A16-177

This Hudson was displayed at 14 Nixon Street, Virginia, Brisbane. It is almost certainly A16-177.

 

Type: L-414-56 Hudson Mk IIIA/A-29
MSN: 6349
Previous Identities: 41-23532
BW670






History:

23MAR42
Received 1 Aircraft Depot, Laverton ex U.S.A.
21APR42 Received 2SQN ex 1AD.
22JUN42 Allotted 2AD ex 1RSU.
27AUG42 Received 2SQN ex 1RSU.
10OCT42 Allotted 5AD Wagga Wagga to proceed to 1AD for removal and fireproofing of auxiliary tanks then to proceed to 5AD.
18OCT42 Received at 5AD via 1AD.
18NOV42 Issued 6SQN ex 5AD via 1AD. Received 1AD same day.
28NOV42 Received 6SQN ex 1AD.
17JAN43 Damaged by enemy action. Damage to port wing main spar, tailplane, lower rudder, perspex nose and pilot's window
26JAN43 Received 15RSU ex 6SQ for repairs.
07FEB43 Received at 3AD, Amberley ex 15RSU for completion of repairs.
17MAR43 Allotted 2SQN ex 3AD.
22MAR43 To proceed via 7AD as navigational escort for Spitfires.
29MAR43 Received 2SQN ex 3AD.
04JUN43 Received 4RSU ex 2SQN for double engine change.
16JUN43 Received 2SQN ex 4RSU.
09JAN44 Received 4RSU ex 2SQN for 80 hourly and double engine change.
26JAN44 Allotted 1AD ex 4RSU for prototype fitment as air ambulance. (In the event, A16-226 was the first conversion delivered and A16-177 was the second.)
09FEB44 Received 1AD ex 4RSU.
26FEB44 Allotted ANA, Parafield ex 1AD for inspection, repairs and modification to air ambulance.
13MAR44 Received ANA Parafield ex 1AD.
10JUL44 Received 2 Air Ambulance Unit ex ANA Parafield.
25JAN45 Received 2AD ex 2AAU for complete overhaul.
04FEB45 Received 5AD Wagga Wagga ex 2AD for completion of overhaul.
13MAR45 To undergo 240 hourly.
15JUN45 Allotted 2AAU ex 5AD.
17AUG45

Allotment to 2AAU cancelled. Allotted to 1OTU for conversion to components to make other aircraft serviceable.

10OCT45 Allotment to 1OTU cancelled.
11OCT45 To be held 5AD pending further advice.
17JAN46 RAAF HQ approved conversion to components.
26AUG46 Sold through Commonwealth Disposals Commission to Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield for £1500.
07SEP46 Aircraft flown away from 5AD Wagga Wagga. (The aircraft was acquired principally for its engines to support APL's fleet of Lodestars.)
The RAAF Status Card for A16-177 ends here.
From this point, the chronology relates to the aircraft depicted above. This aircraft is almost certainly A16-177.
  A significant feature of the Hudson in the above image is a large opening in the fuselage under the "G" of "GRAVEL". This opening was made by combining the existing emergency exit hatch with the adjacent cabin window and installing a door to facilitate the loading of stretchers. Towards the end of WWII, as Hudsons were relegated to non-combat roles, eight Hudsons were converted to air ambulances as listed in the following table.
 
RAAF FINAL RAAF UNIT SUBSEQUENT FATE
A16-156 2AD, Richmond, NSW. To Israel as VH-BFQ.
A16-160 37OBU, Tadji, PNG. Converted to components in New Guinea.
A16-177 5AD, Wagga Wagga, NSW. To Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield.
A16-207 5HQ, Canberra, ACT. To Macquarie Grove Flying School, Camden. Believed scrapped.
A16-215 2AD, Richmond, NSW. To Adastra as VH-AGO.
A16-219 Survey Flight. To Adastra as VH-AGG.
A16-226 Survey Flight. To Israel as VH-BIA.
A16-229 2AD, Richmond, NSW. To Macquarie Grove Flying School, Camden. Believed scrapped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of these aircraft can be eliminated by virtue of disposal location or subsequent use. Although A16-207 and 229 cannot be positively eliminated, the aircraft depicted is almost certainly A16-177 as it is the only one of these aircraft known to have been located in Brisbane. It is presumed that when Aircrafts Pty Ltd had finished reclaiming parts from A16-177 the airframe was sold to the Warburton family and transported to their Virginia property. It is presumed that the outer wings and tail feathers were scrapped.

23OCT48

This classified advertisement appeared in the Brisbane Courier-Mail of Saturday 23OCT48. The telephone number MU2145 is painted on the fuselage of the Hudson in the image at the top of the page.

21AUG51
Aerial photography on this date shows the Hudson still present at the Nixon Street location.
01APR58
Aerial photography on this date does not show the Hudson at the Nixon Street location.
UPDATE November 2023
  In November 2023, Ian Warburton advised: "My father started the business at 14 Nixon Street, Virginia in the forties. I donít know where he got the plane from but it was always at the the Virginia address from the time I can remember. The phone number MU2145 was the phone number I learnt as a toddler. The Warburtons were pioneers in the area and there is a nearby park named after them."
  Another interesting feature of the above photo is the four-bladed propeller which is clearly not related to the Hudson. This propeller is believed to be from a Royal Navy Fairey Barracuda, some of which were disposed of in the Brisbane area after the war. A similar propeller was displayed leaning against a huge tree in the front yard of a house next door to the Nudgee Golf Club. (Nudgee is the next suburb to the east of Virginia). It is believed that the Hudson airframe was scrapped, probably between 1951 and 1958 and it is speculated that the propeller may have been relocated to Nudgee. Sometime during the late seventies, the Queensland Air Museum acquired the propeller from the site adjacent to the Nudgee Golf Club so it is possible that this was the same propeller which appears in the above photo. Subsequently, QAM donated the propeller to Barry Coran of Melbourne for incorporation into his Spitfire project. Ironically, Barry Coran's Spitfire was eventually displayed at QAM in Caloundra where it was on loan from 2007 to 2011. Sadly there isn't a happy ending to this story which can be read on the QAM website:
http://www.qldairmuseum.au/qam-content/aircraft/spitfire-v/LZ844.htm
   

Thanks to Matthew Denning, Glen Steed and Ian Warburton for their assistance with this page.

 

The Hudson Ambulances

Issue Date Remarks
2 04DEC23
Added references to aerial photography in 1951 and 1958.
1 27NOV23
Original issue.





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