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Thread: Scuiscuiban, Somalia - where exactly is it?

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    Default Scuiscuiban, Somalia - where exactly is it?

    Hello

    I'm looking for the location of the outpost airstrip at Scuiscuiban, Somalia.

    I presume it's now known as something else? Google doesn't seem to know where it is!

    Thanks

    Simon

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    Simon
    FSX has Scuscuiban (HCMS) 10 18.07N 50 14.87E 1121 ft AMSL 27/09 6552 ft, and 23/05.
    Looks suspiciously like same place?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    PS GE marks a strip Port lotniczy Scusciuban at 10.499253° 50.458121°. Not much sign of a strip!
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 1st November 2019 at 12:02. Reason: Additions
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Thank Peter - I see there's somewhere called Iskushuban close by, which allegedly has an airport: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iskushuban_Airport

    Again, not much to see on GE, but if you zoom in you can see just at the top RH corner of the 'airport' written in large 20 feet high white letters "SCIUSCIUBAN" - note spelling!

    Regards

    Simon

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    Simon,
    What are the GE co-ords (decimal degrees) for this 20 ft high lettering for "SCIUSCIUBAN".
    It's an appalling place to "fly". It must have been worse in WW2!! You would have had to have upset the AOC Big Time to get posted there!!!
    Who was flying from there in WW2? Socotra (300nm to the NE) must have been used extensively? But Malcolm's RAFWEB has no RAF Socotra (or was it called something else then?).
    Nearest I got to that area was re-fuelling at Khartoum in the mid-50's. It's now an appalling area, but 3000 yrs ago it was "the land of Punt", and very verdant, ruled over by The Queen of Sheba who went on a State Visit to Egypt (according to Handel's oratorio "Solomon")!!!
    Interesting!
    TIA
    Peter Davies
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    Hello Peter

    Using Google Earth Pro, the white sign is at 10°18'55.08"N 50°12'25.82"E

    There is a lot of not very much for miles around, although Iskushuban itself, about 3 miles SE of the 'airport' seems to be quite a large town, by the look of it.

    I came across it in the book "Fighter, Fighter, Corkscrew Port" by Pat Cunningham, which has a chapter by Oliver Gomersal of 621 Squadron. He and his crew were posted on detachment to Sciusciuban (or Scuiscuiban), which he describes as 'one of the more primitive strips.' One Ops building, then tents for accommodation, and the water had to be brought from a spring 30 miles away. Refuelling of the Wellingtons was done by hand pump!

    I think the nearest other R.A.F. airfield at the time would be Bandar Qassim on the northern coast of the Horn of Africa. The chapter in the book is all about the attack on U-852 in Wellington JA107 'E' when they were on detachment there.

    Regards

    Simon

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    Simon,
    Tks for that. I shall "fly" from it tomorrow!!
    There is also an interesting site at www.fallingrain.com/icao/HCMS.html - makes the place sound almost passable!!
    The area geomorphology (limestone with igneous intrusions) exhibits absolutely classical dendritic drainage patterns which proves there was once consistent rainfall over a very long period of time. Climate change (which has been with us since the earth formed!) dried it out. Once the current warming peaks around 3000CE the climate will start cooling and by 40,000CE (give or take a fortnight!) the Land of Punt will be verdant once more! We may not be here?
    But I still would have tried to avoid a posting to RAF Iskushuban!!
    Interesting side-line/footnote on WW2. But that's what it's all about!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
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    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Interesting Peter, thank you.

    Here's a photo of an R.A.A.F. Hudson of 459 Sqn at Scusciuban (another different spelling!):

    http://www.adf-gallery.com.au/galler...Hudson/P027092

    Looks pretty desolate...

    Regards

    Simon

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    Simon,
    Brilliant!
    Would be interesting to know what made "them" decide on that appalling location. One would have thought that a more 'coastal' location would have been easier from both the personnel and re-supply angles. Or were "they" thinking along the same lines as the Italians in Cyrenaica when they colonised it? Build the defensive airfields well inland beyond the range of the (then) naval gunfire (Tobruk/El Adem, Benghazi/Benina, etc, etc)?
    Best thread for a long time!!
    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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    Peter

    It's in what was Italian Somalia before the Italians left and the Allies moved in the region - I'm not if it was 'built' (is that the right word...?!) by the Italians or by the Allies. It's not a very well-documented airfield!

    I do know that 354 Squadron also had a couple of aircraft (Liberators?) detached there in June 1944.

    There's a little bit of discussion here about the conditions: http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads...n-red-sea.298/

    "Scuiscuiban was that it was just a convienient flat bit of desert with a small ops building and tents to live in. Water was brought in from a hot spring located about 30 miles away in the back of the station's Ford truck. One or two Wellingtons would be rotated to the detachment for a week or more at a time. When the crew landed, they had to hand pump the plane full of fuel from 45 gallon drums and then settle into a hot and dusty waiting routine with occassion low level night flight submarine search out over the Indian Ocean. Meals were whatever you could make out of canned army rations plus whatever the rotating crews could bring in that was fresh."

    Sounds lovely...

    JA107 of 621 Sqn was actually operating from Scusciuban (or however it's spelled...!) on May 1st 1944 when it damaged U-852 - they landed back at the airfield with 30 gallons of fuel in the Wellington's tanks.

    Regards

    Simon

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    "The Squadron’s dutie....consisted almost entirely of armed reconnaissance flights over the Djibouti area for the purpose of observing the movements of Vichy French Submarines....In August, 1942, the presence of hostile submarines in the Gulf of Aden necessitated a continuous patrol over shipping and by the following month, organised patrols by detachments of the Squadron operating from advanced landing grounds at Bandar Kassim, Riyan, Salalah and Scuiscuiban were instituted. Lockheed Hudson and Vickers Wellingtons were allocated alongside the Blenheims to enable the squadron to perform its extended role. In spite of incessant patrols, very few submarines were sighted, and no claims were made, although in July, 1943, there was evidence that one was seriously damaged and possibly destroyed."

    http://www.radfanhunters.co.uk/8%20squadron.htm

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