SPECIAL TRIP: Guest speaker Bob Cutler and his son Mark Cutler travelled from America to attend the Bakers Creek War Memorial service.
SPECIAL TRIP: Guest speaker Bob Cutler and his son Mark Cutler travelled from America to attend the Bakers Creek War Memorial service. Rainee Shepperson

Air crash they hid from the public for 57 years

ONE of the worst air-crashes in Australian history was remembered yesterday as hundreds paid tribute to lives lost.

A ceremony commemorating the 76th anniversary of the Bakers Creek crash was attended by guest speaker Bob Cutler and his son Mark Cutler.

The two men travelled from America to be at the ceremony.

 

This is the B-17C Flying Fortress which crashed at Bakers Creek on June 14, 1943,
This is the B-17C Flying Fortress which crashed at Bakers Creek on June 14, 1943, Robert S Cutler Collection

Mr Cutler said it was important to remember the history of the crash, especially as it was hidden for so long.

"The news of the Bakers Creek crash was hidden from the public for 57 years to protect the location of the Americans in Australia," he said.

"My father was the military commander who signed off on the list of passengers who boarded the plane that night.

"He felt terribly guilty that he had sealed their fate and put them on that plane.

"My son has joined me on this trip to Mackay because he wanted to learn more about his grandfather's role in the war."

 

Dozens gather at the memorial service for the 76th anniversary of the Bakers Creek war-time crash.
Dozens gather at the memorial service for the 76th anniversary of the Bakers Creek war-time crash. Rainee Shepperson

Mr Cutler thanked the citizens of Mackay for remembering the American servicemen during his speech at the ceremony.

On June 14, 1943, a United States Army Air Forces B-17C Flying Fortress plane crashed at Bakers Creek killing 40 people. There was only one survivor, Foye Kenneth Roberts.

The plane had taken off from Mackay Airport, bound for Papa New Guinea.

Mackay RSL historian Col Benson said the annual Bakers Creek ceremony was a significant day of remembrance for all in the region.

"There's still a lot of people in the community who are affected by and remember it," he said.

 



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