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  C-47B-30-DK Dakota Serial Number A65-92 Call Sign VH-RFI
RAAF
86 Transport Wing
38 Squadron

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
RAAF 1960

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

Aircraft History
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.

Mission History
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
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."

References
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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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

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C-47

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