VHCXJ *


Type: L-14-WF62 Super Electra
MSN: 1442
Previous Identities: PK-AFP
Subsequent Identities: 44-83234
W34

History:

02JUN38 Construction completed at Burbank.
24JUN38 Delivered to KNILM by Lockheed and subsequently shipped to the Netherlands East Indies.
JUL38 Registered to KNILM Batavia as PK-AFP.
09FEB42 Damaged by straffing from Japanese fighters at Kemajoran, Batavia. Several other aircraft were damaged and abandoned but PK-AFP escaped to Australia.
FEB42 Used with other KNILM aircraft on evacuation flights from the NEI to Australia in advance of the Japanese invasion. After escaping to Australia the aircraft was operated by KNILM under charter to the military.
28MAR42 Acquired from KNILM by the USAAF. Operated by the Allied Directorate of Air Transport, Brisbane. Also operated by the 21st Troop Carrier Squadron. Issued with radio call-sign VHCXJ.
08OCT42 Crashed at Rockhampton, Qld. One reference states that the aircraft suffered an undercarriage collapse and was "completely burned" and that the pilot, Major James Cobb, claimed that the accident was caused by sabotage. (G.J. Casius AAHS Journal Summer 1983 p.148). In view of the duration of the ensuing overhaul, this report may not be too far from the truth!
11DEC42 VHCXJ was delivered to Guinea Airways Ltd at Parafield to be operated on behalf of ADAT.
15DEC42 A DCA report states that VHCXJ will require "extensive major reconstruction". Such work was subsequently performed by GAL at Parafield.
FEB44 VHCXJ was fitted with the engines from GAL's damaged Lodestar VHCAC to expedite the return to service of VHCXJ.
13MAR44 CofA application from GAL. Fitted with four cabin settees to seat 15 passengers.
17MAR44 Test flown at Parafield. The aircraft logbook states: "Completely rebuilt after suffering severe damage by gunfire. All materials and repair schemes to approved DCA requirements." It is presumed that the gunfire damage was that incurred at Batavia in February 1942.
21MAR44 Test flown again at Parafield.
22MAR44 CofA No X-17 issued. (The X series CofA was to permit the carriage of civilians on military aircraft).
22MAR44 Entered service with GAL Parafield-Katherine.
15APR44 Arrived Parafield from Daly Waters and withdrawn from service having been replaced by a C-47. Since entering service with GAL, VHCXJ had operated mainly to Katherine, Fenton and Daly Waters.
16MAY44 VHCXJ was withdrawn from the ADAT agreement.
20JUN44 In a retrospective book-keeping exercise, the aircraft was formally taken on charge by the USAAF under the designation C-111-LO and allocated the serial number 44-83234. It should be noted that this serial was never carried on the aeroplane, although the aircraft earlier carried a GAL identification of "W34" which was evidently derived from this retrospective USAAF serial.
18JUL44 Pilot training conducted at Parafield.
AUG44 GAL advised DCA that "VHCXJ has been used on pilot endorsement and other such work in recent months, but not on the Courier service."
30SEP44 Parafield-Iron Knob-Parafield.
01OCT44 Parafield-Kingscote-Parafield.
06OCT44 Test flown at Parafield.
13OCT44 Test flown at Parafield.
17OCT44 Parafield-Kingscote-Parafield.
11NOV44 Test flown at Parafield.
21NOV44 Test flown at Parafield.
22NOV44 Test flown at Parafield.
24NOV44 Test flown at Parafield.
09JAN45 Test flown at Parafield.
10JAN45 Test flown at Parafield.
17JAN45 Test flown at Parafield.
21MAR45 CofA expired. A DCA report states: "It is understood that Guinea Airways are handing the aircraft over to the War Disposals Commission."
46 Sold to Harold Mortimer and Arthur Bergen of Adelaide for 25.
Photographed in the Adelaide suburb of Gepps Cross with wings still attached.
22FEB47 Moved by road from Parafield to the Adelaide suburb of Prospect where it was parked in the backyard of Mr Mortimer's house in Guildford Avenue. The outer wings were removed and lying on the ground alongside the aircraft which Mr Mortimer intended to convert to a caravan.
JUN66 By this time the fuselage was in use as a garden shed, the house now being owned by Mr M. Linke. The fuselage still showed "Guinea Airways Ltd" on the nose, code "W34" behind the cockpit windows and "U.S. Army" under the wings.
74 Pearce Dunn attempted to acquire the aircraft for his Warbirds Air Museum at Mildura, but by this time, the aircraft had become built in and Mrs Linke would not allow his planned use of a big crane to lift it over the house.
75 The aircraft was sawn up by Browns Scrap Metal into pieces that could be moved down the driveway to the truck out on the street. Some components went to the Warbirds Air Museum at Mildura.

* The only Australian identity carried by this aeroplane was the radio call-sign VHCXJ. It is presented here without a hyphen to distinguish it from an Australian civil registration as this aeroplane did not appear on the Australian Civil Register.



Issue Date Remarks
5 03APR16
Refreshed page layout with no change to data.
4 06AUG11
Added a photo of PK-ALP in KNILM service and one of VHCXJ at Gepps Cross. Received via Geoff Goodall.
3 13NOV05
Added a photo of PK-ALP in KNILM service. Received via Geoff Goodall.
2 08NOV05
Added two photos of the aeroplane stored at Prospect, S.A. Also clarified the circumstances leading to the scrapping of the aircraft. Thanks to Geoff Goodall for these contributions.
1 17FEB00
Original issue




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