VH-AXM. Douglas C-47A-20-DL. c/n 9350.
was also registered as VH-BXM and VH-MME.
Construction completed at the Douglas Long Beach plant - April 1943
Built as a Douglas C-47A-20-DL
Allocated U.S. serial number 42-23488
Delivered to the U.S.A.A.F. - April 8, 1943
Arrived Brisbane on delivery to the 5th Air Force - May 24, 1943
Allocated to the 39th TCS of the 317th TCG using the radio call-sign 'VHCGF'
Aircraft was named 'Ready Willing and Able'
Damaged at Fenton during a bombing raid on the airfield by Japanese aircraft - June 30, 1943
Transferred to Wards Strip, Port Moresby - September 1943
Damaged at Gusap, New Guinea during a strafing raid by Japanese fighters - November 6, 1943
Transferred to Finschafen with 39th Troop Carrier Squadron - July 11, 1944
MacRobertson Miller Airlines given approval by D.C.A. to purchase surplus C-47s - June 1946
These ex USAAF aircraft were stored at Clarke Field, Manila and sold via the C.D.C.
This aircraft was selected by MMA's Chief Pilot C. Kleinig and Chief Engineer F. Colquhoun
Approval to purchase this airframe had to come from U.S. HQ in Tokyo taking several weeks
Aircraft was still configured as a troop carrier
Test flown at Clarke Field by Cyril Kleinig - June 6, 1946
Official Date-of-Disposal - July 31, 1946
Departed Clarke Field on ferry flight to Australia - July 31, 1946
Arrived Perth at conclusion of ferry flight - August 1, 1946
Delivery route: Manila-Tacloban-Darwin-Broome-Carnarvon-Perth
Flight crew: Capt C. Kleinig; F/O B. Horan (A.N.A.); Engineer F. Colquhoun
Converted to civilian standards as a DC-3C-S1C3G with seating for 21 passengers
The original double rear doors were retained so that it could be used to carry freight
Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-AXM (CofR 1260) - March 11, 1947
Registered to MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co
Aircraft named 'RMA Fitzroy'
Entered service with M.M.A. - March 25, 1947
Operated charter flight to pick-up the Indian Cricket Team for their Australian Tour - October 4, 1947
Departed Calcutta with the Indian Team on the return flight - October 8, 1947
Flight crew: Capt C. Kleinig; F/O A.E. Budd; F/E F. Colquhoun
Reregistered as VH-BXM - November 26, 1948
This change was necessary when I.C.A.O. prohibited the use of the 'AX' registration block
Doubtful that this registration was actually ever painted on the aircraft as it was reregistered immediately
Reregistered as VH-MME - December 14, 1948
Aircraft was destroyed when it crashed at night at Allawah Grove, South Guildford, WA - July 2, 1949
Was operating Perth-Carnarvon-Port Headland-Derby-Wyndham-Darwin service as MV772
Approximately 10 minutes after take-off the aircraft dived almost vertically into the ground
Believed to have achieved only a height of between 300 to 500 feet in its short flight
Although there was no explosion on impact the fuel tanks ruptured and wreckage caught fire
Except for the rudder, tailwheel and some freight the aircraft was destroyed in the subsequent fire
Cause of crash has never been confidently established but a number of factors were considered
It was known that a large amount of freight was positioned on the port-side in the first two rows of seats
Did this loading affect the centre of gravity to a critical extent when the wheels were retracted?
Crew inexperience in poor weather conditions was also considered
Flight crew: Capt W.G. Norman; F/O H. Jackson-Vassie; Supernumery Capt E. C. Langford
Cabin crew: Hostess S.J. Seymour - there were 14 passengers on the flight
Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - July 4, 1949