The Royal Australian Air Force have confirmed that the wreckage found in the south of Cairns was a RAAF plane which fought in World War Two.
RAAF Number 11 Squadron Catalina A24-25 crashed after running out of fuel on the 28th February 1943, with all 11 personnel on board perishing along with the craft.
The wreckage was first discovered in 2013, but it wasn’t until August of 2015 that Air Force investigators inspected the debris. A representative of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority accompanied a Navy Clearance Dive Team in order to gather evidence to confirm the identity of the aircraft.
Catalina planes were stationed at Cairns in late 1942 to fly long distance missions against Japanese ships and submarines during the Second World War. The plane was involved in a 17 hour mission of anti-submarine patrol and escorting a convoy heading to Papua New Guinea.
At 10.51pm, a message was sent from the plane, but it was incomplete. The only words received were “force land”, and that was the last that anyone heard of the plane.
The wreckage of the aircraft will be left where it is, under the protection of a Maritime Cultural Heritage Special Management Area designation.
A memorial service will be held early next year to honour the crew, where a commemorative plaque will be placed in Cairns by the RAAF.
You will be able to witness the beauty of Cairns and its surrounding areas for yourself on one of our Great Barrier Reef holidays, as well as learning more about the history of such a historical discovery.
The organisation and communication were first class. The flexibility in travelling to the destination was impressive and the hotels where we stayed in were all of a good standard. Our Coach was driven by Ken, who was a character and nothing was too much for him.
Mr & Mrs Hall, Magnificent New Zealand
We both enjoyed the Magnificent New Zealand holiday immensely. The Coach Driver/Tour Guide was excellent and the hotels were really comfortable. The holiday was extremely good value and I would recommend it to anyone waning to taste the Antipodean holiday experience.
If you are interested in a touring holiday to Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, please fill in the details below and click ‘submit’. Your free brochure will then either be sent by 1st class post or your download will begin.
Six films that made destinations in Australia famous
Stunning landscapes and remarkable city views are commonplace in Australia. So, it’s no surprise tha.. Find Out More >
Introducing Rooibos Tea, South Africa’s traditional cup!
Your dream tour of South Africa would not be complete without a taste of the famous African red bush.. Find Out More >