Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History

RAAF A64 Vultee Stinson V-74 Vigilant

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  Loaned USAAF Stinson O-49/L-1 Ambulance 41-18959. 
33 Squadron, New Guinea, c.1942, 
Via Mike Mirkovic

Vultee Stinson Vigilant Image Gallery

  While the A64 serials range was alloted for the Vultee Stinson Vigilant, no A64 serialed aircaft appear to have been brought on RAAF charge.

The Stinson L-1/O-49 Vigilant (company designation Model 74) was a light observation aircraft built by the Stinson Aircraft Company at Wayne, Michigan which became a division of Vultee Aircraft Corporation by November 1940. The O-49 series were re-designated as L-1's in 1942.

The RAAF did have access to at least three of these aircraft in the form of L-1B/O-49A's, 41-18958, 41-18959 and 41-19050 during the period December 1942 to February 1943.

Throughout their time at 33 Squadron, it would appear that these aircraft maintained their USAAF markings and callsigns.

While the Vigilant was originally designed by the Stinson Aircraft Corporation, by August 1940, Vultee Aircraft Corporation had absorbed the Stinson company. The O-49A was lengthened in the fuselage by an extra 13 inches in comparison to the O-49, had other minor equipment changes and was slightly slower.

The aircraft were mostly flown by W Off Dangerfield on duty for RAAF 15 RSU and some ops to Myola etc are recorded in 33 Squaron ORB.

Unfortunately the Unit History Sheets for 33 Squadron are missing from the National Archives for the period Oct to Dec 1942. However, for January 1943, the Unit History Sheets show that 33 Squadron personnel flew multiple sorties of a Vultee Vigilant (O-49 41-19050) from Berry Drome into Myola and return in support of 15 RSU.

Until 21 January 1943, these flights were flown by 37520 Pilot Officer Collins Lancellot Dangerfield (promoted from W/O 1 Nov 1942), who survived the war exiting the RAAF on 26 Jan 1948 as a Flight Lieutenant.

A new 33 Squadron crew operatesda Vigilant flight into Myola on 26 Jan 1943, when a ferry crew flies from Port Moresby (Berry Drome) to Myola in a Vigilant (41-19050) and to recover Vultee Vigilant (41-18959) from Myola to Berry Drome.

It would appear Vigilant (41-18959) was not airworthy at Myola due to an incident that occurred on 4 Dec 1942 at Myola.

The ultimate fate of these aircraft is curently unknown.

Serial Type C/N Airframe History
41-18958 O-49A   14 or 15/11/1942 Crashed at Chestnut Bay, south-east of Port Moresby.
14/11/1942 Damage was assesed by a US Engineering Officer,
??/12/1942 Salvaged by 15 RSU.
41-18959 O-49A   24/11/1942 or 04/12/1942 Crashed on landing on a medical evacuation flight to Myola Lake, New Guinea,
26/01/1943 Repaired on site by 15 RSU and flown to Berry Aerodrome, Port Moresby,
??/02/1943 On strength 33 Squadron.

Loaned USAAF Stinson O-49/L-1 Ambulance 41-18959. 
33 Squadron, New Guinea, c.1942, 
Via Mike Mirkovic

41-19050 O-49A   ??/01/1943 On strength 33 Squadron

  Stinson O-49A Vigilant 
damaged at Myola 
24 Nov 1942 
AWM via Brendan Cowan


The Author of this page is Brendan Cowan

Source: , , "Allied Air Transport Operations, South West Pacific Area in WW2" by Robert Kelly.

Emails: Peter Murray, Wynnum Graham, ADF-Serials Messageboard discussion , The Phantom,

Updated 26 November 2012


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