Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Runaway Auster. How did I never hear of this story before?

By the way - most of the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

As far as I can tell, the pilot of the errant Auster was Tony Thrower. The pilot of the chase Auster was Commander JRW Groves RAN. The crew of the unsuccessful Wirraway interceptor were Wing Commander D. Beattie and Squadron Leader T. Janes. Not sure who the Meteor fighter pilots were.

Below, though, is a picture of the successul interception pilots, Lt. J.R.J. Bluett and Lt.Peter McNay, RN, in front of their trusty steeds at Nowra. The national archives lists the McNay's name as "Runaway Auster," which is bizarrely incorrect, and Bluett as his co-pilot, which is surely a job for a close friend in an aircraft with one seat.

By the way - after the incident, an unknown ground crew painted a little yellow Auster on the side of the Sea Fury to celebrate the 'kill.' Sadly, both Sea Furies were later sold for scrap and broken up a few years later.


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