THE LOSS OF DAKOTA A65-106 


FLGOFF Bowden (Grave: Anglican WD 0261) and FSGT Davis (Grave: Roman Catholic MA 0435) are buried in Karrakatta Cemetery Perth WA. 
(Coincidently, buried next to FLGOFF Bowden is SGT R Holding, killed in the loss of Sabre A94-939 near RAAF Williamtown.)


On Sunday the 16th of June 2002, a Service of Dedication was held at the Crash Site, four miles SE of RAAF Pearce.   Two of the survivors, Neil McBain and Bill Miles unveiled a Memorial Plaque in the presence of the friends and relatives of those whose lives had been taken or touched by this accident.

FLGOFF Bowden (Grave: Anglican WD 0261) and FSGT Davis (Grave: Roman Catholic MA 0435) are buried in Karrakatta Cemetery Perth WA.
(Coincidently, buried next to FLGOFF Bowden is SGT R Holding, killed in the loss of Sabre A94-939 near RAAF Williamtown.)


On Sunday the 16th of June 2002, a Service of Dedication was held at the Crash Site, four miles SE of RAAF Pearce. Two of the survivors, Neil McBain and Bill Miles unveiled a Memorial Plaque in the presence of the friends and relatives of those whose lives had been taken or touched by this accident.


Survivors Neil McBain (L) and Bill Miles (R) unveil the Memorial to Dakota A65-106.

Survivors Neil McBain (L) and Bill Miles (R) unveil the Memorial to Dakota A65-106.


Even now, more than forty years later, the damage caused by the conflagration is starkly evident.  Yet, in a strange contrast that belies the violence of the moment, the site is hauntingly peaceful with the unique and classic beauty of the Australian bush.

Even now, more than forty years later, the damage caused by the conflagration is starkly evident. Yet, in a strange contrast that belies the violence of the moment, the site is hauntingly peaceful with the unique and classic beauty of the Australian bush.


The Crash Site taken the following afternoon.

The Crash Site taken the following afternoon.


The same location in 2001, looking in the direction of flight and showing how close the aircraft came to clearing the hilltop.


The Crash Site is on private property in a particularly beautiful part of Bullsbrook/Chittering.     The property owners, aware of the historic importance of this event, have graciously undertaken to ensure that the area will continue to remain a tranquil sanctuary, sacred to the memory of Australias own space pioneers.

The same location in 2001, looking in the direction of flight and showing how close the aircraft came to clearing the hilltop.


The Crash Site is on private property in a particularly beautiful part of Bullsbrook/Chittering. The property owners, aware of the historic importance of this event, have graciously undertaken to ensure that the area will continue to remain a tranquil sanctuary, sacred to the memory of Australias own space pioneers.


Each year the Perth Branch of the Air Force Association conducts a Remembrance Service on or close to the anniversary of the crash of C47 Dakota A65-106.


In researching this story and while I was organising the Memorial, I remain especially indebted to the following for their very kind assistance and forbearance:

Mr and Mrs W Miles.   Mr and Mrs N McBain.   Mr and Mrs J Clough.   Mr and Mrs H Park.
GPCAPT P Sapwell.   GPCAPT W H Spears.  Mr J Crawley.   SQNLDR Chaplain D Griffith.   SQNLDR  Chaplain R Padget.   SQNLDR C Amos.   SQNLDR O E Gargano.   FLGOFF H Poynton.   WOFF N Rapp.   CPL K Chambers.   Mr T McLachlan.   Mr N Bailey.   Mr E Taylor.   Mr R C Gardiner.   Mr H A Howard.   Mrs S J Higgs.   Mr P Young.   Mrs B Thompson.   Mrs D Leiper.   Mr A Stewart.   Mr P Farden.   Mr R Valkenberg.   Officers and Airmen of No 2 FTS.   Officers and Airmen of No 25 (City of Perth ) Squadron.   Officers of Air Traffic Control RAAF Pearce, in particular FLTLT D Legg and FLTLT S Nolan.

If I have failed to mention anyone, it is unintentional. Please e-mail me c/o ADF-Serials so I may correct the error.

Grahame


Addendum:   In early 1977, with the kind assistance of local farmer (and great character) Tony McLachlan,  I visited the Crash Site with Bill Miles and his family.   Remarkably we found Bills cap badge partly buried in the grass, the remains of Bills Scrabble Set, and some broken crockery which had once been a wedding present on the way home to Bills wife Shirley.   In a delightful gesture, Bills RAAF colleges had the cap badge cleaned, mounted and formally presented to Bill on parade.

Each year the Perth Branch of the Air Force Association conducts a Remembrance Service on or close to the anniversary of the crash of C47 Dakota A65-106.


In researching this story and while I was organising the Memorial, I remain especially indebted to the following for their very kind assistance and forbearance:

Mr and Mrs W Miles. Mr and Mrs N McBain. Mr and Mrs J Clough. Mr and Mrs H Park.
GPCAPT P Sapwell. GPCAPT W H Spears. Mr J Crawley. SQNLDR Chaplain D Griffith. SQNLDR Chaplain R Padget. SQNLDR C Amos. SQNLDR O E Gargano. FLGOFF H Poynton. WOFF N Rapp. CPL K Chambers. Mr T McLachlan. Mr N Bailey. Mr E Taylor. Mr R C Gardiner. Mr H A Howard. Mrs S J Higgs. Mr P Young. Mrs B Thompson. Mrs D Leiper. Mr A Stewart. Mr P Farden. Mr R Valkenberg. Officers and Airmen of No 2 FTS. Officers and Airmen of No 25 (City of Perth ) Squadron. Officers of Air Traffic Control RAAF Pearce, in particular FLTLT D Legg and FLTLT S Nolan.

If I have failed to mention anyone, it is unintentional. Please e-mail me c/o ADF-Serials so I may correct the error.

Grahame


Addendum: In early 1977, with the kind assistance of local farmer (and great character) Tony McLachlan, I visited the Crash Site with Bill Miles and his family. Remarkably we found Bills cap badge partly buried in the grass, the remains of Bills Scrabble Set, and some broken crockery which had once been a wedding present on the way home to Bills wife Shirley. In a delightful gesture, Bills RAAF colleges had the cap badge cleaned, mounted and formally presented to Bill on parade.




WOFF Bill Miles and family at the Crash Site in 1977. Note the fire damage on the tree.

WOFF Bill Miles and family at the Crash Site in 1977. Note the fire damage on the tree.


Bill and farmer Tony McLachlan 1977.

Bill and farmer Tony McLachlan 1977.

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