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  Taylorcraft Auster Mark III Serial Number A11-26  
17 AOP

Pilot  F/O John Major, 421496 (survived) Sydney, NSW
Passenger  F/Lt. Williamson (survived)

Crashed  May 22, 1945

Aircraft History
Built by Taylorcraft as Auster Mark III. Constructors Number 452. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number NX528. Disassembled and loaded as cargo aboard a transport departing December 27, 1944 from Glasgow, Scotland bound for Australia. Arrived at Sydney on February 17, 1945.

Wartime History
During late February 1945, delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). On February 20, 1945 assigned to 2 Air Depot (2 AD). On February 21, 1945 assigned serial number A11-26. On April 19, 1945 assigned to 17 Air Observation Post Flight (17 AOP) and flown to Bougainville.

Mission History
On May 22, 1945 at 1:00pm took off from Piva South Airfield in western Bougainville piloted by F/O John Major, 421496 with passenger F/Lt. Williamson on a flight bound for Oxley Strip in southwestern Bougainville. During take off, the pilot noticed the airspeed indicator was reading 20 mph faster, and estimated the stall speed accordingly.

While attempting preparing to land at Oxley Strip, the aircraft approached too slow and stalled roughly 10' off the edge of the runway. During the crash, the landing gear caught on a ridge at the end of the strip and flipped the aircraft onto its back landing upside down with the occupants unhurt.

During the crash, this aircraft sustained 60% fuselage damage, 10% right main plane damage, 20% left main plane damage, 10% undercarriage damage, 10% rudder damage, 10% engine mount and 100% air screw damage. The next day assigned to 5 Squadron and on June 15, 1945 converted to components.

RAAF Accident Report A11-26
RAAF Record Card - Airfratmes, Aero Engine, Mechanical Transport and Marine Craft A11-26 [PDF]
WW2 Nominal Roll - John Major
ADF Serials - Auster A11-26

Australian Military Austers - Auster Mk.III c/n 452 ex NX528 A11-26

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Last Updated
August 10, 2019


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