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 wreckage of A4-15 which was one of four RAAF Ansons forced to land on J G Haines’ property at Koreen on 11th September 1938. Having fallen into a ditch and broken a wing, it was later destroyed – that same evening – by a ‘mysterious’ fire (Gael Wilson collection).

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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.

King Island’s Currie cemetery, with Pilot Officer Harold Snell’s (Pilot) headstone closest.

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Southern highlands Corsair

Moving from Far North Queensland to Canberra in 1980 was something of a mixed blessing. Loved my job, but the weather was cripplingly cold. I soon became acquainted however with Bob Piper (RAAF Historical Section) who, bit-by-bit, opened my eyes to the fact that there was a wealth of aviation history to be found in the region (outdoors). You just needed to enjoy the cold and know where to look, and there was no one more studied in this subject than R. K. Piper.

An uncharacteristically nice day. The impact site was found just east of the Mulwaree River, close to the Springfield homestead.

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