SVD PNG Tragedies
6th August 1939 – Fokker Universal twin engine plane, Teresia, crashes on the take off. The pilot, Wilhelm Schafhousen, Otto Baden, James Dwyer, Kirschbaum and a catechist all die instantly on the impact. According to the investigation accident happened because the plane was overloaded. The pilot did not realize that the weights on this plane were given in pounds not in kilos, there was a factor of 2.2 overloading.
17th March (Wednesday) – Japanese soldiers execute several missionaries on the deck of destroyer Akikaze. Among them many SVD and SSps. The bodies are thrown into the sea.
6th February 1944 (Sunday) – Yorishime Maru tragedy. American planes shooting Japanese ship, killing and wounding many SVD and SSpS.
31st December 1948 – DH84 Dragon, a twin-engined plane crashes while landing at Mingende airstrip, after being hit by a sudden crosswind. The pilot, Fr. John Glover, a diocesan priest from Australia, dies in the crash.
16th July 1951 – Commercial airliner crushes into Huon Gulf beynd Lae. Bp. Stephan Appelhans and Fr. William Backus both die in the crash. They were returning from pastoral visit to inland parishes of Wau and Bulolo.
28th June 1965 – Cessna 206 in cloudy weather crashes into a mountainside near the Asaloka Gap in the Asaro valley area. The pilot, Fr. Joseph Walachy and Regional Superior, Fr. Josef Bayer both died instantly.
June 1967 – Fr. Henry Hoff suffered multiple fractures when the downdraft forced his plane into a fence just short of the Mingende airstrip. He left the DWA, SVD and priesthood, and while flying for commercial airline crashed to death between Mt. Hagen and Telefomin in early 1976.
1st April 1981 – commercial airliner Talair crushes on the approach to Mt. Hagen airport. Br. Benedict Seng, SVD who was an excellent pilot for many years, dies in that crush.