02/28/2011. Remarks by Jack McKillop: "This aircraft was built as a
DC-2-115G for KNILM (Koninklijke Nederlandsch-Indische Luchtvaart-Maatschappij, Royal Dutch Indian Airways) of Djakarta, Netherlands East Indies (NEI) and delivered on June 12, 1935. This aircraft was flown to Australia when the Japanese invaded the NEI in early 1942 and was impressed by the Australian Government in March 1942.
The Australian Directorate of Air Transport, which became part of the USAAF's Air Transport Command, was formed on January 28, 1942 to control the many transport aircraft operated by the RAAF and the USAAF's Fifth Air Force. Call signs starting with the letters 'VH' were assigned but many call signs were used multiple times and an individual aircraft may have had several codes.
This aircraft was initially assigned code VHAFL but this was changed to VHCXH on March 19, 1942; three days later it was assigned the fictitious USAAF s/n 41-1376 which was really assigned to a Vultee BT-13A Valiant. By May 20, 1942, it had been issued to the USAAF's 21st Transport Squadron (redesignated 21st Troop Carrier Squadron on July 5, 1942) and based at RAAF Station Archerfield, Queensland, Australia.
Operation of this aircraft was transferred to ANA (Australian National Airways) on October 21, 1943 and it was registered VH-ADZ and named 'Mengana' on January 27, 1944. The USAAF officially acquired this aircraft on June 14, 1944 as a C-32A, s/n 44-83227 but it was still operated by ANA.
After the war, it was sold to Macair Air Charter Service of Sydney, New South Wales on November 5, 1947 which sold it to International Rapid Air Service in June 1948 and then to Marshall Airways of Sydney and Bankstown. It was re-registered VH-CDZ on August 29, 1949 and withdrawn from use on November 10, 1957 when the landing gear collapsed at Sydney-Mascot Airport. It was placed in storage at Camden Airport, Sydney on March 7, 1965.
Two other men owned this aircraft between 1968 and 1972 when an American attempted to buy it and register it N8486D in the US however, he was denied an export permit from Australia and never used N8486D. The Confederate Air Force of Texas planned on buying it in 1983 but that fell
through also. Restoration began in 1984 but ended in the summer of 1985 and the aircraft was placed in storage at Bankstown Airport. Further restoration efforts were undertaken and I believe they are still underway at the airport."
View also photo 5544.