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Kookaburra Wreckage Display
Kookaburra Wreckage Display

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams / Graeme Saunders / Eric Douglas

The Kookaburra Memorial commemorates of Keith Anderson and Bob Hitchcock who perished after their aircraft, the "Kookaburra", made a forced landing in the Tanami Desert on the 10th April 1929 while on their way to search for Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm. Kingsford Smith and Ulm were found in the Kimberley Region several days later.  

The location of the forced landing is -17.935336, 131.976657.

Found fourteen days later, the "Kookaburra" wreck was abandoned until 1978 when it was recovered by aviator and adventurer Dick Smith and placed in the museum in 1982. The memorial and plaque were unveiled on 50th anniversary of their loss. 

The photograph of Keith Anderson and Bob Hitchcock was taken by Milton Kent in 1929.  It was borrowed by Eric Douglas in the late 1950’s who was a Royal Australian Air Force pilot in the search in 1929.  The photograph was supplied by Sally E Douglas, who is the daughter of Eric Douglas.



Address:Memorial Avenue, Central Australia Aviation Museum, Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs, 0870
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -23.70145
Long: 133.864711
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:10-April-1929


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 10th April, 1979
Front Inscription

On April 10th, 1929 Lieutenant Keith Vincent Anderson (Pilot) and Henry Smith Hitchcock (Engineer) took off from here in their Westland Widgeon Mark III aircraft  "Kookaburra" 

After making a forced landing for repairs in the Tanami Desert later that day, they were unable to take off again and died shortly afterwards 

This memorial was unveiled on April 10th 1979 by the Honourable Jim Robertson M.L.A. Minister for Community Development.

Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 

Plaque inside building :

The remains of the Kookaburra are part of the permanent collection of the Northern Territory Museums and Galleries Board. This display was prepared by Museum staff and is dedicated to the memory of Keith Anderson and Bob Hitchcock, and the many other pioneers of Australian aviation history.


Inscription in Proximity

Kookaburra Memorial

This building is a memorial to Lieutenant Keith Anderson and Bobby Hitchcock, a pilot and engineer who perished when their aircraft "The Kookabura"was forced down in the Tanami Desert in April 1929.  The display tells the tragic story of these two airmen who were part of an air search organised to find Charles Kingsford-Smith who, together whith his crew, had disappeared on the first leg of an around-the-world flight in the aircraft "The Southern Cross".  

The remains of the aircraft "Kookaburra" is set in a desert diarama, just as they were found in 1978.

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