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Thread: No. 4 Communications Squadron - Post WW 1 (1919) - RAF Felixstowe

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    Default No. 4 Communications Squadron - Post WW 1 (1919) - RAF Felixstowe

    No. 4 Communications Squadron operated from RAF Felixstowe after WW 1.

    I wonder what type(s) of a/c they had and if the squadron was also involved in the RAF mail service to/from Cologne during 1919 or other destinations in N/NW Europe.

    Thanks for any info.

    Regards,

    Leendert

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    Leendert,
    Sturtivant (FT&SU 1912+) to the rescue again!!
    4 Comm Sqn formed 6 Jan 1919 at Felixstowe. 10 x F5 (+ other types – i.e. Short 184, Fury).
    Disbanded Dec 1919.
    No indication which routes flown.
    HTH
    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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    Leendert,

    I have a map of the last forecast issued on 31 March 1919 by the Meteorological Section GHQ at Montreuil, for the UK and France, which includes what appears to be a schematic representation of a route from approximately Lille - Cambrai - midway between Namur and Aix la Chapelle - Cologne. Regretfully there is no indication as to where the crossing from Kent to France was made.

    Brian

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    Leendert,
    I have just had a thought (now I know this is a very dangerous thing to do at my age!!)
    You talked about the 'mail run' to/from Cologne in 1919?
    F5 = flying boat? I can't see any big lakes in the Cologne area, although I suppose they could use the Rhine (it's wide enough at Cologne?) Sturtivant mentions a Short 184 and a Fury (whatever they might be!) as additional 4 Comm Sqn a/c. They might have used a field at what is now Cologne/Bonn Airport?
    HTH
    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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    Leendart,
    And a Short 184 was also a sea-plane!! Where was the Cologne water?
    Fury much later??
    HTH
    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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    The RAF was based at Bickendorf, aka Butzweilerhof, on the NNW suburbs of Cologne; (50*58'50" N, 06*53'49" E). The location has long since been developed into an industrial park, but when I lived there circa 1951-54, the surrounding area was all open farmland and ideal for a 10-year old lad to explore on his cycle. Sadly the whole area is unrecognisable now to me on Google Earth.

    As an aside the first RAF Meteorological (Meteor) Flight was based there from early June 1919 until late August 1919 when it was disbanded.

    I think today's parents would have heart attacks if I told them I thought nothing of taking a tram, unaccompanied, into the city.

    Brian

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    Leendert
    I think the English Channel departure point was initially Hawkinge - see http://www.luftfahrtarchiv-koeln.de/1910_start.htm and scroll down to the entry for 1 March 1919. I appreciate this refers to 18 Squadron, but I would imagine there was a common route. Note also the entries for May. The departure airfield was transferred to Lympne on 16 July. I think the airmail service stopped on 23 August.

    All this is based on my very poor translation of entries at http://www.luftfahrtarchiv-koeln.de/1910_start.htm and I'm happy to be corrected.

    Brian

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    Gentlemen,

    Thanks for the info. Still trying to match a ditched mail plane off the Frisian Islands in July 1919. Newspapers reported the name Murphy, a British flying officer. He was picked up by a Dutch steamer and put ashore in N. Germany. Papers also said he was on his way to Cologne... Most mail bags were recovered. Airplane lost, engine salvaged by a fishing vessel.

    I'm aware that the mail runs to/from Cologne went over the Channel and Belgium, but because the Frisian Islands are way north, I was looking for info about No. 4 Comm Squadron which had a more northerly station and from where flights were also undertaken to Holland (including Den Helder near the Frisian Islands...).

    No. 4 Comm Sqdn apparently only had flying boat types, so can be ruled out.

    So, my search for the elusive Murphy is still on. There is a previous thread about this subject on this forum, with a possible candidate for Murphy.

    Regards,

    Leendert

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    I recall that thread too, Leendert, but was it on the Great War Forum? Might be worth asking the question there.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyffe View Post
    The RAF was based at Bickendorf, aka Butzweilerhof, on the NNW suburbs of Cologne;
    Hello Brian,
    I was given a brief tour of the Cologne Fort (surviving piece of Festungsstadt Köln) to the south of the city around Rodenkirchen and was told about a long-lost airfield there. The person speaking was not an authority on the airfield, just the fort, but I certainly got the impression that it was used post-WW1 by the RAF. Also, the fort is quite close to the river so it follows that the airbase would be also: plenty of space in that area then for river frontage for water-bourne aircraft.

    HTH,
    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

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