For Halloween, a collection of weird tales about airports and aircraft.
- By Rebecca Maksel
- AirSpaceMag.com, October 25, 2011
Murray van der Veer
The ghost of a World War II Royal Australian Air Force airman (dressed in uniform, goggles and cap, and carrying a deployed parachute under his arm) is said to haunt Archerfield Airport in Queensland, Australia. The Southern Star reported in 2009 that the ghost “is that of a man who was on board a Royal Australian Air Force transport plane, which took off from Archerfield just after 5 a.m. on March 27, 1943, on a mission to Sydney to pick up radar equipment. Less than a minute later, the C-47 Dakota rolled on to its left side and plummeted to the ground, smashing into trees and exploding in swampland…. All 23 Australian and US military servicemen and women on board died.”
The crash did actually happen, and there is a memorial plaque at the airport dedicated to the 36 Transport Squadron.
Another possible reason for the ghost story, says Archerfield Airport General Manager Corrie Metz, “may have something to do with the fact that the airport was first acquired from a pioneer who started a family burial plot that turned into a small cemetery called ‘God’s Acre.’ The cemetery (in the bottom right corner of the photo) is on airport land, and is still being maintained by the airport. It was originally for the Grenier family, who buried their 16-year-old son, Volney, after he died in a horse riding accident in 1859. The plot was then used for the family and later for other pioneers of the area. The last Sunday in June of each year is still used by direct descendants to commemorate the site.”