1" F-111G A8-291 Pulau Aur, 18 April 1999
LAT 02 26.56 N
LONG 104 31.52 E (GPS WGS84)
sqn photo to come
regrets to inform of the loss of RAAF aircrew SQNLDR Anthony
'Shorty' Short and SQNLDR Stephen 'Nige' Hobbs in the crash
of F-111G A8-291 during the night of 18 April
highly experienced and universally respected crew were lead
of a two ship maritime strike against a flotilla of British
Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy and Republic of Singapore
warships during a Five Power Defence Agreement (FPDA) Integrated
Air Defence Exercise.
aircraft impacted Pulau Aur, a small island in the South
Anthony Short had over 1000hrs F-111 and was a graduate (and
DUX) of the United States Navy Test Pilot School. SQNLDR Stephen
Hobbs was the XO (second in command) of 6SQN and had over
1000hrs F-111 and Tornado, and had seen active service whilst
on exchange with the British RAF in the skies over Iraq.
Our sympathy goes out to the family and friends of
Shorty and Nige.
Their names have been added to 113 others on the honour
roll of the Aardvark Memorial
in Clovis NM USA.
aircraft impacted tall trees on a ridgeline, then tumbled
in the air for a further mile down track before coming to
rest in the jungle. Due to the inaccessibility of the region,
the RAAF left most of the wreckage of A8-291 on site.
year after the crash, a party of 12, including Dr Short
(Shorty's widow) and some of Shorty and Nige's friends and
colleagues travelled to Pulau Aur to erect two memorials.
Donations from friends and colleagues unable to make
the journey funded the bronze memorial plaques.
Aur is a small unspoilt Malaysian jungle island in the South
China Sea with less than a hundred inhabitants. The
ethnic Malay population is spread along the coastline in
small kampongs (villages) of four to six buildings, with
the main kampong housing the school, shop and police station.
There are no roads or vehicles.
main industries of the island are fishing and supporting
the few dive resorts on the island. The island is
surrounded by warm crystal clear seas teaming with life.
of these dive resorts, Friendly
Waters Seasports Services (FWSS), provided essential
assistance to the group by organising bus transport from
Singapore to Mersing (Malaysia), and then a boat for the
five hour sail to the island. Davy Yiu, owner of FWSS, also
organised guides and equipment to enable the construction
of the memorials. Additionally, Davy facilitated
the translation of the inscription into Bahasa Melaya (Malaysian
language). Special mention must be made of Fariz Ahmad,
a scuba instructor at FWSS, for his outstanding work and
understanding in making the 'expedition' run flawlessly.
wreck of PISCES 1. (April 2000)
below a rock formation.
of Shorty and Nige's colleagues with one of the plaques
(image Air Force Today)
(Navigator - Executive Officer)
who on the
night of 18 April 1999, lost their lives in
the tragic crash of "PISCES 1", an Australian F-111G
fighter-bomber, flying in combined military exercises
for the defence of the Republic of Singapore and the
Federation of Malaysian States.
For the Fallen
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun... and in the morning...
we will remember them.
N 02 26.6 E 104 31.4
ANTHONY SHORT "SHORTY"
BERUMUR 31 TAHUN
STEPHEN HOBBS "NIGE"
(JURUMUDI - WAKIL KETUA SKUADRON)
BERUMUR 33 TAHUN
PADA MALAM TANGGAL 18 APRIL 1999, TERKORBAN DALAM NAHAS
"PISCES 1", PEJUANG - PENGEBOM
F-111G AUSTRALIA, DALAM GERAKAN-BERSAMA
TENTERA MEMPERTAHANKAN REPUBLIK SINGAPURA DAN PERSEKUTUAN
MEREKA TIDAK MENINGKAT TUA SEDANG KITA AKAN TERUS LANJUT
UNTUK MEREKA... USIA TIDAK LAGI MEMBEBANKAN, TAHUN TIDAK
BILA DATANGNYA SENJA... SERTA FAJAR
MEREKA AKAN DIIGINGATI
Davy Yiu of FWSS
Fariz Ahmad of FWSS
Walking along one of
the few level sections of the path.
walk into the crash site, a short boat trip was first taken
from FWSS to the kampong Telok Meriam. Telok Meriam has less
than a dozen buildings and a solar powered public telephone.
walk to the crash site is adventurous. It starts 150
metres from the Telok Meriam pier, and is virtually straight
up the hill from that point. There is a rough path
for the first kilometre which is sometimes used by the locals
to venture into the jungle hills to collect fruit.
After the first kilometre, the path fades away to thick
jungle. The dense canopy prevents both the use of GPS, and
back bearings to be taken from hill tops. Due to
patches of thorny palms and 'wait-a-while' vines, boots,
thick trousers, long sleeves and gloves are recommended
for the walk. For those not acclimatised to the high
temperature and humidity, about six litres of water a person
is also recommended.
17 April 2000, carrying about 25 kilograms of gravel, cement
and drinking water each, the walk took two hours.
(Although by the end of the walk, the guides were carrying
most of the gravel!) With just water and a guide, the walk
on the following day took only 80 minutes.
at the crash site.
A wooden cross left by RAAF members involved
in the accident investigation the year earlier can be seen
on the large tree in the centre of the left image. The memorial
plaque is located about 10 metres behind the wooden cross.
rest before starting the work.
the form work.
concrete, the manual way!
finished Memorial at the crash site.
Mr Hassin with his handy work.
The party at the kampong memorial.
of the difficulty in travelling to the actual crash site,
a second memorial plaque was taken to the island to be placed
in an area where visitors could see it. The headmaster
of the three room school graciously offered a position beside
the school flag pole. While most of the party were at
the crash site constructing that memorial, two members remained
in the kampong and assisted Mr Hassin, a local builder, brick
the wall on which the kampong plaque was placed.
Fishing boats at Mersing (on peninsula Malaysia).
would like to thank Pioneer Tivoli, Qld Fasteners Wacol, Worssel
Engravers and Davy Yiu
Waters Seasports for their invaluable assistance
and donations of time and materials.