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The Somerton Man Case. The body of a man found on an Australian beach close to a major Atomic Testing ground, he was probably poisoned, a copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and an unbroken Code page found and associated to him. Set against a Cold War background in 1948, was this man a spy? We think so and this blog focuses on the evidence that was left behind and in some cases missed, the Code page, Dry Cleaning numbers, A Poem and a small, torn piece of paper bearing the words TAMAM SHUD.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Somerton Man: Explosive details from Russia. Tension between the allies over new aircraft selection..Could this be the reason for SM's demise?

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Design: CA 23

Twin Engined All Weather Jet Fighter Bomber 1948 Design

The Registration number CA 23, was found within the letter Q on the SM code page. In fact the string of code was 'RAN X 35 X CA X 23', the X is believed to be a delineator between code groups

The Post below was copied in entirety from the Russian site and is a translation:

Those of you who are familiar with Cold War aircraft will notice strong similarities between this design and that of the UK English Electric Lightning as well as the Russian Sukhoi-7 both of which flew for the first time in the mid 1950s with the Russian aircraft first in service in 1956. Photos of both at the base of this post.


I want to thank distinguished colleague Damir aka Prostak_1982 for finding the cache on the draft Australian heavy fighter google information. Without his help this would not be the translation.

In 1948, the company Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) was launched the most ambitious and technically advanced project in the history of the Australian aviation industry - the project Double-weather fighter CA-23.

March 10, 1948 at the meeting of the latest weaponry and equipment development committee (New Weapons & Equipment Development Committee), it was recommended from the funds set aside to carry out research and development activities, to allocate £ 100,000 to

"Design, development and manufacture of prototypes of some types of combat aircraft in accordance with the specifications of the Department of Aviation (Department of the Air) [1] ."

The recommendation was supported by the Defence Committee (Defence Committee) and approved by the defense minister (Minister of Defence). In response, the Department of Aviation and the Department of Supply and Development (Department of Supply & Development) decided to fund the design and development of the company CAC fighter jet and production of two of its prototypes. According to the Inspector General for the supply of ammunition (ontroller-General of Munitions Supply) Noel KS Brodribba [2]

"Royal Air Force of Australia (RAAF) fighter was required to replace the Mustang-s and Vampire-s, includes the following features:

a) a jet engine for maximum speed and performance of intercepting enemy aircraft attacking the Australian air base;
b) radar to detect and identify enemy aircraft;
c) a crew of two people - a pilot and radar operator. "
Specification Staff 'requirement NO.or the Air / AIR.7 (a provisional) [3] more accurately defined as the plane defined desired long-range all-weather strike fighter. These requirements Staff RAF Australia were prepared after discussions between representatives of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the RAAF and based on the relevant document RAF. The projects currently on the drawing boards are not consistent with the requirements of Staff of the Royal Air Force of Australia; besides putting into operation is expected in 8-10 years [4] . Additional considerations in the promotion of Australian projects were desirable to further strengthen the Australian aviation industry and the use of engines manufactured in Australia Rolls Royce "Nene".

Thomas W. (Bill) Eyre (Thomas W. (Bill) Air) extensive initial design studies of different configurations have been conducted. The design was a double with crew accommodation side by side and the power plant, consisting of a turbojet with a centrifugal compressor [5] . Despite the fact that the works were classified as "top secret", "Aircraft" magazine [6] suggested (but inaccurately) that outwardly the car will have similar features to the Grumman XF9F-2 Panther.

pervanachalny CAC project was based on Grumman XF9F-2 Panther

safety issue was raised when Melbourne newspaper "The Herald" were detailed materials discussed defense committee. November 4, 1948 in the newspaper "The Herald" reported:

"Australia is going to build two top-notch British combat aircraft for the Royal Air Force Australia. These include: 1. The version of the famous British Royal Air Force jet fighter aircraft Hawker N.7; 2. The twin-engine bomber attack, which in the UK is almost entirely in the secret list. "

Following the submission of the Prime Minister The Honourable Joseph Benedict Chifley (Rt. Hon. Joseph Benedict " Ben" Chifley) Commonwealth Security Service (Commonwealth Security Service) was instructed to investigate the matter [7] .

Prototype production cost calculations included summsu of £ 40,000 for the purchase of Grumman Panther without installing military equipment. Australian Ambassador query results in Washington concerning the purchase of Grumman Panther, showed that for a secret project by the Australian Navy is highly questionable issue a permit for the sale of both the drawings and the aircraft itself. With this information, military and air Committee (Air Board) recommended [8]

"Previous recommendation [military air Committee] on the local production of the two experimental aircraft Grumman Panther basis should be removed and that the question of the suitability of the appropriate version of Hawker N7 / 46, referred to in (a) to replace the Mustang-am, it must be examined before a decision about the type of machines that will be made here. "

scheme early versions of CA-23

By December 1948, this recommendation has led to the creation of the project dual-engine (Rolls Royce Tay) version with a thin wing with a sweep of 40 °. Two crew members were now to be placed in tandem cockpit. Air intakes should be located in the wing roots. Although provided for the installation of radar antenna with a diameter of 28 inches (711 mm), it was possible to place the antenna with a diameter of 35 inches (889 mm), if necessary, in the nose of the aircraft [9] . In May 1949, the committee on defense research and development activities (Defence Research and Development Committee) recommended that the CAC to design and manufacture two prototypes of the aircraft in accordance with the requirements of the RAAF totaling £ 450,000 [10] . In July of this recommendation was approved by the Minister of Defence.

circuit of an embodiment of CA-23 stabilizer arrangement with the upper

In December 1949, introducing the report of the company CACbyl №126, which presented a variety of design options. This is not in line with the plans of the project. The aircraft was nose air intake and the power plant, consisting of two horizontal Rolls-Royce Avon engines. In early 1950 Aviation Department sought permission for an extra £ 400,000 for the acquisition of Royce engines of the Avon the Rolls [11] . In early 1949, negotiations with the Rolls Royce Limited in order to prepare a new agreement on the joint production of engines in Australia Rolls Royce Tay (as well as Rolls Royce Nene engine) have been launched. Requirements were stated by 96 engines for Nene Vampire-s, 96 Nene engines for the proposed new fighter (fighter of the project the Hawker * ) and Tay 128 engines for bombers "The Canberra" [12] . Company Rolls Royce and British Ministry of Supply (Ministry of Supply - MoS) actively promoted the production of Tay engine for Canberra bombers and unconditionally approve any proposal to manufacturing in Australia Avon engines.

At that time, when there was an initial discussion on the future production of Avon engines in Australia, do THD is still in the stage of test bench. When the Ministry has decided to supply engines to the detriment of Tay transfer into production of technically more advanced engines Avon, it turned out to be in jeopardy bombers production design Canberra, which in turn caused serious concern of the state apparatus.

Thus, the engine production plans Tay in the astral plane remained plans. Although Avon engines were in the secret list, Ministry of Supply

"Agree to the production of engines Avon in Australia for defense purposes [13] ."

The final design CAC CA-23 had a single nose intake for the two engines Avon. In this embodiment, all-moving stabilizer wing has moved below the line.

CA-circuit 23

In the middle of 1950 to conduct tests in the model wind tunnel was built in the scale of 1: 6. In January 1951 he was made a model in 1:10 scale, made to reflect changes in the structure of the wing, fuselage, empennage and landing gear [14] . By the end of 1951 work on the project CA-23 were suspended, as were projects which had higher priority, such as the new training aircraft's CAC CA-25 engine and equipped with Winjeel Avon Sabre fighter. The first flight of a prototype Winjeel-took place in February 1951, and the second plane - in August 1951. Flight testing and development continued from 1951 to 1953. May 13, 1951 in the US [15] The mission of the development plans and on the Sabre-Avon engine has been sent. In November 1951 the British mission to develop aircraft (Aircraft Development Mission) visited Australia. The main purpose of the mission was

"Promoting cooperation between the UK and Australia in the development of aircraft and aircraft equipment [16] ."

Not knowing whether they should continue to work on the theme CA-23, the Australian authorities have provided the mission a complete set of brochures on the project so that it can be evaluated by the Ministry of Supply.

wooden model of the bow of the CA-23 fuselage

Model CA-23 with a cross-section of the fuselage

Final Report of the Ministry of supply is not limited to estimates of CA-23 and contained a section in which the comparison with the British aircraft project, developed by the British F4 / 48 specification was conducted. This is justified by the fact that the specification of F4 / 48, OR / AIR.7 requirements and specifications AC 79A were mostly similar. In essence, it was true, as the RAF and RAAF worked closely with each other. British aircraft were Gloster F4 / 48, put into service and received the name of the Javelin, and DH F4 / 48, which became the DH110. In this section, the Ministry of Supply provided a detailed analysis of the project, including the assessment of radio, radilokatsionnogo and navigation equipment, electrical and fuel systems, design, weight and characteristics of the projected values.

drawing flying CA-23

The main criticisms were treated to the wing, airborne interception radar absence, long input channels and jet nozzles due to the low placement of the tail. As the plane was designed not supersonic, the small elongation and the relative thickness of the profile of the wing were considered redundant in terms of the weight of the structure. In addition, the high specific loads on the wing poses a greater risk characteristics at high altitudes.

Doubts were also expressed about the lack of airborne interception radar. The Australian project was planned to apply videoreleynuyu radar system development Dr. EJ Bowen (Bowen is Dr.EG) [17] . The view was expressed that the success of the implementation of all-weather fighter functions depends entirely on the success ladder radar as the setup routine on-board radar interception will require a significant amount of work on the redesign of the fuselage. The low position of the stabilizer was considered a successful feature of the aerodynamic configuration, while weight gain and resistance in construction located in the rear part of the fuselage of the exhaust nozzles were considered a disadvantage. Other disadvantages are narrow gauge chassis and control limits at low speeds, all-weather aircraft that was considered undesirable.

June 6, 1952 in the report [18] Deputy Chief of Operations Wing Commander (Lieutenant Colonel), Peter Jeffrey (Wing Commander Peter Jeffrey, D / D.Ops) were encouraged to abandon the project CA-23 for the following reasons:

"A) is now CA-23 does not correspond to the concept of all-weather demand - a key demand of OR / AIR.7, - because it can not be equipped with suitable on-board radar intercept;
b) the time that must elapse until the prototype (not less than three and a half s) [19] ;
c) foreign development has exceeded expectations and it should be understood that for the Royal Air Force aircraft will be ordered only one type. The production version of the airplane can be made in Australia before the CA-23. "

It should be noted that the report was written by Jeffrey before Uikett Lawrence (Lawrence Wackett) received a copy of the Ministry of Supply report with an analysis of CA-23 design. The report itself Uikett described [20] not as an estimate, and how


The answer's CAC [21] to the criticism of the Ministry of Aviation could not reverse the trend that led to the completion of the CA-23 project. This implies that government agencies, sought to close the project and held the criticism contained in the UK report.

However, the validity of the arguments promoted to support the termination of the project, should be questioned. With regard to the interception of airborne radar, the requirements of OR / AIR.7 Staff of the Royal Australian Air Force says that the interception of enemy aircraft in all weather conditions is considered as a secondary function. To expedite the consideration of the draft committee on defense research and development work has taken into account that there was no certainty that the corresponding radar equipment will be developed and therefore considers it reasonable to take this risk and to approve the draft. Even in the headquarters of the Royal Air Force of Australia considered that the absence of the radar equipment will not mean the inability to create an aircraft to perform their functions in all weather conditions. Deputy Chief of Staff Koroloevskih Royal Australian Air Force Air Vice-Marshal VE Hancock (the Air-to Vice a Marshall the VE Hancock, DCAS) [22] believed that during the time interval to run the CA-23 production (3 years)

"Further development of the relay radar is promising enough to suggest that by the time a solution is found [23] ."

section of the bow of the CA-23 project

cross-section of the fuselage near the nose landing gear flaps niches

cross-section of the fuselage near the cockpit and the rear axis of rotation of the nose landing gear

cross-section of the fuselage near the engine pivots bearings, gearbox and aerodynamic brakes

In dated May 13, 1953 memorandum Aviation Department [24] The Department of Defense (Department of Defence) said that the Aviation Minister, on the recommendation of the Air Committee approved the termination of the project, and is referred to the Minister of Defence with the same recommendation. In essence, the reasons for refusal were the same as in the report of the Wing Commander (Lieutenant Colonel), Peter Jeffrey, but only extended and supplemented. Thus, in 1953 - at the very time when they should have been made the first prototype units - the project was closed. Five years, £ 160,748 and 150,000 man-hours of work come to an end.

This was not the end of history. The subsequent emergence of a fighter English Electric Lightning - machines similar to CA-23, and with design features for which criticized the Australian car - has led to the popular belief that the CA-23 project


The origin of such an obvious error remains unclear, although a number of publications have noticed the similarity in the structure of both planes. Ian H. Ring (Ring of Ian of H.) [25] commented on the similarity of the aircraft, indicate the "piracy" he did not have. Greg Copley (by Greg the Copley) [26] commented:

"The irony is that the Lightning has a strong resemblance to sekmeynoe CA-23." 

Historically, that the development of a Lightning-started in the summer of 1948, when the company English Electric start design studies in accordance with the Experimental Requirement (ER) 103 [27] . Features Lightning-and were unusual, what was said Ransom (Ransom) and Feyrklavom (Fairclough) [28] .

"By the end of 1949, all the important aspects P.1 designs were finalized. From the point of view of experts clamps were two design features English Electric car: a very thin swept wing and installation of the stabilizer in the lower rear part of the fuselage. "

Indeed, P.1 design was considered so radical that ER100 requirements were issued in 1949 on a simple aircraft with fixed landing gear, wing, that could be set in three positions with the increasing sweep angle, and a stabilizer, which could be installed in keel top part and the bottom of the fuselage [29] . Aircraft designed and built in accordance with this specification, was, of course, Short SB5.

The story CA-23, probably raises more questions than answers. Did the Australians about ER103 specification and performed by English Electric works? There is no evidence that in those years the Australians were aware of the company held in the English Electric works, could not be found. CA-22 Designer Ian Ring [30] did not know about the developments of English Electric, and he was very closely associated with JK Humphreys (JC Humphries) - chief designer and responsible for the CAC CA-23 project. Supply Ministry officials should have known about the similarities in the CA-23 aircraft construction projects and English Electric P.1, but this was not done in the report are no comments yet. It was stated

"The selected shape in terms of the British Ministry of Supply is more suitable for a supersonic fighter ... [31] ."

Why the project was canceled? In a memorandum concerning SAS.468

"Problems of design and production, exacerbated by the recent developments of weapons, communication and navigation equipment"

it was said:

"In fact it turned out that the plane, which is intended for the use of all the latest developments, can go beyond the resources of the country, provided the budget in peacetime."

Why, then, the government continued to promote the project of combat aircraft as they were not ready to equip its air force units to them?

If the benefit was Britain's control of the Australian project, this procedure has been possible with the tacit approval of our bureaucracy. To get some insight into the reasons for the cancellation, it is necessary to consider the basic elements that determine the thinking of those years.

The two most important factors were: first, the difficulty of obtaining military aircraft during the war, 1939-45, and, secondly, the then existing dependent relationship of the United Kingdom. These were still the days of the Empire, when the Privy Council was still the highest court in our land, and between the RAF and RAAF existed almost conspiratorial relationship. When CA-23 project was canceled, the current Chief of Staff of the Royal Air Force of Australia was Air Marshal Dzh.D.Dzh. Hardman (Air Marshal JDJ Hardman) - an Englishman, whose appointment to this position was not without controversy and scandal.

"The Royal Air Force of Australia for the first time receive the head of the British"

He wrote "The Sydney Morning The Herald" [32] . The "Melbourne Herald" was said

"Some officers of the High Command RAAF surprised and razocharovyny decision of the federal government to appoint an Englishman - Vice-Marshal Dzh.D.Dzh. Hardman - Chief of Staff of the Air Force [33] . "

However, Australia's Hardman served with all diligence, for which there is strong evidence. So Uikett in his book [34] wrote that

"Jones (Jones) and Hardman were strong supporters of the Australian aviation industry."

Letter [35] Marshal of the Royal Air Force (Air Marshal) Sir John Slessora (Sir John Slessor, Marshall of the Royal Air Force) permanent head of the department of Defense, Sir Frederick Shiddenu (Sir Frederick Shedden, Permanent Head, Department of Defence) also supports this view :

"I'm glad to know that all the messages that come to me, says that Donald Hardman works very well."

Appointment Hardman confirms the fact that the Government of the Commonwealth of Nations turned to his British "homeland" for the solution of local problems.

There were several important elements that influenced the decision. The bureaucracy created by analogy with the State Civil Service (Civil Service), was predominantly pro-British. The structure of government with the subordination of the Crown guarantee, that the bureaucracy will not make important decisions without the recommendations of the UK. The influence that Britain had on the governments of the Commonwealth, llyustriruetsya letter from London [36] The representative of the Australian Ministry of Defence, Sir Frederick Shiddena from May 1, 1950:

"Perhaps you would be interested to hear that Koriton of Supply Department (aviation) (Coryton, MOS (AIR)) the next day sent for Hanford Stevens (Hanford Stevens) to ask him why he [Koriton] had not been informed that Australia priistupila to draft all-weather jet fighter. I thought that its representative in Australia would tell him how to do it the usual way. But recently we got some idea that the attitude of the Ministry of supply to production in Australia tends to be less stiffness and Koritona question may have been probing and relevant to the problem of production capacity for higher priority needs. "

Further evidence of a patronizing attitude, demostrirovavshegosya some sections of the British bureaucracy, can be found in a letter [37] to the commander of the aircraft overseas command, London, (Air Officer Commanding, Overseas Headquarters , London) from the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Royal Air Force Air Commodore FR Scherger (DCAS, Air Commodore FR Scherger) . Mr. Hayvz (later Lord Hayvz) of Rolls Royce Ltd requested detailed information on CA-23. Scherger sent a copy of the CAC A-126 of the report with a proposal that the report can be made available to the Ministry of Supply to request access to it Mr. Hayvza:

"There is no doubt that the Ministry of Supply will criticize us for the support of this project. Predpoldozhitelno you can answer it this way:

(A) to point out that Canada has developed and overfly jet airliners and fighter, and designed and built the most successful jet engine with axial compressor.
(B) Australia may not have the aviation industry free of aircraft. Without the help of the UK, it expects to increase the composition of the project team. This is an important factor in the CAC "project.
Of course, in close cooperation RAF and RAAF had its advantages. Close collaboration is often enabled the Royal Australian Air Force to purchase equipment directly from the warehouses of the Royal Air Force. RAAF Air Ministry has provided the ability to use machinery RAF: so, for example, contracts, verification of documentation and packaging - until the protests briitanskih companies [38] .

Another factor in the equation was in the Royal Air Force effort to Australia to fight to obtain equal recognition, along with the Army and Navy. While the vital role of air power cemented a place in the defense of Australia RAAF strategy, relationships formed earlier doubts. Termination of the project companies and criticism Hawker Korean War against Gloster Meteor characteristics were other considerations form the military doctrines of those years.

During the war, the development of the aviation industry obespechilr security of supply of aircraft, that the Department of Aviation Industry (Department of Aircraft Production - DAP) was determined to save. It is widely recognized that nekreryvnye research and development work in the aviation industry are essential to maintain a viable industrial base. In reviewing the project at the May 1949 meeting of the Defence Research and Development Strategy Committee (Defence Research, Development and the Policy Committee) [39] was recognized the importance of continuing research. The members of this Committee, representing the Army and Navy, although they were not convinced of the strategic basis of the requirements of the Royal Air Force of Australia, readily accepted the need to build airplanes. When viewed in this context, this project will be a successful step in the history of aviation.

In August 1953, the same committee in considering the proposal to close the project Aviation Department was informed that,

"It is not possible to make significant changes isterbitelya Sabre for installation Avon engine without a team of engineers that has been extended to work on a long-range fighter aircraft [40] ."

Recommending to close the project, the committee requested that

"Auxiliary units (Service Departments) and Supply Department (Department of Supply) are asked to consider the possibility of initiating the development of equipment for the projects to meet the (most likely) the operational requirements of the Australian (Australian Service requirements), and from the point of view of the economy produced by the Australian aviation industry."

All the criticism aimed at the closure of the project CA-23 was unfair and aimed at the government.

"From etogonezauryadnogo the project had to be abandoned due to changes in government policy - the decision, which in the future will more than once regretted s [41] ."

While all of these factors - failure to comply with RAAF specifications, technical defects, economic factors and the delay to commissioning - have some sense in the formation of the reasons for the closure, the role of management Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation was never discussed. The minutes of the December 4, 1950 meeting on the implementation of the factory work (the Progress Plant Meeting the Report) [42] was the first sign that the project may lose momentum:

"I have discussed this project abroad, and examined two British project, created on similar specifications. At the highest level in the Ministry of Defence circles to our project it has been of great interest, and I was getting urgent advice to accelerate its development. However, I found that his concept is so much superior to any other project in the prototype stage, I have formed the opinion that it would be possible and advisable otlizhit the project aside for a period of six months to a year in order to pay attention to tasks versioning Sabre fighter with Nene engines and Avon, as well as gaining some experience with the engineering staff of the company North American. I am sure that in this case we will be better prepared for the resumption of work on the twin-engined jet, which will be able to put into practice. "

At the same meeting, on the draft of the Hawker, Uikett recommended:

"I predict that this project will be completely abandoned and replaced by a" canned the project "Building North American Sabre fighters [43] . As soon as this issue is officially confirmed, we otzvem our engineers from England [44] . "

More convincing evidence that CAC leadership was aware of the difficulty and the complexity of the project, is in a dated February 8, 1952 letter [45] Uiketta director of aviation research laboratories (Director of the Aeronautical Research Laboratories) LP Coombs (LP Coombes):

"I have your letter of 31 January, concerning the issue of testing in a wind tunnel in the period from January to June 1952. I can not do this by following a well-defined reasons.

We suspended the program CA-23, because we have a very urgent and time-consuming work on the theme "Avon" / "Sabre": development for 1952 and the start of production in 1953. In early 1953 we also run into the production of CA-22 Trainer, for which we will have to hire the services of some employees from among our technical staff. Thus in 1952, we can not carry out any work on the CA-23 project. By resumption of work can start in 1953.

We concluded that the CA-23 very large aircraft, whose production at our manufacturing facilities, we obviously can not handle. In addition, currently we have other, very urgent work. We decided to ask the vyshestoyashim organizations with a recommendation to completely abandon this project, with the transition to appropriate our capabilities are much more easy and simple task. This can be an interceptor rocket-powered, and we already have a few ideas as to what it will look like.

Sootvetstvunno, we see the need to work with a model of the plane in (low-speed) wind tunnel, but it will be around May. At the moment these ideas are preliminary, but it means that by the end of the January-June period, we can do some work in the wind tunnel. "

If we look at all the events from a commercial point of view - for CAC was a commercial company, is committed to maintaining an active and sustainable production, - we come to the conclusion that the main reason for the cancellation of the project was the inability of Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation to continue it. Constantly present concern, exacerbated by the failure of the project of the Hawker, on receiving the compliant aircraft projects, ensure that grupny project, such as Avon-Sabre, will have priority. Faced with aircraft designers, to express serious concerns in their abilities to complete the design and construction, and general concern due to the increasing costs of modern aircraft, it is not surprising that the government used the Staff Council and the Royal Air Force of Australia has canceled the project.

plastic model CA-23 - all that remains of the project 

Comparison, English Electric Lightning and Sukhoi - 7

EE Lightning

Sukhoi 7

Sukhoi 7 Plan Views

Another important issue raised by the project CA-23, was the concept of financing development projects, whose main task was to maintain the design school. As already mentioned, the main purpose of the project CA-23 was the creation of the design team. Was there ever be interested Staff RAAF CAC or in the design and manufacture of aircraft, davashego Australia's chance of getting a strong and successful aviation industry? Sure it was, but despite all the enthusiasm of employees, not up to standard.

"I'm sure it could be done. We were absolutely confident in the ability to do so [46] . "

O'Bayen Denis (Denis O'Brien)

In conclusion, I would like to say that I have not been able to find the characteristics of the CA-23 project. The only thing that coulddiscover are harateristiki maximum speed (M = 1.5 [1593 km / h]) and arms (4 × 0,5 "with ammunition 250 rounds on the barrel).

Australian Archives, CRS A5799 / 1, File 89/48
Memorandum for Secretary, New Weapons & Equipment Development Committee, cited in Australian Archives, CRS A5799 / 1, File 89/48
Copy of OR / AIR.7 in Australian Archives, CRS A705 / 1, File 9/1/1891
Australian Archives, CRS A1196 / 1, File 1/501/586 Pt.1, Fighter Type Aircraft, Future Development Policy
Royal Aeronautical Society, Lawrence Hargrave Memorial Lecture, presented by IH Ring, 19th September, 1968
Aircraft, October, 1948, page 27.
Australian Archives, CRS 5954 (The Shedden Papers), File 850/3, Leakage of Information concerning Australian Aircraft Production Proposals, November, 1948.
Op cit, File 850/3, Letter from Minister for Air to Minister for Defence, dated October 21, 1948.
Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Pty. Ltd., Report No. A-124, Issue 2
Australian Archives, CRS A5799 / 1, File 49/50
Department of Air, Memorandum No.SAS.511, cited in Australian Archives, CRS A5799 / 1, File 50/87
Australian Archives, CRS MP319 / 1, File 5650/3.
ibid. Department of Air, Memorandum No.SAS.511
RAAF Historical Section - History of the CA-23 Twin Seat All-Weather Fighter
Australian Aeronautics, Stanley Schaetzel, Post War Aeronautical Design and Development in Australia, 28th Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith Memorial Lecture, Sydney Branch, Royal Aeronautical Society, October 22, 1986
Report on Visit to Australia of First Aircraft Development Mission, copy in CRS MP1472 / 13, File 51
Who, subsequently, as Chief of the CSIRO Division of Radiophysics, was presented with the Thurlow Award by the American Institute of Navigation for the development of Distance Measuring Equipment (DME)
Australian Archives, CRS A705 / 1, File 9/1/1891
Due to committments to the Avon-engined Sabre and the CA-25 projects.
Letter to Ivor Bowen, UKMoS Staff, in PRO, Avia 54, 759.
A Review of the MoS Appreciation of the All Weather Fighter, A134, July 1952
Deputy Chief of Air Staff
Item 28. Minute Sheet, AA CRS A705 / 2, File No.9 / 3/143, 'Proposal - Local manufacture of a two-seat, all-weather attack fighter, CA.23'
SAS.468, cited in CRS A5799 / 1, File 129/1953
Royal Aeronautical Society, Lawrence Hargrave Memorial Lecture, presented by IH Ring, 19th September, 1968
Australians in the Air, Gregory Copley, Rigby, 1976, page 226.
The production aircraft was developed to MoS Specification F23 / 49 after English Electric made minor amendments to the P.1
English Electric Aircraft and their Predecessors, Stephen Ransom & Robert Fairclough, Putnam1987, page 220
British Experimental Jet Aircraft, Barrie Hygate, Argus Books, 1990, page 136
Personal communication, Melbourne, 22 July 1992
Public Records Office, AVIA 54, 759, An Appreciation of the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation of Australia CA 23 All Weather Fighter.
Sydney Morning Herald, 11 October, 1951
The Herald, 11 October, 1951.
Aircraft Pioneer, An Autobiography, Lawrence James Wackett, Angus & Robertson, 1972, p.197
Letter dated June February 1954, cited in AA CRS A1209 / 23, File No.57 / 4128
Australian Archives, CRS A5954 / 1, File 78/4, Personal correspondence Air Vice-Marshal Hewitt, Aust. Def. Rep. London 1948-51.
Letter dated 21 March 1950, cited in AA CRS A705 / 2, File No.9 / 3/143
Air Board Agendum No.12173, dated 16 October 1951, cited in AA CRS A4181 / 1, File No. Volume 87
Australian Archives, CRS A705 / 1, File 9/1/1891.
Australian Archives, CRS A5799 / 1, File 129/1953.
Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Pty. Ltd. Information Sheet No.8.1 on the CA.23 Fighter
Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, Report No.251 cited in Plant Progress Reports File No.2 (3/2/44 to 10/12/53)
Cabinet recommended approved the production in Australia of the North American F86 Interceptor fighter on December 13, 1950, Cabinet Agendum No.1, December 13, 1950, cited in AA CRS A4940 / 1, File No. C290
Ibid, signed by Lawrence Wackett
AA CRS B788 / 14, File No.S7, 'CAC fighter aircraft [8 / 49-2 / 57]'
Personal communication, Ian H. Ring, Melbourne, 22 July 1992
* - The Hawker P.1081, also known as the "Australian Fighter"

a source:


  1. Hi Gordon, The photo of the CA-23 model looks very similar to the English Electric Lightning. The initial plans for the Lightning were hander over to the UK Ministry of Supply on 1st Nov 1948. Was the real reason the CA-23 project was cancelled due to pressure from the USA to use the F-86?. I can understand the costs would have been a major issue on the CAC-23 aircraft but, it would have given the CAC the experience in building the latest jet technology and given Australia a world class fighter for the RAAF and, possible export market, something, no doubt the USA also realised could have happened. So it would have been in the USA interest to pressure the Australian Govt to drop the CAC-23 and stick to the USA designs?-Clive

    1. That's a sound argument Clive. The Sukhoi S7 is alos similar, quite a mix of potential tensions between all concerned! Huge number of visitors to the blog in recent days, the majority from Russia, good to see and hope that maybe they can join the conversation?

  2. Hi Gordon, Good to know that Russians show an interest, someone out there may be, perhaps, throw some more light on the CA-23 Vs USA interests. Pardon my cynical view on this issue but, the USA talks about "level playing fields" in business, I can't help thinking in this case that their view of a "level playing field" was only if the Australians played ball with them and bought their aircraft/designs etc. At least the Russians were not concerned as their govt could simply order as many planes as they wanted without fear or favour from the USA. Clive

    1. Hi Clive,
      If we look at this as one part of the bigger picture for 1948, we should include the November visits to Australia, and in fact Adelaide of numerous high ranking military personnel from the UK and Canada. We should also look at the Communist party meeting in the Blue Mountains which I think was also in November. Sillitoe's visits/MI5 comings and goings?

      What other notable events happened prior to or shortly after December 1st in 1948?

  3. A thought for further discussion/consideration.

    We have a deceased male, we have a code, we have uncovered the code and it has a reference to a particular top secret aircraft registration number within it. We have a 'political' backdrop which could be the basis of a motive.

    Question is who did the man 'belong' to?

    Here's a starter. If he were a Russian spy he would have been claimed by them by now. But, if he was a local 'courier' he wouldn't have been claimed, in fact that would probably just move on as would US and UK equivalents. I think that makes our man a 'local' or an illegal.

    Test the motives, find the man?

  4. Hi Gordon, I see your point but, would the Russians claim him as a spy or, just shrug their shoulders and let it go. Perhaps he was viewed as a failure in their eyes and would not like the rest of the world to know? If he was a courier for the Russians, perhaps the scenario was, that he fell foul of Jessie, a double agent? He ended up dead on the beach and Jessie, being exposed as a double agent and, knowing secrets that would embarrass both the Australian & US governments, was let off the hook to return to her nursing?-Clive