Mount Straloch and B24 Liberator Wreckage
On one stormy morning in 1942, a B24 Liberator slammed into Mt Straloch exploding on impact and killing all 12 people on board. The heavy storms around Ingham and Cardwell hide the big peaks of Hinchinbrook Island which the crew were not expecting while flying over the sea.
Location - Hinchinbrook Island National Park, Queensland, Australia
Distance - Approximately 8.5 km loop (not including the zig-zagging through creeks)
Time - Allow 8 hours return
Grade - 5, difficult and strenuous
Type - Remote, off-track bushwalking
Mount Straloch, rises 922 metres above sea level and is located within the Hinchinbrook Island National Park in Far North Queensland. Along with Mount Bowen, the highest peak on the island, The Thumb, known for its iconic towering peak and ruggedness, and Mount Straloch, renowned for the B24 Liberator wreckage, the four make up the main, and most spectacular, peaks on the island. While Mount Straloch is rarely summited, the historical plane wreckage on the side of the peak is often visited.
There are many things to cover in this article, so here are some quick links to sections of this article:
History, Leave No Trace, How to get there, What to bring, Saftey, Interactive Map.
On one stormy morning in 1942, a USAAF B-24 Liberator (#41-23825), known as "Texas Terror", slammed into Mount Straloch (922 m) exploding on impact and killing all twelve people on board. The heavy storms around Ingham and Cardwell hid the big peaks of Hinchinbrook Island which the crew were not expecting while flying over the sea.
Fresh from the factory and heading for the battlefields of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, the B-24 was being flown from Amberley, stopping in Garbutt. Townsville, to the bomber base at Iron Range in Far North Queensland. The B24 had been carrying a payroll for US troops in New Guinea.
Crashed on 18 December 1942, it wasn't until late in 1943 that Aborigines scratching for tin in the island's streams reported to authorities that they had found burnt currency. A search party found the plane on January 7, 1944. The payroll was never found. Shortly after the wreckage was discovered, Australian Federal Police retrieved more than USD 100,000 from two men in a nearby town.