Search for Dakota Aircraft A65-83
As the result of a request by the family of one of the missing soldiers, UWC-A looked into claims that the search for the missing Dakota may have missed vital areas between Ambon and Darwin where the plane may have crashed. All available information was re-examined, including hearsay evidence about radio messages which were attributed to the missing plane after the last known received message.
Extensive searches in December 1945, after the plane went missing, were made over 18 days and included no less than 52 individual search and rescue flights, a dedicated patrol of several naval vessels and every out-going aircraft from Darwin for the 10 days after the plane went missing was briefed to keep a look out for the missing plane and its crew.
The search was extensive, covering an area of 14,620 nautical miles, and in line with what would have been done if the plane went missing today.
The UWC-A investigation determined that based on the planes last known location, the weather and its direction of travel, all possible search areas had been covered by the original search parties in 1945. It was considered unlikely, based on all the evidence to hand, that the plane attempted to return to Ambon or to divert to another land mass. The most likely conclusion is that the plane crashed at sea.
The case remains open.
UWC-A is asking that any one who may be related to the personnel listed on the manifest to army.uwc [at] defence.gov.au (contact UWC-A) and register as next of kin.