Name plate from a Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp aero engine from aircraft A9-81

Accession Number REL/08358
Collection type Technology
Object type Aircraft component
Physical description Brass, Enamel
Place made United States of America
Date made 1940-1941
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Round dark and light blue baked enamel and brass maker's plate featuring a swooping eagle and the words "Pratt & Whitney U.S.A. Dependable Engines" around the circumference. Recovered from the crash site of RAAF Beaufort bomber A9-81, the plate was originally attached to the top side of the bellcrank housing of one of the two Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp aero engines fitted to the Beaufort. As a result of the crash impact, the plate has been twisted almost in half.

History / Summary

On 15 March 1943, the same day that No 1 Operational Training Unit (1 OTU) premiered their gala revue "Tiggerty Boo", in honour of the second anniversary of the founding of the WAAF, 1 OTU Beaufort A9-81 was conducting a searchlight co-operation exercise in the vicinity of Swan Reach, Victoria, just 20 kilometres to the east of Bairnsdale. For unexplained reasons, the aircraft crashed into timber and was totally destroyed. All four crew members - 413827 Pilot Officer Douglas Connell (pilot), 401734 Sergeant (Sgt) Frederick Blatchford (navigator), 412233 Sgt Neville Dawson (wireless air gunner - WAG) and Sgt Stuart Marsden (WAG) were killed in the crash and all are buried at the Bairnsdale War Cemetery.