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  Spartan C3 Biplane Registration VH-???  

Pilot  2nd Lt. John D. Feltham (injured, survived)
Passenger  WOII Ronald F. Brechin, NG2427 NGVR (KIA, BR) Brighton, SA
Crashed  June 17, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Spartan Aircraft Company in Tulsa, OK as Spartan C3. Constructors Number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas and registered as VH-??? (last three letters unknown) in Australia. In early 1942, this aircraft was abandoned at Aiyura Airfield in the Highlands of New Guinea.

During late May 1942, this biplane was repaired by the American aircrew of B-25C Mitchell 41-12478 that force landed at Aiyura Airfield on May 16, 1942. By the middle of June 1942, this biplane was repaired and sometime prior to June 17, 1942 test flown by pilot 2nd Lt. John D. Feltham.

Mission History
On June 17, 1942 towards dusk, took off piloted by 2nd Lt. John D. Feltham with passenger Warrant Officer Class II Ronald Frank Brechin, New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (NGVR) on a flight bound for Bena Bena Airfield but crashed after take off. During the crash, Brechin was killed and Feltham suffered two broken legs and was later found trapped inside the wreckage and rescued by several Australians.

Brechin was officially declared dead the day of the crash. Postwar, he was buried at Lae War Cemetery at H. A. 4.

Note, some sources list this aircaft as 1925 Spartan Biplane, but the type did not first fly until 1926.
WW2 Nominal Roll - Ronald Frank Brechin
CWGC - Ronald Frank Brechin
FindAGrave - Warrant Officer Class II Ronald Frank Brechin (grave)
Thanks to Edward Rogers for research and analysis

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Last Updated
March 7, 2021

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