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  Bristol Beaufighter Mark Ic Serial Number A19-33  
RAAF
30 Squadron

Pilot  F/O Harold Maurice Woodroffe, 407542 (MIA / KIA) Wagga Wagga, NSW
Observer  F/Sgt John Livingstone Brooks, 43250 (MIA / KIA) Wollongong, NSW

Crashed  September 5, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by Bristol in the United Kingdom. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number T4997. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Delivered to the RAAF (RAAF) as Beaufighter A19-33. On May 11, 1942 assigned to 1 Air Depot (1 AD). On February 28, 1942 assigned to 5 Air Depot (5 AD) to repair fractures from firing the 20mm cannons. On March 3, 1942 assigned to 30 Squadron with fuselage code "Q" painted in white forward of the roundel. Returned to 30 Squadron after repairs on May 29, 1942.

Mission History
On September 5, 1943 one of two aircraft that took off on a mission to attack Cape Gloucester Airfield. Over the target, hit by anti-aircraft fire in the right engine. Leaving the target, Beaufighter A19-33 was seen by the accompanying aircraft trailing a long intermittent plume of smoke from the right engine. After reaching Borgen Bay, the aircraft turned inland and crashed into the jungle with a large fire seen burning in the undergrowth.

Wreckage
During December 1946, a RAAF Searcher Team in New Britain discontinued searching. Beaufighter A19-133 crashed to the west of this approximate site. At the time, the RAAF thought they had made a typo with one of the serials, and stopped looking for this site. No trace of this aircraft has ever been found.

During September 2007, this crash was visited by the RAAF Searcher Team including Greg Williams looking for remains of the crew. They found the burned crash site, but failed to locate any remains of the crew.

Memorials
Both crew were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Both are listed on the Rabaul Memorial at Bita Paka War Cemetery as having "no known grave". Woodroffe on panel 34. Brooks on panel 35.

References
CWGC - Harold Maurice Woodroffe
CWGC - John Livingstone Brooks
RAAF Searcher Team Report by S/L Rundle
Beaufighters In The Pacific page 108
ADF Serials - Beaufighter A19-33
RAAFDB - Beaufighter A19-33

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

Tech Info
Beaufighter

MIA
MIA
2 Missing

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  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
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