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  Ford 4-AT-E Trimotor Registration Number VH-USX  

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USAAF May 31, 1943
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Jack Hyen 1944

Aircraft History
Constructors Number 8406. Initially registered as ECKKA. Next, registered with British registration: G-ACAK and finally registered in Australia as VH-USX.

Used by Holden's Air Transport Services in New Guinea during the 1930's, along with Trimotor VH-UDY. Later, served with Guinea Airways and flown until January 1942.

Wartime History
Destroyed on the ground at Lae Airfield during the Japanese air raid on January 21, 1942.

Wreckage
The wreckage remained largely intact at the airfield until June 1943 at least. Captured by the Allies when Lae was liberated during September 1943. The wreckage exhibited shrapnel damaged and consisted of a portion of the wing and fuselage.

Jack Heyn adds:
"We moved to Nadzab in January 1944 and left in May to go to Hollandia. So the photos I took at the Lae Airstrip were taken on one of our sight seeing trips, probably in Feb. or Mar. '44. It definetely was taken at Lae, as we never visited Salamaua, although our planes did drop a considerable amount of bombs on it at times. There's personal a story behind that photograph. When I was about 5 years old, one Sat. morning my Dad took me out to the Rapid City airport to see a Ford Trimotor that had flown in. It was the first airplane I had ever seen on the ground. So there was a bit of nostolgia to that Ford at Lae."

References
Thanks to Jack Heyn for additional information
Wings of Gold - How the Aeroplane Developed New Guinea mentions this aircraft
Allied Air Transport Operations South West Pacific Area in WWII - Volume One (photo)
Other references state that this Ford was lost at Salamaua (incorrectly)
A. J. Jackson Photographic collection (two photos)

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Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

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Ford AT

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