Sunday History Photo / NT

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 26, 2011 at 07:40
ThreadID: 87200 Views:3268 Replies:3 FollowUps:0
This Thread has been Archived
RAAF Consolidated B-24 Liberator A72-88 S/n 44-41460 Model B-24L-5-CO Served with 7 OTU. Served with 24 Sqn. Crashed 3 miles west of Fenton 3 February 1945. Returning to Fenton airstrip, N.T. late in the evening from an attack on Japanese shipping the Liberator, captained by Flt/Lt Cambridge, appeared to be unable to locate the airstrip lighted by flares along the side of the strip. "Weather conditions were hazy and visibility about one mile. On the downwind leg of the circuit the captain was unable to see the flarepath. On turning into the wind the flarepath was not visible above 700 feet. The aircraft was then well to the left of the strip and in communication with the flying control officer in the tower who advised the captain that he was west of the strip. The aircraft acknowledged the message and indicated that another circuit would be made. The undercarriage was then retracted on orders from the captain. Without warning the aircraft swung violently to port. Flt/Lt Cambridge endeavoured to correct this. He noticed then that the fuel pressure of numbers 1, 2 and 3 motors had dropped to zero and the fuel pressure in number 4 motor was fluctuating. Power was increased on number 4 motor in an endeavour to maintain height. It was impossible to keep the aircraft straight and it was losing height rapidly. It was then about 200 feet. The captain switched to intercommunication and warned the crew that a crash landing was imminent. The wheels were still fully retracted and 20 degrees flaps were down.

Image Could Not Be Found
Image Could Not Be Found
Image Could Not Be Found
Image Could Not Be Found

Headlights were switched on. The aircraft crashed through trees and landed on an even keel. The trees helped to retard speed and the final impact was not very severe. Fire broke out in the nose and under the flight deck, presumably caused by the auxiliary power units smashing on impact. Sgt Francis had his foot jam(m)ed in the waist (gunner's area). He was freed eventually by Flg/Off Coward and Plt/Off Rhodes. The aircraft was well ablaze now. Plt/Off Rhodes carried out Sgt Jennings, dangerously injured, to safety. Flt/Lt Scanlon, also dangerously injured, had managed to throw himself out of the aircraft and was carried to safety by Flt/Lt Cambridge and W/Off Crawford. Flg/Off Coward was slightly injured. Flt/Lt Parkinson and Flg/Off Pitt were missing from the muster. These officers were stationed under the flight deck and it was evident that they were killed. Subsequently their remains were recovered. The balance of the crew were not injured except for minor lacerations, bruises and abrasions. The crash took place at about 2355 hours. Half to three quarters of an hour later a Tiger Moth from 21Sqn helped guide ground parties to the scene of the smash, some two miles from the strip through roadless, timbered boggy country." The very next day saw the Squadron bury the two crew members at the Adelaide River Cemetery. They died together and are side by side in the Cemetery.

Image Could Not Be Found
Image Could Not Be Found

Location of the crash site is S13 38 01.3 E131 18 09.0 if anyone does visit the site please be aware when crossing Fenton Airstrip. stop and check to see if any aircraft are approaching, My friend that owns a Jabiru 120 picked me up at our Mt Bundy strip and went for a flight to Fenton and landed there a couple of weeks ago, the strip does get used.

Image Could Not Be Found

gift by Daughter

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Sunday, Jun 26, 2011 at 08:53

Sunday, Jun 26, 2011 at 08:53
Thank you very much.......we look forward to your regular Sunday contributions....catching up on sometimes forgotten history
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 458469

Reply By: Witi Repartee - Sunday, Jun 26, 2011 at 13:39

Sunday, Jun 26, 2011 at 13:39
Hi Doug, thanks for bringing back memories. My father was ex RNZAF (Pacific theatre) and we loved exploring the NT's war history...especially the amount of Air force sites and memorabilia. Visited Fenton, both the strip and the plane graveyard. Didn't realize it was still I had great pleasure in driving our rig down a considerable speed, but couldn't quite get to take off speed!!!
AnswerID: 458488

Reply By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Sunday, Jun 26, 2011 at 21:55

Sunday, Jun 26, 2011 at 21:55
The only serviving B24 Liberator is been restored in an old hanger down here in Werribee Vic. I was there a couple of months back and its a massive task for the group of volunteers who are so dedicated. Apparently they have 90% of the body parts and 70% of the internal fittings, the fuselage is completed i thick but they still have a long way to go.
Another Mexican

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 458524

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (11)