Straddie park naming honours past plane tragedy


A 1947 plane crash that claimed six lives will be forever part of the Redlands landscape after Councillors today voted to name a North Stradbroke Island reserve NEI Dakota Memorial Park in memory of the tragedy.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said with next year marking the 70th anniversary of the crash, naming the park after the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) Air Force Dakota aircraft that crashed off the Island claiming all six on board was a fitting tribute.

“Netherlands East Indies Air Force Dakota aircraft was a terrible peace-time tragedy and today’s decision ensures a lasting tribute is in place to educate people about this chapter in local history,” Cr Williams said.

“The Royal Australian Air Force Amberley Scuba Club approached us with the initial request to place a memorial in the park near Adder Rock at Point Lookout, and we have consulted with stakeholders including Traditional Owners to gauge community support for the idea.

“Today’s decision formalises our support of the RAAF Amberley Scuba Club’s plans to commemorate the 70th anniversary of this air crash.”

The NEI Dakota plane went down off Point Lookout in February 1947, just 23 minutes into a test flight with three Dutch servicemen and three Australian crew members losing their lives. The wreckage was not recovered.

Division 2 Councillor for North Stradbroke Island Peter Mitchell said many people had not heard the NEI Dakota story.

“The resting place of the plane has been a mystery for almost seven decades,” Cr Mitchell said.

“I’m sure there are many people who are unaware the plane lays at the bottom of the sea somewhere near Point Lookout.

“Even as recently as 2015 scuba divers have found parts of the plane, but there is more wreckage out there.”

Council will install new park signage at the formerly unnamed road reserve at Adder Rock next year in time for the 70th anniversary of the air tragedy.