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  Bristol Beaufighter "'Feaubighter'" Mark Ic Serial Number A19-31  
31 Squadron

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RAAF c1942

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RAAF March 2, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Bristol in the United Kingdom. Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number T4995. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Beaufighter A19-31. On May 18, 1942 assigned to 1 Air Depot (1 AD). On July 10, 1942 the left engine failed after take off on a test flight, but this Beaufighter landed safely.

On September 18, 1942 assigned to 31 Squadron. Assigned to regular crew F/O Ken McDonald and navigator P/O Frank Magee. Nicknamed "Feaubighter". On November 12, 1942 took off from Wagga Wagga Airfield on a ferry flight to Coomalie Creek Airfield.

On November 17, 1942 one of three Beaufighters from "B" Flight that took off from Coomalie Creek Airfield piloted by F/O Ken McDonald and navigator P/O Frank Magee. This was 31 Squadron's first combat mission against Bobanaro on East Timor. After take off, one of the Beaufighters experienced engine trouble and A19-31 escorted it back to base.

During December 1942, this Beaufighter's 20mm cannons were converted from cannister magazine to belt fed.

On March 2, 1943 took off from Coomalie Creek Airfield piloted by Albert Longoni, a replacement pilot on a local familiarization flight and landed safely. Afterwards, this Beaufighter was not parked in a revetment but was instead left at the end of the runway instead of parked in a revetment. During the "Yellow Alert", pilot Ken McDonald getting his hair cut by barber Trevor Ley.

At 2:30pm Coomalie Creek Airfield was placed on "Yellow Alert", expecting a possible air raid based on the sighting of a Japanese reconnaissance aircraft earlier in the day off Bathurst Island. At 2:34pm, six A6M2 Zeros strafe Coomalie Creek Airfield. Destroyed at the end of the runway was Beaufighter A19-31. All the other aircraft were parked in revetments and only one was slightly damaged. On the ground, three men were wounded, none seriously.

During the "Red Alert" and McDonald's haircut he was walking into the mess building when he heard the cannon and AA fire. Ken flattened out behind a tree, as there were no trenches nearby. Navigator Frank Magee, joined him nearby and observed their Beaufighter on fire and destroyed.

After it cooled, McDonald took a a little pool of molten metal as a souvenir of A19-31. On March 4, 1943 assigned to 4 Repair Salvage Unit (4 RSU). On March 26, 1943 converted to components. Ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

AWM P01164.010 caption: "Flying Officer Joe Stanley inside the cockpit of a Beaufighter aircraft of No. 31 Squadron RAAF" is believed to be this aircraft
Beaufighters In The Pacific pages 108
ADF Serials - Beaufighter A19-33

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Last Updated
May 3, 2016


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