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  S.23 "Corinthian" Empire Flying Boat Registration G-AEUF  
Former Assignments
Qantas Empire Airlines (QEA)

Pilot  Captain Lewis R. Ambrose (WIA) Northbridge, NSW
First Officer  Capt. R. Brooke Tapp
Passenger  1/Lt Edward O. Hubbard
Passenger  Pvt Woodrow W. Ravenscroft
Passenger  ? (MIA)
Passenger  ? (MIA)
Passengers  +8 members of 102nd Coast Artillery

Crashed  March 22 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Short in Rochester, Kent United Kingdom. Registered in the United Kingdom as G-AEUF. In Australia operated by Qantas Empire Airlines (QEA). Nicknamed "Corinthian".

Wartime History
At the start of the Pacific War, pressed into service with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). This aircraft was never assigned a RAAF serial number and used its civilian call sign and was operated by her Qantas crew.

Daniel Leahy adds:
"I believe it was the Corinthian that rescued the American crew of a C-53 41-20066 that crashed near Truscott on February 26, 1942."

Mission History
The Corinthian was carrying weapons and twelve members of the U. S. Army 102nd Coastal Artillery and their equipment. Took off from Brisbane (Karumba). While attempting to land at Darwin Harbor., it apparently landed ahead of flare path and struck debris, possibly a submerged log and broke apart and sank two nautical miles from Doctors Gully.

After the crash, Tapp reentered the hull and searched for survivors. Two enlisted men [names unknown] of 102nd Coastal Artillery died in the crash. Two members of 102nd Coast Artillery, Lt. Edward Hubbard and Pvt. Woodrow Ravenscroft, were awarded the Soldier's Medal on June 12 for their efforts to rescue other members of their unit following the crash [ read citations ]. First officer Tapp earned a civilian award for their role in the crash.

Afterwards, the wreckage was blown up to keep the shipping channel clear, and the forgotten.

In the middle of September 2004, a group of Darwin high school student claimed to rediscover this wreckage. Visibility was poor, the nine students could make out the forward hull of the fuselage, heavily encrusted with coral. In fact, this was just a coral reef.

Silvano Jung adds:
"Unfortunately the 'site' discovered by the Darwin High School students turned out to be a reef. They were misinformed as to what they saw. Known today in archaeological circles as the 'Corinthian Reef'."

Oz@War Crash of a Short Empire Flying Boat in Darwin Harbor 22 March 1942
Ambrose earned a civilian award for his service flying between Java and Broome.
Thanks to Silvano Jung, Edward Rogers and Daniel Leahy for additional information

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Last Updated
June 29, 2019


Tech InfoS.23


Soldiers Medal Award

Civilian Awards

Discovery 2004

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