May1927 Constructed to RAF Order by Supermarine Aviation
Works at their Hazel Road factory in Woolston, Southampton UK as
a Mk.1 Southampton, Serial S1158 and issued to the
29Oct27 Purchased by the RAAF for 17,000 pounds sterling.
Nov27 Almost completely stripped and packed into one
very large packing container and loaded aboard the 9,640 ton
Australian Commonwealth Line Steamship SS
02Dec27 Departed UK for Australia.
19Jan28 Arrived at Fremantle, WA.
26Jan28 Arrived at Victoria Docks, Port Melbourne VIC.
01Feb28 Received at Point Cook.
20Apr28 Reserialed from S1158 to A11-1. Along with A11-2
allocated to form the Coastal Reconnaissance Flight at Point
Feb-May28 Assembled, tested and readied for flight by No 1
Flying Training School (1FTS) engineering staff.
04May28 First flight in Australia.
18May28 Official test and acceptance flight
May28 Planned for A11-1 and A11-2 to fly to South
Australia in June to meet four Southamptons of the RAF Far East
Flight and format with them for their arrival in Adelaide and
20Jun28 Departed 0800hrs on flight to Adelaide with WGCDR
SJ Goble & FLGOFF F.A. Briggs. Arrived Adelaide 1345hrs and
moored in the Port River near the Osborne Quarantine Station.
Aircraft had been sent from Point Cook to meet up with four
visiting Southampton’s of the RAF’s Far East Flight that arrived
160 kilometres down the coast from Adelaide.
22Jun28 The crew was just leaving the shore to prepare for
take-off when a strong wind squall struck and overturned the
moored aircraft. A radio mechanic already on board (CPL Douglas
A Endean) was lucky to be rescued unhurt. The aircraft quickly
sank nose first onto the river bed with the tail and port wing
up in the air. The stbd wing was badly crumpled and the engines
and propellers suffered considerable damage. Much to the chagrin
of RAAF officials, instead of triumphantly joining the British
boats in a public display of Empire, A11-1 had to be
ignominiously retrieved off the river bottom by crane and
returned to Point Cook on board the 2,040 ton Howard Smith Line SS
Saros for a
lengthy and costly repair.
Aug28 Commenced repair at Point Cook. New wings were
obtained from the UK and fitted. Cost of the repair was
estimated at 3,500 pounds and took six months to complete.
18Apr30 Departed Point Cook for Strahan, TAS to conduct a
one week aerial survey of selected areas between Macquarie
Harbour and Port Davey on the south west coast of Tasmania and,
areas within the Gordon River Valley. Crew was WGCDR RS Brown;
SQNLDR AE Hempel; FLGOFF EV Lachal; CPL Kearley; LAC R. Souter;
LAC Sims + three Tasmanian Forestry officials.
27Jun33 Conducted a six day search for the missing collier MV
Christina Fraser in
14Feb34 Coastal Reconnaissance Flight at Point Cook
15Feb34 Allocated to and received by the newly raised
Seaplane Squadron at Point Cook.
20Aug34 Naval Fleet exercise with HMAS
King Island, Bass Strait.
08Oct34 Together with A11-2 departed Pt Cook at 1340hrs to
rendezvous with four RAF Rangoon flying boats over Frankston.
The formation then flew over Melbourne shores where a State
reception was held for the RAF aircraft.
18Oct34 Together with A11-2 departed Pt Cook at 0500hrs to
rendezvous with HMS
0525hrs. Escorted the ship, which was carrying HRH Prince Henry
on his State visit to Australia, to Port Melbourne where a State
reception was held.
20Oct34 Departed at 0445hrs to perform an 11-hour SAR for
missing airliner DH.86 ‘Miss
Hobart’ which was
lost the previous day on a scheduled flight between Melbourne
and Launceston. A smear of oil was noticed west of Citadel
Island off Wilsons Promontory.
21Oct34 Resumed search for missing airliner. At 0900hrs
approximately six miles SW of Citadel Island wreckage was seen
spread over one square mile of ocean. The wreckage was presumed
to be from the ill-fated DH.86, no further trace of the
aircraft, the two crewmen or the nine passengers was ever found.
10Nov34 Part of the RAAF Flying Tribute over RAAF Laverton
in connection with the visit of HRH The Duke of Gloucester.
19Nov34 Part of the RAAF Flying Tribute over RAAF Richmond
in connection with the visit of HRH The Duke of Gloucester.
27Nov34 Conducted an aerial photographic survey on route
Farm Cove-Tuggerah Lakes-Newcastle Harbour-Port Stephens-Lake
Macquarie then back to Farm Cove.
29Nov34 Departed Sydney for Pt Cook via Batemans Bay-Eden
and Metung. Arrived Metung where heavy gales delayed departure
until 1030hrs 03Dec34.
03Dec34 Arrived Pt Cook 1400hrs to end the support of HRH
visit to Australia.
06May35 Along with A11-2 led a 29 aircraft fly-past to
commemorate the Kings Silver Jubilee Parade in Melbourne.
26Jun35 Departed 0730hrs with a crew of SQNLDR Arthur
Ernest Hempel; PLTOFF Lance Edmond Burt; A504 CPL Percy Neale
rigger; and LAC A752 John Anthony O’Donnell fitter and LAC A1327
Alexander Magnus Joseph Clark W/T operator on Stage I of the
‘Round Australia Survey Flight’. The main aims of the flight
were: to survey the Sydney-Darwin sector of the planned
UK-Australia British Empire Air Mail route; and, to survey
selected rivers, bays and inlets around the coast for likely
seaplane mooring bases and emergency landing sites. Stbd engine
began emitting thick black smoke two hours into the flight so a
landing was made at Mallacoota to repair the engine.
27Jun35 Departed Mallacoota 1220hrs. Landed at Farm Cove,
Sydney 1550hrs. Spent two days surveying several areas around
Sydney for possible seaplane sites.
30Jun35 Depart Sydney for Brisbane. Forced to land at
Maclean, NSW because of torrential rain.
01Jul35 Depart Maclean for Brisbane 0900hrs. Arrive
Brisbane 1130hrs. Spent two days surveying several areas around
Brisbane for possible seaplane sites.
03Jul35 Depart Brisbane 0915. Arrived Gladstone at
04Jul35 Depart Gladstone 1110hrs. Arrived
05Jul35 When taking off the tailplane structure was
damaged which required immediate repair.
06Jul35 Depart Rockhampton 0850hrs. Arrive Bowen 1310hrs.
Spent several days surveying possible seaplane sites and Air
Mail emergency landing sites up and down the Queensland coast.
04Jul35 Two 50 Gal fuel tanks and 3 airscrews sent by rail
from Pt Cook to Bowen.
22Jul35 Fuel tanks and airscrews arrived, fitted to
aircraft and flight tested.
23Jul35 Depart Bowen 0900hrs. Arrived Karumba 1410hrs
landed in the mouth of the Norman River. SQNLDR Hempel said this
sector was harrowing because there was no water where the flying
boat could land if it had problems that forced a landing. If a
landing had been required the flying boat would certainly have
broken apart as soon as it touched the ground and either
seriously wounded or killed the crew.
24Jul35 Using Karumba as a base several flights made to
survey the West Coast of the York Peninsula for a possible
25Jul35 Tasked to search for missing Captain Stuart
Campbell (ex-RAAF) in a Short Scion airplane on the Fly River
Papua. Departed Karumba and flew to Thursday Island.
26Jul35 Depart Thursday Island arrived at Daru, Papua.
27Jul35 Located Captain Stuart Campbell at the Madiri
Plantation on the Fly River. Aircraft landed to determine
Campbell’s status then returned to Daru.
28Jul35 After landing at Daru it was discovered that the
hull had been damaged by coral when landing and required repair.
More importantly, the port engine had a serious defect and
needed replacement. A new engine was called for but it was not
until five weeks later that the engine arrived at Daru and
30Aug35 Departed Daru. Arrived in Port Moresby.
01Sep35 Began survey of Papuan coast investigating landing
sites at Kikori, Kerema and Yule Island. The new port engine
began acting up and the aircraft became unserviceable at Port
Moresby awaiting spares parts from Sydney.
08Sep35 FLGOFF LE Burt admitted to Port Moresby Hospital
with Malaria discharged several days later.
27Sep35 With engine repaired, departed Port Moresby for
Thursday Island via Port Romilly and Daru.
28Sep35 Flew Thursday Island to Karumba and resumed survey
work in the Gulf. Areas surveyed included Mornington Island,
MacArthur River, Allen River, Norman River, Roper River and the
West Coast of Cape York Peninsula. It was during a survey on the
west coast that the aircraft hit a submerged log when landing
near a remote mission. The port float was ripped off causing
serious damage to the wing and destroying the float.
Oct-Nov Marooned for two months at a remote Mission Station
near Normanton awaiting receipt of spares.
09Oct35 A752 LAC JA O’Donnell admitted to Thursday Island
Hospital with tropical ulcers, discharged on 29Oct.
16Nov35 Demon A1-9 Left Richmond [F/L CD Candy] with LAC A.
Sherwood to replace LAC O’Donnell.
17Nov35 Arrived Normanton. Fitters exchanged and Demon left
for RIC on 22Nov35 arriving 0905 on 23Nov35. LAC O’Donnell
admitted to Caulfield Repatriation Hospital 25Nov35, discharged
26Nov35 A11-1 dep Normanton, arrived Darwin 1230hrs.
Conducted a survey around Darwin for suitable sites.
02Dec35 In an unusual task, A11-1 was draped with black
crepe streamers when it left its moorings in Darwin at 0600 to
carry aloft a burial urn containing the ashes of Mr G.A. Hobler
a former Member of the North Australian Commission. The ashes
were scattered over the township and the urn & streamers given
to the NT Police for dispatch to Melbourne.
03Dec35 Departed Darwin for Wyndham.
03Dec35 Landed at Drysdale River. Conducted local surveys.
07Dec35 Arrived in Derby. Conducted local surveys.
12Dec35 Depart for Broome, arrived same day. Conducted
14Dec35 Delayed in Broome. Accidental loss of special
mooring anchor, diver had to find the anchor.
18Dec35 Arrived in Port Hedland. Conducted local surveys.
20Dec35 Departed Port Hedland. Arrived at Carnarvon 1230hrs.
Conducted local surveys.
21Dec35 Depart Carnarvon 0600 for planned flight to
Geraldton for refueling then on to Perth. When taking–off from
Geraldton after refueling the aircraft suffered damage to the
stbd propeller and engine that forced the aircraft to return to
Geraldton. Investigations showed the engine needed replacement
and a lengthy repair to the hull was also needed.
Dec35 The aircraft was beached and months of marine
growth such as weeds, barnacles, mussels, oysters etc. were
scrapped from the hull and the hull completely dried-out.
Dec35 SQNLDR Hempel travelled overland to Perth and
arranged for the necessary spares and an engine that had been
prepositioned there some months earlier, to be shipped to
18Jan36 Departed Geraldton after all repairs were
18Jan36 Arrived in Perth. Landed at Matilda Bay on the Swan
River at 1030hrs.
23Jan36 Dep Perth for Albany.
23Jan36 Arr Albany 1155hrs in Princess Royal Harbour.
27Jan36 Dep Albany 0530hrs
27Jan36 Arr Israelite Bay 1350hrs. Remained here for some
days because of stormy weather.
01Feb36 Dep Israelite Bay 0900, landed on Murat Bay, Ceduna
at 1600hrs. SQNLDR Hempel
stated the 510 mile (816 km) flight across the Great Australian
Bight from Israelite Bay WA to Murat Bay SA was one of the worst
sectors of the entire trip, because it was all over sea and at
times more than 100 mi (160 km) off-shore.
03Feb36 Arr Port Lincoln 1230hrs landed in Boston Bay
05Feb36 Dep for Adelaide 0830hrs
05Feb36 Arr Adelaide 1125hrs. Landed on the North Arm of
the Port River then taxied upstream to the Naval Depot Moorings
08Feb36 Dep Adelaide 0900 for Point Cook.
08Feb36 Arr Point Cook but could not land – bad sea state-
diverted to Williamstown.
09Feb36 1030hrs returned to Point Cook to complete the Stage
I survey flight – seven months after beginning the survey!
Feb36 Underwent major servicing at Point Cook.
30Apr36 Departed for Stage II of the ‘Round Australia Survey
Flight’ again commanded by SNDLDR Hempel. Flying Point
Cook-Sydney-Brisbane-Bowen-Karumba-Darwin and return. No major
delays or technical issues encountered on Stage II.
28May36 Completed Stage II and returned to Point Cook. By
this time the aircraft was in poor shape and it is unlikely that
the RAAF was prepared to expend large sums to refurbish the
aircraft when newer types such as the Seagull V were now in
1937 Conflicting information that the aircraft was
sold or converted to components. On the balance of
probabilities it is more likely the aircraft was converted and
the residue destroyed.