The Charles Ohlson Collection of Aviation Photos c.1928-1942

Charles Ohlson was an aircraft engineer who joined the pre-War Ansett Airlines. It is believed that he was initially employed at Essendon by Matthews Aviation or Hart Aircraft Services, during which time he carried out work for Ansett on their aircraft. Reg Ansett subsequently offered him a job and he may have been the first Licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineer employed by the company. During the War, Charles Ohlson was in charge of one of the two Ansett hangars at Essendon where military aircraft were repaired.

This page catalogues the Charles Ohlson Collection of Aviation Photos, held in the Civil Aviation Historical Society archives. The 84 images, many of which depict early Ansett aircraft or activities, span the period from 1928 to about 1942. After his death in 2005, the Collection was given by Charles Ohlson's family to a former neighbour who is also a CAHS member in the hope that he could pass them on to a suitable repository.

A few of the prints had some information on the reverse, but for the most part historical detective work has enabled the catalogue dates and descriptions below to be arrived at.

Below: Ansett mechanics A. Davies and Charles Ohlson in front of Percival Gull Four G-ACJV Miss Southern Cross at Melbourne/Essendon in 1933. This aircraft was used by Sir Charles Kingsford Smith to set a new England-Australia record of 7 days 4 hours and 44 minutes in October 1933. The aircraft later became VH-CKS.

(Photo: CAHS/Charles Ohlson Collection #2A)

Ohlson collection < Click on the icon at left to download a contact sheet of the images in the Ohlson collection (3.5MB .pdf file)
RefNeg or PrintRegistrationTypeLocationDatePeople Comments
1Ap NC1985Fokker FVIIb-3mEssendon1928crew in crowd Southern Cross later VH-USU
1Bp Essendon1928Edward Warner
1Cp NC1985Fokker FVIIb-3mEssendon 1928 Southern Cross later VH-USU
1Dn NC1985Fokker FVIIb-3mEssendon1928Southern Cross landing
2ApG-ACJV Percival GullEssendon 1933 Charles Ohlson & A. DaviesMiss Southern Cross, later VH-CKS
2Bn G-ACJVPercival GullEssendon1933 Miss Southern Cross, later VH-CKS
2CnG-ACJV Percival GullEssendon 1933 Miss Southern Cross, later VH-CKS: Sopwith Gnu VH-UBY in background
2D -      
3A pn  Avro X & DH60 MothEssendon1933  view of taxying Moth from Avro cockpit
3B p Avro X Essendonc.1933 unidentified Avro + Spartan Arrow G-ACDW in hangar
3Cp  aerialc.1930s unidentified view of countryside from air
3Dp G-ACDW Spartan Cruiser Melbourne aerial1934  view of Melbourne from air
4ApVH-UMGAvro XEssendon c.3/33-8/35 "Tasman" - Hart Aircraft Service - view of stbd Lynx (date on photo incorrect)
4Bp Avro XEssendon?c.30s unidentified Avro X in hangar - DH60 in background
4Cp  Avro XEssendon1935Charles Ohlson in centreunidentified Avro X in hangar
4DnVH-UMIAvro XEssendonc.2/30-2/33 undercarriage collapse - later became VH-UXX
5Apn VH-UPLJunkers F.13lEssendonc.11/30-11/31 reg to Sky Travel of Brisbane - sold in South Africa 11/31
5BpVH-UPL? Junkers F.13l Essendonc.11/30-11/31  probably VH-UPL departing
5CpnVH-UPLJunkers F.13l Essendonc.11/30-11/31 engine running front shot
6ApVH-ABPPorterfield 35/70Hamilton, Vic  aircraft crashed
6BpVH-ABPPorterfield 35/70Hamilton, Vic   aircraft crashed
6CpVH-ABPPorterfield 35/70Hamilton, Vic   aircraft crashed
6D p VH-ABPPorterfield 35/70Hamilton, Vic   aircraft crashed
7An VH-UXM?Airspeed AS.6H Envoy IHamilton? c.10/36-44 aircraft on trestles in hangar - probably an early shot
7B n VH-UXM? Airspeed AS.6H Envoy IHamilton?c.10/36-44unidentified mechanicengine with mechanic
7C nVH-UXM?Airspeed AS.6H Envoy IHamilton?c.10/36-44unidentified group of mechanicsgroup of mechanics
7DnVH-UXM? Airspeed AS.6H Envoy IHamilton?c.10/36-44 aircraft landing
8A pVH-UXM? Airspeed AS.6H Envoy IHamilton?c.10/36-44unidentified mechanicsaircraft in hangar - probably an early shot
8Bpn VH-UXMAirspeed AS.6H Envoy IEssendon? c.10/36-44 aircraft in hangar - probably a later shot
8CpVH-UXM?Airspeed AS.6H Envoy I  c.10/36-44 aircraft in flight - silhouette
8Dp VH-ADNDe Havilland DH86 ExpressEssendon c.10/7/40 -11/40 aircraft in hangar: overhauled by Ansett for RAAF - became A31-2
9AnnVH-UZPLockheed 10B ElectraHamilton?c.10/37-5/46 double neg - aircraft in hangar front on and engine - probably early shot
9B n VH-UZPLockheed 10B ElectraHamilton?c.10/37-5/46 aircraft taking off
9C p VH-ABPPorterfield 35/70Hamilton, Vic  aircraft crashed
9D pnA31-2De Havilland DH86 ExpressEssendonc.11/40 ex VH-ADN: overhauled by Ansett
10An  Essendon unidentified groupgroup on Ansett Airways stairs in front of terminal/hangar
10Bp Monospar?Essendon? Charles Ohlson & unidentifed mechanictwo mechanics with broken Gipsy in front of Monospar?
10Cp De Havilland DH89 Dragon RapideHamilton? Charles Ohlsonaircraft in hangar
10Dn     unidentified mechanic 
11A pnVH-URDDe Havilland DH84 Dragon IEssendonc.8/33-7/34 Tasmanian Aerial Services flag on fin (Holymans)
11B pnVH-UUBDe Havilland DH86 ExpressEssendon?c.9/35-11/36 Holymans Airways flag on fin
11CpVH-USYDouglas DC-2Essendonc.4/36-12/47 aircraft in hangar - being assembled?
11DpnVH-ABRDouglas DC-3 Essendonc.1935 early cowls
12Ap VH-UPRDessouter IIon roadc.33?  aircraft dismantled on back of truck - following crash 3-7-33 at Sale?
12BnVH-UPR & VH-UPSDessouter IIEssendon? c.12/30-12/31  VH-UPS sold in Canada 12-31
12CpnVH-UPRDessouter II Essendon1933 with Hart Aircraft Service
12Dp De Havilland DH60Essendon?  aircraft destroyed by fire
13AnVH-UICDe Havilland DH60Essendonc.12/29-3/33  Owned by 1st ANA, Sydney. Hawk Moth in background.
13Bn  variousEssendon  appears to be an aerial pageant or airshow
13Cninc VH-UBYvariousEssendon  appears to be an aerial pageant or airshow
13Dninc VH-UAA, VH-UBZ, VH-UNWvarious Essendon  appears to be an aerial pageant or airshow
14An  De Havilland DH86 ExpressEssendon  aircraft taking off
14BnpVH-UKVDe Havilland DH60 MothEssendon1930 aircraft in Hart Aircraft Service hangar with other Moths
14C n VH-ULCDe Havilland DH60 MothEssendonc.30-33   
14DnVH-ULCDe Havilland DH60 MothEssendonc.30-33   
15Anp De Havilland DH60 MothEssendon  cabin Moth?
15Bn De Havilland DH60 Mothaerial   air to air
15C p VH-ULBDe Havilland DH60 MothEssendon1935 aircraft crashed - ex VT-AAR
15Dp VH-ULBDe Havilland DH60 MothEssendon1935  aircraft crashed - ex VT-AAR
16AnpVH-UFXFarman SportEssendon24/11/1930 aircraft crashed
16BnVH-UBZAirco DH4Essendonc.30-40   
16CnpG-ABHDSpartan ArrowEssendon1931 became VH-UQD
16DpVH-UPNDe Havilland DH80A Puss MothEssendon1930  
17AnVH-UNVSaro A.17 Cutty SarkEssendonc.4/30-6/37  
17BpVH-UPBSaro A.21 WindhoverEssendonc.12/31-5/36   
17CnpVH-UVCComper Swift CLA-7Essendon 1935 ex G-ACAG: CAB DH60s VH-UAL & VH-UHS in background
17DnG-ABREComper Swift CLA-7 Essendon Arthur Butler  
18An Bristol BulldogEssendon    
18BnpG-AECBGAL Monospar ST.18 CroydonEssendonc.9-10/36 ref Flypast 7-10-36
18Cn Douglas SBD DauntlessEssendonc.42 aircraft in hangar
18DnpVH-UNWDe Havilland DH75 Hawk MothEssendonc.4/30-1/35 ex G-AAFX
19An Stinson Model A Tri-MotorEssendon  DH60 Moths VH-UKN & VH-UHR in background outside Aero Club building
19Bp Stinson Model A Tri-MotorLismore, NSW?18/4/-?   
19Cp Stinson Model A Tri-MotorEssendonc.35 DH60 Moth VH-UHR in background
19DnVH-UXWTaylor J-2 CubEssendonc.5/37-28/6/39 In hangar: Airspeed Envoy in background (VH-UXM?)
20A npP6878Airspeed OxfordEssendon  port side
20BnpP6878Airspeed OxfordEssendon  front
20Cnp P6878Airspeed OxfordEssendon  stbd side
20DnpA3-15CAC CA-6 Wackett TrainerEssendon?   in hangar
21An  Avro 652 Anson IEssendon    
21Bp Avro 652 Anson I  unident Ansett mechanics?aircraft undergoing assembly?
21CnpA4-47Avro 652 Anson IEssendon    
21Dn T5531De Havilland DH82 Tiger MothEssendon  outside Ansett hangar - DH82s T5523 & T5558 In background

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Click for Ohlson collection contact sheet