VH-ASV Aurora Australis


Type: B14S Hudson Mk I
MSN: 1881
Previous Identities: A16-30



History:

20FEB40
Received 2 AD ex USA. (Source: 5)
02MAY40
Issued to 14 Sqn. (Source: 5)
28DEC41
Issued to 13 Sqn. (Source: 5)
25MAR42
Issued 1 AD. (Source: 5)
07JUL42
Received 1 OTU. (Source: 5)
16JUL43
Ground looped when port undercarriage collapsed on landing at Bairnsdale. (Source: 5)
21JAN44
Issued to 7 AD. (Source: 5)
30MAY44
Received 2 AD ex 7 AD. (Source: 5)
19NOV45
Placed in storage at 2 AD. (Source: 5)
20FEB46
Declared surplus and offered for sale. (Source: 5)
23JUN46
Sold to G R Board, Sydney for £600. (Source: 5)
12OCT46
Issued to purchaser ex 2AD Storage, RAAF Richmond. (Source: 5)
OCT46
Ferried Richmond-Mascot by Greg Board. Civil conversion began at Mascot where the aircraft was painted as VH-ASV. (Source: 1)
04DEC46
Flown Mascot-Camden by Greg Board as VH-ASV. (Source: 1)
FEB47
Ownership transferred to Board's partner Warren Penny. (Source: 4)
FEB47
Test flown by Geoff Hoskins on two occasions (20 mins and 35 mins) after overhaul for CofA.
03APR47
Flown from Camden to Bankstown by Warren Penny. CofA overhaul continued by International Air Maintenance at Bankstown. (Source: 2)
JUN47
Intercontinental Air Maintence was founded as a partnership involving Warren Penny, Greg Board and Stan Godden to undertake civil conversions for Intercontinental Air Tours and New Holland Airways. The company operated initially from a hangar at Camden but later relocated to Bankstown. (Source: 4)
03JUL47
Registration application from H. Warren G. Penny, Sydney. Configured for 3 crew and 10 passengers.
09JUL47
Test flight from Bankstown to Mascot by Warren Penny and A. Dibbs. (Source: 2)
09JUL47
Test flight at Mascot by Warren Penny solo. (Source: 2)
10JUL47
Test flight at Mascot by Warren Penny solo. (Source: 2)
10JUL47
Registered VH-ASV to H.W.G. Penny. Configured for 10 passengers plus 3 crew. (Source: 4)
10JUL47
Departed Mascot for Charleville with Capt Warren Penny and 9 passengers including Penny's wife Mone, his brother Raymond and Ernie Allen (IAT Tour Manager). The aircraft was not fitted with dual controls so no co-pilot was carried. Operating as Intercontinental Air Tours. The aircraft was named Aurora Australis. (Source: 5)
10JUL47
Intercontinental Air Tours declared the following to HM Customs on departure from Mascot:

Outbound Passengers: Mr. A. J. Hurst, Mrs M. Schring and child aged 6, all to London and non-paying.
Outbound Freight: Half dozen parcels from Greek Consulate - no charge and have export licence.
Inward Freight if any, will be at BOAC Flying Boat rates.
Return Trip: Ten paying passengers. Greeks from Athens to Sydney. Charter Flight fares average 300 (A) per head.
Route: Charleville, Cloncurry, Darwin, Koepang, Sourabaya, Batavia, Singapore, Butterworth, Rangoon, Calcutta, Gwalia, Karachi, Jiwani, Bahrein, Cyprus, Athens, Rome, Nice, London. Crew: W. Penny (Captain), M. Croft (Co-pilot), G. Taylor (W/O), C. Clayton (Engineer), E. S. Allan (Steward) (Source: 3)
10JUL47
Charleville-Cloncurry. (Source: 2)
11JUL47
Cloncurry-Camooweal. (Source: 2)
11JUL47
Camooweal-Darwin with 11 passengers. (Source: 2)
12JUL47
Darwin-Koepang with 7 passengers. (Source: 2)
12JUL47
Koepang-Bali. (Source: 2)
13JUL47
Bali-Sourabaya-Batavia-Singapore. (Source: 2)
14JUL47
Singapore-Penang-Mergui. (Source: 2)
15JUL47
Mergui-Rangoon. (Source: 2)
16JUL47
Rangoon-Calcutta. (Source: 2)
17JUL47
Calcutta-Allahabad-Jodphur (sic) -Mauripur. (Source: 2)
18JUL47
Mauripur-Jiwani. (Source: 2)
19JUL47
Jiwani-Sharjah-Bahrein-Basra. (Source: 2)
20JUL47
Basra-Habbaniya with 7 passengers. (Source: 2)
20JUL47
Habbaniya-Lydda. (Source: 2)
21JUL47
Lydda-Tobruk-Castel Benito-Malta. (Source: 2)
22JUL47
Malta-Marseilles-London (Heathrow). (Source: 2)
24JUL47
Heathrow-Redhill. Flown solo by Penny. (Source: 2)
07AUG47
Redhill-Croydon. Flown solo by Penny. (Source: 2)
07AUG47
Croydon-Nice. Crewed by Warren Penny (Captain), First Officer Croft, Radio Operator Bacon, P/M Allen, Hostess Sebring. Passengers: Mr & Mrs C.R. Penny, Mr & Mrs Lloyd & Mr A. Cleal. (Source: 2)
08AUG47
Nice-Rome-Athens. (Source: 2)
10AUG47
Athens-Cyprus. Passengers: Miss I. Coumbis, Mr M. Koumki & Mr Matthreos. (Source: 2)
10AUG47
Cyprus-Habbaniyah. Passenger: Miss Adaminou. (Source: 2)
It is presumed that none of the passengers disembarked en route and that there were now 9 passengers on board.
11AUG47
Habbaniyah-Basrah-Sharjah. (Source: 2)
12AUG47
Sharjah-Jiwani-Karachi. (Source: 2)
13AUG47
Karachi-Gwalior-Calcutta. (Source: 2)
14AUG47
Calcutta-Rangoon. (Source: 2)
15AUG47
Rangoon-Butterworth-Singapore. (Source: 2)
16AUG47
Singapore-Batavia-Sourabaya. (Source: 2)
17AUG47
Sourabaya-Koepang-Darwin. (Source: 2)
The aircraft was noted hangared at Darwin.
18AUG47
Darwin-Cloncurry-Charleville. (Source: 2)
Log book shows Cloncurry-Charleville then Longreach-Charleville. There is no Charleville-Longreach sector shown. (Source: 2)
19AUG47
Longreach-Charleville-Mascot. (Source: 2)
20AUG47
Mascot-Bankstown. (Source: 2)
08SEP47
Bankstown-Mascot. Capt Warren Penny, F/O Croft, R/O Taylor, Eng Clayron & T/M Allan. (Source: 2)
09SEP47
Mascot-Charleville. (Source: 2)
09SEP47
Warren Penny declared the following flight details to DCA:
Passengers: Mrs M. Schring and child aged 6, Mr A.J. Hurst all to London and non-paying.
Freight: Half dozen parcels from Greek Consulate - no charge and have export licence.
Freight inward: if any, at BOAC Flying Boat rates.
Return trip: Ten paying passengers. Greeks from Athens to Sydney. Charter flight fares average £300 (A) per head.
Route: Charleville, Cloncurry, Darwin, Koepang, Sourabaya, Batavia, Singapore, Butterworth, Rangoon, Calcutta, Gwalia, Karachi, Jiwani, Bahrein, Cyprus, Athens, Rome, Nice, Croydon Airport London.
Crew: W. Penny, M. Croft (Co-pilot), G. Taylor (W/O), C. Clayton (Engineer), E.S. Allan (Steward),
(Source: 4)
10SEP47
Charleville-Cloncurry-Darwin. (Source: 2)
11SEP47
Darwin-Koepang-Bali. (Source: 2)
12SEP47
Bali-Batavia-Singapore. (Source: 2)
13SEP47
Singapore-Penang-Mergui. (Source: 2)
14SEP47
Mergui-Rangoon. (Source: 2)
15SEP47
Rangoon-Calcutta-Lalitpur. (Source: 2)
16SEP47
Lalitpur-Gwalior-Karachi-Jiwani. (Source: 2)
17SEP47
Jiwani-Bahrein-Baghdad. (Source: 2)
18SEP47
Baghdad-Nicosia-Athens. (Source: 2)
20SEP47
Athens-Rome-Nice-Paris-Croydon. (Source: 2)
21SEP47 Photographed at Croydon and a few days later VH-ASV visited Redhill for maintenance by Field Aircraft Services. (Source: 4)
25SEP47
Croydon-Paris-Nice. Bad weather at Nice required a diversion to Bourges. (Source: 2)
27SEP47
Bourges-Nice but returned to Bourges. (Source: 2)
28SEP47
Bourges-Nice-Rome. (Source: 2)
29SEP47
Rome-Bari. (Source: 2)
30SEP47
Bari-Athens. (Source: 2)
Warren Penny's next flight is on 12DEC47 in Lodestar G-AGBU from Heathrow to Lyons. Evidently he returned to London to take delivery of the Lodestar and Hudson VH-ASV continued its journey with another captain.
16NOV47
Arrived Sydney at 1600 hours from London. Capt B. Starkey with 8 passengers from England and 4 migrants from Italy and Greece. (Source: 4)
19DEC47
Arrived Sydney at 1200 hours from Singapore via Darwin. Capt A. Hurst. (Source: 4)
22JAN48
Departed Sydney for Rome. (Source: 4)
30JAN48
Impounded at Singapore due to irregularity with CofA but aircraft later released to Penny.
04MAR48
Port undercarriage strut failed at Darwin on arrival from Athens with migrants who continued to Sydney on Lodestar VH-BFZ. (Source: 4)
13MAR48
Sold to Francis J. Grigware, an American citizen who had been involved in the Australian migrant trade as a principal of South Eastern before moving his base to Burma. (Source: 4)
17MAR48
Hangared at Darwin until 19MAR48. Owner shown as F. Grigware/South Eastern. (Source: 4)
01APR48
Hangared at Darwin until 12APR48. Owner shown as F. Grigware/South Eastern. (Source: 4)
APR48
Registered XY-ACD and subsequently to Burmese Air Force (Aviation Letter #188 JUL82 p.6). Reported as 1948 but could be 1949.
22MAY48
Left Darwin on a charter flight to Rome. Capt A.J. Hurst. Owner shown as F. Grigware/South Eastern. (Source: 4)
MAY48
Tailwheel collapsed at Rangoon. (Source: 4)
OCT48
Reported still abandoned at Rangoon. Grigware reportedly being held by Burmese authorities over illegal landings at Mergui in Southern Burma. (Source: 4)
MAY49
The Burmese DCA reported that the aircraft had been purchased by a partnership of two pilots and one engineer who have registered the name Burma Air Traders. (Source: 4)
NOV49
Two propellers for the Hudson were sourced in Sydney but the transaction did not proceed. (Source: 4)

 

The conversion of former RAAF Hudsons to airliners was largely driven by the upsurge in migration from Europe in the immediate post-war years. Several entrepreneurs began operating charter flights, mainly from Rome and Athens, in what became known amongst the main players as The Migrant Caper. These operations are covered in exquisite detail in Geoff Goodall's seminal work. The following link will take you to Geoff Goodall's Aviation History Site:

The Migrant Caper

 

SOURCES
1
Log Book of Gregory R. Board photographed by Matthew Denning and transcribed by Geoff Goodall.
2
Log Book of Warren Penny photographed by Greg Weir in 2021.
3
HM Customs files sourced by Geoff Goodall.
4
Geoff Goodall The Migrant Caper
5
RAAF Form E/E.88.

 

Issue Date Remarks
7 22DEC22
Added details from Source: 4.
6 11APR21
Added details from Source: 2 thanks to Greg Weir.
Added details from Source: 3 thanks to Geoff Goodall.
5 10AUG18
Added details from Source: 1
4 11JUL16
Added an image of the aircraft undergoing civil conversion.
3 09JUL02
Added reference to test flights in FEB47.
Added a photo of the aircraft with nose glazing.






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