Monday, 4 August 2014

Howard DGA-15 ZK-AHP

This Howard DGA-15P (DGA meaning Darned Good Airplane) ZK-AHP c/n 535 was imported into NZ as NC22436 in July of 1942 by the Superior Oil Company and gained a NZ CofA on 02-10-1942.
It was however "impressed" into military service by the USAAF as a UC-70 Nightingale on 09-06-1943 and allocated the US serial 44-32667 and intended for use by the US Military Attaché.
 (Now that seem odd to me - Impressed in mid 1943 but given a 1944 s/n !)[see comments].

How about it being leased by the US Attaché in NZ;  given the US military s/n of 42-43627; then later being impressed and given a new military s/n 44-32667 !.
Did it in fact ever wear these military marks ?
I suspect not as in these photos it still appears to wear the Superior Oil markings,
There is the story that it was wanted by the Commanding Officer of 42 Squadron in about May of 1945 - but the aircraft was not taken on charge by  the RNZAF due to its "one off" lack of spares situation.
It was stored in Wellington and sold to the Civil Aviation Administration and registered as ZK-AHP on 31-07-1946.
It was destroyed in a fire at the Centennial Building at Wellington on 25-09-1946 along with a couple of Air Force Tiger Moths and Hawker Tomtit airframes.

There is also the theory that it was acquired for New Zealand National Airways
 Corporation (Union Airways !) for its South Island 'bush services' in 1946.

 The above photo comes from the Ed Coates collection.
And below comes from Caribou's "dad's photo album and was taken at Milson airport "about 1945"
It would appear that the photographs were taken on the same day !
Below we have a third shot of ZK-AHP. This one from the Peter Lewis collection.
Finally another shot from Caribou's Dads collection.


  1. The US government fiscal year for 1944 began July 1, 1943.


    Now that seem odd to me - Impressed in mid 1943 but given a 1944 s/n !)

  2. Drat.
    Forgot about that.

  3. however going by the details provided it was impressed some 22days prior to the July 1 for it to be in the 1944 fiscal year

    1. According to the AMC 'Index', this one-off USAAF serial was allocated to a Howard C-70 that was leased ('LSD'). No program, no contract number, and no date quoted, and the aircraft card is missing from microfilm ACR-103.

      Given the circumstances of the 'lease' (it was definitely not 'impressed'), it was probably an admin catch-up or perhaps the first they had heard about it at Wright-Patterson.

      The lack of a card could mean that the aircraft never came on strength in any formal sense, or maybe the attaché never got round to providing any more details.

      The allocation of a serial, which looks like a late 1943 entry, was maybe only a means to pay for the lease.

      -JW, with acknowledgements to CRS

  4. Thanks JW and CRS.
    That clears the mud a little.