CRASH OF A B-25 MITCHELL
3 to 4 MILES EAST OF McDONALD AIRFIELD, NT
4 FEBRUARY 1943

 

At approximately 7:45pm on 4 February 1943, B-25C Mitchell, N5-132 (#41-12919) of 18 Squadron of the Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEI-AF) crashed about 3 to 4 miles east of its home base at McDonald airfield in the Northern Territory due to engine problems after takeoff on an operational mission. The whole crew of eight plus one passenger, which included 3 RAAF personnel, were tragically killed as follows:-

Sgt. Major L. Schalk - Pilot (34 NEI-AF)
Sgt. C. Hiele - Co Pilot (95845 NEI-AF)
Sgt. J. Janssen - W/T Operator (92766 NEI-AF)
Sgt. Major N. W. Kessels - Mechanic (92875 NEI-AF)
Sgt A Maarschalkerweerd -  Mechanic (94733 NEI-AF)
Sgt. G. F. Abeleven - Mechanic (94685 - NEI-AF)
David Leslie MacPherson - WAG (408910 RAAF)
LAC Max Temby Palamountain - Telephone Operator (39854 RAAF)
Sgt. Harold Oscar Walton WAG (408894 RAAF)

All of the above were killed in the crash except for Sgt Walton who was found alive and was taken by aircraft to No. 1 M.R.S., but was pronounced dead on arrival on 5 February 1943.

LAC Palamountain was a passenger and was due to depart the aircraft at Darwin during refuelling for its operational mission to Dobo.

The aircraft card of N5-132 says: "N5-132 #41-12919 B-25C crashed on t/o from McDonald, 7 KIA."

The aircraft was heavily loaded because its targets were at maximum range. N5-132 crashed during take-off, caught fire and exploded because of the full fuel load. I believe that the remains of the aircraft are still present on the crash site today.

All of the deceased personnel were buried at 1130 hours on 6 February 1943 at the Adelaide River War Cemetery. Lt. Col. Hume-Moir was the officiating Padre for the Protestant personnel, and Fl/Lt Harper for the Roman Catholic personnel.

 

Original 1943 photograph Chris van Reesch of the crash of N5-132 near McDonald airfield (NT).
(Photo supplied by Gerben Tornij)

 

Photograph of J.J.L.M. Janssen by Chris van Reesch
(Photo supplied by Gerben Tornij)

 

NOTE:- One source gives the location for this crash as being 3 to 4 miles east of McDonald airfield while another source says it was NW of Batchelor airfield near Lloyds Creek.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Ed Ragas and Gerben Tornij for their assistance with this home page.

I'd also like to thank Roslyn Breeding, the niece of Max Temby Palamountain, who was killed in this tragic accident.

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

"De Nederlandse Mitchells"
by Gerben J. Tornij, 1999, ISBN 90-9013058-6)
This book is still available (http://www.flash-aviation.nl/ or http://www.lhshop.nl/)

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

Disclaimer

Please e-mail me
any information or photographs


"Australia @ War"
8GB USB Memory Stick

 

This page first produced 1 January 2000

This page last updated 26 April 2016