ON 18 APRIL 1942

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On 18 April 1942 US Navy PBY-5 Catalina, BUNO #2409 of VP-101 made a heavy landing at Geraldton in Western Australia. The aircraft was loaded to about 30,000lbs at the time of the landing The pilot decided to make a full stall landing which appeared to be good to observers. Pilots in the aircraft stated that it was a fairly hard landing. Several hull rivets were sheared off and the aircraft began taking water.

The pilot headed for nearest beach. The aircraft struck rocks about 200 ft offshore putting another hole in the mechanics compartment. After lightening the load as much as possible in a short time, an attempt was made to pull the aircraft off with the engines. This was abandoned when it was obvious the aircraft could not be moved.

There were no injuries to the crew which was as follows:-

Pilot Lt(jg). William E. Hardy
Ens. Robert Nelson
AMM1c. William B. Kurlak (NAP)
ACMM Scolfield
AMM2c. Marvin C. Brown (2nd.Mech)
RM1c. James P. Conway
RM3c. George A. Dickson, Jr.

Several days were taken to retrieve the engines and wings and in that time the hull suffered extreme damage from pounding on the reef in the surf.

Damage was listed as follows in the crash report:-   "Recommend Striking" Salvage all available gear.



I'd like to thank 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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I need your help


 Peter Dunn 2015


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This page first produced 8 July 2007

This page last updated 03 February 2020