HOPTON COLLECTION
No. 5545. Douglas DC-5 (PK-ADC c/n 426) KNILM Royal Dutch Indian Airways
Source unknown

Douglas DC-5

01/22/2007. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "Early in 1939 this aircraft was one of four ordered by the KLM for the European network. The registration PH-AXE and the name Boschduif (Woodpigeon) had been tentatively assigned and even applied to the aircraft when readied for delivery early 1940. However, due to the shrinking of the network by the war in Europe, the aircraft was diverted to the West Indies branch of the KLM. The registration PH-AXE was never taken up and the aircraft was registered as PJ-AIZ, and named Zonvogel (Sunbird) the aircraft was delivered at Curacao, May 8, 1940.

Near the end of 1940 the need for the DC-5 started to dwindle, so early 1941 the decision was made to divert the aircraft to the KNILM (Koninklijke Nederlandsch-Indische Luchtvaart-Maatschappij, Royal Dutch Indian Airways) in the East Indies. On May 29, 1941, PJ-AIZ flew from Curacao to California to be dismantled, and from there it was shipped to Tanjung Priok, Java, arriving in September. Reassembled it was registered as PK-ADC and was used until the war activities came to close. It diverted to Australia on March 1, 1942, flown by Dirk Rab it arrived the following morning.

The KNILM sold the aircraft to the USAAF on March 19,1942, it became designated C-110, received the s/n 41-426 and was assigned to the 21st Squadron at Archerfield, Brisbane, Queensland. Operated and maintained by Australian National Airways (ANA) it also received the civil Australian call-sign VHCXC and its CofA was issued January 8, 1943. The aircraft was damaged in a hangar fire at Archerfield on May 19, 1943, repaired by July 14, and again was damaged at Archerfield on October 24, being operable again at December 25, 1943.

While being moved at Archerfield it was damaged on March 25, 1944. Repaired, the aircraft was returned to the USAAF on April 30, 1944, s/n 44-83232, although still operated by ANA, and by May 12 it was based at Essendon Airfield, Melbourne, Victoria. On July 9, 1946 the aircraft was registered to ANA as VH-ARD, the first official Australian registration as VHCXC was merely a call-sign and the aircraft was officially imported only on May 24, 1946.

VH-ARD was sold to Gregory R. Board of Sidney on January 2, 1948, and was based at Mascot Airfield, Sydney, New South Wales. Already on January 29, the aircraft was involved in another incident, while on take-off from Schofields near Sydney, a propeller, a wingtip and the fuselage were damaged. On April 10, 1948 the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) received the request for transfer of VH-ARD to New Holland Airways (operated by Gregory R. Board and G.W. Hanlon).

Allegedly to bring Italian immigrants to Australia, the aircraft left Darwin, Northern Territory of Australia on May 10, 1948 and flew to Rome, Italy. However unconfirmed, it was reported that, at Rome, the aircraft suffered damage due to a collapsed nose landing gear. Then, on May 28, the DCA received a request from an American citizen, Martin A. Rybakoff, for the transfer of VH-ARD to his name at his hotel address at Sicily, Italy, which was subsequently denied. Next, on July 2, New Holland Airways reported the aircraft not airworthy and thereafter the aircraft was stricken from the Australian Registry.

The aircraft reappeared in Israel named "Yankee Pasha / The Bagel Lancer". There is suspect that Israel was already known as the aircrafts destiny, when it left for Italy. However, its Israel adventure was short-lived as in 1949 it could not be flown anymore due to shortage of spare parts. It went to the Tel Aviv Aeronautical Technical School and was scrapped in 1955."

Read also the DC-5 remarks on page 12417.

08/12/2006. Remarks by John Hopton: "Shown in wartime camouflage paint, the aircraft was one of a group of KNILM aircraft operated beginning in 1942 by the Directorate of Air Transport (DAT), Allied Air Forces - South West Pacific Area. This highly unusual entity was a combined operation of the USAAF and RAAF, organized to gather together air transport assets for movement of military supplies to remote areas of Australia for the defence of the continent."

Created August 12, 2006