THE LOSS OF USN R4D-5 (C47) 39067 "Blue Goose"  

The same location to-day with the granite outcrop where the tail came to rest and among which four of the occupants were found.   Note the proximity of the house in the background.

The careering aircraft destroyed the water tank seen in the title picture and just visible through the trees in the centre of the picture above.   Incredibly, as it was the sole source of water for the occupants of the house, the US Navy replaced and refilled it that day!

The Blue Goose crashed on private property, 735 feet above mean sea level and 10 degrees to the right (south) of runway heading.   The US Navy enquiry did not determine why the aircraft should be there so soon after take off.   Personally I am not a subscriber to Pilot Error conclusions.   Pilots are among the most professional group I have worked with and I find it difficult to believe that Lt Armstrong would have purposely flown the aircraft into danger.   I have observed that, if the aircraft were to have tracked 10 degrees to the left (north) of runway heading instead of right, she would have passed down the Helena Valley to safety.   Consequently I would like to contact anyone who can tell me the departure procedure off RWY11 in 1945 or what navigation aids were available then.

Initially the male casualties were buried in Karrakatta Cemetery, with the three ladies going to Sydney.   Later the men were exhumed and taken to Rookwood Cemetery in NSW.   I believe they may have now all been returned to the USA.


During my research into the loss of the Blue Goose I learned from several sources that there had been a -serious- party in Adelaide Terrace (Perth) the previous evening at which most of the passengers were present.   Apparently it was a jovial lot that boarded the aircraft some hours later.   I prefer to think of them as settling down in the VIP seats of the RD4-5, comfortable chatting and cheerful, remaining oblivious to what caused their eternal flight to Adelaide.

The crash of the Blue Goose was the worst air accident in WA history and remained so until the loss of ANA flagship Amana, a DC4 lost near York in 1950 when all four engines failed - but that is another story!


The same location to-day with the granite outcrop where the tail came to rest and among which four of the occupants were found. Note the proximity of the house in the background.

The careering aircraft destroyed the water tank seen in the title picture and just visible through the trees in the centre of the picture above. Incredibly, as it was the sole source of water for the occupants of the house, the US Navy replaced and refilled it that day!

The Blue Goose crashed on private property, 735 feet above mean sea level and 10 degrees to the right (south) of runway heading. The US Navy enquiry did not determine why the aircraft should be there so soon after take off. Personally I am not a subscriber to Pilot Error conclusions. Pilots are among the most professional group I have worked with and I find it difficult to believe that Lt Armstrong would have purposely flown the aircraft into danger. I have observed that, if the aircraft were to have tracked 10 degrees to the left (north) of runway heading instead of right, she would have passed down the Helena Valley to safety. Consequently I would like to contact anyone who can tell me the departure procedure off RWY11 in 1945 or what navigation aids were available then.

Initially the male casualties were buried in Karrakatta Cemetery, with the three ladies going to Sydney. Later the men were exhumed and taken to Rookwood Cemetery in NSW. I believe they may have now all been returned to the USA.


During my research into the loss of the Blue Goose I learned from several sources that there had been a -serious- party in Adelaide Terrace (Perth) the previous evening at which most of the passengers were present. Apparently it was a jovial lot that boarded the aircraft some hours later. I prefer to think of them as settling down in the VIP seats of the RD4-5, comfortable chatting and cheerful, remaining oblivious to what caused their eternal flight to Adelaide.

The crash of the Blue Goose was the worst air accident in WA history and remained so until the loss of ANA flagship Amana, a DC4 lost near York in 1950 when all four engines failed - but that is another story!


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