Type: L-414-08 Hudson Mk IVA
Msn: 6049
Previous Identities: 41-23190
A16-120 [VH-RBC]


08DEC41 Received 1 AD ex USA.
09FEB42 Received 7 Sqn ex 1 AD.
28APR42 Landed on punctured tyre. Main fitting from centre section buckled.
04MAY42 Received 1 AD ex 7 Sqn.
23MAY42 Issued 5 AD ex 1 AD for undercarriage repairs.
22MAY43 Received 6 Sqn ex 5 AD.
24AUG43 Allotted 7 AD ex 6 Sqn for modification to transport aircraft.
04SEP43 Proceeding to Ward's for use by General Blamey.
18NOV43 Allotted for use by CAS. Seats ex A16-98 to be installed.
07DEC43 Issued 1 CU ex 7 AD. Reportedly issued with radio callsign VH-RBC but this is not reflected on the aircraft's record card.
03AUG44 Allotted for use by CAS.
23MAR45 Allotted 2 AD ex 1 CU for fitment for use by 1 OTU. Seats to be removed for fitment to Lodestar A67-8.
28JUN45 Above allotment suspended in view of recent grounding of Lodestars.
10SEP45 Received 2 AD ex 1 CU for storage.
10DEC46 Sold to H. Ellis, Skerman's Motors, Dubbo for £1,000.
04SEP47 Previous sale cancelled.
10FEB48 Sold to Macquarie Grove Flying School Pty Ltd, Camden for £150.
18MAR48 Issued to purchaser.
28FEB49 Added to register as VH-SML. The photo of VH-SML which appears at the head of this page, despite its poor quality, suggests that this aeroplane had a "solid" nose (i.e without windows). That this was so has been confirmed by John Laming who was working for Herald Flying Services at the time. John personally witnessed the HFS foreman, Arthur Bone, performing the necessary sheet metal work to remove the windows.
10AUG51 Ownership amended to Herald Flying Services, Camden.
27MAY52 Herald Flying Services ceased operations. Aircraft to remain registered to Sydney Morning Herald but will not be used for regular operations.
18MAR53 Struck off register as withdrawn from service.
06SEP54 Returned to register as VH-SML in name of John Fairfax & Sons Pty. Ltd., Sydney.
14SEP54 On his first newspaper delivery flight after the resumption of services, Captain Doug Swain with First Officer A.S. Cole-Milne and one passenger Captain D.C. Burns took off from Mascot at 1400 bound for Taree, Kempsey, Armidale, Glen Innes and Tamworth. (Captain Burns, who was from the aerial survey division of Brown and Dureau, was on board to familiarise himself with the Hudson prior to his company leasing one of the HFS Hudsons - presumably VH-SML as VH-SMM was still in storage at the time). Nothing was heard from the Hudson after a position report near West Maitland. The search was abandoned after two weeks.
06OCT54 Struck off register.
22DEC55 A Butler Air Transport Heron flown by Captain W. Jenkins (ironically a former HFS pilot) sighted the wreckage of the Hudson in the foothills of the Barrington Ranges six miles north of Chichester Dam, fifteen miles north-north-west of Dungog, NSW.

Issue Date Remarks
4 23JUN13
Added an image of a Herald Flying Services Hudson which is almost certainly VH-SML. Thanks to John Laming.
3 08MAY02
Added more detail of the disappearance and subsequent discovery.

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