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Old 26th January 2005, 19:42
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Yes, indeed, but I am afraid I have other sources but no statistics nor official position. No doubt the problem was recognised as a counter measures were taken in late 1940-early 1941 but there is nowhere discussion on the subject.
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Old 5th February 2011, 23:31
johnboy johnboy is offline
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Re: SWP Friendly Fire

In regards to Flying Officer Collier. Boomerang A46-88 (QE-H) was shot down by the U.S Navy. They had been attacked by Japanese aircraft during the previous days.
Also, on the 15th of November 1943, Flying Officer Robert Stewart of 4 Squadron was shot down in Boomerang A46-136 by Major (later Lt.Col) Gerald Johnston flying a P-47D with the 348th F.G..The Boomerang crashed and burned near Finschhafen, but F/O Stewart survived. Major Johnston visited the squadron and apologised personally.
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Old 6th February 2011, 03:45
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is offline
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Re: SWP Friendly Fire


From: No.4 Squadron, R.A.A.F.
Date: 10 July 1943.
Ref: 15/10/AIR

(Copy for information No.73 Wing Hqrs)


On 5th July 1943, A46-88 (F/O.J.K.COLLIER) departed from WAU in company with A46-89 (F/O.J.M.UTBER) to carry out a Tac. Reece, in the vicinity of SALAMAUA. Cloud intervened and the aircraft proceeded to NASSAU BAY area to complete such portion of the Recce, as cloud would permit. Whilst over NASSAU BAY barges were sighted on the beach, being apparently those used by the MacKechnie (U.S.A.) Force in its landing at that spot. A46-88 dived apparently to inspect the barges and whilst at about 200 feet encountered an intense barrage of light A/A fire coming from MacKechnie Force positions. The aircraft was hit, banked and struck the water, ran over the beach and into the adjoining undergrowth. MacKechnie Force advises that the pilot was killed and has been buried in a temporary U.S.A., cemetery in the locality. Further, that the aircraft is a total loss.

Tactical Reconnaissance. Two (2) aircraft. Pilot of the accompanying aircraft was F/O.J.M UTBER (401866)

III-IV - edited

MacKechnie Force advises that member was buried in temporary U.S.A. cemetery ALDIG Number One,New Guinea,Grave 16, Map reference :- BADEN BAY West 1 inch to 1 mile, 833-827.

(signed) W.F. ALLSHORN.
Squadron Leader,
Commanding No.4 Squadron,

The above account can be seen at: NAA: A9845 144 - Boomerang A46 [Accidents Part 6] p.23 of 57.


The Frederick Scherger mentioned, was in fact - Air Officer Commanding No.10 Group, New Guinea, 25 G/C (A/A/C) Frederick Rudolph William SCHERGER AFC RAAF (DSO, June 1944), Nov 1943 - July 1944.

Scherger:A Biography.
Canberra:Australian War Memorial,1984.

An aircraft was specially allocated to Scherger for use in the area and its call-sign of "Smutty Special" for the Kittyhawk (RAAF A29-476) seemed highly appropriate to those group personnel who knew their chief's propensity for tale telling. "Smutty Special" received no special treatment, however, on 14th April (!944), when it received heavy fire from American Navy vessels in the harbour at Finschhafen. On a belly tank and R/T test flight from Nadzab to Finschhaffen, in heavy cloud, Scherger had called tower control and received approval to land, "...but on breaking cloud, with wheels and flaps down, all hell let loose, and I quickly got back into cloud again. After roundly abusing the tower and getting a second OK, I came in again from seawards, and the US Navy again let fly, so I hightailed it back into cloud, flew down the coast, and picked up a stream of Dakotas and tailed them in to the strip." Scherger lived to tell the story. One wonders what the American reaction would have been if Australian ack-ack gunners had fired on and hit the US air chief, General Kenney.

For a little more, see: A29-476:

For Boomerang A46-136, we have the following:

FROM: No.4 Squadron, R.A.A.F.
(copy to No.9 O.G for information)
DATE: 24 Nov. 1943.
REF: 15/13/AIR.


On 15 NOV 1943, A46-136, (F/O STEWART, Pilot) was conducting an Artillery Reconnaissance in the Finschafen area. He was escorted by another Boomerang and two P40's. At approximately 1100 hours whilst flying at a height of about 1500 ft and slightly north of Finschafen Strip, he was attacked by a P38 piloted by Major JOHNSON, 9 Fighter Squadron (U.S.). The P38 apparently was flying low and in the opposite direction. It fired a few bursts of tracer from beneath and into the port side of A46-136, the bullets hitting the mainplane and the port tailplane.

A46-136 lurched to starboard and lost height, the pilot dived to port to straighten and was at a height of about 500 ft when he regained control. By this time the port mainplane was on fire and the cannon ammunition was exploding. The pilot dived towards the strip, but was travelling to fast to land, and had to lift the aircraft over a river at the end of the strip, and then belly-landed into the adjoining scrub. The aircraft was then in flames and the pilot managed to escape from the cockpit. A few seconds afterwards the fire exploded the petrol in the tanks and the aircraft was completely destroyed by fire. The pilot suffered slight facial injuries.

Two aircraft. A46-132. Pilot; F/O H. C. MUNRO. (10941)

F/O R.McC. STEWART. (408505)
F/O H.C. MUNRO (10941)

!V-V. edited.

Squadron Leader,

See: NAA: A9845 206 - Boomerang A46 [Accidents Part 2].


Last edited by Col Bruggy; 6th February 2011 at 06:40.
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Old 8th February 2011, 09:37
johnboy johnboy is offline
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Re: SWP Friendly Fire

Col, thanks for the reply and information. This is what is good about sites like this in that mistakes/assumptions can be corrected. I had taken some of my information from a website that mentioned that Major Johnson was in a Thunderbolt at the time.

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