The 70th anniversary Commemoration service for the “Kyeema” air crash was held Saturday 25th October at the site of the disaster in Mt. Dandenong.
The service was conducted jointly by the Australian Air League Victoria Group, and the Mt. Dandenong Historical society. The function attracted well over 500 people of which the Victoria Group had approximately 40 Officer and Cadets from Lilydale, Ringwood, Doncaster, Berwick Girls Berwick Boys, Cranbourne and Waverley Squadrons. The Group was also pleased to have the Chief Commissioner in attendance.
Amongst the many guests attending were Sir James Hardy OAM, members of Parliament and other notable guests from the families in the wine growing industry of South Australia – many being descendants of the 2 Crew and 16 Passengers that were lost in the Kyeema disaster in 1938. Sir James Hardy cut short his trip to Los Angles to attend this commemoration service. The disaster, in 1938 was not only Australia’s worst airline disaster but the worst that had occurred anywhere in the world.
Today, in general, the public are not aware of the historic crash but also its importance in aviation history and how it helped to transform the Air safety regulations in Australia.
An application was made to the Australian Government- Civil Aviation Authority by the Australian Air League to fly the Civil Air Ensign, permission was granted and the ensign fly along side the National, State and Victoria Group Flags.
Two Cadet were invited to lay a wreath for the two Pilots and a further two Cadets also laid a wreath for the two crew and passengers, this very moving and memorable day concluded with a “fly over” by a vintage DC3 [VH-JES] at exactly 1330 Hrs, the time of the crash.