Memorial for plane�s crew

The discovery off Broome of wreckage thought to be a World War II RAAF plane has sparked plans for a memorial and service to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the fatal crash.

Broome Shire president Graeme Campbell said yesterday that council staff were working with the two men who made the discovery.

A local history buff and a helicopter pilot believe they have solved the mystery surrounding the final resting place of the Beaufighter A19-163, which plummeted into the Indian Ocean just after take-off from Broome airfield at 4.35am on September 18, 1944.

The crash killed the pilot, Flight-Sgt Ronald Kerrigan, 20, of North Perth, and Sgt Ronald Smith, the navigator, from Strathfield, NSW.

Dion Marinis, the vice-president of the Broome Historical Society, and local helicopter pilot Jim Miles have found wreckage, including engines and a tail plane of what they believe to be the plane.

The men have received correspondence from the WA Museum that supports their belief that they have found the missing plane.

"We are definitely going ahead with the memorial but we need to consult a lot of people before holding a memorial service and a dedication of the memorial," Mr Campbell said.

He said a monument would be placed in the Cable Beach area.

"It would probably take the form of a base and plaque and commemorative figurine," Mr Campbell said.

"We will be working with the RAAF Missing in Action group, and also the WA Maritime Museum."

State Heritage Office executive director Graeme Gammie said the Heritage Council would be interested in receiving more information about the site. He said there were a range of mechanisms to protect significant sites under the Heritage Act.

The West Australian

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