Believe It or Not

Sometimes reality and imagination part company. This is a true story appearing here for the first time.

First the commemoration…
Today (7 Sep 2018) we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the worst air disaster to occur on Australian territory.

In the early hours of the 7th of September 1943, a United States Army Air Force B-24D Liberator bomber, known as “Pride of the Cornhuskers” took off from Jackson’s Airfield at Port Moresby carrying four 500-pound bombs and fuelled with almost 12,000 litres of high-octane aviation fuel.

Moments later it crashed into the jungle, next to a convoy of trucks carrying Australian soldiers from the 2/33rd Battalion, who were waiting to board transport aircraft that would take them to Nadzab.

Three of the bombs exploded in the blaze that erupted after impact. Machine-gun ammunition, mortar rounds and hand grenades, rifle and Bren gun ammunition cooked off as the fires progressed.

The men of D Company, 2/3rd Battalion took the full brunt of the conflagration.

All eleven crewmen of the Liberator were killed on impact.

Sixty two Australians died as a result of the crash, including two truck drivers of 158 Transport Company; another 92 men were injured but survived.