VH-ADS R.M.A. Carmania II

Type: L-14-H2 Super Electra
MSN: 1431
Previous Identities: NC17392
Subsequent Identities: Nil


28APR38 Construction completed at Burbank.
05MAY38 Delivered to Northwest Airlines as NC17392. (Fleet Number 92).
JUN39 Sold to Continental Airlines, Denver, Colorado for $80,000.
41 Sold to W.R. Carpenter & Co., for their Sydney-Rabaul route and shipped to Sydney.
29APR41 Arrived dismantled at W.R. Carpenter's hangar at Mascot (along with VH-ADT).
19MAY41 Registration application from W.R. Carpenter & Co., Sydney.
30MAY41 Entered service Sydney-Rabaul. Crewed by Captain Dick Mant plus a co-pilot and a flight hostess. There were twelve passengers. Named R.M.A. Carmania II. This name was first carried by Carpenter's DH.86B VH-UYU hence the Lockheed 14 became Carmania II.
03JUN41 Added to the Australian Register as VH-ADS.
JUN41 Ken Jackson recalled in an interview published in 1982: "Gordon Cameron, an old Guinea Airways pilot, came to Sydney and did a trip with me at the end of June up to New Guinea and back in VH-ADS for my endorsement. Coming into Townsville southbound, the hydraulic system packed up and we couldn't get the undercarriage down. There was an emergency system but it wouldn't work either and we couldn't lock the gear down, so Gordon had to put the Lockheed down on the grass. The belly and the two propellers were damaged but it was quite routine. The Air Force at Townsville just put a fabric undersurface on the aircraft and two new propellers, and I flew it back to Sydney. Australian National Airways repaired it for us at Essendon." (Source: 3)
14AUG41 Made the first one day trip from Port Moresby to Sydney in 10 hours 40 minutes. (Capt R.O. Mant).
DEC41 Participated in the evacuation of civilians from New Guinea to Cairns.
04JAN42 Participated in the evacuation of civilians from Rabaul after enemy air raids.
JAN42 Participated in the evacuation of civilians from Wau to Port Moresby and on to Australia.
27JAN42 A truck backed into the propeller of VH-ADS at Wau damaging the prop and cracking the crankcase of the engine. (Source: 4)
28JAN42 VH-ADT (Captain Mant) was scheduled to leave Sydney at 1200 with a replacement engine and propeller for VH-ADS. VH-ADT did not depart Sydney until 1630 after awaiting the delivery of a propeller from Richmond and dismantling it for carriage. (Source: 1)
29JAN42 VH-ADT arrived at Port Moresby having overnighted en route. (Source: 1)
30JAN42 VH-ADT Ferried the engine and propeller and four mechanics to Wau to repair the damaged VH-ADS. (Source: 4)
01FEB42 During the first air raid on Wau, VH-ADS was still undergoing repairs. (Source: 1)
The aircraft escaped damage during the air raid because it was being repaired inside the Stephens hangar. (Source: 2)
02FEB42 VH-ADS departed Wau for Port Moresby after the completion of repairs. The damaged propeller blades and engine were left behind at Wau. (Source: 1)
03FEB42 VH-ADS and VH-ADT departed Port Moresby at dawn for the mainland. (Source: 1)
03FEB42 VH-ADT arrived at Cairns at 0933 followed by the repaired VH-ADS which arrived at 0950. Both aircraft were ordered to return to Sydney for servicing and resumption of services Sydney-Port Moresby plus other duties. (Source: 1)
12FEB42 Returned to Sydney with engine trouble soon after departure.
13FEB42 Operated Cairns-Wau-Port Moresby-Wau-Cairns on evacuation flights. (Capt K. Jackson).
14FEB42 Crashed into mangrove swamps in bad weather soon after take-off from Cairns for Wau to uplift evacuees. Captain E.D. Crisp and Captain C. Bernard were killed.
14FEB42 "Clive Bernard and Joss Crisp were killed in the crash of VH-ADS at Cairns on 14 February 1942. They were taking-off at four o'clock in the morning, going up to Wau to evacuate people, and the aircraft just dived into the swamps. We never found out what happened to it. I had done the trip the day before, on Friday 13th February. I had gone up from Cairns to Wau, brought one load of passengers down to Port Moresby, gone back to Wau for another load and flown them to Cairns. Crisp, with Bernard as his co-pilot, was to do the same trip the next morning. But when I arrived back at the hotel in Cairns that evening, Bernard came up to me and said, 'I've been worried about you all day. It's Friday the thirteenth and I've had a nasty feeling that something would go wrong. I'm very happy to see you.' And at 4 o'clock the next morning, Crisp and Bernard took off and they were both killed." (Source: 3)
FEB42 Struck off the Register as "Crashed while engaged in military work under direction of RAAF." Subsequently, W.R. Carpenter were paid £25,000 compensation by the War Damages Commission for the loss of the aircraft.

NAA MP238/1, Item 8/115/300 “Evacuation from New Guinea Subsequent to Enemy Attacks 21st-22nd January 1942”. Accessed by Trevor Boughton.
Diary of the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles. John Winterbotham www.australian-pow-ww2.com. Accessed by Trevor Boughton.
Ken Jackson Airline Pilot - an interview with Greg Banfield. AHSA Journal Vol. 21 No. 4, 1982.
James Sinclair, Wings of Gold p.295.

Issue Date Remarks
9 11AUG23
Added an image of NC17392 from the Denver City Library sourcved by David Carter.
8 07APR21
Added references at JUN41 and 14FEB42 from Source: 3.
7 17JUN18
Based on photographic evidence the aircraft name has been amended to R.M.A. Carmania II.
6 18SEP16
Given that VH-ADS survived for less than one year, photographs of the aircraft are rare. Thanks to Bob Livingstone I have added three images taken by Harry Broe.Image 1 Image 2 Image 3
5 03APR16
Refreshed page layout with no changes to data.
4 21OCT12
Added details from Source 2 thanks to Trevor Boughton.
3 07SEP12
Added details from Source 1 thanks to Trevor Boughton.
2 14APR12
Corrected the date that VH-ADT flew spares to Wau for the damaged VH-ADS from 30JAN42 to 31JAN42. Thanks to Trevor Boughton.
1 18FEB00
Original issue.

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