VH-AXM. Douglas C-47A-20-DL. c/n 9350.

was also registered as VH-BXM and VH-MME.


Construction completed at the Douglas Long Beach plant - April 1943

Built as a Douglas C-47A-20-DL

Allocated U.S. serial number 42-23488

Delivered to the U.S.A.A.F. - April 8, 1943

Arrived Brisbane on delivery to the 5th Air Force - May 24, 1943

Allocated to the 39th TCS of the 317th TCG using the radio call-sign 'VHCGF'

Aircraft was named 'Ready Willing and Able'

Damaged at Fenton during a bombing raid on the airfield by Japanese aircraft - June 30, 1943

Transferred to Wards Strip, Port Moresby - September 1943

Damaged at Gusap, New Guinea during a strafing raid by Japanese fighters - November 6, 1943

Transferred to Finschafen with 39th Troop Carrier Squadron - July 11, 1944

MacRobertson Miller Airlines given approval by D.C.A. to purchase surplus C-47s - June 1946

These ex USAAF aircraft were stored at Clarke Field, Manila and sold via the C.D.C.

This aircraft was selected by MMA's Chief Pilot C. Kleinig and Chief Engineer F. Colquhoun

Approval to purchase this airframe had to come from U.S. HQ in Tokyo taking several weeks

Aircraft was still configured as a troop carrier

Test flown at Clarke Field by Cyril Kleinig - June 6, 1946

Official Date-of-Disposal - July 31, 1946

Departed Clarke Field on ferry flight to Australia - July 31, 1946

Arrived Perth at conclusion of ferry flight - August 1, 1946

Delivery route: Manila-Tacloban-Darwin-Broome-Carnarvon-Perth

Flight crew: Capt C. Kleinig; F/O B. Horan (A.N.A.); Engineer F. Colquhoun

Converted to civilian standards as a DC-3C-S1C3G with seating for 21 passengers

The original double rear doors were retained so that it could be used to carry freight

Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-AXM (CofR 1260) - March 11, 1947

Registered to MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co

Aircraft named 'RMA Fitzroy'

Entered service with M.M.A. - March 25, 1947

Operated charter flight to pick-up the Indian Cricket Team for their Australian Tour - October 4, 1947

Route: Perth-Broome-Darwin-Koepang-Surabaya-Singapore-Penang-Rangoon-Calcutta

Departed Calcutta with the Indian Team on the return flight - October 8, 1947

Flight crew: Capt C. Kleinig; F/O A.E. Budd; F/E F. Colquhoun

Reregistered as VH-BXM - November 26, 1948

This change was necessary when I.C.A.O. prohibited the use of the 'AX' registration block

Doubtful that this registration was actually ever painted on the aircraft as it was reregistered immediately

Reregistered as VH-MME - December 14, 1948

Aircraft was destroyed when it crashed at night at Allawah Grove, South Guildford, WA - July 2, 1949

Was operating Perth-Carnarvon-Port Headland-Derby-Wyndham-Darwin service as MV772

Approximately 10 minutes after take-off the aircraft dived almost vertically into the ground

Believed to have achieved only a height of between 300 to 500 feet in its short flight

Although there was no explosion on impact the fuel tanks ruptured and wreckage caught fire

Except for the rudder, tailwheel and some freight the aircraft was destroyed in the subsequent fire

Cause of crash has never been confidently established but a number of factors were considered

It was known that a large amount of freight was positioned on the port-side in the first two rows of seats

Did this loading affect the centre of gravity to a critical extent when the wheels were retracted?

Crew inexperience in poor weather conditions was also considered

Flight crew: Capt W.G. Norman; F/O H. Jackson-Vassie; Supernumery Capt E. C. Langford

Cabin crew: Hostess S.J. Seymour - there were 14 passengers on the flight

Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - July 4, 1949