VH-BBZ   (1)    Avro 652A  Anson 1


                                  These two rare images (above and below) are from the Geoff Goodall collection and show VH-BBZ
                                  following a crash at Kerowagi, Papua New Guinea in May of 1949. 
                                  Geoff provides the background history on VH-BBZ, viz:
                                  The Anson was ex RAAF DJ177, sold by Commonwealth Disposals Commission at their Anson sales
                                  at RAAF Maryborough, Qld on 4 November 1946 to Harry Ellis, Shermans Motors, Dubbo NSW.
                                  It was not collected by purchaser until April 1947 and never left Maryborough, being acquired by a
                                  local mechanic there, Joe Vine. Joe did the CofA conversion and it was registered VH-BBZ in July
                                  1948 to Joseph C. Vine trading as Air Maintenance of Maryborough.   On the Registration Appli-
                                  cation forms to DCA Joe wrote "to be based in New Guinea", indicating he already had a purchaser
                                  for the Anson.  In September 1948 came a change of ownership to Ben Hall of Madang who traded
                                  as Halls Charters and Sepik River Trading Co, equipped with Dragons.   Qantas Empire Airways was
                                  buying out the small operators in New Guineas at the time and bought out Ben Hall, who handed
                                  VH-BBZ over to QEA on 4 February 1949.  (Surely the only Anson ever owned by Qantas!).   On
                                  11 May 1949 -BBZ crashed on takeoff from Kerowagi, New Guinea: swung off the runway during
                                  a downwind takeoff and the undercarriage struck a drain and collapsed.   Pilot Neville Mitchell who
                                  had flown the Anson previously for Ben Hall received minor injuries.   He went on to set up Mitchell
                                  Aerial Services at Cairns in the 1950s.   A surprising number of Ansons were employed in the harsh
                                  conditions of New Guinea in the 1940s and 1950s.  Surprising, that is, considering what damage the
                                  extremely humid climate could do to this wooden airframe, not mention the termites.    Many (most)
                                  of the strips were undeveloped and it is to the Anson's credit that they were able to provide a modicum
                                  of air service to these remote outposts at all.