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Photographs supplied by Stephen Warren

The plaque commemorates the four airmen who were killed near Tarlee while on a training flight from Mallala Royal Australian Air Force (R.A.A.F.) base during World War Two. 

On the night of September 23, 1943, the residents of Tarlee were startled by the noise of a plane in difficulty, and then heard the crash in a nearby paddock on a training flight out of Mallala R.A.A.F. Base.  

All four airmen were killed.  They were 

Pilot, 19 year old, Sergeant Julian Rice, of Jardee WA,
Navigator, 27-year- old Flying Officer Ian Weston, from Adelaide,
and trainee pilots 19-year- old Cyril Lewis, of Elwood, Victoria and 19-year-old Donald McDonald, from Brisbane Queensland.


Address:Main North Road & Hallett Street, War Memorial Garden, Tarlee, 5411
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.272325
Long: 138.770206
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:23-September-1943
Actual Event End Date:23-September-1943


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 22nd February, 2015
Front Inscription

RAAF World War Two Crash Site
23rd September 1943

An Avro Anson W2095 from 6 Service Flight Training School, Mallalla, crashed into a field approximately 1.8km east south east of this site.

29990                             284999                             419836                     429980
Sgt Rice Julian Patrick   F/O Weston Ian Duncan   LAC Lewis Cyril M   LAC McDonald Donald Neil
Pilot                                Navigator                          Trainee Pilot             Trainee Pilot
Jardee WA                      Adelaide SA                      Elwood VIC              Brisbane QLD
Age : 21                          Age : 27                            Age : 19                    Age : 19

Reports :
Official Summary :
The above aircraft took off at 2130 hours on 23 Sep 1943 on a properly authorised night dual cross country exercise.  At 2305 hours, it crashed near Tarlee, S.A., killing all occupants, and was almost completely destroyed by fire.  Weather deterioration, not predicted in the forecast, appears to have been the cause of the crash, but there was nothing in the wreckage to prove definitely the immediate cause.

Eyewitness :
Report 1 who was watching from his farm :
"It was a dirty night, between half ten and eleven, he came in low from the northwest towards our farm and circled the town.  He then came low over the oval, and tried to pull her up, it lifted a bit then dove straight into the paddock, we all ran to see if we could help but it burned as soon as it hit the ground, the poor buggers.  We only found three bodies at night, we found the fourth bloke the next day.  I said to my mate that the left engine was on fire, but he said it was probably the exhaust, the engines were making a hell of a noise, really screaming they were. "

Report 2 who was watching from his house :
"It didn`t sound right, that`s why I went out in the front yard, you couldn't see him at first, he was up in the clouds flying around, he came out of the clouds and it sounded like his engines were flat out as he headed across

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