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Daniel Leahy 2000
|Pilot F/O Donald A. Flavel, 416663 (KIA, BR) Bathurst, NSW
Navigator F/O Robert V. Clayton, 406640 (KIA, BR) Victoria Park, WA
Radio Flt Sgt L. J. Sims, 434749 (KIA, BR) Cairns, QLD
Crew F/O Frederick A. Wallis, 408715 (KIA, BR) Hawthorn East, VIC
Crashed June 4, 1945
Built by the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne.
Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Beaufort Mark VIII serial number A9-228. Assigned to 1 Operational Training Unit (1 OTU). No known nickname or nose art.
On June 4, 1945 took off from Mount Gambier Airfield at 5:33pm piloted by F/O Donald A. Flavel on a night astro navigation training mission bound for Eskdale Airfield. During the flight, this Beaufort crashed into Mount Tawonga, killing the entire crew. When it failed to return, this Beaufort was listed as missing.
A five-day search of the suspected crash area revealed nothing, and incredibly the RAAF convened a court to close the case, even though eyewitnesses had provided the court with evidence of an aircraft crash on Mount Tawonga. Upset at such a hurried and forced decision, relatives organized their own ground search led by Lt Richard Hamilton of the Volunteer Defense Corps. Hamilton's volunteers found the crash within two and a half hours during their first search on Mount Tawonga.
Recovery of Remains
After the crash site was located, the remains of all four crew were recovered.
The crash site of this Beaufort remains in situ on Mount Tawonga. Much of the wreckage remains at the site, and incredibly, pieces of the tail section still retain their camouflage green and brown.
Claringbould visited this wreck in 1999:
Leahy visited the site on November 28, 2000:
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