Last updated 1.8.15


AUSTRALIAN DE HAVILLAND D.H.84 DRAGONS


A listing compiled by Geoff  Goodall


     PART ONE: BRITISH BUILT DH.84 DRAGONS IMPORTED UP TO 1940  
Australian built Dragons are covered in Part Two



Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Brisbane imported VH-UXG Riama (c/n 6077) in 1936. It is seen at Bundaberg Qld in July 2005, restored in APL markings after a eleven year restoration project.  Sadly it was destroyed in a crash in October 2012.   Photo by Phil Vabre.



  De Havilland Aircraft Co Ltd commenced production of the DH.84 Dragon at their works at Stag Lane aerodrome, Edgeware. However the extension of the underground railway to Edgeware meant that the area would be developed as a dormitory suburb of London. During 1930 the company acquired an airfield site at Hatfield, where a new airframe factory was established, and Dragon production was transferred to Hatfield during 1934 when Stag Lane aerodrome was closed. The De Havilland Engine Division works however remained at the Stag Lane factory for a period.


  A total of 115 Dragons were built in England, of which 25 were sold to Australian customers. Following the outbreak of WWII, a further 87 Dragons were built for the Royal Australian Air Force by De Havilland’s Australian associate company De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd at Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney.


  W.R. Carpenter & Co Ltd of Sydney and Salamaua, New Guinea and their subsidiary Mandated Airlines were the largest Australian civil operator of the DH.84 Dragon. They imported six Dragons prior to the outbreak of WWII to replace Fox Moths on their New Guinea services, then purchased a large number of former RAAF aircraft from the Commonwealth Disposals Commission post-war sales.


  Pending commencement of deliveries from the Australian production, the worsening war situation and pilot training demands led to the Australian Government issuing Impressment Requisitions for 9 civil Dragons. These were delivered to RAAF, with some misgivings, by their civil owners, causing significant reduction in the airlines' ability to continue services to some ports, the airlines already having already lost other types including DC-3s taken over by RAAF.


  Following the initial round of Impressment Requisitons of civil Dragons had been mailed out to the operators, and various protests and delayed deliveries accommodated, in late January 1941 the Australian War Cabinet decided to send an Air Ambulance Unit to the Middle East theatre and allotted three DH.86 aircraft then in use with No.1 Air Observers School at Cootamundra.  No.1 Air Ambulance Unit was formed at RAAF Laverton on 15 February 1941 and assigned DH.86s A31-3, A31-7 & A31-8.  To replace these DH.86s, which were impressed airliners, an additional 3 Dragons had to be impressed, and Mandated Airlines' VH-AAC, VH-UTX & VH-UVB were selected.  W.R. Carpenter objected strongly, and sent senior staff from New Guinea to Melbourne to plead their case. VH-UVB was spared impressment when replaced by a DH.86 from W. R. Carpenter Airlines' mainland service Sydney-Rabaul.


  DCA was well aware of the hardship caused to the airlines by the loss of their aircraft to RAAF impressment and negotiated the release of several RAAF Dragons back to airlines in desperate need of aircraft to maintain their minimum services.


        Australian built Dragons


  The story of Australian production of the Dragon can be traced back to 30 July 1941 when the Australian wartime Aircraft Production Commission advised the War Cabinet that Britain had advised that further deliveries of Ansons and Oxfords to Australia were unlikely. More locally built aircraft were thus essential to the war effort.

On 3 September 1941 the Australian War Cabinet approved 50 DH.84 Dragons to be built locally to meet the deficiency of twin engined aircraft.  De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd at Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney had large scale production of DH.82A Tiger Moths for RAAF and RAF well under way, and arranged to have Dragon jigs and drawings shipped from the parent company in England.


  On 21 January 1942 the War Cabinet approved an additional 37 Dragons at a cost of £6,000 (Australian pounds) each. Total cost for local production was quoted as £716,538. The 87 Australian built Dragons were constructed at Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney (not Bankstown Airport as erroneous stated in many references) to RAAF specification for used for navigation and observer training, light transport and air ambulance duties. They were to be powered by General Motors-Holdens Australian production DH Gipsy Major Mk 1 Series 2 engines, which were also used in the Australian manufactured Tiger Moths.  A total of 225 engines were ordered for the Dragon production line at Mascot, 174 engines plus 51 spares.


  In August 1942 the last of the 1,035 DH.82 Tiger Moths was being completed at the Mascot factory, and the prototype Dragon was being hand-built by DH woodwork craftsmen to original DH blueprints in a storage area at the Grace Brothers department store, Broadway in the city because of lack of space at Mascot.


  This prototype Australian built Dragon A34-13 was moved from the city to Mascot where it completed assembly on 25 September 1942.  It was testflown at Mascot on 29 September 1942, painted in camouflaged upper surfaces and pale fuselage sides and undersurfaces. A34-13 & -14 were the first Australian Dragons accepted by the RAAF and both were delivered from Mascot to Richmond RAAF Station, near Sydney on 12 October 1942. The rest of the Australian production followed at a rate of one or two a week, delivered to No.2 Aircraft Depot at Richmond or No.2 Aircraft Park, Bankstown. The final Dragons were completed in June 1943. However the De Havilland Mascot works continued to perform major overhauls and rebuilds of RAAF Dragons for the rest of the war.


  

  Dragon final assembly hangar at Mascot in late 1942. The Collection p1234-0804


  

  Australian Dragon production at Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney 1942. The Collection p1234-0802


  

  De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd factory at Mascot late 1942. The Collection P1235-0072



  The RAAF Dragons were used for training with Air Observation Schools and Wireless Air Gunners Schools as well as light transport and communications aircraft with a variety of units and squadrons.  The following civil contractors carried out major overhauls and repairs on RAAF Dragons, as shown in the individual aircraft histories:

- De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Mascot, NSW

- Butler Air Transport, Mascot NSW

- Australian National Airways, Essendon Vic

- Ansett Airways, Essendon Vic

- Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield Qld

- Guinea Airways Ltd, Parafield SA

- MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co, Maylands WA

- Victorian and Interstate Airways, Essendon Vic


  RAAF roundels changed in the Pacific Theatre to blue and white only to avoid any chance of the red centre being mistaken for Japanese aircraft. RAAF signal T520 dated 19 September 1942 to civil contractors ordered the deletion of the red centre on all service aircraft being reconditioned by that company. On 5 November 1942 DCA sent out a circular instructing all civil aircraft painted with roundels to also remove the red centre. RAAF Dragons continued in service into 1945, but the majority had been retired during 1944 and assembled at RAAF Stations Cootamundra and Evans Head, stored in hangars for civil disposal.



Civil disposal of RAAF Dragons


  During 1944 the Australian Government established the Commonwealth Disposals Commission to take charge of disposal of all aspects of military equipment in Australia and New Guinea. On 28 October 1944 the Department of Air replied to an enquiry from the CDC on what aircraft types and quantities were first likely to be released for disposal. 59 Dragons were quoted and 38 spare Gipsy Major Series I Type II engines. The Department of Air reported the Dragons as "Broad assessment price £2500. Pretty good condition, few have been used in tropics. Small proportion converted as ambulance craft."


  The CDC decided to only list 9 of the 56 available Dragons in its first aircraft list on 20 February 1945, all located at Cootamundra. A CDC memo recorded "It is considered that the disclosure in the tender form of the total number of available would be likely to reduce considerably the prices that might be offered.".  However the CDC prices strategy failed, because by August 1945 only one Dragon had been sold (A34-68 to Butler Air Transport: price not recorded). The Department of Air wrote to CDC "Could you please advise whether you anticipate that it will be possible to dispose of any more of the D.H.84 aircraft. A large number of the aircraft are occupying valuable hangar space which could be utilised for storage of other aircraft.".  Various meetings followed, debating the prices that could be charged for Dragons, with CDC stating "£750 was decided on as the top price for these machines, falling off according to condition."  It was stated that first choice had been given to flying doctor services throughout Australia.


  Major Australian newspapers carried a block advertisement on Saturday 29 September 1945 placed by Commonwealth Disposals Commission:

"Sale of aircraft: as from Monday 1st October 1945 comprising:

117 Wackett Trainers with 97 spare Warner Super Scarab engines

36 DH84A Dragons

Prices for Wackett Trainers including a spare engine range from £300 downwards according to condition of each aircraft and for engine.

DH.84A Dragons are offered from £750 downwards according to condition.

Survey sheets  may be inspected and price lists obtained at every State office of the CDC."


  Expected early demand for disposals Dragons failed to materialise. In retrospect the causes are obvious: a high asking price combined with a statement in the tender documents that DCA would issue only a limited CofA to these aircraft.  At that time internal DCA memos show that Director of Air Navigation and Safety, C.S. Wiggins, advocated that no more Dragons should be added to the Civil Register because of their poor climb performance and marginal ability to maintain altitude on a single engine. He did not want Dragons to return to postwar airline and charter fleets. In September 1944 DCA had advised the CDC "a very limited Certificate of Airworthiness will be granted, and that should anticipated International agreement be reached at an early date respecting certain matters, the certificates will be withdrawn entirely". (The International agreement referred to was an early agenda item for the newly formed ICAO to define minimum takeoff and engine-out performance standards for commercial airliners. It was to be debated for the following 20 years until effectively abandoned with the realisation that the performance requirements would eliminate the world's fleets of indispensable aircraft types such as the Douglas DC-3.)


  The matter of DCA's attitude towards the Dragon came to a head in October 1945. Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Brisbane, an established Dragon operator, applied to register a newly civil converted Dragon VH-AIA (ex A34-97: see individual aircraft history below). Managing Director Ron Adair responded angrily to the initial DCA refusal to allow it to be used for airline passenger use. The situation was absurd because at that time APL had three pre-war Dragons in airline service. DCA's Acting Director General Edgar C. Johnston overruled Wiggins with the blunt statement that the debate over use of Dragons on regular public transport use was “unwarranted”.  


  Continued pressure from the Department of Air to clear the stored RAAF Dragons led to a remarkable memo from CDC to their Regional managers dated 5 February 1946, listing 17 Dragons with the advice "Owing to unavoidable circumstances, all Dragons must be sold in the next two weeks. Price of all machines has been cut to £50 each. Please contact all interested parties and offer at this price."  However airline and charter companies were wary of DCA restrictions and there were few sales. With this background, the CDC accepted an offer from W. R. Carpenter & Co Ltd, Sydney, the parent company of Mandated Airlines in New Guinea for a bulk purchase of all remaining RAAF Dragons at the agreed price of £50 each.  A CDC memo records an misunderstanding that they were all to be broken up for spares use, but in fact the majority had civil conversions in Sydney and were flown to New Guinea where they formed the backbone of early post-war aviation in that country.


  Initial use of Dragons in the post-war years was mostly by airlines and the Flying Doctor Service of Australia. When they were replaced by more modern types, the surviving Dragons were sold to a variety of charter operators, aero clubs and private owners and put to use as freighters, aerial photographic survey, parachuting and multi-engined and pilot training. Other uses were as diverse as newspaper delivery contracts to carrying live crayfish to market.


Agricultural Dragons


  Some Australian Dragons were used for aerial agricultural work. First recorded was TAA's VH-BAH in June 1949, which was fitted with dropping chute and mixing equipment to drop poisonous baits to reduce wild dog (dingo) populations, particularly in Queensland.

  In 1955 TAA replaced the Dragons it operated for Royal Flying Doctor Service and NT Medical Service with new DHA.3 Drovers.  Victorian aviation pioneer Arthur Schutt purchased two of these Dragons VH-ASU and VH-AMN for conversion to crop dusters for his agricultural division Schutt Airfarmers Pty Ltd based at Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne.  Each had a hopper with capacity for a ton of superphosphate fertilizer powder installed in the cabin and the two Dragons joined the fleet of DH.82 Tiger Moths.

  An indication of their effectiveness was a report in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper 6 September 1957 which stated that Schutt Airfarmers Pty Ltd had spread 1,500 tons of superphosphate over 17,000 acres on the property Nanangroe Station near Coolac NSW. In a pasture improvement program in hilly country, the fertilizer was spread by a Dragon and 3 Tiger Moths in 4,200 sorties.


    

    Schutt Airfarmers Pty Ltd Dragon at work crop dusting


  Queensland Airplanters Pty Ltd of Bundaberg operated three Dragons for aerial seeding of land which had just been made available for farming by extensive clearing of brigalow scrub. Various types of grass seeds were spread by the Dragons, which were fitted with mechanical agitators to prepare the seeds. The Dragons proved expensive to operate due to salary of an additional crew member in the cabin, who manually tipped bags of seed into the dropping chute in the floor. There were also a number of undercarriage failures caused by the high frequency of landings and takeoffs from rough agricultural airstrips.


  Bob Couper & Company, Cunderdin WA was one of the early WA aerial cropdusting and spraying companies and by 1960 had a large fleet of Tiger Moths. Dragons VH-AMN & -BDS were purchased for general work including carrying drums of fuel and chemicals to Tiger Moths in the field, as well as ferrying pilots to work areas.




PRE-WAR BRITISH BUILT DH.84 IMPORTS


6068          VH-URO

1.3.34 Built at Edgeware as production Dragon II
6.3.34 First flight at Stag Lane
10.3.34 British CofA issued as VH-URO
3.34 Shipped from England to Perth for WA Airways
17.4.34 Arrived Fremantle on board S. S. Moreton Bay
18.4.34 Registration application: West Australian Airways Ltd, Perth WA
21.4.34 Registered VH-URO
21.4.34 CofA issued Maylands. 6 passenger seats. Colour scheme dark royal blue with silver wings and tail.
24.4.34 Entered service with WAA, departed on Perth-Adelaide service. Carried 6 passengers on the Adelaide service, later increased seating installed. Not fitted with a toilet at first, but later a toilet was installed. Carried emergency rations of 1 pound of biscuits but no water.
34 Mainly used on the Perth-Adelaide service
22.5.34 Forced landing 12 miles west of Forrest due fuel exhaustion, no damage. Captain James Woods.
1.6.34 Official date for CofA issue
3.7.34 Departed Perth on scheduled service to Adelaide, Captain Len Diprose.
8.7.34 Log entry: Forrest-Perth, Captain Len Diprose
10.34
WAA lost the North West Service to MMA after its lower tender price was accepted by the Government. WAA was left with only the marginally-profitable East-West service and forced to liquidate non-essential assets. Dragon VH-URO was offered for sale.
4.12.34 Forced landing Zanthus WA due vapour lock in starboard engine, no damage. Captain Len Diprose on East-West service
19.12.34 Log entry: Flown Perth-Adelaide by WAA Captain Len Diprose preparatory to sale
28.12.34 Change of ownership: W. R. Carpenter & Co Ltd, Salamaua, New Guinea
Purchased by W. R. Carpenter & Co Ltd to replace their DH.83 VH-UQQ, which crashed 16.12.34 at Black Cat Gap, New Guinea, based Salamaua.
1.35 Ferried Parafield-Sydney by WRC pilot Colin Ferguson
1.35 Overhaul at Mascot by De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd
1.35 Ferried from Sydney to Salamaua by WRC pilot Colin Ferguson accompanied by his wife.
26.1.35 Arrived Salamaua
30.9.35 Crashed into trees at Black Cat Range, in Bitoi Gap near Wau, New Guinea. Had departed Salamaua on a freight flight to Wau, pilot Colin R. Ferguson seriously injured. Wreckage located wedged in tree tops 30 feet above the ground. Ferguson had been hurled from the cockpit and died 9 hours later while being carried overland to Wau. Aircraft wrecked.
M.A."Joe" Taylor who was a ground engineer with W.R.Carpenter recalls:
"Col Ferguson was eventually killed in the crash of the Dragon VH-URO on 30.9.35, up in the Bitoi Valley. He had done a number of trips that day and we were standing leaning on the wing and talking when he said "I think I'll do another trip". It was a bit late in the day, as we used to get the flying over as early as possible, but off he went.  It was his last trip.
Col didn't come back that night. We contacted Wau and found he hadn't arrived there so we knew something had happened. Eddie Sutcliffe had been flying out of Wau at the time and he said he saw Col fly in underneath the clouds, whereas he stayed above them. I flew up to Wau when the wreckage was located and walked in to where the aircraft was. It was in a saddle in the mountains with the 10,000 feet high Mount Thompson on one side and another mountain on the other. One could get through the gap at about 6000 feet in good visibility but there had been a strong wind blowing and he just couldn't get over the saddle - by a margin of only a few feet."
1.10.35 Struck-off Register

  

  VH-URO in service with West Australian Airways during 1934. Ed Coates Collection



6037          VH-URD, A34-7, VH-URD       Miss Launceston, Yoorana


Built Edgeware as production Dragon 1
3.7.33 British CofA issued as VH-URD De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney

Shipped from England to Australia
8.33 Assembled Mascot by De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd
29.8.33 Registered VH-URD Tasmanian Aerial Services Pty Ltd, Launceston Tas
29.8.33 CofA issued. States 7 passenger seats but aircraft fitted for 6 passengers only.
30.8.33 Arrived Essendon on delivery flight from Sydney to Launceston
2.9.33 Proving flight across Bass Strait between Melbourne and Tasmania
4.9.33 First commercial service, Essendon-Flinders Island-Launceston. Then operated 3 times per week service Launceston-Melbourne.
34 Photo flying: all silver "Miss Launceston", "TAS Pty” pennant on tail
7.34 Tasmanian Aerial Services was renamed Holymans Airways
1.10.34 Change of owner name: Holymans Airways Pty Ltd, Launceston Tas  “Miss Launceston”
5.5.35 Forced landing on golf course Wonthaggi Vic due low cloud and rain, pilot C. Scott
2.10.35 Took part in aerial search for missing DH.86 VH-URN in Bass Strait, pilot Fred T. Patterson
1.11.36 Change of owner name: Australian National Airways Pty Ltd, Melbourne  “Yoorana”
23.1.37 ANA fleet report: URD based Parafield
19.1.40 Badly damaged in accident at Raglan near Bathurst while on charter to Australian Aerial Medical Services, Broken Hill (forerunner to Flying Doctor Service)
Captain Howard R. Morris with Dr. J. G. Woods and engineer J. Lang encountered heavy rain at Katoomba while enroute from Broken Hill to Sydney, returned to Bathurst and made forced landing in field near Raglan.  Only Morris was injured.

Wreck taken to Essendon for rebuilding
25.7.40 DCA minute to OIC Essendon: a number of aircraft are intended for conversion to RAAF requirements, including VH-URD by ANA. VH-URD is presently at Essendon
26.8.40 Impressed by Australian Government for RAAF
30.8.40 Struck-off Civil Register
31.8.40 Brought on RAAF charge as A34-7.  Taken over from ANA.
2.9.40 Allotted 1AD Laverton for W/T mods then allocated 1AOS when completed
12.9.40 Allotment to 1AOS postponed until further notice
21.10.40 Serviceable at 1AD awaiting wireless
14.12.40 Issued 1AOS Cootamundra ex 1AD
16.12.40 Serviceable at 1AOS
1.4.41 Allotted 2AOS ex 1AOS
26.4.41 Serviceable at 2AOS
14.10.41 Aircraft hit fence during forced landing Casterton Vic. Due engine failure. Port lower mainplanes and props damaged. 2AOS. Pilot & 3 crew unhurt.
10.41 Major repair at 2AOS until 2.42
23.3.42 Issued ANA Essendon for mods ex 2AOS
10.4.42 Being converted to air ambulance
19.4.42 Received 2AD ex ANA
19.4.42 Issued 33 Sqn ex 2AD
27.10.42 Issued Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield ex 33 Sqn
4.12.42 Repairs commenced on one mainplane
22.1.43 Assembly proceeding, 2 rear spars for stub wings required.
17.8.43 Received 3AD ex APL
30.8.43 Received 1WAGS ex 3AD to be used only for conversion of pilots to DH84 type
23.3.44 Under consideration for disposal to Civil Aviation
13.9.44 To be held at 1WAGS Storage pending disposal to Civil Aviation
5.10.44 Issued to DCA ex 1WAGS.
Back-dated from 4.2.45: Sold by CDC to APL for £3,100.


2.10.44 Restored to Register VH-URD Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield Qld
6.10.44 Registration application: Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield
18.11.44 CofA renewed Archerfield
6.12.44 Weighed at Mascot on arrival from Brisbane. APL representative at weighing was R. A. Adair.
24.1.45 Forced landing Kingaroy Qld due engine trouble, no damage. Pilot E. Frank Finlay, 8 passengers.
4.2.45 DCA write to APL stating the purchase from Commonwealth Disposals Commission is now approved effective that date for price of £3,100.  It had initially been operated at a hire rate while waiting final approval for clear sale to APL.
20.3.45 Minor damage to starboard undercarriage while taxying Kingaroy Qld. Pilot Harold E. Keegan, 6 passengers.  Repaired on 23.3.45
9.5.45 Forced landing Maroochydore Qld while on a Brisbane-Maryborough airline service when starboard engine failed. Landed on main beach in front of the surf life saving lookout tower. Captain R. B. Mitchell rectified a spark plug fault and flew off the beach due to the rising tide.
Aircraft inspected at Maryborough by J.C.Vine
21.12.45 CofA renewed Archerfield
11.2.47 CofA renewed Archerfield
4.6.47 Forced landing Gladstone Qld due to weather. Minor prop damage
7.6.47 Struck an obstruction on takeoff Gladstone: fuselage, undercarriage and wing damage
7.7.47 Repaired at Gladstone
17.3.48 CofA renewed Archerfield
48 Photo at Archerfield,  silver with cheat line, "Royal mail",  “APL” insignia on tail.
18.8.48 Change of ownership: Catholic Mission of the Divine Word, Wewak, New Guinea c/- Bishop Arkfeld
23.8.48 CofA renewed Archerfield
4.5.50 CofA renewed Archerfield
3.5.50 Change of ownership: Qantas Empire Airways Ltd, Lae, New Guinea
4.3.51 Swung into a ditch landing Inonda NG. Minor damage. Pilot F. G. Balogie.
20.7.51 CofA renewed Eagle Farm. 12 bucket seats or 6 normal seats
24.12.51 Crashed on landing Menyamya NG. Severe downward winds blew the aircraft off final approach to the Menyamya strip into the valley of the Tauri River where it crashed. QEA pilot First Officer Richard J. Davis was slightly injured but the aircraft was destroyed.  Charter flight for the Administration, carrying mails and freight to Menyamya
Location has been incorrectly quoted as Manyamya
2.52 QEA advise DCA that aircraft will not be rebuilt but parts have been recovered for use as spares
2.5.52 Struck-off Register

                VH-URD Miss Launceston with original “TAS Pty” pennant on the rudder. Photo: Civil Aviation Historical Society


      

        VH-URD Miss Launceston at Parafield 1936. Photo: Civil Aviation Historical Society


       

        Archerfield circa 1948 with Aircrafts Pty Ltd. The Collection p1234-0261



6074           VH-USA          Grace

29.5.34 Built Hatfield as production Dragon II
29.5.34 British CofA issued: DH.84 Mk.2 c/n 6074, no reg: W. R. Carpenter & Co Ltd, Sydney NSW

Shipped to Sydney on MV “Bendigo”
16.7.34 Letter to CAB from Major Murray-Jones of De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney requesting registration be allocated to DH84 due to arrive Sydney 19.7.34. It was not allotted registration markings before being shipped from England.
“The machine was purchased in England and handed over by the De Havilland Aircraft Co Ltd to the purchasers there. It was purchased to commence a Government contract in New Guinea at the beginning of August.”
Effective 1.8.34 W.R. Carpenter & Co Ltd took over the Wau-Port Moresby service previously operated by Guinea Airways, and Lae-Salamaua-Wau route which had been operated by Holden’s Air Transport Services Ltd.
25.7.34 Captain R. O. Mant of W. R. Carpenter & Co Ltd took delivery of the aircraft at Mascot from DH
26.7.34 Inspection report at Mascot after assembly by De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd. Owner W. R. Carpenter & Co Ltd, Sydney
26.7.34 Testflown Mascot after assembly
27.7.34 Registered VH-USA W. R. Carpenter & Co Ltd, Salamaua, New Guinea. Name Grace
27.7.34 CofA issued
31.7.34 Departed Mascot on ferry flight to New Guinea, Cpt. R. O. Mant: Sydney-Brisbane-Rockhampton-Townsville-Atherton-Port Moresby. “I just drew a line on the chart from Lizard Island to Port Moresby and steered a compass course over the sea. We knew the wind drift up there pretty well, because flying at 1000 feet the south-east trade winds are fairly constant and we didn’t get much off course.”  (Dick Mant interview with Greg Banfield, AHSA Journal)
3.8.34 Arrived Salamaua from Sydney
25.8.34 Entered service in New Guinea with charter to Port Moresby, fitted for 7 passengers or freight.
20.7.35 CAB inspection at Salamaua: many defects needed rectification
26.7.35 Struck-off Register
10.8.35 Testflown Salamaua after CofA renewal
26.7.36 CofR has expired. Not immediately renewed because VH-USA under major overhaul at Salamaua
26.8.36 Testflown Salamaua after CofA renewal, pilot R. O. Mant of WRC
28.8.36 Restored to Register VH-USA W. R. Carpenter & Co Ltd, Salamaua, New Guinea
6.10.36 Change of owner name: Mandated Airlines Ltd, Wau (subsidiary company of W.R. Carpenter & Co Ltd)
7.1.37 Ran off runway landing Ramu and struck a drain, damaged.  Pilot M. V. Mather, “one passenger and one native”, no injuries
27.7.37 Testflown Salamaua after CofA renewal. Pilot S. E. Sutcliffe. CofA renewed that day.
23.8.37 Forced landing Salamaua due water in fuel, no damage. Pilot S. E. Sutcliffe, freight flight
16.9.38 Testflown Salamaua after CofA renewal. Pilot E. Derek Crisp. CofA renewed that day.
24.10.39 Testflown Salamaua after CofA renewal. Pilot S. E. Sutcliffe. CofA renewed that day.
21.4.41 Testflown Salamaua after CofA renewal. Pilot S. E. Sutcliffe. CofA renewed that day
1.10.41 Repairs completed using parts of VH-UVB: reason not quoted
4.10.41 Inspection report at Salamaua: DCA inspector reports in good condition  
21.1.42 Destroyed by enemy action at Salamaua. Pilot Ernest Clark was preparing to taxy for takeoff to Wau when attacked by Japanese fighters in a daylight raid.

Pilot Ernest Clarke later wrote that he and Kevin Parer in his Dragon VH-AEA were both getting ready to take off for Wau at noon. Parer was in his cockpit but having trouble getting an engine started and called Clarke over to help swing the propeller.
"I had just got hold of the propeller when Japanese fighters roared in about 50 feet overhead. A burst of machine gun fire from another sprayed around us. I dropped under the shelter of the engine. I got up and saw Kevin get out of his seat and dash to the back of the cabin where he was hit and fell. The Japs were still coming. I covered Kevin with a blanket and made for a shelter. When the Japs were clear I ran out to the plane which was now on fire. I tried to get Kevin out but I couldn't manage it. The Japs came back and let me have it. A couple of bullets ripped across my legs above the knees but they were nothing - only shallow flesh wounds. But for Kevin's engine not starting, we would both have been shot down in the air."
Clarke also received severe burns to his hands from his attempt to drag Kevin Parer from his burning Dragon. Natives evacuated him to Kokoda and he was then flown to Pt Moresby and to hospital in Australia.
21.1.42 DCA inspector V.W. Burgess sent a cable to DCA Head Office from Salamaua listing civil aircraft damaged by a Japanese air raid on Salamaua aerodrome that day. His assessment of Dragons was:
VH-USA repairable
VH-UVB destroyed
VH-AEA destroyed
20.2.42 Struck-off Register.
As quoted in DCA file: Civil Register ledger gives Struck-off date as 11.3.42

  

  Salamaua 1936 with wheel spats and W.R.Carpenter’s star ”C” emblem on rudder. Ed Coates Collection



6045          VH-URF, A34-9        Gay Prospector, Golden Prospector, The Kimberley, Dunbar Hooper II

33. Built Edgeware as production Dragon 1
25.8.33 Telegram from De Havillands in England to CAB requesting registration markings for the two Dragons for Western Mining Corporation so that they can be painted on the aircraft while in the factory.  CAB allocate VH-URF & URG.

Western Mining Corporation had been formed in 8.33 by a group of mining interests, to carry out a large survey of gold-bearing country in Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia. Two DH.84s ordered, which would be fitted with Williamson Eagle cameras. The aerial team would be accompanied by a fleet of ground vehicles to provide logistcal support and be able to process  exposed film. A hangar was built at Kalgoorlie aerodrome to house the two aircraft for the expected duration of 2 years of survey flying.
Two pilots were selected: Captain Charles W. Snook of Perth and RAAF Flight Lieutenant S.C.Campbell, both sent to England to test the aircrafty at the DH factory.
3.10.33 British CofA issued in name of Western Mining Corporation Ltd, Perth WA
3.10.33 VH-URF & URG were christened in a ceremony at Stag Lane by the wife of WMC Director Mrs.W. Robinson.
10.33 Special modifications to both aircraft included strengthened undercarriage and oversize tyres, extra fuel tankage to give a range of 8 hours, a wind driven generator mounted on a wing root to provide power for Marconi radio and radio direction finding equipment. Other instrumentation included directional gyro and a larger than normal compass. To improve sound-proofing thicker glazing was fitted in the main cabin. and a toilet was provided.
10.33 Both DH.84s for WMC were shipped from England to Fremantle packed in 8 wooden cases on board SS Largs Bay
14.11.33 Largs Bay berthed at Fremantle. Crates moved by road to Mayland Aerodrome same day and unpacking commenced immediately.
11.33 URF & URG assembled at Maylands. Allover pale cream. Both will be based at Kalgoorlie WA while conducting a photographic survey of the Eastern Goldfields covering 80,000 square miles in  search for new ore bodies. The aerial operation was under the command of Captain Charles W. Snook of Perth, who had sailed to England to arrange the purchase of the two Dragons and installation of survey cameras and specialist navigational equipment. Each Dragon was fitted with a Williamson Eagle IV camera, 6 seats and lavatory.
27.11.33 Registration application: Western Mining Corp Ltd, Perth WA.   Named Gay Prospector
c6.12.33 Testflown Maylands after assembly by two ground engineers hired by the survey project
15.12.33 Registered VH-URF.
15.12.33 CofA issued
19.12.33 WMC’s two Dragons URF & URG departed Maylands for Kalgoorlie where they will be based. 
20.12.33 Dragons commenced survey flying from Kalgoorlie
9.34 The aerial component of the survey was completed well ahead of the scheduled 2 years. The ground organisation's geological investigations based on the aerial photographs continued for some time.
9.34 WMC continued to use the two Dragons for company transport of staff and equipment.
9.34 The early termination of the aerial survey resulted in some staff being laid off, and a disgruntled employee painted over the "Gay" on the nose of the Dragon.  WMC had the name repainted as Golden Prospector
20.11.34 Change of ownership: MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co Ltd, Perth.   Named The Kimberley.
Purchased by MMA to replace their Dragons damaged on their newly commenced NorthWest run. 291 lbs weight of non-standard fittings were removed. 
Equipped for 7 passengers, initially retained WMC pale cream colour scheme, later re-doped all silver.
12.34 Entered service on the Broome-Daly Waters section of MMA’s North West service Perth-Daly Waters, replacing Dragon VH-URX.
20.9.36 Forced landing 12 miles south of Dongara WA due fuel problem, no damage. Was operating the Perth-Geraldton sector of the North West Service with 5 passengers. Pilot C. Clarke.
25.11.36 Forced landing Watheroo WA, no damage. Pilot C. Clarke.
14.10.37 Pilot log: Maylands local endorsement flights, new MMA pilot E.D.Anderson, and the next day
7.38 URF in service on MMA Wyndham-Daly Waters branch service and AAMS flying doctor contract, replacing DH.83 UTF which flew its last medical flight from Wyndham to Argyle Downs Station 23.7.38
1.8. 38 Named Dunbar Hooper II in ceremony at Wydham by Minister of the Interior John McEwan.
URF operates the MMA Wyndham-Daly Waters sector and also operates for the Australian Aerial Medical Service
12.38 Still operating Wyndham-Daly Waters branch service
39 URF based Wyndham, housed in a small hangar that only just accommodates the Dragon with its wings folded. Operates the MMA Wyndham-Daly Waters sector also for AAMS.
5.39 At Maylands for overhaul. Radio fitted for AAMS work.
3.10.39 Departed Maylands for Wyndham to replace Dragon VH-UVN which requires CofA renewal
5.10.39 Returned to Wyndham from Maylands
40 Impressment order by RAAF
7.40 Operating Wyndham-Daly Waters branch service
6.7.40 Director General of Civil Aviation advises MMA that it is not proposed to impress this aircraft at this date.
11.40 RAAF advise MMA that URF will be impressed. MMA are instructed to have the aircraft ready at Maylands in 12.40
11.12.40 URF replaced MMA Dragon UVN for the period it was under repair to damage in forced landing Meda Station, via Derby WA.
12.40 RAAF agreed to MMA request to defer impressment of URF because it was urgently needed by MMA to replaced damaged VH-UVN
21.4.41 VH-UVN CofA renewed after repair. VH-URF now available for impressment
5.5.41 Impressed by Australian Government for RAAF under Impressment Requisition No.8188 from MMA
5.5.41 Delivered to 3EFTS Essendon by MMA founder Horrie Miller. Arrived Essendon this date.
5.5.41 Brought on RAAF charge as A34-9. Issued to ANA Essendon ex 3EFTS for mods
5.5.41 Struck-off Civil Register
10.5.41 Inspection report at Essendon
4.7.41 Received 1AD Laverton ex ANA for fitting W/T
16.8.41 Received 2AOS Mount Gambier ex 1AD
18.1.42 Issued ANA Essendon ex 2AOS for conersion to air ambulance
30.1.42 Under conversion to air ambulance at ANA
1.2.42 Allotted Darwin (Transport Unit) ex 1AD
9.2.42 Received 1AD Laverton ex ANA
25.2.42 Received 34 Squadron, Darwin ex 1AD
3.3.42 Destroyed on ground by Japanese raid Wyndham WA. Destroyed by straffing and incendary bombs during Japanese air raid at 10am. Had been flown Darwin-Wyndham by Flt Lt Warwick.
RAAF Status Card states “destroyed by incendiary bombs”
16.4.42 Struck-off RAAF charge

  

  VH-URF at Port Hedland WA c1936 with MMA. Geoff Goodall collection



6046           VH-URG      Golden West, Yuptana

33 Built Edgeware as production Dragon 1
25.8.33 Telegram from De Havillands in England to CAB requesting registration markings for the two Dragons for Western Mining Corporation so that they can be painted on the aircraft while in the factory.  CAB allocate VH-URF & URG.

Western Mining Corporation had been formed in 8.33 by a group of mining interests, to carry out a large survey of gold-bearing country in Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia. Two DH.84s ordered, which would be fitted with Williamson Eagle cameras. The aerial team would be accompanied by a fleet of ground vehicles to provide logistcal support and be able to process  exposed film. A hangar was built at Kalgoorlie aerodrome to house the two aircraft for the expected duration of 2 years of survey flying.
Two pilots were selected: Captain Charles W. Snook of Perth and RAAF Flight Lieutenant S.C.Campbell, both sent to England to test the aircraft at the DH factory.
3.10.33 British CofA issued in name of Western Mining Corporation Ltd, Perth WA
3.10.33 VH-URF & URG were christened in  ceremony at Stag Lane by the wife of WMC Director Mrs.W. Robinson.
10.33 Special modifications to both aircraft included strengthened undercarriage and oversize tyres, extra fuel tankage to give a range of 8 hours, a wind driven generator mounted on a wing root to provide power for Marconi radio and radio direction finding equipment. Other instrumentation included directional gyro and a larger than normal compass. To improve sound-proofing thicker glazing was fitted in the main cabin. and a toilet was provided.
10.33 Both DH.84s for WMC were shipped from England to Fremantle packed in 8 wooden cases on board SS Largs Bay
14.11.33 Largs Bay berthed at Fremantle. Crates moved by road to Mayland Aerodrome same day and unpacking commenced immediately.
26.11.33 URF & URG assembly completed at Maylands. Pale cream paint scheme.
11.33 URF & URG assembled at Maylands then flown to Kalgoorlie where will be
27.11.33 Registration application: Western Mining Corp Ltd, Perth & Melbourne
1.12.33 CAB Inspection report at Maylands
1.12.33 Testflown Maylands by Charles Snook after assembly by two engineers hired by the survey project
2.12.33 Extra fuel tanks were installed in engine nacelles and in the cabin under seats
4.12.33 Flown from Perth to Kalgoorlie by Snook on a proving flight, testing the radio equipment and taking vertical photographs over Southern Cross en route. Landed Kalgoorlie after 5 hours in the air.
Returned to Maylands several days later.
9.12.33 Registered VH-URG. Named Golden West
9.12.33 CofA issued
19.12.33 WMC’s two Dragons URF & URG departed Maylands for Kalgoorlie where they will be based.
20.12.33 Dragons commenced survey flying from Kalgoorlie.  The photographic survey of the Eastern Goldfields covering 80,000 square miles in search for new ore bodies. The aerial operation was under the command of Captain Charles W. Snook of Perth, who had sailed to England to arrange the purchase of the two Dragons and installation of survey cameras and specialist navigational equipment. Each Dragon was fitted with an Eagle IV camera, 6 seats and lavatory.
1.1.34
Captain Charles Snook departed Kalgoorlie in VH-URG for Melbourne, arriving there the next day. Demonstration flights of the DH.84's photographic survey capability had been arranged for survey companies and RAAF
9.34 The aerial component of the survey was completed well ahead of the scheduled 2 years. The ground organisation's geological investigations based on the aerial photographs continued for some time.
8.12.34 CAB Inspection report at Kalgoorlie
14.12.34 Change of ownership: Holyman’s Airways Pty Ltd, Launceston Tas
Total airframe hours at time of sale 570 hrs. Purchased by Holyman's Airways to replace their DH.86 VH-URN Miss Hobart which crashed in Bass Strait in October 1934.
35 Flown on Holyman’s Airways Melbourne-Launceston service. Retained the name Golden West
5.35 Chartered by the Commonwealth Government for a two week geophysical survey of north-western Australia (ANA Pilot Alex Bayne, Engineer Milton Forster).
1.11.36 Change of ownership: Australian National Airways Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic.  Named Yuptana
23.1.37 ANA fleet summary: VH-URG based Essendon
18.2.37 Forced landing Skipton Vic due engine failure, Captain Harold Cook. Melbourne-Adelaide service
5.5.37 Forced landing Cowell SA due engine failure, Captain L. C. Leonard
17.7.37 Forced landing Port Neill SA due engine trouble, Captain William P. Heath
8.38 Based at Broken Hill NSW on loan to Australian Aerial Medical Service while their ANA Fox Moth VH-UQM was having an overhaul at Parafield
9.6.39 Change of ownership: Airlines of Australia Ltd, Sydney    
9.6.39 Departed Essendon for Cairns Qld where it will be based by AoA
39 Based at Cairns to operate services taken over by Airlines of Australia when they took over North Queensland Airways the previous year
21.2.40 Crashed at Inverleigh Station Qld, when it failed to climb after takeoff and struck trees. No injuries to Captain Clive Jones or his 3 passengers.

Rebuilt by AoA Cairns maintenance staff. Engineer Jack Atkinson later wrote: "We had a Dragon very badly damaged out on Inverleigh Station between Normanton and Burketown. Practically all the wings were wiped off. I was sent out with an offsider and one apprentice to do the major repairs  under very primitive conditions and it took three months to complete the job. I was still out there when Italy entered the war."
6.7.40 Director General of Civil Aviation writes to Airlines of Australia advising that it is not proposed to impress this aircraft at this time
12.9.40 Flew Cairns-Cooktown-Cairns scheduled service. Aircraft total airframe time 3575 hrs
26.9.40 Hit a truck during landing at Cairns, when landed cross wind to avoid airfield repair works, badly damaged. Captain William Hill and 2 passengers unhurt.

Rebuilt by AoA, based Cairns. Flew the regular service Cairns-Cooktown return
17.2.41 Forced landing at Bald Hills Station Qld due engine failure because of fuel blockage, minor damage to undercrriage. Struck tree stumps, tearing off the undercarriage. Captain W. Hill
4.2.42 Crashed, destroyed by fire Wenlock Qld. Returned for landing immediately after takeoff due fire in port engine.  Forced down in low scrub which tore off the undercarriage legs. The fire in the port engine spread and aircraft was destroyed. No injuries to Captain Stewart G. Hack and 4 passengers.
18.2.42 Struck-off Register

  

  VH-URG "Golden West" being assembled at Maylands, 26 November 1933. State Library of WA


           

            Western Mining Corporation advertisement in The Australian newspaper 8 April 1975


  

  VH-URG with Holyman’s Airways, at Essendon 1935 still named Golden West.  The Collection p1234-1494




6029          VH-URE, VH-FDB, VH-DMA                Yanana, L. M. Pattinson

33 Built Edgeware as production Dragon 1
12.6.33 First flight Stag Lane.

Modified by DH at factory on WAA request to add an extra window in rear fuselage on each side for the benefit of extra passengers when joyriding,  
Seating for 8 pax when on airmail services, 11 pax when joyriding
21.7.33 Arrive Fremantle on board SS Largs Bay
7.33 Assembled at Maylands.
9.8.33 Registration application: West Australian Airways Ltd, Maylands Aerodrome, Perth WA
Dark coloured fuselage and silver wings
16.8.33 Testflown Maylands, pilot Major Norman Brearley
29.8.33 Registered VH-URE
29.8.33 CofA issued.
8.33 Entered service with WAA on northwest service. Brearly wrote to the Controller 0f Civil Aviation, Captain E.C.Jonston: “...I think it is the most delightful machine I have ever handled. One of the most remarkable things about it is the view of the country ahead of the machine which is giben to the passengers from their seats by looking past the pilot. The convenience of being able to converse with passengers during flight makes a wonderful difference.”

WAA used this first Dragon VH-URE mainly on their North-West coastal service from Perth to Wyndham, alongside DH.61 Giant Moths and DH.50s. It was occasionally put on the Perth-Adelaide service alongside DH.66 Hercules and Vickers Viastras.
28.11.33 Local flying Maylands while newly hired WAA pilot Len Diprose was endorsed by Norman Brearley
4.12.33 Flew Derby-Perth, pilot Len Diprose, 14 hours flying time
7.12.33 Forced landing at Onsow WA with broken oil pipe, no damage. Pilot Len Diprose
25.4.34 Crashed on takeoff Geraldton WA, bound for Carnarvon northbound on the North West Service. The undercarriage struck the airfield boundary fence, and the aircraft slewed in a ground-loop into an adjacent tomato farm. Aircraft badly damaged but pilot Stanley G. Brearley (Norman's brother) and 4 passengers were unhurt .
The next day Captain Harry Baker flew DH.61 VH-UQJ from Perth to Geraldton. The passengers boarded the DH.61 to continue the service, again flown by Captain Stan Brearley. 15 miles north of Geraldton the DH.61's engine blew a cyclinder, the cabin filled with smoke and Brearley made a forced landing with no airframe damage.
WAA again sent Harry Baker from Perth to collect the hapless passengers, this time in a DH.66 Hercules. The service to Wyndham was completd with the DH.66, this being the only occasion a Hercules had been used on the North West Service.
4.34 VH-URE's wreck moved from Geraldton to Maylands Aerodrome, Perth for repair in the WAA workshops
8.34
Repairs completed.  The Government had by now awarded the North West Service to newcomer MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co. VH-URE continued on the WAA Perth-Adelaide service , alongside their other Dragon VH-URO.
12.34
From now VH-URE operated the weekly East West Service alone after the sale of VH-URO. Loadings were reduced due to the effects of the Depression and reduced overseas mail volume by ship to/from Perth.  When WAA purchased DH.89 Rapide VH-UUO which entered service in July 1935, the higher powered Rapide took over the Perth-Adelaide run, with VH-URE as back-up.
22.1.35 Rough running engine after departing Perth on the East-West Service to Adelaide, returned to Maylands. No damage.
1.7.36 Change of ownership: Adelaide Airways Ltd and/or Australian National Airways, Adelaide (sic)
1.11.36 Change of ownership: Australian National Airways Pty Ltd, Melbourne. Named Yanana
19.11.36 Hit ground heavily when struck by willy-willy on approach to land at Renmark SA. Pilot A. C. Webb and 3 passengers. Badly damaged.
Photos of crash scene show Dragon standing on damaged undercarriage, starboard wings collapsed. Dark colour scheme with searchlight in housing on starboard side of nose. “Airways Ltd” on nose, with the rest of the WAA name painted over.
23.1.37 Reported at Essendon.
3.7.37 CofA renewed after rebuild
15.12.37 Local flight Essendon for photographs of newly assembled DC-3 VH-UZK
26.12.37 Flight from Essendon for newspaper photographs of ship aground near Sale Vic
26.2.38 Change of ownership: Airlines of Australia Ltd, Brisbane Qld.  Retained name Yanana
Airlines of Australia operated in association with ANA but each retained their own route network
8.38 .North Queensland Airways ceased operations following the crash of Dragon VH-UXK at Innisfail Qld on 29.8.38, latest in a series of fatal accidents. NQA Managing Director T.H.McDonald placed NQA in liquidation. The assets and scheduled routes were immediately purchased by Airlines of Australia, who sent Ian H. Grabowsky to Cairns as interim manager. AoA immediately introduced the Stinson A trimotor on the Brisbane-Cairns route, and based an additional DH.89 Rapide VH-UUO alongside NQA's VH-UZY and brought DH.84s VH-URE & URG to be based at Cairns.
38 Based Cairns, flying 7 days a week 6am-6pm and over-nighting away from Cairns most nights
13.6.38 Forced landing on beach16 Km north of Cardwell Qld due engine failure, no damage. Captain C.E. Moore and 2 passengers unhurt. Operating a schedueld service Townmsville-Cairns.
27.4.39 Crashed due engine failure after takeoff Mount Surprise Station Qld on a charter flight, Captain J.J.Connolly with 2 pax. Struck the ground heavily, causing serious damage and all three occupants were seriously injured. Investigation found that Connolly usually flew DH.89s in which the fuel selection switches worked opposite to this Dreagon. He had inadvertantly switched off the fuel flow.

Repaired
39 Photo Archerfield, silver with cheat line, large fuselage reg. Yanana
5.2.40 Change of ownership: Australian Aerial Medical Services (NSW Section), Sydney. Based at Broken Hill NSW. Named L. M. Pattinson.
AAMS was later renamed Flying Doctor Service of Australia, and later Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia
23.4.40 Testflown Mascot, pilot Hugh Bond.
Fitted with specially designed stretcher, all silver doped finish, red crosses
4.40 Based Broken Hill NSW
6.7.40 DCA advise it is not proposed to impress this aircraft at this date
41 Painted in camouflage
1.7.42 Change of owner name: Flying Doctor Service of Australia (NSW Section), Sydney
Based Broken Hill, pilot Hugh Bond
31.1.43 Hit fence landing at Wilcannia NSW. Pilot Hugh Bond and 3 passengers unhurt.

Rebuilt
13.7.43 Forced landing 40 miles east of Erudina due to dust storm
5.44 Now painted allover silver again
10.45 URE under overhaul and replacement aircraft urgently needed. DCA agree to Interim CofA for FDSofA Dragon VH-AGM to be issued 12.10.45 for 3 months.
46 Operated by the Aero Club of Broken Hill for Flying Doctor Service
2.47 Aero Cub of Broken Hill requests CofA extension for 5 days to allow a medical flight and then ferry to Sydney for overhaul for CofA renewal. Approved.
9.47 FDS Dragons URE & ASO based Broken Hill
3.48 Ferried Broken Hill-Bankstown for CofA renewal
16.4.48 CofA renewed Bankstown
9.48 Requested reg changes for both Dragons: ASO to FDA and URE to FDB. Approved by DCA
19.11.48 Reregistered VH-FDB.
Civil Register records reregistration date as 30.9.48
14.2.49 CofA renewed at Essendon, still painted as VH-URE
3.49 DCA report: still painted as VH-URE
27.3.49 Ran off strip during taskeoff after striking a soft path of ground at Innamincka SA. Aircraft had stayed overnight after bringing in food and supplies to the township which was cut off to road transport by flooding of Coopers Creek.  Aircraft damaged but pilot V. Cover and Mr. M. Mullins who was "bombardier" for dropping supplies, were not injured.
3.49 An engineer from Silver City Airways to be flown to the site in the second FDS Dragon to assess the damage.
c3.49 The damaged Dragon sustained further damage during salvage and moving to Broken Hill by truck.
7.49 Wreck stored at Broken Hill aerodrome, pending transport to Sydney for rebuild.
9.49 Transported to Sydney for rebuild
12.1.50 CofA renewed Bankstown 
15.2.51 CofA renewal Bankstown
2.52 CofA renewal under way at Bankstown by Royal Aero Club of NSW is delayed
23.5.52 CofA renewed Bankstown
24.8.56 Change of ownership: Muir Aviation, Darwin NT
1.11.56 Reregistered VH-DMA Douglas C. Muir t/a Muir Aviation, Darwin
1.12.56 Arrived Sleisteck NT, departed next day, pilot Doug Muir
15.12.56 Returned to Darwin after departure due poor weather, pilot E. C. Osgood
11.12.57 Crashed and overturned near Katherine NT. Pilot F.A.Southwell, on a charter flight to carry a party from a strip 4 miles south of Katherine to a work site. The pilot makde 3 attempots to takeoff. When finally airborne the pilot turned away from the strip, but the aircraft would not climb, madxe a forced landing and overturned, 4 miles south of Katherine. Invesigation revealed the aircraft was seriously overloaded with sheets of glass and tins of paint in the cabin.
DCA Accident report: "The aircraft turned to the right soon after takeoff but failed to climb and after travelling some 8 miles was landed in an open field and overturned. Probably the amount and distribution of load reduced the performance capacity such that the aircraft could not reach a safe manoeuvring height."
- Reported that remains of Muir’s Dragons DMA & DMB were burnt as a Guy Fawkes Night bonfire at Darwin Airport
9.5.58 Struck-off Register

  

  Port Hedland WA 1934 in service with West Australian Airways. Geoff Goodall collection


  

  Archerfield 1939 with Airlines of Australia, name "Yanana" on the nose. Geoff Goodall collection


  

  VH-URE with Flying Doctor Service of Australia, based Broken Hill. Civil Aviation Historical Society


  

  VH-FDB at the Broken Hill Flying Doctor Service base circa 1950.  The Collection p1234-0648


  

  VH-DMA of Muir Aviation, wrecked near Katherine NT December 1957. SA Aviation Museum





6080      VH-URW        The Pilbarra

6.34 Built Hatfield as production Dragon II
4.7.34 British CofA VH-URW: De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
.34 URW, URX & URY imported by De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney for MMA
17.8.34 All 3 arrived Fremantle by ship from England. Taken to Maylands aerodrome for assembly
29.8.34 Testflown Maylands. Colour scheme was dark royal blue, silver wings & tail.
30.8.34 Registration application: MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co Ltd, Maylands Aerodrome, Perth WA
31.8.34 Registered VH-URW.  Named The Pilbarra
31.8.34 CofA issued, 8 passenger seats
2.9.34 Tipped on nose during landing Maylands, nose dented
4.10.34 Crashed on takeoff Onslow WA on the second day of the first northbound MMA NorWest service, taking over from WAA. Pilot Bert Hussey.
MMA pilot Arthur Affleck departed Maylands on the same day in the reserve Dragon carrying spare parts and engineers to repair URW.  After overnighting at Carnarvon, continued to Onslow 5.10.34 to pick up the stranded passengers and freight from URW and continue north.
11.34 URW repair completed at Onslow.  One engineer proceeded to Ord River to assist Horrie Miller who was repairing the crashed URX there.
9.12.34 Inaugurated the extended MMA service Perth to Daly Waters to connect with the Australia-England air mail route. Pilot George McCausland.
8.3.35 Crashed on landing Wyndham WA. Turned over on to back during landing on waterlogged ground at Wyndham WA. Pilot Arthur Affleck and the one passenger received only minor injuries.

Affleck been delayed two days at Fitzroy Crossing WA due heavy rains, the flight was proceeding to Darwin via Wyndham where it was to connect with the Qantas flight to Singapore to make up time. Aerodrome at Wyndham was under a foot of water so Affleck landed at the CAB prepared emergency strip 6 miles from the town. On landing both main wheels sank through the soft surface and aircraft tipped on nose then over on to its back.  

URW waa pulled back on to its wheels by ropes with help of almost the entire population of Wyndham.
Then Affleck rode on horseback 80 km to Ivanhoe Station, carrying the mail. MMA Chief Pilot Captain James Woods flew another Dragon to Ivanhoe for Affleck to continue the service to Darwin. Woods and a mechanic then rode on horseback from Ivanhoe Station to Wyndham where they repaired the aircraft, using Bushells tea chests as replacement plywood.

Woods then ferried the aircraft with temporary repairs to Maylands for full repair.
In a letter to the Controller of Civil Aviation describing the repair, Woods commented that the quality of the plywood in the Bushells tea chests was superior
to that used in the DH.84 nose by De Havillands.
6.35 Rebuild completed at Maylands
23.9.37 Pilot log: Maylands local, MMA pilot E.D. “Bill” Anderson
19.10.37 Pilot log 19-22.10.37: Broome-Wave Hill-Victoria River Downs Station-Daly Waters-Ord River Station-Noonkenbah Station-Broome-Port Hedland, pilot E.D.Anderson
26.7.38 Pilot log 26-27.7.38: Fitzroy Crossing-Daly Waters-Ord River Station-Noonkenbah Station, pilot E.D.Anderson. Anderson then continued as Second Pilot on MMA DH.86 VH-USC Noonkenbah-Port Hedland-Perth
22.3.39 Change of ownership: W. R. Carpenter & Co Ltd, Salamaua, New Guinea
7.5.39 Flew Salamaua to Rabaul, to be temporarily based at Rabaul.  Operated by Mandated Airlines Ltd
.40 Change of owner's name: Mandated Airlines Ltd, Salamaua
30.1.40 Crashed at Wau. Flew into hills during an attempted go-around during landing on a freight flight from Salamaua to Wau.  The aircraft was unable to outclimb the uphill slope of the aerodrome. Barely cleared the Hotel Bulolo on the side of the strip and the Wau Theatre before stalling into the deep gully of the Little Wau Creek. Pilot Ron E. Doyle and two native passengers were killed.'

Written off, wrecked aircraft in the hands of the insurance company.

DCA inquiry into the accident found that the pilot usually flew as First officer on the W.R.Carpenter Airlines DH.86 service from Sydney to Salamaua- Rabaul. He was inexperienced and not endorsed on DH.84. He probably did not anticipate the poor performance of the lower-powered DH.84.

Eric Noble. a ground engineer for Stephens Aviation at Wau prewar, explained that after W. R. Carpenter started their DH.86 mail service from Sydney to Rabaul, the second pilots were taken off the service at Salamaua and given a few local trips in the Mandated Airlines Fox Moths to gain experience in New Guinea conditions.
"One day Mandated put one of these copilots from the DH.86 service into a Dragon to do some local trips. Shortly after lunch this pilot was returning to Wau on completion of his second trip. On the approach, he thought he would have to overshoot so he opened up the throttles. As he came above our hangar, he caught the radio aerials, lifted a bit, tried to turn but pulled the turn too tight, stalled and in he went. We raced up to the wreck but the pilot was dead. he had been carrying cases of soap but as there was no way of tying them down in those days, the load had moved forward and crushed him on impact."
30.3.40 Kevin Parer purchased the wreck from the insurance company, and moved it in sections by air from Wau to Salamaua then by boat to Wewak, where taken ashore by barge.
To be used for parts to rebuilt VH-AEA.
10.6.40 Change of ownership: Kevin Parer/ Parer’s Air Transport Co, Wewak.  
7.40 Kevin Parer advises DCA that he will not now rebuild URW. Remains are in store at Wewak.
3.41 DCA wrote to De Havilland Aircraft, Mascot asking if it would be possible for them to rebuild URW for RAAF from their stock of Dragon spares. They replied it would not be possible at that time due pressure of military work..
21.1.42 Further damaged by Japanese air attack of Wewak
7.2.42 Kevin Parer wrote to DCA offering the wreck to the Australian Government for £675, including components that have been under repair.
11.3.42 Struck-off Register due destroyed by enemy action
1.43 MMA Adelaide write to DCA: interested in purchasing the remains of URW
1.43 No written reply to MMA. DCA file ends.

  

  VH-URW, URX & URY after assembly at Maylands for the new MMA service. Geoff Goodall collection


  

  Port Hedland 1938, name Pilbarra, original spelling of the Pilbara district of WA. Geoff Goodall collection


  

  Wau, New Guinea 30 January 1940. Civil Aviation Historical Society



6081     VH-URX, A34-1       The Gascoyne

34 Built Hatfield as production Dragon II
13.7.34 British CofA VH-URX: De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
.34 URW, URX & URY imported by De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney for MMA
17.8.34 All 3 arrived Fremantle by ship from England. Taken to Mayland aerodrome for assembly
11.9.34 Registered VH-URX MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co Ltd, Maylands Aerodrome, Perth WA   Named The Gascoyne. Colour scheme was dark royal blue, silver wings & tail.
11.9.34 CofA issued, 8 passenger seats
12.9.34 Testflown Maylands
13.9.34 Registration application: MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co, Maylands WA
23.10.34 Badly damaged at Ord River Station WA. While standing parked it was hit by a willy-willy rotating wind storm. MMA Pilots George McCausland and Bert Hussey ran from the homestead to the aircraft and hung on to interplane struts on each wing as the aircraft was blown some distance into stockyards at the downhill end of the aerorome and ended up on its back.                                    

Horrie Miller flew DH.60 UNX from Perth and commenced work on rebuilding URX on his own. After about 4 weeks he had help from a ground engineer from Perth, and completed the rebuld.
21.12.34 URX arrived Maylands carrying the first Empire Air Mail from England
6.10.37 Pilot log: Broome local, MMA pilot E. D.”Bill” Anderson
18.10.37 Pilot log: Onslow to Broome, 6 hrs 40 mins, pilot E.D.Anderson
2.3.38 Pilot log: Carnarvon to Perth, 5 hrs 10 mins, pilot E.D.Anderson
6.3.38 Pilot log 6 to 16.3.38: Perth-Carnarvon-Broome-Victoria River Downs Station-Daly Waters-Ord River Station-Broome-Carnarvon-Perth, 47 hrs 10 mins, pilot E.D.Anderson
20.3.38 Pilot log 20 to 30.3.38: Perth-Carnarvon-Broome-Wave Hill-Daly Waters-Ord River Station-Broome-Carnarvon-Perth, 45 hrs 40 mins, pilot E.D.Anderson
3.4.38 Pilot log: Perth-Carnarvon, 5 hrs 00 mins, pilot E.D.Anderson
24.7.38 Pilot log 24-25.7.38: Carnarvon-Broome-Fitzroy Crossing, pilot E.D.Anderson. Anderson took over Dragon VH-URW at Fitzroy Crossing to continue to Daly Waters.
9.38 Ferried Perth to Adelaide by MMA pilot Cyril Kleinig. Transferred from MMA's Perth base to its original Parafield base. Mainly flew MMA services from Adelaide to Whyalla & Iron Knob services, pilot usually Cyril Kleinig
3.11.39 Total airframe time: 4206 hours
8.11.39 Based Parafield
12.39 Impressed by Australian Government for RAAF. Impressment Requisition Number 12516 from MMA Co Ltd. Issued to 1 Flying Training School Observers School.  Impressment price £1,800.
27.12.39 Delivered to RAAF Point Cook Vic by MMA Captain James Woods
3.1.40 Brought on RAAF charge as A34-1
3.1.40 Allotted No.1 Flying Training School Observers School, Point Cook (1FTS)
8.1.40 Struck-off Civil Register
26.1.40 Issued No.1 Advanced Training School (1ATS)
26.4.40 Serviceable at Signal School, Point Cook
22.7.40 Serviceable at Signal School, Point Cook
9.8.40 Departed Pt Cook for Mascot for modifications by Butler Air Transport
9.40 DCA memo: under inspection at BAT, Mascot: estimated cost for total overhaul £1,240.
“Operated by RAAF since January 1940. Formerly VH-URX. Several mainplane spars replaced.”
Total time recorded as 4196 hrs (see 3.11.39)
7.11.40 Received 4EFTS ex Butler Air Transport
28.11.40 Departed 4EFTS on delivery to 3EFTS
30.11.40 Allotted to ANA ex 3EFTS
18.12.40 Completed by ANA, allotted 1AOS. To go to 1AD for wireless before 1AOS
22.12.40 Serviceable at 1AD Laverton. Remained at 1AD
26.2.41 Issued 2AOS ex 1AD
1.3.41 Serviceable at 2AOS
10.5.41 Received 1AD Laverton ex 2AOS for 100 hourly    
5.6.41 Issued 2AOS ex 1AD
26.6.41 Forced landing1 mile north of airfield Mt Gambier due engine trouble, no damage. Pilot & 4 crew.
9.2.42 Issued to ANA ex 2AOS for conversion to transport and ambulance duties
16.2.42 Being converted to air ambulance
24.2.42 Received 1AD Laverton ex ANA
9.3.42 Received 35 Sqn ex 1AD
20.5.42 Accident while taxying, swung off runway and struck obstruction, starboard wing damaged
29.5.42 Forced landing, no damage. Starboard engine had failed due water in fuel
14.6.42 Forced landing in sea at night near Dongara WA.  Forced landing due starboard engine failure, landed in sea just off the beach 18 miles from Dongara off Cliff Head and turned over on impact in 4 feet deep water. Pilot Flt Lt Burdeau and 4 passengers escaped with minor injuries,
The Dragon was enroute Perth to Geraldton
21.6.42 Written off
17.8.42 Received Workshops Pearce ex 35 Sqn for conversion to components

Converted to components

  

  Maylands December 1934.  Photo: State Library of WA      

  

  Loading mail for England at Maylands in December 1934. Geoff Goodall collection


  

  A later silver scheme, "MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co Ltd" on nacelles.  The Collection p1234-2775


  

  MMA Captain Bill Anderson (second from right) while flying VH-URX in 1938. SA Aviation Museum




  

  The Gascoyne, with MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co Ltd on the cowlings. SA Aviation Museum


  

  Impressed Dragons A34-8, -11, -10, -3 & A34-1 (ex VH-URX) at 2AOS Mount Gambier. RAAF Official



6082           VH-URY, A34-6     Murchison, John Flynn

34 Built Hatfield as production Dragon II
12.7.34 First flight
13.7.34 British CofA VH-URY: De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
.34 URW, URX & URY imported by De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney for MMA
17.8.34 All 3 arrived Fremantle by ship from England. Taken to Mayland aerodrome for assembly
6.9.34 Testflown Maylands after assembly. Colour scheme was dark royal blue, silver wings & tail.
7.9.34 Registration application: MacRobertson-Miller Aviation Co Ltd, Maylands Aerodrome, Perth WA
11.9.34 Registered VH-URY  Named Murchison
11.9.34 CofA issued, 8 passenger seats,
7.11.34 Crashed Halls Creek WA due to an engine failure soon after takeoff. Pilot George McCausland made forced landing near the airfield on to ground covered with trees and stumps. Pilot and only passenger Jim Collopy, CAB Aircraft Inspector based at Perth, were unhurt. Extensively damaged.
11.34 Horrie Miller flew from Perth to Halls Creek and repaired the aircraft alone over a 4 week period in the open in extemely high temperatures, using minimal tools. Miller brought a tent and cooking utensils and camped at the drome, 12 miles from town.
He could only work from first light until Noon when the airframe became too hot to handle. Miller became ill from drinking boire water and later collapsed from sunstroke, being found by chgance by a local who took him to the Mission hospital.
The plywood lining of Bushels Tea chests were used to fabricate sections of the nose.
12.34 Over the Christmas period, Horrie Miller flew URY back to Perth for complete rebuild
5.4.35 Struck a fence while taxying down-wind at Port Hedland WA, pilot H. J. "Jim" Branch. Parts of VH-URW u/s at Wyndham were removed and flown to Port Hedland to assist in a quick repair.
29.10.36 Minor damage at Maylands when engine failure during takeoff resulted in the aircraft rolling into a drain on boundary of airfield. MMA pilot George McCausland was unhurt. His wife drove a car across the aerodrome to the aircraft and her car was struck by Aero Club DH.60 Moth VH-UAO which was landing and aircraft overturned. Nobody hurt.
21.11.36 Damaged in forced landing at Ord River Station WA due fuel vapour lock. Landed on rocky terrain, damaged port wing and engine mountings, pilot Cecil R. Clarke unhurt
13.8.38 Change of ownership: Airlines (WA) Ltd, Perth WA.  Named RMA Murchison
8.38 Airlines' senior pilot Bob Hickson endorsed on the Dragon at Maylands by Horrie Miller. Hickson, who had only flown single-engined aircraft,  later recalled:
"Horrie Miller and I walked around the Dragon and he showed me what to pre-flight check. He then put me in the pilot's seat and stood behind me in the cabin while I taxied out to the perimeter and gave me some advice on asymmetic performance. I took off, made one circuit of Maylands, landed and taxied in. Horrie congratulated me on gaining my endorsement on the type, got out, eight passengers got in and off I went to the Goldfields."

(In fact, Hickson's log shows he flew his first DH.84 service the follopwing day, Perth-Kalgoorlie-Perth)
8.38 Flown by Airlines on their scheduled services, 8 passenger seats. The Dragon was able to carry freight and mail as well as a full passenger load.
10.39
Airlines (WA) Ltd was advised by DCA that its Dragon VH-URY would be impressed for RAAF training duties due to the war situation. Captain Charles Snook, company founder and manager, protested vigorously, saying he only had the Dragon and a Stinson Reliant and loss of the Dragon would force him to cease most of his airline services in WA
31.10.39
Charles Snook departed Maylands for Melbourne flying the Airlines (WA) Ltd Stinson Reliant VH-UTW RMA Meekatharra. He appealed to bureaucrats and politicians to spare his Dragon from impressment. He was unsuccessful. However DCA agreed to locate a replacement aircraft for the Dragon.  It was DH.90 Dragonfly VH-ADG  delivered to Perth in July 1940.
However the DH.90 could only carry 4 passengers compared to the Dragon’s 8 passengers.

3.11.39 Total airframe time 4066 hours
6.7.40 Impressed by Australian Government for RAAF. Impressment Requisition No.12537 from Airlines(WA)Ltd
15.7.40 Brought on RAAF charge as A34-6.  Taken over from Airlines Ltd. Allotted Guinea Airways, Parafield for modifications
16.7.40 VH-URY flew its last service with Airlines (WA ) Ltd.
18.7.40 Delivered to RAAF at 1EFTS, Parafield by Airlines (WA) Ltd's Managing Director Charles Snook.
22.7.40 Struck-off Civil register
7.40 Overhaul for RAAF at Parafield by Guinea Airways
4.10.40 Work at Guinea Airways delayed
31.10.40 Airlines (WA) Ltd's Managing Director Captain Charles Snook departed Maylands for Melbourne flying the company Stinson Reliant VH-UTW to lobby bureaucrats and politicians for the return of their Dragon. Its impressment had caused severe problems maintaining services to outback WA. He was unsuccessful. DCA had already arranged for DH.90 Dragonfly VH-ADG to be made available to Airlines to replace VH-URY.  The Dragonfly was delivered to Perth in July 1940 but could only carry 4 passengers.
29.4.41 Allotted 3EFTS ex Guinea Airways for issue to ANA for engine overhaul and instrument mods.
30.4.41 Ready for ferrying to Essendon
7.5.41 DCA memo: A34-6 formerly VH-URY due to arrive at Essendon from Parafield for completion of conversion and engine work at ANA workshops Essendon
10.5.41 Arrived 3EFTS ex 1EFTS
12.5.41 Issued ANA ex 3EFTS
29.5.41 Received 1AD ex 3EFTS
12.7.41 Received 2AOS Mount Gambier ex 1AD
31.7.41 Forced landing Mount Macintyre, 25 miles SW Mount Gambier, no damage. 2AOS. Pilot & 2 crew unhurt.
20.8.41 Struck a truck on landing at Mount Gambier SA, swung and struck tree. Time in RAAF service 155 hours
41/42 Wrecked aircraft held in storage by No.2AOS at Mount Gambier for 18 months. Allover silver with yellow band around fuselage and wings.
25.1.43 Rebuild at 2AOS under way
20.5.43 Allotted to Department of Civil Aviation for FDS Cloncurry ex 2AOS

Hudson Fysh wrote in his book “Qantas Rising”: “Of course there was continual pressure for a better and more reliable type of aircraft. The Fox Moth came into use – smaller, cheaper, easier to get in and out of bad grounds, more reliable, but still single-engined. Then in 1943 the Charleville centre was opened by the Flying Doctor Service. Doug Tennant was the pilot and we supplied a twin-engined DH Dragon aeroplane. Progress was being made.”
24.5.43 Issued to DCA ex 2AOS
24.5.43 Arrrived Essendon, ferried to Brisbane
5.6.43 Registration application: Qantas Empire Airways Ltd, Archerfield Qld/ Operated for Flying Doctor Service of Australia (Queensland Section).   To be converted to ambulance
14.6.43 Restored to Register as VH-URY. Named John Flynn
20.8.43 Delivered to Cloncurry for FDS. Operated in camouflage at first, QEA titles and name John Flynn painted over the camouflage
4.10.43 Damaged on landing Cloncurry Qld.  Swung violently to port causing undercarriage to collapse, Cpt. I. Flynn of QEA, no injuries.
10.43 Replaced by QEA DH.90 VH-UXB on medical work at Cloncurry

Repaired
2.4.49 TAA administration acquisition date
22.7.49 Change of ownership: Trans Australia Airlines, Brisbane Qld
24.7.49 TAA official delivery date. TAA took over QEA domestic air services in Queensland and Northern Territory
7.49 DCA memo: all Dragons operated in Queensland by QEA are now owned by TAA: VH-AMN, ASU, BAH, URY
3.50 DCA memo: VH-URY engaged solely on medical work
19.4.50 Crashed on takeoff Boulia Qld.  An engine failed soon after takeoff and aircraft badly damaged. TAA Captains Anderson and Young received minor injuries.

Lengthy rebuild
22.3.51 CofA renewed after rebuild
c51 Photo Eagle Farm, full TAA scheme "TAA" and "Flying Doctor Service of Australia", name "John Flynn" on nose
20.10.53
Crashed Cheviot Hills Station Qld. 
The Canberra Times newspaper reported: "The pilot of a Flying Doctor aircraft, and the wife of the flying doctor were both killed in a plane crash at Cheviot Hills Station this afternoon.
Dead were the pilot Captain Martin Garrett 26 and Mrs. Kathleen O'Leary 22. Doctor O'Leary, the flying doctor also aboard the plane suffered head injuries. The child patient and her mother Mrs King Lethbridge were uninjured.
The plane had landed at Cheviot Hills to pick up Mrs. Lethbridge and her child. When it took off again an engine cut out and the plane nose-dived into the ground from about 50 feet.
Dr. and Mrs. O'Leary had only been married 5 weeks. Both came from Dublin.
The flying doctor was stationed at Charters Towers."

Aircraft was written-off by TAA 
     
22.10.53 Struck-off Register

  

  MMA's VH-URX, URY & URW just assembled at Maylands in September 1934. Geoff Goodall collection


  

  Northbound and soutbound MMA services meet at Port Hedland WA, circa 1938. Geoff Goodall collection


  

  VH-URY Murchison at Maylands, with Airlines (WA) Ltd. Photo via Gwen Atkinson (nee Snook)




  

  A wartime view of VH-URY in camouflage with Qantas, operating for Flying Doctor Service of Australia. photo: Ed Coates Collection


  

  Eagle Farm, Brisbane 1951 with TAA and Flying Doctor Service of Australia markings. Geoff Goodall collection


  

  VH-URY on a Flying Doctor clinic run at an outback Queensland station. Ben Dannecker collection



6106           VH-UVN    The Ashburton, 

4.36 Built at Hatfield as production Dragon II

Sold while under construction to W. S. Shackleton for onward sale to H. C. Miller, Perth
7.4.36 Civil Aviation Branch allocated registration VH-UVN to DH.84 for MMA
5.36 Registered G-AEFX W. S. Shackleton Ltd, Hanworth
5.5.36 British CofA
5.36 Sold to MMA by Bill Shackleton, an Australian who was establishing an aircraft sales and brokering business in England
MMA reequired an extra Dragon because the Government had decided that the Perth-Daly Waters service would increase from once-weekly to twice-weekly effective June 1936 to handle increasing air mail services from Britain.
36 Shipped to Fremantle, assembled at Maylands
10.7.36 Registration application: MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co Ltd, Perth WA
10.7.36 Registered VH-UVN    
10.7.36 Testflown Maylands. Allover silver scheme
10.7.36 CofA issued
36 Allover  silver scheme, name The Ashburton with a small cross above the name
11.1.38 Undercarriage collapsed on landing, Whim Creek WA
39
Now based at Port Hedland WA on contract to Australian Aerial Medical Service, replacing MMA Fox Moth VH-USJ previously Port Hedland based for AAMS.  Resident pilot was Max Campbell, a long-time MMA employee with both flying and maintenance licences.
As well as maintaining the flying doctor requirements, Campbell serviced main-route MMA aircraft stopping at Port Hedland.

3.11.39 Total airframe time 3,703 hours
24.11.39 Impressment Requisition of DH.84 Dragons for Observers Schools includes one from MMA VH-UVN. Required by 27.12.39.  Point of delivery to be decided later.
6.6.40 DCA advises MMA that it is not proposed at this time to impress VH-UVN
11.12.40 Forced landing due weather at Neda Station, via Derby WA. Serious damage to undercarriage and wings. Pilot W. Freeland who had been employed by MMA to replace Max Campbell who had resigned to join RAAF
12.40 MMA had difficulty obtaining spare parts for the rebuild.  De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney obtained a large spares stock in NZ and had them shipped to Sydney, then to Perth 2.41.
On receipt of these parts, repair due to be completed 5.41.
40 URF replaced UVN for the period it was out of service being repaired. MMA requested that URF’s impressed be deferred, RAAF agreed.
21.4.41 CofA renewed after repair. Now based at Wyndham for AAMS contract
4.41 URF released to RAAF for impressment. VH-UVN The Ashburton replaced it on the AAMS contract at Wyndham.
7.1.42 Crashed 3 miles south of Broome WA, burnt out.  Was being flown to Perth for major overhaul. Immediately after airborne an engine failed and the aircdraft crashed 3 miles from the aerodrome. The engine caught fire, which spread to the airframe. Pilot and 3 passengers escaped uninjured.
19.1.42 Struck-off Register

  

  Ord River Station 1936 on the MMA scheduled service. National Library of Australia



6073           VH-AEA

5.34 Built Edgeware as production Dragon II
16.5.34 First flight Stag Lane
5.34 Registered G-ACOR Graham Mackinnon, Hatfield, London. Named “Fiona” after his daughter.
19.5.34 British CofA
10.35 Operated by British Continental Airways Ltd, Croydon Airport, London. Named “St Christopher”
Flew scheduled services within England and to the continent
3.37 Owned by British Airways Ltd, Gatwick
3.37 Operated by Northern and Scottish Airways Ltd, Renfrew Airport, Glasgow
2.38 Purchased by Kevin Parer, New Guinea
22.2.38 Civil Aviation Board allocated registration VH-AEA to DH.84 for K. Parer
10.6.38 Registration application: Kevin Parer t/a Wewak Air Transport, Wewak, New Guinea
23.6.38 Registered VH-AEA
23.6.38 CofA issued
c28.11.38 Damaged in heavy landing at Wewak, pilot Kevin Parer unhurt.
39 Repaired by company engineer E. W. Haynes
9.39 Change of operating name: Parer's Air Transport Co, Wewak
21.1.42 DEA at Salamaua. Kevin Parer was killed at 12 noon by Japanese fighter staffing attack which also destroyed Mandated Airlines Dragon VH-USA

Pilot Ernest Clarke, pilot of Mandated Airlines' Dragon VH-USA also destroyed at Salamaua that day later wrote that he and Kevin Parer were both getting ready to take off for Wau at noon. Parer was in his cockpit but having trouble getting an engine started and called Clarke over to help swing the propeller.
"I had just got hold of the propeller when Japanese fighters roared in about 50 feet overhead. A burst of machine gun fire from another sprayed around us. I dropped under the shelter of the engine. I got up and saw Kevin get out of his seat and dash to the back of the cabin where he was hit and fell. The Japs were still coming. I covered Kevin with a blanket and made for a shelter. When the Japs were clear I ran out to the plane, which was now on fire. I tried to get Kevin out but I couldn't manage it. The Japs saw me and back and let me have it. A couple of bullets ripped across my legs above the knees but they were nothing - only shallow flesh wounds. But for Kevin's engine not starting, we would both have been shot down in the air."
Clarke also received severe burns to his hands from his attempt to drag Kevin Parer from his burning Dragon. Natives evacuated him to Kokoda and then flown to hospital in Australia.
21.1.42 DCA inspector V.W. Burgess sent a cable to DCA Head Office from Salamaua listing civil aircraft damaged by a Japanese air raid on Salamaua aerodrome that day. His assessment of Dragons was:
VH-USA repairable
VH-UVB destroyed
VH-AEA destroyed
11.3.42 Struck-off Civil Register

                Parer's Air Transport Dragon VH-AEA at Wau, New Guinea circa 1939.  The Collection p1234-3264



6025           VH-AAC, A34-10, VH-AAC  Alice        

33 Built Edgeware as production Dragon 1
2.6.33 First flight, Stag Lane
12.6.33 Registered G-ACGG Flt Lt E. H. Fielden c/- Royal Flight, Hendon
6.6.33 CofA issued

Operated as private aircraft for HRH The Prince of Wales, who became King Edward VIII prior to his abdication. Based at Hendon, painted red and blue, fitted with red leather upholstery. The aircraft had navigation lights and a new Reid & Sigrist Turn Indicator instrument.
2.35 Change of ownership: Richard O. Shuttleworth, Old Warden Park, Biggleswade
30.7.35 Change of ownership: Charles J. Donade, Farnam, Surrey
4.36 Change of ownership: Leonard H. Stace, Heston aerodrome, Hounslow
11.37 Sold to Australia to W. R. Carpenter & Co Ltd, Sydney NSW
22.11.37 De Havillands cabled CAB requesting Australian registration for G-ACGG
9.12.37 Shipped to Australia, imported by De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney for W. R. Carpenter
2.38 Assembled at Mascot by De Havilland Aircraft
1.2.38 CAB allocated registration VH-AAC to Dragon for W.R.Carpenter & Co Ltd
7.2.38 Testflown at Mascot after assembly
11.2.38 Registration application: W. R. Carpenter & Co Ltd & Mandated Airlines Ltd, Lae “a subsidiary company”.
18.2.38 Registered VH-AAC.  Named Alice
18.2.38 CofA issued
2.38 Departed Sydney on ferry flight to New Guinea
19.2.38 Damaged in forced landing near Cairns while on delivery flight
2.3.38 Arrived Salamaua at 2.10pm on delivery.
3.38 A. J. Collins of MAL later recalled that when it arrived in New Guinea it was still fitted with the red leather upholstery from the Royal Flight.
4.11.40 Change of ownership: Mandated Airlines Ltd, Lae
7.2.41 Department of Air advise DCA of the need for a further 3 Dragons to be impressed to offset the loss of 3 DH.86 being sent to Middle East
11.2.41 DCA advises Dept of Air that 3 Dragons including VH-AAC have been selected for impressment and should be delivered to Essendon for modification and overhaul: AAC to be delivered to Ansett Airways for this work.
24.2.41 Department of Air advised Mandated Airlines that VH-AAC has been impressed and is to be delivered to 3EFTS Essendon
25.2.41 Carpenters acknowledge the letter from Dept of Air and complain about the operational impact of having VH-AAC impressed and that the aircraft is due for CofA renewal 19.4.41
7.4.41 Inspected at Essendon by DCA inspector. New wing spars required. Owner quoted as "RAAF"
17.4.41 Impressed by Australian Government for RAAF
17.4.41 Struck-off Civil Register
18.4.41 VH-AAC has arrived Essendon from new Guinea on delivery to RAAF. To ANA workshops for air observer conversion
4.41 RAAF complained to DCA that aircraft was in poor condition when received and log books were incorrect.
17.4.41 Brought on RAAF charge as A34-10. Issued to ANA at Essendon for overhaul and mods.
7.5.41 DCA report: work still in progress
2.8.41 Received 1AD ex 3EFTS Essendon and ANA
19.8.41 Issued 2AOS ex 1AD
23.8.41 Serviceable at 2AOS
14.12.41 Issued De Havillands ex 2AOS for sample purposes
17.6.43 Accident on operational transport flight
5.11.43 Allotted School of Photography Canberra ex De Havillands
22.11.43 Received 2AP Bankstown ex De Havillands
10.1.44 Received School of Photography ex 2AP
3.1.44 Damaged in forced landing 6SW Canberra aerodrome due engine failure immediately after takeoff.  Struck fence wire and ground-looped, damaging starboard lower mainplane & starboard upper. Plot F/O S. Knapman & 4 crew all unhurt.  Repairable in unit.
23.2.44 A34-10 under consideration for disposal to Civil Aviation Dept
24.4.44 Serviceable at School of Photography Canberra
21.6.44 Approval given to issue aircraft to APL for sale to Civil Aviation
44 Released to DCA by RAAF for issue to a civil airline


7.8.44 Temporary CofA issued at Archerfield as VH-AAC to Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield Qld
22.8.44 Registration application: Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield Qld
29.8.44 Restored to Register as VH-AAC
11.9.44 Badly damaged in forced landing Forest Glen, 7 miles south of Nambour after starboard propeller detached in flight on APL service Maryborough-Archerfield. Extensively damaged. Captain J. A. Davidson and 6 passengers.
9.44 Investigation found that RAAF had installed incorrect bolts in the airscrew hub.
27.7.46 visited Casino NSW airshow
5.6.48 Change of ownership: Taylors Air Transport Ltd, Lae, New Guinea (signed M. A. Taylor)
18.6.48 CofA renewed at Archerfield
1.3.49 Change of ownership: Guinea Air Traders Ltd, Lae, New Guinea (GAT tok over TAT and its aircraft)
6.49 CofA suspended at Wewak by DCA inspector due to advanced dry rot in the rear fuselage structure. DCA approve its ferry to Australia after temporary repairs at Wewak
19.1.50 DCA Memo: VH-AAC is at Archerfield where its overhaul has been completed but it has not been submitted to DCA for inspection for CofA renewal
14.2.50 CofA renewed Archerfield
23.5.50 Change of ownership: Wewak Air Transport, Wewak, New Guinea (signed J. A. Corrigan)
This company was at the time being set up by Mr. J. A. Corrigan.
11.50 Sold by Corrigin to Mandated Airlines Ltd, Lae, New Guinea
29.1.51 Crashed on landing Slate Creek NG.  Extensive damage. MAL pilot Tom Lumme and one European passenger were unhurt.

MAL engineers dismantled the wreck and moved it to Lae where it was stored
2.51 DCA Port Moresby advise HO that Mandated AL will rebuild the aircraft on a spare time basis and will not be completed for a considerable time.
HO query ownership status.
19.4.50 Back-dated Change of ownership to Mandated Airlines Ltd, Lae.
Other source quotes date to MAL as 19.4.50 but this is in error
18.10.51 MAL advise DCA that VH-AAC is stored dismantled in damaged condition in their hangar at Lae. It had been damaged in an accident at Slate Creek. Request it be struck off Register because when it is rebuilt it will be registered in their VH-MA series. Letter signed D. W. Elphinstone.
- Sold as spares to Territory Airlines, Goroka, New Guinea
16.6.54 Struck-off Register
20.4.55 TAL Dragon VH-AIA was damaged landing at Boana. Hit clump of grass at the runway threshold, ground-looped, damaging the tail.  Spare tailplane from VH-AAC was fitted by Jack Gray.

 

       Archerfield circa 1946, Aircrafts Pty Ltd emblem on the rudder. Photo: State Library of Queensland


  

  VH-AAC among airshow aircraft at Casino NSW in July 1946. Alan Sheppard collection


  

  At Casino NSW in 1947 on an Aircrafts Pty Ltd scheduled service.  Roger McDonald collection



6097          VH-UZZ, A34-3, “VHCRL"       Riada


Built Hatfield as production Dragon II
5.35 Registered G-ADDJ  Railway Air Services Ltd, London  City of Plymouth
25.5.35 CofA issued
3.37 G-ADDJ Change of ownership: De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
26.5.37 Registration application: Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield, Qld
18.6.37 Weighed after assembly at Archerfield
19.6.37 CAB inspection at Archerfield
21.6.37 Registered VH-UZZ
21.6.37 CofA issued
37 Named Riada.   (Ron Adair’s surname spelt backwards)
29.10.37 Forced landing Archerfield due broken engine oil pipe, pilot B. W. Munro
21.3.38 Fabric detached from starboard propeller by heavy rain and hail during takeoff from beach at Byron Bay NSW. No passengers
2.4.38 Rolled into the side of a hangar while parked at Archerfield because of prop wash from a Douglas aircraft. Dragon also struck an Aero Club aircraft which was damaged. Dragon received minor damage, flying 2 days later. Pilot B. W. Munro
12.5.38 Forced landing Murgon Qld due low oil pressure en route Brisbane-Kingaroy-Mundubbera. No damage. Pilot R. W. Hillier and 1 pax.
3.11.39 Total airframe time 3027 hours
12.39 Impressment notification on Impressment Requisition No. 12515. To be delivered to CO 1FTS Point Cook by 27.12.39.   Subsequent purchase price £1,800.
11.1.40 Impressed by Australian Government for RAAF
11.1.40 Brought on RAAF charge as A34-3.  Issued to No.1 FTS.
11.1.40 Struck-off Civil Register
26.1.40 Issued to Communications Flight
20.9.40 Struck two other aircraft while taxying, damaged.
22.9.40 Allotted 1AOS Cootamundra ex CF
27.9.40 Allotted 3EFTS ex 1AOS for issue to ANA for repairs and mods
18.10.40 Allotted 4EFTS for issue to Butler Air Transport for repairs and mods
21.10.40 To be sent to Butler Air Transport by road
11.11.40 Issued to Butler Air Transport, Mascot
4.2.41 Allotted 3EFTS for issue to Civil Aviation for Sperry equipment and W/T wiring
(compiler: Civil Aviation = civil contractor)
20.2.41 Status Card: Ready for collection at BAT
20.2.41 BAT telegram to DCA: Flying Officer Hillier took possession of A34-3 today and flew it away without BAT permission or required AID clearance.  DCA investigated: letter from BAT Ops Mngr described Hillier sitting in cockpit smoking a pipe for some time then to his surprise Hillier started the engines and his two ground crew jumped on board and he taxied off and departed.
(Hillier assumed ex APL: see 12.5.38 above)
21.2.41 DCA memo: A34-3 has arrived at Essendon
4.3.41 Serviceable at Essendon
7.3.41 Received 1AD Laverton
24.3.41 Available for collection at 1AD
16.4.41 Issued 2AOS ex 1AD
19.4.41 Serviceable at 2AOS
9.1.42 Forced landing Grassvale Vic due engine failure, damaged. 2AOS. Pilot & 3 crew unhurt.
16.2.42 Issued to ANA ex 2AOS for mods.
20.2.42 Being converted to air ambulance
22.2.42 Pilot log: arrived Pearce WA pilot Flg Off R. R.Winter of Survey Flight
4.3.42 Allotted 35 Sqn ex 1AD
5.3.42 Received 1AD ex ANA
7.3.42 Pilot log: departed Pearce for Port Hedland WA, pilot Flg Off R. R.Winter. Collected four RAF personnel from a Catalina sunk at Brome during Japanese air attack on 3.3.42.
8.3.42 Reallotted 34 Sqn ex 1AD
11.3.42 Issued 34 Sqn ex 1AD
3.42 Pilot log: flew Pearce-Broome carrying medical supplies, pilot Flg Off R. R.Winter.
13.3.42 Pilot log: flew Broome-Pearce in two days, carrying salvaged Bren gun parts from Broome. Pilot Flg Off R. R.Winter recorded that the Dragon did very well with a 600 pounds overload.

Painted with radio callsign “VHCRL” allocated by Directorate of Air Transport, Allied Air Forces.
3.5.42 Allotted 33 Sqn ex 34 Sqn
8.5.42 Departed Daly Waters for 1EFTS
14.5.42 Allotted Ansett Airways ex 1EFTS
3.6.42 Departed Parafield for Essendon
24.7.42 Overhaul proceeding at Ansetts
4.9.42 Received 36 Sqn ex Ansetts
13.10.42 Crashed on landing Musgrave Station, near Cooktown Qld. Badly damaged.
30.10.42 Received 12RSU Garbutt ex 36 Sqn. Slow rebuild
25.7.43 Received 13ARD ex 12RSU for completion of repairs
11.10.43 Request authority to convert to components. Airframe beyond economical repair, engines repairable
18.12.43 Approved for conversion to components


29.6.45 Aircraft has been sold to Airlines (WA) Ltd, Perth

Not rebuilt, assumed acquired for a possible rebuild by Airlines(WA)Ltd which was desperate for additional aircraft to maintain its routes.

  

  Aircrafts Pty Ltd's VH-UZZ Riada at Archerfield circa 1938. The Collection p1234-0043


  

  Nanago Qld in 1938, with different APL insignia on the rudder. Photo by J. Petersen



6062           VH-ABK, A34-4, VH-ABK, A34-4     City of Toowoomba

30.1.34 Built Edgeware as first production Dragon II
1.34 Registered G-ACMO Jersey Airways Ltd   Named St. Ouen’s Bay
31.1.34 CofA issued
7.35 Now with Northern and Scottish Airways Ltd, Glasgow-Renfrew
12.8.37 Scottish Airways Ltd was formed by the merger of North & Scottish Airways Ltd and Highland Airways Ltd. G-ACMO was transferred to the new
company name
3.38 Imported to Australia by Arthur Russel Penfold, Brisbane Qld
3.38 Penfold requests registration VH-ARP but refused due too far ahead of current allocation sequence, and CAB instead allocates VH-ABK
22.6.38 Inspection Report at Archerfield after assembly
6.38 Registration application: South Queensland Airways Pty Ltd, Archerfield Aerodrome, Brisbane Qld
27.10.38 Registered VH-ABK. Named City of Toowoomba
27.10.38 CofA issued
10.38 ABK used on a scheduled passenger service Brisbane-Toowoomba. Received no Government subsidy
5.4.39 Collided with petrol wagon at Archerfield. The Dragon was taxying after arrival from Toowoomba with 4 passengers. Pilot A. Bashford.
4.39 South Queensland Airways chartered Tugan Gannet VH-UVU from Airlines of Australia until ABK repaired
12.5.39 ABK repairs completed
40 Maintenance on VH-ABK routinely carried out by Bill Rankin's Aircraft Service Station, Archerfield under chief engineer W. Harman. On 3.7.40 William Rankin wrote to DCA demanding assurance that the outstanding account for fees owed on VH-ABK will be paid despite it being impressed.
4.5.40 South Queensland Airways requested DCA permission (under wartime regulations) to sell ABK to Thomas McDonald, Cairns. Letter states that McDonald is a jeweller at Cairns and was previously Managing Director of North Queensland Airways Pty Ltd now taken over by Airlines of Australia.
2.5.40 Change of ownership: Thomas H. McDonald, Cairns Qld.  Purchase price £2750.
5.40 Not collected by McDonald when he learnt of its pending Impressment.
11.5.40 CofA expired

Remained with South Queensland Airways Pty Ltd, Archerfield
6.40 Impressed by Australian Government for RAAF.  Impressment Requisition No.12525 from South Queensland Airways.  The aircraft is to be delivered to 3EFTS Essendon
1.7.40 Notice of Impressment advice received by South Queensland Airways Pty Ltd. On the same day the company wrote a strong protest to Arthur Fadden, Minister for Supply and Development
4.7.40 Arrived Essendon from Cootamundra NSW on delivery flight from South Queensland Airways to RAAF, pilot R. C. Brett
4.7.40 Brought on RAAF charge as A34-4.   Taken over from South Queensland Airways
6.7.40 Issued to ANA Essendon for mods ex 3EFTS.
7.40
Inspection report at Essendon found the aircraft to be in very poor condition. The report listed 97 serious defects, requiring a complete rebuild of the fuselage structure and re-covering of all extenal surfaces.
12.7.40 Struck-off Civil Register
25.7.40 DCA minute: OIC Essendon states VH-ABK is with ANA for RAAF
2.9.40 Allotted to 1AD Laverton for W/T mods, then to be allotted to 1AOS on completion
12.9.40 Allocation to 1AOS postponed
13.10.40 Issued to ANA for mods
20.10.40 Serviceable at 1AD ex ANA
9.12.40 Issued 1AOS ex 1AD
16.12.40 Serviceable at 1AOS
4.2.41 Forced landing 2 miles north of Cootamundra due engine failure, no damage. 1AOS. Pilot unhurt.
19.2.41 Allotted 2AOS ex 1AOS
1.3.41 Serviceable at 2AOS
16.2.42 Issued to ANA ex 2AOS
20.2.42 Being converted to aerial ambulance.
6.3.42 Awaiting chair frames and stretcher mounts
31.3.42 Delivered to 1AD Laverton ex ANA Essendon
1.4.42 Allotted 33 Sqn ex 1AD – then cancelled
16.4.42 Allotted 35 Sqn ex 1AD
30.4.42 Arrived at 35 Sqn Pearce
25.6.42 Damaged. Repair beyond capacity of unit
20.7.42 U/s indefinitely at Pearce
8.10.42 Issued MMA ex Station HQ Pearce
22.1.43 Progress stopped, awaiting mainplane spars
6.5.43 Received 35 Sqn ex MMA
7.5.43 Allotted to Civil Aviation ex 35 Sqn for loan to MMA for a period not exceeding 3 months
10.5.43 DCA to accept a Dragon from RAAF which will be issued to MMA for North West route at a rate of approximately £8 per day.   Replacement aircraft urgently required while MMA Lockheed 10 VH-ABV out of service, being repaired after crashed Port Hedland 24.3.43.
15.5.43 A34-4 was in Perth at the time, away on a trip but due back in Perth 15.5.43
16.5.43 A34-4 issued to MMA ex 35 Sqn
18.5.43 Testflown Maylands after CofA overhaul by MMA
18.5.43 Issued with a 3 month CofA valid to 17.8.43
18.5.43 Registration application: Commonwealth of Australia/ RAAF, Melbourne/ operated by MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co, Perth
21.5.43 Registered VH-ABK  

Operated by MMA on civil airline services, civil registration painted over RAAF camouflage
18.8.43 Electra VH-ABV testflown Maylands after repairs completed.
23.8.43 Inspection report at Maylands prior to return to RAAF
24.8.43 Brought back on RAAF charge as A34-4
31.8.43 Struck-off Civil Register
31.8.43 Issued to 35 Squadron, RAAF Pearce
2.9.43 A34-4 received 35 Sqn ex Civil Aviation
22.9.43 Allocated for exclusive use of Allied Works Council
10.11.43 Received 7CU Pearce ex 35 Sqn
29.3.44 Received MMA ex 7CU for inspection
12.9.44 Approval given for conversion to components


76 The remains of VH-ABK were acquired by John Sinclair, Brisbane.  
He owned airworthy DH.82 & B.A. Swallow VH-AAB and was an established aircraft restorer. Planned long-term Dragon restoration project.
92 John Sinclair purchased the DH.84 parts gathered over many years by a retired Qantas Captain John Alsop, Dural near Sydney NSW.  Included airframe parts of VH-AYZ, a total of 27 wings, a set of inner stub planes, undercarriage assemblies, wing struts etc.
1.95 Construction began at Murwillumbah by Mothcair Aviation Services' Peter Challinor on a production line of 4 Dragon new-build fuselages in purpose-built jigs.  A total of 4 fuselages were built at Murwillumbah:
  • VH-UXG (Challinors, sold to Porter)
  • VH-ABK (Sinclair)
  • VH-AQU (Challinors, sold to England)
  • G-ACET  (Michael Souch, England)
Fuselages were completed in late 1976.  Two were fully assembled for UXG & ABK, while the other two were finished in knocked-down form.
96/03 Fuselage frame almost complete on trestles in Sinclair’s home workshop in Brisbane where restoration to fly continues.
9.05 Under active restoration to airworthy in Brisbane by John Sinclair, in cooperation with the Challinor brothers at Mothcair Aviation:  all wooden structure has been completed. It will be completed in dark blue colour scheme as G-ACMO. He had intended to use VH-ABK but CASA have re-allocated the reg.
He still owns airworthy BA Swallow VH-AAB & Tiger Moth VH-UQZ, both of which he restored.
07 Restoration continues in Sinclair's home workshop: fuselage almost complete, painted dark blue with registration G-ACMO and "Jersey Airways Ltd" on nose

Registration reserved VH-UQY
30.8.14
Fuselage in hangar at Watts Bridge Qld: painted blue with registration G-ACMO

  

        South Queensland Airways' VH-ABK at Roma Qld, circa 1938. Geoff Goodall collection


           

        VH-ABK City of Toowoomba at Toowoomba Qld circa 1938. Geoff Goodall collection


  

  Changes in the paintwork, South Queensland Airways wings emblem on rudder. The Collection p1234-0386


  

    The rebuild project based on VH-ABK's identity seen in a hangar at Watts Bridge airfield, Queensland during 2014.  Photo by Ian Mcdonell



6112           VH-AAO, A34-5, “VHCSB”, VH-AAO

36 Built Hatfield as production Dragon II. Last Dragon built.
14.8.36 First flight Hatfield
8.36 Purchased by Col. Carlos Pastor Krauel, representing Spanish Republican forces
19.8.36 British Government implemented a ban on export of aircraft to Spain. De Havilland Aircraft Co Ltd cancelled the sale before G-AEMK left Hatfield
9.36 Registered G-AEMK Union Founders Trust Ltd
3.9.36 CofA issued.
9.36 Change of ownership: Commercial Air Hire Ltd, Croydon
16.1.37 Change of ownership: Joseph Herman, Bengasse 3, Vienna, Austria

Change of ownership: Mutual Finance Ltd, London

Change of ownership: Union Founders Trust Ltd, London
15.3.38 Sold to Air Travel & Survey Pty Ltd. Sydney NSW
Purchased as replacement of VH-UZX which crashed at Beddington 26.2.38  
15.3.38 Air Travel & Survey Pty Ltd wrote to CAB:
"As you are probably aware our Dragon plane ZX was crashed at Croydon Aerodrome, England . It is a complete writeoff. We desire to make application for a fresh registration, but we do not want the same registration. The crash has been photographed a great deal and appears in the news reels in all the Theatres in England, with a lot of publicity. The photos will appear in the news reels in Australia. We do not desire to have the same registration.
We would much appreciate it if you were able to give us AMO or AO, AT or AS but we would much prefer AMO or AO."
23.3.38 CAB allocated registration VH-AAO.    
11.9.38 VH-AAO departed Croydon aerodrome London for Australia, flown by Denzel & Andrew MacArthur Onslow, who are directors of Air Travel & Survey Pty Ltd.
19.10.38 Arrived Darwin at 12.35pm from England. Owner Mr. D. MacArthur-Onslow/Air Travel & Survey Pty Ltd.

Flown in Australia on British CofA which did not expire until 19.7.39
9.11.38 CAB Inspection report at Mascot.
Owner shown as A. W. MacArthur-Onslow on behalf of Air Travel & Surveys Pty Ltd, Sydney
3.12.38 Australian Registration application: Air Travel & Surveys Pty Ltd, Sydney c/- A. W. Macarthur-Onslow
6.4.39 DCA inspector visited Mascot to inspect AAO but it had departed for a tour of several NSW towns
17.5.39 Letter to DCA from AT&S signed by A.W.Macarthur-Onslow: seating at present is 3 only: pilot, wirelss operator and camera operator. No passengers are carried
7.39 CofA inspection at Camden by MacQuarie Grove Flying & Glider School.
Delays in issue due DCA questioning steel grade used in engine area and seeking response from DH in England
26.10.39 DCA Mascot gave permission for VH-AAO to operate pending formal CofA
14.11.39 VH-AAO at Launceston, housed in ANA hangar pending suitable weather for survey.
11.39 DCA Head Office instructs their OIC Launceston to tell the pilot of VH-AAO that he is operating without a CofA and no further flight is allowed, despite HO becoming aware that Mascot had granted permission.
12.12.39 VH-AAO flew Launceston-Sydney.  Pilot MacArthur-Onslow was admonished by DCA but no further action taken because of conflicting communications.  
18.12.39 DCA inspection report at Camden
15.2.40 Registered VH-AAO Air Travel & Surveys Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
15.2.40 CofA issued
6.7.40 Impressed by Australian Government for RAAF. Impressment Requisition 19595. To be delivered to the CO No.4 Elementary Flying Training School, Mascot by 15.7.40.
Survey camera is also impressed, to be packed and despatched to Survey Flight, Canberra
15.7.40 Brought on RAAF charge as A34-5. Taken over from Air Travel & Survey.
16.7.40 Received by Butler Air Transport, Mascot for mods. Total airframe time 887 hours.
20.7.40 Struck-off Register
7.40 DCA Memo: “The machine when taken over had extra equipment fitted including an automatic pilot, the value of which is assessed at £660. It also had special camera equipment assessed at £50. Assessed at time of impressment as £2,540 as cost to RAAF”
8.8.40 C.A.Butler pilot logbook: A34-5 test flight Mascot
29.8.40 DCA inspection at Mascot at BAT
27.9.40 DCA report: Overhaul by BAT completed 27.9.40 and RAAF advised. RAAF pilot arrived to collect A34-5 from BAT 4.10.40 but delayed because AID had not inspected and released the aircraft. Defects identified by AID and rectified by 10.10.40. BAT attempted to hand aircraft over to RAAF 11.10.40 but Stores & Equipment Section refused to take delivery due no schedule had been done. BAT despatched a storeman to Richmond on 15.10.40 to have a new schedule prepared. Aircraft taken over by RAAF and housed at Mascot until 18.10.40 when a pilot arrived from Canberra to take delivery.
(DCA response to RAAF complaint of delays with aircraft at Butler Air Transport)
1.10.40 Status Card: Allotted Survey Flight, Canberra ex BAT
21.10.40 Status Card: Serviceable at SF
25.10.40 Tyre blew out after heavy landing at Canberra, damaged in subsequent groundloop.
Note: probably  this event is mentioned in a DCA Memo: “a month after being impressed by RAAF the undercarriage and stub wings were damaged in landing”
21.1.41 Survey Flight Ops Record Book: A34-5 testflown after being rigged
23.1.41 Following flight details from SF Ops Record Book: flown from Canberra to Richmond
31.1.41 Returned to Canberra from Richmond
14.2.41 Pilot log: local flying Canberra, endorsement training of pilot Flg Off R.R.Winter
15.2.41 departed Canberra for Mildura Vic to photograph three areas for the Air Board
22.2.41 returned to Canberra ex Mildura, after completing approx 500 square miles of photography at Mildura.  This was the first use of the Dragon by Survey Flight. “The aircraft is most satisfactory for survey work at 10,000 feet”
28.2.41 at Canberra
28.3.41 departed Canberra for Bairnsdale
31.3.41 at Bairnsdale
15.4.41 Returned to Canberra from Bairnsdale
30.4.41 at Canberra
30.5.41 based Rockhampton on survey work
31.7.41 based Rockhampton on survey work
31.8.41 based Rockhampton on survey work
30.9.41 based Rockhampton on survey work
31.10.41 based Rockhampton on survey work
30.11.41 based Rockhampton on survey work
31.12.41 based Rockhampton on survey work
31.1.42 based Rockhampton on survey work
17.2.42 Returned to Canberra, survey abandoned due unfavourable weather
22.2.42 departed Canberra for Pearce to complete gaps in survey
28.2.42 based Pearce on survey work
2.3.42 Inspection at Pearce
25.3.42 departed Pearce for Laverton, all survey areas completed
27.3.42 arrived Laverton to carry out photographic work. 180 hourly inspection to be carried out.
31.3.42 SF Ops Record Book: at Laverton on survey work. A34-5 is the only aircraft on charge to the Survey Flight. All other aircraft previously operated by this unit had been transferred to other units during March.
4.42 Carried out photographic survey work as part of the Victorian and Tasmanian Survey
29.4.42 flew Essendon-Canberra
30.4.42 at Canberra
5.42 Carried out photographic survey work around Cessnock and Rockhampton
31.5.42 at Rockhampton
6.42 Survey work at Rockhampton and Townsville completed
30.6.42 at Townsville on survey work
7.42 Survey work at Townsville completed, to Rockhampton for further work
31.7.42 at Rockhampton on survey work
13.8.42 Returned to Canberra for complete overhaul
31.8.42 SF Ops Record Book: A34-5 has been handed over to No.2 AAU, Canberra for ambulance work. At present there is no aircraft on strength with Survey Flight.
42 Directorate of Air Transport, Allied Air Forces allocated radio callsign VHCSB, which was painted on the aircraft
11.12.42 Allotted 36 Sqn ex SF
11.12.42 Allotted 34 Sqn ex 36 Sqn
24.1.43 Received 34 Sqn ex Canberra
28.1.43 Issued to Guinea Airways Parafield ex 34 Sqn
1.2.43 Received by Guinea Airways and remained in their hangar until 23.7.45 during which time the aircraft received a complete overhaul.
8.7.43 DCA memo: “this aircraft has been given practically a complete overhaul. The work has been done by DAP under AID supervision and is of an extensive nature.”
Airframe total time 2,217 hours, still has same engines as when impressed. It is still fitted with autopilot. Estimated cost would be £3,500 including autopilot or £3,000 without autopilot fitted.
24.7.43 C.A.Butler pilot logbook: VH-AAO flown Adelaide-Temora-Mascot: total 6hrs 25 mins
23.8.43 Issued to 34 Sqn ex Guinea Airways
7.43 DCA memo: “A34-5 has had overhaul by Guinea Airways and was purchased by Mr. Butler who took delivery of the machine on Saturday 24.7.43,”
23.7.43 Status Card: Issued Butler Air Transport ex Guinea Airways


7.43 Butler Air Transport rushed to get the Dragon into airline service to replace Tugan Gannet VH-UVU, which had made a series of forced landings and had developed a vibration in the tailplane.
C.A.Butler wrote to DCA "We will scrap VH-UVU when Dragon A34-5 is in service."
VH-UVU was withdrawn from service 17.7.43
24.7.43 DCA report: Taken over by C. Arthur Butler at Guinea Airways
24.7.43 DCA approved fuel allowance for ferry flight Parafield-Sydney by Butler as VH-AAO
29.7.43 Registration application: Butler Air Transport Co, Mascot Aerdorome, Sydney NSW
30.7.43 Weighed Mascot for CofA
30.7.43 Restored to Register VH-AAO: Commonwealth of Australia, operated by Butler Air Transport, Sydney.  Leased to BAT by DCA
30.7.43 CofA issued Mascot
7.43 CofA form photo shows large civil registration in a light colour over RAAF camouflage with fin flashes but no roundel.
29.9.43 Returned to Mascot due rough engine on scheduled flight service to Bega. Pilot A. Jacobson
22.10.43 Status Card: Minister has approved the disposal of this aircraft to Butler Air Transport Ltd.
22.10.43 Purchased by BAT
8.2.44 Forced landing Moruya due engine trouble, no damage. Captain I. J. Hosie & 7 passengers.
Investigation blamed magneto from a faulty batch received from De Havilland Aircraft ex Canada, all of which were then withdrawn.
25.4.44 Forced landing Bega after takeoff due rough running starboard engine.
26.4.44 Forced landing Albion Park while on a Sydney-Bega service due same starboard engine running rough. Captain I. J. Hosie
17.2.47 photo at Lismore NSW in service with BAT
9.4.47 Forced landing near Coonamble NSW due engine failure. Operating BAT feeder service Bourke-Coonamble-Dubbo. Returned after takeoff with starboard engine shut dowen, unable to maintain height, forced landing in paddock on Yuma Station, no damage. Pilot James Corlette.
10.47 BAT company reorganisation as Butler Air Transport Pty Ltd, Sydney
20.12.47 Damaged beyond repair by windstorm Coonamble NSW. The parked aircraft was tied down but during a severe storm was blown from the aerodrome over trees into the Castlereagh River nearly a mile away and wrecked.  
Date quoted incorrectly as 23.12.47: this was the date of Sydney Morning Herald report on the windstorm with photos of Dragon in river and Tiger Moth VH-BGK wrecked.
3.5.48 Struck-off Register

  

  Camden aerodrome in 1940: line-up of MacArthur-Onslow aircraft. Camden Library and Historical Society


  

  VH-AAO at Camden, circa 1939. Hood Collection/State Librat of NSW


   

  CofA form photograph, at Mascot July 1943 after release by RAAF to Butler Air Transport.


  

  Lismore NSW February 1947, Butler Air Transport, all silver. Roger McDonald collection




6077           VH-UXG     Riama        

4.34 Built Hatfield as production Dragon II
30.4.34 Registered G-ACRF Portsmouth, Southsea & Isle of Wight Aviation Ltd, Portsmouth
15.5.34 First flight Stag Lane
18.5.34 British CofA issued
34/35 Flew Portsmouth-Ryde scheduled services, fitted for 10 passengers.
2.36 Sold to Australia
17.4.36 Testflown after assembly at Archerfield, still painted as G-ACRF
27.4.36 Registered VH-UXG Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield c/- Ronald A. Adair
To be used to carry newspapers Brisbane-Rockhampton, air service to Cracow and air taxi work
27.4.36 CofA issued
36 Named Riama.  Based on Ron Adair’s friend Allan Mair: surname spelt backwards plus his initial.
Photo: allover silver double fuselage stripe, "Royal Mail" "Aircrafts Pty Ltd" "Riama"
14.5.39 Badly damaged by fire in hangar Archerfield when electric light exploded during maintenance and ignited petrol. Starboard wings and fuselage sides badly burnt.
11.6.39 Testflown Archerfield after repair
3.11.39 Total airframe time 4744.42 hours
6.7.40 Director General of Civil Aviation writes to APL advising that it is not proposed to impress VH-UXG at this time.

Flew with APL throughout the war, numerous forced landings.
48 Still in service with APL
18.10.48 APL changed its name to Queensland Airlines Pty Ltd, Archerfield Qld
30.11.48 Change of ownership: Queensland Flying Services, Archerfield Qld
49 Photo: all silver, fuselage stripe, "QFS" flag emblem on tail
19.5.49 CofA renewal Archerfield
25.6.50 CofA renewal Archerfield
9.11.50 Damaged by dust storm at Brighton Downs Qld.  Airworthy again 21.11.50
20.1.53 CofA renewal Archerfield
20.1.53 Change of ownership: Stanley J. Porter, Tingalpa Qld
53 Operated by Stan Porter on charter. Freight work was subcontracted from Air Express Co, which used UXG to supplement its Anson aircraft. Newspaper deliveries to Maryborough, Bundaberg, Gladstone and Rockhampton.  Porter named the engines “Ada” (left) and “Elsie” (right) after a popular comic strip of the time.
19.4.54 Crashed Archerfield. Starboard engine failed just after takeoff at midday carrying newspapers to Gladstone and Rockhampton and 2 passengers. Pilot Stan Porter made forced landing in paddock adjacent to the airfield. Minor injuries to pilot and passengers.  Aircraft burst into flames and its structure destroyed by fire.  
19.4.54 Struck-off Register
54 Insurance writeoff. Scorched woodwork frame and all metal parts were salvaged and stored in a Brisbane warehouse.  The collection of UXG’s parts was rediscovered in 1976 and changed hands.


92 UXG’s remains by now owned by the Peter, Nick & Greg Challinor/Mothcair, Murwillumbah NSW
92 Challinors acquired half of the Dragon parts collection recently purchased by John Sinclair from John Alsop for Sinclair’s rebuild project of VH-ABK. Parts exchanged in return for a new-build fuselage constructed by Mothcair
1.95 Construction began at Murwillumbah by MothCair Aviation Services' Peter Challinor on a production line of 4 Dragon new-build fuselages in purpose-built jigs.  A total of 4 fuselages were built at Murwillumbah:
  • VH-UXG (Challinors, sold to Porter)
  • VH-ABK (Sinclair)
  • VH-AQU (Challinors, sold to England)
  • G-ACET  (Michael Souch, England)
Fuselages were completed in late 1976.  Two were fully assembled for UXG & ABK, while the other two were finished in knocked-down form.
96 Mothcair Aviation Services, Murwillumbah advertised for sale a Dragon project.  This was a long-term project by the Challinor family – the late Peter, Nick & Greg Challinor..
8.96 Des and Kathleen Porter purchased the airworthy restoration project identified as VH-UXG. By complete coincidence, this aircraft had been owned by his father and it was the crash of UXG that resulted in his father purchasing AOR in which he was killed the following year.

All woodwork restoration carried out at Murwillumbah, metal parts out-sourced to Alan Stanfield at Grafton NSW: including cowlings and wheel pants.
Gipsy Major 10 Mk 2 engines (145hp) replaced the original Gipsy Majors (130hp), and Fairey Reed propellers. Paint scheme was rich burgundy with silver trim, “APL” motif on tail, name “Riama” on nose.  Interior decor was grey with burgundy trim. 5 upholstered leather passenger seats.
Full story on the restoration in Classic Wings issue 41 (2003)
2.12.99 Restored to Register VH-UXG Desmond R. & Kathleen Porter, Brisbane Qld
Quoted identity 6077
02/03 Dragon UXG under rebuild at Murwillumbah by Mothcair for owners Des & Kathleen Porter.  Painted all over red with Aircrafts Pty Ltd markings and name on nose Riama
20.3.03 First flight Murwillumbah NSW at 11.25am, pilot Stan Smith (NZ owner of Dragon ZK-AXI).
Des Porter endorsed on to the Dragon the next day.
21.3.03 After a series of test flights at Murwillumbah, flew to Caboolture where based. Des Porter logged 6 hours on the Dragon in the next 8 days
5.9.03 visited Archerfield Qld airshow
4.05 visited Swan Hill Vic fly-in
25.4.06 Forced landing Collarenabri NSW due engine failure, no damage. Was on a flight Walgett NSW to St George Qld.
5.06 noted at Caboolture Qld, local flying
20.8.06 noted at Caboolture Qld
31.8.08 visited flyin Watts Bridge Qld
1.10.12 Crashed destroyed near Gympie Qld.  Struck hillside in poor weather while returning to home base Caboolture from an airshow at Monto Qld.  Des and Kathleen Porter were killed, plus 4 passengers.



  

  VH-UXG Riama at Archerfield pre-war with Aircrafts Pty Ltd. Ed Coates Collection


  

  Roma Qld 1949, Queensland Flying Services emblem on rudder. Geoff Goodall collection


  

  The restored VH-UXG at Bundaberg Qld in July 2005, “Aircrafts Pty Ltd” markings. Photo by Phil Vabre



6088           VH-URU, A34-2    Charleville      

25.5.34 De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd write to CAB requesting Australian registrations for 2 “Dragon Moths” on order from England.  CAB allocate VH-URU & URV.
1.9.34 Built Hatfield as production Dragon II
1.9.34 First flight
4.9.34 British CofA issued as VH-URU De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW

Shipped to Australia

Assembled at Mascot by De Havilland Aircraft.
7.11.34 Inspection Report at Mascot. Owner stated as Butler Air Transport Co, Cootamundra c/- C. A. Butler
7.11.34 Testflown on assembly
8.11.34 Registration Application: Butler Air Transport Co, Cootamundra NSW
To be used for “passenger and mail carrying on the Cootamundra-Charleville route”
9.11.34 Registered VH-URU.  
9.11.34 CofA issued, 6 passenger seats
9.11.34 C.A.Butler pilot logbook: Mascot local flight, 40 mins
11.34 Photo Mascot shows URU & URV all silver no titles, wheel spats, outside De Havilland Aircraft hangar
20.11.34 His Excellency, acting Governor General Lord Gowrie christened the Dragons Cootamundra and Charleville
12.34 VH-URU & -URV commenced scheduled mail and passenger services between Cootamundra and Charleville
2.35 High summer temperatures inland led to fuel line vapour locks and several forced landings. Company engineer Thomas Williams redesigned the DH.84 fuel system, which eliminated the problem.

Arthur Butler wrote in his book Flight : “….the Dragon with full load could not maintain height on one engine. The Civil Aviation Board established two emergency landing grounds between Cootamundra and Parkes where an aerodrome had been constructed several years earlier. These were never used during the 3 years and 8 months that the Cootamundra-Charleville service operated; in fact the service was practically free from mechanical trouble during the whole of this period, except for the vapour locks at the beginning of the service.”
9.6.37 Inspection report Mascot.   Inspection report at Mascot. CAB inspector’s summary: “in very good condition and maintenance over the period of service has been very satisfactory”
27.11.37 Forced landing Goolburra Station Qld due carburettor problem in an engine. No damage.  Pilot R. Brett cleaned the carburettor, and the northbound mails were taken to Charleville by car by the owner of the property. Mail flight, no passengers.
7.12.37 Forced landing Mangalore Vic due low oil pressure in port engine. No damage. Pilot P. B. Lusk. Mail flight, no passengers.
12.38 By now the company is reformed as Butler Air Transport Co Ltd, Sydney
25.10.39 Forced landing Maitland NSW due engine failure.  No damage. Pilot O. B. Hall. Mail flight, one passenger.
3.11.39 Total airframe time 3221 hours
11.39 Impressed by Australian Government for RAAF. Impressment Requisition No.12514.  To be delivered to CO No.1 Flying Training School, Point Cook by 27.12.39.  Price subsequently paid to BAT was £1,700.
1.40 Delivered to Point Cook by Arthur Butler
8.1.40 Impressment date by RAAF
11.1.40 Struck-off Civil Register
11.1.40 Brought on RAAF charge as A34-2.  Issued to No.1 FTS Observers School
26.1.40 Issued No.1 Advanced Training School (1ATS)
30.3.40 Wind caused wingtip to strike ground while picketed, wingtip damaged
24.6.40 Serviceable at Signal School
11.7.40 Issued to ANA for mods
15.7.40 DCA inspection report at Ansett Airways, Essendon: “A34-2 ex VH-URU”. Fitted with 5 passenger seats.
15.9.40 Serviceable at Ansett Airways
9.40 DCA report: Ansett Airways Ltd estimate that the costs for the total overhaul of this aircraft (TT 3503 hours) as £1,490.  Several mainplane spars were replaced.   It had been operated by RAAF since January. Formerly VH-URU.
4.10.40 Allotted Air Observers School after W/T mods at 1AD
7.10.40 Received AOS Cootamundra (later renamed 1AOS)
11.11.40 Crashed into ground and burned Cootamundra. After takeoff at 10am the aircraft struck the ground in a flat spin from a steep climbing left turn. 1AOS. Pilot Officer J. F . Hearne (20) and 5 trainee air observers all killed.  Aircraft totally destroyed.
Date confirmed from RAAF accident report and Status Card and Crash Report: “Cootamundra Aerodrome” by Ben Dannecker quotes date 1.11.40
11.40 Airframe and engines totally destroyed
11.40 Converted to produce

  

  BAT’s first two Dragons at Mascot after assembly November 1934. E.A.Crome Collection


  

  Empire Air Mail being loaded on VH-URU for BAT's sector Cootamundra-Charleville. Photo: CAHS




 

   In RAAF service as A34-2 at Cootamundra in late 1940, just before it crashed there in November 1940   David Vincent collection



6089           VH-URV     Cootamundra

25.5.34 De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd write to CAB requesting Australian registrations for 2 “Dragon Moths” on order from England.  CAB allocate VH-URU & URV.
34 Built Hatfield as production Dragon II
5.9.34 British CofA issued as VH-URV De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW

Shipped to Australia

Assembled at Mascot by De Havilland Aircraft.
8.11.34 Registration Application: Butler Air Transport Co, Cootamundra NSW
To be used for “passenger and mail carrying on the Cootamundra-Charleville route”
9.11.34 Registered VH-URV  Butler Air Transport Co, Cootamundra NSW, later Sydney
9.11.34 CofA issued, 6 passenger seats
11.34 Photo Mascot shows URU & URV all silver no titles, wheel spats, outside De Havilland Aircraft hangar
11.11.34 C.A.Butler pilot logbook: Mascot-Cootamundra, delivery flight, 3 passengers
16.11.34 C.A.Butler pilot logbook: Mascot-Essendon, 3 passengers: 2 hr 50 mins.
19.11.34 C.A.Butler pilot logbook: Essendon-Cootamundra, 4 passengers: 2 hr 15 mins.
20.11.34 C.A.Butler pilot logbook: Cootamundra-Canberra, 5 passengers: 55 mins. Returned same day after christening ceremony
20.11.34 His Excellency, acting Governor General Lord Gowrie christened the Dragons Cootamundra and Charleville
5.12.34 C.A.Butler pilot logbook: Cootamundra local flight
10.12.34 First BAT departure from Cootamundra for Charleville in the early hours of the morning, Cootamundra carrying 1200lb of mail, which had arrived by train from Sydney the previous evening.
10.12.34 C.A.Butler pilot logbook: Arthur Butler flew VH-URV’s first airline service: Cootamundra-Narromine-Bourke-Charleville, flying time 5 hrs 30 mins
13.12.34 Departed Charleville Qld on first BAT southbound service to Cootamundra
13.12.34 C.A.Butler pilot logbook: Charleville-Bourke-Narromine-Cootamundra, flying time 5 hr 30 mins
18.12.34 C.A.Butler pilot logbook: Cootamundra-Narromine-Bourke-Charleville, flying time 7 hrs 10 min
12.34 VH-URU & -URV commenced scheduled mail and passenger services between Cootamundra and Charleville
2.35 High summer temperatures inland led to fuel line vapour locks and several forced landings. Company engineer Thomas Williams redesigned the DH.84 fuel system, which eliminated the problem.

Arthur Butler wrote in his book Flight : “….the Dragon with full load could not maintain height on one engine. The Civil Aviation Board established two emergency landing grounds between Cootamundra and Parkes where an aerodrome had been constructed several years earlier. These were never used during the 3 years and 8 months that the Cootamundra-Charleville service operated; in fact the service was practically free from mechanical trouble during the whole of this period, except for the vapour locks at the beginning of the service.”
12.38 By now the company is reformed as Butler Air Transport Co Ltd, Sydney
3.11.39 Total airframe time 3085 hours
6.3.44 photo at Coonamble NSW in camouflage, operating BAT service
26.5.49 Change of ownership: Qantas Empire Airways Ltd, Brisbane Qld. Based in New Guinea
13.12.51 Struck mountain near Yarramunda New Guinea. 6 miles from Yarramunda.  Operating a charter for DCA to inspect airstrips, departed Mount Hagen for Ogelbeng, Tremearne, Baiyer River, Wabag, Wapenamanda, Yaramunda and Madang. Pilot QEA First Officer Sydney W. Peebles and 2 passengers were killed and aircraft destroyed by fire.
DCA investigation found the cause was solely pilot error: Peebles had 6000 hours experience but little Highlands experience and was restricted by Qantas to Madang-Goroka route. He took the DCA charter against company regulations and flew the wrong way up a narrowing valley, attempting to outclimb rising terrain while throwing passenger's baggage out to reduce the load.
13.12.51 Struck-off Civil Register

  

  Butler Air Transport’s VH-URV at Mascot 1940.  Barrie Colledge collection


  

  Coonamble NSW, March 1944 in wartime camouflage. Roger McDonald collection


  

  Postwar with BAT, returned to silver scheme. Roger McDonald collection



6104           VH-UTX, A34-11 “VHCSC”        Hope


Built Hatfield as production Dragon II

British CofA not issued

Shipped from England
8.4.36 Testflown Salamaua after assembly. Captain R.O. Mant pilot
17.4.36 Civil Aviation Branch allocated registration VH-UTX to W.R.Carpenter for a DH.84
17.4.36 Registered VH-UTX W. R. Carpenter & Co, Salamaua, New Guinea. Name Hope
17.4.36 CofA issued
6.10.36 Change of owner name: Mandated Airlines Ltd, Wau (subsidiary company of W.R. Carpenter & Co Ltd)
5.37 CofA renewed Salamaua .
9.5.38 CofA renewed Salamaua, testflown that day by Captain Sutcliffe
5.39 In workshop Salamaua undergoing annual CofA inspection, due to be completed in 2 weeks
19.7.39 CofA renewed Salamaua, 6 passenger seats. MAL engineer M.A. Taylor. Testflown that day, pilot Sutcliffe
18.7.40 retired for CofA overhaul
25.10.40 CofA renewed Salamaua, testflown that day by E.K.Nicholl
7.2.41 Dept of Air advises DCA of the need for impressment of a further 3 Dragons to offset the loss of 3 DH.86 being sent to Middle East
11.2.41 Director General of Civil Aviation replies to Dept of Air that 3 Dragons of Mandated Airlines, including VH-UTX have been selected for impressment and should be delivered to ANA at Essendon for modification.
24.2.41 Impressment Requisition No.8197 issued for VH-UTX. MAL advised that the aircraft is to be delivered to No.3 EFTS at Essendon
25.2.41 W. R. Carpenter & Co Ltd acknowledge receipt of the Impressment notification and complain about the effect on their NG operations. They state that VH-UTX is now due for CofA inspection
3.41 Impressed by Australian Government for RAAF. Impressment Requisition No.8196.        
25.3.41 Brought on RAAF charge as A34-11. Received from Mandated Airlines Ltd and issued to Ansett Airways for overhaul and mods.
7.4.41 Inspected at Essendon by DCA inspector. "General condition poor", with a long defect report listing. Owner quoted as "RAAF". MAL Chief Engineer H. Grigg was subsequently reprimanded by DCA over condition of the aircraft.
9.4.41 Struck-off Civil Register
29.5.41 Ready at Ansetts. Allotted 2AOS, to go to 1AD for radio installation first
3.6.41 A34-11 testflown Essendon after overhaul, pilot R.A. Mears of Ansett Airways.
5.6.41 Received 1AD ex 3EFTS Essendon
23.6.41 Issued 2AOS ex 1AD
28.6.41 Serviceable at 2AOS
24.1.42 Issued to ANA ex 2AOS
30.1.42 Being converted to air ambulance
12.2.42 Allotted 34 Sqn Essendon ex 1AD after mods by ANA
12.2.42 Received 1AD ex ANA
25.2.42 Received 34 Sqn ex 1AD. Callsign “VHCSC” painted on aircraft
17.4.42 Issued 1EFTS ex 34 Sqn
29.4.42 Allotted ANA Essendon ex 1EFTS
17.7.42 Received 1AD Laverton from ANA. Allotted 36 Sqn ex 1AD
24.7.42 Issued 36 Sqn ex 1AD
.42 Directorate of Air Transport, Allied Air Forces allocated radio callsign VHCSC, which was painted on the aircraft
17.11.42 Aircraft stalled when 10 feet off ground at Alice Springs, port undercarriage collapsed

Report in 36 Squadron News Bulletin June 1992:
Damaged at Alice Springs 16.10.42 (sic) being flown by Ron Yates with LAC Alvin Colley. Had departed Parafield and was flown via Port Pirie, Maree and Oodnadatta to Alice Springs. After departing Alice Springs they were compelled to return due to prevailing conditions and undercarriage collapsed on landing.
5.12.42 At Alice Springs, u/s indefinite. Allotted 1RSU ex 36Sqn for repair.
13.2.43 Issued 34 Sqn ex 1RSU
15.2.43 Destroyed Oodnadatta by 87mph gale. Fuselage and mainplane writeoff with possibility of salvage of parts

E. J. Connellan of Connellan Airways. Alice Springs records in his book Failure of Triumph:
"One night at Katherine, two Air Force Dragons disappeared except for the lower wings, which stayed tied down while the rest of the aeroplanes were in the Katherine River a mile away. Another night at Oodnadatta two Air Force Dragons were completely blown away and disappeared."
Note: the reported second Dragon wrecked at Oodnadatta not traced.
26.3.43 Approval for write off



6102           VH-UVB, (A34-12)     Helen, Betty Ann

35 Built Hatfield as production Dragon II    CofA quotes DH.84 Series II
28.10.35 First flight Hatfield
10.35 Civil Aviation Branch allocated registration VH-UVB to De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd, Mascot for DH.84 being shipped. Allocation ledger notated 29.1.36 that UVB sold to W.R.Carpenters.
29.10.35 British CofA issued as VH-UVB W. R. Carpenter & Co, Salamaua, New Guinea

Shipped to New Guinea
2.36 Assembled at WRC hangar at Salamaua
17.2.36 Registration application: W. R. Carpenter & Co, Salamaua. Application signed by M.A.Taylor
18.2.36 Testflown after assembly at Salamaua, pilot R. O. Mant
24.2.36 Registered VH-UVB  
24.2.36 CofA issued at Salamaua
36 Based in New Guinea, fitted for 7 passengers or freight, Named Helen
6.10.36 Change of owner name: Mandated Airlines Ltd, Wau (subsidiary company of W.R. Carpenter & Co Ltd)
23.2.37 CofA renewed at Salamaua, testflown that day by R.O.Mant
24.2.38 CofA renewed at Salamaua, testflown that day S.E.Sutcliffe
2.5.39 CofA renewed at Salamaua, testflown that daqy by E. Derek Crisp
16.4.40 Damaged at Alexishafen when undercarriage collapsed while taxying, pilot H.D.L. MacGilvery
30.4.40 Temporary repairs completed then flown to Salamaua workshop
1.7.40 CofA renewed at Salamaua, testflown that day by S.E.Sutcliffe
6.10.40 Forced landing Madang due engine trouble. no damage. Freight flight, pilot A. T. Collins.
6.2.41 Minor damage when wind storm wrecked the Mandated Airlines hangar at Wau.  Photo shows Dragon VH-UV_ with name Betty Ann
7.2.41 Dept of Air advises DCA of the need for impressment of a further 3 Dragons to offset the loss of 3 DH.86 being sent to Middle East
11.2.41 Director General of Civil Aviation replies to Dept of Air that 3 Dragons of Mandated Airlines, including VH-UVB have been selected for impressment and should be delivered to ANA at Essendon for modification.
24.2.41 Impressment Requisition No.8197 issued for VH-UVB. MAL advised that the aircraft is to be delivered to No.3 EFTS at Essendon
2.41 RAAF serial A34-12 allocated. Not taken up.
25.2.41 W. R. Carpenter & Co Ltd acknowledge receipt of the Impressment notification and complain about the effect on their NG operations. They state that VH-UVB is at present undergoing CofA
9.5.41 Dept of Air write to DGCA advising that Carpenters have now landed two Lockheed 14 aircraft which will make DH.86 VH-UYU available for impressment. “The need for taking the third DH.84 VH-UVB at this stage no longer exists. It is, therefore, not intended to proceed with the impressment of this aircraft.”
23.6.41 Withdrawn from Service at Salamaua for complete overhaul and CofA renewal
27.11.41 CofA renewed
21.1.42 Destroyed by enemy action at Salamaua
21.1.42 DCA inspector V.W. Burgess sent a cable to DCA Head Office from Salamaua listing civil aircraft damaged by a Japanese air raid on Salamaua aerodrome that day. His assessment of Dragons was:
VH-USA repairable
VH-UVB destroyed
VH-AEA destroyed
11.3.42 Struck-off Register

  

  VH-UVB in New Guinea in early 1936 with WR.Carpenter & Co. Photo: National Library of Australiua


 
  VH-UVB Betty Ann is on the right of this view at Port Moresby aerodrome

 
  The scene after the hangar collapse at Wau on 6 February 1941. In fact VH-UVB sustained only minor damage


6053           VH-UXK           Cairns

33 Built Edgeware as production Dragon 1
11.33 Registered G-ACMC Jersey Airways Ltd    Named St. Brelade’s Bay
24.11.33 British CofA issued
1.36 Change of ownership: Airwork Ltd, Heston
7.36 North Queensland Airways wrote to CAB advising they had purchased this Dragon in England
15.7.36 Civil Aviation Board allocated registration VH-UXK to DH.84 of North Queensland Airways
16.7.36 CofA renewed, owner Airwork Ltd, Heston
8.36 Sold to Australia
14.9.36 Arrived Brisbane as cargo on S.S.Otaio.
9.36 Assembled at Archerfield Aerodrome, Brisbane by Qantas Empire Airways
18.9.36 Registration application: North Queensland Airways Pty Ltd, Cairns Qld. Signed by W.A.Baird of Qantas.
26.9.36 Qantas respond to CAB query re status of the aircraft that McDonald has already departed Archerfield in VH-UXK delivering it to Cairns. CAB reprimanded McDonald for flying the aircraft prior to formal issue of CofA or CofR. McDonald replies that he was flying on the still current British CofA - correspondence ceased.
1.10.36 Registered VH-UXK North Queensland Airways Pty Ltd, Cairns Qld. Named Cairns
1.10.36 CofA issued
8.4.37 Inaugural North Queensland Airways one day service Cairns-Brisbane flown by UXK flown by Tom H. McDonald via Innisfail, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton in 10.5 hours.
To cope with passenger demand a North Queensland Airways DH.80 Puss Moth was also used,
which arrived Archerfield next day.
13.4.37 Croydon was included in Cairns-Normanton route, first Croydon service by UXK, pilot C. Jones.
5.6.37 Chartered by Civil Aviation Branch to collect a party of men from Somerset, on the tip of Cape York Peninsula. The party was inspecting facilities for the proposed flying boat service from England to Sydney but had been stranded on Thursday Island. They had arrived at Somerset by quarantine launch from Thursday Island the previous day. Somerset had been a stop for aircraft en route between Australia and New Guinea, but it had become overgrown and the grass had to be burned in order for the Dragon to be able to land.
T.H. McDonald flew the Dragon from Cairns. After collecting the men, he stopped overnight at Kolatah homestead near the base of the Cape York Peninsula, where the party was looked after with great hospitality and the aircraft took on fuel from the station-owner’s stock. Next morning flew on to Karumba which was reached at 10am Saturday 6 June. McDonald had not landed at Karumba before, but after a careful inspection from the air he set down on a nearby claypan. In the middle of the dry season this formed a suitable runway, but would have been unusable in the Wet.  Landing at Karumba itself saved the party a 52 mile journey over a bumpy dirt road from the nearest designated aerodrome at Normanton. After inspecting the facilities for the Karumba flying boat base, McDonald flew them to Cloncurry.
They had left one member of the party behind with all their equipment at Somerset, who was collected on a subsequent flight two days later. 
15.6.37 Inaugural Burketown extension of Normanton route, UXK pilot T. H. McDonald
18.10.37 CofA renewed at Cairns. testflown that day by T.H.McDonald. Fitted for 8 passengers
2.5.38 CAB inspection report at Cairns: extensive list of defects.
UXK continued in daily service despite much correspondence from CAB ordering the defects to be rectified immediately. McDonald's replies indicate a genuine misunderstanding that he could have the faults attended to at the next annual CofA overhaul.
8.7.38 Inaugural Queensland Cattle Stations service ex Normanton flown by UXK, pilot A. Tagart
29.8.38 Crashed Mundoo near Innisfail Qld. Pilot B. H. Goodson and 4 pax killed, 4 pax survived.
Had departed Cairns at 5.45am on scheduled service to Townsville via landing at Ingham to drop off 1 passenger. Departed Townsville just after 8am with full load of 8 passengers, for Cairns with scheduled stop at Innisfail. Weather was fine but aircraft stalled in circuit for landing Innisfail.

Investigation stated the aircraft was correctly loaded, 180lb below MAUW, had flown 4680 hours of which 3620 hrs were in Australia over previous 23 months. Pilot Goodson had been with the airline only 3 days and had gained his Dragon endorsement flying a service to Townsville return not fully loaded and without landings enroute. Goodson had 2000 hours experience and had been an instructor with Rockhampton Aero Club, later CFI of Kingsford Smith Aviation Services, Sydney but had never flown a Dragon. He allowed the aircraft to stall during a discontinued approach because of a tractor on the runway.
12.38 North Queensland Airways has been purchased by Airlines of Australia

The crash of UXK was the final straw for Tom H. McDonald of Cairns, Managing Director of North Queensland Airways, having had a succession of fatal accidents. NQA was sold to Airlines of Australia, and McDonald concentrated on his jewelry store in Cairns. Airlines of Australia sent Ian H. Grabowsky to Cairns as interim manager to take over NQA assets and routes.
AoA immediately introduced the Stinson A trimotor on the Brisbane-Cairns route, and based an additional DH.89 Rapide VH-UUO along with NQA's VH-UZY and brought DH.84s VH-URE & URG to be based at Cairns.
14.12.39 Inquest in Cairns: Coroner R. Allen criticised the CAB practice of approving pilot endorsements based on acceptance of advice from pilots that they had completed the requisite flying hours and landings under training in the aircraft type for which he requires his licence to be endorsed.
20.2.39 Change of ownership (of wreck) Airlines of Australia Ltd, Sydney NSW
15.11.39 Struck-off Register

  

  VH-UXK named Cairns at Archerfield. State Library of Queensland



6065           VH-UZF, A34-8


Built Edgeware as production Dragon II
28.5.34 Registered VT-AES Indian National Airways Ltd, Dum Dum.  Named Sapphire
28.5.34 Indian CofA issued
1.4.40 QEA wrote to DCA requesting permission under wartime restrictions to purchase a DH.84 VT-AES from Indian National Airways and fly it to Australia.
6.4.40 Struck-off Indian Register, sold to Australia
4.40 Flown from Calcutta to Brisbane by QEA Captain Orme Denny
8.4.40 VT-AES due to depart Singapore today, Captain Denny.
19.4.40 VT-AES has reached Archerfield.
23.4.40 Department of Civil Aviation allocated registration VH-UZF to Qantas for DH.84 ex VT-AES
6.40 Inspection by QEA for CofA issue at Archerfield has been delayed due other work.
19.7.40 Registration application: Qantas Empire Airways Ltd, Brisbane Qld
To be based Cloncurry, for use of the Brisbane-Mount Isa service.
19.7.40 Registered VH-UZF  
19.7.40 Testflown Archerfield after CofA overhaul
19.7.40 CofA issued
25.7.40 Reported at Archerfield
40 Photo at Archerfield, all silvcr, large fuselage registration, no QEA insignia
8.40 Impressed by Australian Government for RAAF. Impressment Requisition 8165. To be delivered to the CO 4 Elementary Flying Training School, Mascot.  To be overhauled for RAAF by BAT when aircraft is to painted as A34-8.
16.8.40 Impressed by RAAF
16.8.40 Struck-off Register
16.8.40 Brought on RAAF charge as A34-8.  Received from QEA. TT 2430 hrs.
23.9.40 At Butler Air Transport, Mascot for instrument installation
2.10.40 DCA report: Maintenance by BAT completed. Flight tests Mascot after inspection and mods by BAT
2.10.40 C.A.Butler pilot logbook: A34-8 test flight Mascot
3.10.40 DCA report: Further flight tests at Mascot. Delay in inspection by AID until 9.10.40
3.10.40 DCA inspection report of A34-8 at Mascot
10.10.40 DCA report: 4EFTS advised ready for collection from BAT
11.10.40 DCA report: Taken over by RAAF but housed at Mascot until 19.10.40 when “finally” taken delivery of by a RAAF pilot.  (DCA response to RAAF complaint of delay at BAT)
15.11.40 Status Card: Ready for collection at Mascot
20.11.40 Status Card: Serviceable at 1AD Laverton awaiting wireless
3.2.41 Issued 1AOS Cootamundra ex 1AD
3.2.41 Serviceable at 1AOS
19.2.41 Allotted 2AOS ex 1AOS
24.2.41 Received 1AD ex 1AOS on way to 2AOS
11.3.41 Received 2AOS ex 1AD
17.4.41 Collided with truck, port lower mainplane and spar badly damaged
19.4.41 Serviceable at 2AOS
16.2.42 Issued to ANA ex 2AOS for modifications
20.2.42 Being converted to air ambulance
6.3.42 Awaiting chair frames and stretcher mounts
26.3.42 Received 1AD Laverton ex ANA
30.3.42 Issued 33 Sqn, Port Moresby ex 1AD
3.6.42 A34-8 evacuated personnel from Wau and Aura.
8.6.42 Crashed during forced landing due engine failure near Yule Island, New Guinea. Both lower mainplanes, undercarriage and fuselage seriously damaged.
3.7.42 Issued to De Havillands, Sydney ex 33 Sqn
11.9.42 Write off. Reduced to component parts.


  

  Archerfield July 1940 immediately after assembled, without Qantas markings.  Photo: Qantas


  

  VH-UZF impressed as A34-8, at 2AOS, Mount Gambier SA. David Vincent collection



6027           (VH-UZG)

.33 Built Edgeware as production Dragon 1
6.33 Registered G-ACFG De Havilland Aircraft Co Ltd, Stag Lane
28.6.33 CofA issued
33 Finished in fifth place in 1933 Kings Cup Air Race, flown by Hubert Broad
33/34 Reportedly purchased by an Italian count, who used it to visit Vienna, Belgrade, Bucharest and Constantinople
.34 Change of ownership: George Nicholson t/a Northern Airways, Newcastle
G-ACFG commenced Northern Airways services from Newcastle to Isle of Man.
12.34 Change of ownership: Northern & Scottish Airways Ltd, Glasgow-Renfrew
G-ACFG was first aircraft of this new company founded in 11.34 by George Nicholson, to fly services between Glasgow and Campbeltown, Islay and the Outer Hebrides.
12.34 G-ACFG flew inaugural service to Skye and Hebrides
2.37 Purchased by North Queensland Airways Pty Ltd, Cairns Qld
2.37 Struck-off British Register as sold abroad

Shipped to Cairns in crates where assembled by NQA ground staff.
4.37 Registration allocated VH-UZG North Queensland Airways Pty Ltd, Cairns Qld
7.5.37 Crashed Cairns aerodrome Qld.  Crashed 2 miles north of Cairns.
North Queensland Airways pilot John Wawn received severe injuries and 3 passengers injured. Crashed on edge of aerodrome on takeoff for Cooktown. Nose-dived into the ground shortly after clearing the aerodrome boundary fence and aircraft wrecked.

No CofR or CofA issued

North Queensland Airways ground engineer Jack Atkinson later wrote: "Another aircraft acquired was a DH84 Dragon which was bought in Scotland and transported to Cairns in crates. After assembly and under the registration of VH-UZG she did only one trip on a regular run and was then written off in a crash on the Cairns aerodrome."


6084           (VH-UZX)


Built Hatfield as production Dragon II
7.34 Registered G-ACVD  Railway Air Services Ltd, Eastleigh  Named Star of Cheshire
24.7.34 CofA issued
8.37 G-ACVD purchased by Light Aircraft Pty Ltd, Camden NSW.  
This was one of several aviation ventures of the Macarthur Onslow family of Camden.
27.9.37 Civil Aviation Board allocated registration VH-UZX to Macarthur-Onslow for DH.84.
4.11.37 Light Aircraft Pty Ltd requested registration VH-AMO be reserved instead, to incorporate the initials of one of the directors of the company MacArthur Onslow.  CAB refused the request on the grounds that the registration was too far ahead of the present allocations.
2.38 Pre-delivery overhaul completed by Air Dispatch Ltd at Croydon. It was intended to use it for aerial survey and was fitted with an autopilot.
Owner quoted as Air Travel and Survey Pty Ltd, Australia
26.2.38 Crashed Beddington, Surrey.  Crashed 800 yards west of Waddington Station when coming in to land at Croydon aerodrome, London at 1.30pm.
London Times report: “Three men were injured when an aeroplane crashed on a railway embankment at Croydon on Saturday.  They are Captain Philip Bailey, of Grove Road, Coulsdon, Surrey; Mr. Thomas Valette, 38, of West Way, Shirley, Surrey; and Mr. John Furnival, 45, of Hall Way, Purley, Surrey.  The three men are in hospital, and last night their condition was stated to be satisfactory.  Mr. Valette and Mr. Furnival are to undergo operations to-day.  The aeroplane was the property of Air Travel and Survey Proprietary, Limited of Australia.  It was intended for use in survey work, and was fitted with an auto-pilot.”    
Aircraft was a total wreck.

Crashed prior to formerly registered. No Australian CofA or CofR.
38 Replaced by Dragon VH-AAO which departed Croydon on delivery flight to Australia 11.9.38 flown by MacArthur Onslow
6.5.40 G-ACVD struck-off British Register



SEE PART TWO FOR AUSTRALIAN BUILT DRAGONS



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RAAF Units allocated Dragons: locations in 1942-1946 period

2AAU Air Ambulance Unit Canberra

moved to Kingaroy Qld 2.43,
Archerfield Qld 9.44,
Detachments at Port Moresby, Noemfoor, Corunna Downs
1AD Aircraft Depot Laverton Vic
2AD Aircraft Depot Richmond NSW
3AD Aircraft Depot Amberley Qld
5AD Aircraft Depot Wagga NSW
5AD Storage Aircraft Depot Cootamundra NSW
7AD Aircraft Depot Cowra NSW to Tocumwal NSW 12.42
1AOS Air Observers School Cootamundra NSW to Evans Head NSW 12.43
2AOS Air Observers School Mount Gambier SA
2AP Aircraft Park Bankstown NSW
1APU Aircraft Performance Unit Laverton Vic
12ARD Aircraft Repair Depot Werribee Vic to Darwin NT 8.44
13ARD Aircraft Repair Depot Tocumwal NSW to Breddan Qld 3.43
14 ARD Aircraft Repair Depot Ascot Vale Vic to Gorrie NT 2.43
15ARD Aircraft Repair Depot Port Moresby NG
1ATS Advanced Training School Point Cook Vic
1CF/1CU Communications Flight/Unit
(CFs renamed
Communications Units 10.43)
Laverton Vic to Essendon Vic 4.42,
to Laverton 7.42,
to Essendon 1.43
3CF/3CU Communications Flight/Unit Mascot NSW
4CF/4CU Communications Flight/Unit Archerfield Qld
5CF/5CU Communications Flight/Unit Townsville Qld
6CF/6CU Communications Flight/Unit Manbullo NT to Batchelor NT 2.43, to Darwin 10.45
7CU Communications Unit Pearce WA to Guildford 11.44
8CU Communications Unit Goodenough Island NG reformed ex 1RCS 11.43,
to Madang 11.44
9CU Communications Unit Port Moresby NG Reformed ex 1RCS 11.43,
to Lae 8.44
CMU Care & Maintenance Unit

2CRD Central Recovery Depot Richmond NSW
6CRD Central Recovery Depot Breddan Qld
8CRD Central Recovery Depot Darwin N
3EFTS Elementary Flying Training School Essendon Vic
4EFTS Elementary Flying Training School Mascot NSW
1FTS Flying Training School Point Cook Vic
12OBU Operational Base Unit

5OTU Operational Training Unit Wagga NSW to Tocumwal 10.43, Williamtown 7.44
PTU Paratroop Training Unit Laverton Vic to Tocumwal 11.42, Richmond 4.43
1RCF Rescue & Communications Flight Port Moresby NG Reformed as 1RCS 11.42
1RCS Rescue & Communications Squadron Port Moresby NG to Milne Bay 6.43,
to Goodenough Island 9.43,
reformed as 8CU 11.43
1RSU Recovery & Salvage Unit Daly Waters NT to Manbulloo NT 9.42,
to Darwin 6.43,
to Higgins Field Qld 6.43,
to Mount Druitt, Sydney 12.44
2RSU Recovery & Salvage Unit Mt Druitt NSW
4RSU Recovery & Salvage Unit Laverton to Werribee Vic 8.42,
to Pell Field NT 11.42,
to Winnelli NT 5.45,
to Parkes 12.45
7RSU Recovery & Salvage Unit Pell Field NT to Darwin 2.44
10RSU Recovery & Salvage Unit Amberley Qld to Lowood Qld 8.42,
to Breddan Qld 11.42,
to Macrossan Qld 1.43,
to Townsville Qld 2.43,
to Milne Bay NG 2.43,
to Nadzab 11.44
11RSU Recovery & Salvage Unit Mount Druitt NSW to Nadzab NG 1.44. to Noemfoor Island, Netherlands New Guinea 10.44
12RSU Recovery & Salvage Unit Charters Towers Qld to Macrossan Qld 3.43,
to Kiriwina NG 12.43,
to Tadji NG 5.44
17RSU Recovery & Salvage Unit Cunderdin WA to Pearce WA 7.44
26RSU Recovery & Salvage Unit Laverton Vic to Werribee Vic 12.42,
to Goodenough Island NG 6.43
5SFTS Service Flying Training School Uranquinty NSW
7SFTS Service Flying Training School Deniliquin NSW
SF Survey Fight Canberra ACT
SP School of Photography Canberra ACT
1WAGS Wireless Air Gunners School Ballarat Vic
2WAGS Wireless Air Gunners School Parkes NSW
3WAGS Wireless Air Gunners School Maryborough Qld
33 Sqn Squadron Townsville Qld to Port Moresby NG 12.42,
to Milne Bay NG 12.43,
to Lae NG 1.45
34 Sqn Squadron Darwin NT to Batchelor NT 2.42,
to Hughes NT 7.42,
to Manbulloo NT 8.42,
to Parafield SA 1.43,
to Morotai Island, Netherlands New Guinea 3.45
35 Sqn Squadron Maylands WA to Pearce WA 8.43
36 Sqn Squadron Essendon Vic to Townsville Qld 12.42


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References:

- RAAF Status Cards: A34- series, RAAF Historical Section, Department of Air, Canberra

- No.6 Communications Unit Operations Record Book: RAAF Historical Section

- Australian Civil Aircraft Register, Department of Civil Aviation and its successors

- National Library of Australia - Trove newspaper archive website

- British Civil Aircraft Register: G-INFO database website

- DCA aircraft files, National Archives of Australia, Melbourne

- DCA Annual Survey of Aircraft Accidents, 1956-1970

- Aviation Historical Society of Australia Journal, monthly, 1960-1970

- Australian Air Log, monthly journal, 1965-1968

- Aircraft in Australia series, DH84 Dragon, John Hopton, early incomplete draft, 1999

- Flypast A Record of Aviation in Australia, Neville Parnell & Trevor Boughton, CAA, 1988

- Allotment of Civil Registration markings, CAB & DCA file, National Archives of Australia,

Series A705 No.8/103/996 transcribed by Dion Makoswski, published in Man and Aerial Machines, quarterly, compiled by T.W.Boughton, April 1990

- Wings of Gold, How the aeroplane developed New Guinea, James Sinclair, Pacific Publications, 1978

- Balus The Aeroplane in Papua New Guinea, Volume 1, James Sinclair, Robert Brown & Associates, 1986

- Forgotten Flyer: The Story of Charles W. Snook, Brian Hernan, Tangee Publishing 2007

- Flight, Memoirs 1912-1958, C.A.Butler, Anna Yates 2008

- Northern Territory Aerial Medical Service, Warwick Henry, Aviation Heritage, AHSA Vol.26 No.3

- Captain Jack Slade AFC OBE and the early days of the NTAMS, Mike Flanagan, Aviation Heritage Vol.43 No.1

- Pre-War Civil Aircraft in WA No.7: DH.84 Dragon, Edward Fletcher, Aviation Heritage, AHSA Vol.33 No.2, June 2002

- Trials and Trbulations in the Top End, 6CU reports, N.M.Parnell, Aviation Heritage Vol.43 No.1

- Australian Air Force since 1911, N.M.Parnell & C.A.Lynch, Reed, Sydney 1976

- Aerial Agriculture in Australia, Derrick Rolland, Aerial Agricultural Assoc of Australia, 1996

- Units of the RAAF, Volume 7 Maintenance Units, RAAF Historical Section, AGPS, 1995

- The DH.82A Tiger Moth in Australia, Julian Forsyth, Skyline Publications, Melbourne 1995

- Airlines and Aircraft of the Ansett Group 1921-2002, DVD, annual updates, Fred Niven, Melbourne

- Taking Off, Pioneering Small Airlines of New Zealand 1945-1970, Richard Waugh 2003

- Classic Wings Downunder magazine, renamed Classic Wings, editor Graham M. Orphan: numerous references to Australian and NZ Dragons over various issues 1995 to date

- Alan Bovelt: research listings 1966-1975 on operators and aircraft in Papua New Guinea

- Arthur Butler logbooks and personal collection, Power House Museum, Sydney: transcribed by Nigel Daw in June 2009



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