Not only is the Kimberley area famous for its vast, rugged beauty, it also has a rich history which you’ll learn more about as you explore the area. If you’re a history buff, you’ll find no shortage of fascinating stories when you set off on Kimberley tours and one of the most interesting historical sites you can visit is that of the DC3 plane wreck from a World War II allied aircraft.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at the history behind the DC3 plane wreck located in Vansittart Bay and the miraculous survival of those aboard.
Kimberley History

The story behind the wreckage

On the 26th of February 1942 during World War II, an American Douglas C-53 (DC3) went missing on a ferry flight between Perth and Darwin. The pilot was meant to land in Broome but after becoming disoriented in the dark, the aircraft flew past Broome and after running out of petrol was forced to make an emergency landing on a mudflat in Vansittart Bay which is located some 600km from Broome.
Luckily, the four crew members and two passengers survived the landing. The two passengers were in the Australian Army reserves and were on their way to Darwin. The men were trapped on the beach for three days and were forced to use pipes from the downed aircraft to distil drinking water until they were rescued by the Corinthian, a commercial flying boat owned by Qantas. Considering the remote location of the wreck site, it’s incredible that the men were located so quickly.

The DC3 wreck site

There are numerous habitats which appear along with coastline including seagrass Amazingly, the DC3 wreck site can still be visited today – over 60 years later. Today, it lies on the eastern shore of Vansittart Bay and is a worthwhile trip for visitors to the bay. Despite enduring the heat, fire and storms of the Kimberley, the wreckage is remarkably well preserved and this piece of history makes for some incredible photos.
Vansittart Bay is not only worth visiting for the historical significance of the DC3 crash site. It’s a beautiful part of the Kimberley, home to numerous small islands and secluded coves. In Rocky Bay, which is located at the southern end of Vansittart Bay, you’ll be able to experience some incredible indigenous rock art. For the keen anglers, Vansittart Bay can also make for some great fishing.
If you’re interested in exploring more of the rich history of the Kimberley area, embark on Kimberley adventure tours with Ocean Dream Charters. We offer a number of luxury cruises in the Kimberley region and our vessel is also available for private charters where the itinerary can be tailored to suit your needs. Relax aboard our outstanding 80-foot twin hull catamaran as you discover the beauty of the Kimberley.
To learn more about history through Kimberley tours Australia, contact Ocean Dream Charters today on 1300 944 727.

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