The RAAF’s worst peacetime air disaster

Take time today to remember those killed in the RAAF’s worst peacetime air disaster, the crash of a 38 Squadron Caribou transport aircraft in the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea on 28 August 1972.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Carrying three crew and 26 passengers, the aircraft went missing whilst flying between Lae and Port Moresby. Most of the passengers were high school cadets; there was also an Australian army officer (my father) and a cadet officer (a high school teacher) on board.

Despite a massive search, the Caribou was not found for several days due to the remote location and tall trees. Only four of the passengers survived, all cadets.

A remembrance service is held each year at De la Salle High School at Bomana, near Port Moresby, as most of those on board the aircraft had been students of the school. The laying of wreaths at a small memorial at the high school (see photo) follows the service.