BOAC Liberator II Landing At Prestwick

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Three  reports about BOAC's in-flight refuelling trials. All come, according to my notes, from February 1948.

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Thank you. Interesting description of the re-fuelling process that helps explain what you can see in the photos. Were these cuttings from 1948? G-AKDS is the Lancastrian and the black objects in view had confused me but guess they are the weights on the line from the Liberator G-AHYD from which the photos were taken.

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I'll double-check the publication dates and send them to you in a PM, as soon as time permits.

I seem to recall reading about BSAA's experiments with in-flight refuelling, too,  but I think that was the previous year. Again, I'll try to carve out a bit of time to retrace my digital footsteps.

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Thank you. No rush so just fit in around what other things you have on.

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A quickie on the airport codes.

'UL' is a shortened version of  'YUL', the international code for Montreal - Dorval. I should have realised this sooner, having typed 'YUL' more than a few times  earlier this year when working out the itinerary of a trip.

Even though I once experienced an unscheduled stop in Gander many, many years ago, I didn't know that 'YQX' is its airport code. 'YQX' was shortened to 'QX' in the document posted by Freecell49.

Presumably, this was the practice adopted back in the days of the RFS.

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You are correct about the codes, and you will find them used on the log summaries I have put in the post to you, so I had the information all the time but hadn't looked in the right place.

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Thanks, Freecell49.

I have sent you a PM.

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Another newspaper report on the in-flight refuelling trials in 1948

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In mid-July 1941, it would seem that ATFERO arranged a press conference about the ferry operation. Capt. D C T Bennett and four unnamed ferry pilots talked to journalists.

I will try to attach a copy of a report. I have removed a  stick image of a B-17 (very poor quality anyway)  amended the layout but still don't know if it will load or whether it will be readable.

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Thanks Ian. July ,41 was quite early in Ferry Command days and the press report isn't quite accurate but that may be down to lack of full disclosure from the pilots interviewed.    D C T Bennett was of course Australian not English, though from my time in the USA many  locals thought I was Australian so maybe a confusion on accents. There had also been two delivery failures with Banting being the only fatality as another Hudson that was part of one of the early formation trips had crashed on take-off from Gander in December '40 and Bennett would have known that.

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Oh, I do wish the EDIT button would be reinstated - "stick image' should read 'stock image'.

The press conference seems to have been intended to correct the nature of previous (and, presumably, inaccurate) articles on the ferrying of bombers across the Atlantic. Incidentally, the piece came from an American newspaper. I'm not sure if the press conference was reported elsewhere but one would have thought so.

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The image posted here is more of a curiosity, perhaps, but it may just spark a little interest. It has two panels.

The panel on the left is quite small and shows two adjacent articles from a British newspaper in late-October 1941.  One article concerns the activities of a Coastal Command Liberator and the other is a review of a variety show.

The right-hand panel of the posted image shows the two articles in question. They have been reproduced larger and have been laid out differently - the easier to be read, I hope.

The Liberator article may be of more interest but it is the other one that caught my attention.

It is the review of a variety show that was entitled, “Atlantic Ferry-Go-Round”.  Who would have thought?..

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The image was 'resized', so I'll try it as an attachment

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Profile picture for user longshot

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I would guess that the Liberator which 'saw off' the Condors was flown by Terry Bulloch?

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The attached image is the title photograph from an article on the Atlantic Ferry published in New Mexico in late August 1941. I have expanded the caption to make it legible, as the quality of the original scanning is not great.

Mystery Command

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I recall, New Mexico was where a ferry pilot school was located, so presumably there was public interest in the subject locally.

I've included the image as an attachment in case that should be a bit clearer.

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No idea what happened back there! And still no EDIT option.

This is the first part of the MYSTERY COMMAND article, which was written, one must remember, for a general readership.

...

With luck, the attached version will be more legible.

The second part will follow in due course.

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Here is the second part of the article.

Unfortunately, the tonal variation on the original scan is so wide that it is difficult to achieve equal legibility across the whole piece. Again, the attachment may be easier to read than the embedded image.

 .... 

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Thanks Ian, that's interesting reading. As it refers to Atfero my guess it was written second quarter 1941 as Atfero was disbanded and it became Ferry Command by June and no longer under the Ministry of Aircraft Production but the Air Ministry and RAF. 

I've not come across a Ferry Pilot school in New Mexico but there must have been some institution giving ratings for US pilots to fly aircraft from aircraft manufacturing plants to ports on the eastern seaboard and later to Canadian ports and Montreal where aircraft were loaded onto ships. The RAF bought over 2000 Hudsons and I think the initial orders of 250 were all shipped before Atfero started the Trans-Atlantic flying operations. 

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The New Mexico connection would include Albuquerque - both Oxnard Field and Kirtland Air Force Base were used there.  A couple of quotes from the National Register of Historic Places - https://www.denix.osd.mil/cr/archives/historic/historic-structures-dist…

 

Four-Engine School The Air Corps Ferrying Command Four-Engine Transition School is established at the new base. Trans World Airlines is selected to train pilots to ferry B-24 bombers to the Royal Air Force in Great Britain. The Albuquerque base is chosen because of the length of its runway and ideal flying weather.

 

Oxnard Field’s business began to decline sharply by late 1939 because of competition from the new Albuquerque Municipal Airport and Cutter-Carr. One of its last functions was as a ferry stop for crews flying Lockheed Hudson and Douglas Boston bombers from the Lockheed factory to Great Britain. The planes were given fuel consumption test flights and final inspections before continuing their trip overseas