by Cameron Hazlehurst
The crash of Hudson A16-97: An Australian tragedy
‘In the whole history of government in Australia, this was the most devastating tragedy.’
Three decades after what he called ‘a dreadful air crash, almost within sight of my windows’ Robert Menzies wrote ‘I shall never forget that terrible hour; I felt that for me the end of the world had come’
“Ten Journeys to Cameron’s Farm” tells the lives of the ten men who perished on Duncan Cameron’s Canberra property on 13 August 1940: three Cabinet ministers (Geoff Street, Jim Fairbairn, and Sir Harry Gullett), the Chief of the General Staff (Sir Brudenell White), two senior staff members, and the RAAF crew of four.
The inquiries into the accident, and the aftermath for the Air Force, government, and bereaved families are examined. Controversial allegations are probed: did the pilot F/Lt Bob Hitchcock cause the crash or was the Minister for Air Jim Fairbairn at the controls?
The book is based on over 30 years research in official archives, private papers, and interviews with surviving RAAF officers, family, friends, and colleagues of the victims. Pre-war and early wartime RAAF organisation, recruitment, pilot training, and accident prevention and investigation are examined. Previously unexplored personal histories and policy conflicts in the higher echelons of the Service add rich incidental detail to a compelling story.
Published November 2013
ISBN-13 978-1925021004 (print)
ISBN-13 978-1925021011 (eBook)