Manufactured by Douglas Aircraft Corporation at Oklahoma City in Oklahoma and rolled off the production line on 7/9/1944. Aircraft was designated as a C-47B-5-DK. Delivered to the U.S.A.A.F on 15/10/1943 and allocated the U.S. serial number 43-48667. Delivered to the Royal Air Force on 18/9/1944 and redesignated as a Dakota III and given the new serial number KJ897.
Transferred to Air Command South East Asia Communications Unit that was based at Ratmalana in Ceylon during October 1944. It also saw service in India during 1946. In 1947 ferried to No 12 Maintenance Unit in the United Kingdom and placed in storage until sold to Fields on 11/6/1951 and registered G-AMKE to the company ON 23/6/1951.
Sold to British European Airways, which was based at Northolt and Heathrow in the United Kingdom on 16/10/1951 and registered to the company on 23/11/1951. Whilst in service with company aircraft was named 'Sir Frederick Lanchester'. Sold to Air Links Ltd, which was based at Gatwick Airport on 4/7/1961. Whilst in service with the company aircraft was mainly used on charter flights.
Leased to South Pacific Airlines of New Zealand, which was based at Auckland on 15/12/1961 until 23/2/1962. Departed Gatwick on the ferry flight to New Zealand and routed via Brindisi, Damascus, Bahrain, Karachi, Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Bangkok, Singapore, Djakarta, Denpasar, Darwin, Townsville, Brisbane, Norfolk Island and arrived at Auckland on 14/12/1961. Known crew for the ferry flight were Captain Chegwidden and G Clapshaw. Returned to company that leased the aircraft on 23/2/1962. Whilst in service with South Pacific Airlines of New Zealand aircraft it was not named like the other aircraft in their fleet. Struck off the British civil register on 16/10/1962 as it had been sold to Rhodesian Air Services (Pvt) Ltd, which was based at Salisbury in Rhodesia and reregistered VP-YUU. Whilst with this company aircraft was utilised for charter flights.
Sold to Air Rhodesia, which was based at Salisbury at a later stage and resold to Zambia Airways, which was based at Lusaka in Zambia in 1966 and reregistered 9J-RDR. Aircraft was withdrawn from service on 30/12/1970 when its Certificate of Airworthiness expired with the intention of being preserved.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that this aircraft was scrapped at Lusaka in 1989 and the remains later purchased by Phoebus Apollo Aviation CC in April 1998 and transported to Rand Airport. After having been in storage at the airport this aircraft was stripped for spares and the remains of the fuselage had been converted to a 'Dak-in-the-wall-pub' on the airport boundary and reportedly painted in Phoebus Apollo colour scheme.
Still in existence 2003.
© Gil White (2004).
back to Propliners around Johannesburg, 2004
"It has been a great pleasure to have known you all, but my days are now numbered." -24Jun06.
Gil White passed away on 27Jun06. He will be remembered by me as a enthusiastic (Ansett) historian and a courageous person; may he rest in peace.