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  PBY-5A "Maggie" Serial Number A24-49 Code FJ-L
RAAF
11 Squadron

Former Assignments
20 Squadron


RAAF c1942

Pilot  P/O Warwick Neville Rose, 400939 (MIA / KIA) Brunswick, VIC
2nd Pilot  F/O Allan Roger Meakin, 418142 (MIA / KIA) Toorak, VIC
Navigator  F/Sgt L. W. Stringer, 419679 (MIA / KIA) Northcote, VIC
W/AG  F/Sgt Alexander John Hine, 415327 (MIA / KIA) Brookton, WA
W/AG  F/Sgt James William Willesden, 427052 (MIA / KIA) WA
W/AG  F/Sgt J. B. Miller, 406811 (MIA / KIA) Mount Lawley, WA
Flight Engineer  Sgt Alfred Harvey Brooks Wadham, 28840 (MIA / KIA) Mildura, VIC
Flight Engineer  Sgt Herbert John Alexander Coates, 35037 (MIA / KIA) Ashfield, NSW
Air Gunner  Sgt Philip Charles Carter, 34396 (MIA / KIA)
Air Gunner  Sgt George Wise Whitley, 41312 (MIA / KIA) Geelong, VIC

Crashed  April 28, 1944


Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated. Constructors Number 1199. Assigned U. S. Navy (USN) bureau number 8285.

Wartime History
Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Catalina A24-49. On May 5, 1943 assigned to 20 Squadron. On June 24, 1943 assigned to 11 Squadron. Coded FJ-L. Nicknamed "Maggie" with the nose art of a portrait of Maggie, the wife of pilot F/Lt Malcolm Brooks. It is unknown whether the nickname stayed on the aircraft after he left in late 1943.

Mission History
On April 28, 1944 took off from Groote Eylandt on a mission bound for Manokwari. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft. It never reached its intended target and when it failed to return was declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized on the Northern Territory Memorial at Adelaide River War Cemetery. Meakin and Miller on panel 7. Rose on panel 8. Stringer, Willesden and Hine on panel 9. Coates on panel 10. Whitley on panel 11.

Bob Alford adds:
"The aircraft never reached the target and no trace has been found of the aircraft or crew."

Joan McIntyre
adds:
"[From Australian Defense records] There were a number of suggestions that the Catalina, with 10 crew aboard, may have come down in the vicinity of a village called Moegim near Babo. It does appear that it reached its target area, and there is a suggestion, though rather vague, that the aircraft came under fire and may have been hit, although still able to continue flying. I realize the dreadful things that befell any downed airmen in that theatre of war, but it may be that the remains of the flying boat may one day be located.
One of the reports was from a native medical orderly, who was on Biak in the August of 1944. It was also stated that the Japanese had reported an Australian Catalina crashing into the sea, but this was unconfirmed. In a 1946 report, the Catalina A24-49 was listed as one of the aircraft lost in this area, along with a Liberator 42-40967, and three Kittykawks. They did believe that they may have found the Liberator in Manroeni."

Daniel Leahy adds:
"Some post-war documentation includes references to wrecks and losses in the Manokwari area which could have been this aircraft. All were investigated and were found to be related to other aircraft losses or incidents and were ultimately dismissed as being Catalina A24-49."

References
Another source incorrectly states this PBY crashed off Horn Island.
RAAF Casualty Card - Catalina A24-49
AWM P02557.011
ADF Serials - Catalina A24-49
RAAFDB - Catalina A24-49
A Mystery Unsolved... the Loss of Catalina A24-49
Thanks to Bob Alford and Daniel Leahy for additional information

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Last Updated
May 3, 2016

 

Technical InfoPBY

MIA
MIA
10 Missing

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