RAAF Hudson A16-126 Located

Details about those listed as missing or killed in the Pacific, including current search operations.

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Daniel Leahy
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RAAF Hudson A16-126 Located

Post by Daniel Leahy » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:40 pm

Hi All,

In May, Mark Reichman located the wreckage of Hudson A16-126 near Gasmata, New Britain. The site has been visited by the ADF who have confirmed the aircraft's identity. See below for recent news releases:

Australian Defence Force:
http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/Snow ... entId=7918
29 Jun 2008 MINSCIENCEANDPERSONNEL82/08
WWII RAAF AIRCRAFT LOCATED IN PNG

A RAAF Hudson bomber, lost in a remote region of Papua New Guinea (PNG) during WWII, has been confirmed found today.

The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP said the plane, A16-126, was part of a formation of three RAAF Hudson bombers which attacked Japanese shipping at Gasmata harbour, New Britain, PNG on the 11 February 1942.

“Over the target, the RAAF bombers were intercepted by Japanese fighters which had scrambled from Gasmata airfield. A16-126 was listed as ‘lost by enemy action,’” said Mr Snowdon.

“Now, 66 years after it went missing, the plane has been located in thick jungle on a ridge inland from the town of Gasmata.

Four men were lost with the aircraft. They were Flying Officer Graham Ian Gibson, Pilot Officer Frank Leslie Oliver Thorn, Sergeant Barton Irving Coutie, and Sergeant Arthur Edward Quail.

Originally located last month by Mark Reichman a missionary on New Britain, an Air Force team has now conducted a reconnaissance of the aircraft and it’s surrounds, and found the bomber in several large pieces with the cockpit lying upside down and partially buried in mud. Bullet holes were also identified in the tail section. Cannon shells were located in their original clips, no bombs were found.

“Following this confirmation, Air Force will now begin planning a full recovery operation with the assistance of the PNG Government. A team including forensic specialists will deploy to conduct a thorough examination of the site. This involves dividing the area into grid squares and conducting a detailed search for any trace of human remains, personal artefacts and military items.

“It is to be hoped this investigation will finally account for these four lost brave airmen.

Air Force has contacted relatives of three of the four crew members of the aircraft but continues trying to locate relatives of Sergeant Arthur Edward Quail (Service number A404748) who was from Biloela, Queensland.

People with information should contact the Defence Public Inquiry line on 02 6265 2999.
Yahoo!7 News:
http://au.news.yahoo.com/080629/21/17hko.html
Sunday June 29, 10:02 PM
Aust WWII bomber found in PNG
By PNG correspondent Steve Marshall

An Australian World War II bomber has been found in the Papua New Guinea jungle more than 66 years after it disappeared on a mission against the Japanese Navy.

The plane was one of three bombers that took off on a raid on February 11, 1942.

Japanese fighters were scrambled and the Hudson bomber, which had four men on board, was listed as lost by enemy action.

The wreckage was found last month in dense jungle in the East New Britain province, which triggered a reconnaissance mission by the Australian Defence Force.

The bomber was found in several large pieces with bullet holes in the tail.

A team of forensic specialists will be sent to the site as part of a full recovery operation with the help of the Papua New Guinea Government.
Daily Telegraph:
http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/s ... 28,00.html
RAAF bomber found in PNG
June 29, 2008 06:03pm

AN Australian bomber shot down by the Japanese in a remote region of Papua New Guinea during World War II has been found, 66 years later.

A missionary found the Hudson bomber last month and a RAAF team today confirmed that it was plane A16-126, lost with four crew on February 11, 1942.

Defence Science and Personnel Minister Warren Snowdon said A16-126 was part of a formation of three bombers which attacked Japanese shipping at Gasmata harbour in New Britain.

"Over the target, the RAAF bombers were intercepted by Japanese fighters which had scrambled from Gasmata airfield," Mr Snowdon said in a statement.

"A16-126 was listed as 'lost by enemy action'."

Four men were lost with the aircraft - Flying Officer Graham Ian Gibson, Pilot Officer Frank Leslie Oliver Thorn, Sergeant Barton Irving Coutie, and Sergeant Arthur Edward Quail.

Last month, missionary Mark Reichman spotted the wreckage in thick jungle on a ridge inland from the town of Gasmata.

A RAAF team was sent to investigate and found the bomber in several large pieces, with the cockpit upside down and partially buried in mud.

Bullet holes were found in the tail section and cannon shells were still in their original clips, but no bombs were found.

The air force will now begin planning a full recovery operation, with forensic specialists to search for any trace of human remains, personal artefacts and military items.

"It is to be hoped this investigation will finally account for these four lost brave airmen," Mr Snowdon said.

Officials have contacted families of three of the four crew members but have yet to locate relatives of Sergeant Quail, who was from the Queensland town of Biloela.

Anyone with information can contact the Defence Public Inquiry line on 02 6265 2999.
Daniel Leahy
Canberra, Australia

RAAF CASUALTY DATABASE
http://www.raafdb.com

kel1952
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Re: RAAF Hudson A16-126 Located

Post by kel1952 » Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:04 am

Hi there
My cousin living in Perth Western Australia sent me the newspaper clipping of this discovery.
We would be very interested in contacting Mr Gibson's son or any other relative killed in this crash in order to place a page of honour on our website.
If any one can assist us it would be greatly appreciated and full credits would be given to Pacific Wrecks and to the family who send the information.
I look forward to hearing from anyone and maybe we could place links on our website's to each other>
http://www.aircrewremembrancesociety.com/

Many thanks
Kelvin

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