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Why John Curtin May Never Have Been Prime Minister


Thu 12 Sep 2013, 1:30pm–2:30pm

Where: Goulburn Mulwaree Library, 184/194 Bourke St, Goulburn, Goulburn, Southern Tablelands

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free
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Listed by: susan50

Come to the Goulburn Library in History Week for an intriguing look at how a mysterious air crash shaped the course of Australian political history.

On 13 August 1940 three cabinet ministers died in a plane crash. Fatally destabilised, the conservative government gradually crumbled and a year later, John Curtin became prime minister.

Although an RAAF officer was supposed to have been the pilot, rumours circulated that the Air Minister had been at the controls.

But the bodies were badly incinerated, hampering the identification of those in the cockpit.

The RAAF rather than the police had taken control of the crash site and had quickly removed the bodies.

Forensic photographs of the victims in situ, which had been standard NSW police practice since the 1920s, were not taken by the RAAF.

And for want of these photos among other things, the identity of the pilot will never be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

For further information please contact Lynn Bonomini on 02 4823 4435 or email: