MEMORIES: Brisbane’s Cec Merefield is awaiting confirmation on whether the engine pulled up from the deep by Ballina trawlermen is off an RAAF Lockheed Hudson bomber, like the ones pictured, that crashed into the sea off Broken Head in 1942.
MEMORIES: Brisbane’s Cec Merefield is awaiting confirmation on whether the engine pulled up from the deep by Ballina trawlermen is off an RAAF Lockheed Hudson bomber, like the ones pictured, that crashed into the sea off Broken Head in 1942. Australian War Memorial

Cec awaits news on engine discovery

BRISBANE man Cec Merefield is keen to hear whether the aircraft engine hauled up from off Broken Head a fortnight ago is from an RAAF bomber that was lost in July 1942.

Mr Merefield, aged 90, is the brother of one of the 10 men who died when the Lockheed Hudson bomber A16-198 crashed en route to Evans Head.

The aircraft was diverted from Amberley air force base and heading to Evans Head because of bad weather and poor communications.

Leading aircraftsman Edward George Merefield was on his way back to Brisbane from Horn Island in Torres Strait for leave when he lost his life. He was aged 20.

"He had only joined the air force three or four months before the crash," his brother said. The last time the brothers saw each other was Christmas 1941.

While the RAAF is yet to confirm the engine hauled from the deep by Ballina trawlermen Brendan Puglisi and Shaun Cameron is from the same aircraft, Mr Merefield said the discovery "brought back memories".

"It was such a tragedy," he said of the crash of A16-198.

Mr Merefield attended the installation of a memorial plaque at Broken Head in 1999.

Former Wollongbar man, Bill Shrubb lobbied for the plaque and for the site of the crash to be an official Australian War Grave. He died before that ceremony.

But Mr Merefield said he was grateful for the efforts of Mr Shrubb in helping keep the memory of his brother and the other nine men, alive.



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