MSN 1944






This aeroplane was donated to QAM by George Markey in memory of Robyn Sutherland.

This page is dedicated to the memory of:

John Gyzemyter (1915-1999)


Henry Godman (1914-1996)

They were there.



  Registered PH-ALW to KLM as a DC-3-194B. (Source: 3).
  First flown at Santa Monica U.S.A. (fitted with a right hand door).
  Accepted by Fokker as agents for Douglas (the 10th DC-3 for Fokker).
  Accepted by customer (KLM).
  Delivered to KLM as PH-ALW "Wielewaal" (Golden Oriole).
  Flown away from Santa Monica (at 3.30pm).
  Arrived New York (in the morning).
  Sailed from New York on the S.S. Pennland.
  Assembled at Waalhaven, Rotterdam by a team of KLM engineers including John Gyzemyter. After a test flight, the aircraft was ferried to Schiphol.
  Entered service on the Amsterdam-Batavia route. PH-ALW was one of 9 DC-3s allocated to this route. These aircraft were fitted with only 11 seats (in lieu of the normal 21) for passenger comfort.
  KLM flights on the Batavia route resumed from Naples (3 flights a week) after France and England closed their airspace to KLM on 08SEP39 and 10SEP39 respectively. Major overhaul was transferred to KNILM in Bandoeng.
  Re-registered PK-ALW. The aircraft remained KLM property and retained KLM livery although under the operational control of KNILM.
  KLM flights on the Batavia route resumed from Lydda, Palestine (2 flights a week) after it was feared that Italy would enter the war on the side of Germany. Two DC-3s were transferred to KLM in England, leaving 7 aircraft to operate the Lydda-Batavia route which was later reduced to one flight a week because of growing wartime restrictions.
  PK-ALW was logged passing through Zerka, Jordan with other KLM DC-3s operating the Amman to Far East service. (Source: Spotting in Zerka 1941 by John Havers, Air Britain Digest Winter 1993)
05JUN41   PK-ALW was logged passing through Zerka, Jordan with other KLM DC-3s operating the Amman to Far East service. (Source: Spotting in Zerka 1941 by John Havers, Air Britain Digest Winter 1993)
26JUN41   PK-ALW was logged passing through Zerka, Jordan with other KLM DC-3s operating the Amman to Far East service. (Source: Spotting in Zerka 1941 by John Havers, Air Britain Digest Winter 1993)
  DC-3 PK-AKV was photographed wearing camouflage on 19 December 1941 so it is likely that KNILM began camouflaging their aircraft soon after Pearl Harbour. The aircraft were painted by KNILM engineers using locally sourced paint. The colours and pattern were determined by advice from the military. The aircraft were first painted "jong blad" (young leaf - an olive drab type of color) after which patches of "oud blad" (old leaf – a medium green type of color) were added. The aircraft registration was painted in white on both sides of the rear fuselage and, it is believed, under one of the wings. There is photographic evidence that the red, white and blue stripe was retained over the camouflage but it was reduced to approximately half its original length beginning aft of the fourth window and extending to the aft edge of the last window. As invasion became imminent, the remainder of the stripe was over-painted in a dark colour. (Thanks to John Gyzemyter Senior and Max Schep-Trimbach for advice on colours and markings.)
  PK-ALW Departed Lydda under the command of Captain Evert Van Dijk on the last service to Batavia.
  Advised that he could not land in Singapore as planned, Van Dijk waited in Calcutta for further clearance.
  Van Dijk cleared to depart for Akyab and Medan. On arrival in Medan, Van Dijk encountered a group of 36 women and children awaiting evacuation to Batavia. To accommodate the extra passengers and to reduce weight, the seats were removed and abandoned at Medan.
  PK-ALW arrived in Batavia, the same day that Singapore capitulated.

The following narrative was supplied by Peter Ingman. It is extracted from his book “Zero Hour in Broome” which is due for publication in mid 2010. It is reproduced with his kind permission.

"At that time KNILM was preparing a plan to evacuate its airliners (with the necessary range) direct from Java to Australia. The last KNILM DC-3 to arrive in Australia via the regular Timor-Darwin route was PK-AFV on 3 February. This coincided with Qantas’ abandonment of the same route for its Empire Flying Boats after Corio was shot down off Timor on 30 January 1942. Qantas was instructed, by the Department of Civil Aviation, to commence operations between Java and “the West Australian coast” with Broome being the obvious choice only because it was the largest town on the north-west. While some Qantas and Civil Aviation men arrived in Broome to setup a makeshift flying boat base, KNILM actually made the first Java-Broome flight on 4 February (PK-AFZ, piloted by Eddy Dunlop), landing at what was now an RAAF Advanced Operational Base (which was useful as ample supplies of fuel were held). This was viewed as an extreme range flight, and the DC-3s were limited to just four crew and 8 passengers (despite the weight saving measures such as removal of the sleeper-seats). Anyhow the first flights back into Java (which were more risky because of flying towards unpredictable tropical weather with limited fuel) were made a few days later. There was then a lull in operations for about two weeks due to cyclonic weather conditions at Broome but possibly also due to other factors.

"Anyway with these proving flights successfully flown in early February, when PK-ALW arrived in Java, KNILM had developed an evacuation plan. Note this was more for the airliners themselves than the limited number of passengers they carried. Apparently heavy air attacks on Java on 19 February were the catalyst for putting the plan in motion. That night at least 8 airliners, including all 5 surviving DC-3s, made the flight from Java to Broome arriving on 20 February. PK-ALW had 8 civilians onboard and the following day departed Broome for Sydney, probably taking the Daly Waters – Cloncurry route (as a number of DC-3s were noted at Cloncurry on 21 Feb). Note that the Broome-Sydney pilot was reported as “Blaak” so he probably also flew the Java-Broome leg.

"Now all bar one of the newly arrived KNILM airliners continued on to Sydney with their light loads instead of flying back to Java. This goes against the normal notion that the aircraft were flying continuously between Java and Broome. Exactly why most of this fleet flew all the way to Sydney and back again to Broome (a round trip of 3-4 days or more) is not immediately apparent. Certainly this was their peacetime schedule but another possibility was to keep the aircraft out of Java where apparently the USAAF had received authority to requisition civilian aircraft on 19 February.

"Otherwise the pilots were not used to such long over-water flights (this was over 1,000 miles while the previous long over-water hop Timor-Darwin was about half that), and may have simply been averse to making the flight. Also we know that the Dutch aircraft had various customised fuel tanks so some no doubt had a longer range than others. Demonstrating this danger was PK-AFZ which returned from Sydney and flew Broome-Java on 26 February, but failed to find Semplak airfield during bad weather and was lost in a forced landing in Sumatra.

"Meanwhile PK-ALW had returned from Sydney to Broome by 25 February, and was probably then flown to Batavia by E Dunlop on this date (a customs form has this flight recorded as Broome to Sydney but this would appear to be a mistake. Dunlop had made the first Java-Broome flight and was clearly an experienced long distance flyer). Dunlop had flown Lockheed Super Electra PK-AFQ into Broome from Java on 20 February carrying 8 civilian passengers, and then continued onto Sydney the next day. The PK-AFQ passenger list appears to include Capt Dunlop’s wife and child. Thus for whatever reason, Dunlop may have replaced Blaak either in Sydney or Broome.

"Thus PK-ALW was most likely back in Java by 26 February, with Dunlop as its pilot. It is possible but unlikely that another flight was made into Australia in the next few days.

"It would appear that confirmed movements by PK-AFZ at this time were Java- Broome on 20 Feb; then Broome-Daly Waters-Cloncurry on 21 Feb; then to Sydney and return to Broome approx 24 Feb. Broome – Java on 25 Feb; then unknown for a few days but a return flight to Australia is unlikely at this time; the aircraft may well have been earmarked for the Governor’s use and held in Java a short time."

  Under the command of Captain Eddy Dunlop, PK-ALW was flown to an unfinished highway (Boeabatoe Road) just outside Bandoeng to await the arrival of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor General, Dr. H. Van Mook who was to be evacuated to Australia. This road had been used as a secret landing strip for several days previously. Several KNILM ground staff were also awaiting evacuation.
  With the arrival of its important passenger, PK-ALW departed at 0100 as the last civil aircraft to leave the East Indies. Heavy fighting was in progress at Lembang, less than 15 km away from Bandoeng. PK-ALW arrived at Port Hedland, W.A. after a non-stop flight lasting a total of 7 hours 32 minutes.
  Document shows aircraft sold to Australian Government for £5 as VH-ALW. Photographic evidence indicates that at least one of the Dutch aircraft was painted with VH marks.
  PK-ALW departed Archerfield, Brisbane for Townsville. (Source: Peter Ingman)
This would seem to indicate that PK-ALW was still marked as such at this time.
  KNILM signed a contract to hand over ten aircraft to the USAAF between 15MAY42 and 18MAY42. Date of sale also reported as 20MAR42 and price quoted as either $53,000.00 or $530,000.00. Eleven (11) KNILM aircraft (2 DC-2, 4 Lockheed 14, 2 DC-3 and 3 DC-5) had been evacuated to Australia when N.E.I. fell to Japan. (One Lockheed 14 subsequently crashed). Initially the KNILM aircraft operated under charter to the USAAF, but the US military were reluctant to leave a major part of the already meagre air transport fleet in private hands. General MacArthur (who arrived in Australia on 18MAR42) ordered that the Dutch aircraft be acquired by the USAAF. By cutting off logistic support (including 100 cases of spares) KNILM were effectively forced to sell their aircraft to the USAAF.
  21st Transport Squadron activated at Archerfield.
  Under the terms of the contract of sale to the USAAF, all aircraft had to be test flown before delivery. The KNILM maintenance crew agreed to have all aircraft ready for a simultaneous test flight. Thus all 10 aircraft were in the air together over Sydney Harbour. The Dutch destroyer "Tromp" berthed at Woolloomooloo was buzzed by several of the aircraft. Three of the KNILM aircraft then flew under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, once in each direction. The "Bridge" formation was led by Captain Frans Van Breemen in DC-2 PK-AFK followed by Capt Peter Deenik in DC-3 PK-ALW and Captain Dirk Rab (with John Gyzemyter as Flight Engineer) in DC-5 PK-ADC. (Previously shown incorrectly as PK-ADG). The Bridge Formation
  Handed over to United States Army Air Force as C-49H "11944" (not an official serial number but one apparently contrived locally from the c/n 1944. Although often quoted as 11944 or 41-1944 it was painted on the aircraft as 1944). Operated by 21st Transport Squadron USAAF out of Archerfield, Brisbane as VHCXE (radio call-sign). Used mainly on troop flights to/from New Guinea under control of Directorate of Air Transport (DAT).
  Request to Chief-of-Staff, Allied Air Forces for aircraft to be assigned to General Headquarters. (See 14JUN42).
  History of 374th Troop Carrier Group states that VHCXE was assigned to the 21st Transport Squadron on this date. The history of the 21st Troop Carrier Squadron states June 1942.
  Letter from Air-Vice-Marshal Bostock, Chief-of-Staff, Allied Air Forces SWPA to Commander-in-Chief SWPA offering an unidentified "DC-3 with two new engines, fitted with seven regular passenger seats, new radio equipment and heating apparatus and a 1000 mile safe range".
  Letter from Colonel Fitch, Adjutant General, to Commander, Allied Air Forces "It is understood that the DC-3 will be at Essendon on June 18. An inspection will be made at that time. By command of General MacARTHUR".
  General MacArthur travelled from Melbourne to Canberra and return to attend the Prime Minister's War Conference. Letter from Colonel Henry Godman dated 07JUL95 states that he was the pilot and the aircraft was "the Dutch DC-3". Although Colonel Godman is unable to confirm the exact date, this date is consistent with MacArthur's known movements.
  21st Transport Squadron redesignated 21st Troop Carrier Squadron.
  Final mention of VHCXE in 21TCS records. Shown as transferred to GHQ South West Pacific Area.
  Flown from Archerfield, Brisbane to Townsville (3.7 hours) by Maj. Henry Godman and Lt. Walter Seidel. (Source: Log Book of Walter Seidel)
  Flown from Townsville to Archerfield (4.5 hours) by Maj. Henry Godman and Lt. Walter Seidel. Landed en route at a remote unattended airstrip to disembark several passengers. (Source: Log Book of Walter Seidel)
  Flight Report (AAF Form No 1 2-2-42) records a local flight from Archerfield by DC-3 serial number 1944. Crew shown as follows:
Maj H.C. Godman GHQ (Pilot)
Maj Gen R.K. Sutherland GHQ (Co-pilot)
S/Sgt V.L. Gumm (Engineer)
S/Sgt S.P. Bone (Radio Operator)

Flight departed 14:10
Flight returned 15:55
Flight time 1:07
Landings 2
  Received at Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, Fisherman's Bend, Melbourne as USAAF 41-1944 for modifications. (Some sources claim that this work was performed by A.N.A. at Essendon.) Allocated sequence number CAC 17 and was with CAC for 89 days. AHSA Journal Vol. 22 No. 4 Page 92 provides these dates which were taken from the diary of the CAC Chief Security Officer. It is also stated that C-49H-DO 41-1944 changed its radio callsign from VHCXE to VH-CXL (with hyphen) during the mods at CAC. It is also stated that this aircraft (c/n 1944) had been General Douglas MacArthur's aircraft until the arrival and modification of C-47A-20-DL 41-23421 c/n 9283 which assumed the radio callsign VH-CXE (with hyphen) and the name "Shiny Shiela" (Photographic evidence that the name was spelled "Shiela" not "Sheila") This latter aircraft passed through the CAC programme as CAC 16, arriving on 13MAY43 and departing on 05JUN43. It is believed that some internal fittings were removed from c/n 1944 for fitment to c/n 9283. DC-3 c/n 1944 was then fitted with side-saddle seats although it apparently retained its small right hand door.
  C-47 VH-CXE (#2) was flown from CAC Melbourne to Archerfield by Lt. Walter Seidel (co-pilot). Presumably Maj. Godman was pilot and this was the delivery flight of the C-47 which replaced the DC-3. (Source: Log Book of Walter Seidel)
  Modification work completed by CAC. Returned to USAAF.
  Taken on charge by the RAAF as VH-CXL. Operated by No 36 Sqn, Townsville on courier flights. On loan from the USAAF.
  First flight with 36Sqn from Townsville to Port Moresby and return (F/O McConachie and P/O Garde). During 36Sqn service VH-CXL was natural metal with USAAF stars. VH-CXL was the only aircraft in 36Sqn not camouflaged, which may be why all subsequent flights were to Horn Island.
  General MacArthur's B-17E 41-2593 "Bataan" entered service.
  Flown from Townsville to Essendon by P/O Len Ball and SGT Varney. Last flight with 36Sqn.
  ANA offered £5,000 for the aircraft. (Source: 3).
  Returned to Allied Directorate of Air Transport (ADAT).
  Australian National Airways Pty Ltd applied to D.C.A. for a Certificate of Airworthiness. Paperwork describes aircraft as c/n 1944, USAAF serial 41-1944 and "VH-CXL".
  Australian CofA No. X-16 issued to Australian National Airways as VH-CXL (22 passenger seats). The aircraft did not appear on the Australian Register. This special "X" series CofA permitted carriage of civil passengers on military aircraft. Used on ANA's "Pacific Islands Courier" service out of Melbourne.
  On 15APR44, ANA wrote to Colonel R. T. Elsmore, Director of Transport, Allied Air Force, with a carbon copy to DCA advising: On 12.4.44 CXL suffered minor damage to starboard wing tip and aileron when landing at RAAF Laverton in a strong cross wind. It was delivering a load of aero engines from Essendon. Starboard wing contacted the ground during landing. Captain S. G. Hack, F/O Bennett unhurt. Temporary repairs were effected at Laverton then flown to Essendon for formal repair by ANA. Returned to service 14.4.44. (Source: NAA via Geoff Goodall)
  Struck off charge by RAAF and returned to USAAF.
  Delivered to ANA at Essendon.
  Allocated USAAF serial 44-83229 as a C-49H-DO (presumably a book-keeping exercise prior to imminent disposal).
  A memorandum (Ref 8/115/640) from the Department of Civil Aviation to the Department of the Treasury advised that the U.S. Foreign Economic Administration had declared a number of aircraft surplus and available for disposal to Australian airlines on a cash basis. Included in the list is DC-3 PK-ALW said to be in flyaway condition after a preflight inspection. Flying time was estimated at 3500 hours. (Sister DC-3 PK-ALT is similarly listed but with an estimated flying time of 7200 hours)
  ANA were operating a daily service from Archerfield to Finschhafen and a Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne return service every Sunday.
  First flight in VH-CXL recorded in the log book of ANA pilot Brian Southwell. (Source: Powerhouse Museum, Sydney)
  Struck off by USAAF.
  As VH-CXL operated Brisbane-Melbourne-Brisbane crewed by Captain Elliot, W/O Dick Bampton and Flt Sgt Dixon. (Source: Log Book of Warrant Officer Dick Bampton assigned 4CU, Archerfield)
  A new CofA was issued. (Source: 3).
  Last flight in VH-CXL recorded in the log book of ANA pilot Brian Southwell. (Source: Powerhouse Museum, Sydney)
  Registered VH-ANR to Australian National Airways as a DC-3-G202A. Certificate of Registration No 985, having previously been purchased from the U.S. Foreign Economic Administration.

An engraved plate fitted to the aeroplane states that it was converted by A.N.A. on this date. The conversion included relocating the main cabin door from the starboard side to the port side. The full wording of the plate is as follows:



DOUGLAS C50 A.N.A. 500


CONVERTED 18 - 10 - 46


"C50" has been altered from something unknown. This plate was photographed in situ at Essendon on 27OCT64 by John Hopton. It is no longer on the aeroplane.

  Named "Oana" (To Inform) in ANA service. (Source: 3). Total Time 7802:33.
02NOV46   The Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill) of Tuesday 5 November 1946 reported:

Plane Passengers
Guinea Airways Summer schedule for the local service came into operation on Saturday when the 21 passenger Douglas liner, OANA, operated direct from Adelaide. Captain Eric Krieg was in charge with Pilot Keith Thomas as First Officer and Miss B. Gleeson (?) was the hostess. The weather was perfect with a ground visibility of 20 miles and at (illegible) feet 50 (?) miles. The plane was quickly airborne and some beautiful sights came into view immediately. The flying time for the journey was just under ninety minutes. On the return trip Messrs. R. Strickland, R. Venary (?), F. Goninan (?), Hamilton, Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Green, Mr. and Mrs. Penny, Mesdames A. Rowe, S. Murada (?), V. Gers (?), M. Thompson, G. Oates (?), Misses W. Slattery, C. Gartner and Dr. J.B. Lewis travelled to Adelaide. The new schedule arrangements are for direct trips to and from Adelaide on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and via Renmark on Mondays. (Transcribed with great difficulty from Trove)
  First flight in VH-ANR recorded in the log book of ANA pilot Brian Southwell. (Source: Powerhouse Museum, Sydney)
14APR47   The Barrier Miner (Broken Hill) of Monday 14 April 1947 reported:

Air Travellers
Today's Guinea Airways Douglas liner, ANR, brought Mr., Mrs. and Master Bennetts, Mr. and Mrs. M.J. Lennox, Messrs. Howland, H.C. Stuck, Isaacs, Bridge, C. Thomas, J.M. Rowley, F.W. Thorpe, I. Cronenberg, Osborne-White, Mesdames B. Moyle, J. Ivery and Picken from Adelaide, and took Miss Feehan to Renmark. Mr. and Mrs. A. Hern, Messrs. J. Rew, Murgatroyd, B.G. Hendry, H. Mendelson, C.H. George, L. Dryen, Mesdames R.D. Burns, J. Baldwin, Misses D. Burns, F. Townsend and H. Cunningham to Adelaide. Captain Gillespie, First Officer Thomas and Hostess Miss Payne comprised the crew. (Transcribed with great difficulty from Trove)
19SEP47   Flown (12 hrs 20 mins) for the last time before CofA overhaul (Source: 2)
10NOV47   Completion of major overhaul for CofA by ANA at Essendon.

Removed entire 12 volt equipment and reinstalled 24 volt throughout aircraft.
Wings fitted; Port s/n 3-72, Starboard s/n 3-77.
Standard Instrument Panel removed. New Panel and new set of instruments refitted.
Engines s/n 59643 and s/n 94023 refitted.
(Source: 2)
08JUN48   "Flares chutes removed from port side of fuselage." (Source: 2)
11JUN48   The Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill) of Saturday 12 June 1948 reported:

Plane Passengers
Yesterday's A.N.A. Douglas liner OANA brought Messrs. Green, A. Argetti (?), J. Mareherani (?), Misses O'Reilly, M. Roche (?), R. Lithgow, W. Comfort and Mrs. W. Comfort from Melbourne. Miss R. Mawson, from Mildura. On the return journey Messrs. R. Argue, H. Everitt to Sydney. Mr. J. Cronenberg to Adelaide. Messrs. A.J. Steel, D. Butcher, K.D. Hume to Melbourne. Mrs. and Master Sampson, Mr. and Mrs. Eaton, Mr. E. Lee to Mildura. The crew comprised Captain Freeland, First Officer Dairmade and Hostess Miss Kesy. (Transcribed with great difficulty from Trove)
06JUL48   The Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill) of Wednesday 7 July 1948 reported:

Air Travellers
Yesterday's A.N.A. Douglas liner OANA brought Messrs. C.L. Sanders, H.H. McKay, J. McCoy from Melbourne. Messrs. A. Henshall, Recnner, Murdoch, Donaldson, Wrae, Dr. M. Rugless from Mildura. Mrs. R.V. Brooks from Adelaide. Mr. Robertson from Sydney. On the return journey Messrs. P. Smith, R. Tuite, went to Sydney. Mr. K. Campbell to Mildura. Messrs. H.F. Walsh, H.J. Hancock, R.W. Campbell, Cox, B.R. Gardiner, Malcolm Moor, Mrs. C. Carroll, Dr. F. Schlink to Melbourne. Captain Chapple was in charge of the crew with First Officer Russell and Hostess Miss Farrier. (Transcribed with great difficulty from Trove)
03AUG48   The Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill) of Wednesday 4 August 1948 reported:

Plane Passengers
Yesterday's A.N.A. Douglas liner OANA brought Messrs. Pugh, P. Colley, M. Davey, C. Brown, Mrs. A.R. West from Melbourne. C. Beore (?), L. Lees, Reynolds, McGrath from Mildura. Mr. Corkey (?) from Adelaide. On the return journey Mr. and Mrs. Abbott to Wagga. Mr. R. Clayson (?) to Adelaide. Mr. F.S. Somiffa (?) to Mildura. Miss K. Guenrey (?), Mr. E.R. Seely to Sydney. The crew comprised Captain Conroy, First Officer Bridgett and Hostess Miss Chinnery. (Transcribed with great difficulty from Trove)
  Operated Melbourne-Nhill-Adelaide-Melbourne crewed by Captain Riesen and F/O Dick Bampton. (Source: Log Book of Dick Bampton)
  Operated Brisbane-Sydney crewed by Captain Girault and F/O Dick Bampton. (Source: Log Book of Dick Bampton)
  Operated Sydney-Brisbane crewed by Captain Girault and F/O Dick Bampton. (Source: Log Book of Dick Bampton)
  Operated Brisbane-Sydney-Brisbane crewed by Captain Mellor and F/O Dick Bampton. (Source: Log Book of Dick Bampton)
  Operated Brisbane-Cairns crewed by Captain Bullen and F/O Dick Bampton. (Source: Log Book of Dick Bampton)
  Operated Brisbane-Sydney crewed by Captain Robertson and F/O Dick Bampton. (Source: Log Book of Dick Bampton)
  Operated Sydney-Brisbane crewed by Captain Robertson and F/O Dick Bampton. (Source: Log Book of Dick Bampton)
28FEB49   Last flight (5 hrs 5 mins) before 4,000 hourly inspection. (Source: 2)
10MAR49   Completion of 4,000 hourly inspection. (Source: 2)
  Operated Brisbane-Cairns crewed by Captain Humphries and F/O Dick Bampton. (Source: Log Book of Dick Bampton)
  Operated Brisbane-Cairns crewed by Captain Edgerton and F/O Dick Bampton. (Source: Log Book of Dick Bampton)
  Aircraft tipped on to its nose at Van Rook Station, near Normanton, Qld due to poor airfield conditions. Aircraft was commanded by Capt Maurice Bonney. This incident is described thus in Nan Whitcomb's book "Up Here and Down There":

"During the wet season when some of the airstrips became extremely soggy, the station owners had to make the decision for us whether it was safe to land. On a visit to Van Rook Station, the safety markers were out, so after a low observation run across the strip, Captain Maurie B. and First Officer Ernie S. decided it was OK to land. On touching down, all seemed well, until the Captain pulled back on the power and we came to an abrupt stop in a deep bog with the result that the aircraft ended up on its nose. For a moment, I thought we would flip right over but that sturdy old DC-3 shuddered and eventually flopped back on to its belly - lucky for us. Multipots, cutlery, dishes and food became airborne and ended up near the cockpit. As twelve of our passengers had disembarked at the stop before, we had only one delightful old bushman on board who, I am still convinced, thought it was a perfectly normal landing. The only thing he was concerned about was losing his pipe. After a very pleasant four day rest as enforced guests at Van Rook, we were flown out in the air ambulance Dragon Rapide - only to hear rumours that we had hit high tension wires and were all dead - so much for the bush telegraph!" Account contributed by Flight Hostess Mary Dulhunty (later Turbayne).
    As a result of the nose-over, both propellors were changed and "all engine controls were adjusted due to pedestal being pushed out of line." (Source: 2)
  The aeroplane was flown out of Van Rook by Capt P.L. "Lyn" Taylor, ANA Flight Superintendent, to Normanton where the aircraft was refuelled before flying direct to Melbourne the following day.
  The aeroplane was flown from Normanton direct to Melbourne in 7 hrs 35 mins. The aircraft then underwent a 7,000 hourly inspection and did not fly again until 15MAY50. (Source: 2)
The total non-stop distance of 1450 miles was claimed as a record for a DC-3 in Australia*.

* In April 1940, Captain Keith Virtue flew ANA DC-3 VH-UZJ Kyilla non-stop from Perth to Goondiwindi in 12 hrs 30 mins. Three DC-3s had departed Perth for Melbourne, Richmond (NSW) and Brisbane to demonstrate their ability to operate long-range flights in wartime conditions. At the time, the Perth-Goondiwindi flight was claimed as an Australian distance record. (Source: Joan Priest, Virtue in Flying, Angus & Robertson, 1975)
Perhaps the Normanton-Melbourne record claimed in 1950 was considered to be a peacetime record.

Australian National Airways Staff News Vol. 1 No. 4 of July, 1950 reported:

The recent widespread floods in Queensland caused heavy damage and were the cause of one of our DC3 aircraft being held up for a considerable time. In landing at the Van Rook Station VH-ANR became bogged on the landing strip; this being an outback station, there were, of course, no concrete landing strips available for landing and take-offs.

Staff were required to go out to Van Rook to get the machine into operation again. Ron Harman and Gus Torenbeek from Eagle Farm, Roy Kevill from Cairns, and Jack Turner from Essendon were sent out to work on the aircraft. The party left Cairns at 7 a.m. in VH-INE and landed at Miranda Downs. As the strip at Van Rook Station was still unserviceable for DC3's a Rapide belonging to the Cairns Flying Ambulance Service was obtained and five ferry flights were made out to Van Rook carrying engineers and equipment for the job. The engineers lived at Van Rook Station and after their completing repairs Captain L. Taylor arrived at Van Rook in the Rapide to take over VH-ANR and fly the machine back to Essendon.

The machine was moved to drier ground for take-off and with a very short run Capt Taylor lifted the machine off at 3.30 p.m., and took off for Normanton, landing at 4.30 p.m.

The next morning at 6 o'clock the machine left for Essendon and, flying non-stop arrived at 1 p.m., a feat which was given due prominence in the Melbourne daily press.

(Source: John Hewson Collection via Fred Niven)


VH-INE was another ANA DC-3.

The Dragon Rapide was probably VH-CFA (c/n 6814) belonging to the Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade and based in Cairns where it was maintained by ANA. On November 26 of the following year, this aircraft was forced to ditch in the sea off Cairns because of fuel exhaustion after the pilot was unable to locate Cairns aerodrome which was obscured by smoke from the annual sugar cane burnoff. Although the crew survived, sadly the patient could not be extracted from the aircraft before it sank. The patient was a stockman who had been injured in an accident - ironically at Van Rook Station.

Don Johnston knew Gus Torenbeek and Ron Harman personally and on his advice the spelling of their names has been corrected (from Torenbeck and Harmon) in the ANA Staff News report above. Don also advises that Jack "Curly" Turner was from the ANA propeller shop at Essendon.

    A letter to the Editor of The Cairns Post penned on 05APR50 by a Normanton resident using the nom de plume "AIR TRAVELLER" stated:


Sir, - Aircraft accidents are always headline news, but we do not have headlines for the other side of the aircraft activities, that is, the pilots and engineers. An incident which occurred at Vanrook Station on February 23 when an A.N.A. D.C.3 was bogged and damage done to the aircraft has shown the ability of the pilots and engineers of A.N.A. The company sent four engineers to repair the aircraft and this took four days. During this time heavy rain had set in and the problem was then how to get the plane off the ground, as the aerodrome necessitated extreme caution for the Rapide to land. The A.N.A. pilot, Captain Taylor, flew from Melbourne confident that this could be done, but no one in the district expected that this was possible for about four weeks, owing to the boggy state of the ground.

On March 15, the Rapide landed on the aerodrome with Captain Taylor and co-pilot Lee, and the difficult job began. With only a runway of about 150 yards, consisting of heavy ground. Captain Taylor lifted the D.C.3 off the ground, while station hands stood gaping with astonishment.

One of the engineers remarked after landing in Normanton that the station hands still cannot believe the aircraft has gone. The confidence shown by pilots in the engineers is indicated by the fact that Captain Taylor took off from Normanton the following day, on a non-stop flight to Melbourne, a journey of seven hours' flying time, with cyclones in the area

Accomplishments like these have strengthened the faith of the public in the A.N.A. pilots and engineers. The above feat is more remarkable when one considers that the aerodrome is a bush one, which is only an open piece of country, with trees all around, and bumpy ground, at the best of times. The A.N.A. D.C.3's land on these aerodromes each week as if they were landing on Mascot aerodrome.

Yours etc.
Normanton, April 5.
15MAY50   Completion of 7,000 hourly inspection. R1820-G202A engines fitted; Port s/n 60117, Starboard s/n 60153.
DC-3 type fuel tanks (4 off) replaced by C-47 type fuel tanks (4 off).
Engines fitted; Port s/n 60153, Starboard s/n 60117.
VAR radio installation carried out.
Fitted with wings s/n 3-41 and s/n 3-80 (positions not stated).
Total Time: 17,741 hrs 11 mins.
(Source: 2)
15MAY50   Flown for 40 mins. Presumably a test flight after overhaul. (Source: 2)
17MAY50   Returned to service (7 hrs 50 mins). (Source: 2)
  Operated Brisbane-Cairns crewed by Captain Brooks and F/O Dick Bampton. (Source: Log Book of Dick Bampton)
  Operated Sydney-Brisbane crewed by Captain Bullen and F/O Dick Bampton. (Source: Log Book of Dick Bampton)
05MAY52   Flown for 5 hrs 55 mins presumably terminating at Eagle Farm for overhaul. (Source: 2)
27MAY52   Completion of 4,000 hourly inspection at Eagle Farm, Brisbane.
Engine s/n 60277 removed and engine s/n 59351 fitted starboard position.
Reconditioned wing s/n 3-85 fitted starboard.
Wing s/n 3-80 removed, inspected, repaired and replaced.
Complete cabin soundproofing removed and renewed with Fireproof Tropal blanket as per ANO 105-1-0-1-2.
Old gabardine lining removed and replaced with Fireproof Light Grey 647 Vynoid.
Side panels, front bulkhead, Toilet door and Companionway Door and Hat Racks recovered with Heavy weight Grey Vynoid.
New set of floor carpets installed and reconditioned seat covers fitted.
New grey Gabardine curtains fitted.
Rear Cabin Floors and Toilet Compartment recovered with Blue Inlaid linoleum.
Top of fuselage cleaned and resprayed to ANA colour design. (Presumably this marks the introduction of the white top).
Cabin False Bulkhead repaired and Door modified to swing forward.
(Source: 2)
27MAY52   Flown for 6 hrs 15 mins. First flight after overhaul. (Source: 2)
  Operated Melbourne-Sydney crewed by Capt A. Hammond and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Melbourne-Sydney crewed by Capt R. Lethbridge and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Melbourne-Hobart-Melbourne crewed by Capt E. Child and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Melbourne-Hobart-Melbourne crewed by Capt J. Kemp and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Sydney-Brisbane-Rockhampton-Mackay crewed by Captain Brian Southwell and F/O MacPherson. (Source: Log Book of Brian Southwell held by the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney)
  Operated Mackay-Rockhampton-Brisbane-Sydney crewed by Captain Brian Southwell and F/O MacPherson. (Source: Log Book of Brian Southwell held by the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney)
  Operated Sydney-Canberra-Sydney crewed by Capt H. Fieldhouse and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
29MAY54   Wing s/n 3-80 removed and replaced with s/n 3-22. (Source: 2)
  Operated Sydney-Mount Isa-Sydney crewed by Capt B. Southwell and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Sydney-Melbourne crewed by Capt H. Fieldhouse and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Melbourne-Sydney crewed by Capt H. Fieldhouse and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Sydney-Canberra-Wagga crewed by Capt D. Patrick and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Major overhaul (9,000 hours) by Fairey Aviation, Bankstown. Total time 26,623 hours.
  Operated Melbourne-Adelaide crewed by Capt R. Sands and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Adelaide-Kangaroo Island-Adelaide crewed by Capt K. Thomas and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Sydney-Melbourne crewed by Capt A. Hammond and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Melbourne-Wynyard-Melbourne-Devonport-Melbourne crewed by Capt C. Griffin and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Melbourne-Sydney crewed by Capt D. Patrick and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney-Canberra-Sydney crewed by Capt N. Ahern and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney-Canberra-Sydney crewed by Capt R. Ottaway and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne crewed by Capt J. Wilson and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Skin repaired on main cabin door adjacent to door handle. (Source: 1).
  Operated Melbourne-Sydney crewed by Capt D. McBurnie and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Melbourne-Sydney crewed by Capt W. Small and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Local flight ex Sydney (nil destination shown) crewed by Capt A. Rees and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  CofA renewed until 15JAN58. (Source: 1).
  Operated Melbourne-Sydney crewed by Capt W. Small and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne crewed by Capt A. Rees and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne crewed by Capt F. Sawtell and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney crewed by Capt F. Sawtell and F/O W.P. Lazzarini. (Source: Log Book of William Peter Lazzarini)
  Operated Sydney-Canberra-Sydney crewed by Captain Brian Southwell and F/O McDonald. (Source: Log Book of Brian Southwell held by the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney)
  Operated Sydney-Canberra-Sydney crewed by Captain Brian Southwell and F/O McMahon. (Source: Log Book of Brian Southwell held by the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney)
  ANA was renamed ANSETT-ANA.
  CofA renewed until 13JAN59. (Source: 1).
  Ansett Transport Industries gained control of Butler Air Transport.
  Leased to Butler Air Transport Pty Ltd, Sydney as VH-ANR.
17JUL58   Commencement of 5,000 hourly inspection. Work included:
Structural modifications carried out on fuselage for picture window installation according to Airesearch Aviation Service Co. drawings 16002-1 and 16022.
28-Seat Conversion carried out according to E.N. 2366 and AA 2041.
Carry on baggage rack manufactured and fitted according to ANA 7208.
Exterior paint work carried out according to ANA 7228.
Engine s/n 59522 removed and reinstalled Port.
Engine s/n 94083 removed and replaced by s/n 152805 Starboard.
(Source: 2)
01OCT58   Completion of 5,000 hourly inspection and "Viewmaster" conversion. This work is documented on an Ansett Airways Pty. Ltd. Daily Mechanical Summary which casts doubt on reports that the "Viewmaster" conversion was performed by Fairey Aviation at Bankstown. Nowhere in this nine page report is there any mention of Fairey Aviation. (Source: 2)
    It is believed that VH-ANR was the first "Viewmaster" conversion performed in Australia.
  Returned to service with Butler Air Transport after modifications.
  Registered to Airlines of New South Wales as VH-ANR although operated by Butler Air Transport in Butler colours.
  Airlines of NSW commenced operations.
  Modifications commenced at Essendon "to standardise as Viewmaster". The forward bulkhead was moved from Station 177.5 to Station 146.5 to permit the installation of an extra row of seats. An additional (small) window was installed on both sides of the fuselage in accordance with Airesearch Drawing No. 16002. Numerous other modifications were made to the cabin in connection with the fitment of the extra seats. (Source: 1)
  Above modifications were completed. (Source: 1)
  Withdrawn from service for a complete overhaul. (Source: 1).
  Departure from Sydney delayed because of a bomb hoax. (Source: 3)
  Photographed at Forster, NSW. (Source: Warwick Henry)
  Airlines of NSW operated a series of "Jolly Swagman" outback tours organised by Nevil Saulsbury. Although several DC-3s were used, VH-ANR was the preferred aircraft because of its Viewmaster windows. Tours of this type subsequently became more widely known when operated by Bill Peach using Fokker Friendships. (Source: Bill Bray)
  Airlines of NSW became Ansett Airlines of NSW.
  Arrived Essendon from Sydney.
  Extensive wing work commenced at Essendon. Both wings were removed during corrosion repairs. The port wing (s/n 3-40) was repaired and refitted but the starboard wing (s/n 3-77) was replaced with the starboard wing (s/n 3-97) from VH-ANQ. The starboard wing from VH-ANR was fitted to VH-ANQ which was retired to the "graveyard" and subsequently scrapped. A report that the wing centre sections were also swapped is evidently incorrect. (Source: 1)
View the log book entry.
  Above wing work was signed off. (Source: 1)
  ANSETT-ANA became Ansett Airlines of Australia.
  Ferried Sydney to Melbourne for overhaul.
  Ferried Melbourne to Sydney after overhaul and modifications.
  Registered to Ansett Transport Industries (Operations) Pty. Ltd. (Source: 3).
  Used on food/fodder drops during the NSW floods. (Source: Bill Bray)
  Dropped hay bales at Walgett. (Source: Bill Bray)
  The aircraft operated a series of joy flights out of Albion Park (Wollongong, NSW)
  Ferried Sydney to Schofields for storage. Aircraft was leased for ten years for a token price of one dollar per year to two ANSW pilots who intended to operate the aircraft as a flying museum.
  Struck off Register. Owners shown as Capt Alex Garriock and F/O John Wilson of Sydney.

Final entry in log book No. 11

Time Since Overhaul:
6 599 hrs 03 mins
Time Since New:
48 774 hrs 13 mins
  Ferried to Camden (wheels down) by Alex Garriock and John Wilson and stored.
  Ownership transferred from Airlines of NSW to George Markey, Sydney.
  Restoration work commenced with view to flying aircraft under ANR108a.
08OCT87   Letter from Project DC-3, Restoration Officer (R.W. Livingstone) to Senior Airworthiness Engineer (J. Christie) Department of Transport and Communications requesting a waiver to enable VH-ANR to fly under the provisions of ANR108a. (Source: 2)

Response from Supervising Airworthiness Surveyor (C.F. Shipway) Department of Transport and Communications. (Source: 2)

The policy in regard to the issue of Historic Permits to Fly, as outlined in AW13-4 issue 4, requires that the aircraft concerned should not be eligible for an Australian C of A. Clearly the aircraft in question was operated for many years with full transport category certification and is eligible for re-issue of C of A. Therefore, by definition, this aircraft cannot be considered for operation on an Historic Permit to fly.


  Donated to Queensland Air Museum by George Markey.
George Markey (1932-2012) passed away in Bundaberg on 22 July 2012.
  Aircraft inspected at Camden by QAM member who changed the lock on the cabin door.
  QAM recovery crew arrived Camden.
  Arrived at Caloundra on two semi-trailers.
  Fuselage and centre section re-attached at Caloundra.
  QAM's Hangar 2 was opened at Caloundra. DC-3 VH-ANR was amongst the first aircraft to be moved inside.
  Replacement tailplane fillets, which were missing from the aircraft when acquired by QAM, were sourced and fitted.
  QAM was visited on ANZAC Day 2010 by Walter Seidel who flew this aircraft when it was attached to General MacArthur's GHQ in 1943. Full story here.



C-47 Shiny Shiela - The Other VH-CXE





Doug's Doug


John Gyzemyter (1915-1999)


One of MacArthur's Pilots Visits QAM


Another Life Touched by QAM's DC-3 - Major Ruben Donkervoort's story



Aircraft Log Books held by QAM.
Subsequent review (SEP16) of Aircraft Log Books held by QAM.
Fred Niven, Ansett Historian.



Compiled by Ron Cuskelly





Issue Date Remarks
24 12SEP16
Added information from Source 2.
23 11SEP16
Added three images of the C-47 VH-CXE #2 from the collection of the late Henry Godman.
Image 1 Image 2 Image 3
22 06SEP16
The page for VH-ANR has undergone a major refurbishment. VH-ANR was actually the first QAM aeroplane to have a web presence and in fact it had its own website before QAM itself had a website! Consequently, the pages for VH-ANR had a format which was different from the pages of all the other QAM aircraft. With this update, VH-ANR is now presented in the same format as the rest of the collection.
21 13AUG16
Added sightings at Zerka, Jordan in May-June 1941 thanks to Geoff Goodall and the source quoted.
20 27NOV14
Added a photograph of the ANA conversion plate. Thanks to John Hopton.
19 28OCT14
Added a qualification to the distance record claimed in 1950 for the Normanton-Melbourne flight by VH-ANR.
18 27OCT14
Added an account of the recovery of the aircraft from Van Rook Station. This account is extracted from the ANA Staff News of July 1950. Thanks to the John Hewson Collection and Fred Niven.
17 26OCT14
Added an account of the recovery of the aircraft from Van Rook Station in March 1950. It is now known that the aircraft was flown out of Van Rook to Normanton on 15MAR50 and flown from Normanton to Melbourne the following day. Thanks to Don Johnston for sourcing the newspaper cutting from which this information is drawn.
16 01SEP14
Added several newspaper reports from 1946-1948 listing flights and passenger lists to and from Broken Hill. Thanks to Don Johnston for sourcing these reports from a time when there was no such thing as privacy legislation!
15 21AUG13
Added flights in VH-ANR (01OCT52 to 14JUN57) from the log book of William Peter Lazzarini held in the QAM library. This is an RAAF branded log book which opens on 01SEP52 with a flight in ANA DC-3 VH-ANQ. His last recorded flight for ANA was in DC-4 VH-INX on 21SEP57. He then went on to fly in general aviation.
14 04JUN12
Added more details of the "Jolly Swagman" tours in the late sixties and the fodder drops in 1971. Thanks to Bill Bray.
13 08MAY12
Expanded on the events at 14NOV44.
12 26AUG11
Added a reference to camouflage and markings in DEC41.
11 31JUL11
Added a reference to an accident on 12APR44. Thanks to Geoff Goodall.
10 30JUL11
Added a link to a story by Major Ruben Donkervoort, Royal Netherlands Air Force.
9 22MAY10
Added a detailed description of KNILM operations in FEB42 thanks to Peter Ingman. Also added a reference to a flight on 25MAR42 from the same source.
8 21MAY10
Recorded a visit to QAM by Walter Seidel who flew this aircraft with MacArthur's GHQ in 1943. Also added several of his log book extracts on 29MAR43, 02APR43 and 06JUN43.
7 07NOV09
Added a reference to joy flights ex Albion Park on 23JUL72. Also added references to the aircraft being moved under cover and the addition of tailplane fillets.
6 02JUL09
Added movements from the log book of Brian Southwell held by the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney and sourced by Nigel Daw.
5 25SEP07
Added movements from the log book of Dick Bampton courtesy of his son, Chris.
4 09JUN04
Added several extracts from the aircraft logs. See:
3 06JUN04
The discovery of several log books for VH-ANR has yielded more detail of the following:
The nose-over at Van Rook on 23FEB50.
Further Viewmaster mods on 02FEB60.
The wing swap on 02AUG68.
Total times in log book.
Also added details of the plate fitted by ANA in OCT46.
Also several additions thanks to Fred Niven.
2 08SEP02
Corrected the registration of the DC-5 which flew under the Sydney Harbour Bridge from PK-ADG to PK-ADC. Refer entry under 14MAY42.