Wednesday, 22 August 2012

crash of 90th BG B-24 Little Eva, Queensland 1942

..on 'Dave' this afternoon a Ray Mears interview with Les Hiddins the well-known 'Bush Tucker Man'. The two are filmed visiting the wreck of 'Little Eva', a 90th BG B-24 bomber which crashed in a remote area of northern Queensland returning from a mission against a Japanese troop convoy on Papua New Guinea on 2 December 1942. "Little Eva" lost touch with the other aircraft on the mission and attempted to return to base at Iron Range alone. A severe thunderstorm then disabled the radio, resulting in the crew losing their bearings and the aircraft finally ran out of fuel. Lieutenant Norman Crosson, the pilot, gave orders to bail out. Most of the crew members parachuted to safety, however one was killed when his parachute snagged on the aircraft and another who did not jump was killed when the plane crashed at about 2:45am near the Burriejella waterhole. Although the crew had been instructed to rendezvous at the wreckage only two men including the pilot made it back to the crash-site and from there subsequently walked back to civilisation after 12 days in the bush. Of the other group of four men, only one survived. Staff Sargeant Grady Gaston was only found after an amazing one hundred and fifty day odyssey through the barren north Queensland landscape, one of the longest survival treks in history.