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BOAC Liberator II Landing At Prestwick

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  • ianwoodward9
    started a topic BOAC Liberator II Landing At Prestwick

    BOAC Liberator II Landing At Prestwick

    There should be three images below. I have 'enhanced' the second and third a touch to make them a bit easier to read. I hope that they may be of interest:

    1. AL528, Liberator II about to land

    2. the reverse of the photo showing the handstamp of the photographic agency, with the attached 'blurb' folded up

    3. the 'blurb' itself: (a) the main text of which was standard -I have at least one other photograph with this blurb; (b) below the main text, the proposed photo caption, stating that it is a BOAC Liberator landing at Prestwick after a trans-Atlantic flight; and (c) above the main text, the reference number of the photograph - CH.14375
    Attached Files

  • ianwoodward9
    replied
    Though HP42s have featured recently in this thread, the attached image shows nothing about the camouflaging of these aircraft. It does, however, show an HP42 from an unusual angle - namely, seen from above. I trust you will forgive my posting it here.
    Attached Files

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  • ianwoodward9
    replied
    Nice photo, duggy, and new to me.

    On the right is the 'old' terminal building at Kastrup with the 'new' terminal building under construction on the left.. A photo of OY-DEM being delivered on 15 November 1938 shows the 'new' terminal building finished or perhaps still under construction. If the latter, it is quite a bit further on in the process - the highest section is now glazed, for example.. The 'old' building looks a little different in the OY-DEM photo but the 'tower' on the top is a bit of a giveaway, as is the chimney on the end of the building. This suggests to me that the date of the photograph is mid-1938 rather than 1939.

    I attach a copy of that OY-DEM delivery day photo.

    The line of people at the bottom of the photo, all turning to look at OY-DAM flying over, suggests a special occasion of some kind - perhaps the delivery day for OY-DAM, 14 July 1938
    Attached Files
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 17th June 2019, 15:31.

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  • Duggy
    replied
    OY-DAM taken summer of 39 at Kastrup.

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  • ianwoodward9
    replied
    Here's an image of what I assume to be one of DDL's Condors (not a Lufthansa one) in the winter of 1940, as passengers go out to board , walking past piled-up snow. The photo was most likely taken at Kastrup but, unfortunately, the quality is rather poor.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 17th June 2019, 10:51.

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  • ianwoodward9
    replied
    The following is what I can gather about the FW-200 Condor OY-DAM shown at Schipol in the photograph presented by longshot in Post # 385.

    OY-DAM flew the DDL service from Copenhagen via Amsterdam to London (or, rather, to Shoreham) from 13 November 1939 to 3 January 1940. It was a daily service (into Shoreham one day, back to Copenhagen the next, returning to Shoreham on the day after that, and so on) but whether it made every one of those flights is not clear. The dates that are known, however, do fit that pattern. As far as I can gather, it bore what DDL called nationality markings, as shown in the attached image.

    On 4 January 1940, the London service was taken over by its sister ship, OY-DEM, so that OY-DAM could undergo a 1300-hours overhaul. Its heating system was also modified to bring into line with that on OY-DEM. The overhaul of OY-DAM was completed on 7 February 1940. It is believed that it was, during this overhaul, that OY-DAM was repainted in the overall-orange neutrality scheme.

    The weather in Europe was dreadful in Europe from the end of January 1940 to the beginning of March 1940. There was heavy snow and lots of ice. Shoreham was closed for operational flying for much of this period. Even when there was respite, the airfield became too waterlogged for much flying. The weather in Denmark was also dire, so bad that many of the regular shipping/ferry services could not operate. DDL stepped up its internal air services to take over some of their supply/communications functions. The two Condors were drafted in to take part in these activities.

    DDL's London service restarted at the beginning of March, using OY-DAM. Though sources seem to differ as to the precise date, the outbound flight from Copenhagen could well have been on 1 March 1940. There is also slightly contradictory information as to the regularity of this service in March 1940 and into the beginning of April 1940. What is well documented is that OY-DAM had arrived at Shoreham on 8 April 1940 for its standard stay overnight, during which German forces had invaded Denmark. Denmark then became occupied territory and OY-DAM was impounded by the British authorities.

    The photograph posted by longshot was most likely taken in March 1940 - or possibly very early in April 1940.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 16th June 2019, 10:32.

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  • longshot
    replied
    Re. British camouflage and nationality stripes during the BEF's presence in France there is a colour still from an amateur film ...not sharp but invaluable for modellersClick image for larger version

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  • longshot
    replied
    Click image for larger version  Name:	DDL_Fw-200_OY-DAM-in-neutra.jpg Views:	0 Size:	990.0 KB ID:	3865390Click image for larger version  Name:	EI-ACA800a.jpg Views:	0 Size:	51.6 KB ID:	3865391

    I would think that the Imperial/B.A. Ltd 'Armada' p ositioned into Croydon from Whitchurch, Ian. There is of course the famous shot of DDL, Sabena and KLM typestogether in orange overall (at Schiphol, perhaps...boy I'd like to get a decent scan or print of that!). And Aer Lingus' sole DC-3 EI-ACA was delivered through Shoreham in overall orange in 1940. And from a slightly faded Dutch slide https://www.flickr.com/photos/827078...30568/sizes/l/

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  • ianwoodward9
    replied
    Oops. My mistake. I hadn't realised that those three photos were not taken at Whitchurch. Thanks for getting me back on track, longshot.

    On the subject of the orange-overall neutrality colours, my understanding is that KLM started this practice prior to being invaded in May 1940 and following the incident in late October 1939, which I mentioned before. One of its DC-3s had been shot at and hit while over the North Sea. The pilot landed the aircraft safely at Schipol but one passenger, a Swede, died as a result. KLM decided to paint its aircraft orange and suggested that the airlines of other neutral countries do the same. I've not seen it mentioned before in this context but orange, as well as being a colour that stands out, is also the national colour of Holland, so might be regarded as appropriate for KLM.

    Anyway, Belgium and Sweden followed the Dutch example and adopted the overall-orange paint scheme for their aircraft.

    Even prior to this, however, ABA of Sweden had applied, what might be called, the original neutrality markings. From at least May 1939 onwards, their aircraft, still bare metal, had 'SWEDEN' or 'SCHWEDEN' painted on their undersides. At the outbreak of war, ABA then adopted what might be called an interim neutrality paint scheme. The aircraft remained in bare metal but 'SWEDEN' was painted in large letters along the fuselage above the line of passenger windows and a large Swedish flag was painted both on the tail and above and below the outer wings. The colours of the Swedish flag were also painted on the nose.

    Then came the overall orange scheme which, as I mentioned before, is usually ascribed to KLM. There is, however, an anomaly in the dates that I have read in different sources. One stated that the attack on the KLM DC-3 that prompted the adoption of the orange paint scheme took place on 26 October 1939 while another says that, on 25 October 1939, ABA advised the Air Ministry that its aircraft would be painted orange like the KLM planes. If anyone can resolve this difference, I would be pleased to hear.

    Meanwhile, DDL in Denmark did not at first accept KLM's suggestion to paint its aircraft orange overall and adopted a scheme that was rather like the interim Swedish one. This seems to have been used in November and December 1939 and the overall-orange scheme was only applied around January 1940.

    The above is my understanding of the sequence of events and I would welcome any corrections or supplementary information.
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 15th June 2019, 09:57.

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  • longshot
    replied
    The photos including the Gladiators were taken at Croydon, by a Leslie Penfold, I believe. I don't think of any of the countries which used orange 'neutrality' paint took the first step in combat..weren't they always the victim of invasion? I presume the red-white-blue stripes were supposed to be in opposite order British vs French?

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  • ianwoodward9
    replied
    Thanks for the information, lazy8. A quick on-line search shows that 615 Squadron had been based pre-war at Old Sarum, during which time its Gauntlets were replaced by Gladiators. Then, in September 1939, it transferred briefly to Kenley (an old base for the squadron) and next, quickly on to Croydon.

    Perhaps 607 Squadron staged through Whitchurch to link up with the various support aircraft that you mention, lazy8. Then this group flew to Croydon, where they joined up with 615 Squadron before the mini-armada (2 squadrons of Gladiators and those support aircraft) flew off to Merville.on 16 November 1939. It must have been quite a sight. I think the surviving Gladiators were abandoned in France.

    If this idea is correct, then the photos posted by longshot were likely taken at Whitchurch just before mid-November 1939.

    Many thanks, lazy8, for the information on the history of the tricolour underlining of the BOAC civil registrations. It was very useful but I would make two points. These were not truly neutrality markings, in that they came in after war had been declared and were borne by aircraft of one of the parties to the conflict. Also, the overall orange neutrality paint scheme, with the country name in large letters, was first applied by KLM after one of DC-3s had been attacked on 26 October 1939. B

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  • Lazy8
    replied
    607 and 615 Squadrons flew from RAF Croydon to France on 15 November 1939. They were supported by 4 Ensigns, 4 DH.86s, both L.17s, a Magister, an Avro Ten (G-AASP) and a Fokker XII (G-AEOS). At the time, 45 aircraft flying together was believed to be highly unusual, and perhaps even a record.

    The tricolour stripes below the registration has a complicated history. It was not an international standard prewar. The standard was to paint your airliner orange all over with the name of your country as large as you could manage. Imperial Airways flatly refused to do this, and British Airways Ltd were far from keen. Their creation, National Air Communications, followed suit. However, following a number of incidents where Imperial aircraft over France, particularly C-Class flying boats, were 'buzzed' by French fighters during September 1939, a solution was thought necessary. It seems that the original idea may have come from a Capt Birouard, Commandant of the flying facilities at Marseilles, who suggested tricolour stripes (it's not clear where they were to be applied) on the morning of 22 September. By the afternoon the French Air Ministry had adopted the stripes, to cover the elevators and rudder, and were insisting on full national flags below the wingtips. Then it all gets a bit silly. Apparently for no better reason than that a "subordinate offical" had the original idea, NAC refuse to paint aircraft bound for France, and furthermore issue urgent instructions that may have actually stopped people who had paintbrushes in their hands from painting an aircraft at Marseilles (possibly C-Class Cooee). The two parties snipe at each other on the subject but do nothing. By October 10 the French are insisting on stripes on elevators and rudder, and flags above and below the wingtips, and NAC are still refusing to do it. Around about then "higher authority" seems to have noticed that all this nonsense is going on, and on 14 October NAC are instructed to adopt Capt Birouard's original idea - on elevators and rudder - and ignore the French Air Ministry. Whilst several aircraft were painted that way, the underlining stripes seem to have come along without further specific instructions shortly thereafter, and there were several 'hybrid' individual schemes over the winter of 39-40; universal adoption was not quick. In that regard it is notable that some if not all LOT aircraft escaping from Poland in late September and early October had red and white underlining stripes. That probably predates any British application.

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  • ianwoodward9
    replied
    Again, some great photos, longshot, that I don't recall seeing before. They seem to have been taken on the same day some time in the autumn of 1939 but I wonder on what date.

    There are various Gladiators around and they carry the "AF" code of 607 Squadron. Some time in November 1939, the squadron transferred from RAF Acklington in Northumberland (now the site of a prison and young offenders institution) to Merville in Northern France (close to the D-Day beaches and where a static invasion-striped Dakota is on display, I believe). I would conclude that the photos were taken some time in November 1939

    Does this seem a reasonable conclusion? How does this fit with the other aircraft seen in the photos?

    I seem to recall that, in September 1939, various Imperial Airways and British Airways Limited aircraft, having been dispersed to Whitchurch, were speedily and rather haphazardly given a camouflage makeover. The colours were not the standard ones. If there were standard camouflage patterns, they weren't used. It was an 'all-hands-to-the brush' situation. The Ensigns in the three photographs, for example, seem to lack the red,white and blue banner under the fuselage registration marks. Would this be consistent with a photograph taken in November 1939?

    The BAL Fokker XII (G-AEOS) that appears in two of the photographs (and perhaps, more distantly, in the third) does not appear to have been camouflaged at all. Maybe, if it was not to be used in France, it was not on the priority list. I attach an earlier photograph of it in BAL days and its colours seem unchanged. Again, would this be consistent with a photograph taken in November 1939?

    Attached Files

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  • Lazy8
    replied
    Ref post #376: I'm pretty sure that there were only two HP.42 with that high demarcation between upper and lower (camouflage on top, probably yellow below). Imperial hated the bright colours, so it's highly likely that the paint was applied by the RAF. G-AAXF Helena was certainly one of them. I found a copy of the photo in the post online somewhere captioned as G-AAUD (Hanno), which is not implausible, but doesn't fit with the lower demarcation in the photo of the two HP.42s at Brockworth - unless the photo was taken on 6th November and Hanno is not one of the two HPs in shot. Not implausible either that the aircraft was camouflaged more than once, as I've said before, but the HP.42 was such a complicated shape that I'm sure they'd have tried very hard to repaint it as few times as possible.
    Last edited by Lazy8; 14th June 2019, 21:29.

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  • longshot
    replied
    In previous top pic from PDF of Dacre Watson's RAeS talk, bottom two from Putnam Aeronautical Review 'Westwards to Whitchurch by Hugh Yeo.
    The Sutton Libraries book on Croydon and the Battle of Britain has some shots of the Imperial and BA Ltd 'Armada' setting off for FranceClick image for larger version  Name:	croy45a.jpg Views:	0 Size:	161.4 KB ID:	3865238Click image for larger version  Name:	croy44a.jpg Views:	0 Size:	111.8 KB ID:	3865239Click image for larger version  Name:	croy40a.jpg Views:	0 Size:	208.8 KB ID:	3865240
    Last edited by longshot; 13th June 2019, 22:47.

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  • longshot
    replied
    Presumably the remaining two HP42s were Heracles and Hanno? Various photos of the evacuated fleet at Whitchurch when war broke out
    Last edited by longshot; 13th June 2019, 22:23.

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  • ianwoodward9
    replied
    Been away from a PC for a few days.

    Terrific photo, longshot. I just love the bikes and the kids surveying the scene, innocently excited. Apart from G-ACJJ "Scylla", is it possible to identify the individual aircraft?

    The webpage the photo came from was really interesting, too, nd the additional information from lazy8 was very informative, too. Great stuff.

    The support to the BEF in France and the other aviation activities in continental Europe in that period predated the establishment of BOAC as a legal entity. Who would that make the owner(s)?

    I found an image of another HP42 in camouflage but there was no other information identifying the date or place. The "G" is hidden by the RAF roundel, the "AAU" bit of its civil registration is still visible under the lighter shade of camouflage paint but the final letter is obscured. Does anyone know which aircraft it is?
    Attached Files

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  • longshot
    replied
    The Brockworth photo came from https://glostransporthistory.visit-g...Brockworth.htm

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  • Lazy8
    replied
    Interesting photo, Longshot. I've not seen that before.
    The BOAC War Diary records that Heracles, Horatius, Hanno, Scylla and Syrinx were all based at Brockworth from 6 November 1939 for carrying loads to France. Horatius didn't survive the first such trip, so presumably the photo was taken after the 7th, when perhaps an Ensign was drafted as a replacement. The replacement was initially suggested to be four DH.86s, but these were neither suitable nor available, and the presence of an Ensign in the photo (otherwise unrecorded) suggests they didn't go to Brockworth.
    Scylla and Syrinx were back at Croydon by 15th, when they left for France in support of the deployment of 607 and 615 Squadrons - IIRC there was a thread on this forum about that some years back, including a picture of one of them as at Brockworth, but with 'targets' as well.
    Of these three HP.42s, there is only mention of camouflage for Hanno, but much earlier (9-11 September, when it was also due to visit Brockworth) and there was apparently a flurry of signals questioning whether camouflage was actually applied (this went unanswered, unfortunately). Digging a bit deeper, there is an implication that Hanno, and possibly other HP.42s, may have been camouflaged by the RAF upon their arrival in France, whereas the bulk of the rest of the NAC landplane fleet was camouflaged by their operators in the UK.
    Last edited by Lazy8; 12th June 2019, 12:43. Reason: Clarifying and adding some detail.

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  • longshot
    replied
    There was an airlift of munitions from the Gloster factory at Brockworth (presumably just before France fell)...the photo shows 1x Scylla class, 1x Ensign and 2xHP.42 all camouflaged with civil registrations. Click image for larger version

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    Attached Files

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