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Thread: Flight to Egypt 28/29 September 1951

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    Default Flight to Egypt 28/29 September 1951

    Gents
    I am trying to identify a RAF aircraft which flew from England to Egypt on 28/29 September 1951. It was either transport or bomber. Any ideas where to look for such an information, apart of getting through dozens of ORBs? The flight was to alien country, so perhaps there is a sort of a log? Any ideas?
    Happy Easter
    Franek

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    Franek,

    Can you provide any further information at all? Is there some context behind your enquiry eg: the aircraft was carrying something or someone - perhaps the components of a nuclear weapon being taken to Christmas island.

    In 1951, the British still had a significant presence in Egypt and there were several airbases. It seems possible that diplomatic clearance was not necessary, although depending on the route taken, there might have been the need for some overflight clearances and probably some refuelling stops en route.

    I realise your desire to avoid wading through a large number of ORBs but knowing where the aircraft might have routed through or limiting the search to - say - destination airfields in Egypt might reduce any such burden.

    Colin Cummings

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    Colin
    I am afraid, I cannot add much to the question. The aircraft was involved in a leaflet drop behind the Iron Curtain, and that is all I know. It could be assumed it was one leg flight, so it suggests a heavy aircraft, but it could have been York, Hastings, Lincoln, Washington or any other type. Getting through individual ORBs seems not very feasible, either in person, or by acquiring pdfs online, especially as the flight might have been not recorded.

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    Franek, Hi,
    It looks like you are either involved with the "Spooks", or with v early nuke transports. In either case - as you surmise - what appears in any ORB is unlikely to be the "truth". In the mid-50's we had Comets (festooned with aerials - like a hedge-hog) arrive at a Med base. The Nav's debrief was that the weather had been absolutely exactly as on the Forecast Form they'd been issued with in UK (never been known to happen, in them days!!). Clearly, they'd never been anywhere near where the flightlist said they should have been! If you are certain about 'leaflet dropping' then you are into "Spook" territory. In my very limited involvement into such things, at that time, then "they" were more involved with gathering SIGINT than providing additional toilet paper to whatever country was decided to be on the "wrong" side?
    Even today, when some historical stones are turned over, some of the things underneath are surprising!! Keep us 'info'd'.
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi
    Yes, I am perfectly aware of COMMINT, SIGINT, PR and Radar Recon, or what I call Deep FERRET. My late friend flew such missions, and while he was dropping agents (leaflets were often just a cover), his whole 13 hrs flight was covered by SIGINT aircraft measuring all the radars that alighted in numbers. Still, this RAF mission seems to be exactly leaflet drop, and not even tied with any other kind of activity. It may have been not recorded, but otherwise it could have been listed just as a flight to Egypt, where the aircraft actually landed. Who would care if the aircraft was blown a bit off course? As you say, met reports are not always accurate. That said, I have seen some cases of missions listed as SPECIAL with no details, or even listing encoded targets - this was funny, as few flights were listed, and then someone realised they should not, and bulk of missions the next month were given as a summary only.
    Some stories are amazing, indeed.

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    I've had a quick look at the 51/192 Sqn history for the period. In Nov 1951 they lost a Lincoln off Gibraltar and then acquired the Washington with its vast range but no hints about the sorties in the intelligence field.

    I've never heard of leaflet dropping into eastern European/Soviet occupied territory in this period. For what purpose would they drop leaflets?

    Of course intelligence gathering went on and at least one Lincoln was destroyed and there were sorties deep into the Soviet Union by a flight of RB45 US aircraft loaned to the Brits.

    An over flight which continues is probably a safer option than one which backtracks.

    Sorry I can't throw anymore information on this but I will see if I can find anything else about the RB45s but the CO Sqn Ldr Cranston is now dead.

    Colin Cummings

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    Leaflet dropping? Propaganda warfare. Quite popular through 1950s, although in the later period mostly send by balloons. There were some agent drop missions flown by RAF in the late 1940s/early 1950s, but I was unable to find out details about units involved. Some drop missions were flown to Yugoslavia in 1946/47 but I found no details on this.
    There was a number of PR missions flown by Spitfires, Mosquitoes, Canberras, and also as you note 'RAF' RB-45s and U-2s with RAF pilots. Some details of those missions surfaced, but most was never revealed. Radar recon was flown, and Washingtons were used for overflights, but I am not sure if all units were involved and at what period.
    Slightly related, but RAF was also involved in evaluation of Soviet aircraft - very little surfaced on this.
    It seems a bit of history is to be told.

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