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 law-enforcement-officer style, that is more nuanced, and revealing. Continue reading “Canefield pitstop for ‘Kurana’”

‘purely accidently’

Relative to:- An “Aero Cobra” single engine pursuit aeroplane, the property of the U.S.A. Forces crashing in the bed of the Burdekin River, Home Hill, at about 1-50 p.m. and a similar type aeroplane making a forced landing in the bed of the Burdekin River, Home Hill, at about 3-15 p.m. on the 5th October 1942. Both pilots escaped injury. No suspicious circumstances surrounding either of the occurrences.

So began Constable Mumford’s dispassionate official report to the Townsville Police Commissioner, recounting the extraordinary events that had occurred earlier that same day. Now held in the Queensland State Archives in Brisbane (Item ID2177716), this local policeman’s dog-eared, double-sided, and now fragile manuscript provides us an uncommon insight into the Burdekin region during the early years of the Second World War.

A Bell P-400 Airacobra, similar to the pair of “Aero Cobra” that force-landed in the Burdekin River in October 1942 (Allen Boyer). ‘As a result of inquiries made I am satisfied that both occurrences were purely accidental. The pilot of the aircraft that struck the wires near the Railway Bridge over the Burdekin River stated that up to that time the machine was performing normally. He had the air-craft under proper control up to that time. Immediately this incident occurred, “Air-flash” Townsville, was advised by Mr Hollywood, hence the search by other 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 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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