Bristol freighter crash
|Type of event|| Accident
|Town or locality||Mallala|
|Date occurred or began|| November 25, 1953
Three members of the crew were killed when an RAAF Bristol freighter of 34 Communication Squadron crashed into a wheat field at Mallala and burst into flames shortly after I pm on 25 November (1953).
The officers killed were Flt-Ld J.D. Entwistle 35, flight commander of the squadron, who piloted the plane; FO Leonard Murphy 29, of NSW, co-pilot; and FO Donald Shillinglaw 25, of Victoria, navigator.
When the plane, which was on a routine training flight, was about two miles from the airfield, the port wing fell off and the aircraft went into a spin and crashed. As soon as horror-stricken people on the airfield saw the plane hurtle down, the alarm was given and two RAAF tenders were on their way before the plane hit the ground. The tenders covered the five mile road trip to the wheat field in five minutes, but even then had to extinguish some of the blazing wheat to make a path to the plane. While RAAF fighters played hoses on the wreckage, men of the Mallala Emergency Fire Service, who had made a journey of three miles in five minutes, fought the flame which spread over 40 acres of the field. The port wing and engine of the plane was found half a mile away. From the wreckage, ground crew members dragged the burnt bodies of the airmen. This was the second fatal air crash at Mallala within two years.
- Mallala Museum research notes