Last updated 10 February 2020
STINSON L-5 SENTINEL IN AUSTRALIA

Compiled by Geoff Goodall

Australia's civil Stinson L-5 Sentinels came from USAAF post-war disposals sales in Philippines and India. This is a typical
USAAF L-5, 42-98832 with 25th Liaison Squadron in New Guinea in 1944 with TSgt D. Nichols. The unit's slogan
    Guinea Short Lines on the cowling. This particular L-5 did not survive the war.      Photo: Civil Aviation Historical Society
   

Civilianised Stinson L-5 VH-BFR at Berwick Vic in February 1975.                                         Photo by Geoff Goodall

        The Stinson Model 76 Sentinel was a military development of the pre-war Stinson Model 75 Voyager series of civil touring aircraft. The Sentinel was a heavier aircraft with larger fuselage construction of fabric coverage steel tube with extensive glasshouse and side windows, which opened outwards. The wing and tailplane were all wood construction to save strategic materials. The engine was a 185hp Lycoming 0-435.
        The prototype first flew at the Stinson plant at Wayne, Michigan on 28 June 1941. Flight tests resulted in the full-length leading edge wing slots being reduced to half length, and the tail surfaces enlarged. This produced an exception STOL performance and large orders were received from USAAF (L-5 series) and US Navy/Marines (OY- series). Production ceased in November 1945 after a grand total of 3,590 Sentinels were built.
        Stinson Aircraft became a division of Vultee Aircraft in October 1939 and in November 1941 Consolidated Aircraft and Vultee were merged under the control of Aviation Corporation (AVCO). Stinson was later renamed Stinson Division of Convair (Consolidated Vultee) in March 1943. The Stinson works at Wayne Michigan were closed in June 1948 and Piper Aircraft took over marketing of post-war civil production Voyagers.
WWII use of Stinson L-5 in New Guinea
       L-5 Sentinels were operated in New Guinea by USAAF 25th Liaison Squadron from November 1943 for army cooperation and ambulance evacuation work. They had the ability to land in small clearings in the jungle or on beaches, and their cabins were fitted for stretcher or sitting patients. The unit painted the cowlings with a distinctive Guinea Short Lines and kangaroo. As well as injured troops, the USAAF Sentinels rescued downed airmen in the rugged New Guinea terrain. USAAF also operated Taylorcraft L-4 Cubs in the New Guinea theatre.

      Previously USAAC Stinson L-1 Vigilants had been operating in New Guinea. By early October 1942 they were evacuating wounded troops from the Kokoda Trail using the marginal strip at Myola Lake. Three L-1Cs were officially attached to RAAF No.33 Squadron effective 10 November 1942 for search and rescue operations in New Guinea:
42-18958 33Sqn 10.11.42. Assigned radio call-sign VHCOG. Crashed Chestnut Bay NG
42-18959 33Sqn 10.11.42. Assigned radio call-sign VHCOH. Crashed Myola Lake NG
42-19050 33Sqn 10.11.42. Assigned radio call-sign VHCOI.  Crashed near Myola Lake NG

    RAAF pilots flew American Stinson O-49s, L-5 Sentinels and Piper L-4 Cubs on Army cooperation duties in New Guinea. The RAAF personnel record for RAAF Flt Sgt Norman Padgett shows that on 23 January 1944 he commenced 6 weeks of intense operational flying while attached to Headquarters 9th Australian Division AIF at the front line of fighting against the Japanese. Aircraft flown included US Army Air Force Piper L-4 Cubs, Stinson L-5 Sentinel on army liaison duties. His skilful flying during this attachment included a mission to rescue a wounded radio operator from behind enemy lines and resulted in him being awarded the Air Force Medal. His pilot logbook records 230 hours on L-4s and L-5s

    A single L-5 was actually taken on RAAF charge.  "99129" (42-99129) was received by RAAF No.36 Squadron at Townsville Qld on loan from USAAF on 30 May 1944. The RAAF record card at first incorrectly reported it as a Piper Cub.  A logbook entry records Flying Officer F. Watt of 36 Squadron making a local flight at Townsville on 8 November 1944 in "L-5 299129", carrying photographer John Harrison to take photographs in the area for the Allied Works Council.

    On 25 November 1944 42-99129 was received by No.37 Squadron in New Guinea ex 36 Squadron. 37 Squadron's unit records state it was on their strength from 30 November 1944 to 1 February 1945.   A December summary of non-operational flying quotes a mere 30 minutes for the Sentinel, and 90 minutes during January 1945.   On 26 January 1945 the RAAF record card states
"To be returned to FEASC representative at Townsville Air Depot. 37 SQ to arrange delivery as soon as possible."
On 1 February 1945 it was struck-off RAAF charge as "Issued to USAAC ex 37 Squadron."   With the US advance on Japan, USAAF 25th Liaison Squadron moved with its L-5s to the Philippines.

Stinson L-5 Identities
    There is considerable doubt over the identities for Australian civilianised Sentinels. In the listings below, the quoted identities and sources are given at the end of each aircraft's history.

- Frame number 75-.... was stamped on the forward landing gear trunnion: this is not the construction number, but the factory production line sequence number.

- Construction number 75-.... was stamped on a Consolidated Vultee plate fixed to the metal shroud at the front of the cockpit, out of sight behind the instrument panel

- USAAF identification plate was fixed to the fuselage at the starboard wing root, which had a space for the c/n but most were delivered with that space left blank.  Sometimes the fuselage frame number matches the c/n but the difference can be as much as twenty. The USAAF airplane record cards survive but quote only the air force serial number, no manufacturer’s number.

    Jim Grey, founder of the Sentinel Owners and Pilots Association in USA wrote:
“There is no bullet-proof tie-up between frame numbers and USAAF numbers. The theoretical correlation is, at best, a tenuous one because no factory production records are known to have survived. On many existing aircraft where the original plate exists and no obvious airframe swapping occurred, there is often a discrepancy between numbers. Some match the theoretical links and some do not. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence however, so we can usually narrow the true USAAF identity to within about a dozen airplanes, and through a process of elimination based on Air Force records, photographs and other material we can narrow it down to just a few.”

Australian civil Stinson L-5s are listed below under the following groupings
5 Clive Caldwell/ Aerial Transport Co imports from Philippines 1946
2 private imports 1954
2 derelict civil L-5s imported from Philippines by Malcolm Long 1979
4 derelict civil L-5s imported from India by Randal McFarlane 1991
1 derelict private import from USA 2006

1) Clive Caldwell (Aerial Transport Co) Stinson L-5s mported from USAAF disposals sales Manila 1946:
             Five US Army Air Forces Stinson L-5 Sentinels were imported as cargo on board six Douglas C-47s ferried from Manila, Philippines to Sydney Airport in November-December 1946. The C-47s and the Stinsons had been purchased from the US Foreign Liquidation Commission, which was handling the disposal of large numbers of aircraft retired at Clark Field, north of Manila.
             The C-47s had been purchased on behalf of the Zinc Corporation, Melbourne by Clive R. "Killer" Caldwell, former RAAF Group Captain and wartime fighter ace. Caldwell had endured the public humiliation of a highly publicised RAAF court-martial after the end of the war over allegations of trading liquor smuggled to allied personnel inBorneo while flying RAAF Dakota courier flights.
             Leaving the RAAF in February 1946, Caldwell had joined wealthy pastoralist and Sydney businessman George B. S. Falkiner to revive Falkiner's pre-war firm Aerial Transport Co.  Caldwell was appointed a partner of George B. S. Falkiner in the firm Aerial Transport Co. An associate company Falkiner, Caldwell and Doyle Pty Ltd was also established to promote other aviation ventures.

           During 1946, one of Australia’s largest mining businesses, The Zinc Corporation, Melbourne devised plans to operate a fleet of DC-3s to be based at Broken Hill NSW on mining expoloration work. Clive Caldwell saw a business opportunity for Aerial Transport Co and negotiated an agreement with Zinc Corp for his company to act as their agent to select, purchase and ferry six C-47s from the US sales in Philippines. The entrepreneurial Caldwell decided Aerial Transport Co should purchase Stinson Sentinels, which he learnt were available at low prices at Clark Field, and bring them back inside the C-47s for resale on the Australian civil market. By September 1946 he had enlisted crews for the C-47 deliveries, mostly recently demobbed RAAF aircrew, and Caldwell left Sydney for Manila to negotiate the purchases of the C-47s and his own Stinsons.
         DCA's Import Permit ledger has an application on 9 October 1946 by Aerial Transport Co for three Stinson L-5s, recorded as to be imported in November that year. A separate Import Permit was issued by DCA in December 1946 for a fourth Stinson 76-2751, noted as being allocated VH-ALQ. However five Stinsons were carried in the C-47s and as only four were civilianised, it is assumed the fifth L-5 was used for parts in Australia.
        Caldwell led his six C-47s back to Australia, reaching Darwin during the evening of 1 December 1946 and Mascot Aerodrome Sydney three days later. They were still in US military markings, and press reports from Darwin described how five C-47s each carried a Stinson fuselage, while the sixth C-47 carried the Stinson wings and parts.  On arrival at Mascot, the Stinsons were moved to the Marshall Airways hangar where Sid Marshall had been engaged to overhaul them for Australian civil certification. The Stinsons also were in weathered USAAF markings and were fund to be in poor condition. Marshall completed four, which were re-sold by Aerial Transport Co. Later advertising by March 1948 was under the associate company’s name Falkiner, Caldwell and Doyle Pty Ltd, Sydney.

Sydney Morning Herakd newspaper advertisement March 1948

            Following the sale of the four civilianised Sentinels, Caldwell did not pursue other aviation ventures, preferring to start his own fabrics import-export business. The two aviation companies were dissolved. George Falkiner continued to fly his Waco biplane VH-AAF between his Sydney city office and his large sheep breeding property Haddon Rig, near Warren NSW until his death in 1961.

Mascot 1947: at the rear left two of the USAAF L-5s air-freighted from Manila can be seen outside Marshall
Airways' hangar. The Anson VH-AZU was a Marshall Airways civil conversion        Ed Coates Collection

Close-up shows the dismantked front white-tailed USAAF L-5 with serial beginning “2994..”, which makes
it either
42-99477/VH-ALQ, or 42-99498/VH-BFR.

The four civilianised Caldwell Stinson imports, listed in order of addition to the Civil Register:

              C/n 76-2751      Stinson L-5                                                                                                    VH-ALQ
.44
Built by Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan, to USAAF order
.44
Delivered to USAAF as L-5 42-99477
.46
Disposal by US Foreign Liquidation Commission at Manila, Philippines

One of 5 Stinson L-5s purchased in Manila by Aerial Transport Co, Sydney NSW through their director Clive R. Caldwell, former wartime RAAF ace "Killer" Caldwell.  Caldwell was in Manila arranging the purchase and ferry of 6 Douglas C-47s to Sydney on contract to The Zinc Corp. The Stinsons would be carried as cargo in the C-47s for refurbishment in Sydney and civil resale
4.12.46
The six C-47s arrived at Mascot aerodrome, Sydney. Five C-47s each carried a Stinson L-5 fuselage while the sixth C-47 carried the Stinson wings and parts.

The Stinson L-5s were stored at Marshall Airways at Mascot, pending overhauls for civil CofA.  Marshall Airways moved to Bankstown Airport in 1950
7.2.47
Registration application: Aerial Transport Pty Ltd, 4 O'Connell Street, Sydney
Identity quoted as “2751”
31.3.47
Australian  CofA issued following civil inspection by Marshall Airways at Mascot
31.3.47
Registered VH-ALQ
13.5.47
Change of owner’s name effective this date: Falkiner, Caldwell & Doyle Pty Ltd, Sydney.
The Board of Directors and management is unchanged. Company letterhead:
“Falkiner, Caldwell & Doyle (incorporating Aerial Transport Co)
Exporters, Brokers, General merchants, Aviation”
22.9.47
Change of owner's name: George Brereton Sadlier Falkiner, 4 O'Connell Street, Sydney
5.4.48
Annual CofA renewal at Mascot
8.4.48
Crashed at Bankstown Aerodrome, Sydney, pilot C. R. Caldwell. Will be repaired
3.11.48
CofA renewed after repair at Mascot
4.8.50
Change of ownership: Keith Leahy, “Manna” Station, Condobolin NSW, later Sydney NSW, later
“Oban” Station, Dajarra Qld
1.52
Annual CofA renewal at Bankstown by Marshall Airways
25.5.55
CofA suspended
25.5.59
Struck-off Register due CofA invalid since 7.8.55
59
Parked in open weather at Mount Isa Airport for some years, by now derelict. Moved to airport dump and partially buried. Later salvaged by Airport Fire Service for use for fire practice exercises.

Parts acquired by Howard D’Alton, Hobart Tasmania for his rebuild of Stinson L-5 VH-BFR.
D'Alton recalls “It gradually disappeared at Mount Isa. I procured parts from it as well as parts of VH-BOE at Finch Hatton.”
65
Fuselage held by DCA Airport Fire Service, Mount Isa Qld
9.79
ALQ fuselage noted at Mount Isa Airport Fire Service, dummy wings fitted, has been burnt several times.

Identities

- "2751" quoted on Australian Application for Registration form (no 76- prefix)
- AHSA Civil Register quotes VH-ALQ: 2751 ex 42-99477 (but 42-99477 should be c/n 76-1718)

 
VH-ALQ at Mascot 1947 at the Marshall Airways hangar.                                   Greg Banfield collection


Another view at the same location, around the same time.                     Frank Walters collection


               C/n 76-949      Stinson L-5                                                                                              VH-BEE, VH-BOE
.44
Built by Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan, to USAAF order.
.44
 Delivered to USAAF as L-5 42-98708
.46
Disposal by US Foreign Liquidation Commission at Manila, Philippines

One of 5 Stinson L-5s purchased in Manila by Aerial Transport Co, Sydney NSW through their director
Clive R. Caldwell, former wartime RAAF ace "Killer" Caldwell.  Caldwell was in Manila arranging the purchase and ferry of 6 Douglas C-47s to Sydney on contract to The Zinc Corp. The Stinsons would be carried as cargo in the C-47s for refurbishment in Sydney and civil resale
4.12.46
The six C-47s arrived at Mascot aerodrome, Sydney. Five C-47s each carried a Stinson L-5 fuselage while the sixth C-47 carried the Stinson wings and parts.

The five Stinson L-5s were stored by Marshall Airways at Mascot, pending overhauls for civil CofA. 
Marshall Airways moved to Bankstown Airport in 1950
18.6.47
Civil Registration application: Falkiner, Caldwell & Doyle Pty Ltd, 9 Loftus Street, Sydney.
Identity quoted as 42-98708
31.7.47
CofA issued after civil conversion overhaul by Marshall Airways, Mascot
31.7.47
Registered VH-BEE
9.47
Change of ownership: Falkiner W. Hewson, “Highfields” Station, Augathella Qld
30.7.48
CofA expired. DCA approve ferry flight to Archerfield after expiry. During the ferry by Hewson the aircraft was stranded at Charleville awaiting a magneto part.
9.48
Letter to DCA from Hewson: VH-BEE is at Archerfield awaiting parts to be manufactured or imported from USA.  His new Percival Proctor VH-BLU expected to arrive Brisbane at the end of this month.
12.11.48
CofA renewed Archerfield
26.11.48
DCA letter to owners  affected by new policy on aircraft registrations that conflict with the radio callsigns and the Q Code. VH-BEE is on the list, and suggested change is to VH-BOE. The repainting of the airframe may be delayed until the next major overhaul.
12.48
F.W.Hewson died.  VH-BOE & Proctor BLU to be sold by Executors of the Estate
28.4.49
Change of ownership: Walter H.C. Mayne, Texas Qld
2.12.49
Annual CofA renewal
14.12.49
Re-registered VH-BOE
2.52
Aircraft is maintained by Carswell & Dalgleish, Archerfield
c55
Change of ownership: Owen W. Gillham, Suttor Creek, Nebo via Mackay Qld, later
44 Gordon Street, Mackay Qld

Gillham was an earthmoving contractor, built the first airstrip at Brampton Island, and improved it using his bulldozers and equipment shipped to island. He became involved with Somerset Airways Auster flights to Brampton Island, then purchased Avro Ansons for tourist flights to Brampton island. Operated as Gillham Airways with Ansons VH-BEV & VH-BBI. The Stinson VH-BOE was for his private use, later sold to his brother Ray Gillham
16.5.60
Change of ownership: H. (Ray) Gillham, Suttor Creek, Nebo via Mackay Qld
31.12.63
Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service

Parked in hangar at Mackay with expired CofA. Ray Gillham wanted to move it from the airport, so flew it from Mackay early one morning before ATC Tower opened. It was the first time he had flown his aircraft. Flew to Finch Hatton, where parked. DCA investigated the unauthorised flight. 
The Lycoming engine, propeller and cowlings removed by Mackay aircraft engineer Ivan Unwin for sale to Agricultural Aviation, Brisbane. AgAv used them to power their highly modified agricultural Auster VH-SCO Prairie Flower.

Stinson VH-BOE abandoned in open weather at Finch Hatton airstrip Qld, due lack of finances to rebuild with a replacement engine. Became totally derelict.

Remaining parts of BOE were purchased by Howard D’Alton, Hobart, and collected from Finch Hatton to be used in his rebuild of VH-BFR

Identities

42-98708 quoted on Australian Application for Registration form


VH-BOE at Mackay Queensland in June 1962.                                            Photo by David Johnson


                C/n 76-1739   Stinson L-5                                                                                  VH-BFR
6.44
Built by Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan, to USAAF order as Stinson L-5-VW. Construction Number 1739.
9.6.44
Delivered to USAAF as L-5 42-99498. For Lend-Lease to Britain

In first batch of 20 of allocation of 100 Stinson L-5s for Britain
15.6.44
Delivered to Detroit Air Transport Command ex Vultee, Wayne Michigan
25.6.44
Delivered to Baltimore, Maryland for shipping to Britain
9.7.44
Departed ex Baltimore. Shipped to India to RAF South East Asia Command for communications and casualty evacuation
.44
Taken on RAF charge as KJ379.

Assigned No.357 Squadron. This RAF unit based in India conducted clandestine operations with a variety of aircraft types including Hudson, Liberator, Lysander. 
11.7.46
RAF Struck Off Charge.
.46
Disposal by US Foreign Liquidation Commission at Manila, Philippines
11.46
One of 5 Stinson L-5s purchased in Manila by Aerial Transport Co, Sydney NSW through their Director
Clive R. Caldwell, former wartime RAAF ace "Killer" Caldwell.
Caldwell was in Manila arranging the purchase and ferry of 6 Douglas C-47s to Sydney on contract to The Zinc Corp. The Stinsons would be carried as cargo in the C-47s for refurbishment in Sydney and civil resale
4.12.46
The six C-47s arrived at Mascot aerodrome, Sydney. Five C-47s each carried a Stinson L-5 fuselage while the sixth C-47 carried the Stinson wings and parts. 

The 5 Stinson L-5s were stored at Marshall Airways at Mascot, pending overhauls for civil CofA. 
Marshall Airways moved to Bankstown Airport in 1950
19.9.47
Registration application: Falkiner, Caldwell & Doyle Pty Ltd, 9 Loftus Street, Sydney.
Identiity quoted as "2744"
15.10.47
First test flight Bankstown after civil conversion by Marshall Airways, pilot C. R. Caldwell
15.10.47
CofA issued. To be based Mascot
15.10.47
Registered VH-BFR
14.10.48
Annual CofA expired. Renewal delayed awaiting parts from USA.
4.49
CofA renewed Mascot. 
50
Change of owner's name: Falkiner, Caldwell Pty Ltd, 9 Loftus Street, Sydney
5.9.50
Testflown Bankstown after CofA renewal by Marshall Airways, pilot Keith Robey
-
Change of ownership: Lionel V. Everson, Sydney NSW
9.51
Annual CofA renewal at Bankstown by Marshall Airways
10.52
Annual CofA renewal at Bankstown by Marshall Airways
23.8.53
Minor accident at Bankstown: damage to prop, starboard wing tip and tyre.
30.9.53
Change of ownership: Christopher J. Neale, Neale Industries Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
16.10.53
Testflown Bankstown, following accident damage repairs by Marshall Airways, pilot Frank E. Lawler.
13.7.54
Change of ownership: Keith A. Findlay, Findlays Broadcasting Services, Launceston Tasmania
Findlays Broadcasting operated Tasmanian commercial radio stations 7BU, 7AD, 7SD
8.11.54
CofA renewal at Launceston, then renewed annually at Launceston
24.2.58
DCA inspection report Launceston: Floor and seat in rear cockpit removed for conversion to cropduster. Agriculture hopper and equipment will be manufactured
1.5.58
Change of ownership: Tasmanian Air Work Pty Ltd, Launceston Tas
Director of the company is Mr. Reg W. Munro, who is also Manager of the Tasmanian Aero Club, Launceston. Shareholders are pastoralist E. D. Mills who is President of the Tasmanian Aero Club and K.A.Findlay, who is Vice President of the Club.
17.7.58
Weighed for CofA calculations at Launceston with 6 cwt of cropdusting equipment fitted in rear cockpit
8.58
DCA memos: Owner requesting increased All Up Weight approval for use as agricultural aircraft. DCA Head Office rules that approval must not be given unless flight handling trials are carried out to DCA satisfaction.
9.58
Flight testing at Launceston for CofA with full load 6cwt of superphosphate which raises the AUW above the certified limit. Failed flight tests due to compaction of the superphosphate load over several days of flying. Wing leading edge slots had been covered but DCA required them reopened to improve takeoff performance.
14.12.59
Additional flight testing: failed to dump full load of superphosphate granules in the required time 5 seconds. Approved by DCA for agricultural operations but at standard CofA AUW.
11.1.60
CofA renewed Launceston by Tasmanian Aero Club
12.1.61
Annual CofA renewed at Launceston by Tasmanian Aero Club
12.3.61
Starboard undercarriage leg collapsed on landing on an ag strip on Flinders Island during dusting operations. Pilot Peter Ahrens went around and flew across to Flinders Island Airport, where the aircraft ground-looped on landing, damaging undercarriage, prop and starboard wing.
DCA accident report:
“Following a loss of engine power due carburettor icing, the pilot touched down heavily collapsing the undercarriage. As power had then been regained, a baulked landing was executed and the aircraft flown to another aerodrome where further damage was sustained in the subsequent landing.”  
Pilot had 151 hours experience on type.
28.12.61
noted at Launceston in Aero Club hangar, in service, belly hopper chute
18.4.62
Damaged in forced landing Memana, Flinders Island Tas.
Engine failure due fuel starvation while conducting superphosphate spreading. Undercarriage struck a drain, aircraft tilted on to nose. Pilot R. W. Munro.
9.62
Stinson Sentinels VH-BGQ & VH-BFR stored at back of Aero Club hangar at Launceston. Both dismantled, BGQ on its belly.
9.10.62
DCA write to Tasmanian Aero Club: “permission has been given to replace the fuselage assembly of Stinson L-5 VH-BFR with the fuselage assembly removed from Stinson L-5 VH-BGQ which has been reduced to spares.”  (refer VH-BGQ history)
10.1.63
VH-BFR struck-off Civil Register
8.2.65
VH-BFR & BGQ noted dismantled in hangar Launceston

VH-BFR & VH-BGQ purchased “as is” by Howard T. D’Alton, Hobart Tas
7.65
Australian Air Log 7.65: “Two interesting aircraft which arrived at Hobart during July were Stinson L-5s VH-BFR & BGQ. The Sentinels have for a number of years reposed in the back of the Tasmanian Aero Club at Western Junction, gradually rotting away. Both were transported to Hobart by road by the new owners Max Price and H. D’Alton and it is their intention to combine the two airframes to make one airworthy example. As there is some doubt on the soundness of the normal L-5 wooden box spar wing it is interesting to note that, subject to DCA approval, the completed aircraft will use the metal wings from Stinson Voyager VH-AKI which crashed at Launceston in 1960. The fuselage of BGQ has been recovered aft of the cabin section and will probably be the one that is used.”

D'Alton acquired L-5 parts for the rebuild from VH-ALQ derelict at Mount Isa Qld and parts of VH-BOE derelict at Finch Hatton Qld
22.3.66
noted at Cambridge Aerdorome, Hobart: fuselage on wheels under restoration, VH-BGQ marked on rudder, work proceeding on assembly using parts of BGQ & BFR. It is reported that DCA have agreed to using the wings of crashed Stinson Voyager VH-AKI.
6.67
noted at Cambridge: uncovered wings attached to BFR fuselage. BGQ is in good condition. It was reported there are not enough components to build up two aircraft.
6.4.71
Restored to Register VH-BFR: Howard T. D’Alton, Moonah Tas

(Identity still quoted as "2744" despite DCA approving a fuselage frame change. DCA policy was that aircraft identity was based on the fuselage.)
2.72
noted at Cambridge, metallic blue and white paint scheme. Also 13.4.72
1.4.73
visited airshow at Fogarty's Field, Melton Vic
22.2.75
visited airshow at Casey Aifield, Berwick Vic: blue & white
.75
sold to Malcolm Long, Melbourne Vic.
At that time Malcolm Long was acquiring a collection of ex military aircraft which were operated under the name Wings of Yesterday. His aircaft were based at RAAF Point Cook where a hangar had been made available to civilian vintage aircraft.
75-77
Restoration to military configuration at RAAF Point Cook
14.4.77
Change of ownership: Malcolm J. Long, Melbourne Vic, later Elanora Qld         
6.77
VH-BFR noted at Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne in Schutt Aviation hangar, airworthy, ready to be painted  in USAAF khaki wartime scheme
20.11.77
noted at a Point Cook fly-in, flying in USAAF khaki "299465", along with Long’s Auster AOP-3 VH-BED and Tiger VH-ABL both in RAAF camouflage.
3.12.78
visited airshow at Sunbury Vic
11.2.79
visited airshow at Lilydale Vic
18.8.79
Three of Malcolm Long's aircraft departed Moorabbin for two-day ferry flight to Coolangatta Qld where he will now base his fleet: Stinson L-5 VH-BFR, Fairchild VH-CMB, Auster AOP.3 VH-BED all painted in military markings
79-83
VH-BFR based Coolangatta and also the nearby Chewing Gum Field Air Museum, Tallebudgera Qld. Malcolm Long's aircraft collection was loaned to CGFAM under an arrangement with CGFAm founder Cliff Douglas. A grass strip adjacent to the museum hangar allowed flying operations.
81
Two Stinson L-5s displayed at Chewing Gum Field Air Museum, Tallebudgera Qld:
VH-BFR as "299465" and RP-C545 as "417643"
26.12.83
VH-BFR noted at CGFAM painted as USAAF “299465 Guinea Short Lines”
85-86
Malcolm Long moved his aircraft collection from CGFAM to Drage Air World, Wangaratta Vic
3.85
visited Mangalore Vic airshow, USAAF "299465 Guinea Short Lines"
31.3.86
noted at Wangaratta Vic displayed inside Drage Air World hangar, "299465 Guinea Short Lines"
16.5.88
VH-BFR noted at Coolangatta Qld in Air Gold Coast hangar "299465". Also 26.10.94, 10.10.98, 20.8.99, 28.8.01, 17.5.04.  Long now resides in the Coolangatta area and keeps VH-BFR as his personal aircraft.
99
Reported Malcolm Long has retired VH-BFR pending a full restoration at his Air Gold Coast maintenance facility at Coolangatta, which has restored four other L-5s.

Restored in revised khaki paint scheme as USAAF "299465 Sport"
24.2.06
Nominal Change of ownership: Long Beach Aviation Pty Ltd, Coolangatta Qld t/a Air Gold Coast, Pty Ltd
8.11.09
Change of ownership: Stephen Searle/ Wirraway Station, Beaudesert Qld.

Searle acquired a variety of WWII era aircraft for a planned flying museum on his property, styled as a wartime operational airfield. The B-25, A-20 and Lockheed Hudson/Lodestar he acquired in USA were being prepared for delivery to Australia at the time of his untimely death and the sales were cancelled.
15.9.11
Change of ownership: PDRL Pty Ltd, Fern Bay NSW
After Searle's death, his warbird aircraft changed ownership to this company, believed to be Paul Bennet
13.6.13
Change of ownership: Bennet Aviation Pty Ltd, Redhead NSW
Paul Bennet also operated as Paul Bennet Airshows, based at West Maitland NSW
27.12.18
Change of ownership: Geoffrey R. Hill, Melbourne Vic and Tantanoola SA
19
Owner Geoff Hill is restoring VH-BFR to accurate wartime configuration using authentic equipment. He plans to repaint it in RAF South East Asia Command scheme as “KJ379”.

Identities

Original DCA Application for Registration form quoted id. 2744, no 76- prefix
Registered as 2744 which equated to USAAF serial 42-99470.
In 1971 after rebuild at Hobart using parts of VH-BGQ’s fuselage, VH-BFR was restored to Register still quoting 2744.
In 1977 a later owner painted VH-BFR in USAAF scheme as "299465" which was VH-BGQ's military serial.

In 2018 Geoff Hill acquired VH-BFR and writes: “When I purchased the aircraft I noted a number of irregularities with its log books, the Certificate of Airworthiness and the CASA Civil Register. Serial numbers did not match, aircraft type and designation were not correct and the USAAF number on its tail seemed in error:
Geoff located the correct Stinson construction number 76-1739 stamped into the airframe. His research into Stinson L-5 production resulted in the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, Washington DC supplying copies of authentic USAAF wartime documents for his aircraft 42-94498, which have been incorporated in its history above.
Using this documentation, CASA agreed to change their records, including the Civil Aircraft Register entry for VH-BFR which now shows identity "1739".


Bankstown circa 1949 at the Marshall Airways hangar, with one of Sid Marshall's ex RAAF DC-2s behind.
                                          Photo: Greg Banfield collection


Launceston Tasmania 1954 in the same green and red paint scheme but bare metal cowlings.
Photo by Eddie Coates


Tasmania later in the 1950s in a new paint scheme.                                             Geoff Goodall collection


Newspaper picture of VH-BFR cropdusting near Launceston in September 1958.


Launceston December 1961 as a crop duster, showing the cabin hopper and belly dropping chute.        
Photo by Brian Hay



Damaged Sentinels VH-BFR & -BGQ dismantled at Launceston September 1962.       Photo by Geoff Goodall


Under rebuild at Cambridge Airport, Hobart March 1966, rudder marked VH-BFR.     Photo by Dave Eyre


VH-BFR emerged from a six year rebuild at Hobart in 1972 in this civil scheme.  Berwick Vic February 1975.
Photo by Geoff Goodall


VH-BFR restored to military configuration and USAAF markings with "Guinea Short Lines" on the nose,
Mangalore Vic March 1985.                                                  Photo by Geoff Goodall

                         
              C/n 76-1701    Stinson L-5                                                                                                                             VH-BGQ
.44
Built by Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan, to USAAF order.
.44
Delivered to USAAF as L-5 42-99465
.46
Disposal by US Foreign Liquidation Commission at Manila, Philippines
.46
One of 5 Stinson L-5s purchased in Manila by Aerial Transport Co, Sydney NSW through their Director
Clive R. Caldwell, former wartime RAAF ace "Killer" Caldwell.
Caldwell was in Manila arranging the purchase and ferry of 6 Douglas C-47s to Sydney on contract to The Zinc Corp. The Stinsons would be carried as cargo in the C-47s for refurbishment in Sydney and civil resale
4.12.46
The six C-47s arrived at Mascot aerodrome, Sydney. Five C-47s each carried a Stinson L-5 fuselage while the sixth C-47 carried the Stinson wings and parts. 

The 5 Stinson L-5s were stored at Marshall Airways at Mascot, pending overhauls for civil CofA. 
Marshall Airways moved to Bankstown Airport in 1950
6.4.48
Registered VH-BGQ: Falkiner, Caldwell & Doyle Pty Ltd, 9 Loftus Street, Sydney NSW
Identity quoted as 42-99465.
6.4.48
CofA issued after overhaul by Marshall Airways at Mascot
21.3.49
Annual CofA renewed by Marshall Aitways at Mascot
15.4.49
Change of ownership: Stodhart M. Martin, “Baneda” Station, via Charleville Qld
1.6.52
Change of ownership: Max W. Hopp, Brisbane, Qld
10.8.53
Change of ownership: Alexander Ian (Scott) McLeod, “Terrica”, Inglewood Qld
24.9.53
Annual CofA renewed at Archerfield Qld by Carswell & Dalgleish. Also 12.10.54
11.10.55
CofA expired. McLeod advises DCA that the aircraft is currently unserviceable due engine in worn state.
He is planning to locate a complete new engine.
27.1.56
CofA renewed at Archerfield Qld by Carswell & Dalgleish. Test flown that day by McLeod
14.7.56
Change of ownership to Gordon F. Lynam, Hughenden Qld
1.57
Annual CofA renewed at Archerfield Qld by Carswell & Dalgleish
20.2.57
Change of ownership: Don D. Burns, Julia Creek Qld
2.57
Letter to DCA from G.Lynam: “during sale negotiations, I flew young D. Burns to Cairns for Neville Mitchell to endorse him on the Stinson”  (Neville Mitchell operated Mitchell Aerial Services, Cairns on charter operations)
2.59
Change of address: Don D. Burns, Royal Hotel, Lismore NSW.
DCA memo notes that ownership appears to be shared between D. D.Burns and family member Max Burns, an earthmoving contractor.
30.1.60
Annual CofA expired, retired at Archerfield
5.60
Advertisement: Stinson L-5 for sale: Don Burns, Ambon, Woody Point Qld: "nil hours since overhaul. Airframe has 720 hours since new. Fitted Kippers Aeromatic propeller. CofA expired 30.1.60. Available for inspection at Archerfield. Price 695 - a gift."
10.6.60
Change of ownership: Tasmanian Air Work Pty Ltd, Launceston Tas
6.60
DCA file note: BGQ was sold recently to Tasmanian Airwork Pty Ltd, who flew the aircraft to Tasmania where it will allegedly be reduced to spares.  A permit to fly was issued after inspection at Archerfield for a ferry flight Archerfield to Launceston. The inspection revealed deterioration in glue joints in box type wing spars and wing structure, and fabric was in poor condition. The new owner is aware of these deficiencies.
26.7.60
DCA letter to Tasmanian Airwork Pty Ltd stating that due to VH-BGQ's poor condition a complete strip-down and overhaul will be necessary before CofA could be renewed. Concern was also expressed over  the condition of their other Stinson VH-BFR.
30.7.60
R. W. Munro, Manager Tasmanian Airwork Pty Ltd replies (on company letterhead “Aerial Agricultural Contractors”) stating that no CofA application is contemplated. The aircraft has already been partly dismantled. Based on this letter, VH-BGQ is struck-off the Civil Register backdated to CofA expiry of 31.1.60
9.9.62
Stinson Sentinels VH-BGQ & VH-BFR seen stored at back of Aero Club hangar at Launceston. Both were dismantled, BGQ on its belly.
.65
VH-BGQ and -BFR purchased “as is” by Howard T. D’Alton, Hobart Tas
7.65
Australian Air Log 7.65: “Two interesting aircraft which arrived at Hobart during July were Stinson L-5s BFR & BGQ. The Sentinels have for a number of years reposed in the back of the Tasmanian Aero Club at Western Junction, gradually rotting away. They were transported to Hobart on a trailer by the new owners, Max Price and H D’Alton and it is their intention to combine the two airframes to make one airworthy example. As there is some doubt on the soundness of the normal L-5 wooden box spar wing it is interesting to note that, subject to DCA approval, the completed aircraft will use the metal wings from Stinson Voyager VH-AKI, which crashed at Launceston in 1960. The fuselage of BGQ has been recovered aft of the cabin section and, although not yet decided, will probably be the one that is used.”
3.66
noted at Cambridge: L-5 fuselage on wheels under restoration, "VH-BFR" marked on the rudder, work proceeding on assembly using parts of BGQ & BFR. It is reported that DCA have agreed to using the wings of crashed Stinson Voyager VH-AKI.
6.67
noted at Cambridge: uncovered wings attached to BFR fuselage. BGQ is reportedly in good condition but not enough parts to build up two aircraft.
6.4.71
VH-BFR restored to Civil Register: Howard T. D’Alton, Moonah Tas

(Identity still quoted as VH-BFR's id "2744" despite DCA approving a fuselage frame change. DCA policy was that aircraft identity was based on the fuselage.)
.75
VH-BGQ’s stripped fuselage frame and components of VH-BGQ and VH-BFR left over from the composite rebuild at Hobart were included in the sale of airworthy VH-BFR to Malcolm Long, Melbourne Vic
82-84
VH-BGQ project reported now owned by Ron Lee, Melbourne Vic.
Lee was an aviation maintenance  engineer experienced in warbird restorations. Stinson L-5 fuselage frame reportedly VH-BGQ being worked on in Schutt Aviation hangar at Melbourne-Moorabbin where Lee was employed at that time.
95
Magazine report: Ron Lee, noted Melbourne warbird rebuild engineer, has spent the summer at Coolangatta assisting Malcom Long with the restoration of four Stinson L-5s:  Ron Lee owns one of these Sentinels L-5B 76-1880 and has another 76-1706 (VH-BGQ) under rebuild in Melbourne.
8.99
noted at Coolangatta in Air Gold Coast hangar: L-5 fuselage frame and components referred to as "BGQ" stored in Air Gold Coast hangar at Coolangatta Airport where owner Ron Lee is restoring L-5s for Malcolm Long. The fuselage is in fact the original fuselahe frame of VH-BFR

Identities

- Australian Application for Registration form: 42-99465
- An early listing quoted 42-99465 as c/n 16-1706, but now believed to be 16-1701


VH-BGQ in the original standard paint scheme green with red trim.                     Ed Coates Collection

Two other Stinson L-5 Sentinels were Australian registered during 1954:

              C/n 76-4026   Stinson L-5E                                                                                  VH-CSA
.44
Built by Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan, to USAAF order.
.44
Delivered to USAAF as L-5E 44-17739

Abandoned by USAAF at Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands

Laurie Cowley wrote to compiler: “Two Stinson L-5s were left at Henderson Field by the US Army. I bought them to Lae, New Guinea and made one out of two and registered it as VH-CSA. I used it as an ambulance plane and general cargo for a few years. I kept the registration VH-CSA and later used it on a Piper Aztec.
9.1.54
Registered VH-CSA Laurence Crowley, Crowley Airways, Lae, New Guinea
Application quoted id. as 44-17739
6.54
Laurie Crowley entered a Stinson L-5E in the 1954 Redex Air Trial around Australia, but changed his entry to Percival Gull VH-UTP borrowed from Goilala Air Service, Tapini, New Guinea.
8.8.57
Struck off Register as Withdrawn from Service

Laurie Crowley recalled in 2007 that he sold VH-CSA to Dennis Faithful, Laigum New Guinea.  However the compiler believes he has confused Faithful's Stinson L-5 VH-BEN purchased much later in 1965.

Identities

44-17739 should be Stinson c/n 76-4026


The only picture found so far showing Crowley Airways’ Stinson Sentinel VH-CSA


              C/n 76-3312   Stinson L-5B                                                                         VR-HEO, VH-BEN
.44
Built by Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan, to USAAF order.
.44
Delivered to USAAF as L-5B 44-17025
.46
44-17025 was among a number of L-5Bs sold to China in 1946 as flyable aircraft.
.46
Registered XT-703 Central Air Transport Corporation, Canton, China.
.49
Sold to Hong Kong, packed and shipped
49
At that time at least two other CATC Stinson L-5s were imported to Hong Kong to be registered VR-HEQ and VR-HEW.
49
Log: assembled at Hong Kong-Kai Tak by Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co
23.7.49
Registered VR-HEO as a L-5B Floatplane: Vincent Wong, c/- Far East Flying Training School, Hong Kong
27.9.49
CofA issued as a floatplane

VR-HEO was operated as a floatplane with name Marco Polo
20.10.50
Change of ownership: Far East Flying Training School Ltd, Hong Kong-Kai Tak
Fitted with dual controls and operated on floats.
c52
Change of ownership: Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co, Kai Tak Airport
51-52
Operated on loan by Air Asia Ltd, Hong Kong.
Air Asia Ltd was incorporated 11.4.51 as an air charter operation with DC-3 VR-HFE. Original shareholders:
Daniel Beard, airline pilot
John Patrick Reid, airline executive
Eric William Aylward, aircraft engineer
.52
Air Asia Ltd ceased operations
16.12.53
Daniel Beard applied to Department of Civil Aviation Australia to import a Stinson L-5B
18.12.53
Hong Kong CofA renewed with landplane undercarriage
31.12.53
Change of ownership: Daniel Beard, Hong Kong
31.12.53
Struck-off Hong Kong Register as sold to Australia.
Log: hours flown as VR-HEO: 659 hrs
7.1.54
Australian Imort Pemit issued by DCA to agents Carswell & Dalgleish, Archerfield Aerodrome, Brisbane Qld

Shipped to Australia by the three Air Asia partners Daniel Beard, John Reid & Eric Aylward.
Daniel Beard planned to use the Stinson on his cattle property near Clermont Qld.
Eric Aylward was an experienced ground engineer, previously with Cathay Pacific Airways. In 6.49 he had attached a complete starboard wing of a crashed DC-3 HS-TA180 at Rangoon-Mingaladon under the belly of Cathay Pacific DC-3 VR-HEN to fly to Bhamo, Burma where Cathay DC-3 VR-HDB had been severely damaged by a engine-start fire on 5.6.49.
4.54
VR-HEO asembled at Archerfield by maintenance business Carswell & Dalgleish
27.4.54
Registered as L-5B VH-BEN: Daniel Beard, "Huntlay" Station, Mount Oscar via Clermont Qld,
later "Mount Oscar" Station, Clermont Qld
11.57
Advertised for sale in Aircraft magazine: Stinson L-5B 12 months CofA, engine hours 477 since overhaul. Ambulance version: 1700
30.7.58
Change of ownership: M.I. Adare, N.J. Gregg, Dr R. F. Gregg, Cunamulla Qld
14.8.58
DCA accident report: Stinson L-5B substantial damage when pilot lost directional control landing on a roadway near Charleville Qld and undercarriage collapsed. No injuries.
Aircraft registration not quoted, but an unconfirmed report says it was VH-BEN flown by Dr. R. Gregg who was landing on a road to collect a patient.
.59
Moved by road to Bankstown Airport, Sydney for rebuild by Fawcett Aviation
2.12.61
Change of ownership: A.Mills, Sydney NSW
10.1.63
noted at Bankstown, operational in Fawcett hangar. Also 5.63
14.9.63
noted at Bankstown, dark blue overall with white registration
2.65
VH-BEN offered for sale by Central Aircraft Exchange, Sydney
18.3.65
Change of ownership: Denyse E. Faithful, Mount Hagen Papua New Guinea
Faithful was a patrol officer in the New Guinea highlands
22.6.65
noted at Camden NSW, dark blue with white trim
24.6.65
noted at Camden, had just been repainted red and white
66
VH-BEN based at Laiagam PNG, elevation 7000 feet, flown by Denyse E. Faithful who is Assistant District Commissioner at Lagaip.
71
Parked in hangar at Cairns Qld waiting for a CofA renewal inspection by Bush Pilots Airways
.71
VH-BEN was stolen from Cairns Airport by a disgruntled aircraft engineer. He flew to the north and landed at
Coen Qld due engine trouble. After landing the aircraft was abandoned at Coen airport.

Damaged in ground-loop during attempted takeoff at Coen Qld.
The pilot was a Bush Pilots Airways engineer/pilot sent from Cairns to inspect the Stinson and ferry it back.

3 months later the aircraft was returned to Cairns by road.  Considered uneconomical to repair.
8.71
Aircraft enthusiast Sid Beck of Townsville inspected the damaged Stinson in a hangar at Cairns.
He commenced negotiations to acquire the aircraft from the insurance company.
8.1.72
VH-BEN noted at Cairns Airport in damaged condition, outside a hangar with wings removed
.72
Purchased damaged by Sid Beck, Townsville Qld who moved it by truck from Cairns to his farm property at Condon near Townsville. Here he had a collection of engines and parts salvaged from WWII military aircraft wrecks. He established Beck's Townsville Aviation Museum at his farm, acquiring a Neptune, Dakota, Canberra, Sea Venom, Sycamore and other aircraft.
20.7.73
VH-BEN struck-off Civil Register
7.6.75
noted stored dismantled in a shed on Sid Beck's farm, no restoration work.
25.7.83
noted at Sid Beck's farm museum, in an aircraft display building
.90
Sid Beck was forced to vacate the Condon site due to land rezoning laws. He relocated his family to a farm near Mareeba Qld.  He moved his entire collection of aircraft, engines, and wartime crash site recoveries to Mareeba where the more complete airframes were displayed inside a large igloo hangar.
Opened to public as Beck's Military Collection, Mareeba.

VH-BEN had not been restored and was stored dismantled in a small shed on the Mreeba farm, still in civil colour scheme, not on public display.
.13
Sid Beck died. The collection was closed to the public and l
ater sold by auction.

Identities

VR-HEO: Hong Kong Civil Register: 17025
VH-BEN: Australian Civil Register:    17025

- VH-BEN manufacturer's plate inspected by Alan Bovelt at Mount Hagen in 1966: serial 44-17025 but USAAF acceptance date blank.
- 44-17025 should be Stinson c/n 76-3312, but 76-3322 has also been quoted

VR-HEO's origins are also suggested to be from the Manila disposals sales as part of a bulk purchase.
In 1947-48 Roy Farrell, the American founder of Cathay Pacific Airways at Hong Kong was also operating  Amphibious Airways at Manila using Catalinas. Farrell negotiated with the US disposals authorities in Manila to purchase the entire remaining stock at a Manila aircraft dump.. This included unsold C-46s, C-47s, PBY-5s and large quantities of spare parts and engines, which he shipped to Hong Kong and used to establish
Pacific Air Maintenance & Supply Company-PAMAS as a heavy aircraft engineering facility at Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong.
- PAMAS was incorporated 23.11.48 with Directors including Australian notables Ivan N. Holyman,
Ian H. Grabowsky, Sydney H. deKantzow.
- PAMAS merged with Jardine Aircraft Maintenance effective 1.11.50 to form Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAEC) at Kai Tak.


VR-HEO at Kai Tak Airport on wheels.                                         Leo Callahan collection via Paul Howard


Bankstown 1963 allover dark blue.                                                          John Hopton Collection


Bankstown April 1965 in a stylish blue and white paint scheme.                               Photo by Bob Neate


Bankstown later in 1965 after it had been repainted white and red, ready to depart for New Guinea.
John Hopton Collection


VH-BEN at Mount Hagen in the New Guinea highlands 1966.                            Photo by Alan Bovelt


Stored in a farm shed on Sid Beck's property outside Townsville June 1975.        Photo by Geoff Goodall


By 2003 stored at Sid Beck's Mareeba farm after being moved from Townsville with his aircraft collection.
Photo by Paul Howard


A sign of happier times.  Denyse Faithful applied this nose art to VH-BEN during its New Guinea days.
Photo at Mareeba January 2003 by Paul Howard

Malcolm Long/Air Gold Coast Stinson L-5 restorations as warbirds:
    Malcolm J. Long was a Melbourne flying enthusiast who, from 1975, commenced purchasing a variety of former military aircraft, from Auster Mk.3 to Lockheed Hudsons. As his collection grew, he moved from original base of RAAF Point Cook Vic to Coolangatta Airport on Queensland's Gold Coast.  Using the name Wings of Yesterday, he arranged with Cliff Douglas of Chewing Gum Field Air Museum at nearby Tallebudgera to display his aircraft. The smaller types flew from a grass strip on a golf course bordering the museum. In 1984 the Long Collection moved again, to the larger premises of Drage Air World at Wangaratta Airport Victoria.

    Air Gold Coast Pty Ltd was an established aircraft maintenance company at Coolangatta Airport purchased by Malcolm Long in 1988 and operated by his sons Peter and Michael Long. Malcolm's particular interest in the Stinson Sentinel type (see VH-BFR & BGQ above) resulted in his purchase of two retired civilianised Stinson L-5s from Philippines in 1979.  In 1993 Malcolm acquired a package of 4 retired Sentinels with a stock of Lycoming O-435 engines recovered from India by Brisbane warbird enthusiast Randal McFarlane in September 1991. These provided the basis of high quality rebuilds by Air Gold Coast in original military configuration for the Australian warbird market, where the Sentinel had been a rare type.

    By early 1995 a production line of four "ground-up" Sentinel rebuilds was under way in the Air Gold Coast hangar at Coolangatta Airport, with the assistance of experienced warbird restoration engineer Ron Lee.  4 were under active restoration, metal airframes having been X-rayed and corrosion treated. Authentic wartime fittings such as first aid kits, webbing installed while the wings were being worked on. They were joined later by another Indian L-5, which had been imported by Perth aviation enthusiast John Markham. Malcolm Long died on 16 November 2007. He is remembered as an important contributor to the Australian warbird and aviation museum movement, acknowledged as personally saving a range of endangered aircraft. Malcolm continued to fly his first Sentinel VH-BFR until just prior to his death.

    The photograph below appeared in Classic Wings Downunder magazine March 1995 issue, with a report listing the four aircraft under restoration at Coolangatta at that time as:
•    76-2178 (VH-CCO),
•    76-1880 owned by Ron Lee, Melbourne L-5B
•    76-2380 Cliff Douglas (VH-CDF)
•    76-1613 well advanced with fabric applied

L-5s under rebuild at Coolangatta early 1995. The rear two are "299399" which became VH-CHN
    and "299639" which has so far not been registered.          Classic Wings Down Under magazine


             c/n 76-3930          Stinson L-5E                                                                    RP-C545, VH-CDF   
.44
Built by Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan, to USAAF order.
.44
Delivered to USAAF as L-5E 44-17643
.46
Disposal in Philippines by US Foreign Liquidation Commission
c60
Registered in Philippines PI-C545
.73
Transferred to new Philippines registration series RP-C545: A. Gomez, Echague
7.7.77
Log: last flight. Total time 1051 hours.
9.77
RP-C545 noted at Manila Domestic Airport
.79
Purchased in Manila by Malcolm Long/Wings of Yesterday, Melbourne Vic.
Red and cream paint scheme, with Lycoming O-435
1.6.79
Shipped from Philippines to Australia on Australian Enterprise
5.7.79
Arrived at Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne in a shipping container
23.4.80
RP-C545 noted dismantled at Chewing Gum Field Air Museum, Tallebudgera Qld. Reported to be owned by Malcolm Long, moved by road from Melbourne
14.8.80
noted inside CGFAM, painted in USAAF olive drab as "417643", stretcher in the cabin with a dummy.
81
Two Stinson L-5s displayed at Chewing Gum Field Air Museum, Tallebudgera Qld:
"417643" (RP-C545) and airworthy VH-BFR as "299465"
28.7.83
"417643" with stretcher patient noted at Chewing Gum Field Air Museum. Also
4.86
"417643" noted at Moorabbin Vic, dismantled in hangar, also RP-C84 reportedly as a parts source

Restoration project by Air Gold Coast at Coolangatta Airport Qld
1.95
Four L-5s under restoration at Coolangatta by Malcolm Long under supervision of engineer Ron Lee: identities reported as 76-2380, 76-2178, 76-1880 and 76-1613. Of these 76-2380 has been purchased by Cliff Douglas who will fly it from one of the fairways of his golf course at Tallebudgera on the site where he previously operated his Chewing Gum Field Air Museum
8.10.97
Registered as Stinson L-5B VH-CDF Clifford C. Douglas, Tallebudgera Qld
Idendity quoted "2380"
10.10.97
First flight Coolangatta, pilot Tony Adler.    USAAF khaki paint, white tailplane, “417643” with name Grumpy on the starboard cowl.
15.10.98
VH-CDF noted at Coolangatta in Air Gold Coast hangar "417643", also 20.8.99, 28.8.01
9.3.04
Change of ownership: Brad Hurley/ Guinea Short Lines Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
19.3.05
visited Avalon Vic airshow, olive drab and white "417643" with "Guinea Short Lines" on left cowling and
"Grumpy" on right cowling.

Regular visitor to Victorian airshows and aviation events, same markings
14.3.09
Blown on to a wing by a windstorm while parked at Avalon Air Show. Departed on a truck for repairs
221.13
Ownership transferred to Kathryn L. Hurley/ Vintage Airways, Yarra Glen Vic

Current

Identities

Air Britain SE Asia Civil Aircraft Registers: RP-C545: L-5E 76-3930 ex 44-17643
Australian Civil Register:  L-5B 2380
On arrival Moorabbin 7.79 log book: L-5E RP-C545 ex 44-17643 last flown 7.7.77.

Four L-5s under restoration at Coolangatta 1.95: Cliff Douglas aircraft quoted as 76-2380

Advertised for sale in Classic Wings magazine June 2001: airworthy, ambulance/cargo variant, photo USAAF 417643 with "Guinea Short Lines" in white on nose: quoted identity as VH-CDF c/n 76-2380 ex 44-17643


RP-C545 at Chewing Gum Field Air Museum in April 1989.                  Photo by Mike Vincent


Two views at Avalon Victoria in March 2005 show "Grumpy" on right cowling, "Guines Short Lines" on left.
Photos by Phil Vabre




                c/n 76-4069         Stinson L-5E                                                                                   RP-C84
.44
Built by Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan, to USAAF order.
.44
Delivered to USAAF as L-5E 44-17782
.46
Disposal by US Foreign Liquidation Commission at Manila, Philippines
.47
Registered in Philippines PI-C84 Pacific Airways Corp, Manila
-
Change of ownership: P. C. Pelaez, Cebu City
.73
Transferred to new Philippines registration series RP-C84: Paul C. Pelaez, Cebu City
70s
Change of ownership: Air Ads Inc, Manila
.85
Purchased in Manila by Malcolm Long/ Wings of Yesterday, Melbourne Vic
4.86
L-5 RP-C545 noted at Moorabbin Vic, dismantled in hangar, with RP-C84 reportedly as a parts source

Magazine report 8.99: A Philippines L-5 airframe in Air Gold Coast hangar at Coolangatta reported to have been broken up for parts for other L-5 rebuilds


             c/n 76-2178         Stinson L-5B                                                                           VT-CCO, VH-CED, VH-CCO
.44
Built by Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan, to USAAF order.
.44
Delivered to USAAF as L-5B 44-16890

Operated in China/Burma/India (CBI) theatre with 2nd Air Commando Group, Burma.
.46
Disposal in India by US Foreign Liquidation Commission
4.46
Registered VT-CCO: Aeronautical Corp of India
16.6.50
Change of ownership: V. K. Reddy & R. A. Ansari, Nagpur
18.8.50
Change of ownership: C. P. & Berar Flying Club, Nagpur
.58
Operated by Nagpur Flying Club, Sonegaon Aerorome, Nagpur
22.6.58
New Log book: first entry: Total flying time 416 hours
10.1.72
Log book: last entry: Total flying time 5001 hours

Retired at Nagpur, struck-off Indian Civil Register.
.91
One of 4 derelict L-5s purchased in India by Randal W. McFarlane, Brisbane Qld
9.91
Arrived Coolangatta Qld after shipped from India
.93
The package of 4 Indian Stinson L-5s and stocks of Lycoming O-470 engines was purchased from Randal McFarlane by Malcolm Long, Coolangatta Qld

Restoration project by Air Gold Coast at Coolangatta Airport
26.3.98
Registered VH-CED Malcolm J. Long c/- Air Gold Coast Pty Ltd, Coolangatta Qld
13.8.98
Reregistered VH-CCO Malcolm J. Long c/- Air Gold Coast Pty Ltd, Coolangatta Qld
15.10.98
"416890" noted at Coolangatta in Air Gold Coast hangar, no civil registration
20.10.99
VH-CCO first test flight at Coolangatta, pilot Malcolm Long. Painted allover USAAF khaki "416890" with "40" in yellow on cowling.
28.8.01
VH-CCO noted at Coolangatta in Air Gold Coast hangar "416890", also 17.5.04
06-09
Operated by Steve Searle/ Wirraway Station, Beaudesert Qld.
Flying in USAAF olive drab "416890" name Angel of Mercy
31.8.08
visited Watts Bridge Qld fly-in, khaki "416890 Angel of Mercy" and "Sponsored by students of Parkman School Detroit Michigan"
18.11.09
Change of ownership: Stephen Searle/ Wirraway Station, Beaudesert Qld.
Searle was acquiring WWII aircraft for a planned flying museum on his property depicting a wartime air base
15.9.11
Change of ownership: PDRL Pty Ltd, Fern Bay NSW
After Steve Searle's death, his warbird aircraft changed ownership to this company. Airworthy B-25, A-20 and  Lockheed Lodestar purchased in USA were not delivered and resold in USA.
13.6.13
Change of ownership: Bennet Aviation Pty Ltd, Cardiff NSW c/- Paul Bennet
9.13
Advertised for sale: major work carried out in 2005, total airframe time 5201 hours
21.5.15
Change of ownership: James P. Twiss, Adelaide SA

Current


VH-CCO attended the annual fly-in at Watts Bridge Qld in August 2008.        Photo by Bert van Drunick

            
            c/n 76-1886      Stinson L-5B                                                                                 VT-CRO, VH-PWZ, VH-CRO
.44
Built by Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan, to USAAF order. Fuselage frame number 1886
.44
Delivered to USAAF as L-5B 42-99639: see Identities section below
11.44
Ten Stinson L-5Bs 42-99631 to 42-99640 arrived India by ship from USA. All were issued to USAAF
1st Air Commando Group, Burma and operated in China/Burma/India (CBI) theatre.
.46
Disposal in India by US Foreign Liquidation Commission
.48
Indian civil registered VT-CRO
Identity quoted as 76-1886
11.1.50
Change of ownership: N. K. Sanghi, Jodhpur
29.7.64
Change of ownership: Madhya Pradesh Flying Club, Senegaon Aerodrome, Nagpur

By 1975 the Indian Civil Register had changed the identity of VT-CRO to 76-3268, probably because of a rebuild using all or sections of the fuselage of 76-3268.
76-3268 was ex RAF Sentinel Mk.II KJ460

KJ460 was one of 100 newly built Sentinels delivered to RAF under Lend-Lease, shipped from US to India to RAF Air Command South East Asia (ACSEA)

Following demobilisation of British WWII forces in India, large numbers of RAF aircraft were left at Indian military airfields. Most were dumped as scrap, but Dakotas and Liberators were transferred to the Indian Air Force, while those with civil potential were placed up for disposal in India as local civil sales.
Similarly, USAAF L-5s left in India were sold locally by the US Foreign Liquidation Commission

Significant numbers of Sentinels appeared on the Indian civil register from 1946 and were popular with Indian flying clubs across the country. None quote identity 76-3268. However It seems reasonable to assume that numerous spares were held in reserve, including fuselage frames.
.73
VT-CRO retired, withdrawn from service  Left in a hangar at Indore, became derelict
89
Perth-based pilot John Markham saw VT-CRO at Indore Indian Air Force Base. He was ferrying a Piper PA-31 from USA to Perth when an engine failure caused him to divert to Indore. There in a hangar Markham saw a Tiger Moth and Stinson VT-CRO both derelict. Markham was keen to acquire both, and commenced negotiations.
11.90
Markham returned to Indore to finalise a purchase deal
11.90
Tiger Moth and VT-CRO purchased by John R. P. Markham, Perth, Western Australia
4.91
Indian Governmnet approved the export to Australia of both aircraft plus engines and spare parts
.91
The Stinson and Tiger Moth were packed into a container and shipped from India to Australia. Arrived Jandakot Airport, Perth

At Jandakot the parts from both aircraft were sorted and catalogued by Markham’s engineer Philip Smith
c96
VT-CRO was crated and sent from Perth to Coolangatta Qld for completion of airworthy restoration by
Air Gold Coast at Coolangatta Airport
97
VT-CRO c/n 76-1886 noted at Coolangatta, reported as a recent arrival from WA. Fabric stripped from fuselage frame, colour scheme faded mustard yellow. Ambulance version.
20.3.98
Registered as Stinson L-5B VH-PWZ John R. P. Markham, Perth WA
Identity quoted as 1886

VH-PWZ noted at Coolangatta in Air Gold Coast hangar. Painted as "299645/50" in the markings of USAAF 2nd Air Commando Group. Remained at Coolangatta for the next two years
20.8.99
"299645/50"noted at Coolangatta in Air Gold Coast hangar, now painted as VH-CRO
21.1.00
Re-registered VH-CRO John R. P. Markham, Perth WA
This was Markham's preferred registration but had not previously been available.
28.8.01
VH-CRO noted at Coolangatta in Air Gold Coast hangar "299645". Also 1.02
4.02
Markham flew the Stinson Coolangatta-Murwillumbah-Coolangatta accompanied by Warwick Henry’s Cessna 182 VH-SZC
27.12.02
Markham departed Coolangatta for the long ferry flight to Perth, accompanied by his engineer Philip Smith.
3.1.03
Damaged landing at Kalgoorlie WA during deibery flight. Landing in a cross-wind the aircraft ground-looped, damaging a wheel and hitting a wing-tip on the ground. Because the fuselage structure could have been damaged, the aircraft was dismantled at Kalgooriie and returned to Coolangatta by road.
03
Repaired at Coolangatta by Air Gold Coast, using the same jig that had been used in her previous restoration.
17.6.03
Air Gold Coast Maintenance Release on completion of repair
9.1.04
John Markham departed Coolangatta on a four-day solo ferry flight to Perth.
25.4.07
noted at Perth-Jandakot, flying, olive drab, USAAF "299645/50"
13.5.10
Sold to: Warwick J. Henry, Maryborough Qld, later Brisbane Qld
13.5.10
Warwick Henry flew VH-CRO for a circuit at Jandakot, after purchasing the aircraft
13.5.10
Warwick Henry departed Jandakot on a 10-day solo ferry flight to Maryborough Qld. He visiting the annual Watts Bridge Qld fly-in on 22 May enroute.Reached Maryborough later that day.
28.7.12
Aircraft relocated to Kilcoy Qld where based
7.1.20
Sold to Greg Keith, Victoria.
1.20
Ferried to new base Kyneton Vic

Identities

This Stinson did not have a USAAF data plate when it reached Australia. Frame number “1886” was stamped on the forward landing gear trunnion.

1) Because VT-CRO’s identity was changed during Indian civil operation, both need to be considered:

Originally 76-1886 which should be L-5B 42-99645: however the disposals sales in india were of L-5s operated in China/Burma/India (CBI) theatre with USAAF 1st Air Commando Group, Burma.  But 42-99645 served with USAAF 5th Air Force in New Guinea or later Philippines.

Stinson specialist Jim Gray writes: “Theoretically, frame number 1886 should be 42-99645, which is the probable reason that number was chosen for the reproduction data plate and tail number painted on when it was restored. But 42-99645 didn't go to the CBI Theatre. Without bogging you down with the esoteric points of serial number archaeology, the actual identity most likely lies within the range of 42-99631 and 42-99640, all of which arrived in India in November 1944. I have every reason to believe that your airplane is 42-99639 based on information received.”
By the 1975 the Indian DCA had changed the identity to: c/n 76-3268
76-3268 should be L-5B 44-16981, to RAF KJ460.

If indeed 76-3268 was 44-16981, confirmation that it became RAF serial KJ460 comes from reference books British Military Aircraft Serials by Bruce Robertson, and The British Air Commission and Lend-Lease by
Air Britain. Both quote the following:
KJ368-KJ467 (100) Sentinel Mk.1 (L-5) and Sentinel Mk.II (L-5B):
KJ368-407 Mk.I,
KJ408-467 Mk.II. All 100 were new and shipped direct to India:

KJ368-407 (40) were 42-99487-99506 (20), 42-99549-99588 (10), 42-99539-99548 (10)
KJ408-467 (60) were 42-99591-99610 (20), 42-99673-99689 (17), 42-99700-99702 (3), 44-16969-16988 (20)

2) Air Britain Indian Civil Register (1979) quoted VT-CRO as: 76-3268 ex 44-16981

3) Australian Civil Register quotes VH-CRO as L-5B 1886

4) VH-CRO was painted as USAAF “42-99645” during its restoration at Coolangatta, based on research by Malcolm Long for the USAAF serial for c/n 76-1886.

5) Advertised for sale in Classic Wings magazine June 2001: airworthy, ambulance/cargo variant, photo as USAAF 299645 with yellow 50 on nose: quoted identity as VH-CRO c/n 76-1886 ex 42-99645.

6) In 2011 aircraft owner Warwick Henry quotes identity as 1886 ex VT-CRO, 42-99645

7) Note: US registration N9217Y has been quoted for this L-5. It is believed to have been a registration reservation for an attempted purchase in India by an American enthusiast:
Jim Grey of the Sentinel Owners and Pilots Association: “One of our club members in the U.S. quite badly wanted to own VT-CRO, but timing, logistics of dismantling and shipping it and other issues stood in the way of that happening.”


VH-CRO at Watts Bridge Qld, 22 April 2010.                                    Photo via Warwick Henry


The restored stretcher compartment on VH-CRO.                                                    Photo by John Markham


VH-CRO visiting an airshow at Bundaberg Qld in August 2011.                              Photo by Phil Vabre


VH-CRO visiting Caboolture Qld in April 2018.                                       Photo by Ian McDonell


             c/n 76-1640        Stinson L-5                                                                                       VT-CHN, VH-CHN
.43
Built by Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan,
to USAAF order.
.43
Delivered to USAAF as Stinson L-5 42-99399
.46
Disposal in India by US Foreign Liquidation Commission
11.46
Registered VT-CHN His Highness The Nawab, Ruler of Bhopal, Bhopal, India
Identity qoted as 76-1640
25.10.47
logbook: first civil log entry: airframe time time 16:15hrs
22.5.59
logbook: last flight for a year: airframe time time 170:05 hrs
.60
Change of ownership: Madhya Pradesh Flying Club, Senegaon Aerodrome, Nagpur
1.3.60
logbook: first flight since 22.5.59. then regular flying
21.5.69
Club changed name to Nagpur Flying Club, Senegaon Aerodrome, Nagpur
10.6.75
logbook: last flight: airframe time time 7629:10 hrs
.91
One of four derelict L-5s purchased in India by Randal W. McFarlane, Brisbane Qld
9.91
Arrived Coolangatta Qld after being shipped from India
.93
The package of 4 Indian Stinson L-5s and stocks of Lycoming O-470 engines was purchased from Randal McFarlane by Malcolm J. Long, Coolangatta Qld

Restoration project by Air Gold Coast at Coolangatta Airport
97
Registration VH-JVH reserved. Re-allocated to a Bell 206B in 12.99
9.7.98
Registered as Stinson L-5 VH-CHN John V. Hitzke, Woody Point Qld
Identity quoted as 42-99399
15.10.98
VH-CHN noted at Coolangatta in Air Gold Coast hangar painted khaki USAAF "299399", also 20.8.99
6.10.99
First flight Coolangatta, pilot Malcolm Long. USAAF khaki "299399", no codes
6.9.03
visited Archerfield Qld airshow, owned John Hitzke, flying as “299399/2S-G Lil American Beauty”, the markings of a USAAF B-17 flown by the owner's uncle duringWWII
4.10.06
Nominal change of ownership: Stepwood Nominees Pty Ltd, Woody Point Qld c/- John V. Hitzke

Current,  based at Caboolture Qld

Identities

Air Britain SE Asia Civil Aircraft Registers: VT-CHN quoted as 76-1640 ex 42-99399.
Australian Civil Register: L-5 42-99399

Classic Wings Downunder magazine:
- 1.95 Four L-5s under restoration at Coolangatta: quoted as 76-2178, 76-1880, 76-2380, 76-1613. One of these was painted as "299399"
- 10.99 At time of first flight after restoration VH-CHN was quoted as 76-1613

According to accepted listings, 76-1613 was 42-99372.


VH-CHN painted in the markings of a wartime USAAF B-17 Fortress bomber flown by the owner's uncle.
Photo: John Hopton Collection


A delightful flying view of VH-CHN.                                                     Ray Vuillerman collection


             c/n 76-1572     Stinson L-5                                                                                                        VT-CDL, VH-NLR
.44
Built by Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan, to USAAF order.
.44
Delivered to USAAF as L-5 42-99331
.46
Disposal in India by US Foreign Liquidation Commission
4.46
Registered VT-CDL Aeronautical Corp of India
18.8.50
Change of ownership: C.P & Berar Flying Club, Nagpur
10.8.60
Change of ownership: Nagpur Flying Club, Sonegaon Aerodrome, Nagpur
28.9.60
Airframe log book: first entry: total time 00:00 hrs:
"Aircraft totally rebuilt: fuselage originally 42-99331 ex VT-CDA, port wing ex VT-CCT, starboard wing ex VT-CCW."

(Note: VT-CDA was also with Nagpur Flying Club in 1960, quoted id. 76-1881 ex 42-99640)
29.10.70
Airframe log book: final enty, total flying time 813.15 hours

Retired at Nagpur. Struck-off Indian Register.9
.91
One of 4 derelict L-5s purchased in India by Randal W. McFarlane, Brisbane Qld
9.91
Arrived Coolangatta Qld after shipped from India
.93
The package of 4 Indian Stinson L-5s and Lycoming O-470 engines was purchased from Randal McFarlane by Malcolm Long, Coolangatta Qld

Restoration project by Air Gold Coast at Coolangatta Airport
16.4.99
Registered as Stinson L-5 VH-NLR David and Marlene E. Wiltshire, Sydney NSW, later Melbourne Vic
Identity quoted as 42-99331
20.8.99
noted at Coolangatta in Air Gold Coast hangar "299331"

Current, based Kyneton Vic

Identities

Air Britain SE Asia Civil Aircraft Registers: L-5 76-1572 ex 42-99331
Australian Civil Register: L-5 42-99331

Four L-5s under restoration at Coolangatta 1.95: quoted as 76-2178, 76-1880, 76-2380, 76-1613.

Joseph Baugher’s listings of USAAF Serial Numbers quotes:
42-99391 c/n 76-1572 became VT-CDL, VH-NLR


VH-NLR visiting Wangaratta Vic in September 2006 and a cockpit view on the same occasion.
Both photos by Phil Vabre




               c/n 76-1880         Stinson L-5B                                                                           VT-CPS, (VT-CQH), "299639"
.44
Built by Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan, to USAAF order. 
.44
Delivered to USAAF as Stinson L-5B 42-996..
.46
Disposal in India by US Foreign Liquidation Commission
11.47
Registered VT-CPS Government of India, New Delhi
27.11.53
Struck-off Register, withdrawn from service

(76-1880 also quoted for another L-5 in Indian Civil Aircraft Register:
VT-CQH registered 11.47 Government of India, Bhubaneswhar. Later cancelled)

Imported to Australia from India. Importer and date unknown
1.95 76-1880 was under restoration in Air Gold Coast hangar, Coolangatta painted in USAAF khaki camouflage as "299639". Reportedly owned by Ron A. Lee, Melbourne Vic
15.10.98
"299639" in a row of L-5s being restored in the Air Gold Coast hangar at Coolangatta Airport.
20.8.99
"299639" noted in Air Gold Coast hangar, not completed, no civil registration, also 17.5.04
07
Two L-5s stored at Wangaratta Vic with Precision Aerospace Productions, where Ron Lee was chief engineer (assumed one was "VH-BGQ", the other 299639)
15-16
"299639" fuselage standing on its wheels in Ralph Cusack’s hangar at Caboolture Airport Qld where his Bristol Beaufort was being restored to airworthy and where Ron Lee was working

Identities

76-1880 should have been L-5B 42-99639: but see VH-CRO
76-1880 quoted on Indian Civil Register for both VT-CPS & VT-CQH, which were on the Register for overlapping periods.

Classic Wings Downunder magazine March 1995 issue reported four L-5s under restoration at Coolangatta, including 76-1880 and photograph showed "299639" fuselage basic structure complete: the report stated that 76-1880 was a L-5B model owned by Ron Lee, Melbourne.


Ron Lee's personal L-5 project 42-99639 at Caboolture Qld in September 2015.          Photo by Ian McDonell


                -                      Stinson L-5                                                                                          VT-DPL
c44
Built by Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan, to USAAF order.
c44
Delivered to USAAF
.46
Disposal in India by US Foreign Liquidation Commission
4.63
Registered VT-DPL Nagpur Flying Club, Nagpur
Rebuild by the club, identity quoted as "NFC/L-5/1"
17.8.63
Airframe log book: first entry: Total airframe time 00:00 hrs: "Rebuilt: fuselage no previous known identity, wing from VT-CCT"
10.11.71
Airframe log book: final entry. Total airframe time 2769:20 hrs
.91
purchased in India by Randal W. McFarlane, Brisbane Qld
9.91
Arrived Coolangatta after shipping from India
.93
The package of 4 Indian Stinson L-5s and Lycoming O-470 engines was purchased from Randal McFarlane by Malcolm J. Long, Coolangatta Qld

Assumed used for parts for the Air Gold Coast L-5 restorations

Identities

Indian Civil Aircraft Register: NFC/L-5/1
Four Indian L-5s under restoration at Coolangatta 1.95: quoted as 76-2178, 76-1880, 76-2380, 76-1613.



                  C/n 76-3995    Stinson L-5E, to OY-1                                                                                   VH-NOY
.45
Built by Stinson Stinson Aircraft Division of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation at Wayne, Michigan, to USAAF order
.45
Delivered to USAAF as L-5E 44-17708
.45
Transferred to US Navy as OY-1 BuAer 03995
4.7.45
Delivered to US Navy at NAS Miramar, California
4.47
Issued to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point NC
47-49
Issued to Naval Aircraft Test Centre, Patuxent River MD
4.49
Issued to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point NC

Civil disposal from MCAS Cherry Point

Registered N66528
63
USCR N66528: Civil Air Patrol, Front Royal Squadron, Front Royal, Virginia
66
USCR N66528: Civil Air Patrol, Virginia Wing, Sandston, Virginia
69
USCR N66528: James D. Bennett, Front Royal, Virginia
70-72
USCR N66528: Sky Ads Inc, Aurora, Illinois
76
Registration cancelled by now
25.2.03
Restored to USCR N66528 James H. Gray, Payson, Arizona
(Gray was founder of the Sentinel Owners and Pilots Association)
.06
Stripped airframe purchased from Jim Gray by Steve Searle, Beaudesert Qld
22.6.06
Airframe arrived at Coolangatta Airport Qld for restoration by Air Gold Coast
5.7.06
Struck-off USCR as exported to Australia
26.3.07
Registered as Stinson L-5E-1 VH-NOY Steve Searle, Kallangur Qld.
Identity quoted 03995
29.3.07
First flight at Coolangatta after rebuild, pilot Mike Long, Chief Engineer of Air Gold Coast Pty Ltd.
Painted in glossy sea blue scheme as “NAVY OY-1 03995 San Diego”.

Reported as the 6th Sentinel rebuilt by Air Gold Coast at Coolangatta Airport
313.07
Delivered from Coolangatta to Steve Searle's property at Beaudesert Qld
09
Searle was establishing his property airfield which he named Wirraway Field to represent a WWII RAAF operatiomal airfield. He has purchased a number of ex military aircraft and operates under the name Wirraway Aviation Museum.
15.9.11
Change of ownership: PDRL Pty Ltd, Fern Bay NSW
After Steve Searle's sudden death, his aircraft collection changed ownership to this company. His purchases of airworthy B-25, A-20 and Lodestar/Hudson in USA were cancelled before delivery to Australia.
13.6.13
Change of ownership: Bennet Aviation Pty Ltd, Redhead NSW
9.13
Advertised for sale: restored in 2007 including Ceconite re-cover, total airframe time 1400.9 hours
10.11.14
Change of ownership: Robert W. Kemmis, Berrima NSW

Current

Identities


US Civil Register:            L-5E-1 03995
Australian Civil Register: L-5E-1 03995


VH-NOY at a Watts Bridge Qld fly-in August 2008 in its blue US Navy scheme.    Photo by Bert van Drunick


VH-NOY departs the 2006 annual flyin at Watts Bridge Qld.                          Photo by Ian McDonell

                 •                              •                           •                           •                         •                           •                                *
UNIDENTIFIED AUSTRALIAN SENTINELS:

i)  The Australian Civil Aircraft Register original hand-written ledgers have the following two allocations circa 1947 which were Not Taken Up:
VH-BEF Stinson L-5B Sentinel - reallocated to Catalina ex A24-10, also not taken up.
VH-BEG Stinson L-5B Sentinel - reallocated to Percival Proctor January 1954

Nothing further is known of these two. However, it is worth noting the Catalina VH-BEF was owned in 1948 by Ralph R. Cobley, Melbourne VIC, who was flying his other Catalina VH-BDP in support of the Indonesian republic rebels in the Netherlands East Indies. Cobley was killed while attempting a single engine takeoff under gunfire from Dutch troops at Djambi, Sumatra on 29 December 1948.
 
ii) An advertisement in the May 1953 issue of Aircraft magazine is intriguing:
"Stinson L-5E: three seater cabin aircraft with Lycoming flat six engine. Both with nil hours since overhaul and full 12 months CofA. Will accept the best offer about 1500: Sepal Pty Ltd, 52 Wentworth Avenue, Mascot, Sydney."
Sepal Pty Ltd was an aircraft parts importer and supplier, so perhaps this L-5E was located outside Australia and never imported.

iii) A Stinson L-5 was entered in the 1954 Redex Air Trial around Australia, by Mr. C. Hyland of Pymble, Sydney but scratched before the start. 

References:
My special thanks to Melvyn Davis for his detailed notes on the Coolangatta rebuilds.
- Australian Civil Aircraft Register, Department of Civil Aviation, Melbourne and its successors
- DCA aircraft files, National Archives of Australia, Melbourne
- DCA Annual Accident Summary, 1955 to 1970
- RAAF unit records, RAAF Historical, Dept of Air Canberra
- RAAF Status Card: Stinson L-5V 99129, RAAF Historical Section, Canberra
- National Library of Australia - Trove newspaper archive website
- British Military Aircraft Serials 1911-1979, Bruce Robertson, Patrick Stephens, Cambridge 1979
- The British Air Commission and Lend-Lease, K. J. Meekcoms, Air Britain, 2000
- US Civil Aircraft Register, FAA printed editions 1963-1972, on-line since 2000
- South-East Asia Civil Aircraft Registers, Air Britain, 1979: Indian and Philippines Registers
- Aviation Historical Society of Australia Journal, monthly, various issues 1960-1970
- NSW Air Log, monthly journal: airport and accident reports, various issues June-Dec 1964
- Australian Air Log, monthly journal, various issues 1965-1968
- Balus The Aeroplane in Papua New Guinea, Volume 1, James SInclair, Robert Brown & Assoc., 1986
- US Military Aircraft Designations and Serials, John M. Andrade, Midland Counties Publications 1979
- General Dynamics Aircraft and their Predecessors, John Wegg, Putnam 1990
- VH-CSA: correspondence from Laurie Crowley to compiler 3 January 2007
- VH-BEN: Sid Beck interviewed by Mel Davis at Condon, Townsville 1983
- VH-BOE: Ivan Unwin, interviewed by Melvyn Davis at Mackay Qld April 1978
- VH-CRO: correspondence with owner Warwick Henry, August 2014 and February 2020
- VH-BFR:  correspondence with owner Geoff Hill 2019
- VH-CHN: corresponce with owner John Hitzke 2019
- Indian imports: correspondence from Randal McFarlane
- L-5 Identities: correspondence from Jim Gray, Sentinel Owners & Pilots Association, November 2010
- Classic Wings Downunder magazine, renamed Classic Wings, editor Graham Orphan, regular updates on Stinson restorations: particularly Vol.2 No.2
- Flight Path magazine, Melbourne, editor Rob Fox: various issues with reports on Stinsons
- Aircraft magazine, Melbourne: August 1954 issue, Redex Trial, and follow-ups
- Airport of the Nine Dragons Kai Tak, Kowloon, Captain Charles E. Eather, ChingChic Publishing 1996
- Development of Commercial Aviation in China, Martin S. Best, Air Britain Archive, Summer 2009
- A Guide to Aviation Museum in Australia, Graham Potts, Australian Academic Press, 1990
- Air Britain News, monthly journal: Australian Register information
- Rag & Tube, monthly journal of Antique Aeroplane Association of Australia, 1977 onwards
- Joseph Baugher’s USAAF serial number listings:
   http://cgibin.rcn.com/jeremy.k/cgi-bin/gzUsafSearch.pl?target=42-98085&content=


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