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Thread: WWII flights To Lisbon

  1. #61
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    Thank you for the colour photos, longshot. It would indeed be good to see more of them. My contribution is of much lower quality, I'm afraid, but may be of interest

    I found the picture below of Yankee Clipper at Southampton on 4 April 1939. It arrived at 2.30 pm from Marseilles. It was due to leave for Foynes at 7.00 am the following day. I believe that adverse weather delayed its departure. Pan Am was going to inspect Foynes as a possible landing place for Clipper flights.

    After my previous ’dig’ at American hyperbole, I feel duty-bound to quote Clipper Captain Gray upon his arrival in Britain: “It was another part of a routine flight. As on all our flights, we started when we said we would, flew over the ocean and landed. There is nothing interesting to report”. Obviously, this was a conscious attempt to reassure potential customers but, in its own way, is quite revealing.

    Almost half the article was about the transmission of the photographs. You may have noticed the credit to “Western Union Cablephoto”. There is an outline of the 4215-mile route to the WU office in Hudson Street, New York, of the revolving cylinder that allows the original to be “scanned” by a beam of light (“scanned”, presumably a new use of the word, is in inverted commas in the article) and of the role played by relay stations in boosting the signal along the route – by 15, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 times (yes, that’s a 15 followed by fifteen zeros). A 6” x 7” photo took 20 minutes to transmit by this method.
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    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 31st May 2017 at 21:41.

  2. #62
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    Here's the Pan Am Clipper poster to which I referred earlier ("Wings To Europe"):
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  3. #63
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    My contribution is of much lower quality, I'm afraid, but may be of interest
    ian................Do not sell yourself short, it is excellent interesting information.

  4. #64
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    I meant the quality of the photograph, planemike. I appreciate your comment and I am pleased that you have found the thread of interest.

    This link will give a brief videoclip that includes a Clipper taking off at La Guardia:

    http://www.britishpathe.com/video/ne...an+Am+Clipper#

  5. #65
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    Earlier in this thread, questions were raised concerning OY-DEM (DDL's other Fw-200 - the one that did not end up on the British civil register) and I offered some comments. Since then, I have come across this, a 1957 letter from OY-DEM's captain that covers much the same ground but from the man who would know:
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  6. #66
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    As sort-of promised in an earlier post, here's that photograph of a Pan Am Clipper over the Statue of Liberty. Seeing it again, it has an artificial 'look' to it. I can't spot the 'joins' but the shadow on NC18610 doesn't match the shadow on the statue. I strongly suspect that it's a put-together job. Genuine or fake, I'd be interested in your views. If fake, can anyone locate the original of the Clipper photo that was grafted on?
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  7. #67
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    Ex G-AMCA, KN487 at the Aviodrome Lelystad Airport in the Netherlands (2007) in 1939/40 KLM wartime livery representing PH-ALR "Reiger" (Heron).
    For the past 5 years this aircraft has been in use in RAF camouflage livery as a prop in the musical "Soldaat van Oranje" (Soldier of Orange) in a converted hangar at the former Valkenburg airbase.

    Jur

  8. #68
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    The link is to an article in FLIGHT headlined, "FROM PAN AM TO BOA" and the photograph above the headline is of Boeing 314A G-AGBZ "Bristol". I have seen several, slightly different, photographs of this scene.

    EDIT - the image failed to upload - I'll try again

    https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarch...e%2026th%20BOA

    The following information may be known but, in case not, here are some bits and pieces gained from an internet trawl earlier today.

    The photograph was taken on 16 May 1941 at La Guardia after G-AGBZ had been wheeled out of Pan Am's hangar.

    On 8 April 1941, it had been flown from Seattle to New York, presumably as NC18607.

    On 19 April 1941, at 2.30pm, it was flown to Port Washington (a 10-minute flight) to be handed over officially to Britain, possibly still as NC18607. At 4 pm the same day, it returned to La Guardia.

    In the next roughly three weeks, it was in Pan Am's hangar at La Guardia, during which period the camouflage and British markings were applied.

    On 16 May 1941, it emerged into the daylight wearing its 'warpaint', as above. One of the photographs taken on this day (a similar view to the one in the link) shows a lot of people in the foreground, including two mean wearing hats with pieces of white card in them - journalists. This was presumably press day.

    [On this day, BOA(C)'s second Boeing 314, according to the contemporary press, was in Bowery Bay, which is very close to La Guardia, and was destined to be called "Boston", but the third Boeing was still in Seattle]

    On 22 May 1941, G-AGBZ arrived at Foynes, its opeartional base.

    On 26 May 1941, she returned to Foynes following her inaugural trip to West Africa.

    By 15 June 1941, her two sister ships (G-AGCA "Berwick" - not "Boston" - and G-AGCB "Bangor") were at Foynes, too.
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 11th May 2017 at 17:41.

  9. #69
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    I am going to try to upload the previous link here, just in case:

    https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarch...e%2026th%20BOA

    If you opened the link in the above post, just ignore it here
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 11th May 2017 at 17:42.

  10. #70
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    Finally today, another poor image but an usual one, I think. An American magazine in November 1941 carried an article to mark the two years since La Guardia Airport had opened on 6 December 1939. Spread across two pages was this image of the inside of Pan Am's hangar.
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  11. #71
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    I wonder what Capt. Kierkegaarde mean by 'in secret understanding with the allies'? .I think OY-DEM must have been repainted from orange to a drab colour whilst flying to Germany and Austria

  12. #72
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    Yes, longshot, "in secret understanding" was an intriguing phrase to use but I have no idea what he meant. Were there any independent Danish 'authorities' with whom the allied authorities could reach an understanding?

    As to the paint scheme, it does indeed seem odd that DDL should retain 'neutrality' colours after the German invasion but apparently it did so.

    In their 2013 book on DDL's Fw-200s, Mulder and Ott are not definite as to the exact dates involved but suggest that OY-DEM wore the basic orange colour from early 1940 until late September 1945. For the last month or so of that period, a Danish flag (red with a white cross) was painted on the fin in pennant form (what they call a "!split flag") and a red and white roundel was painted on the side of the rear fuselage, just forward of the "OY-DEM". Along the top of the fuselage, above the cabin windows, the black "DANMARK", in the same large letters as before, was retained but moved slightly nearer the nose.

  13. #73
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Lufthansa DC-3 and Ala Littoria Savoia-Marchetti at the new Portela Airport , probably early 1943

    American Clipper passengers could initially change planes at Lisbon for The British Isles,Holland, Spain, France and Italy. As the war proceeded the options diminished but as late as autumn 1941 there were surprising numbers of Americans still in France as the Vichy government was recognized by the U.S. Government. The use of Lisbon by Allied , German and Italian airliners made possible the extraordinary visit of U.S. industrialist Myron Taylor to Pope Pius XII in Vatican City in September 1942 even though Italy and the U.S.A were at war.Taylor arrived in Lisbon by Clipper, then was flown from the old grass Sintra airfield to Spain then by Ala Littoria from Barcelona to Rome. He was driven to the Vatican City across wartime Rome in a limousine with blanked out windows. After several meetings with the Pope during which the latter was informed of the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto,and assured of the Allies deternination to defeat Germany, Taylor was flown back to Barcelona by Ala Littoria, then onward to Lisbon via Madrid for a connection to Britain.
    Last edited by longshot; 12th May 2017 at 14:24.

  14. #74
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    That's an intriguing story about Myron Taylor visiting the Pope, longshot; if I have read it before, I had entirely forgotten about it. Just fascinating stuff.

    I don't know the history but I think Vatican City was not occupied by the fascist forces in WWII (I seem to remember a Gregory Peck film for which that 'anomaly' underpinned the plot). If I am right, then Vatican City was neutral territory and, if the car from the airport in Rome to Vatican City carried diplomatic plates, then Mr Taylor may not, technically, have entered enemy territory - enemy airspace, for sure (but lots did that), and I am not certain of the status of the ground from the bottom of the aircraft's steps to the Vatican City car. Perhaps the car went right up to the aircraft's steps. Is there anything in the story about that?

  15. #75
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    Don't know if Taylor's feet hit Italian soil but the Vatican visit caused trouble for Foreign Minister Count Galeazzo Ciano who had permitted it.
    Last edited by longshot; 12th May 2017 at 17:57.

  16. #76
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    The photograph below was apparently taken at Whitchurch from just inside a hangar on the north side of the airfield, the one used by KLM in WWII. The aircraft parked across from the hangar is "Zilverreiger", presumably wearing its G-AGBE markings; the ex-PH-ARZ.
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    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 13th May 2017 at 16:34.

  17. #77
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    There has been discussion earlier of the location of the airports around Lisbon. Here I turn to the other end of the route - Whitchurch. If you look at a map today, Whitchurch seems to be the southern part of the Bristol city conurbation. What was the airport at Whitchurch is almost entirely built over, with little evidence of a previous existence.

    Although the map below is from a road map published in 1958, it is a reprint of the 1957 edition which was probably compiled in 1956. It is therefore about 10 years after the end of WWII and Whitchurch is still Bristol's airport. It is marked prominently on this map by the red circle enclosing a red cross. Bristol's current airport is not marked but was known as Lulsgate in my youth and you will find Lulsgate Bottom in the bottom left-hand corner of the map below.

    I have added the scale at the bottom of the map. Very approximately, 3 miles is about 5 Kms.
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    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 14th May 2017 at 07:30.

  18. #78
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    I've done a bit more digging and the following concerns KLM's 'escapees' but limited to1940.

    The brief background is that, on 3 September 1939, Britain and France had declared war on Germany following the latter's invasion of Poland but Holland and Belgium were neutral. In Britain, aircraft were dispersed from London and one of the dispersal bases was Whitchurch, just south of Bristol.

    These dates are in 1940 and I've included a few questions along the way

    10 May: German offensive against France started, including the invasion of neutral countries Holland and Belgium
    -------: six KLM aircraft (5 DC-3s and 1 DC-2) arrived at Shoreham from Amsterdam, Lisbon and Naples (precise dates?)
    ------ : at first they went to Whitchurch but were then relocated to Heston (date?)
    ------ : charter arrangements by KLM to BOAC agreed (date?)
    6 Jun : the Whitchurch-Lisbon service inaugurated by DH.91 G-AFDL "Fingal" (an intermediate stop made in France)
    ----- : when the stop in France was no longer possible, the greater range of the DC-3 was crucial
    24 Jul : G-AGBB registered (C of A issued on 25 July)
    25 Jul : G-AGBD registered (C of A issued on 29 July)
    26 Jul : a trial service was operated by KLM (presumably by G-AGBB, as the only KLM DC-3 with a C of A)
    1 Aug: DC-3s G-AGBC, G-AGBE and G-AGBI registered (C of A: 5 Aug, 25 Sep and 17 Aug respectively)
    DC-2 G-AGBH registered the same day (when was its C of A issued?)
    ----- : (was this when camouflage was first applied ?)
    ----- : the KLM aircraft flew to 10 degrees West, then turned south for Lisbon across the Bay of Biscay
    10 Aug: KLM assigned responsibility for Lisbon route (4 flights per week by DC-3; 1 flight per week by DC-2) from Heston
    20 Sep: KLM fleet, crew and ground staff reassigned to Whitchurch (when did they actually relocate?)
    21 Sep: G-AGBC (PH-ALR) crashed, Heston (landing in fog; hit anti-invasion pole; no passengers aboard; no crew injured)
    October: 40 return flights made, carrying:
    O/B: 154 passengers; 6408 kgs of mail; 3452 kgs of freight
    I/B: 118 passengers; 5302 kgs of mail; 4134 kgs of freight

    24 Nov: G-AGBI (PH-ARW) destroyed by an incendiary bomb at Whitchurch during a German daylight air raid on Bristol

    That's the extent of my notes. Please tell me if this information is already established and well-known.

    Also please tell me of any mistakes I've made or misleading information I've included (my shoulders are broad in this regard).

    And, of course, please post any additional information that could supplement the above.
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 14th May 2017 at 12:23.

  19. #79
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    KLM became the first overseas operator of the DC-3 with the PH-ALI "Ibis" delivered in 1936. During WWII this aircraft was operated for BOAC with a Dutch crew under the registration G-AGBB. After having been attacked by Luftwaffe aircraft twice before, the aircraft was shot down June 1st 1943 over the Gulf of Biscay by a Junkers 88. Eventually all occupants were killed.
    See https://www.dc3dakotahunter.com/blog...7-1-june-1943/
    Jur

  20. #80
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    As indicated in your link, Jur, "Ibis" (G-AGBB/PH-ALI) was something of an 'unlucky' aircraft.

    On 15 November 1942 (O/B, I believe), it was attacked by a lone German aircraft, escaping into cloud with only minor damage. Then, on 19 April 1943, it was attacked a second time, some 3.5 hours from Whitchurch O/B to Lisbon, this time by a number of Bf-110s. Piloted by Capt. Parmentier, "Ibis" headed for the deck and got away with punctured fuel tank, thankfully empty. Nobody was injured. The passengers included the Assistant Air Attache in Portugal and four Irish novice priests, who perhaps had flown from Ireland on BOAC's DH.91 service to Whitchurch.

    On 1 June 1943, it was a case of third time unlucky. "Ibis" left Portela at 0730 hours GMT and, three hours later, called Whitchurch to say it was under attack. It had encountered eight JU 88s and the outcome was never really in doubt. I have heard the stories about that flight and have never studied it but there are elements that cause me doubt. It would seem odd that the Ju 88s would patrol in a bunch of eight to 'catch' this plane; I would have expected them to spread out more in order to cover a wider area. Were these eight just part of a much larger force out on the hunt for Leslie Howard and the "secret pact" document? Likewise, if the 'secret pact' document was the principal target, what purpose would the shooting down of "Ibis" have served? It would have delayed matters, no doubt, but did it prevent the pact from going ahead?

    Anyway, after this tragedy, night flights were introduced and, since the KLM aircraft lacked both flame-damping exhaust covers and an astro-dome, they were unsuitable and therefore withdrawn for a while. In the three years from July/August 1940 to 26 July 1943, KLM made 1622 Lisbon flights, with a 94% regularity, and carried almost 10,000 passengers.

    BOAC then increased its frequency on the Lisbon Run to four per week, with the returning I/B flights timed to arrive around dawn, because Whitchurch lacked approach lights and had no proper flarepath. I presume that the Dutch crews were employed on these BOAC flights - again, can anyone confirm this?

    From 4 August 1943, BOAC resumed a twice-weekly Whitchurch-Gibraltar service. Also in the summer of 1943, the Lisbon flights were extended to Fez in Algeria, though, in September, this was changed to Rabat in Morocco. On 24 October 43, a weekly Whitchurch-Madrid-Lisbon service was started; in November, a service to Algiers via Gibraltar O/B and Rabat-Gibraltrar I/B, too. For these flights, the aircraft would usually stop elsewhere (Chivenor, St Mawgan and Portreath) to top up their fuel tanks before departing these shores. Commonly, these services were flown by BOAC crews in RAF uniforms and BOAC aircraft now bearing military roundels and service numbers. For a period, departures were from Lyneham and arrivals back at Whitchurch, though, from 31 December, Whitchurch again became the airport for both O/B and I/B flights.

    One report says that KLM did not resume the Whitchurch-Lisbon-Gibraltar service until 29 March 1944, which seems a long break. Perhaps someone else can help!

    On 18 April 1944, KLM made its 1000th return flight to Lisbon for BOAC , using "Buizard" (G-AGBD/PH-ARB)
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 14th May 2017 at 15:58.

  21. #81
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    Re post 78 (where's that quote function?!? I have copy pasted below):

    10 May: German offensive against France started, including the invasion of neutral countries Holland and Belgium -> In the first hours of the war KLM lost 16 of its 29 aircraft at Schiphol to German bombs in the early morning of May 10th, with a further 11 damaged and 2 undamaged)
    -------: six KLM aircraft (5 DC-3s and 1 DC-2) arrived at Shoreham from Amsterdam, Lisbon and Naples (precise dates?) -> DC-3 Wulp was enroute Oporto to Schiphol on May 10th but was recalled to Oporto and after intense negotiations flown to Sintra and then Sintra to Shoreham 26 June 1940. DC-2 Edelvlak was stationed at Oporto for incidental charter flights. It too flew to Sintra for temporary shelter. And then Sintra-Oporto (picking up last spare parts) then Oporto-Shoreham 26 June 1940. DC-3 Ibis was on a regular service to Shoreham arriving 9 May 1940 and was held from departing as scheduled the next morning. DC-3 Zilverreiger was badly holed at Schiphol on May 10th 1940 but was repaired in between fighting and flown to Shoreham on 13 May 1940 with the intent to return the 14th with medical supplies but it was held at Shoreham. FK-43 Nonvlinder (impressed into military service at the time) was more or less stolen by a private pilot and flown to the UK May 15th, 1940 (as were some military aircraft later in 1940 and 1941). DC-3 Buizerd was flight the homebound service from Batavia to Schiphol on May 10th and was stranded at Naples . It flew via Marseille to SHoreham arriving 18th May 1940. DC-3 Reiger was stranded in ALexandria on the Batavia-service, and flew to Naples, then on to Shoreham arriving May 15th, 1940. Three DC-3s had been evacuated as a precaution to Batavia on May 7th (Pelikaan, Torenvalk, Wielewaal) and two further on May 10 (Gier) and May 11( Emoe). These five all joined the KNILM fleet in Batavia.
    ------ : at first they went to Whitchurch but were then relocated to Heston (date?) -> all six aircraft were flown to Ringway July 1940 for service and camouflage paint. There was no date that aircraft were all stationed at one field. Operations were spread over Whitchurch (for maintenance), Ringway (a depot and for instructional flights) and Heston (terminus point for the Lisbon line). This was also done to spread aircraft to decrease vulnerability in aerial attacks on airfields. The decision to leave Heston was made on September 20, but incidental flights later that month still left from Heston while operations were moved to Whitchurch. At the same time Ringway was also slowly suspended as a base.
    ------ : charter arrangements by KLM to BOAC agreed (date?) -> KLM first suggested to BOAC to fly charters for them on the lines Shoreham to Lisbon and Naples to Batavia on May 13th, 1940. The official agreements was effective 18 july 1940 with KLM providing crews, aircraft and maintenance, and BOAC insurances, oil and gas.
    6 Jun : the Whitchurch-Lisbon service inaugurated by DH.91 G-AFDL "Fingal" (an intermediate stop made in France)
    ----- : when the stop in France was no longer possible, the greater range of the DC-3 was crucial
    24 Jul : G-AGBB registered (C of A issued on 25 July)
    25 Jul : G-AGBD registered (C of A issued on 29 July)
    26 Jul : a trial service was operated by KLM (presumably by G-AGBB, as the only KLM DC-3 with a C of A) ->this was indeed Ibis. Four days earlier KLM had also reopened its KLM service to Batavia, this time from terminus Lydda (later Cairo in 1941) using KNILM aircraft
    1 Aug: DC-3s G-AGBC, G-AGBE and G-AGBI registered (C of A: 5 Aug, 25 Sep and 17 Aug respectively)
    DC-2 G-AGBH registered the same day (when was its C of A issued?)
    ----- : (was this when camouflage was first applied ?) -< July 1940 at Ringway
    ----- : the KLM aircraft flew to 10 degrees West, then turned south for Lisbon across the Bay of Biscay
    10 Aug: KLM assigned responsibility for Lisbon route (4 flights per week by DC-3; 1 flight per week by DC-2) from Heston
    20 Sep: KLM fleet, crew and ground staff reassigned to Whitchurch (when did they actually relocate?) -> over a period of several weeks
    21 Sep: G-AGBC (PH-ALR) crashed, Heston (landing in fog; hit anti-invasion pole; no passengers aboard; no crew injured) -> aircraft reamined there for several months for spare parts use
    October: 40 return flights made, carrying:
    O/B: 154 passengers; 6408 kgs of mail; 3452 kgs of freight
    I/B: 118 passengers; 5302 kgs of mail; 4134 kgs of freight
    24 Nov: G-AGBI (PH-ARW) destroyed by an incendiary bomb at Whitchurch during a German daylight air raid on Bristol -> Ibis and Buizerd were also damaged, but repaired within days

    Additionally:
    - 6 October 1940: Zilverreiger limped into Whitchurch after a nervewrecking flight in thunderstorms with radio beacons going offline because of a misunderstanding that the DC-3 was an enemy aircraft. Engines quit on roll-out from fuel exhaustion. Captain was Tepas, who not two weeks before in poor weather had written off another DC-3 had had enough of the atrocious conditions they flew in.
    - 8 October 1940: KLM went on strike. And announced it would not resume service on Lisbon unless radio navigation beacon use procedures were reviewed and improved.
    - 23 October 1940: Lisbon service resumed with new procedures in place.
    - 7 November 1940: Air Ministry suspends KLM ops into Lisbon after "complaints by British copilots over KLM captains decisions". Sounds like a return favour for the KLM strike.
    - 17 December 1940: Lisbon service resumed permanently.
    - 11 September 1941: 250th service to Lisbon. AT the time there were only 41 staff including 11 Brits. And four DC-3s and a DC-2.
    - 15 June 1942: 500th service.
    - 15 November 1942: Ibis intercepted by Ju88s and badly damaged. Again on 19 April 1943 with only light damage. Shot down on 1 June 1943 over Bay of Biscany.
    - 28 January 1944: C-47A G-AGJR/PH-AZR (Roodborstje) delivered, followed by G-AGJS/PH-AZS (Spreeuw) late February 1944 and G-AGJT/PH-AZT (Tureluur) in April 1944.
    - 18 April 1944: 1000th service

  22. #82
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    Re post 80:


    BOAC then increased its frequency on the Lisbon Run to four per week, with the returning I/B flights timed to arrive around dawn, because Whitchurch lacked approach lights and had no proper flarepath. I presume that the Dutch crews were employed on these BOAC flights - again, can anyone confirm this?

    Yes they were. KLM resumed ops on June 11th 1943 with the first nightflight. BOAC also independently ran a service with C-47s from early 1943 on to Lisbon, perhaps you may have confused some of the services of BOAC with that of the KLM/BOAC charter flights? The shootdown of Ibis and warweary equipment (which had flown with minimal maintenance, battle damage and in all weather, overloaded for three years) meant the regularity of KLM's Lisbon service began to suffer. Parts were in short supply (KLM even resorted to buying a crashed Scottish Aviation Fokker F.36 to make three 'new' engines for the DC-2 out of four damaged examples!). It was only when three C-47A's were delivered from early 1944 that the pressure was eased a little.

    WIth the end of the war in Europe in May 1940 all civilian ops in occupied Europe were still forbidden. Most of the KLM aircraft were "transferred" to 1316 Flight, which basically was KLM flying under military supervision. A fleet of C-54s was added later that years, as was a flood of C-47s, and while the service to Lisbon from the UK remained operational fro several months, the company was well on its way to being a fully fledged airline again.

  23. #83
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    Incidently, at least one of the KLM Lisbon aircraft still survives. The former G-AGJT (Tureluur) is sitting at Jackson MS in a derelict condition awaiting conversion to Turbo DC-3... And the former G-AGJS is rumoured to be on display in Indonesia.

  24. #84
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    You have done us proud, ericmunk. Thank you very much for so much additional information.

    I had kept my original notes to 1940 and only strayed into later years to follow up the contribution made by Jur. I hope hadn't got any of the years mixed up.

    I had not gone into KLM's Far East connections at all, largely because I know so little about that subject. Perhaps you could start another thread, ericmunk, if you have the time and the inclination. An outline chronology, even in note form, would be a very good starting point.

    Getting back to the KLM aircraft that came to Britain, would it be reasonable to assume that both the camouflaging and the application of British markings did not take place until each aircraft was officially given its British registration? If so, some of that painting work would have taken place in August 1940 as well as July 1940.

    Regarding your 6 October 1940 note: I believe it was indeed Capt. Tepas who was piloting G-AGBG/PH-ALR when it crashed at Heston on 21 September.

    Re: the issues between crew members in October and November 1940, this was new to me. As I understand it, the radio aids at Whitchurch were not the best. At the time, I think they were limited to a D/F station (a homing beacon, in effect). More sophisticated equipment came later but I don't know when. At least the BOAC and KLM crews could communicate with Whitchurch by radio, unlike most aircraft using that airfield (they relied on the use of lamp signals).

    Regarding the 24 Nov 1940 air raid: I believe other aircraft were damaged that day, too, including several of BOAC's Ensigns and the former DDL Condor, G-AGAY. I have not seen anything about damage to DH.91 Flamingos but, maybe, someone will be able to enlighten us on this aspect.

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    What I have on the famous Prewar Amsterdam-Batavia service is more than just notes, Ian. More of an incipient book 😀

    Both the Hagens books are THE works when it comes to KLM airline politics. It describes in great detail the effort some British bureaucrats took to get their hands on the KLM aircraft in that desperate 1940 summer, until they realised the value their experienced crews had. Things got very nasty at times with official enquiries, an arrest, a strike and lots of backroom bickering and red tape in a rapidly changing theatre. Add to that that KLM was fighting for its survival as a company, you get the picture.

  26. #86
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    Thanks for your reply, ericmunk. "An incipient book" sounds like a great project.

    I should say that my involvement here is a combination of (a) an aviation interest that has lain dormant for more than 50 years, (b) several boxes of books and magazines from that period -and earlier - and, since (a) lay inactive and (b) unopened for so very long, (c) a rather steep learning curve in very recent times. My experience of flying is not quite as old as the period about which we're talking (my first three flights were in a Vickers Viking, a Bristol Wayfarer and a modified Tiger Moth) but I find the subject interesting and this thread (and others here) most stimulating.

    I was not familiar with the 'politics', clashes and in-fighting that you describe but I am not surprised. I have read about similar tensions in connection with the Stockholm Run. At the time we're talking about, KLM was concerned about its survival as a company and the British authorities about the survival of the country - different perspectives, different priorities. As in most situations in life, different priorities generate personal tensions. Differences that, to a dispassionate outsider, may seem best resolved by rational discussion between cool heads, escalate dramatically ("spiral out of control" is a common phrase). There is a mathematical proposition that presents the process graphically but, not being a mathematician, I cannot recall what it is called.

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    This is not strictly about flights to Lisbon but, since we slipped on to Pan Am Clippers, I am posting another image. As you can see, this was at Natal in Brazil.

    The photograph was taken for LIFE magazine by Hart Preston who, as I understand it, was there to record the development of the (land) airport at Natal. His photographs cover a wider range of subjects and this Clipper is one of them. Natal was a stop on South Atlantic aircraft delivery route in WWII and his photographs include shots of Pan Am DC-3s and, I think, some rather more anonymous DC-2s. Here's the Clipper (N18612, it looks like):
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  28. #88
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,452
    https://www.google.com/culturalinsti...reston%20bases Well the Boeing 314s of Both Pan Am and BOAC did link Lisbon and Natal ...this thread from 2012 is connected http://forum.keypublishing.com/showt...artime-Service

  29. #89
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    643
    Whitchurch as surveyed in 1939.

    http://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom...&layers=10&b=1

    A slider to the left of the map allows you to mix the map image with a satellite view.

  30. #90
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,452
    Aerophilatelist John Wilson wrote this detailed analysis of the Natal-Lisbon Clipper flights, first result on https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=e...&action=devloc

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