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Crash of a Noorduyn UC-64A Norseman near Lockhart River: 3 killed

Date & Time: Feb 14, 1946 at 1445 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A71-4
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Townsville – Cooktown – Iron Range
MSN:
182
YOM:
1943
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
Departed Cairns for Iron Range Camp, stopped at Cooktown for fuel then encountered severe weather conditions near Iron Range. Radio contact was lost and the aircraft reported missing. An aerial search was mounted over the next four days by RAAF and civilian search planes. Five days later, a Catalina located the wreckage near the old Claudie bush strip 10 miles south of Iron Range. A RAAF Court of Enquiry determined that the aircraft crashed after it struck a tree at 1445LT when trying to land at Claudie strip in bad weather. The aircraft was destroyed and all three on board were killed. Access to crash site was impossible because of flood waters.
Crew:
F/O Colin William Law,
F/Sgt John Brian Crawford,
F/Sgt George Morris Geisel.
Source: http://www.adf-gallery.com.au/

Crash of a Douglas C-47A-90-DL into the Coral Sea: 24 killed

Date & Time: Mar 27, 1945
Operator:
Registration:
43-16011
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Cooktown – Finschafen
MSN:
20477
YOM:
1944
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
20
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
24
Circumstances:
Crashed enroute into the Coral Sea, while on a flight from Cooktown to Finschafen, Morobe Province. SAR operations were conducted but no trace of the aircraft was ever found.
Crew:
Cpt Eldred E. Kellogg,
Cpt James E. Dickey,
S/Sgt William P. Caruthers,
S/Sgt Morris Cohen.
Passengers:
Cpt Robert F. Mekker,
1st Lt Richard F. Stanley,
S/Sgt William I. Shaw,
2nd Lt Harvey J. McHenry,
1st Lt Victor Paschild,
2nd Lt Gregor N. Bronson,
S/Sgt Luigi F. Bettina,
S/Sgt Fred O. Miller,
Sgt Frank A. Lovalle,
Sgt James F. Tyres,
Sgt Glenn E. Sinclair,
Sgt Albert L. Descochers,
Sgt Harry C. Gould,
Sgt Michael Mikula,
Sgt Emerson A. Tanner,
Sgt Selby L. Yates,
2nd Lt Robert A. Daube,
2nd Lt Thomas D. Galey,
2nd Lt Kenneth W. Sober,
2nd Lt Robert G. Powell.

Crash of a Douglas C-47-DL off the Turtle Head Island

Date & Time: Dec 14, 1943 at 0905 LT
Operator:
Registration:
A65-3
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Cooktown – Horn Island
MSN:
9012
YOM:
1943
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
11
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
While flying along the east shore of Queensland, the left engine failed. For unknown reason, the propeller was not feathered, causing an excessive drag. In such situation, the captain decided to ditch the aircraft 1,5 km south of the Turtle Head Island. While all 14 occupants were rescued, the aircraft sank and was lost. At the time of the accident, the aircraft was carrying a load of cargo for a total of 2,740 kilos and 660 gallons of fuel. This caused the plane to be 1206 lbs (550 kg) overloaded.
Crew (36th Squadron):
F/Lt John Donellan Balfe, pilot,
Sgt Norman Properjohn,
F/Sgt T. H. Dennis.
Passengers:
P/O L. R. Ballard,
W/O P. G. Brown,
F/Lt R. S. Lovell,
Sgt R. Lucus,
ACI M. Van de Velde,
ACI E. C. Nason,
LAC C. T. Haylen,
LAC S. S. Collinson,
F/Sgt F. Potten,
Lt Fagg,
Col Collines.
Probable cause:
Overloaded, left engine failure (fuel exhaustion).

Crash of a Douglas DC-2-171 in Cooktown

Date & Time: Jan 8, 1943 at 1715 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A30-13
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Dibrugarh – Cooktown
MSN:
1373
YOM:
1935
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
6
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On touchdown at Cooktown, the aircraft veered to the left. The captain immediately increased engine power and started a go around. At a height of ten feet, the aircraft banked left, causing the left wing to hit the runway surface. The aircraft went out of control and crashed on the runway edge. While the aircraft was damaged beyond repair, all ten occupants escaped unhurt.
Crew:
W/O B. Starkey, pilot,
F/Sgt G. Unkles,
LAC J. R. Naugh,
Sgt A. J. Stribley.
Passengers:
F/O F. P. Nolan,
Sgt H. J. Fletcher,
Sgt A. K. Crooks,
Sgt A. Picton,
Sgt G. Shanks,
F/O J. A. Bonnington.

Crash of a Douglas DC-3-392 into the Coral Sea

Date & Time: Nov 12, 1942
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-CDI
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Townsville – Cooktown
MSN:
4083
YOM:
1941
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
En route from Townsville to Cooktown, the pilot was forced to ditch the aircraft into the Coral Sea for unknown reason. While the aircraft christened 'The Apple Cart' sunk and was lost, the crew took refuge in a dinghy and was rescued 18 hours later by the crew of a freighter.
Crew (374th TCG):
1st Lt Melvin C. Lewis,
S/Sgt Daniel J. Murphy 2.

Crash of a Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress off Cooktown

Date & Time: Oct 30, 1942
Operator:
Registration:
41-9235
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Mareeba - Mareeba
MSN:
2707
YOM:
1941
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The crew left Mareeba Airfield on the night of September 29 to attack the Tonolei harbor in Papua New Guinea. On the way back a day later, while approaching the Australian coast, the captain was forced to ditch the aircraft for unknown reason some 20 miles off Cooktown. The aircraft sunk and was lost while all five crew members took refuge in two life rafts and were rescued two days later.
Crew (19th BG):
Maj Allen Lindbergh, pilot,
1st Lt Joshua A. Barnes, copilot,
2nd Lt Joseph D. Howard, bombardier,
1st Lt Jack A. Ryan, navigator,
Sgt Hilario L. Hernandez, air gunner.

Crash of a Lockheed 18-40-11 LodeStar off Queensland: 3 killed

Date & Time: Jul 14, 1942
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-CAD
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Townsville – Cooktown
MSN:
2109
YOM:
1941
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
The crew was performing a flight from Townsville to Cooktownn when the twin engine aircraft crashed in unknown circumstances into the sea off Queensland. No trace of the aircraft nor the crew was ever found.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.84 Dragon in Cairns

Date & Time: May 7, 1937 at 1200 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-UZG
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Cairns – Cooktown
MSN:
6027
YOM:
1933
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Cairns Airport, while climbing, the twin engine aircraft went out of control and dove into the ground before crashing 2 miles from the airport. All four occupants were injured and the aircraft was destroyed.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.80 Puss Moth off Cairns: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jan 19, 1937 at 1300 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-UPQ
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Cooktown – Cairns
MSN:
2085
YOM:
1930
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
While flying over the Trinity Bay, off Cairns, the single engine aircraft crashed into the sea some 16 km off Cairns. The pilot and a young boy aged 13 were injured while a girl aged 15 was killed. It appears the aircraft was descending to the sea at a normal rate when it his the water surface and crashed.
Probable cause:
No mechanical failure. Investigation concluded that the pilot had fallen asleep and descended gradually into the sea.