VH-AEO. Douglas C-47-DL. c/n 6051.

It was also registered as: VH-DAS.

 

Construction of this aircraft was completed at the Douglas Long Beach plant, California - November 10, 1942

It was built as a Douglas C-47-DL

Allocated the U. S. serial number '41-38668'

Delivered to the United States Army Air Force at Mobile, Alabama - November 29, 1942

Allocated to the 5th Air Force and delivered to Archerfield, Brisbane - January 12, 1943

Used by 6 Troop Carrier Squadron with the radio callsign 'VHCHF'

Used by 39th Troop Carrier Squadron with the radio callsign 'VHCHJ'

The aircraft was named 'Geronimo'

This aircraft was mainly based at Mareeba, North Queensland

Sustained major damage at Charters Towers - June 23, 1943

Repaired to airworthy condition at Melbourne (Essendon) Airport

Sold to the Department of Civil Aviation having flown 1,888 hours - July 10, 1944

Converted to civilian standards with 24 seats by Australian National Airways at Melbourne (Essendon)

Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-AEO - March 09, 1945

Registered to Commonwealth of Australia / Department of Civil Aviation, Melbourne

Leased to Australian National Airways as the registered operator - March 1945

Chartered to Guinea Airways - 1946

Transferred to Trans Australia Airlines - June 18, 1946

Registered to Australian National Airlines Commission, Melbourne -?

When the aircraft was taken over to be operated by the then newly formed T.A.A. it had amassed some 7,383 hours

It was named 'Cunningham'

Entered service with Trans-Australia Airlines - July 03, 1946

Operated the inaugural Melbourne (Laverton) - Adelaide service - December 02, 1946

This flight was crewed by Captain D. K. McDonald (command), Captain G. J. White and hostess A. Kitching

Leased to Qantas Empire Airways for use as a freighter - 1948

Ferried to Sydney (Bankstown) for conversion to survey configuration by Fairey Clyde Aviation - January 19, 1957

Ferried Sydney (Bankstown) - Adelaide following the conversion - January 28, 1958

Leased to the South Australian Lands Commission but operated by T.A.A. flight crews

It was named 'Clive Hambridge' - after the South Australian Surveyor General

Reregistered as VH-DAS - January 28, 1958

Operated first survey flight in the Naracoorte area - February 02, 1958

Sold to East West Airlines Ltd with the lease continuing - March 01, 1975

Registered to East West Airlines, Tamworth - March 17, 1975

Aircraft had flown 41,206 hours to date

Ferried Adelaide - Tamworth for repainting into current East West livery - June 1975

Returned to Adelaide and continued survey flying

Ferried Adelaide - Tamworth and withdrawn from use - December 21, 1976

Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - March 17, 1977

Sold to Travmar Holdings Pty Ltd - December 1978

Ferried Tamworth - Maitland where it was stored and used as a source of spares for their other DC-3s

Transported by road to Cairns, Queensland for use in the movie 'Sky Pirates'

On completion of the filming it was transported to Tonkins Metal Industries scrapyard, Cairns

The fuselage was rescued and transported to Kuranda Homestead on three semi-trailers - April 1984

Last reported to be in very derelict condition withits back broken

Current status - ?

 

VH-AEO. Trans-Australia Airlines - 'Cunningham' in the revised livery at Melbourne Essendon Airport, date unknown.

(B. Colledge Copyright Image 0250-653.)

VH-DAS. TAA Trans-Australia Airlines - 'Cunningham' in the standard livery with additional 'Aerial Survey Unit Department of Lands South Australia' at Adelaide West Beach Airport, December 1971.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0250-397.)

VH-DAS. TAA Trans-Australia Airlines - 'Cunningham' in the standard livery with additional 'Aerial Survey Unit Department of Lands South Australia' at Adelaide West Beach Airport, April 1972.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0250-917.)

VH-DAS. TAA Trans-Australia Airlines - 'Cunningham' in the standard livery with additional 'Aerial Survey Unit Department of Lands South Australia' at Tamworth Airport, June 1975.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0250-731.)

VH-DAS. East-West - in the standard livery with additional 'Aerial Survey Unit Department of Lands South Australia' at Adelaide West Beach Airport, December 1975.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0250-719.)

VH-DAS. East-West - in the standard livery with additional 'Aerial Survey Unit Department of Lands South Australia' at Adelaide West Beach Airport, January 1976.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0250-242.)

VH-DAS. Travmar - in the basic East-West livery at Maitland Airport, April 1979.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0250-732.)

VH-DAS. Travmar - in the basic East-West livery at Maitland Airport, April 1980.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0251-291.)

VH-DAS. The remains at Kuranda Homestead, Cairns, July 14, 2018.

(M. Denning Copyright Image 0251-721.)

VH-DAS. The remains at Kuranda Homestead, Cairns, July 14, 2018.

(M. Denning Copyright Image 0251-722.)

VH-DAS. The remains at Kuranda Homestead, Cairns, July 14, 2018.

(M. Denning Copyright Image 0251-723.)

VH-DAS. The remains at Kuranda Homestead, Cairns, July 14, 2018.

(M. Denning Copyright Image 0251-724.)

VH-DAS. The remains at Kuranda Homestead, Cairns, July 14, 2018.

(M. Denning Copyright Image 0251-725.)