Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History

RAAF A31 De Havilland DH.86A & DH.86B

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De Havilland DH.86A 
No.1 Air Ambulance Unit


De Havilland DH.86 Image Gallery

RAAF Serial Type C/N Aircraft History
A31-1 DH.86B 2360 C of A 18/12/37 and delivered to W.R.Carpenter Ltd.
Previously VH-UVY.
Impressed into RAAF Service 11/12/39.
To 1 FTS Signal School.
Located at Point Cook 24/06/40.
To ANSETT 17/03/41 for overhaul.
At Signal School 13/06/41.
At 1 SFTS 01/10/41.
At Signal School 23/10/41.
To 36 Sqn 16/08/42.
To ANA for Overhaul 10/11/42.
At 36 Sqn 29/12/42.
To Guinea Airways 14/01/43 for repairs.
To 34 Sqn 26/03/43.
To 35 Sqn 24/05/43.
To MacRobertson Miller Aviation Company 03/06/43.
To 35 Sqn 04/08/43.
To 2AAU for modification to Air Ambulance 07/01/44.
Blowout of port tyre on takeoff 15/08/44.
To 6AD 23/08/44.
Approved for conversion to components 12/09/44.

DH.86B A31-1/Y
Signals School, 1 F.T.S., 
Point Cook, c.1940 
via Mike Mirkovic.

A31-2 DH.86A 2313 C of A 06/02/35.
Delivered as G-ACYF to Jersey Airways.
To Wearnes 06/38 as VR-SBD.
Registered VH-ADN 24/06/40 to 09/07/40.
Impressed into RAAF Service 09/07/40 from South Queensland Airways.
To Ansett 10/07/40.
At 1 AOS 13/11/40.
Landing accident 09/12/40.
To Point Cook 13/03/42.
To 1 AD 20/03/42.
To Point Cook 05/05/42.
To 36 Sqn 21/09/42.
To 36 Sqn 25/10/42.
Forced landing and damaged beyond repair at unit 12/42.
To 5 AD 05/12/42.
To De Havilland Mascot 04/01/43.
To 2 AP 23/03/43.
To 34 Sqn 03/04/43.
To Guinea Airways 14/05/43.
To 35 Sqn 30/05/43.
To MacRobertson Miller Aviation Company 05/01/44.
To 2 AAU 16/03/44 and modified to Air Ambulance.
Forced landed 1 mile NW of Maryborough due to lack of fuel 01/05/44.
To 3 CRD 30/05/44.
Converted to components.

D.H.86A A31-2
35 Squadron, 
Fairbairn c.1941  
via Mike Mirkovic.

A31-3 DH.86A 2326 C of A 15/07/35.
Registered VH-UUB 27/09/35 to 13/09/40, Named 'Loila'.
Impressed into RAAF Service from 13/09/40.
To 1 AOS 05/11/40.
To 1 AD 14/02/41.
To ANA 03/04/41.
To 1 AAU 14/04/41.
Destroyed in a fire 14/04/42.

D.H.86 A31-3
1 Air Ambulance Unit, 
Heliopolis, c.1941
via Mike Mirkovic.

A31-4 DH.86A 2315 C of A 06/03/35.
Registered VH-USW 13/05/35 to 12/05/36.
Registration lapsed.
Registered VH-USW 01/10/36 to 13/09/40, Named 'Lepena'.
Impressed into RAAF Service 13/09/40.
To 1 AOS 29/11/40.
To 1 AD 19/12/40.
Damaged during high winds 27/12/40.
To 1 AOS 16/04/41.
To QANTAS 30/03/42 for loan as VH-USW.
Returned to RAAF as A34-4 04/05/43.
To 1 AOS 04/05/43.
Being converted to Air Ambulance 05/05/42.
To 1 AD 30/05/42.
To 2 AAU 03/07/42.
To De Havilland 17/03/43.
To 2 AAU 08/08/43.
To 3 AD 28/09/44.
Sold to MacRobertson Miller Aviation Company 14/02/45 and registered VH-USW 03/05/45 to 19/11/46.
Exported to the UK 19/11/46.

Highlight for Album: DH.86A A31-4

A31-5 DH.86A 2307 C of A 13/09/34.
Registered VH-USC 01/09/34 to 24/09/40, Named 'Canberra'.
Impressed into RAAF Service from 24/09/40.
At ANA 07/11/40.
At 1 AOS 07/01/41.
Issued to QANTAS 30/03/41.
Registered (on loan) VH-USC 26/03/41 to 09/10/44.
Crashed 09/10/44 at Darwin NT.
To 8 CRD.
Converted to components.

Highlight for Album: DH.86A A31-5

A31-6 DH.86A 2310 C of A 27/12/34.
Registered VH-USF 22/01/35 to 28/09/40, Named 'Melbourne'.
Impressed into RAAF Service from 28/09/40.
Received by RAAF 05/10/40. To 3 EFTS 06/10/40.
To 1 AOS 20/01/41.
Issued to QANTAS 30/02/42.
Registered VH-USF (on loan) 08/04/42 to 09/07/44.
Crashed 09/07/44 Blackall QLD.
Wreckage returned to RAAF.
To 3 CRD 02/02/45.
Sold to MacRobertson Miller Aviation Company 12/03/45.
To Registered VH-USF 22/05/45 to 24/06/45.
Crashed 24/06/45 at Geraldton WA.
The pilot and one passenger were killed. the Co-pilot and 8 passengers were injured.
A31-7 DH.86A 2323 C of A 05/06/35.
Delivered as G-ADEA to Hillmans Airways Ltd.
Sold to British Airways 1936.
Sold to Wearnes 06/38 as VR-SBC.
Registered VH-UZX 07/07/40 to 27/12/40.
Impressed into RAAF Service 27/12/40.
Received by RAAF 02/01/41.
To 3EFTS 05/01/41.
Issued to ANA and modified to Air Ambulance.
To 1 Air Ambulance Unit 25/03/41.
Shipped to Cairo 30/04/41 from Laverton and arrived 03/07/41.
To Gaza 25/03/41.
Damaged on ground in enemy attack at Mersa Matruh 31/01/42.
To Heliopolis for repairs,
Reflown 24/04/42.
Withdrawn from use in Sept 1943 following unavailability of 77 octane fuel.
Research indicates that the aircraft was flown to B.A.R.U. Heliopolis by P/O Lowrey, landing at 1130 hrs after a 20 minute flight from 'Cairo West' where it had landed at 1420hrs on 21/02/44. The operations log summary of 1 Air Ambulance for 02/44 seems to imply that some aircraft actually may have been left at B.A.R.U. Heliopolis due perhaps to unserviceability attributable two a period of heavy rain causing some flooding of landing grounds.
1 A.A.U. was disbanded on 27/06/44 in Australia and we can find no record of the aircraft in question after 28/02/44.
It has been suggested that it was used for spares and later scrapped onsite.

Highlight for Album: DH.86A A31-7

A31-8 DH.86B 2359 C of A 30/11/37 and delivered to W.R.Carpenter.
Impressed into RAAF Service 20/06/41 and issued to 3 EFTS.
To ANA. To 1AD 18/08/41.
To 1 AAU in the middle east and Destroyed by Enemy Action 08/12/41.
AX762 DH.86B 2333 C of A 20/01/36
G-ADUE Imperial Airways
Named Dardanus
Impressed into RAF Service as AX762 on 20/09/41 (Incorrectly painted as AX672)
Delivered to
117 Squadron, Bilbeis. 4/03/42
Delivered to RAAF No.1 Air Ambulance Unit at Heliopolis, Egypt
23/06/42 Starboard undercarriage collapsed on landing Siwa, Egypt
SOC 0/42

DH.86B AX762

HK829 DH.86B 2305 C of A 28/02/35
G-ACWD Imperial Airways
Named Dorado
Impressed into RAF Service as HK829 in 11/41
Delivered to 117 Squadron, Bilbeis. 4/03/42
Delivered to RAAF No.1 Air Ambulance Unit at Heliopolis, Egypt
Undercarriage collapsed on landing Nefatia North, Egypt
Written off.
HK843 DH.86B 2349 C 0f A 17/03/36
G-AEAP with Imperial Airways Named Demeter
Impressed into RAF Service as HK843 on 22/10/41
Served with 117 Squadron, Bilbeis.

Transferred to RAAF No. 1 A.A.U. at Heliopolis, Egypt about 06/42
Totally burned out at Pachino, Sicily, Italy on 27/07/43 when a Verey-pistol went off in cockpit.

Highlight for Album: D.H.86A HK843


The Authors of this page are Darren Crick and Steve Mackenzie (updated by Brendan Cowan and Martin Edwards)

Source: Townsville at War Website, RAAF Museum Website, Joop de Wit, CASA Aircraft Records, RAAF Status Cards, 'R.A.A.F Air Ambulance and Medical Air Evacuation Units 1940-1946' by John Lever. 2003 (self Published), Geoff Goodall's Australian Aviation Website

Emails: Joop de Wit, Mike ?, Stig Jarlevik, Malcolm Filmore, Grahame Higgs, Anthony Sultana, John Hopton

Updated 8th March 2015


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