First Fatal Air Crash in Western AustraliaPrint Page Print this page

The memorial commemorates the site of the first fatal air crash in Western Australia in 1921. The pilot of the aeroplane was known aviator, Lieutenant John Cowe McIntosh. 

Lieutenant John Cowe McIntosh was born in Scotland in 1892, and having emigrated to Western  Australia, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in 1914.  He served in the 4th Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps on Gallipoli and in France, and was promoted Corporal. He transferred to the Australian Flying Corps to undertake flying training at Oxford in the United Kingdom. McIntosh was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) in April 1919. 

Rather than return to Australia with other elements of the AIF by ship, McIntosh joined forces with Lieutenant Ray Parer to enter the Australian Government’s £10,000 air race from England to Australia.

Although the race was won by Ross and Keith Smith in December 1919, McIntosh and Parer continued with their adventure. Despite great difficulties and obstacles, they became the first airmen to fly a single-engine aeroplane from England to Australia. The epic journey took 208 days and McIntosh and Parer were each rewarded with a £500 cheque and an Air Force Cross.

McIntosh was giving joy-rides and flying displays to locals at Pithara, Western Australia on 28 March 1921 when tragically, his single-engined De Havilland aeroplane crashed. It was the first fatal air disaster in Western Australia. He was 29 years of age. The scene of the crash was renamed McIntosh Park. 




Address:Pithara East Road, McIntosh Park, Pithara Speedway, Pithara, 6608
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -30.384906
Long: 116.672595
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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