|Pilot F/Sgt Ronald Stephen Kerrigan, 427244 (MIA / KIA) North Perth, WA
Observer F/Sgt Ronald George Smith, 433513 (MIA / KIA) Strathfield, NSW
Crashed September 18, 1944
Built by Bristol in the United Kingdom (UK). Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number JM164. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia.
Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Beaufighter serial number A19-163. On September 11, 1943 assigned to 2 AP. On October 16, 1943 assigned to 5 Air Depot (5 AD). On November 23, 1945 assigned to 31 Squadron. On May 12, 1944 assigned to 4 Repair Salvage Unit (4 RSU). On August 23, 1943 assigned to No. 31 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On September 18, 1944 took off from Broome Airfield on a mission to provide cover for a Catalina. Shortly after take off, crashed into the sea. Both crew were officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
In June 2014 it was reported in Australian media that the wreckage of this aircraft may have been located off Cable Beach near Broome.
Both crew were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Both are commemorated on the Sydney Memorial, panel 6.
CWGC - Ronald Stephen Kerrigan
CWGC - Ronald George Smith
ABC News - 'Divers find plane wreckage off Broome's Cable Beach believed to be WWII-era RAAF Beaufighter'
ADF Serials - Beaufighter A19-163
RAAFDB - Beaufighter A19-163
RAAFDB - F/Sgt R S Kerrigan
RAAFDB - F/Sgt R G Smith
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May 3, 2016