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Airmen of B24J LiberatorPrint Page Print this page

17-July-2014
17-July-2014

Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

A monument commemorates the airmen of the United States Army Air Force who were killed when their B-24J Liberator Bomber crashed during World War Two. The Northern Territory Government declared the area a heritage site in 2002 and interpretive signage has been installed at key points along the pathway. 

The remains of the wreck of this B-24J are significant as a tangible reminder of the air war conducted against the Japanese during World War Two from Australian soil. It is also a tangible link to the association the 380th Bomb Group had in Australia and the specific role that it played in the war.

The four-engine bomber with a crew of six on board, captained by Lieutenant Bobby Neal, left the Darwin RAAF base for a training bombing mission at Quail Island, a regular training target south-west of Darwin. It was Lt. Neal’s first mission in this aircraft as pilot-in-command and the nature of the flight meant there were only six on board instead of the usual nine. There are conflicting reports but most indicate the aircraft completed its mission and was returning to Darwin when it crashed south of Two-Fella Creek, killing all on board. At least one reputable account talks of a fire on board before the crash, although there are no reports of a distress call, or the bomber having been sighted on fire by the many military personnel based on the Cox Peninsula before it crashed. 

 

 

Location

Address:Charles Point & Belyuen Roads, 1.5 kilometres from intersection, Wagait Beach, 0822
State:NT
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -12.449466
Long: 130.718933
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW2
Actual Event STart Date:17-January-1945
Actual Event End Date:17-January-1945

Dedication

Front Inscription

Erected By The Northern Territory Government To
Commemorate The Loss Of The Following American
Airmen, Who Were Members Of The 531st Bombardment
Squadron (H) Of The 380th Bombardment Group (H) Of
The United States Army Air Force :

[ Names ]

Their Plane, A B24J Consolidated Liberator 42-73134
(`Milady') Crashed Whilst Returning From A Practice
Bombing Mission Over Quail Island On 17 January 1945.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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