Pre A-series:

Australian War Memorial Deperdussin article


RAAF Aircraft Series 1: 1921–34 consisted of 12 aircraft types as listed below. This site provides only some details on these aircraft that might be otherwise hard to find.

For basic information about individual aircraft visit the excellent site I have not included articles from Flight magazine: this is available online at - simply search the aircraft type, eg try ‘RAAF Wapiti”. There is some good Australian stuff and excellent British stuff on this site.




A3 AVRO 504. 2

A4 was the listing given to the SOPWITH PUP. There were 11 aircraft of this type but the Wills collection has no information on them. According to they were all disposed of during the early 20s. They were not popular: see this article from Trove.

But if you like a challenge, Ada Ackerly, secretary of the Williamstown (Victoria) Historical Society Inc has sent a picture of what appears to be an aircraft wreck with A4-11 on the tail. It is not a Pup, but what is it?. 3

A5 Vickers Vimy – one aircraft 3 - the famous G-EAOU of Ross and Keith Smith


A6: DH-9 in RAAF service.. 5







And also something on the Wackett Widgeon, 1925 and 1930, and the Wackett Warrigal 1930 :see Wackett page


The main difference between the DH-9 and the DH-9A was the engine, the 9A having the 400 hp US-designed Liberty engine and the 9 having usually a 210 hp Siddeley Puma engine. The RAAF had 32 9As and 30 9s. This site does not provide definitive information on which was which, and the newspaper records are sometimes ambiguous. They are simply listed here as per their reported RAAF serial numbers. See

A1-General: DH-9 First RAAF aircraft at Richmond, picture of A1-30,

DH-9 search for Keith Anderson’s Kookaburra 1928 by A1-5 and A1-7 (returned to Laverton 18 May 1928),

DH-9 forced landing at Violet Town December 1926,

DH-9 Message picking up by Flying Officer Thornton, August 1926

A1 Larkin Aircraft refurbishment by Larkin Aircraft Factory for RAAF in 1928

A1-11 Racing DH-9 crash at Bulla Road, North Essendon, Flight-Lieutenant G Wells MC 30 July 1927

A1-16 Unidentified crash pictures involving DH-9 aircraft

A1-25 Crash in Sydney Harbour Flying Officer S de B Griffith with E ‘Buddy’ Cremer, Paramount Cinema photographer, welcoming RAF Southampton flying boats 1 August 1928

Miscellaneous DH-9 pictures


35 SE-5s were used by the RAAF.

A2-11 SE-5 Crash at Mansfield May 1927 Flying Officer Orm Denny

A2-16 unidentified SE-5 picture with truck-mounted direct starter

A2-19 Crash of Air Cadet Alexander Dix at Point Cook, February 14 1927

A2-24 Crash of 3 Squadron RAAF SE-5 at Canberra on 9 May 1927, death of Flying Officer Francis Charles Ewen, evidence given by Dr A J W Malcolm, medical officer, Constable G W Robinson, Flight-Lieutenant Ellis Charles Wackett, Flying Officer Sydney James Moir, Flying Officer Howard Howden Fletcher, before Coroner John Gale, aged 97. Use of parachute attempted. Message from King George V. Other mishaps at Canberra including Seagull amphibian.

A2-26 First SE-5 aircraft at Richmond June 1925

A2-28 Albert John Freeman Greenwood , crash of SE-5 near Point Cook, fourth fatal accident since the foundation of the RAAF, Parliamentary inquiry called for, explanation of ‘Why aeroplanes stall’

A2-32 Crash at Rockbank of SE-5 piloted by Pilot Officer T A Swinburne, uninjured, in sight of train carrying Prime Minister Bruce October 1925

A2 SE-5 general, photo of Duke of York inspecting Point Cook April 1927, escorted by Wing-Commander Cole, OC of Point Cook (spelt Point Cooke); ‘some of the fast SE-5 fighting planes’ pictured on July 20 described as being ‘inadequate for defence, but good enough for training’ by Chief of the Air Staff Group Captain Williams

A3 AVRO 504

62 of these were used by the RAAF.

Pictures of A3-4 preserved, photos and colour details 1986-99 with 1996 newspaper article

A3-28 Avro 504 crash March 25 1925 at Point Cook, killing instructor Pilot Officer Stewart E Mailer and injuring Cadet Officer A M Charlesworth, enquiry ordered by Flight Commander R Williams to be presided over by Squadron Leader H N Wrigley, the second fatal accident at Point Cook since its establishment in 1911. Second file on this subject

A3-49 Avro 504 pictures at Port Melbourne hangar, no details

A3 Avro 504 general photo and photo of ‘Mccoll’s crash, no further details

Crash at Coleraine (Avro 504?) in connection with Peace Loan, August 1920; Crash at Kyneton, Avro 504 with Clerget engine, publicising Peace Loan, 17 August 1920. The same incident reported by two local papers.

Crash at Launceston, Avro 540 H3036, later A3-17, in connection with Peace Loan, 25 August 1920

A3-45, unidentified photo

Avro 504 crash at Kiama, 14 June 1920

Miscellaneous Avro 504 pictures

Avro 504 circling Post Office tower, Sydney, September 1919


A4 Sopwith Pup. There were 11 aircraft of this type but the Wills collection has no information on them.


A5 Vickers Vimy – one aircraft

The only listed Vimy was the famous G-EAOU which was flown from Britain to Australia by Ross and Keith Smith in 1919. See


55 Wapitis were used by the RAAF.  A search on is particularly valuable for Wapitis.


A5-7  30 October 1935 Air Cadet Bryan Reginald Walker badly injured at Echuca while flying on cross-country exercises between Echuca and Deniliquin

A5-6 and A5-8  6 February 1933 collision at Point Cook killing Air Cadets Kenneth Aloysius Crispe of Reservoir, John Charles Bolton McDonnell of College Park SA (ex-pupil of St Peters College, buried at Bundoora)

A5-10 October 1932 crash near Daylesford, Flight Lieutenant Shields, Sergeant Langley and Air Mechanic Yorston on flight from Laverton, minor injuries only

A5-15 August 13 1935, Air Cadet Thomas John Laws killed at Point Cook (hit high-tension wires) ; Flight Lieutenant Gordon Rae (instructor) injured

A5-18 April 22 1935 (?), Air Cadet Lindsay Cyril Murray killed at Mt Egerton, near Ballarat

A5-19 9 September 1933 crash at Belmont aerodrome Geelong, aircraft from Laverton

A5-20 February 1931 Flying Officer H G Scoullar and Aircraftman J F Yourn killed during manoeuvres at Seymour Military Camp

A5-21 Flight Commander Charlesworth and Mr Cecil Johnson unhurt after crash between Moss Vale and Exeter on the Collingwood property of Mr A G Brown, flying from Richmond

A5-24 13 November 1932 Pilot Officer Mitchell crashed at Crowdy Head (Harrington), uninjured – see also this file

A5-25 August 1931 Pilot Officer R Dickson and Pilot Officer A H Cunningham uninjured, crash at Lake Corangamite, near Cressy

A5-30 8 May 1933, Pilot Officer P H Martin and Air Sergeant Meyers crash into Hawkesbury River at Richmond hit telephone wires while practicing forced landings, minor injuries

A5-31 16 April 1935 Flying Officer Clive Newtown Egerton killed at Werribee, statements by F W Walters and G I Russell, investigated by Wing Commander McNamara VC, and Wing Commander Harrison

A5-36 October 1932 crash at Point Cook, Flight Lieutenant H T Johnson and Sergeant V F Wagstaff with minor injuries. Article lists RAAF aircraft in use in 1932.

Other Wapiti stories:

New Wapitis for RAAF christened by Lady Ryrie, Wife of the High Commissioner for England, at Westland works at Yeovil, England, also see article for Flight Nov 38 1929, not scanned, search online at

A5-3 picking up messages from ground, 19 March 1931, display for members of the Institution of Engineers, Point Cook

A5-16 picking up messages from ground, 1925, Archerfield

A5-23 at Parafield, 1930, Pilot officer A B Gerrand, winner of air race

Miscellaneous Wapiti photos including one at Ceduna

Wapitis at Brisbane Jubilee celebrations 1935 – see also A5-16 above

A5 general. Westland Wapiti in RAAF service. Ski-equipped Wapitis not used in Antarctica: general use of Wapitis in Antarctica and in Arctic. A5-37 and A5-2 mentioned as regards use of skis and attempted rescue of American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth who had crashed his Northrop Gamma in Antarctica. 1935. DH Gipsy Moth A7-37 also mentioned: this aircraft did indeed rescue Ellsworth. (Article from Air International, December 1975, page 292)

General pictures of Wapitis, including A8-8 and a picture of a dismantled Wapiti on a truck.

RAAF display of Wapiti engine at motor show and cockpit diagram of Wapiti

RAAF display Wapitis at Laverton for presentation of prizes for Centenary Air Race by Duke of Goucester

Undated story, believed to be 1929. New record for flight from Melbourne to Sydney set by Squadron Leader H G Smart, Director of Air Force training. Smart, accompanied by Flight-lieutenant J McCauley, was attending a Citizen Air Force camp at Richmond. His record of 3 hours 45 minutes, average speed 165 mph, was ten minutes faster than another aircraft, flown by Air Commodore R Williams, chief of Staff. The previous record was held by Squadron Leader Hepburn in a DH-9a.

Air Survey from Broken Hill, August 1923. Those mentioned are Flying Officer A G Gerrand, Flight Sergeant Stewart, Flying Officer F J B Wright, Mr C T Madigan, lecturer in Geography at Adelaide University, and Aircraftsmen H Bain and L V Thomas.

Air Survey – Wapitis – probably A5- 7 and A5-8 leaving Laverton for survey work August 1929

1934 – Wapitis towing drogues over HMS Sussex in Jervis Bay for anti-aircraft practice

8 ½ pound practice bombs on a Wapiti

Parachutists from a RAAF Wapiti

1FTS Wapitis at Point Cook

Bombing practice at Point Cook

RAAF Wapitis on Aircraft cover, February 1932

A5-36 and a5-35, 26 August 1932: RAAF Wapitis at Maylands Aerodrome, Perth, having surveyed northern Australia for oilfields, in company with Dr Wollnough, geological adviser to the Commonwealth Government. The officer in charge was Flight Lieutenant A M Charlesworth

Wapitis in line abreast over Richmond 1934

A6: DH-9 in RAAF service

As mentioned above, he main difference between the DH-9 and the DH-9A was the engine, the 9A having the 400 hp US-designed Liberty Engine and the 9 having usually a 210 hp Siddeley Puma engine. The RAAF had 32 9As and 30 9s. This site does not provide definitive information on which was which, and the newspaper records are sometimes ambiguous. They are simply listed here as per their RAAF serial numbers.

A6-3 Crash of Cadet Clarence Charles Seach at Point Cook (spelt Point Cooke) on 27 October 1925 on property of Mr George Thirkell of Park Nook, Badger Creek, investigated by Constable Kennedy

A6-11 Crash of A6-11 at Point Cook, 12 March 1926. Cadet W S Hamilton, one of 30 university undergraduates, when taking off, hit a canvas hangar wrecking it and the machines inside, injuring Aircraftman C Roach.

A6-13 Fatal crash at Manor Railway station near Point Cook July 1 1926. Flying Officer William Arthur Holtham of Box Hill and his pupil Thomas Stuart Glendinning of Coburg (both killed) on the property of Mr Palmer. Aircraft listed as de Havilland 9A. Questions asked in Parliament by Mr Riley, Labour NSW, replied to by Minister for Defence Sir Neville Howse); Major Norman Brearley, Managing Director of WA Airways ltd was critical of the training process.

A6-15 Crash near Gundary Plains 3 miles from Goulburn 30 April 1928, inspecting a site for a new aerodrome. Flying Officer G Lord and Aircraftman Elnn. Aircraft flew from Richmond.

A6-17 Sergeant Ernest Brian Ebell killed in crash near the Ford motor works at Geelong. Expert opinion from Mr P Pratt of the Geelong Flying Service. Witness statements from Mr N McLure and McGrath, Official comment from secretary of the Air Board Major P E Coleman, comments on recent accidents.

. A6-23 and A6-5 crash at Melbourne Thursday April 21 1927, killed were Flight Lieutenant Robert Imrie Dines of Werribee, Flying Officer Vincent Harry Thornton, of St Kilda (RAF), Flight  Sergeant Hay, of Black Rock, Corporal Air Mechanic James Ramsden of Point Cooke in front of Duke of York

See also A6 general: Miscellaneous DH-9 pictures


118 Cirrus Moth aircraft were used by the RAAF. Many of these were sold or given to flying clubs

A7-8 Cirrus Moth: Crash at Cornwallis, near Richmond. Albert Charles Smith, a farmer of The Terrace, Windsor, was killed when the aircraft piloted by Sergeant Robert Sommerville crashed on him. Other witnesses A E Cordner and the farmer’s son Malcolm James Smith. Observer was Leading Aircraftman Millgate. Both airmen were injured and Sommerville was committed for trial after the coroner’s inquest conducted by Mr H L Johnson.

A7-10 Cirrus Moth: Crash on 5 January 1930 crash near Laverton, Flying Officer Ryan critically injured, his father who lived at Junee is also mentioned as is Flying Officer Simms who flew from Sydney to Junee, 280 air miles, in 105 minutes.

A7-12 Cirrus Moth: Crash on 25 February 1929 near Richmond NSW. Flight Lieutenant Anderson and Aircraftman Collesse injured. Collesse died on February 26. Anderson had severe left eye injuries.

A7-15 Cirrus Moth: Crash near Hilltop, Mittagong, Flying Officer Carroll and mechanic named Chadwick, statement made by Miss Bostock, postmistress of Hilltop (second page of this file)

A7-18 Cirrus Moth: Crash near Windsor: Pilot Flying Officer Baurosseau had minor injuries

A7-19 Cirrus Moth: crash near Wangaratta en route from Richmond NSW to Point Cook (spelt Point Cooke): Flying Officer Herbert Warland of Caulfield killed, Flight-Lieutenant Thomas Anthony Swinburne of Caulfield badly burnt on hands and head, witness Norman McGuffie, reports form Constables Jeffers and Sparks, comment from Chief of Air Staff Air Commodore R Williams, investigation by Professor Payne, chairman of Air Accidents Investigation Committee.

A7-21 Cirrus Moth: First night flying demonstration in illuminated plane given by Squadron-leader Smart. Aircraft was A7-21 but now owned by Australian Aero Club, represented by Mr S W Dobson. Date not clear, probably 1929.

A7-22 Cirrus Moth: Crash near Laverton. Pilot was Flight Officer (sic) H E Sharp badly injured. Picture of aircraft

A7-24 Moth seaplane hit submerged rock and sank in Davies Bay, Frankstown, Saturday 6 January 1933, pilot Flying Officer D A Connelly, passenger Pilot Officer A M Murdoch, they swam ashore landing at the private jetty between the properties of Mr A H Sargood and Major General H W Grimswade. Recovered by a party led by Flying Officer Heffernan. Murdoch was the son of Colonel T M Murdoch, Defence Department director of works. In a second crash, this time piloted by (now) Flying Officer A M Murdoch, on 1 June 1934,the plane was completely destroyed at Altona Bay. Passenger was Air Cadet A F Bandidt. Leading Aircraftman Whiffen dived to attach lifting gear. Mr Frank Sibarros of Altona also assisted the rescue. Description given by Mr William Grover and Mr B Porter of Altona. (original file not available).

A7-26 Cirrus Moth seaplane photo

A7-28 Cirrus Moth: Crash at Mascot, taking off for Richmond NSW. Squadron Leader Jones, 3 squadron, with cadet Charles Candy who was the pilot, under instruction, April 1932

A7-29 Cirrus Moth: Crash at Wagga during aerial pageant, competing in balloon-bursting competition, Flying Officer R A Holmwood injured

A7-31 Cirrus Moth: Collision at Point Cook with A6-9 pm Wednesday 9 December 1936. Air Sergeant Robert Frederick Somerville, flying the Moth, died the same day. Flight Lieutenant Charles Douglas Candy flying the Avro survived. Squadron Leader F M Bladin, commanding officer of the Flying School and Flying Officer Jerrold Robert Fleming and Air Cadet Walter Bruce Skinner gave evidence.,

A7-33 crash picture no details


A7-40 Cirrus Moth: July 22 1937 loss of seaplane on training flight from Rye to Point Cook, missing crew were Pilot Officer Walter Yde and Pilot Officer Charles Alexander Houston. Also mentioned are Flying Officer Lansell, the disappearance of Pilot Officer E J Eagerty lost in a Bulldog fighter on March 23

A7-41 Cirrus Moth: Search plane crashed at Alice Springs January 1931. On 6 December 1932 in the same plane General Blamey’s son Flying Officer Charles Middleton Blamey was killed in a crash at Richmond. Airman Plumb escaped with minor injuries

A7-42 Cirrus Moth: Forced landing at Iona, Gippsland, occupants uninjured.

A7-43 Cirrus Moth: A7-43 and A7-51 crashed at Essendon while formation landing. A7-51 was piloted by Flight Lieutenant F R W Scherger with Sergeant Cooper as passenger and A7-42 was flown by Squadron Leader Summers. A third, flown by Flying Officer F Wright landed safely.

A7-47 Cirrus Moth: Flown by P E Heffernan 19 September 1935 at Preston Tattoo, night flying

A7-51 see A7-43

A7-68 Cirrus Moth: crashed at Point Cook, Flying Officer Peter McDonough killed, Air Cadet John Costello with minor injuries, Thursday 24 November 1938

A7-69 Cirrus Moth: crashed at Point Cook April 18 1936. Eyewitness Mrs Thelma Morgan. Comment by Wing Commander H F de la Rue and Squadron Leader Francis Bladin, commander of the cadet squadron, before the coroner Mr Tingate. Details of funeral given.

A7-74 Cirrus Moth: crashed at Point Cook 29 January 1942 – Empire Air Training Scheme students, Pilot Officer M A O Olive and Pilot Officer R M Beaumont both killed

A7-117 Cirrus Moth: picture of trainees, April 1941

A7-120 Cirrus Moth: Crash at Evans Head – Sergeant Pilot William Laws of Sarina killed Monday 24 November 1941. Laws was educated at Mt Carmel College, Charters Towers, Christian Brothrs College Mackay and Nudgee College, Brisbane. He was a final year science / medicine student.

A7 general: purchase of 10 Moth aircraft from de Havilland announced by Minister of Defence, Sir William Glasgow, eight to be buit in Australia, January 25 1928; picture of line up at Point Cook; inspection of No 68 Ground Staff Technical Squadron at Brisbane by Director of Air Training Corps

Miscellaneous moth pictures including A7-53 crash, A7-64, A7-83, A7-2, A7-3


There were two of these aircraft and the Wills collection only mentions A8-1

A8-1 Crash at Armidale NSW. Group Captain Williams, chief of the Air Staff, leading an aerial survey of Australian landing grounds, crashed while taking off. No-one was injured.


9 of these aircraft were listed in the A8 serial range. This website does not discuss the relationship between these aircraft, the RAAF, the RAN, and HMAS Albatross, Australia’s seaplane carrier. For more information see

A9-4: Seagull crash at Norfolk Bay, Tasmania, on 10 March 1930. Wireless operatof Donald McGowan was killed, and Pilot Officer A E Grant (pilot) and Lieutenant J D Elliot were injured. The aircraft was ‘spotting’ for HMAS Australia which was bombarding the Isle of Caves. Comments from Lieutenant Commander G R Deverell amd Squadron Leader Scriven. Includes pictures of A9-4.

A9-6 picture of Seagull in 1929 Air Force exercises

A9 survey of Barrier Reef. Undated picture of three Seagulls under Flight Lieutenant A E Hempel

A9 Seagull aircraft and HMAS Albatross in exercises involving an attack on Melbourne

A9 Seagull report of test flight June 1926 – sorry, very poor original!

Miscellaneous Seagull pictures


There were only 6 of these aircraft.

Miscellaneous Fairey IIID RAAF photos.


Two examples served in the RAAF. For their background see

A11: introduction and arrival of Supermarine Southamptons

A11-1 Supermarine Southampton arrival in Adelaide and its capsize at Osbourne Friday June 22

A11-2: Supermarine Southampton piloted by Squadron Leader A K Hempel flying over Melbourne leading a formation of 24 RAAF aircraft during a loans demonstration sometime in the early 1930s 12 December. Also mishap to A11-2 while carrying Sir John Salmon, visiting RAF officer advising the RAAF. Aircraft’s trailing radio aerial hit electric wires at Manly August 1928. Pilot was Flight Lieutenant Briggs. Also forced landing at Lake Reeves, near Seaspray, Gippsland 10 April 1934. Also mentioned Wireless Operator Aircraftman Clark, Flight Lieutenant Carr, Sergeant Spooner, Sergeant Martin.

A11-2 Survey flight of Supermarine Southampton under Squadron Leader A E Hempel Forced landing at Dengarra then returned to Geraldton, Note on survey of mail route 27 June 1935. Picture of aircraft at Mossman, Queensland.11 February 1936

Miscellaneous Southampton pictures including parachute training.


8 of these aircraft were acquired by the RAAF and the Wills collection has a considerable amount of material on them.

A12-1 and A12-2: Bristol Bulldog weather survey flight over Melbourne 1933

A12-2 Bristol Bulldog crash 22 April 1938 at Richmond NSW killing Pilot Officer Lance Sutherland: Ansons in picture

A12-3 Aerial Derby 9 May 1931 Bristol Bulldog at Moonee Valley racecorse, wins outright an air race, pilot C M Henry

A12-3 Bristol Bulldog Undated picture of night exercises over Preston in conjunction with Jubilee celebrations (1938?) Mechanics holding aircraft down while engines are run up

A12-4 Bristol Bulldog crash at Geelong, May 15 1930, the first parachute escape by Pilot Officer W G Rae. Report

A12-5 Bristol Bulldog flown by P G Heffernan flying over HMAS Brisbane going to Britain for break-up and replacement by HMAS Sydney 7 May 1935

A12-6 Bristol Bulldog forced landing at Newport near Geelong on flight from Point Cook, Flying Officer V G Heffernan 2 May 1936

A12-7 Bristol Bulldog crash of weather plane from Laverton, Pilot Officer Eric Vernon Read, December 14 1936, found the following day in Brisbane Ranges near Bacchus Marsh. Found by Mel and Bill Vanstan and Ray Graves assisted by Pilot Officer Wiley. RAAF doctor Flight Lieutenant Green and also Mrs S Bird of Balliang and Mrs Alex Kerr of Bacchus Marsh.

A12 Bristol Bulldog article about expedition to Brunette Downs mentioning Squadron Leader Johnnie Summers, a DH-50 of Australian Aviation Services, a subsidiary of the Larkin Aircraft Company describing a crash at the site. Also mentioned Alf Ashley and Flight Lieutenant White. Letter by Squadron Leader P Ashley, 5 ACS, Tindal.

A12 Bristol Bulldog being refuelled by from horse-drawn cart at Nhill, undated

A12 Bristol Bulldog General information on the Bulldogs including details of training, forced landing on Nullarbor Plain and spin recovery procedures. Author’s name not clear.

A12 Bristol Bulldog Miscellaneous pictures