Remembering Blackhawk Disaster

Today, June 12, marks the 16th anniversary of the Blackhawk disaster in Townsville’s High Range Training Area that killed 18 Australian soldiers, 15 from SASR and three from the 5th Avn Regiment. This incident was the worst air disaster in the Special Air Service Regiments’s history.

Accidentally killed in an aircraft crash (S70A Blackhawk);

12 June 1996

1 Squadron (Special Air Service Regiment)

(Members of the Royal Australian Corps of Infantry)

Captain Timothy J. STEVENS
Sergeant Hugh W. ELLIS
Corporal Michael BIRD
Corporal Darren R. OLDHAM
Corporal Brett S. TOMBS
Lance Corporal Gordon A. CALLOW
Lance Corporal Glen O. HAGAN
Lance Corporal David J. JOHNSTONE
Trooper Jonathon G. CHURCH
Trooper David FROST
Trooper Timothy J. McDONALD

152 Signal Squadron (Special Air Service Regiment)
(Members of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals)

Corporal Mihran “Avi” AVEDISSIAN
Corporal Darren J. SMITH
Signalman Hendrik “Rick” PEETERS

5th Aviation Regiment

Capt KJ Hales
Capt JB Berrigan
Cpl MC Baker

Townsville Bulletin remembers

The Hon Ian McLachlan AO MP, then Minister for Defence released this statement on the investigation into the crash in the House in March, 1997.

Lest We Forget.


  • all good blokes. i was serving in sasr and 152 sig sqn. remember them. not enough said about these blokes. 
    a great loss.

    • Agreed all great men. Frosty and gordon were in my platoon in b coy 2/4 before they did selection. i have good memories of the antics and the fun we got up to. especially when we went to butterworth. Never be forgotten.

  • I remember this happening but never read into the details. I went through Kapooka with Captain Tim Stevens. He enlisted as a private,i recall bumping into him again at Enoggera, when he had started his officer training.

    Captain in the SAS, he was living his dream. Dont think I have ever met a nicer guy. Still remember going to Sydney and meeting his sister and mum, all his family were just nice, you could see where he got it from.

    Will have to sit for a bit and try to process this,he didnt make 30.

  • 20 yrs coming up what is happening here in Perth and Qld

    Mick W

  • Paul, he had a great time as Troop Cmdr of Land troop

  • I was at LBMC when this tragedy occurred. I will never forget the night nor the weeks that followed. I have a young family now, but feel compelled to pay my respects this year more than most at the Townsville memorial garden. I hope everyone is hanging in there – it certainly impacted my life, and I played such a minor role in the aftermath, thoughts are with you all and the families involved. For those that are able to make the pilgrimage I’ll see you there. I’d love any details of functions times and locations if anyone knows them.

  • Hi,

    My name is Marion Smyth and I am a PhD Candidate at Edith Cowan University. I am undertaking research on the lived experiences of those individuals affected by the 1996 Townsville Blackhawk accident. I am seeking permission to post the invitation to participate in the study. I am hoping the study will inform the SAS Resources Fund on the provision of contemporary support as articulated by the affected individuals.

    thank you

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