THE LOSS OF FIREFLY WD869  

Near Foxground NSW, within a few kilometers of each other are the remains of several aircraft. This one is the wreckage of RAN Firefly WD869. 

WD869 was first accepted for service with the Royal Navy, and from 1951 to 1953, was embarked on the light fleet carrier HMS Triumph.
On the 21st of January 1953, she was delivered to the King George V Docks in Glasgow Scotland, to be embarked aboard HMAS Vengeance following purchase by the Royal Australian Navy.

In March 1953, after arriving in Australia, WD869 was off loaded to RANAS Schofields, and later allocated to 851 Squadron were she was known to have served aboard HMAS Sydney.   For most of her career however, Fairey Firefly WD869 was used at HMAS Albatross (Naval Air Station Nowra) for observer training.

On the night of 19 March 1957, SBLT Warren Browne, 22, and 18 year old Midshipman Ian Caird, both of 851 Squadron left Albatross on a navigation exercise.


Near Foxground NSW, within a few kilometers of each other are the remains of several aircraft. This one is the wreckage of RAN Firefly WD869.

WD869 was first accepted for service with the Royal Navy, and from 1951 to 1953, was embarked on the light fleet carrier HMS Triumph.
On the 21st of January 1953, she was delivered to the King George V Docks in Glasgow Scotland, to be embarked aboard HMAS Vengeance following purchase by the Royal Australian Navy.

In March 1953, after arriving in Australia, WD869 was off loaded to RANAS Schofields, and later allocated to 851 Squadron were she was known to have served aboard HMAS Sydney. For most of her career however, Fairey Firefly WD869 was used at HMAS Albatross (Naval Air Station Nowra) for observer training.

On the night of 19 March 1957, SBLT Warren Browne, 22, and 18 year old Midshipman Ian Caird, both of 851 Squadron left Albatross on a navigation exercise.

From: granville@iinet.net.au (Wed Nov 8 04:35:29 2006)
I led the search party that night and we found it almost immediately as the a/c was still burning. Both airman were dead probably on impact. Warren was my groomsman only a few months before
Tony Batten former Lieutenant (o) RAN
From: granville@iinet.net.au (Wed Nov 8 04:38:40 2006)
I was the young Naval Officer who led prayers for their souls. I'm sure we beat the Policeman to the site !!!!

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