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  Lockheed Hudson Mark II Serial Number A16-79  
No. 2 Squadron

Pilot  F/Lt Robert Wylie Burns Cuming, 200540 (KIA, BR) Toorak, VIC
Co-Pilot  P/O Robert Henry Martin, 401454 (KIA, BR) Somerville, VIC
Crew  P/O Philip Howard Richards, 407592 (KIA, BR) Payneham, SA
Wireless/Air Gunner  Sgt John Bessell-Browne, 406205 (KIA, BR) Toorak, VIC
Wireless/Air Gunner  Sgt Albert Edwin Blake, 4560 (KIA, BR) Heywood, VIC
Wireless/Air Gunner  Sgt Henry Jennings Dean, 3934 (KIA, BR) Hamilton, NSW
Passenger  Sgt Kevin Henry Kelaher, 403287 (KIA, BR) Barraba, NSW
Passenger  LAC Ormond Frederick Ewald Crawford, 19485 (KIA, BR)
Passenger  LAC Edmund Geoffrey Mears, 19266 (KIA, BR) Essendon, VIC
Passenger  LAC Vincent Harold Smith, 30308 (KIA, BR) Hobart, TAS
Passenger  Aircraftman 1st Class Frank Morris, 16698 (KIA, BR) Sheffield, England
Crashed  January 20, 1942 at 6:30pm

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed at Burbank. Constructors Number 1933. Disassembled and shipped oversea to Australia as part of Defense Aid.

Wartime History
On April 2, 1940 assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Hudson Mark II serial number A16-79 and reassembled by 2 Air Depot (2 AD). On December 28, 1942 assigned to No. 2 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On January 20, 1942 at at 6:30pm took off from Poeloeti Airfield (Penfui) in West Timor piloted by F/Lt Robert Wylie Burns Cuming grossly overloaded with men and stores to evacuate ahead of the impending Japanese invasion bound for Namlea Airfield on Boeroe Island. After take off, this Hudson climbed very steeply and reached 200' to 300' before the left engine burst into flames causing the Hudson to stalled and crashed onto the runway exploding into flames and killed everyone aboard. The crash was deemed to be caused by rapid and incorrect trim adjustment or structural failure after the loss of the left engine. This Hudson was officially stricken on February 19, 1942.

The entire crew as officially declared dead the day of the mission. All are buried at Ambon War Cemetery in collective grave 11. D. 5-16.

ADF Serials - Hudson A16-79
CWGC - Robert Wylie Burns Cuming
CWGC - Robert Henry Martin
CWGC - Philip Howard Richards
CWGC - John Bessell-Browne
CWGC - Albert Edwin Blake
CWGC - Henry Jennings Dean
CWGC - Kevin Henry Kelaher
CWGC - Ormond Frederick Ewald Crawford
CWGC - Edmund Geoffrey Mears
CWGC - Vincent Harold Smith
CWGC - Frank Morris

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Last Updated
March 3, 2021

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