|Pilot FLGOFF George Douglas Rutherford Avery, 404083 (KIA, BR) QLD
Observer FLGOFF Douglas Crawford Bell, 404031 (KIA, BR) Manly, NSW
WAG FLGOFF Leslie Joseph Schwartz, 405455 (KIA, BR) Cunnamulla, QLD
Passenger Lt(jg) George Frank Glueck, USN (KIA, BR)
Crashed October 22, 1942
Built by the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number T9565.
Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Beaufort Mark V serial number A9-26. Assigned to 100 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On October 22, 1942 one of six Beauforts that took off from Garbutt Field near Townsville on a formation and dive bombing training mission armed with practice bombs. After conducting a mock torpedo attack over Townsville Harbor, the formation climbed to 1,000' into a "V" formation and made practice dive bombing attacks against the City of Adelaide.
Over the shipwreck, this aircraft struck the stern mast of City of Adelaide shipwreck in Cockle Bay off Magnetic Island. This Beaufort crashed approximately 700m from the shipwreck, killing everyone aboard.
Later that same day at 2:00pm, RAAF F/Lt Bonython inspected the wreckage and found two of the practice bombs. Afterwards, written off and converted to components by a Repair Salvage Unit (RSU). Wreckage of this aircraft remains on the reef to this day.
A propeller hub from this Beaufort is displayed on Magnetic Island with a sign that reads: "Propeller housing from Beaufort torpedo bomber salvaged from Cockle Bay reef after striking the mast of the square rigger "The City of Adelaide" in World War II. No survivors."
The RAAF crew members were officially declared dead the day of the mission. After their remains were recovered, the three were buried at Townsville War Cemetery on October 23, 1942 at 4:00pm. Avery at A.C.1. Bell at A.C.2. Schwartz at A.C.3.
American Glueck was initially buried at the US Military Cemetery Townsville. On August 5, 1945 he was exhumed and reburied at Ipswich US Cemetery. Later, he was exhumed and transported to the United States for permanent burial. His grave location is unknown, but presumed to be in his hometown.
ADF Serials - Beaufort A9-26
CWGC - George Douglas Rutherford Avery
CWGC - Douglas Crawford Bell
CWGC - Leslie Joseph Schwartz
Pictorial History of Magnetic Island, North Queensland page 139
Oz@War - 22 October 1942 crash of a Beaufort bomber Cockle Bay Magnetic Island
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February 14, 2020