Sergeant Victor Keith CAIGER

Service No: 424963
Born: Coledale NSW, 8 August 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1942
Unit: No. 1 Service Flying Training School, RAAF Station Point Cook VIC
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1 Service Flying Training School Oxford aircraft BF983), near RAAF Station Laverton VIC, 4 August 1943, Aged 18 Years
Buried: Springvale War Cemetery, Melbourne VIC
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Victor William and Olive Isobel Caiger, of Guildford, New South Wales
Roll of Honour: Scarborough NSW
Remembered: Panel 115, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 4 August 1943, Oxford BF983 and Boomerang A46-103 collided in the air and the crew of the Oxford were killed in the accident, and Squadron Leader James Herbert Harper AFC (251382) (Discharged: 18 April 1946), the pilot of the Boomerang, was uninjured. Sergeant Caiger was under dual instruction for a beam approach exercise. The Oxford was flying on a southerly course 1.5 miles west of Laverton aerodrome. Squadron Leader Derek Randal Cuming AFC & Bar (250553) (O33012) (Discharged: 12 February 1975) was flying Wirraway A20-526 and was overtaking the Oxford during the course of photographing the Boomerang, but was well clear on the starboard side of the Oxford. Apparently the Wirraway was obscuring Squadron Leader Harper’s view of the Oxford, and just as the Wirraway drew level with the Oxford, Squadron Leader Harper changed position from the starboard side to the port side of the Wirraway in order to place himself in the correct position re the camera and the sun. His attention was momentarily focussed on the Wirraway, and he did not see the Oxford until his port wing tip was virtually hitting the tail of the Oxford. The wing cut through the rear fuselage of the Oxford causing it to spin to the ground. The Boomerang was badly damaged but Squadron Leader Harper landed the aircraft back at the Laverton aerodrome.

The crew members of BF983 were:

Sergeant Victor Keith Caiger (424963) (Pilot under dual instruction)
Sergeant Kenneth George Dawson (424859) (Supernumerary)
Flight Sergeant Thomas Harley Hart (411141) (Instructor Pilot)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/7/158; A9845, 177

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