Douglas C-47 Skytrain Buzz Buggy is set to make a commemorative flight from Bathurst to Guilin in China, crossing "The Hump" as it recreates the many supply flights the C-47s made from Burma to Kunming during WWII.
Buzz Buggy–registered VH-XUX–is scheduled to leave Darwin on 16 August, arriving in Guilin around 22 August, where it will be delivered to the Flying Tiger Heritage Park and Museum.
The flight route takes the aircraft from Bathurst and Longreach to Darwin, before setting out across South-east Asia and crossing the mountain range ("The Hump") from Mandalay in Myanmar (Burma) to Kunming in China on or around 21 August.
During WWII, 600 Allied Aircraft were lost crossing the Himalayas to supply the Flying Tigers in China. Japan controlled the entire coast of China, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and then Burma.
With the loss of the Burma Road, "Flying the Hump" was the only option to re-supply the forces fighting the Japanese from within China. This was one of the most dangerous flying routes at the time. The DC-3 and C47 aircraft were the primary aircraft tasked with this operation.
The timing of this flight is most critical, because at this moment, the USA, in cooperation with Myanmar, is conducting a MIA search and rescue mission for the remains of the 600 aircraft and 740 American crew members and other nationalities lost.
VH-XUX served with the RAAF in WWII as A65-41. It was sold to MacRobertson Miller Airlines in 1949 and re-registered as VH-MMF. Its civilian career included service with Ansett in PNG, Air Tasmania and Forestair.
It was withdrawn from service in the 1980s and stored at Essendon before being moved to Camden for restoration in 2000.
The aircraft returned to airworthy condition as VH-XUX, making its first post-restoration flight in November last year.
The aircraft is currently in D-day markings as U5 42-100550 Buzz Buggy, but will be repainted in China-Burma-India livery for display in Guilin.
The flight of VH-XUX can be followed from 16 August on the Flying the Hump website.
– historical information is from ADF-Serials.