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Thread: WWII flights To Lisbon

  1. #241
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    "Landing op verzoek" = "Landing by request" (what I called "a request stop" in Post #239).
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 2nd July 2017 at 12:11.

  2. #242
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    The first KLM service to Hull actually arrived on 31 May 1934 (at 3.20 pm), then flying on to Liverpool where it stayed overnight before the return flight. This slightly amends the report in Post # 239.

    During the previous week, a number of dignitaries had flown out from Croydon to Amsterdam, in order to be aboard the inaugural flight to Hull.

    The KLM Fokker was piloted by Capt. Smirnoff, who took some of those welcoming its arrival on sightseeing flights over the city. There were connecting services and one of these arrived soon after the Fokker in the form of an Airspeed Courier. Earlier, there had been an aerobatic display by 57 (Bomber) Squadron from Upper Heyford, in their Hawker Harts. Also, 26 (Army Co-operation) Squadron came down from Catterick in their Hawker Audaxes.

    Quite a day.
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 3rd July 2017 at 08:12.

  3. #243
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    A nice shot taken at Croydon of Douglas DC-2 115-B HB-ITO and DC-2 PH-AKS of KLM. (date unknown)

  4. #244
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duggy View Post
    A nice shot taken at Croydon of Douglas DC-2 115-B HB-ITO and DC-2 PH-AKS of KLM. (date unknown)]
    In between May 1935 and October 1938.

  5. #245
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    Re Ivan Smirnov (his official name although he used Iwan Smirnoff himself), there are two good biographies on his life. In "Smirnoff vertelt" the flight above is mentioned briefly. Interesting career he had, also pre KLM. Russian son of a a landowner, ww1 army volunteer, injured in the trenches, soviet fighter ace, refugee from the revolution, deckhand from hong kong to Europe, RAF pilot instructor, worked for Handley Page, fought in the White Russian Army, was an early commercial pilot in Belgium and one of the first KLM pilots. Emergency landed an early KLM flight on the Goodwin Sands and got the whole crew and all passengers saved by a passing ship in mid winter before the tide turned. Pioneered many new routes. Shot down and injured in a DC-3 on a beach in Australia. Flew the Guinea routes for the USAAF for three years and after the war helped rebuild commercial aviation in Holland.

  6. #246
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    A "nice shot" indeed, Duggy.

    And Ivan/Iwan Smirnov certainly led an eventful, not to say colourful, life, ericmunk. The FLIGHT photo below, taken on 31 May 1934, shows Alderman Benno Pearlman, Chairman of the Aerodrome Committee in Hull, emerging from the KLM Fokker XII; ahead of him is his wife. The three people in the foreground are not identified but perhaps the one on right of the trio is Capt. Smirnov. Do you know if this correct, ericmunk?
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  7. #247
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    I don't think that the man on the right of the trio is Captain Iwan Smirnoff. Maybe the officer on the right is.....?

    Jur

  8. #248
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    It depends when the portrait photo was taken but I tend to agree with you, Jur.

  9. #249
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    Some footage of the opening of Amsterdam-Hull here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMzIEbjHWog

    The gentleman on the left in the picture is the mayor of Hull Arthur Shepherd. I do not see Smirnoff anywhere in the photo. The gentleman to the left of the door could be wearing a KLM uniform, but I am unable to ID him. The aircraft is Fokker F.XII PH-AFV "Valk" which was surplused in winter 1935/1936 following the arrival of the DC-3s, and sold to Crilly Airways. An excellent account of Crilly and its collapse and subsequent sale of the Fokekrs to Nationalist Spain is here http://www.gatwickaviationsociety.or...shcivilwar.asp, The Valk lingered on until 1941 when it was destroyed in an accident involving a Messerschmitt.

  10. #250
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    And staying with Croydon, but I cannot confirm that?
    A wonderful shot of a S-73 of Sabena.

  11. #251
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    Thanks, Duggy, for another terrific photograph (is that indeed Croydon, anyone?) and also to ericmunk for the additional newsreel footage. and for confirming it was Fokker F.XII PH-AFV on the first Amsterdam - Hull service in 1934. Slightly to correct one of my earlier posts, the airport at Hull was, in fact, called Hedon (but was pronounced Heddon) and was about five miles east of the city.

    KLM re-commenced the Amsterdam - Hull - Liverpool service in 1935. KLM’s Croydon-based boss flew up to Liverpool by Railway Air Services for the first arrival on 1 May 1935 then he returned to Croydon via Amsterdam. The service didn't run for the whole summer, though. On 26 July 1935, KLM suspended it and wrote to the Chairman of the Hull Development Committee to advise of the suspension. If a reason were given, it does not appear to have been reported at the time. However, it was apparently because of a shortage of pilots and aircraft following some crashes. KLM said it felt sure that the airline could rely on the support of Hull when the service resumed but, when the service did resume the following year, Hull was not used.

    The intermediate stop changed to Doncaster “… because it serves a great industrial district and … has outstanding facilities as a railway centre”. Also, the airport was just “five minutes by car” from the town centre. This Liverpool-Doncaster-Amsterdam service was a joint venture between KLM and British Continental Airways (on a 50:50 basis). BCA handled the flights at Speke, KLM at Doncaster. On 30 June 1936, a KLM Fokker XVIII, piloted by Capt. Hongdong, flew up to Doncaster from Croydon to commence the service at 11.40 am on 1 July. A DH.86A of BCA had arrived from Croydon earlier that morning, made a number of flights over the area during the day and then returned to Croydon a later in the day.

    Here's a contemporary image taken at Doncaster on the opening day:
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    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 6th July 2017 at 22:49.

  12. #252
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    Ian I think it is taken at Croydon just by looking at the flag stones.
    But hopefully someone can confirm that.
    ATB Duggy

  13. #253
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    Ian, the pilot was Jan Hondong, not Hongdong. He was one of the great pre-war KLM captains who also pioneered the route from Schiphol to the West Indies across the Atlantic in Fokker F.XVIII PH-AIS "Snip". His arrival in the West Indies in December 1934 was overshadowed by the loss of DC-2 PH-AJU "Uiver" in the Iraqi desert two days earlier. That appeared to have lost control in severe weather killing all seven aboard. Uiver was the DC-2 that participated in the London to Melbourne race only weeks before.

    The Uiver loss was the first in a series of major incidents. Fokker F. XII PH-AFL (Leeuwerik) flew into high ground near Brilon (Germany) on April 6th 1935 killing all five crew (including Smirnoff's close friend Piet Soer) and both passengers. Fokker F.XXXVI PH-AJQ (Kwikstaart) suffered a double engine failure on take off from Schiphol July 14th, 1935 and hit a dyke in the return to the field. Four crew and two passengers were killed, 13 other passengers and one crew survived. Three days later Jan Hondong had a mishap on take off from Bushir (Iran) with DC-2 PH-AKM (Maraboe) when he hit a bump and the undercarriage partially folded. Although the aircraft burned, all crew and passengers survived. And again three days later DC-2 PH-AKG (Gaai) was lost with all four crew and nine passengers was lost in the Alps when it spun in on an improvised emergency landing in poor weather. This prompted KLM to carry out a complete review of all procedures and embrace safety as a number one priority. On July 21st a meeting was held between KLM director Albert Plesman and his senior pilots Scholte, Smirnoff, Frijns, Tepas, Hondong, Parmentier and Van Balkom. In the wake of this KLM suspended a number of minor routes that were only marginally profitable but had been adding greatly to the operational pressure on pilots and machines.

  14. #254
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    In my collection of aviation related "flight covers", I have two examples flown on the special Christmas Mail Flight by PH-AIS "Snip" (Captain Jan Hondong) to the Dutch "West Indies" in December 1934.



    Last edited by Jur; 7th July 2017 at 09:13.
    Jur

  15. #255
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    Thank for the additional information, ericmunk; it certainly explains the suspension of the Hull - Liverpool service. I am sorry that I got Capt. Hondong's name wrong but the incorrect spelling is the way it appeared in the 1936 article I had consulted.

    I noticed that the great air mail covers placed here by Jur both named the particular aircraft to be flown by Capt. Hondong on his pioneering flight to Curaçao. The image below, which also identifies "Snip" (or "Snipe") by name, comes from a preview report which covers the fitting of different engines, additional fuel tanks (giving a range of 3000 miles) and LW and SW wireless equipment. Apparently, the flight was given assistance by a Dutch Navy submarine (engaged in a 'scientific world cruise') that happened to be mid-ocean.

    In addition, the route was changed. It was originally intended to go via West Africa, crossing the Atlantic from Dakar to Natal, but Air France had made use of 'landing grounds' in the Cape Verde Islands. This route shortened the total distance of the KLM flight by over 1000 miles, though the main ocean-crossing leg, at over 2220 miles, was longer.

    The longer-term intention of KLM was to link up with the Pan Am services between North and South America - very much the function that KLM came to perform in WWII with its flights from Whitchurch to Lisbon.
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    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 7th July 2017 at 21:06.

  16. #256
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    I thought it might be an idea to look at the German service to Lisbon during WWII. On-line, I found one wartime timetable issued by Deutsche Lufthansa. It is the “Sommer Flugplan” (Summer Schedule) effective from 8 June 1941.

    The two images below are extracts from that timetable, showing:
    (1) The Berlin - Lisbon service operated by Lufthansa [Flight No. K 22], and
    (2) The Madrid -Lisbon service operated by Iberia [Flight No. 1207]

    The return flight from Lisbon by Lufthansa involved an overnight stay in Madrid, as indicated by the dark horizontal bar-line in the right-hand column of Image (1).

    I think that the footnote regarding Lyons and Marseille says that Lufthansa did not provide a passenger or freight service between these two cities (in other words, it would not operate as an internal air service within France).

    NOTE: you will probably have to click on the images to read them

    A further extract from this timetable will follow.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 7th July 2017 at 23:19.

  17. #257
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    This is the promised follow-up to Post # 256 and is another extract from Lufthansa’s timetable for the summer of 1941. It shows air services from Lisbon, as in Post #256, but with some additional information, presented in the form of a 10-column tabulation. The first column shows the destination and the tenth column shows the flight number (or service number) to that destination.

    Columns 2 to 4 deal with timings:
     the second column shows the time the airport bus leaves central Lisbon
     the third column shows the departure time at the airport
     the fourth column show the arrival time at the destination named in the first column.

    The arrival time for all destinations except Madrid was on the following day, necessitating an overnight stay in Madrid (this was shown in the ninth column).

    Columns 5 to 8 deal with costs or prices. I haven’t worked out the translations yet but the fifth column seems to show the single fares in Portuguese escudos and the sixth column, the return fares.


    This being 1941 (that is, before the opening of Portela Airport), the flights used the airfield at Cintra. The timetable shows that the airfield was called ‘Granja do Marqués’, given as 30 km from Lisbon, quite a long way out from a capital city.

    The buses left the city 90 minutes before flight time, which may be an indication of the road system back then. The bus for the Lufthansa service left from the Hotel Avenida Palace (on the Praça de Restauradores) and the Iberia bus from their office on the Avenida de Liberdade.
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    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 8th July 2017 at 16:06.

  18. #258
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    Below is the route map from the Lufthansa timetable for the summer of 1941.

    The thick lines show Lufthansa's own routes. These have the lower-numbered route or flight numbers (single digit and double-digit for the most part). Some of these were flown by or in conjunction with other airlines, such as ABA of Sweden, DDL of Denmark, Swissair, Ala Littoria, Malert (Hungary), LARES (Romania) and Aeroflot. A few of these appear to be what we might call ‘code sharing’ these days. Also, DLH apparently dropped Amsterdam, for example, from its route network.

    The thin lines show routes not flown by Lufthansa itself but by those other airlines. These have four-digit numbers and, simplified a touch, seem to have been allocated as follows:
     1200 series: Iberia (Spain)
     1300 series: Malert (Hungary)
     1600 series: ABA (Sweden) some with DDL (Denmark),Aero O/Y (Finland) or Aeroflot (Russia)
     1700 series: DDL (Denmark)
     2100 series: LARES (Romania)

    A couple of the destinations flown by LARES seem to throw some light on German influence in Romania but that may be covered in a later post; first, the Lisbon route. Pre-war, it was just Route/Flight 22 and Lufthansa’s 1938 route map showed its itinerary as follows:

    Berlin > Halle/Leipzig > Stuttgart > Geneva > Marseilles > Barcelona > Madrid > Lisbon

    In this 1941 timetable, the itinerary had changed, as indicated in previous posts. Also, the flight number was amended. Uniquely among the route/flight numbers in the 1941 Lufthansa timetable, a letter was added to the route number, now being prefixed by a letter. Route 22 became route K22.

    Assuming that the letter was not a random choice, does anyone know what the ‘K’ stands for?

    Here’s the route map.
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    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 9th July 2017 at 12:46.

  19. #259
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    This is a follow up to Post # 258, the one with the Lufthansa route map for the summer 1941. This post is off-topic but may be of more general interest.

    If you look at the eastern side of the Lufthansa route map, you will see that two Romanian cities, Sibiu and Braşov, also have German-sounding names (Hermannstadt and Kronstadt respectively). Sibiu was the main city of the “Seibenburgen”, the seven fortified towns associated with the Saxons who were invited to settle in this area back in the 12th and 13th centuries. In consequence, the architecture in the old town centre is reminiscent of parts of Germany and there are still German connections in the region to this day. Sibiu once had a predominantly German-speaking population but they are now but a small minority. Nevertheless, the current President of Romania (Klaus Johannis) was a former mayor of Sibiu and comes from this German minority.

    Getting back to the 1941 Lufthansa route map, when you look in the timetable section for details of the air services from Sibiu and Braşov, you are referred to Hermannstadt and Kronstadt. Moreover, LARES, the Romanian airline, had included neither on their own route network immediately prior to WWII. So, either the German powers-that-be sought their inclusion or LARES saw the way the wind was blowing and began to fly there.
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 9th July 2017 at 20:38.

  20. #260
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    Frther to the previous post, this is part of the LARES route map as in their Summer 1939 timetable. It is the part that shows services within Romania and, as can be seen, neither Sibiu (Hermannstadt) nor Braşov (Kronstadt) feature.
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  21. #261
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    This will probably be the last extract from the Summer 1939 LARES timetable - not bang on topic but we did discuss FW200 Condors earlier in this thread, as I recall, and the FW company placed the advert below (in case you're wondering the LARES timetable was in French):
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  22. #262
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    Re Smirnoff...I think it was him that upset the British authorities by radioing the weather details back to Amsterdam on a KLM service to Shoreham in the 'phoney war' period.
    The 1941 Lufthansa timetable is interesting....possibly somewhat affected by the invasion of the USSR. I can't see any frequency or days of the week info for the route to Lissabon (Lisbon)

  23. #263
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    Could well have been. By then he had been on active service in two wars, and had flown through another two revolutions en route. He mentioned in an interview at the time he could not care more about anything than only his KLM and the safety of his passengers. As a neutral party he would have acted that way too. And he was known to be a bit absent-minded (he once left a briefcase full of diplomatic mail in a Berlin nightclub late one night, only to pick it up again in the morning).

  24. #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericmunk
    Fokker F.XXXVI PH-AJQ (Kwikstaart) suffered a double engine failure on take off from Schiphol July 14th, 1935 and hit a dyke in the return to the field.
    *cough* Fokker F.XXII *cough*

    http://hdekker.info/Nieuwe%20map/1935.htm#14.07.1935
    A Little VC10derness - A Tribute to the Vickers VC10 - www.VC10.net

  25. #265
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    The frequency of the Lufthansa service to and from Lisbon in 1941 is not immediately obvious to me.

    In Post # 257, the image shows the services available from Lisbon in tabular form. The 9th column in the table, the one that shows the need to stay in a hotel in Madrid on the return journey, is used elsewhere in the timetable to show the days of the week that services were flown. In many cases, however, the column is left blank. I suppose that this could mean a daily service (or even an 'as and when' service) but that isn't clear. Possibly a little more digging around the timetable will yield an answer.

    A bit of searching around the timetable did answer the question about the 7th and 8th columns in that tabular presentation. The former is the price for over-sized luggage and the latter is the price for freight per kilo.

    There is still no explanation apparent for the 'K' in the flight number 'K22', though.
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 13th July 2017 at 15:01.

  26. #266
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    The timetable of the Swedish airline ABA effective from April 1942 took the form of a route map with the route/flight numbers printed along the lines connecting the various cities. The thick lines showed ABA’s own services and the thin lines the connecting services, many of which, not unexpectedly, were via Berlin. One of these was the previously mentioned ‘K22’ to Lisbon.

    The frequency of the ABA/Scandinavian services were shown by a letter against the route/service number: ‘V’ = ‘only on weekdays’ and D = ‘weekdays and Sundays’

    For the routes within Scandinavia, the times of those flights were shown inside the circles containing the city names. There were also times outside the circle preceded by the letter ‘Z’. While there appears to be no explanation, they were between 45 minutes and 60 minutes ahead of flight times, so might just have been the times of bus services out to the airports to catch particular flights.

    Apart from the Lufthansa ‘K22’ service to Lisbon, there was one other service for which the route/flight number was preceded by a letter, namely Route ‘F1’ between Copenhagen and Hamburg. In this case, the ‘F’ stood for a freight and mail service only.

    Unsurprisingly, there was no mention of the ABA service to Britain (Route 1630). After test/proving flights earlier in the year, the service started on 5 May 1942 - outbound on a Tuesday and inbound on a Thursday. From the 10th flight onwards, the aircraft would stop at a military base, Satenas, on the outbound flight; this was more convenient for the SKF (ball bearing) factory and also made actual departure times less obvious to the Germans. The aircraft used was SE-BAG, the ex-Swissair DC-3, which had more powerful engines allowing it to fly higher (less risk from AA fire).

    During the early summer of 1942, the service was so regular that it was almost like peacetime. However, on the night of 21-22 June 1942, returning from Scotland, SE-BAG was attacked over the Skagerrak. Though badly damaged, it was able to make it back to Stockholm. The service did not restart until 14 August 1942, using the re-engined SE-BAF. SE-BAG resumed its duties on 6 October 1942.

    Here’s ABA’s 1942 route map/timetable:
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 14th July 2017 at 11:10.

  27. #267
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    Not wishing to 'teach granny to suck eggs' but, if the above image is not as clear as you would wish, you may care to try one or other of these two possible solutions (no guarantees, though):

    (1) right click on the image and 'copy' it to a Word document (it should all but fill an A4 sheet set for 'landscape' orientation)

    or

    (2) right click on it and 'save image' into your own filing system, from which you can view it at your leisure

    Meanwhile, here's a Junkers company advert from a 1939 ABA timetable, showing one of the latter's fleet:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  28. #268
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    Hi Ian...As an offshoot from the Lisbon thread perhaps we should have a photo-rich thread on the Neutral Airlines in WWII ....hopefully avoiding the use of photobucket 3rd party hosting!

  29. #269
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    I leave that up to you, longshot. I have no strong views either way. I know that this thread has ranged wider than the title would suggest (much of that down to me, I confess) but, for the most part, the tangential excursions have been of the "matters arising" kind.

  30. #270
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    This report about some air services resuming just after the outbreak of war makes reference to KLM considering Lisbon flights :
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