Type: L-414-08 Hudson Mk IVA/A-28
MSN: 6076
Previous Identities: 41-23217
A16-147 (VH-RBH radio call-sign)
Subsequent Identities: 2601 (Israeli Air Force)






Received 1 AD Laverton ex USA. (Source: 3)
Received 14 Sqn Pearce ex 1 AD. (Source: 3)
Taxied into concrete tie-down block at Pearce, damaging bomb doors and underside of fuselage. (Source: 3)
Received 17 RSU ex 14 Sqn. (Source: 3)
Received 1 OTU ex 17 RSU. (Source: 3)
Received 7 AD ex 1 OTU for overhaul and modifications. (Source: 3)
Received 3 AD ex 7 AD en route 6 Sqn. (Source: 3)
Received 6 Sqn ex 3 AD. (Source: 3)
Received 7 AD ex 6 Sqn for modification to transport aircraft. (Source: 3)
Received 1 CU ex 7 AD. 1 CU to fit seats for use by CAS. (Source: 3)
Received 7 AD ex 1 CU. (Source: 3)
Allocated radio callsign VH-RBH. (Source: 3)
Received 38 Sqn ex 7 AD. (Source: 3)
Received 1 OTU ex 38 Sqn. (Source: 3)
Allocated to 2 AD for storage. (Source: 3)
Above allotment suspended. Aircraft to remain at 1 OTU for Bush Fire Patrol until 31MAR46 then to proceed to 2 AD Richmond for storage. (Source: 3)
Received 2 AD Storage ex East Sale. (Source: 3)
Sold to Godden, Board and Godden, Sydney for £1,000. (Source: 3)
Issued to purchaser. (Source: 3)
  Ferried Richmond-Bankstown for storage and conversion by Intercontinental Air Maintenance. (Source: 6)
A16-147 was one of three Hudsons purchased from CDC by Stan Godden and Warren Penny on behalf of Air Carriers, the prospective operator of Halifax VH-BDT. The other aircraft were A16-122 and A16-149. Air Carriers could not pay for them and they were subsequently sold to Warren Penny's brother Raymond. (Source: 6)
14NOV47 Intercontinental Air Maintenance wrote to Raymond Penny to inform him that the sum of £600 was outstanding for work performed on A16-122, 147 and 149. (Source: 6)
Registration application from C. Raymond Penny, Sydney specifying 13 passenger configuration. Penny requests information from DCA on the class of registration appropriate for aircraft that will be out of Australia for long periods. C.R. Penny is Director of Burke, Naughton Pty Ltd, Real Estate Agents of Sydney and the brother of H. Warren G. Penny. (Source: 4)
Test flown at Bankstown by Warren Penny. (Source: 2)
Test flown at Bankstown by Warren Penny. (Source: 2)
Added to the register as VH-BIH. (Source: 4)
Test flown at Bankstown by Warren Penny. (Source: 2)
Flown from Bankstown to Mascot by Warren Penny. (Source: 2)
This was Warren Penny's last flight in VH-BIH recorded in this log book.
Test flown at Bankstown and Mascot by Greg Board. (Source: 1)
Penny wrote to DCA advising that he was leaving on a "private overseas flight" on 16SEP48. Captain G. Board and passenger C.R. Penny. (Source: 4)
Departed Sydney for Charleville-Cloncurry-Darwin flown by Greg Board. (Source: 1)
Departed Darwin for Koepang-Bali-Sourabaya-Singapore-Penang-Rangoon-Calcutta-Allahabad-Delhi-Lahore-Karachi-Jiwani-Bahrein-Baghdad-Beirut-Nicosia-Athens-Rome arriving 06NOV48. (Source: 1)
Passed through Bahrein en route Baghdad and Nicosia. Aircraft documents named the owner as Burke Naughton Pty Ltd, Sydney and the pilot as G.R. Board. Captain Board is also known as Captain Penny from previous visits to Bahrein."The registration letters painted on the side of the aircraft were about two inches high, presumably to avoid identification except at close quarters. Cheques to BP Aviation Service for petrol at Jiwani and Bahrein were not met when presented for payment." (Source: 4)
Bahrein received a flight plan clearing VH-BIH from Nicosia to Bahrein direct, giving the captain's name as G. Braln (or Brain?). Bahrein were unable to contact the aircraft and eventually instigated overdue action. It was later established that the aircraft had diverted to Haifa of its own accord. The crew are believed to be in the habit of working passage back to Australia in any convenient aircraft. (At the time, Israel was engaged in its war of independence and was the subject of an arms embargo). (Source: 4)
  The aircraft was subsequently handed over to the Israeli Air Force and issued with the serial 2601 (subject to confirmation).
Hudson 2601 crashed. (Source: 5)
10AUG49 On this date, a letter was addressed to the Director General of Civil Aviation, Melbourne from R.M. Seymour, Civil Aviation Liaison Officer, Australia House, London detailing an interview with Mr. A.J. Hurst who had been a pilot on several aircraft that had been delivered from Australia to Israel. "As far as Mr. Hurst is concerned, I am convinced that his interest in the matter was as a pilot being employed by the purchasers of these aircraft simply on delivery flights. Before being engaged in this traffic, Mr. Hurst was in the employ of Mr. Warren Penny when Inter-Continental Airlines were operating. During our conversation Mr. Hurst gave me details of at least six Australian aircraft which included 4 Hudson aircraft, one Lodestar and a DC5, which have left Australia and are now definitely in the hands of the Israeli Air Force. The details of these machines are as follows:-

"Two Hudson aircraft, registered VH-BFQ and VH-BIA, were delivered during this year, leaving Australia during February and March. These aircraft were owned by a company which is believed by Mr. Hurst to be named the Southern European Transport Company (sic) registered in Sydney. The person who represented this company and with whom Mr. Hurst had contact is a Mr. G. Marcel. Mr. Hurst understands that Marcel owns a Milk Bar in Sydney and is not himself actually interested in the operation of aircraft. He tells me the aircraft are both serviceable and were equipped as passenger liners. He also understands that the transfer was made on the basis that the aircraft have been chartered by the Israeli Government for a period of 5 years. He also understands that the registration letters of these aircraft have now been cancelled.

"Another Hudson, VH-BLB, belonging to Guinea Air Traders was delivered to Palestine leaving Australia in February. He tells me that this aircraft is also on charter to the Israeli Government, is in the hands of their Air Force, and is flying under Australian registration. He also believes that one other Hudson aircraft was definitely delivered. He did not know the registration letters, nor the owner, but he told me that the aircraft has since crashed in Palestine and has been written off." (This would be VH-BIH. Ed)

The letter goes on to describe the other aircraft types but these details are not shown here. (Source: 4)
Struck off Australian Register as "improper sale overseas". (Source: 4)
  It is mentioned above that one Hudson, most likely VH-BIH, had crashed and was written off by AUG49.


See: The Israeli Air Force Hudsons


Log Book of Gregory R. Board photographed by Matthew Denning and transcribed by Geoff Goodall.
Log Book of Warren Penny photographed by Greg Weir in 2021.
RAAF Form E/E.88 Airframe Record Card A16-147.
DCA file on VH-BIH accessed by Geoff Goodall.
Noam Hartoch, Tel Aviv: research into IDFAF serials: letter to Gordon Reid, Melbourne 7.8.87 via Geoff Goodall.
Geoff Goodall The Migrant Caper


The conversion of former RAAF Hudsons to airliners was largely driven by the upsurge in migration from Europe in the immediate post-war years. Several entrepreneurs began operating charter flights, mainly from Rome and Athens, in what became known amongst the main players as The Migrant Caper. These operations are covered in exquisite detail in Geoff Goodall's seminal work. The following link will take you to Geoff Goodall's Aviation History Site:

The Migrant Caper

Issue Date Remarks
5 23DEC22
Added sources to the chronology and expanded the information from Source: 4 & 6. Also added two images of the aircraft in IAF service. Also added the crash date from Source: 5.
4 11APR21
Added details from Source: 2.
3 10AUG18
Added details from Source: 1.
2 17OCT01
Added Israeli Air Force serial 2601

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