I’ve just finished transcribing the E/E.88 Aircraft History Card for A17-370. It’s all hand-written and the quality of the scan I have is very poor, but it allowed me to put together a concise timeline of where it was throughout the war.
Starting from the top.
A17-370 was built by de Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd. It was delivered to No. 2 Aircraft Depot on 5/24/1941 with Engine Number 193, at RAAF Base Richmond, N.S.W. A month later it was sent to Canberra for storage. It was finally assigned to No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School on 9/6/1941 located at Parafield Aerodrome near Adelaide, South Australia.
It was received in early September of 1941 and flew off its first 240 hour maintenance period in about three months. Now unfortunately the meanings of many of the abbreviations and status codes use on this document have been lost, but if I’m reading this right it accumulated about 2400 flying hours total with No. 1 E.F.T.S.
By the end of its second maintenance period they noted that the engine was U/S, which means unserviceable. However, I’m a bit puzzled because it kept being put back on the flight line. They made that note three times over a year of flying. I don’t know if they were replacing or servicing the engine each time, or what. The duration of each maintenance period was always exactly 7 days, like clockwork.
As soon as they fixed the engine problem (presumably by installing the engine currently in the airplane, a British-built Gipsy Major from 1939), the wings were damaged and then repaired. This brings us to the end of 1942.
In mid-1943 it was shipped to Victorian & Interstate Airways, a civilian contractor, for a complete overhaul. By my math this was about 1800 hours, give or take… very close to the 2000 hour mark. At V.I.A. it was completely rebuilt, re-covered and test flown. This process took 49 days at Essendon, near Melbourne. After all that work, A17-370 should have had another smooth 2000 hours ahead, more than enough to finish out the war. But it wasn’t to be.
On February 28, 1944, a visiting Tiger Moth (A17-695) taxiied nose-first into A17-370. The damage was noted in its history card but most of the handwriting is impossible to read. I know that the interplane struts are mentioned, but that’s about it. It was recommended to be repaired at Parafield by the line mechanics of 1 E.F.T.S., rather than sending it off to a depot. I suspect this is when a lot of the damage to the cowling was done, and why it was roughly welded back together. They worked fast, and she was back in the air only a week after the incident.
At this point No. 1 E.F.T.S. was relocated to Tamworth, N.S.W. and was gradually being phased out. A17-370 only accumulated about 500 hours since her major overhaul at V.I.A. before the war ended for her. On September 15, 1944, No. 1 E.F.T.S. was shut down, and by December it had been gutted and the aircraft remained behind in the care of a Care and Maintenance Unit at Tamworth.
A17-370 was stored until June 7, 1946 (less cylinder heads, apparently) when she was offered for sale. She was sold to the Associated Aero Clubs of Australia for £100 among a whole batch of other Tiger Moths. Unlike most of those, however, she was never civil-registered in Australia, instead remaining in storage until being shipped to India in 1949.
So that’s the narrative version, here’s the direct transcription, along with my own translations of each line and the location where it would have been at that point.
|Engine Fitted:||Gipsy Major No. 193|
|Received from:||de Havilland Aircraft P/L|
|5/24/1941||Rec 2 AD ex DH with (193)||2Q218 24/5||Received at No. 2 Aircraft Depot from de Havilland with engine number 193||RAAF Base Richmond, N.S.W.|
|6/25/1941||Trans Canberra for storage||2Q708 25/6||Sent to Canberra for storage||Canberra, N.S.W.|
|8/23/1941||F at Canberra||CQ508 23/8||Inspection at Canberra||Canberra|
|9/6/1941||Allotted 1 E.F.T.S. ex Canberra||4Q131 6/9||Assigned to No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School||Canberra|
|9/8/1941||Issued 1 E.F.T.S. ex Canberra||CQ599 8/9||Shipped to No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School||Parafield Aerodrome, near Adelaide, S.A.|
|12/6/1941||E at 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q397 6/12||240-hour maintenance||Parafield|
|12/13/1941||C at 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q414 13/12||Parafield|
|2/16/1942||E Star at 1 E.F.T.S. (with similarly U/S eng)||1Q126 16/2||240-hour maintenance (unservicable engine)||Parafield|
|2/23/1942||C at 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q153 23/2||Parafield|
|3/23/1942||E at 1 E.F.T.S. (with similarly U/S eng)||1Q379 23/3||240-hour maintenance (unservicable engine)||Parafield|
|3/30/1942||C at 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q422 30/3||Parafield|
|4/13/1942||E at 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q494 13/4||240-hour maintenance||Parafield|
|4/20/1942||C at 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q512 20/4||Parafield|
|6/1/1942||E Star at 1 E.F.T.S. (with similarly U/S engine)||1Q65 1/6||240-hour maintenance (unservicable engine)||Parafield|
|6/8/1942||C at 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q690 8/6||Parafield|
|12/14/1942||E at 1 E.F.T.S. (M/P’s dam.)||1Q335 14/12||240-hour maintenance (wings damaged)||Parafield|
|12/21/1942||C at 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q353 21/12||Parafield|
|1/18/1943||E at 1 E.F.T.S. (240 hourly)||1Q39 18/1||240-hour maintenance||Parafield|
|2/1/1943||C at 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q59 1/2||Parafield|
|4/12/1943||E Star at 1 E.F.T.S. (240 hly)||1Q214 12/4||240-hour maintenance||Parafield|
|4/19/1943||C at 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q226 19/4||Parafield|
|7/28/1943||Allotted G?????? A/Wys. Ex 1 E.F.T.S. (for complete overhaul)||4MGQ112 28/7||Assigned to a civilian contractor for a complete overhaul||Parafield|
|8/2/1943||Issued G?????? A/Wys. Ex 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q537 2/8||Shipped to civilian contractor|
|8/19/1943||Above allotment cancelled||4MGQ314 19/8||Cancelled|
|8/19/1943||Allotted V.I.A. ex 1 E.F.T.S. for complete overhaul||4MGQ314 19/8||Assigned to Victorian & Interstate Airways for complete overhaul|
|8/23/1943||Issued V.I.A. ex 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q605 23/8||Shipped to Victorian & Interstate Airways||Essendon, Melbourne, Victoria|
|8/27/1943||Being ?????????? ?????????||AID 27/8||Being worked on||Essendon|
|9/10/1943||Fuselage ready for covering||AID 10/9||Fuselage complete||Essendon|
|10/8/1943||??????? ????????????||AID 8/10||Being worked on||Essendon|
|10/15/1943||B???g ?????? For test flights||AID 15/10||Being prepared for test flights||Essendon|
|10/25/1943||Received 1 AD ex V.I.A.||1Q860 25/10||Received at No. 1 Aircraft Depot||RAAF Base Laverton, Melbourne, Victoria|
|10/25/1943||Allotted 1 E.F.T.S. ex 1 AD||??T644 25/10||Assigned to No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School||Laverton|
|10/27/1943||Issued 1 E.F.T.S. ex 1 AD||1Q405?? 27/10||Shipped to No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School||Parafield|
|11/1/1943||Received 1 E.F.T.S. ex 1 AD||1Q798 1/11||Received by No. 1 Elemtary Flying Training School||Parafield|
|2/14/1944||E Star at 1 E.F.T.S. (240 hourly)||1Q119 14/2||240-hour maintenance||Parafield|
|2/21/1944||C at 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q14? 21/2||Parafield|
|2/28/1944||??????? Parafield aerodrome. M/P ?? ????? 150% (-M/M/P ?? Upper 10%(M) O/S long’s (W) front interplane strut ?? ?? ???? Recommend A/F be repaired at unit||1Q175 28/2||A visiting Tiger Moth (A17-695) taxied head-on into A17-370. There was damage to A17-370, but it’s difficult to make out the specifics. They decided to repair it at 1 E.F.T.S. rather than send it to a depot.||Parafield|
|2/28/1944||?? ????? ????? ????? Rear 150% ?S||An additional note on damage?||Parafield|
|3/6/1944||C at 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q196 6/3||Parafield|
|6/26/1944||E Star at 1 E.F.T.S. (240 hourly)||1Q101 26/6||240-hour maintenance||Tamworth, N.S.W.|
|7/3/1944||C at 1 E.F.T.S.||1Q138 3/7||Tamworth|
|10/7/1944||Transferred Storage Tamworth ex 1 E.F.T.S.||QT814 7/10||No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School was closed on 15 September, 1944 having trained a total of 1,991 students. It was converted into a Care and Maintenance unit on 12 December, 1944.||Tamworth|
|4/2/1945||G at Tam. Storage||T??160||Tamworth|
|2/25/1946||G at Tam. Storage||??????????||Tamworth|
|2/20/1946||U/S and stored as CMU Tamworth under Cat. D. (less cylinder head)||CMU Tam.||Unserviceable and stored at Care and Maintenance Unit Tamworth||Tamworth|
|6/7/1946||Offered for Disposal ????||2080||Tamworth|
|Sold by C.D.C. Ao Aust. Ass. Aero Clubs, 160 Castlereach St. Sydney – £100||?990 922 / G(VIC) 922||Sold by the Commonwealth Disposal Commission to the Associated Aero Clubs of Australia for £100 (with a gaggle of others)||Tamworth|
|10/23/1946||Issued to above||Q101||Shipped to the Associated Aero Clubs of Australia|