FLYING UNDER THE SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE
THE AUSTRALIANS HAVE A GO
First Planes to Fly under the Sydney Harbour Bridge
On Sunday 1 March 1931 two aircraft were the first to fly under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. One of the aircraft was a seaplane flown by Mr. P. G. Taylor and the other a Moth flown by Mr. R. Anabel. Both pilots were members of the Aero Club of New South Wales.
24 Squadron Wirraways fly under the Sydney Harbour Bridge
In early 1943, a flight of 24 Squadron RAAF Wirraways, led by Flying Officer Geoffrey Stevenson in Wirraway A20-525, was carrying out a leaflet drop over George, Castlereagh, Elizabeth and Pitt Streets in Sydney.
As they approached the drop area, Stevenson decided to take a slight detour under the Sydney Harbour bridge. The rest of the flight followed him, but at the last moment, one pilot changed his mind and started to climb up over the bridge rather than fly under it. With difficulty his Wirraway just managed to clear the top of the bridge.
They returned to Bankstown airfield where Commanding Officer Barton-Honey had found out about their high jinx. Fortunately for Stevenson and the other pilots there were no serious ramifications from the hierarchy. They all continued to fly.
Can anyone give me a date for this incident?
Were there three aircraft involved or more?
24 Squadron RAAF
Alastair L. Stevenson is the grandson of the above Geoffrey Stevenson. Alastair remembers his grandfather of telling a story about three Wirraways, led by him, flying under the Sydney Harbour.
Lancaster "Q" for Queenie flies under the bridge
UNDER THE BRIDGE
He did it for the £iberty £oan
by Robert Taylor
Aviation Art's Home Page
During a 1943 tour of Sydney, Lancaster ED930 (A66-1) "Q" for Queenie VI, piloted by Flt. Lt. Peter Isaacson, "beat up" the city of Sydney and flew under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, on 22 October 1943 to raise funds for the War Loan. The media claimed He did it for the £iberty £oan!
Photo:- Ian Jenkins
4th Liberty Loan badge
On 22 May 1943, Isaacson had captained the brand new "Q" for Queenie from the United Kingdom via Canada and USA to Australia. It was allocated the Australian serial number A66-1.
Augustus Selwyn Truman
Aeronautical Engineer on a Lancaster
that flew under the Sydney Harbour Bridge
NOTE:- Cheryl Bruce, the grand-daughter of Augustus Selwyn Truman, initially thought that the aircraft her grandfather flew in under the bridge was "G" for George. The current theory is that it must have been "Q" for Queenie. So far, I haven't found any info on "G" for George flying under the bridge. Cheryl's aunty has a sick bag from the flight under the bridge autographed by the crew. The signatures are as follows:-
A. S. Truman
and one other she can't work out
The above were crew members of "Q" for Queenie, with Peter Isaacson being the pilot.
"Q" for Queenie
- The Peter Isaacson Story"
"In the Air-On the Ground"
By Denis Warner
Does anyone know if
"G" for George
ever flew under the Sydney Harbour Bridge?
Engineer on a Lancaster that flew
under the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Flying under the Sydney
Harbour Bridge during World War 2
Details of other flights under the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Mosquitos from 94 Squadron fly under the bridge
In David Vincent's book 'Mosquito Monograph' (published 1982) he recorded that three No. 94 Squadron Mosquitoes did it too, during V-P Day celebrations on 16 August 1945.
David had some comments from one of the NavWs involved who wrote to him. David told me that there is some query on the number of Mosquitoes involved which may have been four.
David Vincent was also aware of 'Q' Queenie's flight, plus also a couple of others, not all of which were substantiated. He had heard of three Airacobras in March 1942 (these may be the Kittyhawks I recorded or vice versa?), a No. 22 Squadron Boston in June 1942 (is this a mis-ident for a Mitchell?) and three No. 21 Squadron Vengeances on 14 May 1944. The last-named was confirmed by a WAG aboard one of the aircraft.
George "Reynold" Oh told me on 13 December 2018 that the late Bob Lamble had a painting of a 94 Squadron Mosquito flying under the Sydney Harbour Bridge on VP Day in 1945. Bob had told Reynold that he was a Navigator on one of the Mosquitos that flew under the bridge. He said that only two of the three Mosquitos flew under the bridge. The other one, piloted by Squadron Leader Pennyquick aborted during the approach and flew over the top of the bridge.
Ivor Smith shared the following update with me on 21 May 2022 on this flight of 94 Squadron Mosquitos under the Sydney Harbour Bridge:-
"Three Mosquitoes from 94 Squadron flew over Sydney on VJ day. Two of them flew under the bridge and one went over the top. Of the two that went under one was A52-108 with Lyall Bertram "Ding" BELL (417037) as Pilot and Bob LAMBLE as Navigator. The other was A52-112 crew unknown. According to Lyall, their speed was about 250 knots. A copy of a painting of the event hangs in the aircraft museum at Bull Creek WA. Hope this is new information for you. I knew Lyall for about 15 years up until his death in 2014."
Note:- "Bob" Lamble is most likely Robert Leonard Lamble (NX95733) who was initially a Gunner in the Australian Army and was discharged to join the RAAF on 20 May 1943. Unfortunately the DVA World War Two Service records and NAA records do not have a listing for his RAAF service.
Tiger Moth flew under the Sydney Harbour Bridge on 12 May 1975
On Monday 12 May 1975, Mr Cameron, 32 years old, from Sylvania, piloted a Tiger Moth under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. He also buzzed ferries, Fort Denison, and dived over the former aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney. An anonymous phone call to a Sydney newspaper had warned that a daredevil flight would be made that day as a tribute to veteran barnstormer, Sid Marshall who died the previous week.
Mr. Cameron's Pilot's License was suspended pending an enquiry.
Protection of the Sydney Harbour Bridge during WWII
"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products
© Peter Dunn OAM 2020
This page first produced 5 January 2000
This page last updated 21 May 2022