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  DH.82A Tiger Moth Serial Number A17-48  
RAAF
12 Local Air Supply Unit

Aircraft History
Built by de Havilland in Australia during 1940. Constructors Number DHA45.

Wartime History
Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as DH.82 Tiger Moth serial number A17-48. Assigned to No. 12 Local Air Supply Unit and operated in New Guinea.

Mission History
On May 28, 1945 during the afternoon, took off piloted by S/L R. I. Lewis with passenger Major James Robert Wigmore Leech on a flight bound for Tadji Airfield. During the flight, this aircraft experienced bad weather near the destination and instead made an emergency landing at Suain Airfield successfully.

Before attempting to take off, 1-3 feet of kunai grass had to be cut to make a take off pathway. At 4:30pm while attempting to take off at a speed of approximately 30 mph, this aircraft struck a small ammunition box hidden in the grass causing the left wing drop and the aircraft to swing to the side and went up onto its nose before coming to rest. The pilot and passenger were unhurt in the crash. Afterwards, this aircraft was righted and took off successfully.

Postwar
During 1947, this Tiger Moth was sold to a private buyer in Lae and registered in Australia as VH-BLX.

Today
Afterwards, shipped to the United States and registered as N48DH. Today, owned by "A17-48 Group" by trustee Mr. Norman Parry in Swinson, United Kingdom. On October 9, 1990 registered in the United Kingdom registered as G-BPHR. This aircraft is painted overall yellow with RAAF markings and serial number A17-48.

References
ADF Serials - Tiger Moth A17-48
ADF Serials - Tiger Moth A17-48 Photo Gallery
NAA Tiger Moth A17 [Accidents Part 2] (NAA: A9845, 32)
"Confirmatory Memorandum In Accordance with A.F.O. 18/E/2(5) Landing and take off accident Tiger Moth A17-48"
Aviation Heritage - Tiger Moth A17-48
"28 May 1945 - Aircraft suffered an accident on take-off from Suain Landing Ground, New Guinea, when the aircraft struck an ammunition box hidden by the undergrowth."
GINFO - Civil Aviation Authority G-BPHR
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for additional research and analysis.

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

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