Duke's welcome marred by midair crash

When the Duke and Duchess of York arrived in Melbourne on this day, the RAAF provided a welcoming fly-past which was marred by the midair collision of two D.H.9 bombers and the deaths of their four occupants. The Air Force had put some 30 aircraft in the air as escorts from the time the royal couple disembarked from HMS Renown until they arrived at Government House. The Duke was inspecting a RAAF guard of honour at about 4 pm when seven D.H.9s in V-formation flew in salute over St Kilda Road. At this juncture, two of the aircraft were seen to collide and plunge to the ground into the streets of South Melbourne. Another Air Force crash a fortnight later in Canberra, where the royals were opening Parliament House, further dented the RAAF’s public image and prompted the Government to appoint an Air Accidents Investigation Committee.

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