Type: L-18-40-11/56-11 Lodestar
MSN: 18-2104
Previous Identities: LT909
VHCAC (callsign)
W2104 (GAL)
Subsequent Identities: ZK-ALZ


Delivered to Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEIAF) as LT909. Based Andir, Java
Used by B Flight 8 Sqn RAAF at Te Kuantan, Malaya
With the fall of the NEI, the aircraft was evacuated to Australia. (Source: 3)
Arrived in Australia
Was one of eleven Lodestars sold to the USAAF. (Source: 3)
Impressed by USAAF as C-56B-LO
Issued to 22TCS as VHCAC (callsign). Also referred to as 56-909
Issued to 22TCS as 41-909. This was evidently an interim USAAF serial which was allocated "in the field" by adding the prefix 41- to the three digit Dutch serial. This practice was common with impressed foreign civil aircraft at the time. Subsequently the aircraft was retrospectively allocated a formal 42- serial.
Allocated USAAC serial 42-68349 as C-56B-LO
Arrived Parafield on delivery to Guinea Airways Ltd as VHCAC.
Immediately after CofA overhaul by Guinea Airways the aircraft positioned to Port Moresby to join the Buna airlift
Provisional CofA issued (as type L18-56-11) to Guinea Airways Ltd., Parafield, Adelaide, S.A. (Source: 4)
Aircraft en route Adelaide to Melbourne. (Source: 4)
Starboard undercarriage collapsed on landing Popondetta, N.G.
Aircraft at Archerfield for repairs to starboard undercarriage, centre section and flap and change of starboard mainplane. Expected completion in 10-11 days. (Source: 4). It is reported elsewhere that the starboard undercarriage also collapsed at Archerfield. It is more likely that temporary repairs were made after the undercarriage collapse in N.G. and the aircraft ferried to Archerfield for permanent repairs.
CofA # X-4 issued. (Source: 4)
Aircraft is configured for 3 crew plus 18 passengers. (Source: 4)
Report that the repairs undertaken by Airlines of Australia at Archerfield were highly unsatisfactory. (Source: 4)
A further report states that Airlines of Australia were unaware that the aircraft was being operated by Guinea Airways and that it had been repaired in accordance with USAAC standards. The starboard wing has been removed and returned to Airlines of Australia for rectification. (Source: 4)
Aircraft back in service. (Source: 4)
Undercarriage retracted while the aircraft was stationary at Archerfield causing minor damage. (Source: 4)
Aircraft still awaiting repairs. (Source: 4)
Aircraft back in service. (Source: 4)
Aircraft now operating out of Parafield, S.A. (Source: 4)
Aircraft delayed indefinitely at Katherine awaiting an engine change. (Source: 4)
CofA renewed at Parafield by GAL. Camouflage stripped and aircraft operated in bare metal with USAAF star. Code W2104 added aft of cockpit windows.
Aircraft force landed at Tennant Creek with hydraulic failure while en route Adelaide to Batchelor. Major damage. (Source: 4)
CofA suspended after accident. (Source: 4)
Forced landing at Alice Springs on return flight to Parafield after Tennant Creek accident
The complete engine installations are being removed from Lodestar VHCAC and being installed in Lockheed 14 VHCXJ. The 100 series engines in VHCAC are better suited for operation in the smaller aircraft VHCXJ and the USAAC series 200 engines forwarded for use in VHCXJ will now be installed in the larger aircraft VHCAC. "This means that when VHCAC is returned to service after the present major repairs are completed, it will actually be a C.60 type Lodestar" (Source: 4)
CofA renewed. (Source: 4)
Aircraft returned to service on this date. (Source: 4)
Aircraft withdrawn from service and replaced by DC-2 VHCDJ. The aircraft was parked on the northern boundary of Parafield. (Source: 4). It is reported elsewhere that the aircraft was returned to the USAAF on this date but stored at Parafield.
Owing to serious engine trouble with VHCDK, Lodestar VHCAC has been substituted. (Source: 4)
Aircraft damaged on the ground at Oodnadatta by an American aircraft in gusty winds. Damage confined to an aileron and wingtip. (Source: 4)
Returned to service with GAL
CofA expired. (Source: 4)
Permission granted to operate aircraft on a special flight to Mt Eba with Guinea Airways engineers to rectify Lockheed 14 VH-AEW which was delayed there with engine trouble. (Source: 4)
Total Time: 1383.40 hours. (Source: 4)
Guinea Airways request an overun on CofA of a further 100 hours as the aircraft is the backup for the two aircraft in service. The request was approved by DCA. (Source: 4)
To replace C-49 aircraft VHCDJ during its CofA in August, GAL proposes installing oxygen, IFF and possibly engines with two speed blowers in VHCAC. (Source: 4)
An overnight wind storm at Parafield blew VHCAC into Lockheed 10 VH-UZO damaging a wing of VH-UZO. VHCAC had been parked with brakes on but no chocks. (NAA via G. Goodall)
Aircraft now stationed in Brisbane. (Source: 4). It is reported elsewhere that the aircraft was returned to the USAAF on this date.
Sold by the Foreign Liquidation Commission in Manila to an Australian customer. The aircraft was located at Archerfield. (Source: 3)
CofA expired (3 month only). (Source: 4)
Handed over to Aircrafts Pty Ltd at Archerfield. (Source: 4)
Hangared by Aircrafts Pty Ltd at Archerfield pending finalisation of sale contract by U.S. authorities. This is stated in an internal DCA memo dated 19JUN47 which also states that the aeroplane was undergoing overhaul and conversion from 08OCT45 until 13MAY46.
Aircrafts Pty Ltd requested DCA approval to use the aircraft on several urgent flights arising out of the NSW coal miners strike before the completion of its CofA overhaul. This was approved and the aircraft operated several such flights as VH-CAC. (Source: 4)
Sale to Aircrafts Pty Ltd was finalised. (Source: Internal DCA memo dated 19JUN47)
Anticipated completion of CofA overhaul is end of March or early April. (Source: 4)
Application for CofR and CofA by Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield. Seating configuration is 3 crew plus 16 passengers. (Source: 4)
Import Licence #263 issued in respect of this aircraft. (Source: 4)
Markings VH-ARY allocated to aircraft. (Source: 4)
Memo from DCA, Archerfield to DCA, H.O. "……Mr. Adair advises that the A/Director General signified temporary approval personally to Mr Adair that the regn of the Lodestar would be VH-APL. As this is a matter of sentiment to Mr Adair and as it is known at this office that a DH84 operating in NSW has the regn VH-APL already, would you please investigate and advise a definite ruling for Mr Adair" [No answer to this memo is on the file which appears to have been culled]. (Source: 4)
Registered VH-ARY to Aircrafts Pty Ltd (CofR #963). CofA #907 issued same day. Seating configuration 2 pilots plus 1 steward plus 14 passengers. (Source: 4)
VH-ARY operated APL's inaugural Lodestar service departing Archerfield at 0615 and arriving in Rockhampton at 0800. The aircraft was crewed by Captain R. Barnes DFC, Captain M. Mitchess (sic) and R. Wemyss and a steward. APL's Managing Director, Ron Adair, and Traffic Superintendent, R. Saker, were also on board. Interviewed in Rockhampton, Ron Adair stated that the company had applied to operate a service from Brisbane to Melbourne and return. (Source: The Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, Monday June 3, 1946)
APL report that they are having great difficulty with Centre of Gravity figures. (Source: 4)
CofA 1187 issued on behalf of New Zealand D.C.A.
At 1243, VH-ARY departed Archerfield for Rockhampton but radio failure necessitated a return to Archerfield no-radio at 1343. Later the same day, VH-ARY positioned to Bundaberg to relieve VH-ARZ which had suffered an engine failure on take-off. VH-ARY departed Bundaberg at 1650 but soon after departure a generator failed and the aircraft returned to Bundaberg for a precautionary landing. Captain M.B. Mitchel, First Officer H. Keegan and no passengers. (NAA MP1665/1 via G. Goodall)
Aircrafts Pty Ltd inaugurated a direct, return Lodestar service between Brisbane and Melbourne. It is most probable that this service was operated by VH-ARY (reasoning).
Telegram from DCA, Brisbane to H.O., Melbourne stating aircraft will be "flying to N.Z. for operations by N.Z.N.A.C. No transfer of ownership has been made but understand such will not be done until after a/c arrives N.Z. A/c will fly to N.Z. under Australian registration." (Source: 4)
APL discontinued the Melbourne service owing to lack of back loads from Melbourne. (Source: 4)
Sold to Union Airways of New Zealand
Departed Brisbane for N.Z. as VH-ARY. Struck off Australian Register same day. (Source: 4)
Arrived at Whenuapai from Brisbane via Norfolk Island crewed by Commander A.G. Gerrand, First Officer R.O. Chatfield and Engineer H. Mangham. This was the first Lodestar delivered to NAC. NAC had intended to use the first two Lodestars to operate additional services over the Christmas holiday period but the need to fit different radio equipment delayed their entry into service. (Source: 5)
Registered ZK-ALZ to Union Airways. Named "Korire" (Grey Warbler)
Damaged by fire at Palmerston North, NZ while under overhaul prior to entering service. The underfloor area was being cleaned with petrol when fumes were ignited by a spark from a vacuum cleaner. The original intention was to repair the aircraft but in September 1948 it was deemed to be damaged beyond economical repair and parted out. The burnt fuselage was sold for scrap. (Source: 5)
Cancelled from the N.Z. Register. (Source: 5)

RAAF Form E/E.88.
Marson, Peter J., The Lockheed Twins, Air-Britain, 2001
Boer, Dr P.C., Netherlands East Indies Air Transport units of the Militaire Luchtvaart KNIL (Army Aviation Corps of the Royal NEI Army) and their aircraft in Australia and Java, 16 January 1943-1 November 1946, February 2020.
NAA, MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] & MP/113 VH/ARY [338804]
Waugh, Layne and McConnell, NAC The Illustrated History.

Issue Date Remarks
14 06JUL22
Added references from Source: 3
13 15JUL19
Added a reference to APL's inaugural Lodestar service on 02JUN46.
12 10OCT18
Added a close-up image of the donkey nose art on VHCAC thanks to David Vincent and Geoff Goodall.
11 02APR16
Refreshed page layout with no change to data.
10 19SEP15
Added the date of arrival in NZ 22NOV46 and further details of the write-off.
9 13SEP13
Corrected the reference to 21TCS in APR42 to 22TCS.
8 07MAY12
Added the interim USAAF serial 41-909.
7 04MAY12
Added five wartime images thanks to Geoff Goodall and Phil Vabre.
6 05MAR06
Added detail of ground incident on 01SEP45 and details of a typical airline day on 25AUG46. Thanks to Geoff Goodall.
5 04NOV04
Added considerable detail extracted from NAA MP/113 VH/CAC [433718] and MP/113 VH/ARY [338804]. Thanks to Chris O'Neill.
4 07OCT04
It is believed that VH-ARY operated the inaugural APL service from Brisbane to Melbourne on 09SEP46.
3 29AUG04
Clarified the details of the acquisition by Aircrafts Pty Ltd as indicated in an internal DCA memo dated 19JUN47 supplied by Roger McDonald.
2 28JUL99

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