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  B-24L-5-CO Liberator Serial Number A72-88  
RAAF
24 Squadron

Former Assignments
7 OTU

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Goh Loon 2008

Pilot  FLT Lt. A. A. Cambridge (survived)
Co-Pilot
 WOFF F. Crawford, 425611 (WIA, survived)
Navigator  FLTLT John Richard Parkinson, 411371 (KIA, BR) Arncliffe, NSW
Bombardier  PLTOFF G. W. Rhodes, 413255 (survived)
Flight Engineer  SGT A. G. Cullen, 19835 (survived)
Wireless  PLTOFF S. N. Johnson, 416767 (survived)
Wireless  FLTLT V. Scanlon, 416131 (WIA, survived)
Gunner  FLGOFF John Mcpherson Pitt, 401830 (KIA, BR) Brighton, VIC
Gunner  SGT E. W. Jennings, 443957 (survived)
Gunner  SGT E. L. Francis, 442341
(survived)
Crashed  February 3, 1945 at 11:55pm


Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24L-5-CO Liberator serial number 44-41460. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Liberator A72-88. Assigned to 7 Operational Training Unit (7 OTU). Later, assigned to 24 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. Fuselage code ?-GR.

Mission History
On February 3, 1945 while returning form a mission late in the evening, this B-24 crashed approximately two miles west of Fenton Airfield apparently unable to locate the flare illuminated airstrip, likely due to hazy visibility of only about one mile.

At approximately 11:55pm, the Liberator 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 unit smashing on impact.

Two of the crew: Parkinson and Pitt were killed in the crash. Sgt Francis had his foot jammed in the waist gunner's area. He was freed eventually by Crawford and Rhodes. The aircraft was well ablaze now. PLTOFF Rhodes carried out Jennings, dangerously injured, to safety. Scanlon, also dangerously injured, had managed to throw himself out of the aircraft and was carried to safety by Cambridge and Crawford. Crawford was slightly injured.

Rescue
Within an hour of the crash, a 21 Squadron Tiger Moth helped guide ground parties to the scene of the crash, through timbered boggy country without any roads. The bodies of both Parkinson and Pitt were recovered.

Memorials
Parkinson and Pitt were officially declared dead the day of the mission. The next day, both were buried at Adelaide River Cemetery. Parkinson at D.D.11 and Pitt at D.D.12.

Wreckage
Portions of this Liberator including the fuselage section were recovered from the crash site. They are displayed at Australian Aviation Heritage Centre.

References
ADF Serials - Liberator A72-88

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Last Updated
May 13, 2018

 

Tech Information
B-24
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