Today at Warbirds Online we are sharing a photo from our archives of a CAC Wirraway, CA-7 A20-146, delivered in October 1940, thought to have been taken at Point Cook Victoria. The aircraft is finished in an all yellow training color scheme. This particular Wirraway served at one time with No 4 Squadron in Queensland.
No 4 was the Squadron which was the only one to record a victory when Pilot Officer J.S. Archer and the navigator Sgt. J.L. Coulston shot down a Japanese Zero on 26 December 1942.
Wirraway A20-146 was involved in a mishap in December 1941 whilst being flown by No 4 Squadron pilot, Peter Masters, who recounts the incident in his book “Born Lucky” ( where after running out of fuel near Rockhampton, Qld they were compelled to crash land ) “as I did this, my dear old Pratt and Whitney Wasp engine spluttered and stopped, and I put the nose down. By a miracle of circumstance, we hit a five-wire fence with our wheels, then hit a horse with one wing and a cow with the other, before plunging into a creek bed on our belly.”
Apparently the aircraft was repairable as it was involved in a further incident at Point Cook whilst serving with Central Flying School (CFS) on the 8th of August 1945, when its engine seized and it force landed again. The aircraft had 1780 flight hours at the time. Crew; Flt Lt L.B. McClure (pilot) and F/O R.G Hambley.
It appears the aircraft survived this incident as well and was eventually written off when converted to components in December 1951. The photo is a grainy snapshot but is quite interesting as the all yellow scheme is less common in Wirraway photos of the period.
NB: Image at centre shows Army Signal advising that Wirraway aricraft has shot down Japanese “Zero” in the vicinity of Gona, 26 Dec, 1942. Pilot of Wirraway later identified as being J S Archer – image courtesy AWM Exdoc139.
NB: Image at right shows Pilots of 75 Squadron at Port Moresby walk from their aircraft. Identified, left to right: Flight Lieutenant Lex D’Arcy Winten; Squadron Leader L D Jackson, Commanding Officer of the squadron; Flight Lieutenant J W W Piper and Flying Officer Peter Addison Masters. (RAAF – AUS346) – image courtesy AWM 128131.
© John Parker 2015