B24 Liberator A72-80

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The Aftermath

This page still under construction.

It is, perhaps, one of the oddities of human beings that very few people remember much detail about "normal" events. The "on record" witness statements about what happened
before the crash are sparse in detail. There are a great many detailed records and reports from after the crash. I haven't really had the time or facilities to collate and summarise the story as I did with the previous page "Mission Impossible - A72-80" so, at this point, will just "copy 'n' paste" my notes of the bare details of Day 1.
DJH. Sept 2009.

Sequence of events Day 1 (23 Mar 45)
GroupCapt Donald McLean A72-61 21 SQN is No.4 and still on strip. (F/L Eldin Moore 21 SQN still on strip??)

0713. Truscott Tower calls No.3 (Kirkwood 24 SQN A72-93) can you see No.1?
No.3; Yes No.1 has ditched. Get Marine section, they have ditched and are burning about 4 miles north of strip.

F/L E.V. Ford (No.2 A72-77) proceeds to scene and throws out dinghy. Two 21 SQN aircraft circle scene. (
0706. S/L White 21 SQN has taken off; sees aircraft returning on reciprocal. Hears R/T about fire in water and thinks a/c in water is his No.2 - water in fuel).

0715. S/L Sivright Barry CO of 58 OBU informed of ditching and goes to Truscott Tower. Arranges for Ventura and two Spits to take off. Then departs for foreshore closest to crash with F/O Kendall and medical orderly. Arrives appr. 0900

0725. Lt. Archer of HMAS Coongoola given hand message to proceed immediately to Vansittart Bay and render assistance to crashed aircraft. (later note - HMAS Coongoola is a 63' wooden hull motor patrol vessel - 7 knots max speed.)

Slipped and got under way. (later note; it's a 5 hour trip. One of the results of this crash was that an ASR base was established at Butchers Bay, on the seaward side of Anjo Peninsula).
Medical officer George Goswell notified and met with Unit Ops officer. Rang Marine section and was told Coongoola already under way. Went to West Bay, boarded work boat and taken to Coongoola.

0750. Coongoola Received position of crashed a/c by r/t. Remaining 24 SQN and 21 SQN aircraft set off on mission.

0845. Medical Officer catches up with Coongoola and taken aboard.

Ventura arrives over scene. Can see bodies in water. Asks to throw liferaft (Ventura configured for mission and would have to jettison door). Advised to jettison fuel, return to base and pick up loose dinghy. Returns to base, gets loose dinghy then returns to scene and throws dinghy. Tries to blow dinghy toward body in water.
Sees three 'survivors' on beach. Advises Base.

1230. Coongoola Arrives at scene of crash.

1250. Body of F/S Rogers taken aboard (life extinct).

Coongoola conducts extensive searches of area and beaches for survivors.

1400. three ppl picked up from beach by Coongoola, but turn out to be from Radar unit on 'picnic'. names unknown.

1430. Three more people from beach (search party under F/O Hobbs) taken aboard.

1630. W/C Bell (CO of 24 SQN) arrives at base.

2030. Coongoola returns to West Bay.

Day 2

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning - we will remember them | dvdh707@gmail.com

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