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WW2 RAAF Station, Sandgate p2

Local history book RAAF Sandgate, At the Mouth of the Pine, continues on the emergency landing of a B-17 in Sandgate.

The author writes: The civilians ran to the plane and began to congregate around it…the plane had been on a bombing mission. It had run into trouble, first with the engines, and then the bomb-bay would not open and they had been unable to jettison the bombs. They were lost; Brisbane [Archerfield Aerodrome] and or Amberley was the nearest place with suitable landing facilities. It was some time before officialdom from the R.A.A.F. Base arrived, and the forerunner was an officer on a wobbly bicycle, yelling at citizens to clear off, and ‘keep away from the plane’.

The author continues: After several days when the plane had been overhauled, and a road extended to the sea wall the plane was ready for take off…rumours going around suggested that the bomber was either anchored to a tree, or a bull dozer, engines revved to full power, and the connecting rope then cut with an axe…

Newspaper reports are included in the book. They reported that six trucks moved the B–17 to firmer ground. A part of a fence was cleared away. Everything that could be removed from the plane was taken off to make the B–17 as light as possible. It had a 500 yard runway.

The author writes: A number of schools in the area granted the children, unofficially of course, permission to see the bomber take off. Which it did with dexterity and without mishap. 



-continued next page.