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Thread: The Neutral Airlines in WWII

  1. #1
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    The Neutral Airlines in WWII

    Lets start with Switzerland....although they didn't do a great deal of airline flying in WWII the Swiss acquired some interesting types...first one a bit of a red herring....they could have done their own 'courier flights' with Mosquito HB-IMO but it didn't happen AFAIK
    http://viewer.e-pics.ethz.ch/ETHBIB....LBS_SR01-02423
    and this gets you onto the site....
    http://ba.e-pics.ethz.ch/latelogin.j...500221903668_8



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    Last edited by longshot; 19th July 2017 at 16:14.

  2. #2
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    A 1940 report on the opening of the Locarno - Rome service by Swissair.
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    Swiss air transport services were suspended with effect from 28 August 1939. The opening of the Locarno - Rome service on 18 March 1940 (see previous post) marked their resumption. It was a non-stop service, daily except Sundays, taking about two and a half hours. Swissair had not flown this route prior to WWII. Italy did not enter the war until June 1940 (at least, it was a non-belligerent), so this was technically a service to another neutral country.

    Around the time that the Rome service started, Swissair was contemplating another passenger route, namely Locarno - Barcelona. This was also a new route for the airline and a service to another neutral country. It started on 1 April 1940, on a daily basis. At that time, Vichy France was not established; the partition of France began in June 1940. Even after this date, Swissair's route would surely have been across the 'free zone', so I assume it continued.

    A third route was also under consideration, namely the re-introduction of the pre-war freight and mail service from Altenrhein on Lake Constance to Munich. The German authorities had given their approval.

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    Swissair painted at least one each of their DC-2s and DC-3s with red/white 'neutrality' bands. DC-2 pic by RalphMetzger/RafaelK on airliners.net and DC-3 from the Swissair Zurich archive

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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the photos, longshot, none of which I'd seen before. The 'neutrality stripes' were new to me. I assume that they were red and white.

    I'd have to check but I'm sure I've read that, in the later years of WWII anyway, Swissair's external flights were limited to Zurich-Stuttgart-Berlin and that, for at least one period and maybe on other occasions, this was reduced to Zurich-Stuttgart, without the extra leg to Berlin. This curtailment did at least retain the link to Lisbon and, thus, to the USA and elsewhere. My guess is that I read this in old issues of FLIGHT; so, if I get a moment, I'll check this.

    Sadly, I have no similar, Swissair photos to contribute.

    LATE EXTRA - I should have made it clear that I was unfamiliar with 'neutrality stripes' on Swissair (or Swiss Air Lines) aircraft, not Swiss military aircraft, as I have a picture in my mind (a drawing, actually) of a Swiss Bf 109 (or was it one of their Morane-Saulnier fighters?) with red and white stripes.
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 22nd July 2017 at 09:24.

  6. #6
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    I found the 'drawing' in question. In fact, there were drawings of three Swiss Bf 109s, each with slightly different styles of 'neutrality stripes'. The caption for two of the drawings reads, "Alternative Styles of Identification Striping Applied to Swiss Bf 109E Fighters During the War Years". As I say, the third drawing shows yet another style. If there was no single standard, perhaps Swiss Air Lines had a relatively free hand in the style they adopted.

    The drawings illustrated "In Defence of Neutrality" by Werner Gysin (FLYING REVIEW, September 1963) being an article about Swiss Bf 109s in WWII. There are several interesting aspects to this article but the most relevant here concerns two Luftwaffe BF 109Fs that landed at Belp on 25 July 1942 as the result of a navigational error. These two aircraft were impounded, taken on charge by the Swiss Air Force as J-715 and J-716 and "were quickly painted up in the Swiss markings which, sometime earlier, had been augmented by flamboyant red and white identification striping". The dating is inexact but it reads as though these "neutrality stripes' came in earlier in 1942.

    There was also, in an issue a few months later, a drawing of a Morane-Saulnier aircraft in Swiss 'neutrality stripes'. It was a Swiss-manufactured (under-licence) D-3800 (based on the MS 406) but, whereas all the other MS.406 drawings on the page are 'dated', the Swiss one is not - unfortunately.
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 22nd July 2017 at 09:20.

  7. #7
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    Some tantalizing glimpses of neutral Turkish DH-86s and DH-89s but mainly about interned American B-24s in Turkey here https://www.google.com/culturalinsti...hart%20preston

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    This is an outline of the Swissair fleet and routes in early 1939, plus the internal services flown by another airline, ALPAR:
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    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 22nd July 2017 at 23:49.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the Hart Preston photos in Turkey (Oct 1942?). The aircraft taking off in the background of this one appears to be TC-GEN, a DH.86B Express of Devlet Hava Yollari (State Airline):
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    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 23rd July 2017 at 09:04.

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    Here's a blow-up of part of the previous image. The quality is not great but I think its identity is clear enough.:
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  11. #11
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    Here's a link with a lot of Turkish de Havilland aircraft photos:

    http://www.ole-nikolajsen.com/TURKIS...DH%20fotos.htm

    From this collection, I've selected a shot that shows not one but two Turkish DH86s:
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    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 24th July 2017 at 16:01.

  12. #12
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    In the outline of Switzerland’s air services in 1939 (see Post # 6) there was mention of two (unspecified) Comte aircraft in the service of Alpar and one “Comte A.C.4.” operated by Swissair. Alpar operated both before and after WWII but there appears to be no information whether it did so during the war. Can anyone help?

    There is a Wiki entry for ‘Alfred Comte’ that outlines his career including his aircraft manufacturing company, Schweizerische Flugzeugfabrik Alfred Comte. Wiki also has an entry for the “Comte AC-4 Gentleman” and for the “Comte AC-12 Moskito” but neither mentions their use by either Alpar or Swissair.

    The Swissair Comte AC4 was probably HB-IKO, though it spent part of its life with Ad Astra as D-ELIS. An article in 1960 referred to it having spent 17 years with Swissair but also stated that it was first registered in Switzerland in September 1930, without specifying the exact chronology.

    The Comte aircraft I could find listed as owned by ‘Alpar Luftverkehers’ were HB-ALA (a Conte AC12) and HB-ALE (a Comte AC4). Below is a photo of the latter, which was first registered in June 1929 and was dismantled in 1950 at Belp, the airport at Berne that Alpar had established in 1929
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    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 24th July 2017 at 07:06.

  13. #13
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    The wings and tailplane of HB-ALE were photographed in a hangar at Neuchatel in 1966:
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