VH-MJJ  Aero Commander 680F                                 (c/n  933-6)


                                  This Aero Commander was registered to M.J. Lawrence Holdings Pty Ltd  in March 1965 for use
                                  in the area of airborne geophysical surveys, as indicated by the magnetometer protruding from the
                                  tail.  I have darkened Greg Banfield's print of it (above) somewhat to try to bring up the rego which
                                  was painted on the fin in the same light hue (probably blue) as the trim.  This image was taken at
                                  Mascot on 15 March 1965 some 4 days prior to its official registration.  It had just arrived from
                                  the US where it had been registered N6108Y.    The titling under the cockpit states "Aero Service
                                  Ltd. - Australia'.    M. J. Lawrence Holdings was formed by Maurice J. "Morrie" Lawrence, one
                                  of the main players at Camden in the 1950s and early 60s.   He was a ground mechanic on light
                                  and heavy aircraft and ran several maintenance businesses at Camden, including Lawrence Eng-
                                  ineering Services which produced the 11 new-build Tiger Moths from spares, (c/ns LES-1 to -11).
                                  In the 50s Morrie set up an aerial mineral survey company named Sepal Pty Ltd, and became the
                                  Australian agency for World Wide Aerial Surveys and Fairchild Aerial Surveys in the USA.  Sepal
                                  was later sold off to rival Adastra Aerial Surveys.  M J. Lawrence Holdings and Aero Service Ltd
                                  operated as the Australian agency for the world's largest aerial survey company Aero Service Corp
                                  of Philadelphia, Pa.    VH-MJJ had an official change of ownership on 13 August 1965 when it was
                                  transferred to subsidiary company Gale Air Pty Ltd.    Seen below is a close up from another shot
                                  taken by Greg in 1966 showing the Commander with different corporate titling, viz: "Gale Air Pty
                                  Ltd - in association with  Aero Service Ltd (Bahamas)".  I suspect the Bahamas bit was Morrie
                                  being cute with DCA who were giving him a hard time about operating American owned aircraft
                                  under his Australian Airwork licence.    The words 'Bahamas', 'British Virgin Islands' or  'Cayman
                                  Islands' always give the connotation of something fishy going on (tax-wise) ..........which probably
                                  was not the case here!      VH-MJJ made several trips to New Zealand, New Guinea and Japan
                                  before being exported in 1968 to Korean subsidiary Asia Aero Survey Company, as HL-2017.