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Thread: Sunderland P9623 - Interned Portugal 14-02-1941

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    Default Sunderland P9623 - Interned Portugal 14-02-1941

    Hi to all,

    A couple of days ago I contacted with the families of two portugese persons that organised the "escape" of the crew of the Sunderland P9623, from 95 squadron that landed near Troia - center Portugal - on 14 February 1941.

    It was the first british aircraft to land in this country and the "escape" channel's where still not organised. In the crew where three oficers and eight enlisted men. I have the names of only four of them. S/Ldr Lombard, F/lt Evison, F/O Bowie and Sgt Banfielfd.

    The two persons who organised the escape where one business man from Aveiro and one portugese coronel from the Air Force (AeronŠutica Militar) that had met Lombard in a RAF course in Britain a couple of years earlier.

    It was in fact not one real escape. The coronel after some insitence contacted "somoene" - in the documents I had acces I never found the name of this "somoene" - and that person told him that the portuguese goverment did not wanted to know anything about it. He should proceed as he wanted. If anything went wrong the coronel would be straffed. If everything went Ok the goverment would just close it's eyes.

    Portugal was in this period and untill 1974 a fascist country with a special political police and so on. And they where able to control almost everything. So this "somoene" must have been in a very high position. Portugal was also a allied of britain. One of the oldest ones.

    They "escaped" by boat from Aveiro and on high sea they where met by a British Warship who transported them to somewhere. This "escape Line" would be used over and over again in the next years. This last information I knew from the conversations I had with some other ex-internees.

    The families of this persons have british medals that where given to them by the british goverment. Have a silver plate with the date and hour of the embarcation on the british ship and also pictures of the airplane (in the beach near Troia) and the crew - taken in Aveiro.

    I already found some papers in the archives from Kew related with event. They are correspondence - letter's and telegrams - changed between the ambassy and other departement's in England. But they don't mention the names of the crew member's and are just related with the preparation of the escape in a time when the portugese guys where still not involved.

    I have tried to locate the E&E reports but was no able to find them in the lists I have. Any idea where they are?

    And also what kind of document's would describe this "escape" from Portugal? With the names of the envolved and so on?

    I want to go to Kew sometime in May for a week in order to search as much as I can and any indication would be welcomed.

    Th document's I have also have lot's of expressions as F.O.C.N.A and V.C.N.S and so on. Is there a site or something I can look to find out for what this kind of letter's mean?

    Any help is welcomed.

    Best rergards
    Carlos Guerreiro

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    Carlos,
    VCNS was, I presume, the Vice-Chief of Naval Staff, second from top in command of the Royal Navy.
    David D

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    Carlos,
    Actually he may have been third in command, after Deputy CNS!
    David D

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    Thanks David.

    Bay the way, The Sunderland was offered to Portugal latter. It flew for our Navy for sometime before on the engines broke and onde of the propellers got loose and hit another engine. The pilot got back but because there where no spare part's the airplane was lost and latter scraped.

    best regards
    Carlos Guerreiro

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    Carlos,

    Evison was a New Zealander serving in the RAF, as per this entry from Colin Hanson's 'By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999':

    EVISON, Acting Wing Commander Charles Ewen Wilders, mid(2). 130736. Born Invercargill, 27 Mar 1916; RAF 17 Jan 1938 to Mar 1947, 40614; RNZAF/TAF 1 Jul 1949 to 8 Oct 1957. Res. to 7 Oct 1961. Pilot, then Air Traffic Control post-war.
    Citation Mention in Despatches (1) (1 Jan 1941) For distinguished service.
    Citation Mention in Despatches (2) (14 Jan 1944) For distinguished service.
    Interned in Portugal 14 Feb 1941 to 8 Apr 1941 whilst ferrying an aircraft from UK to West Africa.

    Lombard is almost certainly 37110 Patrick Abercrombie Lombard, the only one of this surname to appear in the October 1940 Air Force List (as a flight lieutenant, dated 15 October 1939).

    Errol

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    A related thread on same aircraft

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...P9623-Portugal
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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