Sunday History Photo / Qld-NSW

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 08:51
ThreadID: 106375 Views:3773 Replies:3 FollowUps:1
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At 9:30pm on Thursday 2 January 2014, Ballina trawlerman, Brendan Puglisi and deckhand Shaun Cameron were trawling for prawns in about 180 feet of water on the vessel "Markane II" off Tallow Beach when they felt their vessel pull to starboard. After 10 minutes of the nets pulling to starboard they decided to pull the nets in. They pulled alongside their trawler a nine-cylinder radial, three-blade propeller aircraft engine.

Their $3,500 fishing net was destroyed and they were concerned that the heavily encrusted engine could damage the trawler's hull in the rough seas. One of the propeller blades had snagged on the fishing net's chain. Brendan contacted the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum who referred them to Richard Gates at the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome. The radial engine is now in the care of the Evans Head Living Museum.
THE engine is almost certainly that of a Royal Australian Air Force plane which crashed in 1942, killing all 10 servicemen on board, it is now in the care of the Evans Head Living Museum, but may be requisitioned by the RAAF for further anaylsis, given the sensitive nature of the situation, the wreck's exact GPS location would not be made public. This is a really sensitive issue - we're talking about the lives of 10 servicemen; so we need to be sure that this is the aircraft, and that the family members are notified.
Now we go back to July 1942
On 6 July 1942, RAAF Lockheed Hudson, A16-198 of 32 Squadron RAAF, crashed into the sea off Tallow Beach, between Broken Head and Byron Bay in northern New South Wales.

Lockheed Hudson A16-198 had departed from Horn Island on the morning of 6 July 1942, en route to Amberley airfield for the purpose of inspection. At 0145 hours, it landed at Garbutt Airfield in Townsville and after refuelling it departed on its second stage of the flight at 0350 hours. At 0817 hours a message was received from the aircraft requesting a flare path. At 1100 hours, Fighter Sector Headquarters reported that Byron Bay Police had reported an aircraft had crashed off Tallow Beach. Wreckage of the aircraft was found on the beach and some clothing of members of the crew.
An airman's overcoat, with one of the lost crew member's name on it, was also found at the crash site in 1942 by Norman Todd, of Lismore, who at the time was stationed at the RAAF base at Evans Head and carried out an aerial search of the accident scene.

The bomber had became lost on a flight from Horne Island in Torres Strait to the Amberley RAAF base near Ipswich, in southern Queensland, due to low-lying cloud the crew was unable to find its destination and so continued south, possibly trying to reach the Evans Head RAAF base to land. Approaching Broken Head with the plane's landing lights on, the crew must have realised that the fuel tanks were empty. The plane carried on south then circled back. It is almost certain the crew was planning a forced landing on Tallow Beach, using Byron Bay lighthouse as the only guide on the dark night.
However, the plane crashed into the sea about 3km off Broken Head in 57 metres of water, with no bodies recovered. A semi-inflated life raft and the overcoat with the name Lovejoy on it was the only evidence of the tragedy.

Back in 1999 a Mr Shrubb was lobbying for a commemorative plaque to be erected at Broken Head. He hoping to gain support from the ex-services community and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, which manages Broken Head reserve, to install a plaque to honour the men who died.

They were all members of 32 Squadron, which at the time was based at Horn Island.
The following personnel were "Presumed Dead off Tallow Beach NSW".

F/Lt Robert Thomas Trigg (467) (pilot), 32 Squadron
Sgt Douglas John Lovejoy (403752), 32 Squasron
Sgt David Leslie Bradley (30650), 32 Squadron
LAC Edward George Kimmins (22537), 32 Squadron
LAC William Edward Evans (24493), 32 Squadron
LAC Frederick Albert Charles Wood (24672), 32 Squadron
LAC Harold WIlmot Johnstone (24775), 32 Squadron
AC1 Edward George Merefield (25767), 32 Squadron
Sgt Gavin Athole Laurie McLaren (406859), 12 Repair and Servicing Unit, Charters Towers
Sgt Gordon William George Ridge (416231), 12 Repair and Servicing Unit, Charters Towers

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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 09:10

Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 09:10
Thanks Doug

Very interesting.

AnswerID: 527048

Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 13:04

Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 13:04
Thanks Doug, another very interesting story.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Member - daz (SA) - Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 13:28

Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 13:28
you have done it again Doug. love history lessons especially about our service personnel
FollowupID: 809431

Reply By: Nomad Navara - Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 13:46

Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 13:46
Another great lesson in Australian history Doug. Please keep them coming.
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