|Pilot F/L F. T. Collins, 022218
Co-Pilot F/O H. G. Molloy, 0313721
Navigator P/O R. J. Montgomery, 055855
Navigator P/O G. F. Scurr, 0219742
Navigator F/O T. G. Meagher, 024033
Fitter LAC W. F. North
Mechanic LAC M. A. Hoban
Radio Master Signaller R. P Cragg, 577975 (RAF)
Crashed October 22, 1960
Built by Douglas. Constructor Number 32887. USAAF Serial Number 44-76555. Delivered to the RAAF during May, 1945. Call Sign VH-RFI. Assigned to 38 Squadron, 86 Transport Wing.
Took off on a pilot and navigator training flight. Overshot Wau Airfield then crashed at 11:57am on October 22, 1960. Two of the crew suffered wounds. The entire aircraft and the crew's personal effects (including a set of golf clubs) destroyed in the fire that burned until 1:45pm.
Wreckage remained at the airfield until the completion of the investigation. Later, a court of inquiry into this crash during November assessed the crash to be an "error in judgment by the captain F/L Collins". Afterwards, the Administration had the wreckage bulldozed into a ravine near where it crashed, because it blocked the main road.
Robert Stitt recalls:
"I was [at Wau Airfield] in 1977 and it was definitely a C-47. Just looked at my notes from the time. It was located in a gully to the side of the Wau strip. The tail plane was intact and had a faded RAF-style fin flash. I also noted a plate that indicated a component or assembly had been overhauled in 1954."
National Archives Australia "Headquarters RAAF Richmond - Courts of Inquiry - Court of Inquiry into accident to Dakota A65-92 at Wau, New Guinea" 704/101/P1 PART 1, 160 pages
ADF Serials - A65-92 (incorrectly lists date of crash as January 23, 1961)
Other sources list the Constructors Number as 16139 / 32887
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information
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February 4, 2018