CRASH OF A CATALINA
INTO THE SEA OPPOSITE WONDERRABAH KNOB
PORT STEPHENS, NSW
ON 24 MAY 1943

 

catalina01.jpg (9850 bytes)
Catalina

 

RAAF PBY-5 Catalina, A24-39 (USN 0826), of 3 Operational Training Unit Rathmines (3 OTU) crashed during a landing in rough seas opposite Wonderrabah Knob, Port Stephens, New South Wales at 0915 hours on 24 May 1943. The aircraft had been delivered to the RAAF in February 1942. The flight was part of an inspection of the Broken Bay and Port Stephens areas. F/Lt Higgins had flown to Port Stephens to see if the water was rough enough to carry out rough water landings as laid down in No. 3 OTU training. The OTU course had been extended by one week so that the pilots could get training in rough water landings. F/Lt Higgins had apparently decided that Broken Bay was not suitable for the training and proceed to Port Stephens where he crashed on landing.

Seven men were killed in the crash and two were injured as follows:-

Flight Lieutenant Brian Hartley Higgins (400620) - Pilot - Killed
Pilot Officer Max Alexander Larkan (409842) - 2nd Pilot - Killed
Sergeant Alan Fullerton Craddock (408799) - 2nd Pilot - Killed
Pilot Officer Norman John Brown (411992) W.A. Gunner - Killed
Corporal Thomas Henry Poole (19812) Fitter 2E - Killed
LAC Henry George Lovett (21419) - Fitter 2A - Killed
Sergeant John Johnson (411710) - W.A. Gunner - Seriously injured
Corporal Jaffre David James (8164) - Fitter 2E - Killed
AC1 Kenneth Carlyle Stow (72521) - Armourer - Slight Shock

 

Catalina at Caboolture Air Show 15 May 2004

 

Catalina at Caboolture Air Show 15 May 2004

 

A Catalina at Mackay Airport - 1961

A Catalina at Mackay airport - 1961

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Bob Wylie for his assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 15 May 2004

This page last updated 30 August 2015