Receiver fuse replaced in Darwin

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Earhart's receiver was not working on approach to Darwin on 28 June.

Request for Information

"Attempt to Solve Putnam Mystery" (The Advertiser 28 July 1937).
In Order to exploit every possible avenue of information that might reveal the cause of the disastrous ending to Mrs. Amelia Earhart Putnam's flight, the American Consul-General in Sydney has written to the Administrator (Mr Abbott) asking for particulars of the examination of Mrs. Putnam's wireless when she landed here. "One of the factors which has greatly hampered the search," he states, "has been the absence of wireless signals. Mrs. Putnam transmitted on a frequency of 500 kilocycles, to which the United States coastguard vessel Itasca's direction finding apparatus was attached. Although it is understood that her wireless equipment was capable of transmitting signals on this frequency, Mrs. Putnam did not acknowledge or comply with requests from the Itasca for such signals." It is requested that statements should be taken from Sergeant Stan Rose, who is in charge of the R.A.A.F. directional finding station here, and who examined Mrs. Putnam's apparatus, on:—
(1) The nature of the radio difficulties experienced by Mrs. Putnam on the Timor crossing;
(2) a description of radio adjustments made at Darwin; and
(3) Sergeant Rose's opinion as to probability of subsequent difficulties with the apparatus. It is suggested that this information may be of importance in determining the cause of the disaster.

Response from Darwin

On 3 August 1937, in response to a request from the American Consulate General in Sydney, Australia, the Administrator of the Northern Territory (where Darwin is located) wrote:[1]

I am in receipt of your letter of the 9th July regarding the wireless equipment attached to Miss Earhart's plane.
I referred your enquiry to Mr. A. R. Collins, Aircraft Inspector and Officer-in-Charge of the Aerodrome at Darwin, who has furnished a reply in the following terms.
"I have to acknowledge your memorandum reference the enquiry from the American Consulate, Sydney, in regard to the wireless communication of Miss Earhart, while at Darwin during the recent round-the-world flight which it is deeply regretted ended in disaster.
"When Miss Earhart arrived at Darwin it was necessary to ask why there had been no radio communication with the Government Direction Finding Wireless Station under my control. (Miss Earhart had been advised of the facilities and the Station’s wave length prior to departure from Koepang). Miss Earhart regretted that the D/F receiver installed in her aircraft was not functioning therefore an inspection of this receiver was carried out and a ground test arranged between the aircraft and the D/F wireless station. It was discovered that the fuse for the D/F generator had blown and upon renewal in Miss Earhart's presence the ground test was completed. Miss Earhart was advised to inspect fuse in event of further trouble.
"During the journey from Darwin to Lae the following morning communications was established with Darwin for a distance of 200 miles from this station, radio telephone being used by Miss Earhart.
"No inspection of Miss Earhart's transmission gear was carried out, this apparently being in order, therefore Sergeant Rose cannot hazard an opinion apart from the faulty fuse which affected only the D/F receiver."


  1. C. L. A. Abbott, Administrator, Norther Territory Administration, File No. 37/477, 3 August 1937.

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