Alive All Alive: Investigating the disappearance of VH-CIZ, Australia's most perplexing war-time aviation disaster
Released in August 2023, “Alive…All Alive” has been researched and written by Lee McCarthy, a relative of one of the missing men.
The book documents the true story of the 1945 disappearance of VH-CIZ (A65-83) – a Royal Australian Air Force C47-B with 25 servicemen on board. The Douglas Dakota was thought to have flown head-long into a severe tropical storm and subsequently crashed or ditched somewhere in the Banda Sea. The next day, when the plane could not possibly be in the air, two cryptic radio messages crackled into military receivers in Darwin – one of which stated the group were “Alive…All Alive.” Shortly after, a civilian radio operator received a third incomplete message from an unknown source. The message stated an unknown group were on Timor, were all OK, and were waiting to be picked up. Despite a frantic search effort, the men and the aircraft were never seen again.
Alive...All Alive investigates the likelihood of the men’s survival, the possible outcomes of the incident, and the flawed Court of Inquiry that followed. Included are first hand accounts of the weather that day from veterans, airstrip conversations with the missing pilot, and many other details not disclosed in the Court of Inquiry.
The book takes a deep-dive into war-time radio technology, explores clandestine military activity at the time, and dissects witness statements and exhibits in plain language.
This is a must-read for anyone interested in war-time aviation, military radio technology, and survival in the Pacific War.