Alan Douglas WHALLEY

WHALLEY, Alan Douglas

Service Number: 401570
Enlisted: 1 March 1941, Melbourne Victoria
Last Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Last Unit: Transport and Movement Offices (RAAF)
Born: Hawthorn, Victoria, 1 June 1920
Home Town: Hawthorn, Boroondara, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
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World War 2 Service

1 Mar 1941: Involvement Aircraftman, SN 401570, Enlistment/Embarkation WW2
1 Mar 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), SN 401570, Aircrew Training Units, Melbourne Victoria
1 Jan 1944: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN 401570, No. 84 Squadron, Air War SW Pacific 1941-45
27 Feb 1946: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant, SN 401570, Transport and Movement Offices (RAAF)

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Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

Allan Whalley flew Boomeangs with No. 84 Squadron from Horn Island in WW2.

Some 66 years after it last flew (a forced landing following engine failure), it flew again.  WIth his son Jim at the controls.

The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) Boomerang A46-63 (VH-XBL) has a close family history with Jim because his father, then Flight Lieutenant Alan Whalley, regularly flew A46-63 as part of No.84 Squadron stationed on Horn Island, Queensland in 1943.

As is well known, the CAC CA-12 Boomerang was produced during W.W.II as a stop gap fighter to defend Australia. In Alan’s log book (treasured by Jim) one can see he flew many sorties over the Arafura Sea, Merauke and Dutch New Guinea. He clocked up 102 logged hours in A46-63. The task was to defend strategic airfields against Japanese bombers.

Alan ferried this Boomerang from Laverton, Victoria (where it had been delivered new) to Horn Island for operations, but Friday 13 August 1943 was Alan’s final flight in the aircraft. His and other aircraft were scrambled to defend the airfield at Merauke against the Japanese, but 15 minutes into the mission the Boomerang developed engine problems and was force to return to base.

Despite the superstition, Friday the 13th proved to be lucky for Alan, as he made a successful landing. Only eleven days later, on 24 August, the Boomer once again developed engine problems, and made a wheels ups landing on a beach west of Cape York. Pilot Flight Sergeant Edward Adams walked away relatively unscathed, but -63 was severely damaged, and although some parts were removed, the airframe was left to the elements and it was subsequently written off.

Some sixty-six years later the Boomerang was to come back! Aircraft components from several machines were retrieved from the Bamaga area, and these included a few that were identified as coming from A46-63. In 2003 Jim Whalley and James Edwards formed a syndicate and purchased a partially completed Boomerang from Alan Arthur that had been located at Precision Aerospace in Wangaratta, Victoria.

The aircraft was transported to Aldinga airfield, South Australia, where LAME and warbird specialist Ivor Paech was recruited to oversee the restoration project. While restoration of the fuselage was completed, Ivor’s extensive workload did not allow him to provide further personal physical input. Despite this, Ivor maintained an integral role throughout the whole project, even when it was relocated (yet again) to Caboolture, Queensland.

Matthew Denning, who had already completed well known CA-13 Boomerang restoration A46-122 (VH-MHR) to airworthy condition, was recruited to work on this Boomerang. Greg Wright took care of the electrical systems, while Grant Wahrlich and John Reader utilised their skills in forming the panels and fairings required for the project.

At this stage of the rebuild, a Pratt and Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp was fitted to the airframe enabling the engine cowling and surrounds to be fabricated. The radial was sourced from Precision Airmotive of Everett, Washington USA. Having the engine fitted also enabled the powerplant’s ancillary equipment to be fitted and plumbed in.