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|Qantas Empire Airways
||Pilot Captain Albert Aubrey Koch, RAAF (survived) Ulverstone, TAS
Crashed January 30, 1942
In an attempt to escape, Koch opened the throttles, dove towards the sea and headed for a nearby beach roughly 15 miles away. The Zeros opened fire and hit the fuselage with machine gun fire that also set both engines on fire. Captain Koch later reported: "We heard a peculiar rattling in the fuselage of the aircraft and at the same time the air was filled with tracer bullets from aircraft attacking overhead and behind."
Damaged, the flying boat landed heavily in the sea and quickly sank. Only four survived: two of the crew and two passengers.
Fates of the Crew
Afterwards, Koch was admitted to the hospital at Darwin to recover from his wounds. Following the Japanese air raid on Darwin, Koch was transported on a stretcher during the night of February 19, 1942 to Darwin Harbor and loaded onto S.23 "Camilla" VH-ADU and flown away before dawn on February 20, 1942.
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