A4 – unidentified aircraft.

I have been sent this picture, and the number seems to be A4-11.

It seems unlikely that the picture below is of a Sopwith Pup, because the A4-11 pup was supposedly destroyed in 1922, see http://www.adf-serials.com/ - extract below



Shipped on SS Barambah 24/12/18 from UK, arrived Melbourne 02/19 and ready for inspection at CFS ARS 29/04/19. 
To ‘B’ Flt HT Sqn 21/10/19. 
ARS to AAC ‘A’ Flt CFS 20/04/20 to at least 10/20. 
To 1 FTS AAF 31/03/21, became A4-11. 
Approved for conversion to components 29/03/22.

And there is no evidence of Pups ever having been seaplanes.

The second series A-4 title was first allocated to the single Tugan Gannet which was briefly in the RAAF in 1935 as A4-1, but it was not a seaplane and I think it was destroyed in a crash in bushland. See this article, originally http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/131760/20120120-0944/www.nla.gov.au/pub/nlanews/2007/oct07/story-2.pdf

Seaplanes which could have been in Point Cook in 1936 include the Seagulls (A2, second series), that are listed in A2 - Supermarine Walrus on http://www.adf-serials.com/ but no crash lis listed on this site that corresponds to the information we have about the picture, which is this:

Email received Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM from Ada Ackerly, secretary of the Williamstown (Victoria) Historical Society Inc.

A few days ago I discovered an envelope in the back of a cupboard at our museum. We are sorting 60 years of documents and photos, in boxes, plastic bags, stowed in drawers and cupboards etc to ready them for digitisation and/or copying.

This envelope contained a set, not of acetate negatives, but PAPER negatives, all marked 1936.

I scanned and photo-shopped these into positives and found two images, taken at a Ports and Harbours pier at Williamstown, with a work barge tied up to the pier, unloading something to be put on a wheeled flat tray on the pier. The gantry's ropes had become tangled and the tackle appeared to be fouled.

We first thought it was a flat item on the end of the rope, but increasing the contrast, etc and enlarging up mamy times, we got an A4 print of a part of the original photo about the size of a 5 cent piece.

We believe what is being winched out of the work barge is the tail part of a plane with folded over rudder. On the tail piece rudder appears "A4-11" The year of the photo, as I said, is 1936.

I checked newspapers on "Trove" internet site and found the following:
"Wednesday 3rd of June  Yesterday an airforce seaplane crashed into the sea at Altona. The pilot waded ashore unhurt"

Another of the paper negatives showed what I believe may be an RAAF crash or rescue boat with airforce insignia on the bow, tied up at the Gem Pier at Williamstown, again, dated 1936. A co-incidence? Taken with the same paper negatives. I believe the photographer was experimenting with a roll of sensitized paper in his camera instead of film, so all taken in the same timespan in 1936.

Here are Ada’s photos:


An enlarged section from the above picture is printed at the top of this page.

The crash boat: