History House, 14th August 2013

In August 1940, Australia had been at war for almost a year when a Hudson bomber (the A16-97) carrying ten people, including three cabinet ministers, crashed into a ridge near Canberra. The nation lost its key war leaders Geoffrey Street, Sir Henry Gullett and James Fairbairn destabilising Prime Minister Robert Menzies’ wartime government. As a direct but delayed consequence, John Curtin became Prime Minister in October 1941. Controversially, Andrew tells the story of whether Air Minister Fairbairn, rather than the RAAF pilot Bob Hitchcock, had been at the controls.

Andrew Tink was Shadow Attorney General and Shadow Leader of the House in the NSW Parliament. He is the author of three book: William Charles Wentworth, winning ‘The Nib’ CAL Waverley Award for Literature, Lord Sydney - the life and times of Tommy Townshend and Air Disaster Canberra: the plane crash that destroyed a government.

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