A PBY-5 CATALINA
APPROX. 60 MILES NORTH OF PERTH, WA
ON 23 JANUARY 1943

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On 23 January 1943 US Navy Catalina BUNO No. #04431 of HEDRON, Fleet Air Wing 10, made a forced landing at 1410 hours in the sea about 60 miles north of Perth after a port engine caught fire in the accessory section of the engine. Fire is believed to have been started due to an electrical short circuit.

There were no injuries. The crew and passengers were picked up by the Australian Army.

The aircraft drifted up on the beach after the landing and was severely damaged by coral heads and rough seas. Salvage operations were abandoned after five days due to adverse sea conditions and dangerous coral on which the aircraft was grounded.

Crew and passengers were as follows:-

Lt. Charles R. Dillon, AVN USNR (Pilot)
Lt.Col. Young, AIF
Lt.Col. Walker, AIF
Cmdr. John P. Dix, USN
Lt(jg). Oscar W. Berssenbrugge, AVN, USNR
Lt(jg). Raymond L. Ettinger, AVN, USNR
CAP. Myron W. Anderson, USN
AMM1c. William J. Brown, USN
AMM3c. William J. Pope, USN
ACRM Floyd A. Simon, USN
ARM2c. Lawrence C. Katz, V-3, USNR
CAP. Joseph J. Ruzak, USN
AMM1c. Jesse R. Barnes, USN
AMM3c. Howard S. Depee, USN
ARM1c. Robert H. Faul, USN
ARM2c. Howard R. Commons, USN
AOM1c. Darrel D. Mitchell, USN

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Larry Katz (crew member of this aircraft), Terence Geary and Greg Shea for their assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 8 July 2007

This page last updated 03 February 2020