Sopwith Pup C467/G-AUCK/VH-UCK
We have been fortunate to receive photos and information from two people on this aircraft although they differ in the identity of which Harry is in some of the photos. First 4 Photos and text come from Andy Murray Collection.The Pup was originally RAF serial C476 and was flown in combat over Egypt...C D Pratt of Geelong Air Service went to Egypt and bought the Pup in 1919... subsequently it was registered here on 28-06-21 as G-AUCK
The photo Gala day 1922 shows the pup is almost original shape...
The Pup was then laid up on Coode Island airstrip.....the next shot shows Harry (Herbert Joseph Larkin WW1 Ace) standing next to the now modified Pup (back of photo say he was part owner)
records show J L Roche of Murrumbeena an owner & later W Stillard of Deniliquin. Harry Larkin and his brother ran LASCO (aircraft etc) on Coode Island airstrip...
The Pup had now taken registration VH-UCK and modified for twin seats and the cowl around the engine had changed.
The third photo shows Harry (herbert) & a young Aviatrix called Gert, haven't been able to shed light on her (SEE BELOW) standing next to the pup on Coode Island...back of photo notes straight through axle, doughnut tyres, exhaust collection ring.
The second 10 photos come via Lawrence Roche along with this notation;
My name is Lawrence Roche and I live in North East Victoria. I have been doing some work on family history and reviewing / identifying aircraft in my father’s old photo albums, when I came across your website and the section on ‘Sopwith Pups / Other Pups With Australian Connections”.
My father, John (Jack) Roche purchased “UCK” from the Pratt brothers and was responsible for the conversion mentioned, together with Arthur Bone and Harry Moss. Harry was later to become a part owner.
The third photo you have on your website, is actually of Harry Moss standing beside the aircraft prior to its further mods to undercarriage, tyres, rudder and finally the front cockpit (which I believe was not approved by the Dept. at the time).
The fourth shot is of Gertie McKenzie and Harry Moss beside the aircraft at Coode Island. “Gertie Mack” as she was known, was well known in flying circles. She was a founding member of the Women Pilots Association and ran flying schools originally I think from Coode Island with branches at Shepparton and Benalla and then from Moorabbin till her retirement.
To the best of my knowledge, the “Pup” was always stored at Belmont Common, Geelong by the Pratts until purchased by my father. The conversion work was done weekends on the Belmont common utilising Pratts facilities as both Harry Moss and Arthur Bone lived in Geelong and worked for Ford Motor Co. on weekdays, with my parents commuting and staying with the Mosses on weekends.
I recall my father speaking of “LASCO” and the Larkins as they carried out routine maintenance work on different aircraft that my father owned and which he kept at Coode Island.
My father basically gave flying away after “UCK” was sold to Wally Stillard at Deny to concentrate on his printing business.
Arthur Bone was a specialist welder and it was he who did the fine work on engine mounts, exhausts and cowlings. He went on to work in aviation welding at Moorabbin till he retired.
Harry Moss moved to Darwin where he owned a Fox Moth in 1947 (VH-UTF) until he became the Northern Territory Medical Service pilot based in Alice Springs for many years. He then went on to the Solomon’s flying “Doves” for Megapode Airways till his next retirement. I flew with Harry on a number of occasions from Tyabb, following his return from the Solomon’s.
Colin Owers, of Historical Aircraft Archives at Boorowa NSW, was in touch with my mother and Harry Moss, and has done quite a lot of work researching and documenting the history of “UCK”.
Harry Moss, in his a book “10,000 Hours” has also documented his involvement with “UCK”.
I have attached a few photo’s relating to the “Pup” that may be of interest.