Home' Aerogram : Aerogram 2015 4 December Contents Departing Poole, UK on the ferry flight to New Zealand on
July 25, 1946 it arrived at Auckland on August 5, 1946. It
operated the first Auckland - Sydney - Auckland service
from August 1946 but was withdrawn from use due to engine
overheating problems on February 23, 1948
Returning to service following rectification of engine problems
on June 17, 1948 it operated the final TEAL service on
September 12, 1949.
Stored at Hobsonville, Auckland having flown 4,409 hours
it was sold to Qantas Empire Airways Ltd for 4,000 pounds
on April 13, 1950 and was entered onto Australian Aircraft
Register as VH-EBX on April 24, 1950, being registered to
Qantas Empire Airways Ltd and named ‘Pacific Chieftain’.
Damaged when it collided with the DCA Safety Launch on
Sydney Harbour on September 3, 1951 it was repaired and
returned to service.
-EBX operated 19 return trips Sydney - Lord Howe Island
whilst with Qantas and was sold to Barrier Reef Airways to
replace its sister-ship VH-BRD on December 10, 1954.
Shortly after, Barrier Reef Airways was taken over by Ansett
Flying Boat Services and was never operated by Barrier Reef
and was registered to Ansett Airways Pty Ltd on December
17, 1954 as VH-BRE.
It commenced services in the early Ansett Airways’ red-white
livery and operated 5 charter tourist flights to New Zealand
between October 25, 1955 and March 1957. It was chartered
to TEAL to operate Pacific Island services from September 18
to 29, 1958.
Registered to Ansett Flying Boat services Pty Ltd in 1960 it
underwent a complete overhaul and refurbishment prior to
commencing a charter to Polynesia in 1963.
On the first leg of the charter the aircraft overnighted at Lord
Howe Island on July 3, 1963 but broke its moorings during
a storm that night and was washed ashore damaging the
starboard wingtip float. The following morning an attempt was
made to move it to a new mooring with the port wing weighted
down with sandbags.
Unable to withstand the buffeting, the damaged starboard
float collapsed, submerging that wing, whereupon it was
towed ashore and declared a write-off following a detailed
Stripped of useful parts before being scuttled 5 km off shore
in December 1963, the requests by the Islanders to retain the
fuselage for use as a museum were rejected.
It was cancelled from Australian Aircraft Register on
December 5, 1963. This old bird had flown 15,308 hours –
including 424 trips to Lord Howe Island.
No 10 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force
and the long life of Sandringham VH-BRE
From an idea by Ben Dannecker
No 10 Squadron, RAAF was formed at Point Cook on 1 July
1939, initially equipped with a motley collection of seaplanes
with the intention that these would shortly be replaced with six
new Short Sunderland flying boats. At the end of July 1939 a
small group of squadron personnel proceeded to the United
Kingdom for training on the new aircraft which, it was planned,
they would then fly back to Australia. While these personnel
were in Britain war was declared and the squadron remained
there to assist the British war effort. 10 Squadron was the only
Australian squadron to serve continuously for the duration of
the Second World War in Europe.
The squadron was initially based at Pembroke Dock in Wales
and became operational on 1 February 1940. The squadron’s
primary role was to locate and destroy German submarines,
but the Sunderland flying boats also proved useful for air-
sea rescue and transport missions. From escorting convoys
passing through the north-western Atlantic Ocean to hunting
German submarines moving from bases in France to the
Atlantic, 10 Squadron quickly matured into a strong fighting
unit. Flying operations ceased on 1 June 1945, having sunk six
submarines since February 1940. It was initially planned that it
would redeploy to the Pacific theatre, but the war there ended
before this occurred. 10 Squadron disbanded on 26 October
1945, but was destined to reform in 1949.
THE AIRCRAFT TO BECOME VH-BRE…
was built by Short Bros and Harland at Belfast as a
Sunderland Mk III in 1944, being built to UK Ministry of
Transport Contract No. 2227 for six Sunderland Mk III aircraft.
Its airframe allocated the construction number SH.1173
Delivered to RAF as NJ255 at Wig Bay, Stranraer, Scotland in
September 23, 1944, it was issued to No 10 Squadron RAAF
at Mountbatten on November 21, 1944, being tranferred back
to the RAF No 57 Maintenance Unit, Wig Bay, Stranraer,
Scotland on June 15, 1945.
It was delivered back to Short Bros and Harland, Belfast for
conversion to a Sunderland Mk V on September 4, 1945 and
delivered to No 57 Maintenance Unit, Wig Bay on October 25,
In 1946 it was transferred to Short Bros & Harland as
surplus to requirements on April 9, 1946 and converted to
a Sandringham Mk IV Tasman Class with seating for 30
Transferred to the British Ministry of Transport and Civil
Aviation it was entered onto New Zealand Aircraft Register
as ZK-AMD on July 5, 1946 and registered to Tasman Empire
Airways Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand.
It was then leased to Tasman Empire Airways Ltd (TEAL) on
July 13, 1946 and was named ‘ RMA Australia’.
With thanks to Air Force and AussieAirliners.org websites
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