Firefly Aircraft 2
GPS: -38.099667 145.011533
Last Edited: 12/24/2022, 4:53:24 PM
Fairey Firefly 2 was a Second World War-era, carrier-borne, fighter aircraft that was lost on 20 July 1947 in an accident. As the British aircraft carriers HMS Theseus and HMS Glory were departing on Sunday 20th July 1947 after their visit to Melbourne, two squadrons of Firefly and Seafire aircraft from the HMS Theseus took off for an exercise over the bay out from Frankston. As they climbed to 1,500 ft (457 m) and moved into formation, two Fireflys collided.
The Argus newspaper recorded the following the next day: "In a flash the two planes were one. Locked together they turned slowly and fell. Near the water they dropped like stones and disappeared. The destroyer Cockade steamed at full speed to the scene and lowered a boat. The body of one of the four crew was recovered. When the Theseus arrived the only sign was a patch of oil."
In July 2017, human skeletal remains missing for 60 years were found near the wrecks of two war planes in Port Phillip. Four people were killed when the two Fairly Firefly planes crashed on 20 July 1947, but only the body of one of the pilots was recovered at the time. Aged 31, he had been a prisoner of war in Germany for five and a half years.
Divers Paul Roadknight and Steve Boneham located the remains of one of the aircrew still inside one of the wrecked aircraft about 20 metres below the surface. They found the remains of another airman next to the wreck of the second aircraft. There was no information about the possible whereabouts of the fourth victim.
The wreckage of the two single engined Fairy Firefly trainers is considered a significant archaeological find. Heritage Victoria warns that diving near the wrecks is an offence that carries a heavy fine.
The Firefly was designed as a fleet reconnaissance aircraft for the UK's Royal Navy, and was derived from the Fairey Fulmar. First flown on 22 December 1941, the first versions were delivered in March 1943 to RNAS Yeovilton. The main version of the aircraft used during WWII was the Mk.1, which was used in all theatres of operation. Throughout its operational career, it took on increasingly more demanding roles, from fighter to anti-submarine warfare.
After WWII, the Firefly remained in service in both the UK and Australia, flying anti-ship missions off various aircraft carriers in the Korean War and serving in the ground-attack role in Malaya. In 1956, the Firefly's frontline career ended with the introduction of the Fairey Gannet.
The Firefly was built at London's Great Western Aerodome (Heathrow), United Kingdom.
We have the GPS marks and details for what might be two or three Fairey Firefly Aircraft wreck sites near Frankston on the eastern side of Port Phillip.
The GPS marks for the Firefly Aircraft 1 and Firefly Aircraft 2 are 50 metres apart. It might be two separate aircraft, or the broken up and separated parts of a single aircraft. We simply don't know.
The GPS marks for the Firefly Aircraft 1 and Firefly Aircraft 3 are 205 metres apart.
If you have further information about these aircraft wreck sites, please contact us.
Dive Type: Wreck Dive
Imported from The Scuba Doctor