Type: L-414-08 Hudson Mk IVA/A-28
MSN: 6034
Previous Identities: 41-23175
Subsequent Identities: VH-FXF (NTU)
Owner: Australian War Memorial, Canberra, A.C.T.


05DEC41 Received at 2 Aircraft Depot ex U.S.A.
20DEC41 Received at No 1 Operational Training Unit ex 2 AD.
10JUL42 Skidded through a fence landing at Western Junction.
10DEC42 Under instructions from the Air Board, 15 Hudsons were detached to North Eastern Area from 10 December 1942 for "an indefinite period for the purposes of transporting troops, arms and equipment to the forward battle areas" at Buna and Sanananda. A16-105 was one of these aircraft, and was flown by Flight Lieutenant David W I Campbell. Known as No 1 OTU Detached Flight and under the Command of Squadron Leader O B Hall, they flew under extremely hazardous conditions from Ward's at Moresby to Soputa and Dobodura until recalled on 11 January 1943.
01JAN43 Flown to Townsville by Flt Lt Campbell for an engine change at 12 RSU due to excessive oil consumption.
23JAN43 Returned to 1 OTU.
28AUG43 Fitted with dual controls.
24SEP47 Sold to European Air Transport, Sydney NSW.
12DEC47 Collected by purchaser.
  Purchased by CMA from the liquidators of European Air Transport.
01MAR49 Curtiss Madsen Aircrafts Pty Ltd applied to DCA for registration VH-CMA. DCA letter responded that it was not available because it was "too far ahead of the registration sequence" and allocated them VH-BKY.
31OCT49 Registered to Curtis Madsen Aircrafts Pty Ltd as VH-BKY and named "Riverina".
21DEC50 Change of ownership to East-West Airlines.
21DEC50 Re-registered VH-EWB. Named "Cathedral City".
26AUG53 Ownership transferred to South Coast Airways Pty Ltd (by this time an East-West subsidiary). Aircraft still registered to East-West.
Wheel Collapse in Landing
Pilot's skill averts injury

A pilot's skilful handling of his plane probably saved the lives of nine people at Brisbane Airport yesterday.
A Lockheed Lodestar's (sic) starboard wheel assembly collapsed as it was landing about noon. The plane careered 50 yards with one wing dragging on the tarmac. It slewed across the runway, spun on to another runway and came to rest facing in the opposite direction to that in which it had been travelling.

Within two minutes the pretty, auburn-haired hostess, Miss Claire Bailey, had shepherded the plane's six passengers out of the cabin.

A Civil Aviation spokesman said that the pilot (Captain Ron Walesby) had done an excellent job in bringing the plane to rest. The plane, "Cathedral City" (VH-EWB), is owned by East-West Airlines, a company with headquarters in Tamworth. It had flown from Tamworth via Glen Innes and brought six passengers and a crew of three to Brisbane. Mr. J.D. Maclean, an eye-witness, said the wheel assembly seemed to collapse as the tail was beginning to drop.

Passengers did not know what had happened and were not alarmed. "I thought we had a flat tyre." one man said. The chairman of East-West Airlines (Mr. D. Shand) who was in Brisbane, said only superficial damage had been done to the plane. He refused to release the names of passengers and crew-members on the plane.

The plane, which was due in Brisbane at 10.55 am, was delayed by fog at Tamworth earlier in the morning. It was scheduled to take-off for Glen Innes at 11.25. It was replaced on the return run by a T.A.A. DC3 which took off at 3.7 pm.

A Civil Aviation spokesman said last night that a Lockheed Lodestar (sic) approached at about 90 knots, but at the end of its run would be doing about 30 knots.

(Source: The Courier-Mail of 21 July 1954 via Roger McDonald) Photo
21MAR58 Re-registered VH-EWS.
21JUL58 Commenced a tentative aerial mapping contract with the NSW Department of Lands. Following the success of this contract, East-West were awarded a two year contract with a one year extension option.
17NOV58 Ceremony held at Mascot, NSW to hand over the newly overhauled and converted VH-EWS to the NSW Department of Lands at the commencement of a three-year aerial mapping contract. Aircraft was named George Vincent in honour of the NSW Surveyor-General.
11AUG60 Withdrawn from service by East-West.
30MAY61 Struck off Register.
31MAR62 East-West board resolved to wind up South Coast Airways and re-purchase two Hudsons.
10SEP62 Sold to John Fairfax & Sons as VH-SMO.
04OCT62 Leased to Adastra Aerial Surveys.
02JUN65 The aircraft suffered a fire in the starboard engine while returning to Sydney after a photographic sortie over Richmond, NSW. The fire was not finally confirmed until the aircraft was on final. The aircraft landed normally with emergency vehicles in attendance. The aircraft was towed back to the Adastra hangar where it apparently remained out of service undergoing repairs until at least late August.
See: Baptism of Fire.
24JUN66 Sold to Sepal Pty Ltd (Adastra) as VH-AGP.
  Whereas most Adastra Hudsons had the camera mount in the nose compartment, the camera mount on VH-AGP was installed in the cabin. The aircraft also differed from the other Hudsons in that it had a high pressure oxygen system with a large cylinder protruding through the bulkhead of the darkroom. Other Hudsons in the Adastra fleet had low pressure bottles installed in the bomb bay. This image shows camera operator Dave Barth working the camera in the cabin of VH-AGP.
Aircraft operating in W.A. on photo survey with RC9 camera. Source
Aircraft due for reweighing. Source
Repainted in the Orange Livery
15NOV71 Struck off the register as withdrawn from service.
02APR74 Photographed in Adastra's Hangar 13 at Mascot. The aircraft had been repainted in the orange livery but it is likely that it never re-entered service in the new livery. Image
08AUG74 Photographed stored in the open at Tamworth. Image
NOV76 Sold to Malcolm Long and ferried to Moorabbin under a Permit to Fly (callsign "Hudson 105"). During the subsequent restoration to military configuration, it was found that the nose section had been so drastically modified for survey use that it was deemed easier to obtain a stock Hudson nose from New Zealand and graft this on to VH-AGP. The survey nose was scrapped.
NOV77 Displayed in the static park at a Point Cook airshow. Marked as A16-123.
22NOV81 Ferried to Coolangatta under a Permit to Fly for display at the Chewing Gum Field Museum. Registration VH-FXF was reserved but not taken up. Marked A16-105/FX-F (6 Sqn code).
85 Ferried to Wangaratta under a Permit to Fly for display at Airworld.
15JAN01 Sold by Malcolm Long to the Australian War Memorial. Malcolm Long is assisting the AWM to build up a turret for the aircraft. (Source: Malcolm Long)
30NOV16 The aircraft was transported to Canberra Airport where it was placed on display in the passenger terminal adjacent to the Virgin Australia check-in area. It has been stated that the aircraft will be displayed in this location until the end of December 2018.
19DEC16 The aircraft was formally unveiled in a ceremony at Canberra Airport.
  Footnote: Canberra Airport is a joint civil and military facility, the miltary component of which was named RAAF Base Fairbairn in 1953 in honour of James Valentine Fairbairn who was killed along with two other members of the Australian Cabinet and the Chief of the General Staff in the crash of RAAF Hudson A16-97 on approach to Canberra Airport on 13 August 1940. James Fairbairn was a former Royal Flying Corps pilot and subsequently a private pilot. At the time of the crash he was Minister for Civil Aviation and Minister for Air in the second Menzies government.

Issue Date Remarks
33 3DEC22
File renamed vh-agp.htm
Added a Slideshow
32 21SEP22
Added three images of VH-SMO thanks to Eric Allen.
Image 1 Image 2 Image 3
31 07AUG22
Added an image of VH-EWB thanks to Eric Allen.
Added three images of VH-EWS thanks to Eric Allen.
Image 1 Image 2 Image 3
30 29JUN21
Added two images of VH-SMO from the collection of the late Owen McKenzie-Smith thanks to Alan Flett.
Image 1Image 2

Added five images of VH-AGP stored at Tamworth thanks to Alan Flett.
Image 3Image 4 Image 5Image 6 Image 7

Added one image of VH-AGP restored to RAAF markings thanks to Alan Flett.
Image 8
29 07FEB20
Added an image of VH-AGP stored at Tamworth on 08AUG74 thanks to Peter Gates.
28 03MAY19
Added an image of VH-AGP in the orange livery in Hangar 13 in 1974.
27 14MAY17
Added an image of VH-SMO in Tasmania circa 1964 from the Ted McKenzie collection thanks to his son Paul.
26 07MAR17
Added two images of the aircraft at Moorabbin in NOV76 with the registration painted out. Thanks to the late Mike Madden for providing for us yet again. Image 1 Image 2
25 13JAN17
Added three images of the aircraft on display at Canberra Airport thanks to Canberra Airport and Paul Sadler.
24 30DEC16
The aircraft has been placed on display in the Canberra Airport Terminal.
23 29DEC16
Added an image of the aircraft under restoration in the AWM Treloar Centre thanks to Dave Homewood.
22 25OCT16
Added an image of the landing accident at Brisbane on 20JUL54. Thanks to Bob Livingstone.
21 04SEP16
Added an image of VH-EWB at Mascot thanks to John Hopton.
20 31JAN16
Refreshed the page and images.
19 15SEP15
Added an image of the aircraft stored at Tamworth thanks to Peter Gates.
18 12FEB15
Added a reference to a partial undercarriage collapse at Brisbane on 20JUL54. Thanks to Roger McDonald.
17 02SEP12
Added a Barney Deatrick image of VH-SMO thanks to Geoff Goodall.
16 22MAR12
Added a new image of VH-EWB thanks to Jim Dyson, William T. Larkins and Eddie Coates.
15 10MAR08
Added the date that VH-AGP was withdrawn from service (15NOV71).
14 18SEP05
Added information concerning the location of the camera mount in this aeroplane. Thanks to Dave Barth.
13 23FEB04
Amended the account of the engine fire in June 1965 to show that the fire had been in the starboard engine, not the port. This is confirmed by Allan Walker who was captain of the aircraft.
12 16JAN04
Added an account of an engine fire in June 1965 thanks to Dave Aitchison who was the camera operator at the time.
11 30AUG03
Added an image of VH-AGP at an unknown outback location, thanks to Peter Shute.
10 01JUN02
Added reference to a replacement nose section being grafted on to the aeroplane during its restoration to military configuration.
Added reference to participation in the Buna campaign thanks to Chris Goddard of the AWM.
Included reference to fictitious markings A16-123 in November 1977.