1940 Canberra Air Disaster Memorial – Kowen, Australia - Atlas Obscura

1940 Canberra Air Disaster Memorial

Kowen, Australia

This memorial marks the site of not only of a tragic wreck, but an event that led to the downfall of a wartime government. 

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The Air Disaster Memorial marks the site of not only of a tragic air disaster, but an event that led to the downfall of a wartime government. A little after 10 a.m. on August 13, 1940, an aircraft crashed near Canberra killing all 10 people aboard, several of whom were senior government figures.

The memorial is a large granite monolith with a commemorative plaque that marks the location where the aircraft, a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed Hudson, crashed while preparing to land at Canberra Airport. The cause of the crash has never been fully determined, but it is believed to have stalled on its landing approach. 

The deaths of the three government cabinet ministers that were passengers on the flight severely weakened the government.

Know Before You Go

The memorial is located in the Fairbairn Pine Plantation north of Pialligo Avenue in Majura. It is located on a small hill, on the north side of a forestry track. The surrounding area is a plantation of semi-mature trees.


The memorial is located on the northeastern side of a small open gravel area.

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