World War II Bomber Crash
A more dramatic story recorded in the logbook tells of a WW2 bomber crashing into the sea. The accident happened in night-time waters near the lighthouse. The keeper reported:
... at 18:15 an aeroplane from the South circled the light. Flashing morse signals not understood. At 19:07 this plane, flying from the east, landed in the sea, close under the cliff south of the light and was lost sight of 20 minutes later.
Both Parafield Aeradio and the ground station reported numerous attempts to establish contact with the Anson aircraft. For reasons unknown, radio communication was not established at any time during the exercise.
The logbook record shows that when the plane hit the water after 7 pm, the lighthouse keeper could see a Morse signal requesting a boat. Unfortunately, the lighthouse had no boat to send, and the keeper lost sight of the drifting aeroplane. The RAAF reported extensive searches by sea, land and air with no trace of the aircraft or occupants found.
Lighthouse logbook entries indicate a continued search for anything that might have come ashore in the days and weeks following the incident. Two weeks later the logbook reads:
Searched coastline for wreckage of lost aeroplane. Repaired window in No.1 cottage that was damaged by a gale.
These events that punctuate the logbooks hint of a break in daily routines. Yet, the constant battle with the elements, and maintaining the lighthouse remained the greatest challenges for keepers at Cape Willoughby.