|Missing In Action (MIA)||Prisoners Of War (POW)||Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)|
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|Pilot S/L Noel Thomas Quinn, 622 (POW, survived) Cessnock, NSW
Navigator F/O Ross Bryan O'Loghlen, 400662 (POW, executed 1-14-44) Box Hill, VIC
W/AG F/Sgt Ian Lerwick Mainland, 408815 (MIA / KIA 12-4-43) East Melbourne, VIC
W/AG F/Sgt Donald McDonald, 401714 (MIA / KIA 12-4-43) Morwell, VIC
Crashed December 4, 1943
Built by the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne.
Flying at low altitude darkness and bad weather at roughly 19:40 just north of the Duke of York Islands, this Beaufort struck a obstruction at about 150' above the water causing the aircraft to crash into the sea. During the crash, Quinn and O'Loughlin were thrown clear of the aircraft. Shortly afterwards their torpedo exploded a few hundred yards away.
F/O Finlay in Beaufort A9-439 lost contact with Beaufort A9-262 a few minutes before the crash and did not see it again. He sighted a ship and attacked it. His rear gunner reported an explosion on the ship and another fire about 1,000 yards east of the ship, which may have been the crash site of this aircraft.
Fates of the Crew
Quinn and O'Loughin were held at the Rabaul Naval prison camp. The next day, a Japanese interpreter told Quinn that Mainland and McDonald had been picked up alive, but badly injured, and taken to hospital. He thought this was a lie because he was also told that if he did not provide the information they wanted the Japanese would withhold medical treatment from his crew and let them die.
A few days later some Indian POWs told Father Lamarre of Bitagalip Mission that two other Australian Airmen had died at Namanula Hospital and he believed them to be the other crew members of Beaufort A9-262.
On January 13, 1944 a group of 17 prisoners including O'Loughlin were taken from the camp and executed on January 14. During 1950, O'Loghlen's body was found in a mass grave on Matupi Island along with the bodies of Flt Lt Geoffrey H. Vincent pilot of Beaufort A9-244 and five American airmen.
On December 20, 1943 Quinn was transported aboard an aircraft from Rabaul to Japan, along with two other prisoners: Ensign Welles pilot F6F Hellcat 08884 and Lt(jg) Stefan Albert Nyarady pilot TBF Avenger 23973. Interred at Ofuna Camp near Yokohama on December 24, 1943. Afterwards, transferred to Omori Camp near Tokyo on September 20, 1944, then Camp No. 18-D (Yokohama Taika Renga - brick factory camp) on February 28 1945 and finally Camp 5-B at Niigata on 5 June 45 until liberated on September 5, 1945.
David Forrester adds:
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