38 Squadron Hudson Aircraft

38 Squadron Hudson Aircraft

The following information has been compiled by Brian (Jack) Plenty and drawn from www.adf-serials.com.au/2a16.htm  RAAF A16 Lockheed Hudson Mk I, Mk II, Mk III, Mk IIIA, Mk IV, Mk IVA, www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_lockeed_hudson_IV. html,

the Australian War Memorial website, the books Anson, Hudson & Sunderland in Australian Service by Stewart Wilson, Aerospace Publications, 1992 and The RAAF Hudson Story, Book One, David Vincent, Openbook Publishers, Adelaide, South Australia, 1999 and his Book Two, Vincent Aviation Publications, Highbury, South Australia 2010 and the series of booklets from Units of the Royal Australian Air Force, A Concise History, Volume 3, Bomber Units; Volume 4, Maritime and Transport Units; Volume 7, Maintenance Units; Volume 8, Training Units and Volume 9, Ancillary Units, RAAF Historical Section, Australian Government Printing Service, 1995.

 

The RAAF was the second service to order the Lockheed Hudson and the most important operator of the aircraft after the RAF. For the first two years of the war in the Pacific the Hudson was the RAAF’s most important bomber and like every Allied aircraft in the Pacific in 1942 it suffered heavy losses at the hands of the Japanese.

In November 1938, after initial negotiations were conducted with Lockheed’s Australian agents, Brown & Dureau Ltd, the RAAF ordered 50 Hudson aircraft through the British Air Ministry, which had already signed an order of 200 aircraft with an option of 50 more in June 1938. These aircraft were fitted with three-bladed Hamilton Standard two-position propellers and designated the Mk I. They differed from the RAF Hudson Mk I by being powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-1830-SC3G Twin Wasp (1,200hp, 14-cylinder radial, twin row) engines in place of the Wright GR-1820-G102A (1,100hp, 9-cylinder radial, single row) engines used by the RAF. The Pratt & Whitney engine was chosen as an earlier version (R-1340-S1H1G Wasp, 600hp, 9-cylinder radial, single row) was being manufactured under licence for the Wirraway by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation. Armament consisted of two fixed, forward firing Browning 0.303in machine guns in the upper nose operated by the pilot and two in a Boulton-Paul dorsal turret, although the first batch entered service before the turrets reached Australia and so were armed with a gun in a flexible mount. In other respects, the aircraft were similar to the RAF aircraft.

In September 1939 a further 50 Hudson aircraft, 12 with dual controls, were ordered through the British Air Ministry. These aircraft had a stronger airframe than the Mk I and were fitted with three-bladed Hamilton Standard constant speed propellers and designated the Mk II. The RAF used the same designation. The duplication of designations was not a problem at first as the RAAF aircraft were based in Australia, Netherlands East Indies, Malaya and Singapore and the RAF aircraft in Britain and the Mediterranean, but as it had the potential to cause confusion the Australian Mk I and Mk II aircraft were subsequently designated Mk IV. These aircraft were identified under RAAF serial numbers A16-1 to A16-100 and were shipped to Australia, arriving between January and June 1940.

In March 1941 an additional 52 Hudson aircraft were ordered, then quickly increased to 146 aircraft. The first 52 were Mk IV aircraft delivered under the USA Lend-Lease program and so designated Mk IVA. Under the Lend-Lease program the aircraft were assigned US Army Air Corps (USAAC) then later US Army Air Forces (USAAF) designations and serial numbers. The Hudson would be given two USAAC designations: A-28 for aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1830 engines and A-29 for aircraft powered by Wright GR-1820 engines. The 52 aircraft were powered by the same Pratt & Whitney engines as the earlier aircraft but under its USAAC designation of R-1830-45 Twin Wasp. Only 52 A-28-LO were built, all of which served with the RAAF under serial numbers A16-101 to A16-152.

The remaining 94 aircraft were Mk III(LR) also delivered under the Lend-Lease programme and designated Mk IIIA(LR) and USAAC designation A-29-LO. The Mk III(LR) included the stronger fuselage of the Mk II, extra wing fuel tanks (hence designation as Long Range) and the addition of one retractable ventral and two beam machine guns giving it a total of seven guns and removing a blind spot below the aircraft. The Mk III was powered by two Wright R-1820-G205A (1,200hp 9-cylinder radial, single row) engines. When installed on the Mk IIIA, these engines were designated the Wright R-1820-87. These aircraft arrived in Australia between December 1941 and May 1942.

In addition, an extra aircraft found its way onto the inventory – the former RAF AE488 designated A16-222. AE488  survived the Singapore campaign when it was evacuated by a RAAF crew to Australia in March 1942 and taken onto RAAF strength – and the number of aircraft ultimately acquired by the RAAF was 247. RAAF Hudson Mk IIIA served under serial numbers A16-153 to A16-247.

There are slight discrepancies on websites and books regarding the total number of Hudson aircraft acquired by the RAAF. The www.adf-serials.com.au/ 2a16.htm notes the 247 aircraft as described above. The www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_lockeed_ hudson_III and IV. html notes 265 Hudson aircraft: the original 100 Mk IVs and 52 Mk IVAs, 41 Mk IIIAs (A-29-LO), 65 Mk IIIAs (A-29A-LO) and 7 Mk IVs; the latter apparently taken from an RAF order for 30 Mk IVs. The adf-serials website and Stewart Wilson are in accord regarding number of aircraft and associated serial numbers. David Vincent lists 246 aircraft and notes that A16-222 was not included in his list as it was not supplied direct to the RAAF.

 

After its formation on 15 September 1943, 38 Squadron’s first aircraft were all Hudson Mk IVA. After service with a range of RAAF units these aircraft were operated by 38 Squadron between November 1943 and May 1944. The squadron began re-equipping with Douglas Dakota C-47A aircraft from March 1944 and the Hudson aircraft were reassigned to other flying units.

 

Much of the information below has been taken from the adf-serials website. The records of each aircraft vary considerably in the level of detail available. Examples include when and at what unit aircraft were modified from the bombing to the transport role and the dates when some events occurred. Some discrepancies may be original record entry omissions or errors or subsequent transcription errors. I have also included A16-120 although the records indicated that it was allocated to 38 Squadron but subsequently not issued. I have indicated in the text the points of discrepancy with a [*], [date] or [location] for missing information and I have included a table of discrepancies and information gaps at the end of this document and will continue research to resolve them.

 

In the table below I have expanded the abbreviated unit names and included their locations and expanded military ranks from the adf-serials.com.au records. I have described the units No# RSU as No# Repair and Salvage Unit. These units kept that title during the period 1942-44 and then renamed to No# Repair and Servicing Unit for the period 1945-46. I have used the booklets Units of the Royal Australian Air, a Concise History to determine unit locations.  I have also retained the then ‘RAAF Station’ names for major RAAF locations and the titles of the Territory of Papua (Papua) and separately New Guinea.

 

 

RAAF Serial Type Construction No. USAAF Serial Delivered to RAAF Aircraft History
A16-113 Mk IVA 6042 41-23183 08/12/41 USAAC designation A-28-LO

17/09/41 – delivered ex Lockheed to USAAC

13/10/41 – assigned Defense Aid
08/12/41 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC ex USA
20/12/41 – flight tested
28/12/41 – 14Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Pearce, WA
29/06/42 – 5 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Forest Hill, NSW (near Wagga Wagga)

27/07/42 – 14Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Pearce, WA

13/12/42 – 32Sqn RAAF, Camden Aerodrome, NSW

14/04/43* – Accident. Aircraft struck pine trees on landing at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Aerodrome, damaging leading edges

Crew: Flying Officer L. Halliday, Flying Officer A.H. Gawler, Flying Officer R.N. Castles and Pilot Officer W.J. Stevenson of 32 Sqn RAAF – no injures

[date] – 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW for repairs

12/04/43 – 6Sqn RAAF, Turnbull Field, Milne Bay, Papua

19/07/43 – 3 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Amberley, QLD

25/07/43 – 6Sqn RAAF, Turnbull Field, Milne Bay, Papua

10/09/43* – 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW

[date] – 38Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW

Registration VH-RBA

20/04/44 – 38Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW allocation cancelled
01/10/44 – 1 Operational Training Unit, RAAF Station East Sale, VIC

08/12/44 – 1 Air Performance Unit, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC
07/02/45 – 1 Operational Training Unit, RAAF Station East Sale, VIC
04/05/45 – Accident. At 1913hrs aircraft took off from East Sale on night training via Paynesville; Pats River Aerodrome, Flinders Island and return to East Sale. Presumed lost at sea, with only a wheel and undercarriage washing up on a beach near Ocean Grange, Victoria
Crew: Warrant F.J. Maughan, Flying Officer A.S. Cullen, Warrant Officer H.L. Hammersley, Flight Sergeant R.C. Smith and Sergeant F.W. Walker posted as missing
09/07/45 – Struck Off Charge

 

RAAF Serial Type Construction No. USAAF Serial Delivered to RAAF Aircraft History
A16-115 Mk IVA 6044 41-23185 05/12/41 USAAC designation A-28-LO

05/12/41 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC ex USA
25/12/41 – flight tested
05/01/42 – 14Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Pearce, WA
24/03/42 – Accident. Aircraft 100 miles seaward from Albany, WA when port engine failed due to a drop in oil pressure. Captain Flight Lieutenant R.G. Cornfoot made emergency landing at Albany. Crew jettisoned bombs, fuel and anything loose as the aircraft could not maintain altitude on the starboard engine. Made low approach and landing without further incident. No injuries
16/12/42 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC
14/01/43 – 32Sqn RAAF, Camden Aerodrome, NSW
24/04/43 – 6Sqn RAAF, Turnbull Field, Milne Bay, Papua
02/07/43 – 15 Aircraft Repair Depot, Wards Strip, Port Moresby, Papua
23/09/43 – 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW for conversion to transport role
11/11/43 – 38Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW

Registration VH-RBB

20/04/44 – allocation 38Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW cancelled
26/05/44 – 3 Communications Unit, Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport, NSW for flying physics laboratory
12/08/44 – allocated for use by Air Officer Commanding RAAF*
05/03/45 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW
18/07/45 – 1 Operational Training Unit, RAAF Station East Sale, VIC
29/11/45 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW then allocation suspended and used for bush fire patrols from RAAF Station East Sale, VIC
16/04/46 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW for storage
31/03/47 – sold to W.R. Carpenter & Co, Sydney for £1,250
05/05/47 – issued to purchaser
26/08/47 – added to Australian Register as VH-BDN to Mandated Airlines Ltd based in Lae, New Guinea
27/06/49 – sold to Fawcett Aviation Engineering Service, Sydney and named “Petunia”
10/07/49 – returned to service on lease to Mandated Airlines, Lae

25/03/50 – Accident. Crashed at Lae airfield after hitting telegraph pole at edge of strip whilst on a test flight with three crew, fatally injuring Captain Gibson-Lee (DFC, AFC)

 

RAAF Serial Type Construction No. USAAF Serial Delivered to RAAF Aircraft History
A16-118 Mk IVA 6047 41-23188 05/12/41 USAAC designation A-28-LO

17/09/41 – delivered ex Lockheed to USAAC

14/10/41 – assigned Defense Aid
05/12/41 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW ex USA
28/12/41 – flight tested
05/01/42 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC
01/02/42 – 7Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC

05/02/42 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW for fitment of Boulton-Paul Turret
09/02/42 – 7Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC
23/03/42 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC for fitment of Long Range Fuel Tanks
08/04/42 – 13Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Darwin, NT
23/05/42 – 1 Repair and Salvage Unit, Daly Waters, NT*
05/12/42 – Accident. Aircraft ground collision with tree removing port wing tip [location]
20/12/42 – 5 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Forest Hill, NSW (near Wagga Wagga)

05/02/43 – 7Sqn RAAF, RAAF Base Townsville, QLD
03/04/43 – 6Sqn RAAF, Turnbull Field, Milne Bay, Papua
10 Repair and Salvage Unit, Milne Bay, Papua for engine change
12/06/43 – 6Sqn RAAF, Turnbull Field, Milne Bay, Papua
29/06/43 – Accident. At 1159hrs starboard tyre blew on landing at Milne Bay causing aircraft to ground loop
Crew: Squadron Leader I.J. Roberts, Flight Lieutenant R.J. Martin, Flying Officer S.W. Jamieson and Sergeant R.T. Mitchell un-injured
01/07/43 – 10 Repair and Salvage Unit, Milne Bay, Papua
05/07/43 – 6Sqn RAAF, Turnbull Field, Milne Bay, Papua

29/08/43 – 5 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Forest Hill, NSW (near Wagga Wagga)
29/01/44 – 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW for modification to transport role
[date] – 38Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW
30/03/44 – allocation 38Sqn RAAF cancelled

07/04/44 – 4 Communications Unit, RAAF Station Archerfield, Brisbane, QLD
05/03/45* – Accident. At 1620hrs crashed into sea while flying at low level attempting to land at Cairns Aerodrome. The crash occurred about 400 meters out from Machans Beach, 2 kilometers south of Cairns Aerodrome.  A major contributing factor was reported as low cloud in the vicinity of the aerodrome

Crew: Flight Lieutenant D.J. Bassett, Flight Lieutenant J.W. Newell, Flying Officer G. Thomson DFM, Warrant Officer B.S. Frieze and Leading Aircraftman I.D. Moore
Passengers: Major General G.A. Vasey CB, CBE, DSO and Bar, MID, Major General R.M. Downes CMG VD, Lieutenant Colonel G.A. Bertram OBE, MID, Lieutenant Colonel H.R. Russell DSO, MID, Lieutenant W. Riggall and Acting/Corporal E.L. James, all Australian Army. All 11 members died in the accident and are buried in Cairns
13/03/45 – Struck Off Charge

 

RAAF Serial Type Construction No. USAAF Serial Delivered to RAAF Aircraft History
A16-120 Mk IVA 6049 41-23190 08/12/41 USAAC designation A-28-LO

17/09/41 – delivered ex Lockheed to USAAC

15/10/41 – assigned Defense Aid

08/12/41 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC ex USA
27/12/41 – flight tested
09/02/42 – 7Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC
28/04/42 – Accident. Landed on punctured tyre. Main fitting from centre section buckled. [location]
04/05/42 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC
23/05/42 – 5 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Forest Hill, NSW (near Wagga Wagga) for undercarriage repairs. Languished under repair until 1943. Painted Forest Green overall
22/05/43* – 6SQN RAAF, Turnbull Field, Milne Bay, Papua

24/08/43 – 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW for modification to transport role
24/08/43 – allocated 38Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW

Not issued to 38Sqn RAAF
04/09/43 – proceeded to Wards Airfield, Port Moresby for use by General Sir Thomas Blamey, Commander in Chief Australian Military Forces*
18/11/43 – allocated for use by Air Vice-Marshal George Jones, RAAF Chief of Air Staff. Passenger seats ex A16-98 to be installed*
06/12/43 – 1 Communications Unit, Essendon Aerodrome Melbourne, VIC
03/08/44 – allocated for use by RAAF Chief of Air Staff

Striped to bare metal
23/03/45 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW for modification for use by 1 Operational Training Unit, RAAF Station East Sale, VIC

28/06/45 – seats to be removed for fitment to Lodestar A67-8 then suspended following grounding of Lodestar aircraft
10/09/45 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW for storage
10/12/46 – sold to H. Ellis, Shermans Motors, Dubbo, NSW for £1,000*
04/09/47 – sale cancelled
10/02/48 – sold to Macquarie Grove Flying School Pty Ltd, Camden, NSW
18/03/48 – issued to purchaser

28/02/49 – added to Australian Register as VH-SML
10/08/51 – ownership amended to Herald Flying Services, Camden, NSW
27/05/52 – Herald Flying Services ceased operations
Aircraft remained registered to Sydney Morning Herald but not used for regular operations
18/03/53 – struck off Register as withdrawn from service
06/09/54 – returned to Register as VH-SML in name of John Fairfax & Sons Pty. Ltd., Sydney
14/09/54 – Accident. Missing on newspaper dropping flight 140 miles north of Sydney. Captain Doug Swain plus two crew.
06/10/54 – struck off Register
22/12/55 – wreckage located at Barrington Tops, NSW

 

RAAF Serial Type Construction No. USAAF Serial Delivered to RAAF Aircraft History
A16-122 Mk IVA 6051 41-23192 05/12/41 USAAC designation A-28-LO

17/09/41 – delivered ex Lockheed to USAAC

15/10/41 – assigned Defense Aid
05/12/41 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC ex USA
08/01/42 – 14Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Pearce, WA
09/02/42 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW for fitment of Boulton-Paul Turret
22/02/42 – 14Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Pearce, WA
29/04/42 – Accident. Aircraft struck drain on landing and undercarriage collapsed [location]
16/11/42 – Accident. Ground collision with wingtip of A16-116 [location]

15/01/43 – 32Sqn RAAF, Camden Aerodrome, NSW
23/05/43 – 6Sqn RAAF, Turnbull Field, Milne Bay, Papua
09/09/43 – 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW for modification to transport role
14/11/43 – 38Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW
Registration VH-RBD

12/03/44 – Accident. Missing in vicinity of Carnarvon, WA
Aircraft returning to Carnarvon in bad weather belly landed after fuel exhaustion 21 miles north of Quongba Homestead. No injuries
15/03/44 – located by search aircraft
Crew: Flying Officer O.L. Sands, Flight Sergeant E. Bergman, Sergeant A.R. Howard and Leading Aircraftman R.G. Searles un-injured
20/03/44 – 17 Repair and Salvage Unit, Cunderdin, WA
02/04/44 – 4 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Kalgoorlie-Boulder, WA for repair

[date] – allocation to 38Sqn RAAF cancelled
30/11/45 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW for storage
24/04/47 – sold to Godden Board and Godden, Potts Point, NSW
07/08/47 – issued to purchaser

25/11/54 – added to Australian Register as VH-AGX to Adastra Aerial Surveys. Aircraft converted from Mk IVA to Mk III with installation of Wright Cyclone engines
29/06/62 – transferred to Sepal Pty Ltd (an Adastra company)
22/12/73 – Accident. Crashed on takeoff at Horn Island, QLD
Both crew escaped injury
1976 acquired by Mr Bob Eastgate, Melbourne, VIC
06/02/77 – arrived at RAAF Base Point Cook, VIC ex MV “Townsville Trader” for restoration
29/11/96 – transferred to RAAF Museum, RAAF Base Point Cook, VIC in exchange for a number of Winjeel aircraft

 

RAAF Serial Type Construction No. USAAF Serial Delivered to RAAF Aircraft History
A16-124 Mk IVA 6053 41-23194 08/12/41 USAAC designation A-28-LO

17/09/41 – delivered ex Lockheed to USAAC

16/10/41 – assigned Defense Aid
08/12/41 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC ex USA
22/12/41 – flight tested

28/12/41 – 14Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Pearce, WA
28/01/42 – Accident. Aircraft struck rabbit burrow breaking tail wheel strut [location]
01/06/42 – Accident. Forced landing when port engine failed [location]
14/01/43 – 32Sqn RAAF, Camden Aerodrome, NSW
24/04/43 – 6Sqn RAAF, Turnbull Field, Milne Bay, Papua
09/05/43 – 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW
14/07/43 – 3 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Amberley, QLD for modification to transport role
05/09/43 – 37Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC

05/09/43 – 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW

16/09/43 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC*

13/10/43 – allocated 38Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW

14/10/43 – transported Beaufort aircraft parts to 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC
[date] – allocation 38Sqn RAAF cancelled

01/11/43 – 1 Special Duties and Performance Flight, 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC

08/11/43 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC
09/11/43 – Accident.  Aircraft broke tail strut at Laverton
Crew: Flying Officer L. Brady, Flying Officer K.A. Rosenlain and Flight Lieutenant R.A. Yeowart no injuries
11/11/43 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC

[date] – 38Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW

Registration VH-RBE
06/03/44 – Accident. At 1107hrs on landing at Wagga Wagga, NSW port undercarriage collapsed causing aircraft to slide for several hundred yards
Crew: Pilot Officer G.T. Brames, Pilot Officer G.I. McCool, Sergeant J. Plunkett and Corporal G.J. Smith un-injured
09/03/44 – 5 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Forest Hill, NSW (near Wagga Wagga)
20/06/44 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW
[date] – allocation to 38Sqn RAAF cancelled

17/10/44 – allocated special equipment ex A16-55
31/10/44 – allocation cancelled
16/09/45 – 1 Communications Unit, Essendon Aerodrome Melbourne, VIC
13/11/45 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW for storage

27/06/47 – sold to Standard Vacuum Oil Company for £1,000
08/04/48 – sale cancelled

21/06/48 – sold to Macquarie Grove Flying School

 

RAAF Serial Type Construction No. USAAF Serial Delivered to RAAF Aircraft History
A16-131 Mk IVA 6060 41-23201 15/12/41 USAAC designation A-28-LO

22/09/41 – delivered ex Lockheed to USAAC

17/10/41 – assigned Defense Aid
15/12/41 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW ex USA

22/12/41 – flight tested
26/12/41 – 6Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW
02/01/42 – fitted with cowl guns in lieu of Boulton-Paul Turret

04/01/42 – 6Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW
05/03/42 – 32Sqn RAAF, Seven Mile Airstrip, Port Moresby
06/03/42 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC

11/03/42 – 6Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW
06/04/42 – 5 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Forest Hill, NSW (near Wagga Wagga)
01/08/42 – 14Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Pearce, WA
05/01/43 – 32Sqn RAAF, Camden Aerodrome, NSW
16/03/43 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW
01/04/43 – 6Sqn RAAF, Turnbull Field, Milne Bay, Papua

14/04/43 – 3 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Amberley QLD
26/06/43 – 6Sqn RAAF, Turnbull Field, Milne Bay, Papua
07/09/43 – 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW for modification to transport role
[date] – 38Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW

Registration VH-RBF

20/04/44 – allocation 38Sqn RAAF cancelled
18/09/44 – 1 Operational Training Unit, RAAF Station East Sale, VIC
12/09/45 – Accident. Aircraft ran out of fuel and landed wheels up on beach [location]. Pilot did not check fuel level prior to flight
Crew: Warrant Officer J.J. Tedd, Sergeant L. Bodley, Warrant Officer W.A. Corlett and Warrant Officer C.M. Wheatley no injuries
[date] – 1 Central Recovery Depot, Werribee, VIC for survey
[date] – 4 (Maintenance) Group, Melbourne advised to write-off
09/10/45 – Struck Off Charge

 

RAAF Serial Type Construction No. USAAF Serial Delivered to RAAF Aircraft History
A16-134 Mk IVA 6063 41-23204 15/12/41 USAAC designation A-28-LO

22/09/41 – delivered ex Lockheed to USAAC

18/10/41 – assigned Defense Aid
15/12/41 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW ex USA
21/12/41 – flight tested
24/12/41 – 6Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW
28/12/41 – fitted with cowl guns in lieu of Boulton-Paul Turret
03/01/42 – 6Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW

01/02/42 – departed Townsville for Port Moresby
26/03/42 – required repairs from Enemy Action
02/04/42 – 32Sqn RAAF, Seven Mile Airstrip, Port Moresby
06/04/42 – 5 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Forest Hill, NSW (near Wagga Wagga)
18/09/42 – 13Sqn RAAF, Hughes Strip, NT
12/11/42 – 1 Repair and Salvage Unit, Manbulloo, NT
28/11/42 – 13Sqn RAAF, Hughes Strip, NT
05/01/43 – 3 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Amberley, QLD
09/04/43 – 6Sqn RAAF, Turnbull Field, Milne Bay, Papua

10/09/43 – 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW for modification to transport role

07/11/43 – 38Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW. It was 38 Sqn’s first aircraft, ferried from Tocumwal on 07/11/43 by Commanding Officer Squadron Leader C.C. Forman (RAF)

Registration VH-RBG
16/02/44 – dual controls fitted
[date] – allocation 38Sqn RAAF cancelled

10/06/44 – 1 Operational Training Unit, RAAF Station East Sale, VIC
22/06/44 – 1 Communication Unit, Essendon Aerodrome Melbourne, VIC, fitted with 8 passenger seats and ferried British Air Mission

29/11/45 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW for storage then suspended and used for bush fire patrols by 1 Operational Training Unit, RAAF Station East Sale, VIC
01/03/46 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW for storage
28/07/46 – offered for disposal
24/09/47 – sold to D.G. Stuart, Cremorne, NSW for £100
16/08/48 – issued to purchaser

 

RAAF Serial Type Construction No. USAAF Serial Delivered to RAAF Aircraft History
A16-147 Mk IVA 6076 41-23217 26/12/41 USAAC designation A-28-LO

24/09/41 – delivered ex Lockheed to USAAC

22/10/41 – assigned Defense Aid
26/12/41 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC ex USA
04/01/42 – flight tested
25/01/42 – 14Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Pearce, WA
28/03/42 – Accident. Aircraft taxied over concrete pegging down block at Pearce damaging bomb bay doors
28/10/42 – 17 Repair and Salvage Unit, Cunderdin, WA
28/03/43 – 1 Operational Training Unit, Bairnsdale Aerodrome, VIC
02/05/43 – 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW
04/07/43 – 3 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Amberley, QLD
15/08/43 – 6Sqn RAAF, Turnbull Field, Milne Bay, Papua
24/08/43 – allocated 38Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW
12/11/43 – allocation 38Sqn RAAF cancelled

12/11/43 – 1 Communications Unit, Essendon Aerodrome Melbourne, VIC fitted with 7 passenger seats for Senior Air Staff use
23/11/43 – 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW for modification to transport role
08/01/44 – 38Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW

Registration VH-RBH

[date] – allocation 38Sqn RAAF cancelled
17/06/44 – 1 Operational Training Unit, RAAF Station East Sale, VIC
03/12/45 – bush fire patrols by 1 Operational Training Unit

29/02/46 – 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW for storage
24/04/47 – sold to Godden Board & Godden, Potts Point, NSW for £1,000

27/07/47 – issued to purchaser
19/03/48 – registration application from C. Raymond Penny, Intercontinental Air Transport of Sydney, NSW

17/06/48 – added to Australian Register as VH-BIH
11/10/49 – struck off Australian Register as “improper sale overseas” as aircraft was on flight to Cyprus when diverted to Haifa, Israel 06/11/48. Aircraft had entered service with the Israeli Defense Force as #2601

05/03/49 – written off in combat. Unit unknown. May have been 106Sqn Israeli Defense Force. No Further Details

 

RAAF Serial Type Construction No. USAAF Serial Delivered to RAAF Aircraft History
A16-148 Mk IVA 7077 41-23218 26/12/41 USAAC designation A-28-LO

24/09/41 – delivered ex Lockheed to USAAC

23/10/41 – assigned Defense Aid
26/12/41 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC ex USA
12/01/42 – flight tested

25/01/42 – 14Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Pearce, WA
11/06/42 – 5 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Forest Hill, NSW (near Wagga Wagga) for fitment of Boulton-Paul Turret
29/06/42 – 14Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Pearce, WA
25/12/42 – 32Sqn RAAF, Camden Aerodrome, NSW
[date] – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC for fitment of Long Range Fuel Tanks

01/05/43 – 6Sqn RAAF, Turnbull Field, Milne Bay, Papua

13/09/43 – 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW for modification to transport role
Registration VH-RBI
08/02/44 – 38Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Richmond, NSW

[date] – allocation 38Sqn RAAF cancelled
21/06/44 – 1 Operational Training Unit, RAAF Station East Sale, VIC
25/07/45 – 1 Central Recovery Depot, Werribee, VIC
13/02/46 – 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC for storage
27/08/46 – offered for disposal
24/09/47 – sold to Macquarie Grove Flying School, Camden, NSW
05/04/48 – issued to purchaser

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

 

www.adf-serials.com.au/2a16.htm notes that it used the following sources: Classic Wings Downunder Magazine, Lockheed Files website, Flightpath Magazine, Vangard Against the Japanese, Bloody Shambles, The 13 Sqn Story by Sid Grantham, Australian War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Negatives, The Highest Traditions by John Bennett, CASA Aircraft Records, 38 Sqn – First 50 Years by Mark Royle, National Archives, Aircraft Status Cards, Squadron Records, David Vincent, British Military Aircraft Serials 1911 – 1979, Bruce Robertson.

 

The site also references emails: Leslie Lewis, Greg Hyde, Daniel Leahy, Gordon Birkett, Bill White, Bob Livingston, Dean Norman, Gordan Clarke, Mark Royle, Des Morgan, Haldon Boyd, Bruce Smith, Wayne Peadon, Paul Padley, Brendan Cowan, The Phantom, Tony Lewis. The information was last updated on 26th September 2014.

 

While there are many photographs of Hudson Mk IV aircraft there are few of the RAAF Mk IVA and I have found only two when in service with 38 Squadron: A16-122 and A16-147. Both photographs appear in David Vincent’s book The RAAF Hudson Story, Book Two. I will approach David Vincent to seek permission to reproduce these photographs or advice on their reproduction. I have included three photographs: Hudson Mk IVA A16-117 in service with 13 Squadron in 1942; Hudson Mk IVA A16-120 in service with 1 Communications Unit and assigned to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshal George Jones in 1944 and the former Hudson Mk IVA A16-122 in civilian rig with Adastra Aerial Surveys as VH-AGX after been converted to a Mk III following the installation of Wright Cyclone engines. Should any reader have, or know of, photographs of 38 Squadron Hudson Mk IVA aircraft we would be grateful if a copy could be provided for use on our website.

Hudson Mk IVA A16-117, RAAF Official Photograph, provided by Gordon Birkett in service with 13 Squadron 1942

 

Hudson Mk IVA A16-120 stripped of camouflage, Air Marshal Jones (CAS) at Bohle River, Photo Eddie Geary Collection via Geoff Ford

 

 

Hudson A16-122 post World War II as VH-AGX Adastra Aerial Surveys, fitted with Wright Cyclone engines (now Hudson Mk III). Photograph by Eddie Coates.

 

 

Table of Discrepancies and Information Gaps requiring further research

 

Aircraft Discrepancies and Information Gaps
A16-113 adf-serials.com.au notes that the accident when the aircraft struck pine trees on landing at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Aerodrome occurred on 14/04/42. At the above date, the aircraft was allocated to 14Sqn at RAAF Station Pearce, WA. It more likely occurred on 14/04/43 when the aircraft was allocated to 13Sqn at Camden Aerodrome, NSW. I think the adf-serials.au date is a typographic error and have used the latter date until it can be clarified.

 

Also, the [date] when the aircraft was at 7 Aircraft Depot for repair following the above accident and the [date] when the aircraft was received at 38Sqn is not recorded on adf-serials.com.au.

 

adf-serials.com.au notes the aircraft was at 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW on 10/09/44. While this is entirely plausible, the event would occur after the allocation to 38Sqn ceased on 20/04/44 and before allocation to 1 Operational Training Unit, RAAF Station East Sale, VIC on 01/10/44.  Alternately, it could have occurred on 10/09/43 to enable aircraft modification to the transport role before allocation to 38Sqn – this event is not mentioned in adf-serials.com.au.  I have chosen the earlier date as the most plausible but this event requires further research.

 

A16-115 adf-serials.com.au notes that on 12/08/44 the aircraft was allocated for use by AOC RAAF.  It is not clear which senior officer appointment this refers – could be Chief of Air Staff (?) and requires further research.

 

A16-118 adf-serials.com.au notes that on 08/04/42 the aircraft was at 13Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Darwin, NT then on
23/05/42 it was at (number not provided) Repair and Salvage Unit. The closest unit was No 1 Repair and Salvage Unit, Daly Waters, NT and I have used that unit while undertaking further research to confirm. 

adf-serials.com.au does not indicate to which unit [location] the aircraft was allocated after completion of the above repair work.

 

The next event noted is a ground accident on 05/12/42 but no [location] is provided.

 

The [date] the aircraft was allocated to 38Sqn is not recorded.

 

adf-serials.com.au notes that the fatal accident just after take-off from Cairns, QLD occurred on 05/12/45.  The Australian War Memorial website notes the accident occurred on 05/03/45, which aligns to when the aircraft was subsequently Struck Off Charge on 13/03/45. The adf-serials.com.au date is a typographic error and I have used the AWM website date. Adf-serial.com.au states that the aircraft crashed on takeoff.  However, in The RAAF Hudson Story, Book Two, p.279, David Vincent cites the Court of Inquiry which noted that the aircraft crashed while manoeuvring to land at Cairns, with the cause unknown. It mentioned that the pilot’s lack of instrument flying experience may have contributed.

 

A16-120 adf-serials.com.au notes that the aircraft suffered a buckled centre section in a landing accident on 28/04/42 but does not provide the [location].

 

The aircraft was then sent to 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC on 04/05/42 then 5 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Forest Hill, NSW on 23/05/42 for repairs. The website notes the aircraft remained there until 1943, yet it has the aircraft at 6Sqn on 22/05/42.  I think this is typographic error and it should be 22/05/43.

 

On 24/08/43 the aircraft was at 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW for modification to transport role. It was to be issued to 38Sqn but instead proceeded to Port Moresby on 04/09/43 for use by General Blamey then on 18/11/43 for use by Air Vice-Marshal Jones. adf-serials.com.au does not provide advice on which unit(s) operated the aircraft in support of these two senior officers.

 

On 10/12/46 the aircraft was sold to H. Ellis of Shermans Motors, Dubbo, NSW.  The spelling of Skerman’s on adf-serials.com.au is a typographic error.

 

A16-122 adf-serials.com.au notes that on 29/04/42 the aircraft struck a drain on landing and the undercarriage collapsed and on 16/11/42 the aircraft was involved in a ground collision with the wingtip of A16-116. Both events occurred whilst assigned to 14Sqn RAAF, RAAF Station Pearce, WA.  The records do not state the [location] of each event.

 

adf-serials.com.au does not note the [date] that the aircraft’s allocation to 38Sqn was cancelled.

 

A16-124 adf-serials.com.au notes that on 28/01/42 the aircraft struck a rabbit burrow breaking the tail wheel strut and on 01/06/42 the aircraft carried out a forced landing when the port engine failed. The records do not state the [location] for each event.

 

adf-serials.com.au notes that aircraft was at 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC on 16/09/43 but the event is placed out of date sequence on the website. I have assumed this to be an error in transcribing the record onto the website rather than the date being in error.

 

adf-serials.com.au notes that on 14/10/43 the aircraft transported Beaufort aircraft parts to 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC and the next event is its allocation to 01/11/43 to 1 Special Duties and Performance Flight, 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC.  There is no record of the [date] the aircraft’s allocation to 38Sqn RAAF was cancelled.

adf-serials.com.au does not record the [date] of the aircraft’s subsequent reallocation to 38Sqn RAAF nor a [date] for is later cancellation.

 

A16-131 adf-serials.com.au does not record the [date] the aircraft was allocated to 38Sqn RAAF following its allocation to 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW on 07/09/43 for modification to the transport role.

adf.serials.com.au does not record the [location] of the accident on 12/09/45 when the aircraft ran out of fuel and landed wheels up on a beach.

Likewise, adf-serials.com.au does not record the [date] the aircraft was sent to 1 Central Recovery Depot, Werribee, VIC for survey nor the [date] that 4 (Maintenance) Group, Melbourne advised to write-off.

 

A16-134 adf-serials.com.au does not record the [date] the aircraft’s allocation to 38Sqn RAAF was cancelled.

 

A16-147 adf-serials.com.au notes the aircraft was allocated to 38Sqn RAAF on 24/08/43 then the allocation was cancelled on 12/11/43. There is no indication the aircraft was flown by 38Sqn RAAF or any other unit during this period.  The aircraft may have been flown by the Sqn before being modified for the transport role or it may have remained ‘parked’ waiting modification.

 

The aircraft was subsequently modified for the transport role, arriving at 7 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Tocumwal, NSW on 23/11/43.

 

adf-serials.com.au notes the aircraft was reallocated to 38Sqn RAAF on 08/01/44 but does not record when the [date] the allocation was cancelled.

A16-148 adf-serials.com.au does not record the [date] the aircraft was sent to 1 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Station Laverton, VIC for fitment of Long Range Fuel Tanks nor the [date] the aircraft’s allocation to 38Sqn RAAF was cancelled.

 

 

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