Crash of a Consolidated B-24D-CO Liberator in Darwin

Date & Time: Mar 18, 1943
Operator:
Registration:
41-11869
Flight Phase:
MSN:
365
YOM:
1941
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
0
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Crashed in unknown circumstances near Darwin following a maritime patrol flight. Crew fate unknown.

Crash of a Lockheed L-414 Hudson IIIA near Kupang: 5 killed

Date & Time: Oct 1, 1942
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A16-243
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Darwin – Kupang
MSN:
414-6496
YOM:
1942
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
Disappeared in unknown circumstances in the region of Kupang, Indonesia, while performing a survey flight from Darwin to Kupang. SAR teams did not find any trace of the aircraft nor the crew.
Crew (13th Squadron):
P/O J. E. Alcock,
F/O G. V. Boynton,
F/O P. C. Gunson,
Sgt F. P. Kemp,
Sgt W. S. Powell.

Crash of a Lockheed L-414 Hudson IIIA into the Timor Sea: 4 killed

Date & Time: Apr 23, 1942
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A16-182
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Darwin – Kupang
MSN:
414-6354
YOM:
1941
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
Crashed into the sea of Timor while on a flight from Darwin to Kupang. No trace of the aircraft nor the crew was ever found.
Crew (2nd Squadron):
F/Lt Roger Joseph Blanchard, pilot,
Sgt Oberlin Benjamin Plester Gray, wireless operator and air gunner,
Sgt David Jacobs,
Sgt David Vynne Woods.

Crash of a Lockheed 14-WF62 Super Electra near Pine Creek: 12 killed

Date & Time: Apr 21, 1942 at 2130 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-ADY
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Brisbane – Alice Springs – Daly Waters – Batchelor – Darwin
MSN:
1498
YOM:
0
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
10
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
12
Circumstances:
On the last leg to Darwin, the crew lost his orientation while cruising in rain falls and night. Due to poor visibility, the crew was unable to locate the airport of Darwin and continued over the sea. Few minutes later, pilots realized they were flying over the sea and returned to the continent but could not see the city of Darwin nor its airport. Crew informed ATC he was low of fuel and wanted to land shortly but eventually, the twin engine aircraft hit a mountain slope near Annaburroo Station, in the region of Pine Creek. Rescuers did not find any trace of the aircraft and all operations were suspended few days later. Eventually, the wreckage and all 12 dead bodies were found on June 30, 1942, in an isolated area. The occupants were two pilots and ten US soldiers. The aircraft was built in May 1939 and delivered to Guinea Airways on June 9, 1940.
Probable cause:
Crew lost his orientation due to the failure of both radio compass while flying by night in poor weather conditions (rain falls). Due to low visibility, the crew was unable to establish his real position and to locate the Darwin's Airfield.

Crash of a Lockheed L-414 Hudson IVA off Kupang: 4 killed

Date & Time: Apr 14, 1942
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A16-137
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Darwin – Kupang
MSN:
414-6066
YOM:
1941
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft left Darwin Airport at 0315 bound for Kupang. While approaching its destination, the aircraft crashed in unknown circumstances into the sea. All four occupants were killed.
Crew (13th Squadron):
P/O Albert James Verdon Lockley,
P/O Patrick Goulston Taylor,
Sgt Kenneth Arthur Orchard,
Sgt Donald Thomas Thomson.

Crash of a Short S.23 Empire Flying Boat off Darwin: 2 killed

Date & Time: Mar 22, 1942
Operator:
Registration:
G-AEUF
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Brisbane – Karumba – Darwin
MSN:
S.848
YOM:
1937
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
11
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
While landing by night some 2 miles off Darwin, the seaplane christened 'Corinthian' hit debris and sunk rapidly. Two passengers were killed while all 13 other occupants were rescued. The aircraft was lost. All passengers were members of the 102nd Coastal Artillery Battalion.

Crash of a Short S.23 Empire Flying Boat off Kupang: 13 killed

Date & Time: Jan 30, 1942 at 0800 LT
Operator:
Registration:
G-AEUH
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Surabaya – Kupang – Darwin
MSN:
S.850
YOM:
1938
Flight number:
XWS160
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
14
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
13
Circumstances:
The aircraft and its crew were performing an special flight from Surabaya to Darwin on behalf of Qantas Airways. While approaching Kupang Airport, the seaplane christened 'Corio' was shot down by the pilot of a Japanese fighter. Out of control, it crashed into the sea few hundred yards off shore. The captain, the copilot and three passengers were able to swim to shore and were later rescued while all 13 other occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
Shot down by a Japanese fighter.

Crash of a Lockheed L-414 Hudson off Darwin: 4 killed

Date & Time: Dec 10, 1941 at 0545 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A16-69
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Darwin – Ambon
MSN:
414-1922
YOM:
1940
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft left Darwin Airport at 0530LT on a flight to Ambon, Indonesia. Some 15 minutes into the flight, while cruising at an altitude of 400 feet, the aircraft stalled and crashed in flames into the sea. All four crew members were killed.
Crew (13th Squadron):
WgCdr Joshua Roger Gray McDonald, pilot,
F/O Ralph Henry Pope,
Sgt Wallace Roy Foreman,
Sgt Walter John Nagel.
Probable cause:
The accident was attributed to a crew error when the pilot decided to reduce the speed to 95 knots with flaps down to let two other aircraft create a formation. This caused the aircraft to stall and spin into the sea.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.83 Fox Moth in Katherine: 1 killed

Date & Time: Oct 10, 1941
Registration:
VH-UZS
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Katherine – Darwin
MSN:
DHA5
YOM:
1937
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
Shortly after take off from Katherine Airfield, while on an ambulance flight to Darwin, the pilot encountered engine problems and attempted an emergency landing. The aircraft hit tree tops and crashed in flames upside down. While the nurse and the pilot were injured, the female patient was killed and the aircraft was destroyed by post crash fire.
Probable cause:
The engine failed shortly after take off because the fuel was contaminated by water.

Crash of a Lockheed L-414 Hudson off Darwin: 4 killed

Date & Time: Aug 15, 1941 at 1200 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A16-8
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Darwin - Dawrin
MSN:
414-1859
YOM:
1940
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
The crew was performing a training flight for the 13th Squadron. After simulating an aerial attack, the pilot made a high sink rate descent. Approaching the ground, he pulled up the control column but aircraft hit the ground with its left wing. The left engine was teared off and the pilot regain control for few seconds before the aircraft eventually crashed into the sea, some 250 metres off shore. All four occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
Poor judgment on part of the pilot who did not evaluate correctly the distance with the ground while simulating an attack.