Lockheed 12A N12EJ

Lockheed 12A N12EJ, c/n 1203

Photographed at Bartow, FL, 7.4.92

© V.N. Smith, 1992

Available for use without charge if credited

This Lockheed 12A was bought by the British Government to be used on illicit photo-reconaissance flights using the business interests of the Australian pilot Sidney Cotton as a cover. After being damaged during a German raid on Heston Airport. it was shipped to the United States, repaired and sold to the New Zealander, Lowell Yerex, who operated a number of airlines in Central America. Returning to the United States in 1948, it survives to the present day

Sources: "Aviator Extraordinary" by Sidney Cotton
"Yerex of TACA" by David Yerex, 1985
Federal Aviation Authority (USA) and Civil Aviation Authority (UK) archives
RAF Museum archives
Public Record Office files

Back to the Home Page

All dates quoted are dd/mm/yy, not all wartime flights are known
Lockheed 12A - Construction number (c/n) 1203
1.10.36 Became NC16077 to Lockheed Aircraft Corp., Burbank, CA two 450hp P&W Wasp
Junior SB2 engines, s/ns 505 and 506
3.10.36 Continental Oil Co., Ponca City, OK
31.10.36 Accident near Hunt, TX, repaired by makers, total flying time (f/t) 70.50 hours
3.37 Repaired by Spartan School of Aeronautics, Tulsa, OK
4.37 RCA radio compass installed by Booth-Henning Inc, Love Field, Dallas, TX
18.6.37 Inspected at Tulsa, OK, 151.20 hours f/t
9.8.38 Inspected, 518.05 hours f/t, engine s/ns 491, 520,
(Reportedly owned by Herschbach Drilling Co. - not in FAA file)
24.4.39 U.S. marks cancelled, sold by Gillies Aviation Corp. to F. Sidney Cotton,
London, England, U.S. Export CofA E.4978, 658.49 hours f/t
28.4.39 Shipped from U.S.A. on S.S. "Aquitania"
Assembled by Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft Ltd., Eastleigh, Southampton, painted
light green for camouflage reasons
11.5.39 Local flight at Southampton, Cotton, R.H. Niven (also all other pre-war flights
unless shown), to Heston same day
15.5.39 Became G-AFTL, Certificate of Registration No.9098 to British Airways Ltd.
as a cover
Returned to Cunliffe-Owen for installation of two 70 gallon tanks, work
completed by Airwork Ltd., Heston, AUW 11,300lb., range 1,600 miles, fuselage
hatches for F.24 cameras fitted
8.6.39 Aeronautical Research & Sales Corporation Ltd., Heston
11.6.39 Certificate of Validation No. V.195 issued
14.6.39 08.57 left Heston for Malta
15.6.39 Photo sortie over Sicily from Malta
16.6.39 Malta-Cairo via photo sortie over Dodecanese Islands
19.6.39 Cairo-Kamaran Island via photo sortie over Massawa, to Aden same day
20.6.39 Photo sortie over Italian Somaliland, second abortive sortie same day
21.6.39 Aden-Kamaran via photo sortie over Eritrea
22.6.39 Kamaran-Atbara via photo sortie over Massawa, to Almaza, Cairo same day, then
to Heliopolis, Cairo
24.6.39 Heliopolis-Malta via photo sortie over Libyan coast
25.6.39 Malta-Lyon-Heston
8.7.39 Le Bourget-Heston-Birmingham-Heston
12.7.39 Heston-Brussels-Heston
15.7.39 Local flight at Heston, to Ramsgate next day
At this period fitted with Leica cameras in the wings
26.7.39 Heston-Templehof, Berlin, returned next day, photo sorties on both flights
28.7.39 Heston-Brussels, Cotton, with C.G. Grey ("Aeroplane" editor), then to
Frankfurt, with Niven, Margaret Gilruth
29.7.39 Local flight from Frankfurt, Cotton, with Commandent of Templehof Aerodrome,
used to photograph Mannheim area
31.7.39 Frankfurt-Brussels, to Heston with Cotton only
5.8.39 Heston-Lempme (possibly Lympne ?)-Heston
13.8.39 Heston photo sortie over Jever aerodrome and Wangeroog, then Heston-
Le Touquet-Heston
17.8.39 Heston-Templehof, returned on 19th, photo sorties on both flights
19.8.39 Heston-White Waltham-Heston, Niven
22.8.39 Heston-Berlin, photo sortie
24.8.39 Berlin-Heston, the last private British aircraft to leave
Germany, photo sortie
26.8.39 Heston-Paris-Dinard-Heston
27.8.39 Photo sortie over Nordeney, Heliogoland and Sylt, Cotton, Niven and Miss Pat Martin
29.8.39 Photo sortie over Wilhelmshaven and Schillig Roads
4.9.39 Heston-Shoreham-Paris and return, Cotton and Winterbothom
12.9.39 Photo sortie to west coast of Ireland
15.9.39 Photo sortie to Flushing and Ymuiden, landed at Farnborough for photo processing
20.9.39 Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton, also on 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 30th
10.39 Attached to Photographic Development Unit, Heston, retained it's civil status
2.10.39 Heston-Farnborough-Heston, F/Lt Niven
7.10.39 Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton
12.10.39 Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Wing Commander Cotton, had photographed the
Belgian coast
16.10.39 Eastleigh-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton
18.10.39 Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton, also on 20th
9.11.39 France-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton
13.11.39 Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton
20.11.39 Heston-Challerange, France
24.11.39 Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton, last Farnborough logged movement
27.3.40 16.00, Heston via Shoreham to Dieppe (log of Observer Corps, No.19 Centre, Bromley)
12.4.40 Photo sortie from Heston along English south coast to test efficiency of aircraft
reporting system
18.4.40 Heston-France
9.5.40 Coulommiers-Heston
11.5.40 Meaux-Le Luc
12.5.40 Le Luc-Corsica-Le Luc
15.5.40 Le Luc-Coulommiers-Tigreaux-Heston
6.6.40 Flown to Le Luc, to Hyeres and Ajaccio, Corsica next day
8.6.40 Ajaccio-Le Luc-Coulommiers
9.6.40 Coulommiers-Chateauneuf, Orleans
11.6.40 Chateauneuf-Marseilles
14.6.40 Marseilles-Chateauneuf-Poitiers-Heston
15.6.40 Heston-Poitiers
16.6.40 Poitiers to Fontenoy-le-Conte, to La Rochelle, Le Luc, Poitiers and Fontenoy
17.6.40 Fontenoy-Chateaurroux-Bordeaux-Fontenoy-Jersey
18.6.40 Jersey-Heston
25.8.40 Certificate of Validation expired
19.9.40 22.55, badly damaged when a parachuted mine hit the hangar at Heston
Shipped to Lockheed, Burbank for rebuilding, sold
21.11.42 Became NX21707 to Lowell Yerex, 9 Rockefeller Plaza, NYC for a ferry flight
21.11.42 Flown from Burbank to Brownsville, TX
24.11.42 U.K. registration changed to Lowell Yerex, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
5.1.43 Became VP-TAI to British West Indian Airways, U.K. marks cancelled on the
same date
12.44 Withdrawn from service for major overhaul in USA
30.1.45 Weighed at Lockheed factory for Balance Report
10.4.48 Sold to Dan Hartman Airways Inc, Harrisonburg, VA, became N1161V
20.4.48 Dan Hartman and W. Clayton Lemon, Roanoke, VA
c5.48 Trinidad marks cancelled
21.10.48 Morrison Drilling Co. Inc., El Dorado, KS for $20,000
12.7.50 Old Dominion Box Co. Inc., Charlotte, NC
6.12.52 CofA renewed, 4,286.15 hours f/t
4.12.53 CofA renewed, 4,396.00 hours f/t
8.2.55 CofA renewed, 4,446.10 hours f/t
15.3.55 Gregory-Poole Equipment Co., Raleigh, NC
12.9.55 W. Clayton Lemon, Roanoke, VA
26.10.55 The Babb Co. Inc., Newark, NJ
1.3.56 CofA renewed, 4,546.50 hours f/t
29.5.58 M.M. Sundt Construction Co., Tucson, AZ (registered 23.7.59)
14.6.60 Hudgin Airservice, Tucson, AZ
21.10.60 Place & Place, Architects, Tucson, AZ
23.3.63 Arthur Eugene Magee, Tucson, AZ
24.2.64 Smyer Aircraft Co. Inc., Arkansas City, KA
25.5.69 George D. Rice and Dolores A. Rice, Corona, CA, approved for dropping
Landed wheels up (or u/c collapsed ?) in California
10.1.74 Arthur E. "Art" Scholl, dba Art Scholl Aviation, Riverside, CA, damage
Fitted with 3-bladed Hartzell propellers, approved 18.4.74
Used in Warner Bros film "Doc Savage", also in a NBC film on Amelia Earhart,
CBS "Spencer's Pilots" series and an EMI TV Howard Hughes film
19.1.78 Transferred to Special Purposes CofA, 5,994.5 hours f/t (possibly for
testing Nav Flite II autopilot installation)
27.4.78 Reverted to Standard CofA, 6,011.2 hours f/t
by 5.80 Based at Rialto, CA
1.83 Wind damage to tail section repaired
24.4.87 Judith A. Scholl, dba Art Scholl Aviation, Rialto, CA (after Art
Scholl's death while filming for "Top Gun")
13.3.90 Blackacre Land Co., Livingston, MT
10.7.90 Steve R. Oliver and Suzanne Asbury-Oliver, Forest Grove, OR
29.10.90 Became N12EJ, same owners
11.3.91 Seen at Space Centre Executive Airport, Titusville, FL, still marked N1161V
4.92 Seen at Barstow, FL as N12EJ
7.2001 Seen at Oshkosh, WI