VH-ANI. Douglas DC-3-396. c/n 4119.


Originally ordered new by American Airlines Inc as a Douglas DC-3-277D

Aircraft configured to seat 21 passengers with starboard passenger door

Sale price quoted by Douglas was $US 138,512

Order was transferred to the United States Army Air Force

Construction completed at Long Beach, California - July 1941

Built as a Douglas DC-3-396, Type C-50-DO with a starboard cargo door

Delivered to the USAAF - July 24, 1941

Allocated U.S. serial number 41-7697

Arrived Maxwell Air Force Base - August 11, 1941

Transferred to Bolling Air Force Base - January 15, 1942

Transferred to Tulsa Air Force Base - March 23, 1942

Transferred to Knellwood Air Force Base - April 16, 1942

Transferred to Bolling Air Force Base - August 15, 1942

Transferred to Hamilton Air Force Base - August 30, 1942

Issued to the 5th Air Force - October 20, 1942

Issued to 21st TCS, 374th TCG, Amberley, Queensland - November 1942

Operated using the radio call-sign 'VHCDK'

Aircraft was originally named 'Laka Nookie'

Allocated to No 36 Squadron, R.A.A.F. - January 19, 1943

Aircraft was now named 'Kwitchyr Bichin'

Delivered by sea to C.A.C. Fishermen's Bend plant for modification and fumigation - March 15, 1943

Returned to the U.S.A.A.F. - April 14, 1943

Delivered to No 31 Squadron, A.D.A.T., Parafield, South Australia - April 29, 1944

Assigned to Guinea Airways, Parafield, S.A. - May 1, 1944

Handed over to Guinea Airways Ltd at Parafield - May 3, 1944

Operated by Guinea Airways under contract to the Allied Directorate of Air Transport

Operated in camouflage livery with large U.S. star / stripe at rear door area and 'Guinea Airways' under cockpit

Based in Townsville and operated for ADAT

Officially transferred to Guinea Airways by the U.S.A.A.F. - October 7, 1945

Aircraft had flown 4,991 hours

Sold to Australian National Airways - May 16, 1946

Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-ANI - May 22, 1946

Registered to Guinea Airways Ltd (CofR 977)

Leased to Guinea Airways as registered operator - May 30, 1946

Registered to Australian National Airways Pty Ltd - July 18, 1946

Operated as a freighter with starboard cargo door

Believed to have been used by Butler Air Transport for short periods but details are unknown

Participated in 'Operation Haylift' during the South West Queensland floods - 1950

Converted to Pratt and Whitney R-1830-S1C3G engines prior to its sale

Sold to New Zealand National Airways Corporation (NZNAC) - June 13, 1955

Arrived Auckland at conclusion of delivery flight - June 14, 1955

Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - June 14, 1955

Entered onto the New Zealand Aircraft Register as ZK-BKE - July 19, 1955

Registered to New Zealand National Airways Corporation (NZNAC)

Aircraft was named 'Kawatere' (parakeet)

Used as a freighter by NZNAC

Withdrawn from NZNAC service - January 18, 1966

Aircraft had flown 38,466 hours

Sold to Australian Aircraft Sales, Sydney - September 13, 1967

Sold to Royal Air Lao - December 1967

Departed Mangere, Auckland on delivery flight to Laos via Brisbane - January 1968

Entered onto the Laotian Aircraft Register as XW-TDD - January 1968

Leased to Lanexang Airlines, Laos - March 11, 1968

Reregistered as XW-TFI - ?

Leased to Khemara Air Transport - ?

Crashed on take-off from Takeo, Cambodia - December 15, 1974

Aircraft was destroyed without loss of life




VH-ANI. Australian National Airways - in the full livery at Essendon Airport, date unknown.

ZK-BKE. NZNAC - in the full livery, location and date unknown.