Built by Junkers during 1929, serial number J3010. One of four Junkers G 31's purchased by Bulolo Gold Dredging Company (BGD), and operated by Guinea Airways. Registered as VH-UOW on June 10, 1931. Based at Lae Airfield, used to ferry dredge parts and equipment from Lae Airfield to Wau Airfield and Bulolo Airfield.
On January 21, 1942 this trimotor took off from Lae Airfield on a flight to Port Moresby and was on finals to land when Japanese aircraft attacked Lae and Bulolo and became the only surviving G 31 in New Guinea. Afterwards, it was flown to Australia.
On January 30, 1942 impressed into RAAF service. Assigned serial number A44-1 to 34 Squadron and flown back to Australia.
On October 19, 1942, used by 36 Squadron to deliver refrigerators to Darwin and to return with wounded to Victoria. Piloted by F/O J. L.Whiteman, co-pilot P/O Peter Lavarack. The third engine had a valve drop and was blanked off at Cootamundra Airfield by RAAF engineering staff. Afterwards, arrived at Laverton Airfield for repairs.
On October 31, 1942, pilot P/O Peter Lavarack took off from Laverton Airfield on a test flight. Only two engines developed full power. Aircraft crashed, continued off the strip and collided with the visiting Air Minister Arthur S Drakeford's automobile, destroying the vehicle and this trimotor was damaged beyond damaged.
Junkers Production Details - J3010
Note, some sources incorrectly note this aircraft as abandoned at Alexishafen or Bulolo
Thanks to Bruce Hoy and Luke Ruffato for additional information
ADF Serials A44-1
Guinea Airways Junkers G.31go VH-UOW
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January 31, 2018