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Paul McGuiness RAAF Archive
Paul McGuiness is an Australian aviation researcher and historian. Using primary sources he has assembled detailed information on the history of each plane
used by Australians and Australian forces in WWl and WW2, and on personnel involved.

This page contains many names, dates, locations. To help find the one(s) you're interested in, use our Highlighting facility.
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History of Australian Military Aviation

First World War

Armstrong Whitworth FK3

Avro 504

Bristol F2b Fighter

Fairey Aviation Model lllD Seaplane

Martinsyde G.100 G 102 Elephant

Maurice Farman S.11 Shorthorn

Royal Aircraft Factory BE2

Royal Aircraft Factory BE12

Royal Aircraft Factory RE.8

Royal Aircraft Factory SE5A Experimental Scout

Sopwith Camel B Series

Sopwith Camel C D E F Series

Sopwith Snipe

Sopwith Scout (Pup)

Sopwith 1½ Strutter

Supermarine Seagull lll

Supermarine Southampton Mk 1

Westland Wapiti


Post First World War

Bristol Bulldog

De Havilland DH.9A

Hawker Demon

Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5A

Avro 504K


Second World War

458 Sqd Wellingtons

460 Sqd Wellingtons

466 Sqd Wellingtons


Further Information:

Aces and Aviators WWl Database

Material Relating to Australia

Aircraft Types Used by Australian Forces 1918 - 1940

Supermarine Seagull III


Used By: Seaplane Squadron No.1FTS, RAAF Point Cook No. 101 (Fleet Co-Operation) Flight RAAF, HMAS Albatross

A Brief History of the Supermarine Seagull III in RAAF Service

Paul McGuiness

In 1921 the Australian Government identified a need to survey and accurately chart the dangerous reefs and shoals of the Great Barrier Reef off the Queensland coast. The reef had not been examined in any meaningful detail since the days of Matthew Flinders back in the 1800s and the time had arrived where technology permitted such an examination. In 1925 the incumbent National Labour Party Government decided that the survey task could be accomplished using Defence assets. Accordingly, on 26th April 1925 the Australian Government ordered six Supermarine Seagull Mk.III seaplanes plus extra engines and spare parts at a contract price cost of 39,500 pounds Sterling. (A$2.9M in today’s equivalency). The RAAF Seagulls were purchased to conduct survey work of the Great Barrier Reef in conjunction with the RAN in accordance with a stated National Goal. Also, as a secondary consideration, the aircraft could be used to provide Fleet Cooperation for the Royal Australian Navy in place of the Fairey IIID aircraft previously used in that role.

The aircraft were constructed at the Supermarine Aviation Works factory at Woolston, Southampton UK. After completion the aircraft were tested then handed over to SQNLDR R.S Brown of Australia House London who then arranged for the aircraft to be dismantled, crated and shipped to Australia. The six Mk.III Seagulls Serials A9-1 thru A9-6 all arrived in Australia during April 1926. In August 1926 the Royal Air Force declared the Seagull Mk.II obsolete which freed up a number of airframes for disposal. The asking price for such airframes was a mere 100 pounds, not the nearly 6,000 pounds the Australian Government had just paid for each of the RAAF’s six MK.II aircraft. Accordingly, three airframes, with extra engines and spares, were purchased in September and shipped to Australia in mid-January 1927. The airframes were originally to be used as a spares source for the six operational machines but when they arrived at Point Cook initial inspections showed they were in such an exceptional state that a decision was made to bring them on charge as operational aircraft. Therefore, the three airframes were assembled, tested and given the Serials A9-7, A9-8 and A9-9 and bought on charge.

On the 1st of July 1926 No 101 (Fleet Cooperation) Flight was formed to work with HMAS Moresby on the Great Barrier Reef Survey (GBRS). A ground party of 36 men under O21 FLGOFF Herbert Warland arrived in Brisbane aboard the Smith Line 8,000 ton freighter SS Canberra and then railed to Bowen arriving on 26Aug36 where they set up a base of operations. The GBRS was conducted from Aug 1926 to Mar 1927 and during a second deployment from May to December 1928.The survey work performed by RAN Survey staff aboard HMAS Moresby and the men of No.101 (FC) Flight RAAF using unsophisticated Seagull III aircraft has largely gone unsung. Navigators and mariners over the past 90+ years owe a debt of gratitude to those people who battled harsh conditions and used rather primitive tools to deliver maps and charts that were instrumental in saving numerous lives over the decades.

In 1927, concurrent with the Great Barrier Reef Survey, two aircraft were allocated to 1AD Papuan Survey Flight and conducted surveys in support of the Anglo-Persian Oil/Australian Government Oil Survey of selected areas in Papua New Guinea. Also, Bougainville Island and the British Solomon Islands were subjected to some limited survey during that period on behalf of the British Government. At the completion of the Great Barrier Reef survey the RAAF Seagulls were predominantly used for RAN Fleet support tasks embarked on HMAS Albatross from 1929. By the end of 1930 the RAAF were very concerned about the structural integrity of the Seagull fleet so it was decided that the surviving eight aircraft would undergo a comprehensive refurbishment and weight reduction program at the Cockatoo Island Naval Dockyard facility. As it happened only seven aircraft underwent the program between January 1931 and September 1932. The eighth aircraft (A9-8) did not undergo the Cockatoo Island program as it had been used sparingly since its arrival in 1927. However, it too succumbed to the hazards of duty aboard HMAS Albatross and in January 1934 it was allocated to the Government Munitions Supply Branch Workshops at Maribynong, Melbourne to undergo a refurbishment. While the refurbishment program certainly prolonged the Service career of the Seagulls the harshness of ship life and the scarcity of spares meant the end of the aircraft’s useful life was in sight.

From 1930 onwards the availability of serviceable aircraft plus the effects of the Great Depression were affecting the RAAF’s ability to operate and from mid-1931 the RAAF could only supply four Seagulls at a time for deployment on Albatross with a probability that number would decrease in the future. These factors played a key role in the RAN’s decision to decommission Albatross in the middle of her 1933 Summer Cruise and instead embark the aircraft on the two RAN heavy cruisers from 1933 to 1936. By February 1936 only one aircraft had survived the ravages of sea borne duties, deterioration and accidents and when A9-5 disembarked from HMAS Canberra on 3rd March 1936 the service career of the Mk.III Seagull in the RAAF was finished.

A9-1

16Jul25 Constructed by the Supermarine Aviation Works at their Woolston factory in Southampton. Hull work began in mid-July and was completed in early November. Superstructure and wing construction were concurrent with the hull manufacture and when finished were mated to the hull.

00Jan26 Aircraft completed and handed over to RAAF.

06Feb26 The first test flight of A9-1 was carried out at the Supermarine factory by Captain H.C. Baird [of Schneider Cup fame] and RAAF SQNLDR R.S. Brown. The aircraft was then officially christened as ‘Australian Seagull One’ by Dame Mary Cook, wife of Sir Joseph Cook the Australian High Commissioner to London.

25Feb26 Aircraft was dismantled, crated and loaded aboard the 8,402 ton Commonwealth & Dominion Line steamer SS Port Nicholson at London Docks and departed for Melbourne.

31Mar26 Arrived at dock No 2 Victoria Docks, Port Melbourne after a record 35 day passage from London.

01Apr26 Transported to No. 1 Flying Training School (1FTS) at RAAF Base Point Cook where it was assembled and prepared for test flights. Fitted with a Napier Lion 12 cylinder water cooled W-block piston engine, Serial.50940.

24Jun26 First post-assembly 35 minute test flight carried out by Lt Joseph Eric Hewitt RAN (later O32 AVM J.E. Hewitt OBE) along with riggers LAC Thompson and LAC Kirk.

00Jun26 Issued to Seaplane Squadron (1FTS) along with A9-2 & A9-3 for pilot training of the 1926 Seaplane Familiarization Course.

20Aug26 Allocated to No.101 (FC) Flight at Bowen QLD for duty 1926-27 Great Barrier Reef Survey in conjunction with the RAN survey vessel HMAS Moresby.

23Aug26 Departed Point Cook for Bowen QLD. Crew was: FLTLT Arthur Ernest Hempel pilot, LAC Robert Souter fitter & LAC Reginald Simpson rigger. Ferried to Farm Cove Sydney via Wangaratta and Cootamundra.

24Aug26 Depart Sydney 0730, arrived at Port Macquarie NSW refueled then flew to Maclean NSW.

25Aug26 Depart Maclean arrived Eagle Farm Brisbane 1730hrs.

26Aug26 Depart Brisbane 0800, arrive Bundaberg refueled then flew to Alma QLD for an overnight stay.

27Aug26 Depart Alma, arrive Styx River QLD refueled then flew to Bowen Harbour arrived 1730 hrs.

00Sep26 Began the 1926-27 Great Barrier Reef Survey (GBRS) in conjunction with HMAS Moresby.

19Mar27 Completed 1926-27 GBRS. Departed for Point Cook.

29Mar27 Arrived at Point Cook following same route taken for deployment to Bowen.

1927-28 Conducted survey flights in various locations around Australia.

03May27 One of three Seagulls to fly to Canberra for the official Fly Past as part of the Opening Of Parliament House by the Queen on 9May27. Crew was FLTLT A.E. Hempel and two riggers.

25Feb29 Embarked on HMAS Albatross at Corio Bay VIC for sea duty with No.101 (FC) Flight. Performed various Fleet Duties with HMA & HMNZ Fleet elements during the period 27Feb to 12Aug 1929. Duty included long cruises to several Australian Eastern states, Papua New Guinea, selected Pacific Islands and New Zealand. During this time A9-1 and her five sisters performed numerous fly pasts and displays as part of the ceremonial duties inherent in every RAN Fleet Cruise. Between the different Fleet deployments the embarked aircraft were returned to Richmond or Point Cook for servicing or repair.

05Sep29 Forced landed in Port Phillip Bay off Mentone– no damage. Pilot PLTOFF Anthony Edward Grant was uninjured. On return to Point Cook the engine was removed and dismantled for examination. The crankcase was discovered to have a large crack and the engine was deemed uneconomic to repair

12Oct29 Air Board Agenda No.1369 /29 gave approval to reduce Napier-Lion engine No.50940 to spares.

28Jan30 One of six Seagulls embarked on HMAS Albatross with 101 (FC) Flight for the 1930 Summer Fleet Cruise. The Fleet departed Sydney 28Jan for Hobart and Storm Bay where exercising was carried out until the Fleet returned to Sydney via Jervis Bay on 10April.

00May30 One of six Seagulls embarked on HMAS Albatross for the 1930 Winter Cruise to Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Mandated Territories. Apart from Fleet work the aircraft was used for Photographic Survey work in New Guinea and New Britain. The Cruise lasted until late September when the ship returned to Sydney and the aircraft returned to Richmond for servicing.

06Aug30 Forced landed off Moreton Bay QLD– no damage.

00Nov30 Embarked on Albatross for a short Cruise in Southern Waters visiting Melbourne, Hobart and a first ever visit to Adelaide.

Nov30 Returned to RAAF Richmond at the completion of the 1930 Cruise season. Inspection of the aircraft revealed the sea environment had caused a rapid deterioration in the structural integrity of all Seagulls embarked on the Albatross over the past two seasons. Therefore a refurbishment and weight reduction program was developed and seven of the remaining eight Seagulls were put thru the program at Cockatoo Island Dockyard over a two year period commencing in January 1931

05Feb31 Crash landed when alighting in heavy seas near Hobart. Minor damage, Pilot O39 FLTLT E.G Knox-Knight and crew were uninjured.

00Mar31 Allocated to Cockatoo Island Dockyard for the overhaul, refurbishment and weight reduction project.

00Jun31 Test flown following refurbishment by O32 SQNLDR J.E. Hewitt.

00Jun31 Received by 101 (FC) Flight following overhaul.

03Sep31 Transferred to HMAS Canberra at Hervey Bay QLD for a trial embarkation cruise with the first flight taking place at Gladstone. The Cruise went to Fiji (19-27 Sep), Norfolk & Lord Howe Islands (30 Sep – 6 Oct) where aerial mapping was conducted at each location.

09Oct31 Canberra arrived at Newcastle NSW and aircraft disembarked to Richmond.

00Nov31 Underwent major servicing and repairs prior to further fleet duty.

25Jan32 Embarked on Albatross to support HMA Fleet Cruises and exercises, with the aircraft being deployed back to Richmond for refit and /or supply whenever Albatross was in port. After Albatross was placed in reserve on 05 April 1933 all aircraft and personnel of No.101 (FC) Flight were relocated back to RAAF Richmond.

29Jan34 Allocated for duty aboard the 10,000 ton County Class Heavy Cruiser HMAS Australia. Pilot was FLGOFF J. Alexander. Part of HMA Ships 1934 Summer Cruise to Hobart-Adelaide-Melbourne-Sydney where the aircraft was used for a variety of Fleet Duties and performed fly pasts as part of the ceremonial duties inherent in every RAN Cruise.

09Feb34 Damaged in a landing accident in Jervis Bay NSW. Pilot FLGOFF J. Alexander was uninjured.

19Mar34 Moved to HMAS Canberra and A9-3 moved to HMAS Australia.

24Apr34 Replaced on Canberra by A9-6. A9-1 returned to RAAF Point Cook for technical survey.

01Jun34 Survey report stated the aircraft was uneconomical to repair and recommended conversion.

31Jul34 Converted to components.

A9-2

21Jul25 Constructed by the Supermarine Aviation Works at their Woolston factory in Southampton. Hull work began in late-July and was completed in mid-November. Superstructure and wing construction were concurrent with the hull manufacture and when finished were mated to the hull.

00Jan26 Aircraft completed and handed over to RAAF.

06Feb26 The first test flight of A9-2 was carried out by Captain HC Baird [of Schneider Cup fame] and SQNLDR RS Brown at the Supermarine factory.

17Feb26 Aircraft was dismantled, crated and loaded aboard the 8,402 ton Commonwealth & Dominion Line steamer SS Port Nicholson and departed for Melbourne.

31Mar26 Arrived at dock No 2 Victoria Docks, Port Melbourne.

01Apr26 Transported to RAAF Base Point Cook where it was issued to Aircraft Technical Squadron for assembly and preparation for test flights.

25Jun26 Test flown and issued to Seaplane Squadron, Point Cook. Crew was FLTLT Briggs and two fitters.

26Jun26 When landing on the runway at Point Cook the pilot stalled-in causing severe damage to undercarriage and wing floats. Pilot FLTLT Briggs received a broken ankle, bruising and shock while the two crewmen received minor injuries and shock. Repaired at Unit.

00Jun26 Issued to Seaplane Squadron (1FTS) along with A9-1 & A9-3 for pilot training of the 1926 Seaplane Familiarization Course.

20Aug26 Allocated to No.101 (FC) Flight RAAF at Bowen QLD for duty 1926-27 Great Barrier Reef Survey (GBRS) in conjunction with the RAN survey vessel HMAS Moresby.

23Aug26 Departed Pt Cook for Bowen QLD. Crew was: pilot O257639 FLGOFF David Ross, fitter LAC T. Croakley & rigger LAC G. Leeden. Ferried to Farm Cove Sydney via Wangaratta VIC and Cootamundra QLD.

24Aug26 Depart Sydney 0730, arrived at Port Macquarie NSW refueled then flew to Maclean NSW.

25Aug26 Depart Maclean arrived Eagle Farm Brisbane 1730hrs.

26Aug26 Depart Brisbane 0800, arrive Bundaberg refueled then flew to Alma QLD for an overnight stay.

27Aug26 Depart Alma, arrive Styx River QLD. Damage to landing gear and hull when landing in the Styx River. Aircraft could not be repaired at Styx so it was loaded onto a train wagon and railed to Bowen arriving on 04 September.

19Mar27 Completed 1926-27 GBRS. Departed for Point Cook.

29Mar27 Arrived at Point Cook following same route [in reverse] as taken for deployment to Bowen.

03May27 One of three Seagulls to fly to Canberra for the official Fly Past as part of the Opening Of Parliament House by the Queen on 9May27. Crew was FLGOFF D. Hempel and two riggers.

00May28 Issued to No.101 (FC) Flight at Bowen QLD for duty 1928 GBRS in conjunction with the RAN survey vessel HMAS Moresby. Ferried to Bowen using same route as the 1926-27 deployment. Ferried to Bowen by FLTLT Arthur Ernest Hempel pilot; LAC P. Neale fitter and LAC T. Holdsworth rigger. On occasions operated out of Rockhampton, Townsville & Cairns. The principal task was the photography of the coastline between Cape Conway and Slade Point near McKay

00Sep28 Operated from a forward base on St Bees Island 30km NE of Mackay, QLD.

00Nov28 Completed 1928 GBRS. Aircraft ordered back to Point Cook to prepare for embarkation on HMAS Albatross.

11Dec28 Departed for Point Cook with a crew of LT F.G. Crowther (RAN); LACs P. Neale & T. Holdsworth. Severe weather forced the aircraft to return to Mackay where the crew waited for three days before being able to proceed.

15Dec28 Departed again on but only reached Rockhampton before an engine failure forced another four day delay until a new magneto arrived from Point Cook.

20Dec28 Departed for Brisbane and upon landing discovered the magneto drive shaft had again broken. Forced to spend the next 10 days awaiting a new engine before finally departing Brisbane at 0930hrs 01Jan29. Planned route was Maclean, Port Macquarie and Sydney.

03Jan29 Arrived Farm Cove Sydney. Towed to Garden Island for hull fabric repairs before departing for Point Cook.

04Jan29 Flew to Point Cook via Eden, Twofold Bay (overnight), Paynesville VIC arrived Point Cook 05Jan29.

Jan-Feb29 Underwent major overhaul and servicing.

25Feb29 Embarked on HMAS Albatross at Corio Bay VIC for sea duty with No.101 (FC) Flight. Performed various Fleet Duties with HMA & HMNZ Fleet elements during the period 27Feb to 12Aug 1929. Duty included long cruises to several Australian Eastern states, Papua New Guinea, selected Pacific Islands and New Zealand. During this time A9-2 and her five sisters performed numerous fly pasts and displays as part of the ceremonial duties inherent in every RAN Fleet Cruise. Between the different Fleet deployments the embarked aircraft were returned to Richmond or Point Cook for servicing or repair.

00Jan30 One of six Seagulls embarked on HMAS Albatross with No.101 (FC) Flight for the 1930 Summer Fleet Cruise. The Fleet departed Sydney 28Jan for Hobart and Storm Bay where exercising was carried out until the Fleet returned to Sydney via Jervis Bay on 26April.

00May30 One of six Seagulls embarked on HMAS Albatross for the 1930 Winter Cruise to Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Mandated Territories. Apart from Fleet work the aircraft was used for Photographic Survey work in New Guinea and New Britain. The Cruise lasted until late Sep when the ship returned to Sydney and the aircraft returned to Richmond for servicing.

00Nov30 Embarked on Albatross for a short Cruise in Southern Waters visiting Melbourne, Hobart and a first ever visit to Adelaide.

00Nov30 Returned to RAAF Richmond at the completion of the 1930 season. Inspection of the aircraft revealed the sea environment had caused a rapid deterioration in the structural integrity of all Seagulls embarked on the Albatross over the past two years. Therefore a refurbishment and weight reduction program was developed and seven of the remaining eight Seagulls were put thru the program at Cockatoo Island Dockyard over a two year period commencing in January 1931.

1931 Allocated to Cockatoo Island Dockyard for the overhaul, refurbishment and weight reduction project.

1932 Received by No.101 (FC) Flight following overhaul.

1933-34 Used for general duties at 101(FC) Flight RAAF Richmond and Seaplane Squadron Point Cook.

00Jan34 Allocated to Seaplane Squadron RAAF Point Cook for survey. Aircraft deteriorated to such a state that it was declared unsuitable for service, recommended for conversion.

22Mar34 Aircraft less engine loaded onto HMAS Canberra at Geelong. Used as test vehicle to ascertain safety limits at which secondary 4.7 inch guns could be fired with aircraft embarked. Returned to Point Cook at completion of trials in late March.

00Jun34 Conversion to components commenced.

06Nov34 Conversion to components completed, residue burnt as per Air Board Instructions. (AB Letter No 8509 dated 10Aug34)

A9-3

01Aug25 Constructed by the Supermarine Aviation Works at their Woolston factory in Southampton. Hull work began in early-August and was completed in late-November. Superstructure and wing construction were concurrent with the hull manufacture and when finished were mated to the hull.

00Jan26 Aircraft completed and handed over to RAAF.

00Feb26 The first test flight was carried out by Captain HC Baird [of Schneider Cup fame] and SQNLDR RS Brown at the Supermarine factory.

19Feb26 Aircraft was dismantled, crated and loaded aboard the 16,436 ton P&O Line steamer SS Moldovia and departed for Melbourne.

03Apr26 Arrived at dock No 14 Victoria Dock, Port Melbourne.

00Apr26 Transported to Flying Training School at RAAF Base Point Cook where it was assembled and prepared for test flights.

00Jun26 Issued to Seaplane Squadron (1FTS) along with A9-1 & A9-2 for pilot training of the 1926 Seaplane Familiarization Course.

20Aug26 Allocated to No.101 (FC) Flight at Bowen QLD for duty 1926-27 Great Barrier Reef Survey in conjunction with the RAN survey vessel HMAS Moresby.

23Aug26 Departed Pt Cook for Bowen QLD. Crew was: O32 FLGOFF Joseph Eric Hewitt pilot, A46 LAC Hugh William Berry fitter & LAC T. Heron rigger. Ferried to Farm Cove Sydney via Wangaratta and Cootamundra.

24Aug26 Depart Sydney 0730, arrived at Port Macquarie NSW refueled then flew to Maclean NSW for an overnight stay.

25Aug26 Depart Maclean arrived Eagle Farm Brisbane 1730hrs.

26Aug26 Depart Brisbane 0800, arrive Bundaberg refueled then flew to Alma QLD for an overnight stay.

27Aug26 Depart Alma, arrive Styx River QLD refueled then flew to Bowen Harbour arrived 1730 hrs. Damaged when wind and tide pushed the aircraft into pier pilings. Repair took two weeks.

19Mar27 Completed 1926-27 GBRS. Departed for Point Cook, hit a fence when landing at Styx River airfield causing severe damage to undercarriage, lower fuselage, wings and tail unit. Damage could not be repaired in-situ so the aircraft was loaded onto a train and freighted to Sydney then transported by road to RAAF Richmond for repair by 101 Flight.

00Apr27 Underwent long term overhaul and refurbishment.

01Jun28 Allocated for temporary use by the Civil Aviation Branch (CAB) survey work and ferried to Point Cook.

00Jun28 Used to train Captain Edgar Johnston (Superintendent of Aerodromes, CAB) before deployment to CAB.

26Jun28 Departed Point Cook for route survey work along the Australian NE coast and numerous locations in New Guinea including Port Moresby, Lae, Madang, Wau and Kavieng.

19Oct28 CAB survey completed and aircraft returned to Point Cook.

00Oct28 Underwent major servicing.

25Feb29 Embarked on HMAS Albatross at Corio Bay VIC for sea duty with No.101 (FC) Flight. Performed various Fleet Duties with HMA & HMNZ Fleet elements during the period 27Feb to 12Aug 1929. Duty included long cruises to several Australian Eastern states, Papua New Guinea, selected Pacific Islands and New Zealand. During this time A9-3 and her five sisters performed numerous fly pasts and displays as part of the ceremonial duties inherent in every RAN Fleet Cruise. Between the different Fleet deployments the embarked aircraft were returned to Richmond or Point Cook for servicing or repair.

15Mar29 Landed at sea with undercarriage extended causing moderate damage. No casualties.

00Jan30 One of six Seagulls embarked on HMAS Albatross with 101 (FC) Flight for the 1930 Summer Fleet Cruise. The Fleet departed Sydney 28Jan for Hobart and Storm Bay where exercising was carried out until the Fleet returned to Sydney via Jervis Bay on 10April.

00May30 One of six Seagulls embarked on HMAS Albatross for the 1930 Winter Cruise to Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Mandated Territories. Apart from Fleet work the aircraft was used for Photographic Survey work in New Guinea and New Britain. The Cruise lasted until late Sep when the ship returned to Sydney and the aircraft returned to Richmond for servicing.

00Nov30 Embarked on Albatross for a short Cruise in Southern Waters visiting Melbourne, Hobart and a first ever visit to Adelaide.

00Dec30 Returned to RAAF Richmond at the completion of the 1930 season. Inspection of the aircraft revealed the sea environment had caused a rapid deterioration in the structural integrity of all Seagulls embarked on the Albatross over the past two years. Therefore a refurbishment and weight reduction program was developed and seven of the remaining eight Seagulls were put thru the program at Cockatoo Island Dockyard over a two year period commencing in January 1931.

1931 Allocated to Cockatoo Island Dockyard for the overhaul, refurbishment and weight reduction project.

Sep 1931 Embarked on the 10,000 ton County Class Heavy Cruiser HMAS Canberra for sea trials to determine if Seagull III aircraft could be effectively used when embarked on HMA Cruisers.

1931 Allocated to Cockatoo Island Dockyard for the overhaul, refurbishment and weight reduction project.

1932 Received by 101 (FC) Flight following overhaul.

1932-33 Embarked on HMAS Albatross to support HMA Fleet Cruises and exercises, with the aircraft being deployed back to Richmond whenever Albatross was in port for refit and /or supply. When Albatross was placed in reserve on 05 April 1933 all aircraft and personnel of No.101 (FC) Flight were relocated back to RAAF Richmond.

29Jan34 Embarked on HMAS Canberra at Port Jackson NSW for the 1934 Summer Cruise to Hobart-Adelaide-Melbourne-Sydney where the aircraft was used for a variety of Fleet Duties and performed numerous fly pasts as part of the ceremonial duties inherent in every RAN Cruise. Pilot was O39 FLTLT Ernest Gipps Knox-Knight.

19Mar34 Moved to HMAS Australia and A9-1 moved to HMAS Canberra.

06Apr34 Disembarked from Canberra back to Richmond.

24Apr34 Embarked on HMAS Canberra for a major Fleet warm-up exercise in Jervis Bay and east coast waters. Pilot was O39 FLTLT Ernest Gipps Knox-Knight.

26Apr34 Forced landing due to engine failure. Crew were uninjured.

09May34 Disembarked from HMAS Canberra back to Richmond.

11Jul34 Embarked on HMAS Canberra in Port Jackson, NSW with O27099 FLGOFF Philip Gordon Graham and crew for a four month cruise in Southern and Western waters. During this cruise the aircraft was engaged in torpedo tracking and recovery exercises; spotting for 200mm calibre live shoots; photographic missions and sundry other naval-aerial tasks.

25Aug34 Performed a six day aerial reconnaissance of the WA coast from Albany to Bunbury. Then Bunbury to Perth then on to Fremantle and rejoined the Ship on 30Aug34.

04Oct34 Met HMS Sussex 30 miles off Fremantle to Officially Salute and Greet the Royal Standard carried by HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester.

06Oct34 Fleet completed exercises in WA and departed for Sydney.

26Oct34 Arrived Sydney – aircraft disembarked to Richmond.

01Nov34 Attached to HQ Point Cook for duty – Participated in the 1934 Laverton Air Pageant.

04Nov34 Ferried to Point Cook from Richmond by O27099 FLGOFF Philip Gordon Graham via Goulburn-Junee-Wangaratta -Point Cook.

05Nov34 Received by HQ Point Cook. Practiced mass formation flying for the next five days.

10Nov34 Together with A9-8, A11-1 & A11-2 led the RAAF massed fly past for the 1934 RAAF Laverton Air pageant held in honour of the Royal visit by HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

11Nov34 Ferried to Richmond via Bowser-Junee-Goulburn-Richmond, arrived 1245 12Nov34.

12Nov34 Embarked on HMAS Canberra at Port Jackson NSW to perform the 1934 Royal Escort Duty of HMS Sussex for HRH The Duke of Gloucester’s arrival in Sydney Harbour.

25Nov34 Disembarked HMAS Canberra to participate in the 1934 RAAF Richmond Air Pageant.

26Nov34 Together with A9-8, A11-1 & A11-2 led the RAAF massed fly past for the 1934 RAAF Richmond Air pageant held in honour of the Royal visit by HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

27Nov34 Embarked on HMAS Canberra.

00Dec34 Disembarked from HMAS Canberra and returned to Richmond.

00Jan35 Aircraft dismantled in order to access the upper and lower centre wing structures for possible repair.

20Feb35 Minimum repairs completed and aircraft tested. Further repairs required.

03Mar35 Aircraft tested – serviceable for limited flight.

05Mar35 Allocated to Seaplane Sqn Point Cook for conversion.

08Mar35 Ferried by O28 FLTLT Leon Victor Lachal and A1463 AC1 Martin Hackett Gebbie to Point Cook via Goulburn, Junee and Bower.

08Mar35 Conversion to components begun.

02Sep36 Conversion completed. Residue burnt as per Air Board Instructions.

A9-4

01Aug25 Constructed by the Supermarine Aviation Works at their Woolston factory in Southampton. Hull work began in mid-August and was completed in late-November. Superstructure and wing construction were concurrent with the hull manufacture and when finished were mated to the hull.

00Jan26 Aircraft completed and handed over to RAAF.

00Feb26 The first test flight was carried out by Captain HC Baird [of Schneider Cup fame] and SQNLDR RS Brown at the Supermarine factory.

19Feb26 Aircraft was dismantled, crated and loaded aboard the 16,436 ton P&O Line steamer SS Moldovia and departed for Melbourne.

03Ap26 Arrived at dock No 14 Victoria Dock, Port Melbourne.

00Apr26 Transported to Flying Training School at RAAF Base Point Cook where it was assembled and prepared for test flights.

1926-28 Aircraft was maintained at Point Cook but was used sparingly until the Barrier Reef Survey began. Lack of pilots, maintenance personnel and funding precluded usage for any duties other than SAR type operations.

03May27 One of three Seagulls to fly to Canberra for the official Fly Past as part of the Opening Of Parliament House by the Queen on 9May27. Crew was LT V. Kennedy RAN and two riggers.

00May28 Issued to No.101 (FC) Flight at Bowen QLD for duty 1928 GBRS in conjunction with the RAN survey vessel HMAS Moresby. Ferried to Bowen using same route as the 1926-27 deployment. Ferried to Bowen by FLGOFF Frank Crowder; O2518 FLTLT Gerald Packer photographer and LAC Wilson fitter. On occasions operated out of Rockhampton, Townsville & Cairns.

00Sep28 Operated from a forward base on St Bees Island 30km NE of Mackay, QLD.

24Nov28 Completed 1928 GBRS. Departed for Richmond.

03Dec28 Forced landed next to Double Cone Island near Airlie Beach QLD due to engine problems. Aircraft repaired and continued flight to Richmond.

04Dec28 Arrived at Richmond. Underwent major overhaul

25Feb29 Embarked on HMAS Albatross at Corio Bay VIC for sea duty with No.101 (FC) Flight. Performed various Fleet Duties with HMA Fleet throughout 1929 that included long cruises to several Australian states, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand. During this time A9-4 and her five sisters performed numerous fly pasts and displays as part of the ceremonial duties inherent in every RAN Fleet Cruise. Between the different Fleet deployments the embarked aircraft were returned to Richmond.

Jan 1930 One of six Seagulls embarked on HMAS Albatross with 101 (FC) Flight for the 1930 Summer Fleet Cruise. The Fleet departed Sydney 28Jan for Hobart and Storm Bay where exercising was carried out until the Fleet returned to Sydney via Jervis Bay on 10April.

19Mar30 While observing fall-of-shot on a gunnery exercise with HMAS Australia, the aircraft entered a spin and crashed into the sea approximately ½ mile off Roaring Beach, Norfolk Bay TAS. Pilot PLTOFF Anthony Edward Grant and Observer Lt Ian Dennis Elliott RN were thrown clear of the aircraft upon impact and incurred serious injuries including broken bones, lacerations and abrasions. Leading Telegraphist Air Gunner 13919 Donald Oswin McGowan was trapped in the rear of the fuselage and was drowned before rescuers could reach him. LTAG McGowan was the first RAN aviator to die in an aviation accident in Australia.

19Mar30 The initial attempt by HMA ships Albatross and Success to raise the sunken aircraft intact failed when the port wing tore off. However, the remainder of the aircraft and severed wing were raised and eventually returned to Point Cook.

22Apr30 Air Board Agenda No.1385/30 gave approval to convert the airframe to components and Napier Lion engine No.50937 to be returned to 1AD for examination and possible repair.

Donald Oswin McGowan was born in Sydney on 22 July 1908 and joined the Navy as a 14 year old Boy Recruit on 8th February 1923. Following training aboard the Boys’ Training Ship HMAS Tingira he was posted to Fleet duties on 30th September 1923. McGowan trained as a Telegraphist, passing his qualifying course with a ‘VG’ endorsement in May 1924 before serving aboard: HMAS Platypus (Destroyer Tender and Repair Ship); HMAS Sydney (Battle Cruiser); HMAS Adelaide (Cruiser); HMAS Brisbane (Cruiser); and HMAS Albatross (Seaplane Tender) in Australia/New Zealand waters and Singapore, New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Hawaiian areas. In 1929 he trained as a Telegraphist Air Gunner (TAG) and upon completion of his training was posted to HMAS Albatross.

Leading Telegraphist D.O McGowan was buried with full Naval honours on 20th March 1930 in Hobart, Tasmania. His funeral carriage was escorted by more than 300 Naval Officers ratings down Elizabeth Street, Hobart. He is buried in the Cornelian Bay Cemetery in Hobart.

A9-5

01Sep25 Constructed by the Supermarine Aviation Works at their Woolston factory in Southampton. Hull work began in September and was completed in December. Superstructure and wing construction were concurrent with the hull manufacture and when finished were mated to the hull.

00Feb26 Aircraft completed and handed over to RAAF.

00Feb26 The first test flight was carried out by Captain HC Baird [of Schneider Cup fame] and SQNLDR RS Brown at the Supermarine factory.

22Feb26 Aircraft was dismantled, crated and loaded aboard the 14,164 ton Australian Commonwealth Line steamer SS Jervis Bay and departed for Melbourne.

10Ap26 Arrived at dock No 14 Victoria Dock, Port Melbourne.

00Apr26 Transported to Flying Training School at RAAF Base Point Cook where it was assembled and prepared for test flights.

02Aug27 Allocated to No 1 Aircraft Depot Papuan Survey Flight (1ADPSF) at RAAF Laverton. 1ADPSF was tasked to reconnoitre specified coastal districts of Papua and New Guinea in support of the Oil Survey agreement between Anglo-Persian Oil and the Australian Government. Also, if time permitted, to reconnoitre Bougainville Island for the British Solomon Islands Protectorate.

27Sep27 Departed Laverton along with A9-6 for Thursday Island with FLTLT Ellis Wackett pilot; FLGOFF Gerald Packer photographed & CPL G. Simpson fitter. Route taken was: Laverton - Bower - Junee-Goulburn – Richmond - (overnight) – Port Macquarie – Maclean – Southport - Bundaberg (overnight) - Alma-Styx River-Bowen -Rockhampton-Proserpine-Townsville-Cairns (overnight) -Cooktown-Thursday Island.

15Oct27 Arrived Thursday Island

16Oct27 Survey began upon leaving Thursday Island on the flight to Port Moresby via Daru, Papua.

20Nov27 Survey reached Aitape, Sandaun Province on the NW coast of New Guinea where the monsoon onset prevented any further surveying. Returned to Madang where orders were awaiting ordering the survey flight to return to Australia.

02Dec27 Departed Madang for Melbourne retracing its outbound route.

26Dec27 Arrived Laverton after flying a total of 17,700km. The survey resulted in coverage of 130 000 sq km, producing 1350 aerial photos.

1928 Underwent major overhaul and repair at 1AD.

28May29 Emergency landing at Hervey Bay following engine failure. No damage Pilot O260066 FLGOFF SAC Campbell and crew were uninjured.

00Jan30 Embarked again on HMAS Albatross for sea duty with 101 (FC) Flight for the 1930 series of RAN Fleet Cruises.

00May30 One of six Seagulls embarked on HMAS Albatross for the 1930 Winter Cruise to Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Mandated Territories. Apart from Fleet work the aircraft was used for Photographic Survey work in New Guinea and New Britain. The Cruise lasted until late Sep when the ship returned to Sydney and the aircraft returned to Richmond for servicing.

00Nov30 Embarked on Albatross for a short Cruise in Southern Waters visiting Melbourne, Hobart and a first ever visit to Adelaide.

00Nov30 Returned to RAAF Richmond at the completion of the 1930 season. Inspection of the aircraft revealed the sea environment had caused a rapid deterioration in the structural integrity of all Seagulls embarked on the Albatross over the past two years. Therefore a refurbishment and weight reduction program was developed and seven of the remaining eight Seagulls were put thru the program at Cockatoo Island Dockyard over a two year period commencing in January 1931.

Sep 1931 Embarked on the 10,000 ton County Class Heavy Cruiser HMAS Canberra for sea trials to determine if Seagull III aircraft could be effectively used when embarked on HMA Cruisers.

1931 Allocated to Cockatoo Island Dockyard for the overhaul, refurbishment and weight reduction project.

1931 Received by Cockatoo Dock for refurbishment.

1931 Received by 101 (FC) Flight following overhaul.

1932-33 Embarked on Albatross to support HMA Fleet Cruises and exercises, with the aircraft being deployed back to Richmond whenever Albatross was in port for refit and /or supply. When Albatross was placed in reserve on 05 April 1933 all aircraft and personnel of No.101 (FC) Flight were relocated back to RAAF Richmond.

00Apr33 Operated with 101 Flight at Richmond.

00Nov34 Received by Seaplane Sqn Point Cook for overhaul.

02Mar35 Ferried from Point Cook to Richmond and prepared for sea deployment.

12Jul35 Embarked on HMAS Canberra in Port Jackson for the 1935 Spring Cruise. The five month Cruise itinerary was Sydney-Brisbane-Cairns-Port Moresby-Darwin-Perth-Adelaide-Melbourne and returning to Sydney on 17Nov35. While embarked the aircraft performed numerous fly pasts and displays along with normal Fleet related duties.

19Nov35 Disembarked and returned to Richmond to undergo a major servicing and effect repairs.

30Jan36 Embarked on HMAS Canberra in Port Jackson for the 1936 Summer Cruise to Hobart, Adelaide and Melbourne. While embarked the aircraft performed the usual fly pasts and displays along with normal Fleet related duties.

22Feb36 Damaged the main step portion of the hull when landing after a mission near Adelaide.

03Mar36 Disembarked from Canberra at Port Melbourne and flown to Technical Sqn, 1FTS by FLGOFF A.X Richards for possible extensive repairs to the main step. Repairs were deemed as uneconomical and recommended for conversion.

23Jul36 Donated to the Melbourne Technical College, La Trobe St Melbourne as an Instructional Airframe. This was the last Seagull Mk.II to operate with the RAAF/RAN.

No further information on this aircraft. Assumed it was eventually left to deteriorate and finally dumped.

A9-6

01Sep25 Constructed by the Supermarine Aviation Works at their Woolston factory in Southampton. Hull work began in September and was completed in December. Superstructure and wing construction were concurrent with the hull manufacture and when finished were mated to the hull.

00Feb26 Aircraft completed and handed over to RAAF.

00Feb26 The first test flight was carried out by Captain HC Baird [of Schneider Cup fame] and SQNLDR RS Brown at the Supermarine factory.

22Feb26 Aircraft was dismantled, crated and loaded aboard the 14,164 ton Australian Commonwealth Line steamer SS Jervis Bay and departed for Melbourne.

10Ap26 Arrived at dock No 14 Victoria Dock, Port Melbourne.

00Apr26 Transported to Flying Training School at RAAF Base Point Cook where it was assembled and prepared for test flights.

02Aug27 Allocated to No 1Aircraft Depot Papuan Survey Flight (1ADPSF) at RAAF Laverton. 1ADPSF was tasked to reconnoitre specified coastal districts of Papua and New Guinea in support of the Oil Survey agreement between Anglo-Persian Oil and the Australian Government. Also, if time permitted, to reconnoitre Bougainville Island for the British Solomon Islands Protectorate.

27Sep27 Departed Laverton along with A9-5 for Thursday Island with LT John Ross (RAN) pilot; LAC Ball fitter & AC1 Bray carpenter. Route taken was: Laverton-Bower-Junee-Goulburn-Richmond-Port Macquarie-Maclean-Southport-Bundaberg-Alma-Styx River-Bowen-Rockhampton-Proserpine-Townsville-Cairns-Cooktown-Thursday Island

15Oct27 Arrived Thursday Island

16Oct27 Survey began upon leaving Thursday Island on the flight to Port Moresby via Daru, Papua.

17Oct27 Developed a faulty magneto and was forced to wait at Daru until A9-5 flew to Port Moresby and back with a new magneto.

20Nov27 Survey reached Aitape, Sandaun Province on the NW coast of New Guinea where the monsoon onset prevented any further surveying. Returned to Madang where orders were awaiting ordering the survey flight to return to Australia.

02Dec27 Intended to depart Madang for Melbourne with A9-6 but developed a serious engine problem that kept the aircraft at Madang until a new engine could be shipped up from Richmond.

23Dec27 After fitting replacement engine, departed for Laverton

18Jan27 Arrived Laverton after flying a total of 17,700km. The survey resulted in coverage of 130 000 sq km, producing 1350 aerial photos.

1928 Underwent major overhaul and repair at 1AD.

00Jan30 Embarked on HMAS Albatross for sea duty with 101 (FC) Flight for the 1930 series of RAN Fleet Cruises.

00May30 One of six Seagulls embarked on HMAS Albatross for the 1930 Winter Cruise to Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Mandated Territories. Apart from Fleet work the aircraft was used for Photographic Survey work in New Guinea and New Britain. The Cruise lasted until late Sep when the ship returned to Sydney and the aircraft returned to Richmond for servicing.

00Nov30 Embarked on Albatross for a short Cruise in Southern Waters visiting Melbourne, Hobart and a first ever visit to Adelaide.

00Nov30 Returned to RAAF Richmond at the completion of the 1930 season. Inspection of the aircraft revealed the sea environment had caused a rapid deterioration in the structural integrity of all Seagulls embarked on the Albatross over the past two years. Therefore a refurbishment and weight reduction program was developed and seven of the remaining eight Seagulls were put thru the program at Cockatoo Island Dockyard over a two year period commencing in January 1931.

00Jan31 Allocated to Cockatoo Island Dockyard for the overhaul, refurbishment and weight reduction project.

06May31 Received by 101 (FC) Flight following overhaul. This was the first Seagull to undergo the reconditioning project and O32 SQNLDR J.E. Hewitt stated after the acceptance test flight that it flew even better than it did when it was first manufactured in 1926.

11Jun31 Landing accident at Jervis Bay light damage. Pilot O32 SQNLDR J.E. Hewitt and crew were uninjured.

1932-33 Embarked on HMAS Albatross to support HMA Fleet Cruises and exercises, with the aircraft being deployed back to Richmond whenever Albatross was in port for refit and /or supply.

00Mar33 Relocated to 101 (FC) Flight at RAAF Richmond.

03Apr34 Embarked on the 10,000 ton County Class Heavy Cruiser HMAS Australia at Port Melbourne to replace the damaged A9-1. Crew was FLGOFF J Alexander plus two airmen aircrew and three maintenance airmen.

08Apr34 Disembarked from HMAS Australia to Richmond.

24Apr34 Embarked on the HMAS Australia at Sydney for Fleet Exercises in Southern waters over the Apr-May period. Pilots were O27099 FLGOFF P.G. Graham and O322 FLGOFF C.W. Pearce

26Apr34 Engine failure caused a forced landing in Port Jackson aircrew as detailed in above entry. Maintenance crew from Richmond repaired the aircraft in-situ and the aircraft departed Port Jackson on 29Apr34 and rejoined Australia at Jervis Bay.

09May34 Disembarked from HMAS Australia back to Richmond for servicing.

11Jul34 Embarked on HMAS Australia in Port Jackson, NSW with O322 FLGOFF C.W. Pearce and crew for a four month Fleet Exercise in Southern and Western waters. During this cruise the aircraft was engaged in torpedo tracking and recovery exercises; spotting for 200mm calibre live shoots and sundry other naval-aerial tasks.

25Aug34 Soon after leaving Bunbury WA the Australia was struck by a violent squall. The gale force winds caused the restraining equipment securing the aircraft to break and the aircraft was completely wrecked.

26Oct34 Disembarked from HMAS Australia at Sydney and transported to RAAF Richmond.

28Oct34 Technical survey recommended conversion.

06Nov34 Conversion to components completed, residue burnt as per Air Board Instructions. (AB Letter No 8509 dated 10Aug34)

A9-7

1922-23 One of 25 Mk.II Seagulls manufactured for the Royal Air Force by the Supermarine Aviation Works at their Woolston, Southampton factory.

1923-26 Served with the RAF then offered for disposal when the Seagull Mk.II was declared obsolete in August 1926. The asking price for such airframes was a mere 100 pounds, not the nearly 6,000 pounds the Australian Government had paid for each of the RAAF’s first six Seagull aircraft.

00Sep26 Ordered from RAF stocks.

00Dec26 Packaged for sea transport and shipped to Australia.

00Jan27 Arrived at Port Melbourne and transported to RAAF Base Point Cook for storage. Originally purchased as a source of spares for the RAAF Fleet but initial inspections after arrival at Point Cook showed the machines to be in exceptional condition so a decision was made to assemble and test the aircraft. Following testing a further decision was made to actually bring the aircraft on charge as A9-7.

14Feb29 Engine failure caused a forced landing 2km off Point Cook. No damage but pilot O28 FLGOFF Leon Victor Lachal suffered minor injuries, other crewmen uninjured.

25Feb29 Embarked on HMAS Albatross at Corio Bay VIC for sea duty with No.101 (FC) Flight. Performed various Fleet Duties with HMA & HMNZ Fleet elements during the period 27Feb to 12Aug 1929. Duty included long cruises to several Australian Eastern states, Papua New Guinea, selected Pacific Islands and New Zealand. During this time A9-7 and her five sisters performed numerous fly pasts and displays as part of the ceremonial duties inherent in every RAN Fleet Cruise. Between the different Fleet deployments the embarked aircraft were returned to Richmond or Point Cook for servicing or repair.

Jan 1930 One of six Seagulls embarked on HMAS Albatross with 101 (FC) Flight for the 1930 Summer Fleet Cruise. The Fleet departed Sydney 28Jan for Hobart and Storm Bay where exercising was carried out until the Fleet returned to Sydney via Jervis Bay on 10April.

00Mar30 The aircraft was launched from Albatross to carry out a NAVEX from Storm Bay out into the Tasman Sea and return to the ship. After about a 90 minute outward leg the crew turned around and headed back to Albatross. However, unbeknownst to the crew a major wind change had pushed the aircraft well south of its reckoned position and when they reached the estimated landfall time, no land was in sight. With no other options the aircraft flew on until land was sighted and the crew radioed the Albatross they had landed at Hippolyte Rocks off the east coast of Tasmania and were awaiting rescue. A rescue was launched but the aircraft could not be found.

Meanwhile the crew by this time had worked out their true position from the surrounding landmarks and realised they were approximately 100 miles SSW from Hippolyte Rocks off the South Coast of Tasmania near Bruny Island, well away from any regular shipping route and relentlessly drifting further south into the Great Southern Ocean. As luck would have it, no sooner had the crew resigned themselves to their fate when salvation in the form of HMAS Canberra came steaming over the southern horizon. Canberra had just finished dropping a survey party on the far south coast of Tasmania and was on her way back to Hobart which was the only reason the cruiser was in that part of the ocean. A9-7’s position was reported to the Fleet and by nightfall the destroyer HMAS Anzac arrived to take the aircraft in tow until the pair rendezvoused with Albatross.

12Apr30 Returned to RAAF Richmond for repair and servicing at the end of the Summer Cruise.

00May30 One of six Seagulls embarked on HMAS Albatross for the 1930 Winter Cruise to Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Mandated Territories. Apart from Fleet work the aircraft was used for Photographic Survey work in New Guinea and New Britain. The Cruise lasted until late Sep when the ship returned to Sydney and the aircraft returned to Richmond for servicing.

20Aug30 Force landing at Moreton Bay QLD. Minimal damage and no injuries.

00Nov30 Embarked on Albatross for a short Cruise in Southern Waters visiting Melbourne, Hobart and a first ever visit to Adelaide.

00Nov30 Returned to RAAF Richmond at the completion of the 1930 season. Inspection of the aircraft revealed the sea environment had caused a rapid deterioration in the structural integrity of all Seagulls embarked on the Albatross over the past two years. Therefore a refurbishment and weight reduction program was developed and seven of the remaining eight Seagulls were put thru the program at Cockatoo Island Dockyard over a two year period commencing in January 1931.

1931 Allocated to Cockatoo Island Dockyard for the overhaul, refurbishment and weight reduction project.

1932 Received by 101 (FC) Flight following overhaul and used sparingly over the ensuing two years.

00Feb34 Technical survey determined aircraft was uneconomical to repair and recommended conversion.

31Jul34 Converted to components and used as a spares source to maintain the remaining Seagulls in an operational condition.

A9-8 c/n 50936

1922-23 One of 25 Mk.II Seagulls manufactured for the Royal Air Force by the Supermarine Aviation Works at their Woolston, Southampton factory.

1923-26 Served with the RAF then offered for disposal when the Seagull Mk.II was declared obsolete in August 1926. The asking price for such airframes was a mere 100 pounds, not the nearly 6,000 pounds the Australian Government had paid for each of the RAAF’s first six Seagull aircraft.

00Sep26 Ordered from RAF stocks.

00Dec26 Packaged for sea transport and shipped to Australia.

00Jan27 Arrived at Port Melbourne and transported to RAAF Base Point Cook for storage. Originally purchased as a source of spares for the RAAF Fleet but initial inspections after arrival at Point Cook showed the machines to be in exceptional condition so a decision was made to assemble and test the aircraft. Following testing a further decision was made to actually bring the aircraft on charge as A9-8.

25Feb29 Embarked on HMAS Albatross at Corio Bay VIC for sea duty with No.101 (FC) Flight. Performed various Fleet Duties with HMA & HMNZ Fleet elements during the period 27Feb to 12Aug 1929. Duty included long cruises to several Australian Eastern states, Papua New Guinea, selected Pacific Islands and New Zealand. During this time A9-8 and her five sisters performed numerous fly pasts and displays as part of the ceremonial duties inherent in every RAN Fleet Cruise. Between the different Fleet deployments the embarked aircraft were returned to Richmond or Point Cook for servicing or repair.

Jan 1930 One of six Seagulls embarked on HMAS Albatross with 101 (FC) Flight for the 1930 Summer Fleet Cruise. The Fleet departed Sydney 28Jan for Hobart and Storm Bay where exercising was carried out until the Fleet returned to Sydney via Jervis Bay on 10April.

23Oct30 Slightly damaged when landing near HMAS Albatross. Pilot FLGOFF C. Thompson.

00May30 One of six Seagulls embarked on HMAS Albatross for the 1930 Winter Cruise to Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Mandated Territories. Apart from Fleet work the aircraft was used for Photographic Survey work in New Guinea and New Britain. The Cruise lasted until late Sep when the ship returned to Sydney and the aircraft returned to Richmond for servicing.

00Nov30 Embarked on HMAS Albatross for a short Cruise in Southern Waters visiting Melbourne, Hobart and a first ever visit to Adelaide.

00Nov30 Returned to RAAF Richmond at the completion of the 1930 season. Inspection of the aircraft revealed the sea environment had caused a rapid deterioration in the structural integrity of all Seagulls embarked on the HMAS Albatross over the past two years. Therefore a refurbishment and weight reduction program was developed and seven of the remaining eight Seagulls were put thru the program at Cockatoo Island Dockyard over a two year period commencing in January 1931.

03Mar32 On a flight from Ricketts Point Melbourne across Port Phillip Bay to Point Cook the engine overheated three times causing the aircraft to alight on every occasion. After 3rd landing waited for a motor boat to tow the aircraft to Point Cook. Crew of FLGOFF Pearce, O1347 PLTOFF H.F. Boss-Walker and A871 LAC R.G. Issell were uninjured.

1932-33 Embarked on HMAS Albatross to support HMA Fleet Cruises and exercises, with the aircraft being deployed back to Richmond whenever Albatross was in port for refit and /or supply. When Albatross was placed in reserve on 05 April 1933 all aircraft and personnel of No.101 (FC) Flight were relocated back to RAAF Richmond.

Jan34 Allocated to Munitions Supply Branch Workshops at Maribynong, Melbourne to undergo refurbishment.

Nov34 Received by Seaplane Training Squadron at 1FTS RAAF Point Cook, VIC.

05Nov34 Received by HQ Point Cook. Practiced mass formation flying for the next five days.

10Nov34 Together with A9-3, A11-1 & A11-2 led the RAAF massed fly past for the 1934 RAAF Laverton Air pageant held in honour of the Royal visit by HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

13Nov34 Ferried from Point Cook to Richmond via Junee and Goulburn on transfer to 101(FC) Flight.

26Nov34 Together with A9-3, A11-1 & A11-2 led the RAAF massed fly past for the 1934 RAAF Richmond Air pageant held in honour of the Royal visit by HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

Dec34 Serviced in preparation for deployment. New air speed indicator, compass and W/T equipment fitted.

15Jan35 Flown by O322 FLGOFF C.W. Pearce to Port Jackson and conducted W/T trials with the 13,072 ton P&O Line ship RMS Baradine off the NSW coast.

02Feb35 Embarked on HMAS Canberra for exercises in Jervis Bay. Pilot O322 FLGOFF C.W. Pearce.

23Feb35 Disembarked back to Richmond for repairs and servicing.

27Feb35 Embarked on HMAS Canberra, pilot O322 FLGOFF C.W. Pearce, for Summer Cruise to New Zealand via Norfolk Island. Aircraft was flown over Russell, Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf. Planned overflights of Wellington and Christchurch were abandoned due to stormy weather.

05Apr35 While cruising from NZ to Hobart the ship was caught in a Gale between NZ and Tasmania and the aircraft was severely damaged by gale force winds of unprecedented strength. The wings, struts, guy wires and any loose equipment were simply ripped from the aircraft leaving only the bare fuselage, engine and propeller.

09Apr35 Aircraft remains were off-loaded in Hobart and dispatched to Richmond by road, sea and rail.

18Apr35 Wreckage received at Richmond.

30Jun35 Aircraft SOC.

14Oct35 Hull and engine given to the East Sydney Technical College as a training aid.

1942 Was used for Engine Fitter Training at the College. Ultimate fate of the hull and engine are unknown but it is assumed they were dumped on the scrap heap at some stage.

A9-9

1922-23 One of 25 Mk.II Seagulls manufactured for the Royal Air Force by the Supermarine Aviation Works at their Woolston, Southampton factory.

1923-26 Served with the RAF then offered for disposal when the Seagull Mk.II was declared obsolete in August 1926. The asking price for such airframes was a mere 100 pounds, not the nearly 6,000 pounds the Australian Government had paid for each of the RAAF’s first six Seagull aircraft.

00Sep26 Ordered from RAF stocks.

00Dec26 Packaged for sea transport and shipped to Australia.

00Jan27 Arrived at Port Melbourne and transported to RAAF Base Point Cook for storage. Originally purchased as a source of spares for the RAAF Fleet but initial inspections after arrival at Point Cook showed the machines to be in exceptional condition so a decision was made to assemble and test the aircraft. Following testing a further decision was made to actually bring the aircraft on charge as A9-9.

1929-30 Aircraft was held on permanent alert from Sep29 - Apr30 to provide SAR support to fishing boats and other small marine craft on Port Phillip Bay. The Labour Government of the day wanted the RAAF to be seen to be supporting civil authorities.

22Jul30 Force landed off Point Cook – no damage. Pilot O27099 PLTOFF P.G. Graham and crew uninjured.

25Sep30 Crash landed at Point Cook – minor damage. Pilot O27099 PLTOFF P.G. Graham and crew uninjured.

1930-31 Aircraft was held on permanent alert from Sep30 - Apr31 to provide SAR support to fishing boats and other small marine craft on Port Phillip Bay.

18Mar31 Despatched to rescue a fisherman whose boat was seen drifting in Port Phillip Bay off Newport. The pilot FLTLT D. Ross quickly located the boat and alighted only to be told the fisherman was “drift” fishing and did not require rescuing!

1931-33 Used for pilot training and general duties by Seaplane Squadron Point Cook.

Jan1933 Technical Survey recommended aircraft to be used as a spares source for the remaining aircraft.

00Jan34 Approved for conversion to components.

31Jul34 Conversion to components completed.


SY 2020-05-30

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