Avro Anson Plane CrashPrint Page Print this page

A plaque commemorates five Royal Australian Air Force personnel who were killed when the plane crashed north west of Ungarie on the 11th February 1942. An identical plaque is located at the crash site on Laurin West's property.     

"War-time crash site found: Valley family traces history 
We Wesley-Smiths, of Beaumont, spent last ANZAC Day in Ungarie, near West Wyalong, along with members of our extended family. We had only recently located the site of a 1942 aircraft accident near there which killed a relative of ours, Pilot Officer Robert Wesley-Smith, and four trainee  navigators. 

We gathered to pay tribute to a man most of us had never met. A cousin, Terry Wesley-Smith in Canberra, did the sleuthing. The RAAF accident report identified the accident site as 14 nautical miles north west of Ungarie - but this was wrong. 

Through a combination of doggedness and good luck, Terry located the actual site, visited the  property it was on, and found an assortment of twisted and rusting pieces of the planes steel  tube framework. These had been collected from the accident site as they had risen to the surface over the years. 

A metal detector revealed engine components and melted alloy. Terry had commissioned a couple  of plaques commemorating the five young airmen who died in the accident. We presented one to the Ungarie Returned Soldiers, Sailors and Airmens Imperial League of Australia (RSS&AILA) Memorial Park, then we visited the crash site to leave one there, after which we were all (seventeen of us) treated to a slap-up barbecue by the owner of the property, Laurin West. 

The weather was foul on February 11 1942, with thunderstorms and low cloud. But there was such intense pressure to get the navigators trained and off to the war that the aircraft - an Avro Anson, serial number AW677, from the No 1 Air Observer School at Cootamundra - took off anyway. 

We believe - confirmed by eye-witnesses - that it broke up in a cloud and simply fell out of the  sky. Those killed, apart from our Uncle Robbie, were Leading Aircraftman Henry Fisher, Leading  Aircraftman Arthur Kendall, Leading Aircraftman John Spencer and Aircraftman Class 1 Roy Farnsworth.  We're now hoping to locate relatives of these men so that they too can visit, if they wish, the  crash site.
Kangaroo Valley Voice, June 2008.


Address:Ungarie Street, Memorial Park , Ungarie, 2669
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.642521
Long: 146.974778
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 25th April, 2008
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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