Built by Consolidated in San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF), model and serial number unknown. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force.
During December 1944 this B-24 ditched or crashed into the sea off Hinchinbrook
Island off Townsville.
After the crash, a C-47 spotted the crash site from the air and buzzed P-363 from the 14th Emergency Rescue Boat Squadron and dropped a message indicating the location of the crash. Proceeding to the crash site, the vessel rescued the crew, rendered medical aid and transported them to Townsville.
The crash site, believed to be this bomber is a half mile off shore from Cape Sandwich on Hinchinbrook
Island. The wreckage has a narrow wing and undercarriage cut out. The engines have a double row of cylinders, indicating they are Pratt & Whitney R-1830 radial engines associated with the B-24 Liberator. Some sources incorrectly identify this bomber wreckage as a B-17 Flying Fortress.
This bomber is possibly B-24L Liberator 44-41628 crashed December 5, 1944.
Brian Carr adds:
"I have been scuba diving on wreckage of a B-17 near Hinchinbrook Island. I am wondering if there is any records of this plane. All I have been able to find so far is that at a time unknown wreckage of a B-17 was found near Hinchinbrook Is. My brother found a torch at the site and the mfg. date on the batteries is April 1944."
Pete Johnston adds:
"I have been trying to track this one down for years. A six man crew pointed to it being a delivery flight."
Keith Hopper adds:
"That is incredibly interesting. The only B-24 loss that comes to mind in that vicinity is a mid air explosion with no survivors, B-24J 42-100292. This occurred north of Hinchinbrook island, over water with all KIA (BNR). Prawn trawlers have, in recent years, caught the wreckage in their nets. From memory, this was a 22nd BG loss, en route to Charters Towers to Port Moresby."
HQ 14th Emergency Rescue Boat Squadron (APO 72) Unit History, Month of December 1944 via Edward Rogers
"In addition to the other routine missions in the near vicinity, a rescue was made by the last of our boats en route from Australia to New Guinea and The Philippines. The P-363, under Lt. Ogilvie and crew rescued the crew of a B-24 from Hinchinbrook Island near Townsville. A C-47 buzzed them and dropped a message streamer indicating the location. Within 1 hour and 40 minutes the six survivors were aboard and headed for Townsville and what medical aid that could not be administered by the Surgical Technician aboard."
Aircraft Crash Sites-Australia Crash: No. 322 Position: 18.14-146.18 Department of Aviation Chart No: 3219
YouTube "Wreck of a B-24 Liberator Bomber or is it a B-17 at Hinchinbrook"
uploaded October 18, 2007
Oz@War Date Unknown Located Wreckage of a B-17 Flying Fortress in water off Cape Sandwich area Hinchinbrook Island, QLD
Thanks to Edward Rogers, Keith Hopper, Bob Livingstone and Pete Johnston for additional research and analysis.
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October 23, 2019