REMEMBRANCE: Yeppoon RSL president Wayne Carter, John Millroy, Mary Bevis and Member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan discuss the Canal Creek air crash memorial.
REMEMBRANCE: Yeppoon RSL president Wayne Carter, John Millroy, Mary Bevis and Member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan discuss the Canal Creek air crash memorial. Sophie Jackson

RSL plans memorial at Canal Creek

PLANS were locked in for the location and construction of the Canal Creek War Memorial at a recent meeting in the Yeppoon RSL Hall.

Project leader John Millroy, Member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan, Yeppoon Historical Society members Mary Bevis and Mary O'Brien and Yeppoon RSL members Wayne Carter and John MacQueen confirmed the way forward for the project.

The Canal Creek air crash occurred at 9.20am on December 19, 1943, when a C47 aircraft of 22nd Troop Carrier Squadron 374th Transport Group went down, killing all 31 on board, comprising 20 US Armed Services personnel, eight Australian Defence personnel, an Australian war photographer, a YMCA representative and an adjutant of the Salvation Army. The crash is still the second worst air disaster in Australia's history.

When John Millroy became aware of the crash, which had never been recorded on site, he made successful applications to the Rockhampton Regional Council's Community Assistance Program for $5000. A further $5000 was provided by the Queensland Government under the Community Memorials Restoration Program and $4000 from the Australian Government Departments of Veteran Affairs by saluting their Service Commemorations Grants.

The meeting was also attended by Tom Pattison, who generously donated a propeller boss from the C47, which will be mounted and displayed at the memorial.

The group is hopeful of obtaining further parts of the wreckage for display. If anyone has other pieces and is prepared to donate them it would be appreciated.

Former Canal Creek Station owner Rodney Jacobsen helped pinpoint the crash site. Construction begins in January and a a gala opening day is planned for early 2012. Next year is the 70th anniversary of the disaster and coincides with the next Talisman Sabre Exercise.



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