VH-BKQ. Short S.25 Sunderland Mk III. c/n SB.3553.

Was also registered as: ML731; A26-2.



Built by Short Bros at Rochester, Kent as a Sunderland Mk III - October 1943

Delivered to the Royal Air Force at Wig Bay, Scotland as ML731 - October 07, 1943

It was transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force and prepared at Mount Batten for delivery to Australia

Departed Mount Batten on the ferry flight to Australia - February 14, 1944

Delivery route: Gibralter - West Africa - Brasil - Caribbean - San Francisco - Honolulu - Pacific Islands - Sydney

Received by Qantas at Sydney (Rose Bay) for overhaul prior to entering service - March 21, 1944

Entered onto the Australian Military Aircraft Register as A26-2

Ferried to No 2 F.B.R.D. at Newcastle (Rathmines) - May 29, 1944

Delivered to 40 Squadron R.A.A.F. at Townsville - July 01, 1944

It used the radio callsign 'VHCOB' whilst in service

It sustained damage to the hull when it dragged its moorings at Cairns - March 04, 1946

Ferried to No 2 F.B.R.D. at Newcastle (Rathmines) - March 19, 1946

Withdrawn from service and stored at Newcastle (Rathmines)

The aircraft was declared unserviceable following severe hail storm - April 25, 1946

It was advertised for sale - June 12, 1946

Sold to B. W. Monkton - October 04, 1946

Ferried Newcastle (Rathmines) - Sydney (Rose Bay) - March 05, 1947

It was converted to 'Hythe' standard with seating for 36 passengers on twin decks

Entered onto Australian Aircraft Register as VH-BKQ (CofR 1677) - November 05, 1949

The Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA 1644) was issued - November 05, 1949

Registered to Trans Oceanic Airways Ltd, Sydney

The aircraft was named 'Pacific Star'

Operated its first revenue service Sydney (Rose Bay) - Grafton - November 07, 1949

Operated the inaugural Sydney - Hobart service (Captains B. Monkton, K. Goddard) - August 16, 1950

Operated the inauguarl Sydney - Brisbane - Townsville - Port Moresby service (Captain Mathieson) - October 29, 1950

Lost the port outer propeller and reduction gear on Sydney - Grafton service - April 16, 1951

Returned to Sydney and was withdrawn from service for repairs

Repairs were abandoned due to costs and the discovery of major corrosion in the main spar

It was officially withdrawn from use - June 28, 1951

Scrapped at Sydney (Rose Bay) and used for parts

Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - June 28, 1954



VH-BKQ. Trans-Oceanic Airways - 'Pacific 'Star' in the 'all-metal' livery on the Derwent River. Hobart, August 16, 1950.

(J. Wilson Collection Copyright Image 2545-984.)