|Pilot F/O William Thomas Roberson Harding, 408691 (KIA) Windsor, VIC
Navigator Sgt George Hedley Cane, 35437 (survived)
Passenger F/O Francis Cairo King, 400043 (KIA) Forbes, NSW
Passenger F/O John Tyrill (survived)
Crashed May 31, 1943
Built by Bristol in the United Kingdom. RAF serial number T5200. Shipped to Australia and assinged to the RAAF October 13, 1942 to 2 AP. On December 6, 1942 to 1 AD. Assigned to 30 Squadron on December 30, 1942.
This Beaufighter was damaged by enemy action on January 27, 1943, and afterwards to 15 RSU for repair . Sent to 3 AD on March 19, 1943 and returned to 30 Squadron on April 23, 1943.
Took off from Wards Drome (5 Mile) near Port
Moresby on a training mission to strafe the SS
Pruth. Over the ship, it flew too low and hit the mast which sheared off the right wing and caused the Beaufighter to flip over and crash upside down. Two survived the crash and managed to exit from the tail of the submerged wreckage and sustained minor injuries.
The two dead crew were recovered and buried at Bomana War Cemetery. Harding at A1. D. 24. Cairo at A1. D. 19.
Wrecks & Reefs page 218
ADF Serials - Beaufighter A19-73
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January 5, 2018