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BOAC Liberator II Landing At Prestwick

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  • ericmunk
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Apr 2009
    • 1721

    Routing wise Moll flew two routes to Moscow in his junejuly trip 1944 and januaryfebruary 1944. Northern route was Prestwick-lubitzie (via the faroer) then Moscow. Southern route was Lyneham-Gibraltar way round Spain, then Cairo via the 28th parallel, then Habannya and Teheran, Astrakan, Kubyshev, Moscow.

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    • ericmunk
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Apr 2009
      • 1721

      On one trip to Moscow the to be UK ambassador to Moscow was delivered more dead than alive after the oxygen supply failed in flight.
      Last edited by Peter; 8th May 2017, 00:32. Reason: Rule 5

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      • ericmunk
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Apr 2009
        • 1721

        Books are only in Dutch I'm afraid. There's a fair number of them. They detail certain episodes of British aviation with first hand accounts. There's a great one on the BOAC Lissabon line too: Sluipvluchten naar Lissabon by Ad van Ommen. Also details some Lib ops, lots of photos too.

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        • longshot
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Aug 2008
          • 1646

          Does Sluipvluchten naar Lissabon have much detail (and photos?)of the operations to Lisbon-Sintra grass airfield which was used by the short-lived KLM direct Portugal service from the Netherlands April/May 1940, then by the BOAC/KLM service until October 1942?
          Last edited by longshot; 28th April 2017, 20:45.

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          • longshot
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Aug 2008
            • 1646

            Thanks, Adrian.....The original Liberator must have been one of the first designs with integral fuel tanks*, replaced as it says in the link by the 'self-sealing' tanks able to survive gunfire in the later Liberators with oval cowlings like G-AGFN to G-AGFS , the ones which BOAC nick-named 'self-leaking'....do you have any numbers for the different ceilings of the blown vs. unblown Liberators? * EDIT It says the PBY (Catalina) had integral tankage previously
            http://legendsintheirowntime.com/LiT...v_4507_DA.html
            Last edited by longshot; 29th April 2017, 15:54.

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            • ericmunk
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Apr 2009
              • 1721

              Yes, Longshot. To some extent. It details the entire war and post-war ops of KLM's DC-3's. Starting with the 5 DC-3's and 1 DC-2 that met up in the UK. One had escaped from Schiphol on May 13th, 1940 (PH-ALI), another was stranded in the UK on May 10th, 1940 on a regular commercial flight (PH-ARZ). PH-ALR and PH-ARB were inbound and outbound on the East India route and were flown to the UK in mid May 1940. PH-ARW and DC-2 PH-ALE were in Lissabon on May 10th, 1940 and were flown to the UK instead of Schiphol.

              The book greatly details the politics behind the start of the Lissabon line from firsthand interviews with all involved. This includes financial arrangements, and the like.

              On Sintra, it says that Parmentier (chief of the Lissabon line) was unhappy with the field. He found it short, and the grass strip was very often boggy after rain. He campaigned in vain to fly on Espinho near Porto, a grass strip too but more useable after wet weather. Alverca and Ota were in use as deviation fields in bad weather or low fuel.

              Inbound flights to the UK left from Sintra. It was usually done with a limited amount of fuel in bad airfield conditions, for a short hop to Porto where it was fueled for the trip across the Bay of Biscany. Outbound flight sometimes landed in Porto, but only by exception.

              Sintra is surrounded by hills, and had a weather system of its own. Tricky apporaches. Weather forecasts in England on Portugal were non-existant in 1940 and early 1941 and one KLM flight limped into Porto in the midst of a full-blown hurricane. The winter of 1940/1941 wreaked havoc with flight schedules, also due to wet and boggy conditions at Whitchurch and Sintra. Chivenor and Porto were used instead in some cases. Radio-ops at Sintra were very unreliable. It did have have a great butcher's shop near the airfield where the crew bought wholesale to bring back as luggage to the UK! Crews overnighted in the Grand Hotel in Lissabon.

              Alverca BTW was short too. Two runways of only 500 and 600 metres. This against the 900 metres the USAAF used as a guide for C-47 ops on landing... KLM was the only operator around in those days that standard did 3-pointer landings that required only 500 metres, this against a 2-pointer requiring 200-300 metres more depending on speed.

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              • ericmunk
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Apr 2009
                • 1721

                Another two books (in Dutch): Londen of Berlijn, by Jan Hagens. THis extremely well-researched two-book series details the entire history of all KLM ops and pilots during 1939-1945. It includes the Lissabon line, some info on the RFS, but also the West Indies and East Indies operations.

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                • longshot
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Aug 2008
                  • 1646

                  I've opened a new thread on WWII flights to Lisbon (Lissabon), sampling the last two or three posts here

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                  • ianwoodward9
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Aug 2010
                    • 781

                    Good idea to open a thread on the BOAC/KLM Lisbon service in WWII, longshot.

                    Meanwhile, I've been reading the various posts in this thread after a busy weekend. Forgive me if I take a while to catch my breath.

                    I have found two identical photographs of AL614, neither well printed (one patchy and the other partly underexposed). I don’t know for sure but assume I got these on a visit to Prestwick and that this is the location. The image below is a combination of the two photos - see if you can spot the join(s):
                    Attached Files

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                    • Matt Poole
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Dec 2004
                      • 424

                      OK, Ian, I'll take a stab. I see one join, coincident with the leading edge of the port fin. Follow the line of the bottom of the fuselage in this area and you'll see the join mark. But if there's a second join, I'm stumped so far.
                      RAF LIBERATORS OVER BURMA (subtitled FLYING WITH 159 SQUADRON) by Bill Kirkness DFM and Matt Poole, published by Fonthill Media

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                      • ianwoodward9
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Aug 2010
                        • 781

                        Yes, Matt, just about spot-on. I did it very hurriedly indeed because I wanted to post it here but, at the same time, I didn't want to mislead any eagle-eyed readers such as you.

                        FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN SUCH MATTERS: a rectangle around the Lib's port fin (from the 'patchy' photo) was superimposed on the 'underexposed' fin of the other photo. The edges of the rectangle were 'cloned' and 'smudged' a bit but the 'step' in the lower fuselage was left in to make the fabrication 'obvious' - the same goes for the removal of the wire running forward from the port fin. [Incidentally, I have avoided the term 'photo-shop' because I used another, free on-line, program]

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                        • ianwoodward9
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Aug 2010
                          • 781

                          Though it doesn't really help with interpreting the MOVEMENTS BOARD in post #42, I have now seen some details of other location 'codes':-

                          BASE A = Whitchurch
                          BASE B = Bramcote
                          BASE C = Colerne

                          As already mentioned in an earlier post, BASE X was Moscow and we all seemed to agree that BASE M must be Montreal.

                          Does anyone know of any similar base 'codes' used by BOAC and/or the RFS?

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                          • longshot
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Aug 2008
                            • 1646

                            Ian...there's several listed in http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/firstfiles.html pages 16/17 in the BOAC fleet listings...gives Prestwick as PR...not without humour, see Vaalbank Dam code
                            Last edited by longshot; 4th May 2017, 20:18.

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                            • ianwoodward9
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Aug 2010
                              • 781

                              Thank you, longshot, for the link to the Air-Britain webpage, the existence of which I was not aware. There are some fascinating lists there.

                              For those who have not perused the contents of the list of BOAC aircraft, it covers the post-war period rather than its WWII operations and that includes its 'stock' of Liberators, as at the end of 1945. Here is that list:

                              EDIT: Don't know what happened there, so I shall try again (hopefully, see next post)
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by ianwoodward9; 5th May 2017, 14:44.

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                              • ianwoodward9
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Aug 2010
                                • 781

                                I'll try again:

                                Thank you, longshot, for the link to the Air-Britain webpage, the existence of which I was not aware. There are some fascinating lists there.

                                For those who have not perused the contents of the list of BOAC aircraft, it covers the post-war period rather than its WWII operations and that includes its 'stock' of Liberators, as at the end of 1945. Here is that list:
                                Attached Files

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                                • longshot
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Aug 2008
                                  • 1646

                                  Readable on the second listing
                                  Few post-war BOAC pics here http://aviadejavu.ru/Site/Arts/Art8737.htm
                                  Last edited by longshot; 5th May 2017, 19:23.

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                                  • ianwoodward9
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Aug 2010
                                    • 781

                                    Thanks again, longshot, for a useful link (though the cyrillic text was a bit baffling). The photograph of AM259 therein has prompted me to post these three images of AM259 (the first Liberator in the UK, I believe, and the first for BOAC). The information below is based on the 'captions' or file 'tags' attached to the images:

                                    (1) The first is a colour shot of AM259, its serial number identified but not the location (perhaps before delivery to the UK)

                                    (2) The second shows AM259 at Squires Gate on arrival in the UK (14 March 1941) - the first 4-engined aircraft across the Atlantic.

                                    (3) The third is from the website that longshot posted and shows AM259 in May 1941 as G-AGCD (not the best of shots in some ways but the background may hold something of interest to someone eagle-eyed who posted earlier)
                                    Attached Files

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                                    • ianwoodward9
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Aug 2010
                                      • 781

                                      Below are a few things I've recently found on-line. They relate to a ferry pilot by the name of Tobin (Gilbert Sheppard Tobin), an American who was employed by the ATA and, later, by Ferry Command, as can be seen from the cover of his log book.

                                      The other images are extracts from that log book, specifically a flight across the South Atlantic in Liberator III FL909, delivering ammunition to North Africa during the first Battle of El Alamein and then, after a few days in Cairo) returning over part of the same route and then to Bathurst, from where it flew to Prestwick by way of Gibraltar and Lyneham.

                                      I hope that the images are clear enough (if not, I'll summarise the itinerary in a later post)
                                      Attached Files
                                      Last edited by ianwoodward9; 5th May 2017, 22:44.

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                                      • ianwoodward9
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Aug 2010
                                        • 781

                                        The image below comes from a book on the Liberator by Ian White; it is No. 96 in the WARPAINT series. This is from one of several sample pages on-line. The image is relevant to this thread for two reasons:

                                        The upper image shows what Brits would probably call a Lib I, with an American serial number and as used by the USAAC Ferry Command.

                                        The lower image shows (what we would call) a Lib II, with an RAF serial number (AL576), a US 'roundel' and allocated to a U.S. Bomber Group in the Far East. This mix of RAF and USAAC markings was mentioned in posts #102 to #105 (above)
                                        Attached Files

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                                        • longshot
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • Aug 2008
                                          • 1646

                                          SX-DAA , a 27 seat Liberator, was sold post-war to the Greek Hellenic Airlines after service with Scottish Aviation as G-AGZI. Scottish Aviation were involved in the maintenance of RFS Liberators .Photo at Athens?

                                          See .....http://www.edcoatescollection.com/ac...pe/SX-DAA.html


                                           photo SX-DAA800_zpsirxwresy.jpg
                                          Last edited by longshot; 9th May 2017, 10:01.

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