2nd Lieutenant Robert J. Buel, U.S.A.A.F. Memorial
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

A memorial plaque dedicated to 2nd Lieutenant Robert J. Buel of the USAAF 21st Pursuit Squadron stationed at Darwin during 1942. This is located at the Bicentennial Park on The Esplanade in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia adjacent to the memorial cannon for the USS Peary.  The plaque is clearly weathered and the text is printed here for clarity.

2ND LT Robert J. Buel, USAAF
21ST Pursuit SQ. 35TH Pursuit GRP.

On Feb 15, 1942 the P40E Kittyhawk fighter of 2nd Lt. Buel
was one of only two planes that were available for
the defence of Northern Australia. On this date, both
aircraft were sent to defend an allied convoy under
Japanese attack but only Buel caught up with the fleet.
Before he was shot down and plunged to his death,
2nd Lt. Buel --alone-- downed a Japanese bomber and cleared
safe passage for the allied ships. His self-sacrifice and
valor became an inspiration to all who learned of it.

With grateful appreciation
The American Legion remembers
USAAF 2nd Lt. Robert J Buel.

Erected on behalf of
The American Legion by
Dominic D. DiFrancesco
National Commander
May 1992

Close-up of the plaque.
(Photos and text courtesy of Peter F. Williams)
© 2010 Peter F. Williams all rights reserved

Page published Mar. 3, 2011