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WWII Flights To Lisbon

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    Henry J Taylor again.

    He flew by Clipper to Lisbon, from where he went on a BOAC/KLM flight to Bristol (not stopping at Oporto en route, incidentally). Travel within the UK was by train. He flew from Leuchars to Stockholm and from there to Helsinki in a "Swedish plane" described as "small, brilliant orange", with its country's name in large letters along the fuselage. He returned to Stockholm and got into Germany. From Berlin, he took a Lufthansa flight in a Ju.90 for Lisbon via Stuttgart and Lyon. He left it at Lyon, taking "a little French plane" to Vichy. I haven't quite absorbed the next stage of his trip but I can confirm, somewhat to my surprise, that he crossed into and out of Gibraltar by the land border. He got back to Lisbon from Malaga via Madrid but then returned to Bristol on the BOAC/KLM service (they did stop in Oporto this time). After this, he returned to Lisbon the same way for the Clipper home. The return transatlantic journey, though, was changed to the southern route
    Last edited by ianwoodward9; 14th February 2018, 19:01.


      Ian, Adrian...What actual evidence is there that the globe on the BOAC logo as applied to aircraft was orange?..From the orthochromatic photo of G-AFPZ Clifton I would say the globe is blue matching the lower stripe of the red white blue bands...if the globe was orange it would look more like the top band (red & orange look dark grey or black with ortho film) . I am not a fan of aircraft 'profiles' and not much of aviation'art'


        It is interesting that you raised that question, longshot. Until I found that image of the "orange Globe" on-line, I had it in my mind that the 'globe' was blue, though a somewhat paler shade than your photo analysis would suggest - but I have no idea where I got that notion.

        I would have thought, though, that the colour of the 'globe' would have to have been somewhat lighter than the colour used for the Speedbird symbol and the words.

        Presumably, there was a BOAC document/instruction specifying the colour to be used.
        Last edited by ianwoodward9; 13th February 2018, 12:20.


          Sorry to bang on about Henry Taylor again but he wrote a book about his European travels, published in May 1942, and there are precious few contemporary reports of civilian air travel in Europe in WWII. The book is entitled "Time Runs Out" and I have now had the chance to start reading it but it's the U.K. edition which lacks the map that spells out his itinerary - you need the U.S. edition for that - so the dating that follows may be imprecise.


          I thought I had worked out the dating from my quick scan but, now, I'm not so sure, so I'll start again. I should add that I have several time-consuming activities coming up, so this may take longer than I might otherwise have hoped.

          Meanwhile, the book presents some parallels between what was happening in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, as described by an economist who had previously visited Europe and had significant contacts there, and some elements of the current political scene.
          Last edited by ianwoodward9; 14th February 2018, 18:35.


            Ah, the perils of skip-reading! I’ve had to amend my intended post, as there was a delay on Mr Taylor's outbound Clipper journey to Lisbon.

            Taylor had first planned to travel as far as Finland, visiting Portugal, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, France and Spain (not Britain). He had arranged visas for five of the countries but, at noon on the day before the departure of his booked Clipper flight, the promised German visa was refused. He spent the afternoon getting a British visa, in the hope he could get to Stockholm (and on to Finland) via Britain. He left on his Clipper flight, as planned, on Saturday 4 October 1941. There was first a delay at Bermuda because of an engine problem. The Clipper left Bermuda at 17.00 on the Sunday but turned back because of the conditions at Horta. Twice during the week, Clippers left Bermuda but they went direct to Lisbon carrying mail only.

            Taylor eventually left Bermuda on “Friday night” (10 October 1941) and arrived in Lisbon the next day, sighting the Cape Roca lighthouse at 08.55. He spent time in Portugal, then on to Bristol, as described in an earlier post, and London. He was taken to Dover, at the Admiralty's invitation, early on a Saturday and, that night, took the sleeper to Edinburgh, arriving early on a Sunday morning. He spent the day in the city, next taking a troop train north at 20.15, getting to his destination station 'by midnight'. It therefore looks like he left Leuchars late that Sunday evening or in the early hours of Monday. He 'landed safely at Stockholm at sunrise', probably on Monday 20th October 1941.

            [It could all have been a week later, I suppose, but that seems less likely] LATER INSERT: In a later post, longshot has posted the text of a contemporary article about Mr Taylor's journey and this confirms that the flight from Leuchars was indeed a week later than I had supposed.

            Taylor writes of the aircraft that took him to Stockholm: "Its guns were dismantled, since we were heading for a neutral port", which surely means that it must have been a Hudson, not a Lodestar. If it was a Hudson, it could have been either G-AGDC or G-AGDF.

            According to Nils Mathisrud's book, G-AGDC had started to make the Stockholm Run in mid-July 1941 [about a month before the Lodestars] but the first arrival at Bromma of G-AGDF was not until Saturday, 18 October 1941, presumably in the early hours that morning. Not all return flights were immediate [crews often stayed over at a hotel in the city before going back] but let's assume G-AGDF did return promptly, leaving later on the same day as its arrival. Given night-time flying, it would have got back to Leuchars on the morning of Sunday, 19 October 1941.

            Assuming this happened, would G-AGDF, having arrived back from Sweden on the 19th October, have then left Leuchars very late the same day or very early on 20th, in the process carrying Taylor to Stockholm? Or is Mr Taylor's flight more likely to have been in G-AGDC?

            Thoughts, anybody?
            Last edited by ianwoodward9; 15th February 2018, 15:48.


              There was a discussion on Seawings forum about the 1940 first BOAC logo and a contributor made a 'profile' drawing with a blue globe. Might be shot down by the dreaded photobucket curse.


                Just to add a little background information on Henry Taylor's departure from New York to Lisbon in early October 1941.......

                September 1941 was a very dry month in the New York area (driest since 1884, they said) but, on 3 October 1941, the rains came down, accompanied by 'heavy fog', which closed in on La Guardia "shortly after noon". Outgoing flights were stopped from 1.20 pm and incoming flights were delayed by the generally bad weather in the NE region. 'Atlantic Clipper' from Bermuda had to turn back and was due to arrive at La Guardia at 1.45 pm the next day, 4 October. 'Yankee Clipper', which had left Lisbon on the 3rd, was due to arrive in New York around the same time.

                Mr Taylor says the plane carrying him took off 'in the morning' ... at eleven o'clock' arriving in Bermuda that afternoon (4 October 1941).

                A newspaper report advising mail flights that day says, under the "Outgoing" heading: "Oct. 4 - DIXIE CLIPPER , from La Guardia Field - Bermuda Oct 4, Horta 5 and Lisbon 5" and goes on to add, "Take off, 9:30 A.M.". This was presumably the Clipper flight that Mr Taylor took.

                Incidentally[1]: 'Atlantic Clipper' had left Lisbon on 29th September, arriving later that day at Horta, where it was delayed. It left on 2nd October arriving at Bermuda on 3rd October, where it was again delayed, for the reason given above, arriving in New York on 4th October, as also described above.

                Incidentally [2]: 'Atlantic Clipper' was next due to leave New York for Lisbon on Tuesday, 7th October and 'Yankee Clipper' for the same destination next on Thursday, 9th October, both departures scheduled for 9.30 am. At some point during the period of his delay in Bermuda, Mr Taylor mentions a Clipper service due there on Thursday.
                Last edited by ianwoodward9; 14th February 2018, 18:34.


                  I've PM'ed you.
                  Adrian C

                  By the way, the BOAC Globe logo had an orange globe:
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                    Adrian...What's the source for the globe as painted on the BOAC aircraft being orange?


                      BOAC archives - I'm one of BA's archivists.
                      To be fair, we've yet to find any direct evidence that the three or four aircraft painted with this scheme during wartime had an orange globe, as no painting instructions have survived. However, all the advertising and promotional material of the period, and on into the 1950s, which featured evolutions of the logo, show it in orange. We have no reason to believe otherwise.


                        Well if you compare the photos of Clifton G-AFPZ and the Lodestar G-AGIL in post #317 above .G-AFPZ shows the top (red ) nationality band under the registration darker ( due I would say to use of orthochromatic film). The top band on G-AGIL is very light suggesting it was photographed with panchromatic film and possibly an orange filter on the lens which was commonplace in black and white view photography.Yet on both aircraft the BOAC logo globe colour matches the lower nationality band so must be blue.
                        Of course if the colour bands were applied inverted on either aircraft the theory goes out the window, but you've got to assume something. Clifton also appears to have dark panels on the wing THEY are believed to be orange, and similar to those on Pan American flying boats around 1940 .
                        (Orthochromatic film was insensitive to red , orange and yellow rendering those colours more transparent on the developed negative hence darker on the resultant print....(it could be developed by sight under a red darkroom safelight which some photographers liked)....panchromatic film rendered the red and blue ends of the spectrum more equally and some types like Kodak Verichrome Pan had built in orange filters which produced prints with blue skies rendered darker and red and orange rendered lighter (panchromatic film like colour film had to be developed in total darkness)...Edited
                        Last edited by longshot; 15th February 2018, 16:08.


                          Interesting find , that Henry C Taylor's the map from the related LIFE articleClick image for larger version

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                            Thank you, longshot, for posting the map of Henry Taylor's trip. Could you please advise in which issue of LIFE it appeared, as I would like to read the article which it accompanied. The book is indeed a good find, which only came about because of this thread that you started last year.

                            I have replied to your PM, lazy8. Thank you for that.

                            I have no specific knowledge as to the colour of the globe in the BOAC logo but wondered if there might be reference to it in the monthly BOAC staff magazine, which was called "Speedbird" for its first five issues and 'B.O.A.C Newsletter" from September 1946 onwards. The company logo, including changes in logo, might have come up in one of the issues. [I think the name "Speedbird" then became used for a quarterly publication that had previously been called "Wings Over The World", another possible source of logo information]

                            I am continuing to see if there is anymore about the Clipper service Mr Taylor took to Lisbon.


                              I was surprised I hadn't heard of Henry C Taylor's European trip because I had read plenty about the unrelated Myron C Taylor's extraordinary 1942 trip to see the Pope in the Vatican ( via Lisbon :-) )
                              ......Click image for larger version

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                              Attached the Henry C Taylor Life article (6 text pages) from
                              Last edited by longshot; 15th February 2018, 13:29.


                                Thanks for the link and the images, longshot. The text confirms that Mr Taylor flew from Leuchars a week later than I had surmised, which was always a possibility. This means that he arrived in Stockholm on Monday 27 October 1941. It also means that my comments on the aircraft used need to be reassessed.
                                Last edited by ianwoodward9; 16th February 2018, 00:04.


                                  For lazy8 -I have sent you a PM again.


                                    Indeed. Thank you Ian. Point taken. You are correct that G-AGDF Loch Leven conducted the flight on 27 October 1941. Its next outbound service was on 2 November, then like G-AGDC it apparently did nothing until 1 December. I presume the weather was to blame.


                                      Thanks, lazy8. Then, it looks like Mr Taylor flew to Stockholm aboard Hudson G-AGDF.

                                      Like you, I suspect that weather caused the hiatus, though I have read somewhere that BOAC experienced technical problems with the Hudsons in early 1942, so these may have been becoming apparent earlier than that. The nature of these problems may perhaps be indicated by the circumstances of G-AGDF's demise.

                                      G-AGDF's last departure from Stockholm was on 23 June 1942. At 23,000 feet over the Skagerrak, the port engine failed (it was leaking oil and the oil temperature was high). The Norwegian captain decided to return to Bromma and closed the engine down. On the way back, the starboard engine began to have problems, too. They were near the coast but the terrain was unsuitable for a forced landing, so the captain set down in relatively shallow waters about 300 yards offshore. G-AGDF settled high enough in the water for the three crew and seven passengers to exit on to the wing and launch the dinghy. The captain and one of the passengers then swam ashore towing the dinghy. From there, they walked to the nearby farm, about 100 yards away. The next morning, they were taken away to the local police station. The British Legation later arrived, rescued the mail bags, including the diplomatic mail, and G-AGDF was towed out into deeper water and sunk. The incident was not reported in the Swedish media. The wreckage of G-AGDF was found by divers in 2004. (From Nils Mathisrud's book, THE STOCKHOLM RUN)
                                      Last edited by ianwoodward9; 16th February 2018, 11:22.


                                        Whilst not directly related to Lisbon, the other outstanding question on my account is the wartime BOAC 'Globe' logo.
                                        A little delve into the archives yesterday has altered my thinking a bit, but not changed my mind as to the colour.

                                        Whilst it may well have been considered to be a globe from the beginning, I think it is fair to say that we call it a globe because of a 1950s BOAC poster which used it in a deep orange with longitude and latitude lines applied in yellow. Prior to that it had always been simply a disc, and always in colour renditions in a shade of orange. Not a particularly precise shade of orange, ranging on posters and other documents from almost red to almost yellow, but definitely orange. I think in this context it is noteworthy that Imperial Airways used a similar colour combination on tickets, baggage labels and so forth.

                                        The logo dates from the formation of BOAC in April 1940. Like Imperial before them, they had the logo for some time before they got round to painting it on an aircraft, although variations of it appear on company documents from day one. The first application of it to a machine I have been able to find was on BOAC Launch no.20 on Lake Habbaniyeh in early 1941.Click image for larger version

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ID:	3679029 In this application, the disc is so light that it is almost impossible to see against the white of the launch's side, but the way the 'British Overseas Airways' is written tells us it is there. Within a year, it was painted on C-Class G-ADVB Corsair, then based at Durban for the Horeshoe service. The well-known photo of Clifton undergoing maintenance at Rose Bay, Sydney, would seem to have been taken at about this time. By the end of 1943 it seems the logo had been painted on G-AFRA Cleopatra, also based at Durban.Click image for larger version

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ID:	3679028 Apart from a couple of even more indistinct photos that might, just possibly, show it painted on a couple of other bare-metal Empire boats, the only other application for which I have seen evidence is on Lodestar G-AGIL, also in Africa, presumably painted sometime around the end of the war (and incidentally carrying straight 'British Overseas Airways' titling below the tailplane - absolutely forbidden: 'BOAC', 'British Overseas Airways Corporation' or 'British Airways', but nothing else). Hardly a fleet-wide 'roll-out' - personally, I cannot help but wonder if we're looking at the handiwork of one particularly 'driven' painter as he moved around the BOAC network. There is no record of the colour used. However, instructions as to use of the new airline's coat of arms, issued in December 1940 are very specific: only the livery colours of blue and gold are to be used. Gold paint would not have been a top priority in wartime, so an orange (that could be mixed easily from RAF roundel red and yellow if unavailable locally) would have been an obvious substitution. Generally, detailed painting instructions from those days have not survived, but in what we have got the first mention of a light blue is in 1947 - and then only as an undercoat to give some depth to the standard, dark, Corporation Blue. (Both those photos from issues of BOAC News Letter.)

                                        The high-visibility wing panels were used one various C-Class boats when they had very long over-water routes to follow. The concept was copied from Pan Am use, perhaps, but not the colour, nor the tip-to-tip application. More accuarate to say they were both driven by the same imperatives - easy location of a aircraft in distress. The first application was to the two flight-refuelled S-30s in 1939, but Imperial were unsure what colour would be best so one had red outer wings and the other orange. Clare seems to have briefly had orange outer wings before being camouflaged; on every other Empire boat that had coloured panels I beliieve they were red.


                                          In the 2015 thread about the Aeroplane BOAC special there was a crop of David Legg's photo of the nose of wrecked BOAC Catalina G-AGDA at Poole (March 1943) with the Globe logo (perhaps a low-vis silhouette version?)...thread possibly ruined by the Photoshop problem so imageClick image for larger version

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                                          (No bearing on the globe colour, though)