AVIATION IN THE AFTERMATH OF CYCLONE TRACY

Darwin, December 1974


by Ron Cuskelly

 

 

THE MAIN LIST

 

DATE
AIRCRAFT
OPERATOR
ROUTE
PAX
REMARKS
SOURCE
24DEC74
DC-3
A65-68
RAAF
DRW-KTR
-
Departed DRW at 1650 to safety in KTR.
38
24DEC74
HERON
VH-CLS
CONNAIR
DRW-KTR
-
Departed DRW at approx 2000 to safety in KTR.
27
24DEC74
DC-3
VH-EWE
CONNAIR
DRW-KTR
-
Departed DRW at approx 2000 to safety in KTR.
27
24DEC74
DC-3
VH-MIN
CONNAIR
DRW-KTR
-
Departed DRW at approx 2000 to safety in KTR. (See Note: 7)
27
24DEC74
DC-3
VH-PWM
CONNAIR
DRW-KTR
-
Departed DRW at approx 2000 to safety in KTR. (See Note: 7)
27
space              
25DEC74
HERON
VH-CLT
CONNAIR
DRW
-
Survived on the ground DRW during the cyclone. Later provided radio comms. Further Reading
15
25DEC74
C320
VH-EGN
SAATAS
? - DRW
-
First arrival.
22 & 54
25DEC74
HERON
VH-CLS
CONNAIR
KTR-DRW
-
Arrived 1125 and took over radio comms from VH-CLT. Source 39 states that "CLS landed safely at 1153".
15, 27 & 39
25DEC74
DC-3
VH-EWE
CONNAIR
KTR-DRW
-
Ferried back to DRW (between 1130-1230).
15 & 27
25DEC74
DC-3
VH-MIN
CONNAIR
KTR-DRW
-
Ferried back to DRW (between 1130-1230). (See Note: 7)
15 & 27
25DEC74
DC-3
VH-PWM
CONNAIR
KTR-DRW
-
Ferried back to DRW (between 1130-1230). (See Note: 7)
15 & 27
25DEC74
DC-3
A65-68
RAAF
KTR-DRW
-
Arrived DRW at 1150 and departed immediately for Smith Point to collect GPCAPT Hitchins (OC RAAF DRW) who was on leave. Arrived back at DRW at 1550.
38
25DEC74
F.27
VH-TQT
TAA
ASP-TCA-KTR-DRW
-
Arrived at 1737.
14
25DEC74
DC-3
VH-EWE
CONNAIR
DRW-ASP
25
First departure at 1815. Pax were mainly Connair staff.
15 & 27
25DEC74
QUEENAIR
VH-CLG
CONNAIR
ASP-DRW
-
Arrived with Connair GM Paul Levin shortly after VH-EWE departed.
15 & 27
25DEC74
BAC 1-11
A12-125
RAAF
CBR-MKY-ISA
-
Departed CBR with Maj-Gen Stretton, called at MKY to collect Dr Rex Patterson (Minister for the Northern Territory) but could not reach DRW in daylight so rendezvoused with A97-168 at ISA. Further Reading
65
25DEC74
C-130E
A97-168
RAAF
YSRI-ISA-DRW-SYD-YSRI
?
SQNLDR WM Fewster. Arrived at 2220 with Dr Rex Patterson (Minister for the Northern Territory) and Major-General Stretton, Director General National Disasters Organisation.
Departed 0400 with 18 stretcher cases plus several less seriously injured, all in the care of the RAAF medical team that had arrived on the aircraft. Several relatives of the patients were also carried.
(See Note 3) Further Reading
18, 29, 38 & 57
25DEC74
C-130E
A97-181
RAAF
YSRI-TSV-DRW-BNE-YAMB
98
FLGOFF JM Fanderlinden. This was the second RAAF C-130 into DRW. Arr DRW as A97-168 was leaving. Stayed in DRW most of day and dep with 13 stretcher cases plus 85 civilian evacuees.
31, 34, 35, 38 & 57
25DEC74
MERLIN
VH-CAM
DCA
PER-ADL-DRW
?
Returned to PER 28DEC.
6
space              
26DEC74
HERON
VH-CLV
CONNAIR
ASP-KTR-DRW
-
Departed ASP late on 25DEC. Arrived DRW just after dawn on 26DEC. Capt Bob Bennett & F/O Mark Rindfleish.
62
26DEC74
HERON
VH-CLX
CONNAIR
ASP-TCA-DRW
-
Departed ASP late on 25DEC. Via TCA to collect Police uniforms & equipment. Arrived DRW just after dawn on 26DEC landing after VH-CLV. Capt Bob Forman & F/O Bob Bowne.
62
26DEC74
C-130E
A97-167
RAAF
YSRI-ISA-DRW-YPED-ASP-BNE
102
FLTLT HR Holt. 25 refrigerators, 52 generators, 9 water purifiers, 800lb of food and 112 pairs of gloves. Returned YSRI 28DEC.
57
26DEC74
C-130E
A97-168
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-SYD-YSRI
32
FLTLT DP Harley. 32 litter patients to SYD. Returned YSRI 27DEC.
57
26DEC74
C-130E
A97-177
RAAF
YSRI-ISA-DRW-ISA-DRW-YLVT-YSRI
?
FLTLT JG Cowan. Returned YSRI 27DEC.
57
26DEC74
C-130E
A97-178
RAAF
YSRI-ISA-DRW-YAMB-TSV-DRW-BNE-SYD-YSRI
?
FLTLT IS Frame. Loads to DRW included ATTU equipment and electrical repair equipment. Evacuees not recorded.
57
26DEC74
C-130E
A97-181
RAAF
YSRI-DRW- ?
?
Supplies in, litter and seated medevac patients out.
57
26DEC74 C-130A
A97-207
RAAF
YSRI-ISA-DRW-SYD-YSRI
121
FLGOFF M Donaldson. 24000lb clothing, food, blankets, rolls of plastic and a water purifier.
20 & 57
26DEC74 C-130A
A97-208
RAAF
YSRI-CBR-ISA-DRW-YLVT-YSRI
152
FLTLT JA Radbone. 5000lb blankets, 1 helicopter (unidentified) and 10 crew from CBR. Returned with 114 evacuees to YLVT and 38 to YSRI. All women and children dependants of military.
57
26DEC74
C-130A
A97-210
RAAF
YAMB-DRW
-
Carried Iroquois A2-377 from Amberley to replace the damaged A2-721. This flight is not mentioned in Source 57. Is this the same flight as the following flight by FLTLT Spurgeon? Did A97-208 (see above) actually uplift a helicopter or should this load have been attributed to A97-210?
# 7 & 38
26DEC74
C-130A
A97-210
RAAF
YSRI-YAMB-DRW-BNE-SYD
119
FLTLT JP Spurgeon. 7000lb blankets, 6000 lb milk and 2000lb Red Cross medical supplies. 37 pax for BNE, 82 for SYD. (See above)
# 57
26DEC74
C-130A
A97-211
RAAF
YSRI-ISA-DRW-ISA-BNE-YSRI
?
Diverted ISA northbound to top-up prop oil. This flight does not appear in Source 57.
24
26DEC74
C-130A
A97-212
RAAF
YSRI-ISA-DRW-SYD
115
FLTLT JA Pickett. 21000lb freight to DRW. Arr SYD approx 0800.
25 & 57
26DEC74
BAC 1-11
A12-125
RAAF
ISA-DRW-BNE
63
After overnighting ISA the aircraft flew to DRW where it collected 63 evacuees for BNE.
65
26DEC74
CARIBOU
A4- ?
RAAF
TSV-ISA
-
Positioned to Mt Isa to provide air support for that city. This flight is not mentioned in the 35 Sqn Unit History so presumably the aircraft was ex 38 Sqn.
38
26DEC74
ELECTRA
VH-RMB
ANSETT
MEL-DRW
-
Arrived early morning with medical supplies soon after A97-181.
36
26DEC74
F.27
VH-TQT
TAA
DRW-ASP-BNE
59
Departed DRW 1155 as TN2893 after B707 VH-EAF arrived. The pax load comprised 32 adults, 27 children (all but one under three years of age) and 9 infants less than two days old. One infant was 4 hours old.
Further Reading
14 & 38
26DEC74
B707-338C
VH-EAF
QANTAS
SYD-DRW-SYD
266
 
1 & 5
26DEC74
F.27
VH-TFF
TAA
BNE-KTR-DRW
-
Arrived DRW 1100.
16
26DEC74
F.27
VH-TFF
TAA
DRW-ISA-MKY
43
Departed DRW 1324.
16
26DEC74
B727-277
VH-RMW
ANSETT
BNE-DRW-BNE
?
 
7
26DEC74
F.28
VH-FKB
MMA
PER-PHE-BME-DRB-KNX-DRW-KNX-ZNE-PER
?
First MMA arrival/departure. See Source 11 for summary of MMA ops.
11 & 47
26DEC74
HS748
N15-710
RAN
YSNW-SYD-ISA-DRW
-
Capt Peter Adams plus Purvis, Townsend, Geale, Altham & Triebels. Carried a Clearance Diving Team to clear Darwin Harbour.
19
26DEC74
B727-76
VH-TJA
TAA
ASP-DRW-ASP-ADL
120
DEP DRW 1525
23
26DEC74
B727-76
VH-TJD
TAA
ISA-DRW-ISA-SYD-MEL
120
DEP DRW 1535
23
26DEC74
B.170
VH-TBB
AIR EXPRESS
CNS-DRW-CNS
-
Bristol 170 Freighter. Capt Geoff Kendall. Load of building materials.
48
26DEC74
HS748
N15-709
RAN
YSNW-ASP-DRW
-
Crew: Jim Campbell (Capt) Landon (Co-Pilot)
30
space              
27DEC74
NIMROD
XV255
RAF
WSAT-DRW-KTR-TSV-WSAT
38
Arr DRW 26DEC. Evacuated 38 British subjects to Singapore.
52
27DEC74
HS748
N15-709
RAN
DRW-ISA-SYD-YSNW
?
Crew: Jim Campbell (Capt) Landon (Co-Pilot)
30
27DEC74
HS748
N15-710
RAN
DRW-ISA-BNE-SYD-YSNW
32
Crew: Capt Peter Adams plus Purvis, Townsend, Geale, Altham & Triebels. Pax disembarked BNE or SYD.
19
27DEC74
F.27
VH-TFE
DCA
DRW-ASP
39
 
9
27DEC74
CARIBOU
A4-173
RAAF
ISA-DRW
-
Flew YSRI-LRE-ISA 26DEC overnighted. Capt FLTLT K. Stone.
55
27DEC74
C-130E
A97-159
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-YSRI
500
FLGOFF RP Watson. Approx 500 evacuees to ADL, PER & BNE and 100000lb relief supplies on several flights. Returned YSRI 03JAN75.
57
27DEC74
C-130E
A97-171
RAAF
YSRI-CBR-ASP-DRW-BNE
162
FLTLT DJ Casey. 162 evacuees DRW-BNE on 27DEC. Also operated to ROK and ADL. Returned YSRI 31DEC.
32, 33 & 57
27DEC74
C-130E
A97-181
RAAF
YAMB-ISA-DRW-SYD-YSRI
?
SYD-YSRI on 28DEC.
31 & 35
27DEC74
C-130E
A97-190
RAAF
YSRI-ISA-DRW-TSV
1
FLGOFF AJ Edwards. Overweight take-off at Richmond with a load of generators. Further Reading
37 & 57
27DEC74
C-130A
A97-208
RAAF
YSRI-TSV-DRW-ISA-SYD-YSRI
280
FLTLT NJ Fitzpatrick. 24000lb freight.
57
27DEC74
C-130A
A97-209
RAAF
YSRI-ISA-DRW-BNE-SYD
158
FLTLT RD Bishop. 23150lb freight ex YSRI plus 600lb of supplies donated by the city of Mt Isa. 94 pax (incl 1 hole-in-the-heart baby) for BNE and 64 pax for SYD.
57
27DEC74
C-130A
A97-212
RAAF
YSRI-ISA-DRW-SYD-YSRI
102
FLTLT O'Toole. Op DRW-SYD 28DEC. 21000lb medical supplies. (Source 57 shows this flight departing YSRI 29DEC)
8 & 57
27DEC74
C-130A
A97-216
RAAF
DRW-ISA-CTL-SYD
?
Diverted Charleville with a prop problem. Further Reading
26
27DEC74
BAC 1-11
A12-125
RAAF
ISA-DRW-BNE
63
After overnighting ISA the aircraft flew to DRW where it collected 63 evacuees for BNE.
65
27DEC74
DC-3
A65-114
RAAF/ARDU
YLVT-BWT-HBA-YLVT
7
Carried 5 women and 2 children (family of ADF personnel) who had arrived from DRW by RAAF C-130.
64
27DEC74
P-3B
A9-292
RAAF
YPED-DRW-YPED
-
Operated a SAR sortie to DRW returning to Edinburgh same day. FLGOFF J. Lee.
66
27DEC74
C-130K
XV199
RAF
WSAT-DRW-WSAT
-
Carried drums of diesel fuel and returned empty.
51
27DEC74
B707-338C
VH-EAG
QANTAS
SYD-DRW-SYD
271
QF008A
5
27DEC74
B707-338C
VH-EAH
QANTAS
SYD-DRW-SYD
327
QF008B
5
27DEC74
B727-277
VH-RMV
ANSETT
DRW-ADL
314
 
17
27DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBK
TAA
BNE-ISA-DRW-ISA
217
DEP DRW 0910
23
27DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBK
TAA
ISA-DRW-BNE
207
DEP DRW 1608
23
27DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBH
TAA
PER-DRW-BNE
275
DEP DRW 1800
23
27DEC74
DC-9
VH-TJO
TAA
BNE-ISA-BNE
68
DEP ISA 1800
23
27DEC74
B727-76
VH-TJF
TAA
ADL-DRW-BNE
245
DEP DRW 1921
23
27DEC74
DC-3
VH-PWN
BPA
CNS-NTN-KTR-DRW-ASP
-
Further Reading
49 & 50
27DEC74
BEECH 65
VH-FWG
UNION AIR
BNE-ISA-DRW-ISA-LRE-BNE
?
BNE-ISA 27DEC. ISA-DRW 02JAN. DRW-ISA-LRE 03JAN. LRE-BNE 04JAN.
60
space              
28DEC74
DC-3
VH-PWN
BPA
ASP-TCA-DRW-GOV-CNS
?
Further Reading
49 & 50
28DEC74
F.27
VH-TFE
DCA
DRW-ASP
39
 
9
28DEC74
F.27
VH-TFE
DCA
DRW-TCA
44
 
9
28DEC74
B727-277
VH-RMX
ANSETT
DRW-BNE
?
 
7
28DEC74
B727-277
VH-RMX
ANSETT
DRW-BNE
?
 
7
28DEC74
B727-277
VH-RMU
ANSETT
DRW-BNE
?
 
7
28DEC74
CARIBOU
A4-173
RAAF
DRW-DRW
-
Local flight, probably for aerial photography.
55
28DEC74
CARIBOU
A4-173
RAAF
DRW-KTR-DRW
-
 
55
28DEC74
C-130E
A97-160
RAAF
YSRI-YLVT-DRW-MEL
159
SQNLDR WM Fewster.
57
28DEC74
C-130E
A97-167
RAAF
YSRI-BNE-YAMB-DRW-ISA-BNE
-
FLTLT DP Harley.
29 & 57
28DEC74
C-130E
A97-168
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-ADL-YPED-DRW-SYD-YSRI
?
SQNLDR BE O'Shea. Returned YSRI 29DEC.
57
28DEC74
C-130E
A97-171
RAAF
BNE-YAMB-DRW
-
 
32 & 33
28DEC74
C-130E
A97-181
RAAF
YSRI-YPED-DRW-PER-YPED-DRW-ADL-YPED-ASP-DRW-YSRI
?
FLGOFF DR Nicholls. Returned YSRI 01JAN75.
57
28DEC74
C-130E
A97-190
RAAF
TSV-DRW-SYD-YSRI
?
FLTLT AJ Edwards. Dep DRW early on 29DEC.
37 & 57
28DEC74
C-130A
A97-207
RAAF
YSRI-TSV-DRW-MEL-YLVT-DRW-SYD-YSRI
246
CAPT M Dennard (USAF exchange?). 38000lb freight. 246 pax plus 1 canary and 1 collie dog (on 2 flights).
57
28DEC74
C-130A
A97-209
RAAF
YSRI-YLVT-ASP-DRW-KTR-DRW-KTR-ADL-SYD-YSRI
181
Double engine change at KTR (first visit). Total POB ex DRW on 29DEC was 186. This flight does not appear in Source 57.
24
28DEC74
C-130A
A97-210
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-ADL-YSRI
117
FLTLT JA Pickett. 25000lb equipment. 117 pax to ADL and 15000lb freight ADL-YSRI.
25 & 57
28DEC74
C-130A
A97-210
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-ADL-YSRI
?
FLGOFF GV Beaumanis. 18 pax, 1 medical team, insulators and rations.
57
28DEC74
C-130A
A97-211
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-SYD
40
FLTLT JA Radbone. 2 Land Rovers, 3000lb DCA building materials, 3500lb medicines, 3000lb electricity repair supplies. Returned with 40 medevacs plus 4 RAAF hospital personnel.
57
28DEC74
C-130A
A97-212
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-SYD-YSRI
152
FLGOFF GV Beaumanis. 1 medical team, sanitary papers & 1 generator. Returned with 150 pax for SYD and 2 for YSRI.
57
28DEC74
C-130A
A97-216
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-ISA-CTL-SYD
120
FLGOFF G Rich. 1 pallet of tents, 1 pallet Police rescue supplies and medical sheets & 1 Police rescue van. Diverted Charleville with a prop problem. Further Reading
26 & 57
28DEC74
C-130A
A97-216
RAAF
YSRI-YAMB-ISA-DRW-SYD-YSRI
147
FLGOFF M Donaldson. 18000lb freight, 25 kerosene refrigerators, 5 portable generators & medical supplies. Returned 29DEC with 147 evacuees plus 4 medical personnel.
20 & 57
28DEC74
BAC 1-11
A12-125
RAAF
ISA-DRW-BNE
63
After overnighting ISA the aircraft flew to DRW where it collected 63 evacuees for BNE.
65
28DEC74
P-3B
A9-298
RAAF
YPED-DRW-YPED
-
Operated a SAR sortie to DRW returning to Edinburgh same day. FLTLT P. Jabornicky.
66
28DEC74
C-130H
NZ7003
RNZAF
DRW-SYD-YSRI
?
 
10
28DEC74
B707-338C
VH-EAC
QANTAS
SYD-DRW-SYD
276
QF008D
2 & 5
28DEC74
B707-338C
VH-EBU
QANTAS
SYD-BNE-SYD
247
QF008G (85 adults, 78 children, 84 infants) (See Note: 2)
5 & 7
28DEC74
B747-238B
VH-EBB
QANTAS
SYD-DRW-SYD
633
QF008E
5
28DEC74
B747-238B
VH-EBB
QANTAS
SYD-DRW-SYD
673
QF008F
5
28DEC74
HS748
N15-709
RAN
YSNW-ISA-DRW
-
Crew: Jim Campbell (Capt) Landon (Co-Pilot)
30
28DEC74
HS748
N15-710
RAN
YSNW-ASP-DRW
-
Crew: Capt Peter Adams plus Purvis, King, Geale, McCaffrie, Altham & Arnell. Carried stores.
19
28DEC74
HS748
N15-710
RAN
DRW-ASP-BNE
29
ARR BNE 29DEC. Crew as above. Pax disembarked BNE.
19
28DEC74
DC-9
VH-TJT
TAA
SYD-TSV
97
DEP SYD 0400 (See Note: 5)
23
28DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBH
TAA
BNE-ISA-DRW-ISA
294
DEP DRW 0943
23
28DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBH
TAA
ISA-DRW-ADL-MEL
270
DEP DRW 1525
23
28DEC74
B727-76
VH-TJD
TAA
ASP-DRW-ADL
229
DEP DRW 1540
23
28DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBJ
TAA
PER-DRW-BNE
307
DEP DRW 1730
23
28DEC74
F.27
VH-TFL
TAA
GOV-DRW-ISA-BNE
64
DEP DRW 1739
23
28DEC74
B727-76
VH-TJC
TAA
BNE-ISA-BNE
121
DEP ISA 1940
23
space              
29DEC74
B.170
VH-TBB
AIR EXPRESS
GOV-DRW-GOV
-
Bristol 170 Freighter. Capt Geoff Kendall. Positioned CNS-WEI-GOV on 28DEC74. Overnight GOV 28 & 29DEC.
48
29DEC74
HS748
N15-709
RAN
DRW-ASP-ADL-MEL-YSNW
?
Crew: Jim Campbell (Capt) Landon (Co-Pilot)
30
29DEC74
HS748
N15-710
RAN
BNE-ISA-DRW
-
Crew: Capt Peter Adams plus Purvis, King, Geale, McCaffrie, Altham & Arnell. Carried stores.
19
29DEC74
CARIBOU
A4-173
RAAF
DRW-KTR-TCA-CML
-
Low level aerial survey of road on instructions from GPCAPT Hitchins.
55
29DEC74
C-130E
A97-160
RAAF
MEL-YLVT-DRW
-
SQNLDR WM Fewster. Carried Professor Hawkins and his thesis team.
57
29DEC74
C-130E
A97-167
RAAF
DRW-ISA-BNE
-
FLTLT DP Harley. Diverted ISA to offload a head injury case in difficulty.
29 & 57
29DEC74
C-130E
A97-171
RAAF
DRW-BNE
?
 
32 & 33
29DEC74
C-130E
A97-177
RAAF
YSRI-ISA-DRW-SYD-YSRI-YLVT-YPED-DRW
?
FLTLT JG Cowan. Returned YSRI 01JAN75.
57
29DEC74
C-130E
A97-178
RAAF
YSRI-YAMB-DRW-SYD-YSRI
98
FLGOFF GSN Harmer. Returned YSRI 30DEC74.
57
29DEC74
C-130E
A97-180
RAAF
YSRI-KTR-DRW-PER-YPED-DRW-YSRI
?
FLGOFF JM Fanderlinden. Returned YSRI 01JAN75.
57
29DEC74
C-130E
A97-190
RAAF
YSRI-ABX-CBR-DRW-YAMB-DRW-BNE-YSRI
?
FLTLT IS Frame. Returned YSRI 01JAN75.
57
29DEC74
C-130A
A97-208
RAAF
YSRI-ABX-ISA-KTR-DRW
-
FLTLT D McCandless.Load consisted of generators. 24 hours crew rest in DRW.
28
29DEC74
C-130A
A97-211
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-BNE
93
FLTLT RD Bishop. 26900lb freight, 6 pax and 25 litters. Returned with 93 pax plus 4 medical staff.
57
29DEC74
BAC 1-11
A12-125
RAAF
ISA-DRW-MKY
63
After overnighting ISA the aircraft flew to DRW where it collected 63 evacuees for BNE but diverted by Dr Rex Patterson to MKY where aircraft and evacuees overnighted before departing for BNE the next day. Further Reading
65
29DEC74
CANBERRA
A84-233
RAAF
CNS-DRW-CNS-YAMB
-
Arr CNS from YAMB 28DEC. Conducted aerial photography of Darwin before returning to Amberley. (See Note: 10)
46
29DEC74
C-130H
NZ7003
RNZAF
DRW-SYD-YSRI
?
 
10
29DEC74
C-130K
XV199
RAF
WSAT-DRW-SYD-YSRI
?
Carried evacuees DRW-SYD and positioned to YSRI.
51
29DEC74
B747-238B
VH-EBB
QANTAS
SYD-DRW-SYD
674
QF008H
5
29DEC74
B707-338C
VH-EBT
QANTAS
SYD-DRW-SYD
246
QF008I (India)
5
29DEC74
B707-338C
VH-EAG
QANTAS
SYD-DRW-SYD
226
QF008J
5
29DEC74
B747-238B
VH-EBB
QANTAS
SYD-DRW-SYD
370
QF008K (Total for VH-EBB: 2350)
5
29DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBJ
TAA
BNE-DRW-SYD
226
TN2930/2931
21 & 23
29DEC74
B727-76
VH-TJC
TAA
BNE-ISA-SYD
159
DEP ISA 0135
23
29DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBK
TAA
ISA-BNE
242
DEP ISA 0155
23
29DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBH
TAA
SYD-TSV
140
DEP SYD 0323 (See Note: 5)
23
29DEC74
DC-9
VH-TJO
TAA
SYD-TSV
98
DEP SYD 0403 (See Note: 5)
23
29DEC74
DC-9
VH-TJO
TAA
TSV-ISA-TSV-BNE
148
DEP ISA 0800
23
29DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBI
TAA
MEL-DRW-BNE
289
DEP DRW 0815
23
29DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBJ
TAA
BNE-ISA-DRW-BNE
295
DEP DRW 0900
23
29DEC74
F.27
VH-TQT
TAA
ASP-KTR-DRW-ASP
60
DEP DRW 0945
23
29DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBG
TAA
ADL-DRW-ADL
297
DEP DRW 0950
23
29DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBI
TAA
BNE-DRW-BNE
293
DEP DRW 1745
23
29DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBG
TAA
ADL-DRW-ADL
175
DEP DRW 1900
23
29DEC74
DHC-6
VH-TGG
TAA
See Note: 8
-
See Note: 8
23
29DEC74
DHC-6
VH-TGF
TAA
See Note: 8
-
See Note: 8
23
29DEC74
F.27
VH-CAV
DCA
ASP-DRW
-
MEB-ASP on 28DEC74. Restore navaids in DRW
58
29DEC74
F.27
VH-FNU
ANSETT
ASP-ADL
68
POB: 68
29
29DEC74
B727-277
VH-RMV
ANSETT
DRW-BNE
285
ARR ex BNE 28DEC.
61
space              
30DEC74
B.170
VH-TBB
AIR EXPRESS
GOV-DRW-GOV
-
Bristol 170 Freighter. Capt Geoff Kendall. Overnight GOV 30DEC. Positioned GOV-CNS on 31DEC74.
48
30DEC74
HS748
N15-709
RAN
YSNW-SYD-ISA-DRW
-
Crew: Jim Campbell (Capt) James (Co-Pilot)
30
30DEC74
HS748
N15-710
RAN
DRW-ASP-BHQ-SYD-YSNW
20
Crew: Capt Peter Adams plus Purvis, King, Geale, McCaffrie, Altham & Arnell. Pax disembarked SYD.
19
30DEC74
CARIBOU
A4-173
RAAF
CML-ISA-DRW
-
Recalled to DRW refuelling at ISA. FLGOFF John Foley replaced at DRW by FLTLT John Cornish.
55
30DEC74
C-130E
A97-160
RAAF
DRW-ADL-YPED-DRW-YSRI
139
SQNLDR WM Fewster. 139 evacuess to ADL.
57
30DEC74
C-130E
A97-168
RAAF
YSRI-YLVT-YAMB-DRW-BNE-YSRI
?
FLTLT HRF Holt. Returned YSRI 31DEC74.
35 & 57
30DEC74
C-130E
A97-171
RAAF
BNE-ROK-DRW-ADL
?
Thence ADL-YSRI on 31DEC.
32 & 33
30DEC74
C-130E
A97-177
RAAF
BNE-ROK-DRW-MEL
-
FLTLT DP Harley. Uplifted a load of tents and generators ex ROK. Carried Maj-Gen Stretton DRW-MEL arriving 31DEC74.
29 & 57
30DEC74
C-130E
A97-177
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-KTR-SYD-YSRI
?
FLGOFF AJ Edwards. Diverted KTR to collect a medevac. Dep KTR after midnight. Returned YSRI 01JAN75. See Notes.
# 37 & 57
30DEC74
C-130E
A97-178
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-ASP-ADL-PER-YPEA-DRW-MEL-YLVT-YSRI
?
SQNLDR BE O'Shea. Returned YSRI 03JAN75
57
30DEC74
C-130E
A97-180
RAAF
DRW-PER
?
Arr from YSRI-KTR on 29DEC. Thence PER-YPED-DRW on 31DEC.
31
30DEC74
C-130E
A97-190
RAAF
YSRI-ABX-CBR-DRW
-
Picked up a mechanical road sweeper and plant equipment at ABX and an RAAF medical team at CBR.
51
30DEC74
C-130A
A97-209
RAAF
YSRI-ISA-DRW-YSRI
-
FLGOFF M Donaldson. 29000lb freight and 2 medical staff. Returned with 18 pallets of cargo (5000lb).
20 & 57
30DEC74
C-130A
A97-212
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-ADL
93
FLGOFF G Rich. 27000lb freight and 5 pax for DRW.
57
30DEC74
C-130A
A97-216
RAAF
YSRI-ISA-DRW-SYD-YSRI
45
FLTLT B O'Toole. 28115lb freight. Returned with 45 pax and 15 litters.
57
30DEC74
BAC 1-11
A12-125
RAAF
MKY-BNE-SYD-CBR
63
After overnighting MKY the aircraft flew to BNE and SYD with 63 evacuees. The aircraft then positioned empty to CBR.
65
30DEC74
B707-338C
VH-EAC
QANTAS
SYD-DRW-SYD
211
QF008M
2 & 5
30DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBG
TAA
ADL-ASP-ADL
235
DEP ASP 0230
23
30DEC74
B727-276
VH-TBJ
TAA
SYD-BNE-ISA-SYD
148
DEP ISA 0643
23
30DEC74
B727-76
VH-TJB
TAA
MEL-ADL-ASP-ADL
120
DEP ASP 1610
23
30DEC74
B727-76
VH-TJD
TAA
ADL-ASP-ADL
119
DEP ASP 1837
23
30DEC74
B727-76
VH-TJD
TAA
ADL-ASP-ADL
153
DEP ASP 2325
23
30DEC74
F.27
VH-CAV
DCA
DRW-KTR
-
VOR restoration
58
30DEC74
F.27
VH-CAV
DCA
KTR-ASP-ADL-YPED-MEL-MEB
?
Evacuees ex KTR. DEP ADL 31DEC
58
30DEC74
SP-2H
A89-279
RAAF
TSV-TSV
-
FLGOFF MG McLean flew a "road survey to Mt Isa". It is suspected that this was connected with Cyclone Tracy although the ORB doesn't specifically say so. This is the only 10SQN op for 20-30DEC74.
63
space              
31DEC74
C-130E
A97-168
RAAF
DRW-BNE-YSRI
?
 
35
31DEC74
C-130E
A97-171
RAAF
YSRI-ROK-DRW-YSRI
?
FLGOFF GSN Harmer. Transported electrical contractors and equipment from ROK to DRW. Returned YSRI 01JAN75.
57
31DEC74
C-130E
A97-177
RAAF
DRW-MEL-YSRI
2
FLTLT DP Harley. Flew Maj-Gen Stretton and his aide Maj Frank Thorogood to MEL on completion of their duties in DRW. Departed DRW just after 1500 and arrived MEL just before midnight on 31DEC. Positioned to YSRI later on 01JAN75 after crew rest.
29 & 18
31DEC74
C-130A
A97-208
RAAF
DRW-BNE-SYD-YSRI
22
FLT LT McCandless. Load consisted of approx 22 Medevacs. (Not mentioned in Source 57)
28
31DEC74
C-130A
A97-211
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-?
92
FLTLT JO Spurgeon. 13900lb freight plus 1 medical team. Returned with 93 pax, destination not shown.
57
31DEC74
HS748
N15-709
RAN
DRW-ISA-SYD-YSNW
?
Crew: Jim Campbell (Capt) James (Co-Pilot)
30
31DEC74
HS748
N15-710
RAN
YSNW-SYD-ISA-DRW
3
Crew: Peter Adams plus Landon, Nichols, Smart, Gorman, Altham & Arnell. Carried stores.
19
31DEC74
DC-9
VH-TJT
TAA
ISA-BNE
74
DEP ISA 0140
23
space              
01JAN75
HS748
N15-710
RAN
DRW-ISA-SYD-YSNW
27
Crew: Peter Adams plus Landon, Nichols, Smart, Gorman, Altham & Arnell. Pax disembarked ISA.
19
01JAN75
B707-338C
VH-EAH
QANTAS
SYD-DRW-SYD
154
QF008L
5
01JAN75
C-130E
A97-168
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-YAMB
?
Thence YAMB-DRW on 02JAN.
32
01JAN75
C-130E
A97-181
RAAF
DRW-YSRI
?
 
31
01JAN75
C-130A
A97-207
RAAF
YSRI-ISA-DRW-SYD-YSRI
23
FLTLT JA Pickett. 23000lb cargo. 23 pax for SYD.
25 & 57
01JAN75
C-130A
A97-208
RAAF
YSRI-YPED-DRW-YSRI
9
FLTLT R Bishop. 12800lb cargo.
57
01JAN75
C-130A
A97-211
RAAF
YSRI-YAMB-YSRI
-
CAPT M Dennard (USAF exchange?). Generators & misc supplies YAMB-YSRI.
57
01JAN75
CANBERRA
A84-233
RAAF
YAMB-DRW-YAMB
-
Conducted further aerial photography of Darwin during the period 1-3 Jan. (See Note: 10)
46
space              
02JAN75
C-130A
A97-206
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-SYD-YSRI
100+
FLT LT D McCandless. 18000lb generators. (Source 57 states returned with 17 medevacs)
28
02JAN75
C-130A
A97-210
RAAF
YSRI-DRW-YSRI
?
FLTLT B O'Toole. 28500lb freight.
8 & 57
02JAN75
C-130A
A97-212
RAAF
YSRI-YAMB-DRW-YSRI
?
This flight does not appear in Source 57.
24
02JAN75
C-130A
A97-216
RAAF
YSRI-YLVT-DRW-YPEA-WGA-YSRI
58
FLGOFF GR Rich. 16316lb freight.
57
02JAN75
C-130K
XV199
RAF
YSRI-DRW-YSRI
-
Aircraft positioned YSRI-DRW-WSAT on 03JAN75.
51
The resumption of RPT operations will serve as an arbitrary cut-off point for this list although military
and to a lesser extent civil relief operations did continue well into January.
Maj-Gen Stretton saw 31 December as the final day of the airlift and he relinquished his responsibilities on 2 January 1975.
03JAN75
B727-76
VH-TJF
TAA
BNE-DRW
-
Resumption of regular scheduled services by TAA ex BNE
7
03JAN75
B727-77
VH-RMS?
ANSETT
BNE-DRW
-
Resumption of regular scheduled services by ANSETT ex BNE
7
13JAN75 DC-3 A65-114
RAAF/ARDU
YLVT-DRW-YLVT
-
Commissioning check of DRW TACAN and GCA. Returned 18JAN.
64
space              

 

OTHER PARTICIPANTS

(These aircraft are known to have participated but further details are needed)

 

AIRCRAFT
REMARKS
SOURCE
Beech Baron VH-EZD Jan Beers Aviation operated PER-DRW under charter to the Salvation Army.
6
Beech 200 VH-THS Thiess Bros. Departed BNE for DRW on 05JAN75 with Sir Leslie Thiess who had been appointed Chairman of the Darwin Reconstruction Commission which met in Darwin for the first time on 06JAN.
7 & 18
BAC1-11 A12-125 RAAF. Arrived BNE 26DEC probably from Mackay (see Note 3)
7 & 65
BAC1-11 A12-? RAAF. Arrived DRW 28DEC at approx 1130 with PM Gough Whitlam.
18
BAC1-11 A12-? RAAF. Arrived DRW 02JAN with Governor General Sir John Kerr. Departed 03JAN.
39
Dassault Mystere 20 A11-078 RAAF. Details requested.
57
Dassault Mystere 20 A11-085 RAAF. Details requested.
57
Dassault Mystere 20 A11-090 RAAF. Details requested.
57
DHC-4 Caribou A4-? RAAF. Although A4-173 is the only aircraft known to have deployed to Darwin, other 35 Sqn Caribou were busy ferrying C-130 crews and spares and medical personnel and supplies in support of C-130 flights to Darwin. For example, on 27DEC74, A4-236 and A4-159 carried 50 Commonwealth and State Police from Canberra to Sydney for deployment to Darwin. On 28DEC74, A4-208 flew from Richmond to Dubbo and return to uplift litters and pillows for use by Darwin medevacs.
57
Douglas C-47 Dakota A65-102 RAAF
6
Douglas C-47 Dakota A65-124 RAAF
41
Gates Learjet VH-SBC Swan Brewery. Made 3 return flights PER-DRW with relief personnel.
6
Grumman Gulfstream II VH-ASM Associated Airlines. Noted at BNE on 27DEC engaged in DRW relief ops.
7
Hawker Siddeley HS748 A10-595 RAAF. Details requested.
57
Hawker Siddeley HS748 A10-596 RAAF. Details requested.
57
Lockheed C-130 Hercules ? RCAF. Bogged at DRW in the early hours of 29DEC but successfully powered out.
25
Lockheed C-130 Hercules ? TNI-AU. Indonesia supplied 2 aircraft for approx 10 days.
41
Lockheed C-130 Hercules ? USAF.
41
Lockheed C-141 Starlifter 65-251 USAF. Arrived Amberley 29DEC and departed for DRW 30DEC. (See Note: 9)
4 & 7
Lockheed C-141 Starlifter 66-143 USAF. This a/c plus 65-251 operated their last relief flights on 03JAN. (See Note: 9)
7
Misc Ag Aircraft VH- ? Civil. Details requested. 1 ex Tindal, 1 ex Katherine and 1 ex Kununurra sprayed Darwin to control flies and mosquitoes.
One of these aircraft has been identified as Cessna A188B Agwagon VH-DDT of Trojan Aerial Spraying (TASCO).(Source: 56)
39 & 41
Westland Wessex N7-200, 202, 205, 208, 209, 213, 221, 224 & 226 These helicopters were embarked in HMAS Melbourne (7 aircraft) and HMAS Stalwart (1 aircraft) which sailed from Sydney on 26 and 27 December respectively. Source 38 states that Stalwart sailed with two Wessex. Wessex N2-208 visited BNE on 23JAN75 having flown over from HMAS Melbourne which was off the coast returning from Darwin.(Source: 7)
3 & 38

 

 

This list was compiled by Ron Cuskelly from sources shown below. The list does not pretend to be complete. Although it is believed that all Qantas and all TAA flights are recorded, it is a matter of some regret that complete records of Ansett's flights do not survive. It is believed that only 35% of Ansett's flights are accounted for and these have been provided from the log books of pilots who were involved.

The compiler acknowledges the assistance of the Professional Pilots Rumour Network (PPRuNe)
in locating many of the contributors. Thanks to all contributors.

As this is a work in progress, further contributions are always welcome. Contact the compiler.

 

SOURCES
1
Extracted from the log book of FEO Norman King. Flight was commanded by Capt John Brooks with an all volunteer crew most of whom were on leave and who had contacted Crew Scheduling as soon as the news broke on Boxing Day. Norman King recalls: "To Qantas' great credit, it was all put together in only a few hours and away we went. The runway, so we discovered after we walked part of it after arrival, was strewn with a million roofing screws. How we avoided a puncture is still a source of great wonder. When we arrived, I distributed the two vital requests from the DRW engineers - 50 cans of WD40 and about 500 Benson and Hedges, with dry matches, please - and I've never seen so many people smoking all at once. My enduring memory of that day was the one structure standing tall among the flattened landscape we were all looking at on approach. The one thing you'd expect to fold first was still intact, and the engineer who designed it should have been awarded a gold medal. There, having defied Tracy's power, large as life, was the drive-in movie screen".
2
Extracted from the Qantas Maintenance and Flying Record Log by Eric Favelle.
3
Source: Journal of the Aviation Historical Society of Australia. (Vol XV No 6 Jan-Feb 1975). This publication also mentions the use of RAAF C-130, HS748, Caribou, BAC1-11, RAN HS748, Ansett B727-200, TAA B727-200, F.27 and MMA F.28.
4
The Brisbane Courier-Mail of 31DEC74 carries a photo of C-141 Starlifter tail number 50251 "loading communications equipment and a big portable kitchen at RAAF Base Amberley yesterday" (30DEC74). It also states that the aircraft will carry evacuess on its return flight from Darwin.
5
All Qantas flights were listed in "Qantas News" of January 1975.
6
"Western Airletter" December 1974 compiled by Geoff Goodall et al.
7
Contemporary notes by the compiler.
8
Log book of Tony Ryan who was the Flight Engineer on these flights. Captain was FLTLT O'Toole.
9
Log book of John Laming. F.27 VH-TFE of the Department of Civil Aviation Flying Unit was crewed by Val Trevethan, Pete De Rouffignac & John Laming (all ex-RAAF). TCA = Tennant Creek.
10
C-130H NZ7003 from 40 Sqn RNZAF positioned Whenuapai-Richmond-Townsville on 27DEC. On 28DEC the aircraft positioned TSV-DRW to operate its first relief flight. The aircraft operated at least two flights DRW-SYD-YSRI as shown above. NZ7003 was based with two crews at RAAF Base Richmond. The aircraft operated Richmond-Amberley-Laverton-Richmond on 01JAN75. The aircraft returned to NZ on 04JAN75 when it positioned Richmond-Sydney-Whenuapai. Sourced from the log book of Michael Sommerville who was Captain of one of the crews.
11
A telex sent on 09JAN75 from C.N. Kleinig (GM of MMA) to the National Disasters Organisation in Canberra states: "Flights operated by MMA five F28 aircraft identified FKA, FKB, FKC, FKD and FKE. Total thirteen flights operated between Darwin and Perth over period December 26 to December 29 Total passengers carried 1004".
12
http://ntlapp.nt.gov.au/tracy/basic/Stretton.html
13
http://inside.theage.com.au/view_bestofarticle.php?straction=update&inttype=1&intid=401
14
Log book of Capt Ray Vuillermin PIC of VH-TQT. "We took 32 maternity cases and 27 new born babes to Brisbane via Mt Isa, at the direction of General Stretton".
15
"Connellan Airways Outbank Airline" (pp. 40-41) by Peter Donovan published by Chris Connellan 1989. The other two DC-3s are most likely VH-MIN and VH-PWM although VH-UPQ cannot be positively eliminated. See Note 7.
16
Capt David Baker. "I was on leave on the north coast of NSW when the cyclone hit and had to drive to Brisbane in response to TAA's urgent appeal for crews as most of the line pilots were already flying their bids over the busy Christmas period. Myself (PIC) and another TAA Skipper landed in DRW at 1100 hrs on the 26th Dec in VH-TFF with the sole purpose of picking up the ladies about to give birth from the DRW Hospital. This was traumatic for all concerned as many of the pregnant patients did not know if their husbands/partners were still alive, or indeed their other children. We left at 1324 with 40 last stage pregnant ladies, 2 cabin crew, 2 Nursing Sisters, 1 doctor and 2 cats in cages (they belonged to the hospital). Two ladies were in labour, so we went straight to Mount Isa (where we refuelled), no joy there, their hospital was already packed with those who had been driven down from Darwin. So, running out of hours and ideas, I called up Mackay, and pleaded (no, threatened) that we needed help, and finally got in there vastly relieved, as the noises up the back were becoming terrifying to say the least. We overnighted Mackay and after refuelling flew back to Brisbane on 27th December and resumed our leave. Of course I somehow ended up with the cats, who both lived to a great age and cost a fortune in vet bills. I never did find the owner".
17
Log book of Capt Don Pitts. 311 passengers plus 3 staff plus 7 crew. Total POB 321. Other tech crew were F/O Bill Robertson and F/E Allan Meyers. The Captain's family travelled on the flight deck.
18
"The Furious Days" by Major-General Alan Bishop Stretton AO CBE (30 September 1922 - 26 October 2012) published by William Collins 1976.
19
Log book of Lieutenant Commander Peter Adams RAN.
20
Log book of Peter Grimmer RAAF.
21
Log book of F/O Barry McKay. Capt was Ron Black. Pax were disembarked at the SYD International Terminal.
22
"Flypast - A Record of Aviation in Australia" by Parnell & Boughton, AGPS 1988.
23
The principal source is a typed memo from the TAA OCM dated 31DEC74 with an addendum dated 06JAN75.
24
Log book of Bill Mattes. "Lost an engine due to nacelle overheat going into Darwin. An engine change was required; but I was ordered off the airfield by Gpt Capt Hitchins (an old 36 Sqn CO) and took off on three engines declaring a PAN on taxy. Got an overtemp on one of the other engines on take off but elected to keep it going. Went to Tindal after 40 hours awake. After double engine change at Tindal returned to Darwin for fuel and flew to Adelaide via Tindal to pick up an orphanage and a hippie colony plus a rabbit and two puppies. Total pax and crew 186 with 19 on the flight deck."
25
Log book of Steve Phillips (Navigator): "All my flights were commanded by John Pickett. The 29DEC flight in A97-210 departed DRW around midnight. Just after take-off a lady suffered a heart attack but was revived using portable oxygen. The aircraft lost its radar and ran into a major thunderstorm losing altitude and becoming inverted briefly. The aircraft turned back to DRW after 2.1 hours in the air. The effect on the passengers was such that we had to task the Firies to hose out the cargo compartment! After resting briefly we departed in daylight for Adelaide."
26
Tracey Turner (nee Collins) who was a passenger on the flight. The flight diverted to Charleville with a prop problem and overnighted.
27
"Failure of Triumph - the Story of Connellan Airways" by E.J. Connellan 1992.
28
Log book of Barry Rose who was Loadmaster on these flights. After the arrival on 29DEC, RAAF operations were halted for 24 hours to provide rest for the ground staff who had been working continuously since the cyclone.
29
Log book of Flight Engineer, Keith Kershaw. Read his recollections here
30
Log book of Lieutenant Commander Jim Campbell, RAN, Commanding Officer VC851 Squadron.
31
Log book of E.J.H. (Ted) Wittup, Loadmaster, 37 Sqn RAAF. Captain on all of these flights was FLGOFF Jack Fanderlinden.
32
Log book of FLTLT 'Doc' Casey, 37 Sqn RAAF. Co-Pilot on all these flights was FLTLT Howell.
33
Log book of Bill Moore, Flight Engineer, 37 Sqn RAAF. "The flight Brisbane - Rockhampton - Darwin on the 30 December was of particular note due to the following. Our aircraft A97-171, had suffered a GTC failure earlier on in this operation. This meant a ground support air supply was required to start an engine if all engines were shut down on arrival. We had been informed full ground support was available at Rockhampton before departure from Brisbane, however on arrival Rockhampton, just to be on the safe side, confirmation was sought from the ground support agents at Rocky who confirmed no ground air for start was available. No problem, we were able to keep one engine running to supply electrics and air but due to no fuel being available in Darwin, we had to refuel with one engine running. Still no problem, however when we requested the local airport fire authority to attend the aircraft and standby just incase during the refuel operation, they were reluctant to take part in our refuelling, so took their fire truck back to their station and left us to our own resources. From memory, all this took part around 3:00 am to 5:00am on the morning of the 30 Dec."
33
Log book of Captain Stuart Spenceley, TAA. See Note: 8.
34
RAAF News: http://www.defence.gov.au/news/raafnews/editions/4623/history/story02.htm
35
Log book of Denis Pendergast, 37 Sqn RAAF, Flight Engineer.
36
Log book of Ross Petrie who was the F/O.
37
Log book of FLTLT Allan Edwards, 37 Sqn RAAF. "My Co-Pilot on all these flights was PLTOFF Tony Bird. The flight in A97-190 on 27 December carried a load of six generators, each said to be weighing 5,000 pounds. Although we had planned to depart at max all up weight (155,000 pounds), it emerged immediately after we were committed to the take-off that the weight of the generators was not as advertised and we just managed to get airborne off Richmond's 7,000 foot runway. Read the full story here. After arrival in Darwin we spent many hours on the ground, periodically moving the aircraft before getting away to Townsville. We flew back to Darwin the next day (again with no crew rest and again moving the aircraft up the queue as others took-off). We departed Darwin in the early morning of 29 December for Sydney and Richmond for some rest before heading off to Darwin again the next day in A97-177. Again after much time on the ground in Darwin, we departed for Sydney but had to divert to Tindal to pick up a road accident patient. After quite a few hours on the ground in Tindal it was discovered that the aircraft battery was depleted to such an extent that we had to summon the local Auto Club Road Service! We eventually departed Tindal after midnight. The short Sydney-Richmond sector on 31 December was flown with the gear down and 50% flap as we were so tired that I didn’t want to forget something for the landing. These were very long duty periods as there was no facility at Darwin for crews to rest and, in fact, we had been directed that no aircraft/crew was to remain on the ground in Darwin unnecessarily. As a consequence, crew duty limitations went out the window and it was not unusual for crews (C-130 crews at any rate) to be working for as long as 48 hours, as my first duty period was. The only rest we managed was in our crew seats while airborne (the bunks were not available as we had evacuated passengers or medical staff etc sitting on them)."
38
George Odgers et al The Defence Force in the Relief of Darwin after Cyclone Tracy, Department of Defence, Historical Monograph No. 15, September 1979. Copy from the personal papers of Air Commodore David Hitchins, with thanks to his family.
39
Cyclone Tracy - Report by O.C. R.A.A.F. Darwin. Copy from the personal papers of Air Commodore David Hitchins, with thanks to his family.
40
Tropical Cyclone Tracy - Report by Officer Temporarily Commanding RAAF Darwin (WGCDR W.D.J. Monaghan). Copy from the personal papers of Air Commodore David Hitchins, with thanks to his family.
41
Interview with Air Commodore David Hitchins (June 9 and August 12, 1987) Northern Territory Archives Service, Northern Territory Oral History Project, by Ronda Jamieson. Copy from the personal papers of Air Commodore David Hitchins, with thanks to his family.
42
Journal of the Aviation Historical Society of Australia Vol XV No 6 Jan-Feb 1975
43
Northern Territory Aerial Medical Service by Warwick Henry, Aviation Heritage the journal of the Aviation Historical Society of Australia Vol 26 No 3
44
Fokker F.27 Friendship by Air-Britain Historians
45
Northern Territory Archives Service
Commissioner of Police
NTRS 3002
Administration files relating to Cyclone Tracy
1974-1975
Reports on Cyclone duty

NT Archives Service, Guide to Cyclone Tracy Resources.
http://www.nretas.nt.gov.au/knowledge-and-history/ntas/publications/guides/tracy
46
Office of Air Force History with thanks to Martin James. (See Note: 10)
47
Capt. Reg Adkins, author of "I Flew for MMA".
The usual Perth-Darwin flight was 492 which departed at 0600W. Because of the cyclone, the service departed late as Flight 1492 (the prefix 1 indicating a schedule change). The route was Perth-Port Hedland-Broome-Derby-Kununurra-Darwin. The service was operated by F.28 VH-FKB which was crewed by Captain Rodney Kralert, F/O Lindsay Allen and Captain S.J. (Syd) Goddard. Captain Goddard, MMA's Flight Manager, joined them because a flight with three pilots was permitted a duty period of 14 hours instead of 11 hours with only two crew. Also, as Flight Manager, he was able to oversee the whole operation and plan further flights. At Kununurra they were ordered to offload all Darwin destined passengers as only emergency personnel were permitted to enter the city. Offloading the Darwin pax and waiting for the Darwin runway to be cleared delayed them by about two hours. Capt Kralert remembers that they were the first MMA flight into Darwin after the cyclone. Kralert and Allen travelled as passengers on the return Flight 1493 to Kununurra on 26 December. For this sector VH-FKB was crewed by Captain Ray Brindley and F/O Alex Henry. Syd Goddard stayed on the aircraft all the way back to Perth to report the situation to MMA Operations and co-ordinate the future rescue missions. Kralert and Allen had a free day in Kununurra after which they returned to Darwin on VH-FKB as Flight 492 on 28 December. The return Flight 493 by VH-FKB operated Darwin-Kununurra-Newman-Perth. The diversion to Newman was for fuel, given the heavy load ex Darwin. At Newman all the mothers with babies got off the aeroplane and washed their babies bums on the lawn in front of the terminal. With so many babies on one aeroplane, the one small on-board toilet was severely taxed! The Newman women were very helpful to the evacuees and brought out tea, coffee and sandwiches for the mothers and nappies for their babies. MMA's F.28s kept up a continuous shuttle to Kununurra, and Captain Graham Hewitt with his F/O, Rob McMillan, went in on the 27th. He recalls that as all the Darwin Navaids were inoperative, they had to fly across from Kununurra to Katherine and then backtrack into Darwin on the Katherine navaids, also identifying the Darwin coastal area on the aircraft's radar. They had to let down through the continuing murk left over from the cyclone and broke visual at 800ft.
48
Log Book of Capt. Geoff Kendall.
49
Bushies - A History of Bush Pilots - Air Queensland written and published by Ron Entsch 2001, Appendix 1, page XX.
"Dec 74. Cyclone Tracy devastated Darwin. Connair had earlier evacuated aircraft. Stan Watkins chairman of T.J. Watkins builders, chartered DC-3 VH-PWN, with Captain Bill Kelman, from Cairns to deliver emergency supplies, and to evacuate his Darwin staff and families. On arrival, aircraft was commandeered, and then flew twenty-five hours over next two days evacuating residents to Alice Springs."
50

Log Book of Captain Bill Kelman. Read his recollections here

51

Arthur Osborne, at the time a Corporal Engine Fitter with RAF Support Unit, Tengah, Singapore. Read his recollections here

52
Robert M Trowern, at the time a Squadron Leader in command of Nimrod Mk1, XV255. Read his recollections here
53
Jock Manson, at the time a Flt Lt co-pilot on RAF Belfasts. Read his recollections here
54
Robert Zweck who was a pilot with SAATAS at the time.
55
Log Book of FLTLT Ken Stone. Other crew: FLGOFF John Foley, SGT Allen Fraser and SGT Laurie Rappo. Departed RAAF Richmond for Mt Isa on Boxing Day loaded with non-perishable foodstuffs and instructions to be completely self-sufficient in Darwin. On arrival DRW on 27DEC the crew pitched a tent on a concrete slab where a tin shed had been. FLGOFF John Foley replaced by FLTLT John Cornish at DRW on 30DEC. Additional flying outside the scope of the main table above:
03JAN75 Darwin-Darwin. Local flight probably for photography.
04JAN75 Darwin-Bathurst Island-Garden Point-Snake Bay-Darwin. Survey flight to check on local communities.
07JAN75 Darwin-Francis Creek-Darwin. Probably mining support.
08JAN75 Darwin-Normanton-Townsville. Overnight. This was the only flight to carry evacuees and they were few in number.
09JAN75 Townsville-Richmond.
Ken Stone does not recall sighting any other Caribou in Darwin. His log book shows that A4-173 flew 23 sorties totalling 43.3 hours Richmond to Richmond.
Appropriately, Caribou A4-173 is now preserved in the Queensland Air Museum.
56
Robert Calaby, Darwin.
57
Unit History Sheets for 34, 35, 36 and 37 Squadrons, Office of Air Force History, Canberra with thanks to Steve Allan. The Unit History Sheet for 36 Sqn states that there is one USAF exchange officer on strength so this is presumed to be CAPT M Dennard who operated several flights in the main table.
58
Log Book of David Williams,  a DCA flight surveyor who was on the aircraft. VH-CAV was flown by Bill Fitter and Bob Dannatt. It is not known how many evacuees were uplifted or where they disembarked. In its normal navaid calibration configuration, VH-CAV could seat approximately 12.
59
Anonymous contribution via PPRuNe.
60
From the log book of Jim Jones: On 27th December 1974 I flew a Union Air Beech 65-8200 Queen Air VH-FWG from Toowoomba to Brisbane to pick up passengers and equipment from Woolworths. They were intending to get the Woolworths store in Darwin cleaned and operational. It was a new store that had its own generator and could operate independently of outside power. I was met in Brisbane by about six Woolworths staff and a heap of equipment including a washing machine! We had a discussion on what was really needed and what I could carry, loaded the aircraft and flew to Mt Isa via Longreach. FT was 6:10. We had to wait in Mt Isa for "Visas" and approval for the aircraft. The "Visas"were granted and we left Mt Isa on 2nd January 1975. However someone forgot that we were flying into Darwin and had not granted approval for the aircraft. We landed in Tindal and remained on the ground for several hours until approval for the aircraft was passed to us. We arrived in Darwin on the afternoon of 2nd January. FT was 5:10 I was surprised to find only one other aircraft, a Cessna 172 (I believe) in the Darwin CTR. We were met by Woolworths staff who took us to the Woolworths store in the centre of Darwin. I remember the utter devastation - planes of all makes littered around the aerodrome, steel power poles bent horizontal, a car in a motel swimming pool. After we unloaded our equipment and the Woolworths staff had started the generator, one of the Woolworths staff drove us out to check on the houses in which the Woolworths staff lived. Even though they knew where the houses once were, they could not recognise the street in which the houses were located. It was only by counting streets back from the shoreline we we able to find the houses. There was not much left. The intention was to sleep that night on stretches in a marquee in the Woolworths car park. With the heat and humidity repressive, I took my stretcher into the store and slept in front of the open dairy display cabinets which were running in preparation to being filled the next day. I left Darwin on 3rd January with several local Woolworths staff on board who were being evacuated to Brisbane. We flew Darwin - Mt Isa - Longreach. FT was 7:30. On 4th January I flew Longreach to Brisbane to drop of the Woolworths staff then on to Toowoomba. FT 4:10.
61

Anonymous contribution via PPRuNe.

"I was an F/O on AN7760 VH-RMV, which operated BNE-DRW on 28th Dec 1974. Captain John Zucal was PIC. DRW airport had been cleared and approved for operations although all NAV aids were U/S. A special VFR clearance was approved for our approach. John was friendly with Ozzie Ozgood who owned Arnham Air Charters. Their offices were destroyed in the cyclone and sadly a female staff member was killed by flying debris. John and I and the F/E helped Ozzie salvage what we could. We passengered out of DRW on 29th. John Raby was the PIC. There were at least 285 pax on the flight sitting sometimes 7 abreast in a row of three seats. Extension seat belts were used where possible. This was an Emergency Evacuation and special Emergency Procedures were authorised. On arrival at DRW airport I counted 31 buses waiting in line to offload their passengers, (only women and children at this stage). At check in, all passengers were issued with a baggage tag around their wrist which determined their destination. Either ADL or BNE were the two options."

62

Contributed via PPRuNe by Bob Bowne:

" I was a first officer with Bob Forman the Captain on a Connair Heron VH-CLX that departed Alice Springs late on Christmas day dropped into Tennant Creek for Police Uniforms and equipment and arrived in Darwin just after dawn on the 26th of December. We spent a few days evacuating indigenous people to Bathurst Island and my log book says I flew VH-CLT with Bob Bennett back to Alice Springs There was a second Heron that departed Alice about the same time, VH-CLV and it went via Katherine, they arrived in Darwin before us I believe, this was crewed by Captain Bob Bennett and FO Mark Rindfleish (later Ansett DFO and Jetstar Chief Pilot). The RAAF tower was back in operation by the time we arrived, and most GA aircraft had already been bulldozed into a drainage ditch to clear the apron."

63

NAA: A9186, 28. RAAF Unit History sheets (Form A50) [Operations Record Book - Forms A50 and A51] Number 10 Squadron Jan 62 - Dec 76. Page 451. The ORB makes no specific mention of Cyclone Tracy. The road survey on 30DEC74 is the only operation recorded since 19DEC74.

64

NAA: A9186. RAAF Unit History sheets (Form A50) [Operations Record Book - Forms A50 and A51] Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU)

"27DEC74: Dakota aircraft A65-114 crewed by Flt Lt W.S. Shoobridge, Flt Lt P.W. Drury, Flt Lt D. Wickam, Flt Lt J.E. Shaw and LACW R.L. Timmins conveyed two women and two children to Wynyard and three women to Hobart. All the passengers, dependents of Army or Air Force personnel, were evacuated from Darwin to Laverton by C130 after Cyclone Tracy. The aircraft and crew returned the same day."

"13JAN75: Dakota aircraft A65-114 crewed by Grp Capt R.N. Law, Flt Lt W.S. Shoobridge, Flt Lt D. Wickam, Flt Lt A.W. Matthew and a NAVAID Survey Team departed (Laverton) to carry out a commissioning check of Tacan and GCA installations at Darwin returning on 18 Jan 1975."

65

Squadron Leader Nev Duus, 34 Squadron.

66

NAA: RAAF Unit History sheets (Form A50) [Operations Record Book - Forms A50 and A51] Number 11 Squadron Jul 67 - Jan 88, Series number A9186, Control symbol 32. The ORB records only two flights associated with Cyclone Tracy.

 

NOTES
#
Clash requiring further research.
1

Where possible, the number shown in the PAX column does not include operating crew. However, it is possible that some of the numbers recorded are inclusive of crew i.e. POB (Persons On Board).

2

This flight is proving to be something of an enigma. All available evidence indicates that the aircraft operated SYD-BNE-SYD and the 247 pax were boarded in Brisbane! This poses three questions.
1. How did the pax get from DRW to BNE?
2. Why were they loaded at BNE in emergency conditions? (i.e. doubling up in seats and seating pax in the aisles)
3. Why were they sent to BNE if they were destined for SYD?

3

Maj Gen Stretton records in his book (Source: 18) that he set out from Canberra in an RAAF BAC111 to pick up Dr Rex Patterson, the Minister for the Northern Territory, in Mackay before proceeding to Darwin. En route Mackay it was realised that they could not arrive in Darwin before last light so they called up a following C-130 Hercules and arranged to meet in Mount Isa where Stretton and his party transferred to the C-130 which was commanded by SQN LDR W.M. Fewster. Also from Source 38, Hercules A97-168 was carrying an RAAF surgical team comprising 1 surgeon, 1 anaesthetist, 2 medical officers, 2 nurses and 2 orderlies. The Hercules also carried medical supplies and a press party. The BAC1-11 was carrying a civilian surgical team comprising 3 surgeons, 1 anaesthetist, 1 registrar and 3 nurses. This aircraft also carried medical supplies and one ABC cameraman. The BAC1-11 departed RAAF Fairbairn, Canberra at 1530. Although source 38 states that it was SQNLDR Fewster's idea to rendezvous in Mt Isa, Source 65 states that it was a political decision by Dr Patterson.

4

RAAF News records the following statistics:

The Air Force’s transport squadrons worked tirelessly to bring in supplies and evacuate residents from Dec 26, 1974, to Jan 4, 1975.

36SQN’s (C-130A) contribution: 8 aircraft, 554 flying hours, carried 2864 passengers and 793,000lb freight

37SQN’s (C-130E) contribution: 11 aircraft, 700 flying hours, carried 4400 passengers and 1.3 million lb freight

In one day, 19 Hercs from the two squadrons made a total of 44 flights into Darwin.

Source: http://www.defence.gov.au/news/raafnews/editions/4623/history/story02.htm

(Log books rarely record pax loads on RAAF C-130s ex DRW but they were generally in the range 120 - 140)

5

When the first elements of the Royal Australian Navy fleet sailed from Sydney on 26 December, approximately 50 per cent of all Sydney-based ships’ companies were on annual leave, with many interstate. Of the 2700 personnel on leave, 2200 were able to return to their ships prior to sailing, and others subsequently managed to join their ships in Townsville.
Source: http://www.navy.gov.au/w/index.php/Publication:Semaphore_-_Issue_14%2C_2004

7

Aircraft histories indicate that the Connair fleet included four DC-3s at this time - VH-EWE, VH-MIN, VH-PWM and VH-UPQ. Of these, VH-UPQ was registered to Connair on 25 October 1974. According to Trevor Dean of the Australian Aviation Museum at Bankstown (the current owners of VH-UPQ) the aircraft was subsequently ferried from Woomera to Alice Springs by Captain D. Gillespie and First Officer 'Slim' Rosier. John Myers, who was a DC-3 pilot with Connair at the time, believes that VH-UPQ would have been undergoing a pre-service overhaul in Alice Springs at the time of Cyclone Tracy. Therefore, it would appear that the three DC-3s that were evacuated to Katherine before the cyclone were VH-EWE, VH-MIN and VH-PWM. During 1974, Connair were operating DC-3 VH-MMA on lease from Air Niugini but this lease terminated in October 1974.

8

The Northern Territory Aerial Medical Service (NTAMS) normally had three de Havilland Doves based in Darwin, one in Gove and one in Alice Springs. On 24DEC74 the Gove-based aircraft VH-DHE carried a patient to Darwin through deteriorating weather. Consequently it was decided that VH-DHE would remain overnight in Darwin where it joined the three other Doves (DHH, DHN & DHA) in the Darwin hangar. Dove VH-DHD was based in Alice Springs and VH-DHK was at Bankstown for a major inspection. When Cyclone Tracy struck Darwin, the doors of the NTAMS hangar were blown in and the four Doves inside were all damaged. Although all were eventually repaired and returned to service, in the immediate aftermath of Tracy, the NTAMS were left with only one aircraft, VH-DHD which had been in Alice Springs. (It had been decided in October 1974 that the NTAMS Doves would be replaced by the GAF Nomad 24 which were due to be delivered in the second half of 1975. In the event, the first Nomad did not go into service until November 1977). As an interim measure to cover the repair of the Doves and the late delivery of the Nomads, two TAA Twin Otters were provided. These aircraft (VH-TGF & VH-TGG) operated in full TAA livery. It transpired that the Twin Otters were to remain with the NTAMS until 1977. They were delivered to the following schedule:

VH-TGG: Dep BNE 1625 29DEC74 to CTL-CNJ-TCA-(30DEC)-KTR-DRW
VH-TGF: Dep BNE 1820. 29DEC74 to CTL-CNJ-TCA-(30DEC)-ASP-TCS-KTR-DRW (Eventually arriving DRW on 31DEC).

TAA Captain Stuart Spenceley was involved in training NTAMS pilots on the Twin Otter. "I went up to Darwin on 10JAN75 and did local training (circuits with engine failures and various configuration landings such as flapless and night flying) to convert the chief pilot of the NTAMS to the Twin Otter so that he could convert the other pilots. We also did a medical flight to Port Keates to give him some exposure to line flying. I came home on 16JAN75. Several years later, on 2/3JAN78 I ferried one of the Twin Otters from Darwin to Mackay as the NTAMS were receiving their Nomads."

Sources:
Northern Territory Aerial Medical Service, Warwick Henry, Journal of the Aviation Historical Society of Australia, Vol. 26 No. 3.
Replacing the NTAMS Doves, Mike Flanagan, Journal of the Aviation Historical Society of Australia, Vol. 37 No. 4.
Captain Stuart Spenceley, log book and correspondence.

9

Second Starlifter joins Darwin airlift: (The Australian Financial Review, Thursday January 2, 1975)
"A second United States Air Force C-141 Starlifter has joined the Darwin airlift, augmenting the C-141 which was in the country when the cyclone emergency began. The US Government sent the second Starlifter from its Californian base as aid to the Australian effort. It has been said that a third aircraft, the one that operates the normal weekly US shuttle to service installations in Australia, would be available if required.

[... deleted general description of the C-141 ...]

"The first aircraft made available - the Christmas week shuttle - made three Darwin relief flights. On its first it carried 44,000 lb of equipment to the wrecked city and returned with 194 evacuees. Its second flight lifted 40,000 lb and returned with 233 refugees and the third took up 41,000 lb and returned with 320 passengers. The second aircraft then took over and carried a 38,000 lb load to Darwin returning with 205 passengers. All three aircraft were standing by last night. Each of the jets carried an augmented crew, allowing longer time in the air than normal flight time limitations would permit. They also carried two Australian nursing sisters on each flight. Some of the passengers were stretcher cases. The walking passengers, however, were carried in troop-type canvas seating, which normally is rigged for 140 armed men. Many of the evacuees were children, however, who could be nursed. The crews improvised additional seating from empty cargo pallets fastened down to the floor and fitted with safety belts for security." (Copy from the personal papers of Air Commodore David Hitchins, with thanks to his family).

10

An order was issued on 27 December for a Canberra from No. 2 Sqn RAAF to fly a photo survey of DRW after the cyclone. Maj-Gen Stretton records that the results were disappointing because of a camera malfunction, requiring the mission to be reflown. (Sources: 18 & 38)

Canberra A84-233 flew the Darwin photo mission from Cairns on 29 December 74 having positioned from Amberley the previous day. During the flight from Cairns to Darwin the port engine flamed out but was successfully relit. After the photographic mission the aircraft returned to Amberley via Cairns. Pilot was FLTLT J.M. Williamson and the Navigator was FLGOFF M. Phillips. The mission was repeated on 1-3 Jan 75 again in A84-233, with Pilot FLTLT G.N. Carter and Navigator SQNLDR A.D. Kirby. The January flights operated Amberley-Darwin-Amberley. (Source: 46)

 

AIRPORT CODES
ABX Albury
ADL Adelaide
ASP Alice Springs
BHQ Broken Hill
BME Broome
BNE Brisbane
BWT Wynyard, Tasmania
CBR Canberra
CML Camooweal
CNJ Cloncurry
CNS Cairns
CTL Charleville
DRW Darwin
GOV Gove
HBA Hobart, Tasmania
ISA Mount Isa
KNX Kununurra
KTR Katherine/Tindal
LRE Longreach
MEB Melbourne Essendon
MEL Melbourne Tullamarine
MKY Mackay
NTN Normanton
PER Perth
PHE Port Hedland
ROK Rockhampton
SYD Sydney
TCA Tennant Creek
TSV Townsville
WEI Weipa
WGA Wagga Wagga
WSAT Tengah, Singapore
YAMB Amberley RAAF Base (ABAM)
YLVT Laverton RAAF Base (AMLV)
YPEA Pearce RAAF Base (APPE)
YPED [ED] Edinburgh RAAF Base (APED)
YSNW [NW] Nowra RAN Station Albatross (ASNW)
YSRI [RI] Richmond RAAF Base (ASRI)
ZNE
Newman


NOTES ON AIRPORT CODES

Because of space limitations in the main table, codes have been used for all airports. Where available, the three-letter IATA codes are used as these will be more familiar to most readers. Where no IATA code is available, the four-letter ICAO code is used. Again, for the convenience of readers, the current ICAO codes are used although it should be noted that the Y series ICAO codes did not come into effect until the 1990s. In these cases, the codes that were in use at the time of Cyclone Tracy are shown in brackets.


FURTHER READING

 

ISSUE
DATE
REMARKS
57
22AUG16
Added two SAR sorties by P-3B Orions from No 11 Squadron, RAAF. Refer 27DEC74 & 28DEC74. (See Source: 66)
56
21AUG16
Identified the BAC 1-11 (A12-125) which departed CBR on 25DEC with Maj-Gen Stretton on board. Thanks to Nev Duus. (See Source: 65)
55
08JUL16
Added flights by ARDU C-47 A65-114 on 27DEC74 and 13JAN75. (See Source: 64)
54
19OCT15
Added a reference to a flight by Neptune A89-279 on 30DEC74 as possibly in connection with Cyclone Tracy.
53
15MAY15
Added two early Connair Heron flights. Thanks to Bob Bowne (See Source: 62)
52
26FEB15
Minor format changes.
51
27JAN15
Added the Ansett B727 VH-RMV on 29DEC. (Source: 61)
50
08JAN15
Added the Union Air Beech Queen Air VH-FWG thanks to Jim Jones. (Source: 60)
49
08JAN15
Added the Ansett F.27 VH-FNU thanks to an anonymous contribution via PPRuNe. (Source: 59)
48
06OCT13
Added explanatory notes on the use of airport codes. Thanks to Phil Vabre of the Airways Museum.
47
04OCT13
Added the DCA F.27 VH-CAV thanks to David Williams. (Source: 58)
46
17FEB13
Multiple amendments to 37 Sqn C-130E movements thanks to Steve Allan of the Office of Air Force History, Canberra. (Source: 57)
Anomalous entries are now marked with a red hash # symbol in the Source column.
45
15FEB13
Multiple amendments to 36 Sqn C-130A movements thanks to Steve Allan of the Office of Air Force History, Canberra. (Source: 57)
44
14FEB13
Effective from this date, all RAAF C-130 movements have been sorted by serial number. This is for ease of reference and because the chronological sequence is rarely known. Serial numbers in the A97-1XX series are C-130E operated by No. 37 Squadron. Serial numbers in the A97-2XX series are C-130A operated by No. 36 Squadron.
43
12FEB13
Added Swearingen Merlin VH-CAM. (Source: 6)
Added Cessna Agwagon VH-DDT. (Source: 7)
All aircraft of No. 34 Sqn RAAF (2 BAC1-11, 3 Mystere & 2 HS748) were used on Darwin operations but specific movements are unknown.
Added details of 35 Sqn Caribou operations.
42
05FEB13
Added Wessex N2-208 (the missing 9th aircraft) (Source: 7)
Added Gulfstream VH-ASM (Source: 7)
41
02JAN13
Added details of flights by Caribou A4-173 thanks to FLTLT Ken Stone (Source: 55)
40
07SEP12
The SAATAS Cessna which was the first aircraft to arrive in Darwin after the cyclone has been identified as Cessna 320 VH-EGN. Thanks to Robert Zweck who was a SAATAS pilot at the time.
39
10AUG12
The three DC-3s that were in service with Connair are now believed to have been VH-EWE, VH-MIN and VH-PWM. It is most likely that Connair's fourth DC-3, VH-UPQ, was still undergoing pre-service overhaul in Alice Springs. See Note 7.
38
28APR12
Added details of a Royal Air Force Short Belfast with an indirect connection to Cyclone Tracy. Thanks to Jock Manson (Source: 53)
37
18APR12
Added details of the sole RAF Nimrod flight which evacuated British subjects. Thanks to Bob Trowern who was captain of the aircraft and to Ray Deacon for facilitating contact with Bob. (Source: 52)
36
10APR12
Capt Geoff Kendall confirms that the Bristol Freighter on 26DEC was VH-TBB. This aircraft also operated between GOV and DRW on 29/30DEC. (Source: 48)
35
07APR12
Added details of the involvement of RAF Hercules XV199 thanks to Arthur Osborne who also advises that an RAF Nimrod evacuated British subjects to Singapore on 27DEC. Arthur also travelled on RAAF C-130E A97-190 on 30DEC. (Source: 51)
Also added a new page listing all participating aircraft. Only aircraft which can be identified by registration/serial number are included.
34
23MAR12
Added further details of a Bush Pilots DC-3 flight thanks to Murray Walmsley of BPA. (Source: 49 & 50)
33
26FEB12
Added further details of a Bush Pilots DC-3 flight thanks to Ron Entsch and Capt Bill Kelman of BPA. (Source: 49 & 50)
32
22FEB12
Added details of the first MMA flight into and out of Darwin thanks to Capt Reg Adkins. (Source: 47)
Added details of a Bristol Freighter flight thanks to Capt Geoff Kendall. (Source: 48)
Added details of a Bush Pilots DC-3 flight thanks to Noel Oxlade.
31
04FEB12
Cyclone Tracy and its aftermath have been well covered photographically so I decided from the outset that I would not include photos in this project. However, Jenny Mooney has provide a number of photos from the collection of her late father, Air Commodore David Hitchins, and two of these are crying out for publication. Thanks Jenny.

Dakota A65-104 in the OC's Garden

Dakota A65-104 gets a parking ticket
30
02FEB12
Added details of the Canberra photo survey of Darwin thanks to Martin James at the Office of Air Force History. (See Note: 10)
29
02FEB12
Added a list of 8 Westland Wessex helicopters which sailed with the RAN fleet.
28
01FEB12
Added reports by Qantas and Ansett on their involvement in the relief operation. Thanks to Françoise Barr at the Northern Territory Archives Service (Source: 45)
Also added a navigation system!
27
30JAN12
Added considerable extra detail from the personal papers of Air Commodore David Hitchins (then GPCPT) who was OC RAAF Darwin at the time of Tracy. Information that did not lend itself to incorporation in the table above has been reproduced on a separate page The Hitchins Papers. The compiler is privileged and honoured to have access to this material and extends thanks to David Hitchins' family. (Sources: 38-41)
Included in the Hitchins Papers is a newspaper cutting describing the use of USAF Starlifters. Most of the text has been added as Note 9.
26
26JAN12
Added the full story of FLTLT Allan Edwards' overweight take-off. See The Weight of Command.
25
25JAN12
Added flights by FLTLT Allan Edwards, 37 Sqn RAAF. (Source: 37)
24
24JAN12
Added Ansett Air Freight Electra VH-RMB on 26DEC thanks to Ross Petrie.(Source: 36)
23
23JAN12
Added some statistics for RAAF C-130 operations. See Note: 4.
Added flights by Denis Pendergast, Flight Engineer, 37 Sqn. (Source: 35)
22
22JAN12
Added several C-130 flights thanks to Keith Kershaw. (Source: 29). These include the flights carrying Maj-Gen Stretton to/from Darwin. Also added Keith's recollections as a stand-alone page.
Added flights by LTCDR Jim Campbell, RAN, CO of VC851 Sqn. (Source: 30) Thanks to Brian Abraham.
Added flights by Ted Wittup, Loadmaster, 37 Sqn (Source: 31) Thanks to Annie Wittup.
Added flights by FLTLT 'Doc' Casey, 37 Sqn (Source: 32) Thanks to Brian Abraham.
Added flights by Bill Moore, Flight Engineer, 37 Sqn (Source: 33) These flights were with FLTLT Casey (Source: 32)
Added an explanation of why the two TAA Twin Otters were ferried to Darwin at the end of 1974. Thanks to Stu Spenceley. See Note: 8.
21
21JAN12
Corrected the serial numbers for flights by Barry Rose (Source: 28)
20
20JAN12
Added 3 RAAF C-130 flights thanks to Barry Rose (Source: 28)
Added more detail of Connair operations (Source: 27)
19
19JAN12
Added one RAAF C-130 flight on 27DEC thanks to Tracey Turner. (Source: 26)
18
17JAN12
Added 3 RAAF C-130 flights thanks to Steve Phillips (Source: 25)
17
17JAN12
Added 3 RAAF C-130 flights thanks to Bill Mattes (Source: 24)
16
16JAN12
Added 32 flights from official TAA records. Thanks G.
Added a list of aircraft damaged and destroyed by the cyclone.
Added a complete schedule of all TAA flights in connection with the evacuation. See above link.
Added a link to the starting point for this project.
15
12JAN12
Added first and second arrivals from Source 22.
14
13JAN12
Added details of RAN HS748 operations thanks to Peter Adams. (Source: 19) Thanks to Brian Abraham.
Added details of RAAF C-130 operations thanks to Peter Grimmer. (Source: 20)
Added Ray Vuillermin's story First In
Added the story of The CycLone Tracy Heron
13
12JAN12
Corrected the details of Maj Gen Stretton's arrival in DRW. (See Note 3)
12
12JAN12
Added a flight to ADL by Ansett B727 VH-RMV on 27DEC.
11
11JAN12
Added a TAA F.27 flight on 26DEC thanks to David Baker the PIC.
10
10JAN12
Added a TAA F.27 flight on 25/26DEC thanks to Ray Vuillermin the PIC.
9
08JAN12
Added more information on MMA participation in the operation. See Source 11. Thanks to Mervyn Prime.
8
08JAN12
Added more information on the use of RNZAF C-130H NZ7003 thanks to Michael Sommerville (Source: 10)
7
08JAN12
Added three DCA F.27 flights thanks to John Laming (Source: 9)
6
07JAN12
Added three RAAF C-130A flights thanks to Tony Ryan (Source: 8)
5
07JAN12
Major update and added a link to a new page listing the Qantas schedule.
4
06JAN12
Reformatted.
3
05JAN12
Filled some of the gaps in the Qantas flights from a listing in "Qantas News" of January 1975.
2
05JAN12
Added a date and further details for the C-141 operation.
1
05JAN12
Original.