‘Strathmore Star’

Founder of Bush Pilots Airways Ltd., Edward (Ted) Cunningham, named all the aircraft in his fleet, always with the suffix Star. Strathmore Star was named after the owner’s stud property, Strathmore, near Collinsville in north Queensland. Following is an extract from a letter which Cunningham wrote (dated 8 December 1989), recounting the circumstances of Strathmore […]

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Canefield pitstop for ‘Kurana’

ANA’s ‘Kurana’ made a forced landing at Holbrook (Victoria) on 14th February 1944. Eight months later it made another forced landing, this time into a north Queensland canefield. Although the incident was reported (inaccurately) at that time in the local press it’s the attending policeman’s report (QSA Series 16865 Item 2177771), written in that unmistakable […]

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Death of a Dragon

Twenty year old Air Force Sergeant Alan Andrew Pearson had only made the forty-five minute flight from Archerfield to Toowoomba once before, uneventfully, on 24 February 1943. It was early Autumn when he next flew that route, again accompanied by nineteen year old Air Mechanic Albert Munt in their unit’s (No.4 Communications Flight) newest aircraft […]

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Anson agonies

By 1938 King Islanders had grown accustomed to the sight and sound of scheduled weekly airline services arriving and departing Bowling Aerodrome near the southern township of Currie. This reassuring routine was interrupted in September that year by a succession of dramatic arrivals and departures involving RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) training aircraft.  The charred […]

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King Island’s war

In mid-1943 a RAAF Beaufort bomber inexplicably crashed on Bass Strait’s King Island killing all four crew members. Unreported then by the media – presumably because of wartime censorship – a cluster of white-marble CWGC (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) headstones in the Currie cemetery appear to be the Island’s only clues to this wartime tragedy. […]

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