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  PBY-5 Catalina Serial Number A24-39  
RAAF
3 OTU

Pilot  FltLt Brian Hartley Higgins, 400620 (KIA, BR) Wangaratta, VIC
2nd Pilot  FlgOff Max Alexander Larkan, 409842 (KIA, BR) Elwood, VIC
2nd Pilot  PltOff Alan Fullerton Craddock, 408799 (KIA, BR) Geelong, VIC
WAG 
FlgOff Norman John Brown, 411992 (KIA, BR) Gmllhurn
Fitter 2E  Cpl Thomas Henry Poole, 19812 (KIA, BR) Bondi, NSW
Fitter 2A  LAC Henry George Lovett, 21419 (KIA, BR) Toronto
Fitter 2E  Cpl James Joffre David, 8164 (KIA, BR) East Fremantle, WA
WAG  Sgt John Johnson, 411710 (survived) West Maitland, NSW
Armourer  AC1 Kenneth Carlyle Stow, 72521 (survived) Darlington, NSW

Crashed  May 24, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Constructors Number 1100. Assigned U. S. Navy (USN) bureau number 08206. Shipped overseas to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Catalina A29-39. On February 18, 1943 assigned to 3 Operational Training Unit (3 OTU). No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On May 24, 1943 took off on a mission piloted by Higgins. This Catalina crashed into the sea off Port Stephens, NSW. Seven of the crew was killed in the crash and two survived.

Memorials
The deceased crew members were officially declared dead the day of the mission. The crew were buried at Newcastle War Cemetery (Sandgate). Higgins at plot F row D grave 11. Larkan at plot E row D grave 14 Craddock at plot E row D grave 16. Brown at plot E row D grave 13. Poole at plot E row D grave 15. Lovett at plot E row D grave 12. James at plot E row C grave 16.

On June 3, 1943 Bamaga Airfield was renamed "Higgins Field" in honor of pilot FltLt Brian Hartley Higgins.

References
ADF Serials - Catalina A24-39
RAAFDB - PBY-5 Catalina A29-39
CWGC - Brian Hartley Higgins
CWGC - Max Alexander Larkan
CWGC - Alan Fullerton Craddock
CWGC - Norman John Brown
CWGC - Thomas Henry Poole
CWGC - Henry George Lovett
CWGC - James Joffre David
WW2 Nominal Roll - John Johnson
WW2 Nominal Roll - Kenneth Carlyle Stow
Officially named 'Higgins Field' on June 3, 1943:
"Announcement is hereby made that the airdrome now known as Jacky Jacky and/or Red Point, is officially designated 'Higgins Field' in honour of Flight Lieutenant Brian Hartley Higgins 400620, RAAF, killed on air operations 25 May 1943 - by command of Lieutenant General Kenney."

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Technical Info
Catalina

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