VH-ARZ


Type: L-18-40/56 Lodestar
MSN: 18-2102
Previous Identities: LT907
41-907
42-68347
VHCAA (callsign)
Subsequent Identities: ZK-ANA
N4632V
N89K
N1716E (?)
N796G
XA-TAP
N796G
N3998S (?)
N796G


History:

15MAY41
Delivered to Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEIAF) as LT907.
MAR42
With the fall of the NEI, the aircraft was evacuated to Australia. (Source: 3)
17MAR42
Was one of eleven Lodestars sold to the USAAF. (Source: 3)
17MAR42
Impressed by USAAF as a C-56B-LO. Operated by 21TCS. Operated by ADAT with callsign VHCAA.
APR42
Issued to 22TCS as 41-907. This was evidently an interim USAAF serial which was allocated "in the field" by adding the prefix 41- to the three digit Dutch serial. This practice was common with impressed foreign civil aircraft at the time. Subsequently the aircraft was retrospectively allocated a formal 42- serial.
17MAY42
Allocated USAAF serial 42-68347 as C-56B-LO
05NOV42
Issued to Qantas at Archerfield as VHCAA
01DEC42
Application for CofR and CofA by Qantas Empire Airways, 43 Creek St., Brisbane. (Source: 4)
02DEC42
Officially signed for by Qantas.
03DEC42
DCA approve civil operations of VHCAA by Qantas pending CofA. Flew Archerfield to Port Moresby same day.
03DEC42
Memo from DCA, Archerfield to DCA, HQ advising that the aircraft is airworthy and expected to be operating with Qantas from this date. (Source: 4)
03DEC42
Entered service with Qantas, Brisbane to Port Moresby, Capt Denny. (Source: Synopsis of Events: Q.E.A. Operations from Commencement of war with Germany 3/9/1939 compiled by I Isaacs, 31 August 1943, on file W2 War - Qantas WW2, file 3 of 3. Qantas Heritage Collection)
04DEC42
Commenced operations on the Port Moresby to Buna supply shuttle. (Source: Synopsis of Events: Q.E.A. Operations from Commencement of war with Germany 3/9/1939 compiled by I Isaacs, 31 August 1943, on file W2 War - Qantas WW2, file 3 of 3. Qantas Heritage Collection)
05DEC42
Part of nose cut off by USAAF C-47 at Port Moresby. Aircraft repaired and returned to service within two days.
JAN43
On completion of Buna shuttle VHCAA (and VHCAK) returned to the ADAT shuttle Brisbane/Townsville/Port Moresby. During their time on the Buna shuttle, VHCAA and VHCAK made 77 return trips to Buna carrying 339 passengers in, 96 sick and wounded out as well as 95 tons of freight. VHCAA operated 32 trips from Port Moresby to Buna and return.
22JAN43
Special CofA X-7 issued by DCA. (Source: 4)
28JAN43
Crashed on take-off from Townsville for Port Moresby when the First Officer prematurely retracted the undercarriage with damage to both props and the underside of the fuselage. The leading edge of one wing was damaged during removal of the aircraft from the runway. Date of accident shown as 28JAN but was previously thought to have been 29JAN. (Source: 4)
06FEB43
Ferried from Townsville to Archerfield for full repairs. (Source: 4)
01MAY43
CofA suspension lifted after repairs, having been suspended since 28JAN43. (Source: 4)
24JUN43
Flew Archerfield-Rockhampton-Townsville operated by Qantas as VHCAA. (Source: Harrison Air Log, John T. Harrison)
20MAY44
Returned to USAAF
OCT44
Qantas used VHCAA on civil operations. Troop benches were replaced by chairs from DH-86s VH-USF and VH-USC.
14NOV44
This aircraft was one of 12 listed in a memorandum from the U.S. Government offering an assortment of Douglas and Lockheed types to the highest bidder for cash. VHCAA was said to be in daily operation having accumulated an estimated 3170 hours. (Source: John Hopton)
09FEB45
Minor damage in crosswind landing at Winton, QLD.
APR46
Last flight with QEA
MAY46
Sold by the Foreign Liquidation Commission in Manila to an Australian customer. The aircraft was located at Archerfield. (Source: 3)
MAY46
Import Licence #264 issued in respect of this aircraft. (Source: 4)
29MAY46
CofA renewed to Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield.
08AUG46
Registration changed to VH-ARZ. By this time, the aircraft was being described as type L-18-56. (Source: 4)
09AUG46
Application for CofA by Aircrafts Proprietary Ltd., Archerfield, Brisbane. Seating configuration shown as 3 crew plus 14 passengers. (Source: 4)
19AUG46
Interim CofA #1157 issued but no CofR issued as Aircrafts Pty Ltd intended to sell the aircraft in New Zealand and not operate it themselves. (Source: 4)
25AUG46
At 0640 immediately after take-off from Bundaberg, the port engine failed and the aircraft returned for a safe landing. Captain W. McCallum, First Officer C. Storrey and no passengers. A DCA investigation revealed that the engine, which had been signed off as serviceable, had been purchased from the USAAF at Eagle Farm and not overhauled by APL. The engine had suffered a major failure with internal destruction. The failure was attributed to poor quality maintenance by the USAAF in the closing stages of the war. Later the same day, the relief aircraft, Lodestar VH-ARY returned to Bundaberg with a failed generator. (NAA MP1665/1 via G. Goodall)
16NOV46
Sold to Union Airways of N.Z. (renamed NZNAC from DEC46)
16DEC46
Added to N.Z. Register as ZK-ANA.
20DEC46
Departed Brisbane on delivery to N.Z. Struck off Australian Register same day. (Source: 4)
20DEC46
Arrived in NZ, the second Lodestar for NAC. NAC had intended to use the first two Lodestars to operate additional services over the Christmas holiday period but the need to fit different radio equipment delayed their entry into service. (Source: "NAC The Illustrated History" by Waugh, Layne and McConnell)
24FEB47
Entered service with NZNAC named "Kawatere" (Red Crowned Parakeet)
  Sold to Costine and Co., Boston MA.
01JUN51
Departed NZ as ZK-ANA crewed by Commanders H.C. 'Johnny' Walker and L.J. Ransom and/or Donald Ayson and Radio Operator L.M. Sweetman. ZK-ANA was the first NAC Lodestar to be retired. (Source: "NAC The Illustrated History" by Waugh, Layne and McConnell)
05JUN51
Arrived Los Angeles after 27 hours 30 minutes flying time.
26JUL51
Registered N4632V to K. Babb Co.
  Howard W. "Kroger" Babb (30 December 1906 28 January 1980) was an American film and television producer and showman who used the name of "Mr. Pihsnamwohs" (showmanship spelled backwards). This name was painted on the aircraft which retained its basic NZNAC livery.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kroger_Babb
21APR54
To Mountain States Aviation.
22APR54
To F&S Construction Company.
31MAY56
To Combs Aircraft Inc.
15JUL56
To Industrial Leasing Corp.
29AUG56
Re-registered N89K. (Also quoted as N86K).
14MAY59
To S-G Aircraft
01FEB63
Registered to Lear Siegler, Santa Monica as N89K.
  Re-registered N1716E (?)
10AUG66
Re-registered to Lear Siegler, Santa Monica as N796G.
06SEP67
To Carolina Aircraft Corp.
09NOV67
To Omni Investment Corp, Washington DC as N796G
JAN77
To Lineas Aereos Mexicanas, Mexico as XA-TAP but soon returned to the U.S. (Possibly never even delivered).
JUL77
Reverted to N796G.
  Re-registered N3998S (?)
JAN99
Still on U.S. Register as N796G
27FEB13
N796G was cancelled from the U.S. Register due "expiration". (FAA website)

 

Does this aircraft still exist? Please report any recent sightings.

 

SOURCES
1
RAAF Form E/E.88.
2
Marson, Peter J., The Lockheed Twins, Air-Britain, 2001
3
Boer, Dr P.C., Netherlands East Indies Air Transport units of the Militaire Luchtvaart KNIL (Army Aviation Corps of the Royal NEI Army) and their aircraft in Australia and Java, 16 January 1943-1 November 1946, February 2020.
4
NAA, MP113/1 VH/ARZ Part 1 [337492]



Issue Date Remarks
15 06JUL22
Added details from Source: 3.
14 02APR16
Refreshed page layout with no change to data.
13 19SEP15
Added arrival date in NZ 20DEC46 and names of the crew who ferried the aircraft back to the U.S. on 01JUN51.
12 12SEP15
Added entry at 14NOV44 thanks to John Hopton and Geoff Goodall.
11 06SEP15
Added entry at 24JUN43 thanks to Geoff Goodall.
10 23APR15
The aircraft was cancelled from the U.S. Register on 27FEB13.
9 06AUG12
Added an image of the aircraft as N4632V thanks to Paul Sheehan.
Also added details of the owner Kroger Babb.
8 21JUN12
Added details of Qantas acceptance of the aircraft. Sourced from the Qantas Heritage Collection by Phil Vabre.
7 07MAY12
Added the interim USAAF serial 42-68347.
6 04MAY12
Added two wartime images thanks to Geoff Goodall.
5 05MAR06
Added a reference to an engine failure on 25AUG46. Thanks to Geoff Goodall.
4 04NOV04
Added further details of Australian service extracted from NAA, MP113/1 VH/ARZ Part 1 [337492] by Chris O'Neill.
3 13FEB04
Added an image of the aircraft in Qantas wartime service as VHCAA thanks to Gary Killion.
2 16APR99 -





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