ADF-SERIALS
Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History

RAAF A26 Short S.25 Sunderland

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Sunderland Mk.III A26-4/ML733, Sydney, c.1944. via Mike Mirkovic.

     
 

RAAF Short Sunderland Image Gallery 
10 Sqn RAAF Short Sunderland Image Gallery 
461 Sqn RAAF Short Sunderland Image Gallery

 
     
 

RAAF Short Sunderland (See also A18 Short Sunderland and 10 & 461 Sqn, RAAF Short Sunderlands)

 
     
 

In the Pacific Theatre of operations a need was identified for an aircraft that could fly long distances; carry a useful payload of both freight and passengers; and, operate from bare bone areas.  No land based aircraft could fulfill all of the requirements so the RAAF decided to use a modified version of the proven Sunderland aircraft.  Accordingly, an order was made in October 1943 for six Short Bros Sunderland III aircraft that were serialled A26 1 thru A26-6. Five of the aircraft were new builds in October 1943 and one was an ex-RAF machine built in 1942; all six aircraft were transferred to the RAAF at RAF Station Mount Batten in November 1943 and prepared for delivery to Australia, and delivered during the period January-March 1944.

 

After delivery to Australia the aircraft were modified to carry both freight and passengers and fitted with IFF and modern radar. The first modified aircraft was delivered to No 40 Transport Squadron, which formed at Townsville on 31 March 1944. The squadrons primary role was to fly regular scheduled services between Australia and New Guinea carrying passengers and freight. In July 1944 the squadron moved to Port Moresby and operated from there until 1946, with detachments in Townsville, Cairns and Darwin.  Following the Japanese surrender the squadron flew ex-prisoners of war and other returning Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen back to Australia. 

 

40 Sqn was allocated Catalina aircraft in January 1946 but none were ever delivered.  No. 40 Squadron moved to RAAF Base Rathmines on 6 March 1946 and was disbanded there on 19 June 1946. By this time its Sunderland aircraft had flown 1782 sorties and carried 5,870,275 kilograms (12,941,741 lbs.) of cargo and 43,385 passengers.

 

No. 40 Squadron suffered its only loss on 28 November 1944 when Sunderland A26-6 struck a post and sank after landing at Townsville; there were no fatalities. The remaining five Sunderlands were sold by the Commonwealth Disposal Commission to Mr. B.W.Monkton, Sydney in October 1946. Three aircraft (VH- BKQ ex A26-2, VH-AKO ex A26-4, and VH-AKP ex A26-5) were modified and registered with the Department of Civil Aviation as Short S25 Hythe flying boats for use with the fledgling airline Trans Oceanic Airlines from the Rose Bay, Sydney flying boat base. By 1954 four of the survivors had been scrapped and the other (A26-5) lasted until 1955 with another owner before it also made its way to the scrap dealers.

 
 
 
RAAF Serial RAF Serial Type c/n

Aircraft History

A26-1 ML730 Mk.1 3552

1943         Built by Short Bros at Rochester, Kent as the 6th aircraft of production Lot 16 with RAF serials ML725 to ML744.

18Oct43   Delivered to No 57 Maintenance Unit at RAF Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, Scotland.

10Nov43   To 10 Sqn RAAF at RAF Station Mount Batten, Plymouth Sound, Devon UK and prepared for delivery to Australia.

27Jan44   Departed RAF Mount Batten 2105 hours for Australia in company with A26-3. The six man ferry crew comprised aircrew that had completed at least one tour of operations on Sunderland aircraft with either 10 Sqn or 461 Sqn RAAF. The crew was: pilot SQNLDR T.A. Edgerton, pilot FLTLT G.C Strath, navigator FLTLT V. Dyason, flight engineer FLGOFF L. Woodland, WOAG FLTLT  L. Wilson and fitter 2A SGT V Bracey. The 18,716 air mile ferry route was: UK-Gibraltar-Liberia-Brazil-Cuba-San Francisco-Honolulu-Samoa-Sydney and expected to take about 40 days.

12Mar44   After a 45 day ferry flight landed at the Qantas Airways Rose Bay flying boat facility for inspection prior to hand over to RAAF.

Mar44      Allocated civilian call sign VHCOA for use while in RAAF Service.

15Mar44   Taken on RAAF Charge and issued to Qantas.

05May44  Allocated to No 2 Flying Boat Repair Depot (2FBRD) at RAAF Station Rathmines, Lake Macquarie NSW.

07May44  Received by 2FBRD.

12May44   Allocated to No 40 (Transport/Sea) Squadron RAAF Base Townsville, QLD

12Jun44   To be fitted with radar and IFF prior to delivery to 40 Sqn and to be modified for cargo/passenger carriage.

02Jul44    Received by 40 Sqn. (unmodified aircraft).

04Jul44    Suffered complete engine failure on No 2 engine (stbd inner) when a cylinder head detached and split the block.  Aircraft returned safely to Townsville, airscrew was removed and the aircraft flown with three engines to 2FBRD for repairs.

07Jul44    Request allocation to Qantas for engine change; removal of sea growth and completion of modifications.

10Jul44    Allocated to Qantas, Rose Bay NSW.

23Jul44    Received by Qantas.

18Aug44   Issued to 40 Sqn.

22Aug44   Received by 40 Sqn. (fourth fully modified aircraft received).

29Aug44   Struck by A26-5 while taxying at Port Moresby, PNG. Damage to stbd outer engine, nacelle and airscrew.

12Jan45   Request allocation to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

15Jan45   Allocated to Qantas, Rose Bay NSW.

23Jan45   Received by Qantas.

31Mar45   Requisitioned by AIR BOARD for War Loan Duties.  The aircraft toured all five States raising submissions for the 3rd Victory Loan.  The tour ended 30th April 1945, returned to Rose Bay for inspection before reallocation to 40 Sqn.

03Apr45   Allocated to 40 Sqn.

13May45   Received by 40 Sqn.

02Jul45    Request allocation to Qantas for320 hourly inspection and engine change.

04Jul45    Allocated to Qantas, Rose Bay NSW.

10Jul45    Received by Qantas.

21Aug45   Allocated to 40 Sqn.

23Aug45   Received by 40 Sqn.

10Dec35   Request allocation to 2FBRD for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

18Dec45   Received by 2FBRD.

14Feb46   Issued to 2RBRD Store.

14Mar46   To be stored as Category C at RAAF Base Rathmines.

12Jun46   Offered for sale on Commonwealth Disposal Commission (CDC) List 2073.

04Oct46   Sold to Mr BW Monkton of 101 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, Sydney NSW.

04Oct46   Registration VH-ARQ allocated but not used.

24Feb47   Registration VH-BKO allocated but not used.

28Ap47    Issued to purchaser. Ferried from Rathmines to Rose Bay using call sign VHCKR.

1947-53   Aircraft did not enter civilian service, used as a source for spare parts. Remnants sold for scrap at Rose Bay.

 
A26-2 ML731 Mk.1 3553

1943         Built by Short Bros at Rochester, Kent as the 7th aircraft of production Lot 16 with RAF serials ML725 to ML744.

07Oct43   Delivered to No 57 Maintenance Unit at RAF Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, Scotland.

10Nov43   To 10 Sqn RAAF at RAF Station Mount Batten, Plymouth Sound, Devon UK and prepared for delivery to Australia.

14Feb44   Departed RAF Mount Batten 1852 hours for Australia in company with A26-6. The 18,716 air mile ferry route was: UK-Gibraltar-Liberia-Brazil-Cuba-San Francisco-Honolulu-Samoa-Sydney and was expected to take about 40 days.

19Mar44   After a 35 day ferry flight landed at the Qantas Airways Rose Bay flying boat facility for inspection prior to hand over to RAAF.

Mar44      Allocated civilian call sign VHCOB for use while in RAAF Service.

23Mar44  Taken on RAAF Charge and issued to Qantas.

24Mar44  Allocated to No 2 Flying Boat Repair Depot (2FBRD) at RAAF Station Rathmines, Lake Macquarie NSW.

26Mar44  Received by 2FBRD.

30Mar44  To be fitted with radar and IFF prior to delivery to 40 Sqn and to be modified for cargo/passenger carriage.

24Apr44   Allocated to Qantas for inspection and modification.

25Apr44   Received by Qantas.

26Apr44   Allocated to No 40 (Transport/Sea) Squadron RAAF Base Townsville, QLD

29May44  Received from Qantas by 2FBRD for post modification checks.

07Jul44    Received by 40 Sqn. (unmodified aircraft)

17Jul44    Request allocation to Qantas for engine change; removal of sea growth and completion of modifications.

19Jul44    Allocated to Qantas.

03Aug44   Received by Qantas.

26Aug44   Allocated to 40 Sqn.

09Sep44   Received by 40 Sqn at Port Moresby (sixth fully modified aircraft received).

14Sep44   Whilst moored at Port Moresby an American prisoner managed to overcome his guard and attempted to hijack the aircraft. The attempt was unsuccessful but matters were very tense for some time before the prisoner was convinced to drop his weapon and surrender.

17Nov44   Request allocation to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

20Nov44   Allocated to Qantas.

30Nov44   Received by Qantas.

22Dec44   Allocated to 40 Sqn.

26Dec44   Received by 40 Sqn.

02Mar45  Request allocation to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

05Mar45  Allocated to Qantas.

09Mar45  Received by Qantas.

25Apr45   Allocated to 40 Sqn.

26Apr45   Received by 40 Sqn.

09Jun45   Request allocation to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

18Jun45   Allocated to Qantas.

20Jun45   Received by Qantas.

23Jul45    Allocated to 40 Sqn.

25Jul45    Received by 40 Sqn.

29Jul45    Flew the inaugural Port Moresby-Gazelle Bay-Port Moresby scheduled service.

19Oct45   Allocated to 2FBRD

30Oct45   Received by 2FBRD.

25Feb46   Issued to 40 Sqn at RAAF Station Rathmines (The squadron relocated on 01March 1946).

04Mar46  Damaged while moored at Cairns, QLD during a cyclonic event. Repaired at Rathmines.

14Mar46   To be stored as Category C at RAAF Base Rathmines.

25Apr4     Tailplane & upper wing surfaces damaged by large hailstones.

12Jun46   Offered for sale on Commonwealth Disposal Commission (CDC) List 2073.

04Oct46   Sold to Mr BW Monkton of 101 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, Sydney NSW.

05Mar47  Ferried from Rathmines to Rose Bay, Sydney NSW by Trans Oceanic Airways staff.

1947-49    Converted to accommodate 36 passengers on two decks with appropriate fittings The refurbished aircraft, now known as the Short Hythe Class, issued a Certificate of Airworthiness on 05Nov49 entered the Australian Register as VH-BKQ.

07Nov49   The aircraft, named 'Pacific Star', operated the first passenger/cargo revenue service Sydney to Grafton, NSW.

16Aug50   Flew the inaugural Sydney-Hobart service (Captains B. Monkton and K. Goddard).

29Oct50   Flew the inaugural Sydney-Brisbane-Townsville-Port Moresby service (Captain Mathieson).

16Apr51    Lost port outer propellor and reduction gear on Sydney-Grafton flight.

28Jun51   Withdrawn from use as repair costs were too high.

1951-54    Used as a source for spare parts. 

28Jun54   Removed from register. Hulk sold for scrap in 1954.

 

Highlight for Album: Sunderland A26-2

A26-3 ML732 Mk.1 3554

1943         Built by Short Bros at Rochester, Kent as the 8th aircraft of Lot 16 with RAF serials ML725 to ML744.

15Oct43   Delivered to No 57 Maintenance Unit at RAF Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, Scotland.

10Nov53   To 10 Sqn RAAF at RAF Station Mount Batten, Plymouth Sound, Devon UK and prepared for delivery to Australia.

27Jan44   Departed RAF Mount Batten 2110 hours for Australia in company with A26-1. The six man ferry crew comprised aircrew that had completed at least one tour of operations on Sunderland aircraft with either 10 Sqn or 461 Sqn RAAF. The crew was: pilot FLTLT G.G Rossiter; pilot FLTLT E.H Farmer; navigator FLTLT C.N Austin; flight engineers FSGT J.W Kelly and FSGT L.J McFarland; and WOAG SGT A.T Holland. The 18,716 air mile ferry route was: UK-Gibraltar-Liberia-Brazil-Cuba-San Francisco-Honolulu-Samoa-Sydney and was expected to take about 40 days.

12Mar44   After a 45 day ferry flight landed at the Qantas Airways Rose Bay flying boat facility for inspection prior to hand over to RAAF.

Mar44      Allocated civilian call sign VHCOC for use while in RAAF Service.

15Mar44   Taken on RAAF Charge and issued to Qantas.

24Apr44   Allocated to No 2 Flying Boat Repair Depot (2FBRD) at RAAF Station Rathmines, Lake Macquarie NSW.

27Apr44   Received by 2FBRD.

28Apr44   Allocated to No 40 (Transport/Sea) Squadron RAAF Base Townsville, QLD

12Jun44   To be fitted with radar and IFF prior to delivery to 40 Sqn and to be modified for cargo/passenger carriage.

02Jul44    Received by 40 Sqn. (unmodified aircraft)

23Aug44   Request allocation to Qantas for underwater inspection and complete engine changes.

24Aug44   Allocated to Qantas.

25Aug44   Received by Qantas for inspection and final modification.

26Aug44   Allocated to 40 Sqn.

30Sep44   Received by 40 Sqn at Port Moresby (fifth fully modified aircraft received).

04Oct44   Flew the inaugural Port Moresby-Townsville-Darwin-Port Moresby scheduled service.

20Oct44   Performed SAR for stranded pilot at Kerema, Papua

06Dec44   Request allocation to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

07Dec44   Allocated to Qantas.

08Dec44   Aircraft not flyable with engine problems.

26Dec44   Received by Qantas.

12Jan45   Allocated to 40 Sqn.

15Jan45   Received by 40 Sqn.

11Apr45    Allocated to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

16Apr45   On ferry flight from Port Moresby to Rose Bay developed propellor problems and force landed on the Burnett River near Bundaberg.

18Apr45    A26-4 arrived with maintenance personnel to remove the damaged propellor.

20Apr45   A26-3 flew to Rose Bay via Hamilton on three engines. A26-4 returned to Townsville.

23Apr45   Received by Qantas.

08Jun45   Allocated to 40 Sqn.

12Jun45   Received by 40 Sqn.

20Aug45   Request allocation to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

23Aug45   40Sqn directed to perform 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

04Sep45   Aircraft held unserviceable awaiting engines.

29Jan46   Request allocation to 2FBRD for 480 hour inspection and engine change.

30Jan46   Allocated to 2FBRD.

08Feb46   Received by 2FBRD.

14Mar46   Stored as Category C at RAAF Base Rathmines.

25Apr46   Heavy damage from large hailstones.

12Jun46   Offered for sale on Commonwealth Disposal Commission (CDC) List 2073.

04Oct46   Sold to Mr BW Monkton of 101 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, Sydney NSW.

04Oct46   Registration VH-BFX allocated but not used.

21Jan47   Registration VH-BKP allocated but not used

27Jan47   Ferried from Rathmines to Rose Bay, Sydney NSW by Trans Oceanic Airways staff.

1947-53    Aircraft did not enter civilian service, used as a source for spare parts. Remnants sold for scrap at Rose Bay.

 

Highlight for Album: Sunderland A26-3

A26-4 ML733 Mk.1 3555

1943         Built by Short Bros at Rochester, Kent as the 9th aircraft of production Lot 16 with RAF serials ML725 to ML744.

15Oct43   Delivered to No 57 Maintenance Unit at RAF Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, Scotland.

10Nov53   To 10 Sqn RAAF at RAF Station Mount Batten, Plymouth Sound, Devon UK and prepared for delivery to Australia.

01Feb44   Departed RAF Mount Batten 1910 hours for Australia in company with A26-5. The 18,716 air mile ferry route was: UK-Gibraltar-Liberia-Brazil-Cuba-San Francisco-Honolulu-Samoa-Sydney and was expected to take about 40 days.

12Mar44   After a 41 day ferry flight landed at the Qantas Airways Rose Bay flying boat facility.

Mar44      Allocated civilian call sign VHCOD for use while in RAAF Service.

13Mar44   Taken on RAAF Charge and issued to 2FBRD for storage pending issue to Qantas for inspection & modification.

26Apr44   Allocated to No 40 (Transport/Sea) Squadron RAAF Base Townsville, QLD.

12Jun44   To be fitted with radar and IFF prior to delivery to 40 Sqn and to be modified for cargo/passenger carriage.

19Jun44   Allocated to Qantas Airways at the Rose Bay flying boat facility for inspection and modification.

30Jun44   Received by Qantas.

05Aug44   Received by 40 Sqn at Port Moresby, PNG (third fully modified aircraft received),

30Aug44   Departed Moresby (SDNLDR TA Egerton)  accompanied by A26-6 (WGCDR VA Hodgkinson)  for Brisbane to pick up Senior US Staff of USASOS and LHQ for transportation to the newly gained town of Hollandia on the far north Coast of PNG.

28Oct44   Request allocation to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

28Oct44   Aircraft AOG at Groote Eylandt, will proceed direct to Qantas when serviceable.

30Oct44   Allocated to Qantas.

30Oct44   Allocated to 40 Sqn upon completion of servicing.

02Nov44   Received by Qantas.

27Nov44   Received by 40 Sqn.

30Jan45   Request allocation to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

31Jan45   Reallocated to 40 Sqn.

07Feb45   Received by Qantas.

23Feb45   Received by 40 Sqn.

09Mar45  Ordered by Northern Command, departed Madang with 40 AIF Troops to relieve the garrison at Annenberg Mission Village on the Ramu River, Madang Province New Guinea. Returned to Madang same day with very excited troops!

15May45   Request allocation to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection, engine change plus inspection of oil tanks & flexible drives.

23May45  Allocated to Qantas.

28May45  Received by Qantas.

28May45  Allocated to 40 Sqn.

25Jun45   Received by 40 Sqn.

03Oct45   Allocated to Qantas for complete overhaul.

27Oct45   Received by Qantas.

14Mar46   Allocated to No 3 Operational Training Unit (3OTU) at RAAF Rathmines.

15Mar46   Requisitioned by the Air Board for War Bonds advertising tour around Australia.

16Mar46   Allocated to 2FBRD after War Bonds tour.

18Apr46   Received 2FBRD and placed in Category C storage at RAAF Base Rathmines.

12Jun46   Offered for sale on Commonwealth Disposal Commission (CDC) List 2073.

04Oct46   Sold to Mr BW Monkton of 101 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, Sydney NSW.

21Nov46   Ferried from Rathmines to Rose Bay, Sydney NSW by Trans Oceanic Airways staff.

06Mar47  Test flown at Rose Bay after conversion to accommodate 28 passengers on one deck with appropriate fittings. The refurbished aircraft, was known as the Short Hythe Class flying boat.

05May47  Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A 1251) issued.

05May47  On the Australian Register as VH-AKO (C of R 1323) belonging to Trans Oceanic Airways Ltd and named 'Australis'.

20may47   Charter flight Sydney-Milne Bay-Sydney.

29May47  Charter flight Sydney-Noumea-Sydney. Flight was extended to Port Vila - Espiritu Santo - Honiara -Lingatu - Tulagi - returning to Sydney on June 22, 1947.

04Jul47    Made an unscheduled and unauthorised landing at Lord Howe Island.

01Aug47   Operated the inaugural Sydney-Lord Howe service.

17May48   Withdrawn from use for modifications.

02Oct48   Returned to service and renamed 'Australia Star'.

25Oct48   First of several Europe-Australia migrant charter flights.

24Dec48   Operated the inaugural Sydney-Grafton service.

1949         Renamed 'Samoa Star'.

0ct49       Withdrawn from service.

22Dec49   Returned to service.

23Nov50   Flew final revenue service.

19Dec50   Withdrawn from use and stored at Rose Bay.

06Aug51   Withdrawn from the Australian Register.

1954     No further information, assumed the aircraft suffered the same fate as the other five aircraft that survived WWII.

 

Highlight for Album: Sunderland A26-4

A26-5 ML734 Mk.1 3556

1943         Built by Short Bros at Rochester, Kent as the 10th aircraft of production Lot 16 with RAF serials ML725 to ML744.

18Oct43   Delivered to No 57 Maintenance Unit at RAF Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, Scotland.

10Nov43   To 10 Sqn RAAF at RAF Station Mount Batten, Plymouth Sound, Devon UK and prepared for delivery to Australia.

01Feb44   Departed RAF Mount Batten 1910 hours for Australia in company with A26-5. The 18,716 air mile ferry route was: UK-Gibraltar-Liberia-Brazil-Cuba-San Francisco-Honolulu-Samoa-Sydney and was expected to take about 40 days.

12Mar44   After a 41 day ferry flight landed at the Qantas Airways Rose Bay flying boat facility.

Mar44      Allocated civilian call sign VHCOE for use while in RAAF Service.

13Mar44   Taken on RAAF Charge and issued to 2FBRD for storage pending issue to Qantas for inspection & modification.

26Apr44   Allocated to No 40 (Transport/Sea) Squadron RAAF Base Townsville, QLD.

06May44  Allocated to Qantas Airways at the Rose Bay flying boat facility for inspection and modification.

07May44  Received by Qantas.

12Jun44   To be fitted with radar and IFF prior to delivery to 40 Sqn and, to be modified for cargo/passenger carriage.

30Jun44   Received by 2FBRD

02Jul44    Received by 40 Sqn (first fully modified aircraft delivered to the squadron).

Jul44        Accompanied by A26-6 made several flights in July to move 40 SQN personnel and equipment from Townsville to Port Moresby during 40 Sqns relocation. All movements finalized by 22July 1944.

18Aug44   Whilst moored in Townsville the aircraft was struck by SS Marella causing some damage to nose turret and fairing.

23Aug44   Flew the inaugural Port Moresby-Townsville-Port Moresby scheduled service.

29Aug44   Taxying accident at Port Moresby, collided with a stationary A26-1.  Lost more than 1m of stbd wing.

01Sep44   Allocated to Qantas for repairs and 320 hourly engine change.

02Sep44   Allocated to 40 Sqn after repair.

12Sep44   Received by Qantas.

07Dec44   Received by 40 Sqn.

16Dec44   Request allocation to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

18Dec44   Allocated to Qantas.

27Dec44   Reallocated to 40 Sqn.

15Jan45   Received by Qantas.

26Jan45   Received by 40 Sqn.

23Mar45  performed successful SAR for missing C47 aircraft. Dinghies dropped and remained on station until relieved.

24Mar45  Returned on station and remained with C47 survivors until rescued by Air Sea Rescue Launch from Port Moresby.

05Apr45   Allocated to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

10Apr45   Received by Qantas.

07May45  Received by 40 Sqn.

23Jul45    Request allocation to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

27Jul45    Allocated to Qantas.

27Jul45    Reallocated to 40 Sqn.

07Aug45   Received by Qantas.

27Sep45   Received by 40 Sqn.

12Feb46   Allocated to 2FBRD Store.

05Mar46  Departed Moresby with 40 Sqn rear party for RAAF Base Rathmines. RON at Cairns.

06Mar46  Departed Cairns 0600. Arrive Rathmines 1525 hrs handed over to 2FBRD

12Mar46   Stored as Category C at RAAF Base Rathmines.

25Apr46   Heavy damage to upper surfaces and tail fin by hailstorm.

12Jun46   Offered for sale on Commonwealth Disposal Commission (CDC) List 2073.

04Oct46   Sold to Mr BW Monkton of 101 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, Sydney NSW.

16Dec46   Ferried from Rathmines to Rose Bay, Sydney NSW by Trans Oceanic Airways staff.

10Oct47   Test flown at Rose Bay after conversion to accommodate 28 passengers on one deck with appropriate fittings. The refurbished aircraft, was known as the Short Hythe Class flying boat.

24Oct47   Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A 1350) issued.

24Oct47   On the Australian Register as VH-AKP (CofR 1434) to Trans Oceanic Airways Ltd (TOA) and named 'Australis'.

24Oct47   Operated TOA first commercial service as a charter flight Sydney-New Hebrides-Sydney.

21Jan48   Renamed 'Antilles'.

1949         Renamed 'Tahiti Star'.

17Dec49   Refurbished in a 36 passenger configuration.

05Dec50   Returned to service.

01Jan51    Operated last TOA Pacific Island scheduled flight.

17Jun52   Operated last TOA Sydney-Grafton scheduled flight.

01Jul52    TOA placed into liquidation.

16Aug52   Leased to Barrier Reef Airways.

01Nov52   Leased to Ansett Flying Boat Services.

19Apr53   Operated the final TOA scheduled flight, Sydney-Lord Howe.

20May53  Sold to Ansett Flying Boat Services. Ansett also acquired the Sydney-Lord Howe route and the Rose Bay facilities.

25May53  Registered to Ansett Flying Boat Services as VH-BRD.

12Mar54   Flew final revenue service.

24Mar54  Withdrawn and stored at Rose Bay.

09May54  Registration cancelled.  Aircraft had flown a total of 5,919 hours.

1955         Scrapped for spares at Rose Bay.

 

Highlight for Album: Sunderland A26-5

A26-6 DP192 Mk.1 unk

1942         Built by Short Bros at Windermere, Cumbria as the 17th aircraft of production Lot 9, RAF serials DP176 to D209.

1942-43    Served with RAF as DP192 in several squadrons.

18Oct43   Delivered to No 57 Maintenance Unit at RAF Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, Scotland.

10Nov53   To 10 Sqn RAAF at RAF Station Mount Batten, Plymouth Sound, Devon UK and prepared for delivery to Australia.

14Feb44   Departed RAF Mount Batten 1852 hours for Australia in company with A26-6. The 18,716 air mile ferry route was: UK-Gibraltar-Liberia-Brazil-Cuba-San Francisco-Honolulu-Samoa-Sydney and was expected to take about 40 days.

19Mar44   After a 35 day ferry flight landed at the Qantas Airways Rose Bay flying boat facility for inspection prior to hand over to RAAF.

Mar44      Allocated civilian call sign VHCOF for use while in RAAF Service.

21Mar44   Taken on RAAF Charge and issued to Qantas.

24Mar44  Allocated to No 2 Flying Boat Repair Depot (2FBRD) at RAAF Station Rathmines, Lake Macquarie NSW.

26Mar44  Received by 2FBRD.

26Apr44   Allocated to No 40 (Transport/Sea) Squadron RAAF Base Townsville, QLD.

29May44  Allocated to Qantas to be fitted with radar and IFF prior to delivery to 40 Sqn and, to be modified for cargo/passenger carriage.

29May44  Received by Qantas.

Jul44        Accompanied by A26-6 made several flights in July to move 40 SQN personnel and equipment from Townsville to Port Moresby during 40 Sqns relocation. All movements finalized by 22July 1944.

26Jul44    Received by 40 Sqn. (second fully modified aircraft received).

30Aug44   Departed Moresby (WGCDR VA Hodgkinson) accompanied by A26-4 (SDNLDR TA Egerton) for Brisbane to pick up Senior US Staff of USASOS and LHQ for transportation to the newly gained town of Hollandia on the PNG far north Coast.

27Sep44   Request allocation to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

03Oct44   Allocated to Qantas.

03Oct44   Reallocated to 40 Sqn.

18Oct44   Received by Qantas.

06Nov44   Received by 40 Sqn.

27Nov44   Allocated to Qantas for 320 hourly inspection and engine change.

28Nov44   After returning from a routine travel flight with a crew of seven and 29 passengers the aircraft was taxying back to its mooring point when it collided with a wooden harbour marker post at 1020 hrs.  The hull was punctured and the aircraft began to rapidly fill with water so the crew restarted all the engines and tried to beach the aircraft. However, they were unsuccessful in the attempt and the aircraft sank on a sand bar close to the beach in about 8ft of water.  The aircraft was almost totally submerged in the ensuing high tide and was seriously damaged. The aircraft was re-floated the next morning using floatation devices but the damage inflicted was considered to be too serious to repair so the aircraft was allocated for conversion.

01Dec44   Allocated to 5 Repair & Salvage Unit for conversion.

07Dec44   Received by 5 RSU and converted to components.

 

Highlight for Album: Sunderland A26-6

 
     

The Authors of this page are Paul McGuiness, Darren Crick and by Brendan Cowan

Source: National Archives, The ANZAC Squadron, Stuart Wilson's Book "Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service", "RAAF Flying Boats at War -The Way It Was" by Joe Leach, 'Bloody Biscay' by Chris Goss, Operations Record Book, 461 Squadron, RAAF, Logbook of Flight Sergeant Ray Goode DFM 407499, Australian War Memorial Website and Photographs, Dean Norman's Aircrew Project, British Military Aircraft Serials 1911-1979 (Bruce Robertson),

Emails: Gordon Birkett, John Andrade, Warwick Henry, Stig Jarlevik, Rowan Mathews, Clive Lynch, Ian Piper, Paula Lermit-Hill, Mike Mirkovic.

Version 1.1 updated 22April 2015

     

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