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  Lockheed Hudson Mark II Serial Number A16-97  
RAAF
2 Squadron

Click For Enlargement
August 13, 1940
Click For Enlargement
Daniel Leahy 2005

Pilot   F/Lt Robert Hitchcock, 115 (KIA)
Navigator  P/O Richard F Wiesener, 607 (KIA)
Crew  Cpl John F Palmer, 2130 (KIA)
Crew  AC1 Charles J Crosdale, 6673 (KIA)
Passenger  James Fairbairn, Air Minister (KIA)
Passenger  Richard Elford, Secretary to the Air Minister (KIA)
Passenger  Geoffrey A Street, Army Minister (KIA)
Passenger  Sir Henry Gullett, VP of Executive Council (KIA)
Passenger  Lt Gen Sir Cyril Brudenell White, Chief General Staff (KIA)
Passenger  Lt Col Francis Thornwait, Snr Army Officer (KIA)

Crashed  August 13, 1940 at 10:50am

Aircraft History
Built by DAP in Australia. Constructors Number 1951. Assigned to the RAAF on June 20, 1940 to 1 AD. Next assigned to 2 Squadron on August 12, 1940.

Mission History
Took off with a number of senior government passengers and VIPs. While on its approach the RAAF Base at Canberra, this aircraft spun and crashed two miles east of the airfield, burned killing everyone aboard.

Wreckage
Today, nothing appears to remain of the crash site.

Daniel Leahy adds:
"I've visited the site about 3 times and have found nothing of the aircraft. I have however found a ditch about the same shape and size as that in the crash photo just behind the memorial - so chances are the same place."

Memorials
The RAAF Base at Canberra was later named Fairbairn Airfield in honor of James Fairbairn. A stone memorial is located at the crash site.

References
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for additional information.
ADF Serials - Hudson A16-97

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Last Updated
January 1, 2014

 

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