GREAT BARRIER REEF
// Outlook Report 2014
For Lady Elliot Island, a new composite form of construction was developed, combining the economy of timber framing with the weather-tightness and durability of iron plating. This contract drawing for the lighthouse was signed in 1872.
Source: National Australian Archives: J2775, HS152
4.3.3 World War II features and sites
The Region was part of the Pacific theatre of World War II and several major support facilities, including airbases from which pivotal battles were launched, were on the adjacent coast. Many significant features and sites from that period remain in the Region. Incomplete databases suggest that more than 140 submerged aircraft wrecks survive representing most known aircraft wrecks in the Region. These span a wide inventory of World War II aircraft including Kittyhawks, Catalinas, Dakota, B-25D Mitchells and Beaufort Bombers. Other World War II features and sites include shipwrecks, support structures such as refuelling barges, unexploded ordnances and structures on islands. While some of these features and sites have been identified, most are yet to be located and little is known of their condition. Some of the aircraft wrecks are the resting place of service personnel. It is estimated that over 150 allied air crew (including from Australia, America and Holland) could have gone missing in action in planes wrecked and sunk in the Region.23 In 2011, the wreck of a Catalina PBY 5 flying boat, A 24 24, was found off Bowen. The Royal Australian Air Force acknowledges this wreck as the resting place of the 14 personnel who went missing-in-action in the wrecking incident. The wreck of another Catalina, A 24 25, was discovered in 2013 off the Frankland Islands south of Cairns and may hold the remains of a further 11 personnel. An aerial heritage survey conducted in January 2014 located three World War II P39 Airacobra aircraft wrecks in various states of deterioration in shallow water along the coast of the Region.
While many World War II features and sites have been identified, little is known of their condition.