Preserving the Territory's wartime heritage

The wreck of Royal Australian Air Force Spitfire A58-2 that crashed in the Top End during World War II has been given to the NT Government for preservation.

The wreck was spotted in Litchfield National Park in March 2016, 73 years after it crashed in remote bushland on 30 June 1943. The pilot, Flight Sergeant Colin Duncan, survived the crash after bailing out.

“Colin was a proud Australian and was also proud to have been a member of 452 Squadron, flying with a group of very fine young men who will always be remembered for their efforts defending our country,” said Dawn Duncan (Colin Duncan’s widow).

Duncan Williams, Colin Duncan’s grandson, is happy that the wreck will be preserved.

“We are very proud of the role my grandfather played during these challenging times for the country, Territory and world at-large.

“The story of his bailout is an exceptional one of bravery, luck and persistence under extremely challenging circumstances. Our family is shaped by who he was and, while this episode by no means defined him, it was a big part of the vibrant tapestry of his life and perhaps inspired him to reach greater heights.

“It is a joy that he is remembered long after he is gone, and we are truly happy the wreck was found and that it - and his story - may continue to have some influence in times to come in the hands of the NT Government via the RAAF’s generosity.”

The handover of the Spitfire wreck coincides with the 76th anniversary of the last Japanese raid over the Top End in 1943 and the premiere of A Fiery Exit, based on a first-hand account by Flight Sergeant Duncan.

Royal Australian Air Force Spitfire A58-2