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Thread: Transport Command Squadron x Ferry Unit difference

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Transport Command Squadron x Ferry Unit difference

    Peter,
    Many thanks for pulling me up on that point. I think Medical Officers were in a similar situation, in that although at some stage they may have been posted to the strength of squadrons, for the most part they were posted to the Station strength as this was by far the most satisfactory solution. My error in stating that Met Officers would be on the strength of resident units. There would have been many other appointments on station strength where this was the sensible thing to do, such as MT, Link Trainer Sections, Works, Security, Station Workshops, communications, messing and accommodation, bomb dump, medical, pay accounts, etc., etc.
    David D

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    Default Re: Transport Command Squadron x Ferry Unit difference

    Franek,
    Not quite certain about your last comments, and reference to the ATA. The latter was of course a civilian organisation, which did indeed have some members who would not be acceptable in the RAF due to age, infirmities, etc, or even being of the other sex! However some pilots already serving in the RAF were posted for ferrying aircraft from place to place in various theatres, and some of these had infirmities too, or were considered "a bit long in the tooth" for normal operational flying, or arduous overseas service. These could still be employed in RAF units however, including serving as staff pilots in training units of various kinds, or instructors if qualified, or on drogue-towing duties. A few of them might have lacked the odd arm or leg, but if they were otherwise fit and fairly able they could be employed on aircraft types that suited them.
    David D

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    Default Re: Transport Command Squadron x Ferry Unit difference

    David
    I mean regardless of ATA for the reasons stated by you. Judging by the Polish ferry crew, I have not checked all the airmen, those were either too old or for some reason, eg. medical, not fit operational flying, or those on operational rest. I am not aware of any doing such a one way flight to operational unit, though I guess it may have happened at times. I understand, that Ferry Units were just a sort of administrative bodies providing paperwork for the airmen, and most of the services were provided by the stations enroute.
    Franek
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    Default Re: Transport Command Squadron x Ferry Unit difference

    Hi all, well I was not expecting there will be so big interest in this theme:)
    As for the last posts I have to say I have experienced both cases in my researches.

    1. During the war 1942-1943 there were cases when the whole freshly trained RAF/RCAF crews were used for aircraft delivery to the Mediterranean for example and they were posted to some unit there for their tour of operation.

    2. During the final period of far (generally from the early 1945) some of the Czechoslovak pilots - mostly older ones, both former fighter or bomber pilots - after finishing tour of operation who had already some experience from MUs and also TC squadrons were posted to the FUs and they were delivering aircraft but returning back to their home base as passengers or they were simply delivering freight and passengers also returning to their home base with the same aircraft.

    This latter fact originated this my question when I have seen in a Log Book of a pilot who was transferred from a TC Squadron to a FU with the CO opinion that "he (the pilot) is no more suitable for passengers transport" and then I can read he was again transporting passenger with the FU:)

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Default Re: Transport Command Squadron x Ferry Unit difference

    My father W.E.P (Pete) Webb after Spending the war years I Coastal Command was in No1. Ferry Unit from 5th March 1946 - 6th January 1950. First at Pershore until May 1948 then at Manston (where he was duty officer when he allowed a Czech Seibel aircraft (stolen/borrowed) to land with 8 escapers on board). I am not sure what he was doing in 1 Ferry Unit but initially his log books show him in a number of different aircraft with different Pilots but later he seemed to be on a different role entirely. EG Feb. 1949 Pilot F/L Featherstone - Anson VS528 for whole month all duties were 'Ferry'
    1st El Adam
    2nd El Adam to Fayid
    5th Fayid to Wadi Halfa
    11th Wadi Halfa to Khartoum
    14th Khartoum to Juba
    Same pattern until 24th Kasima to Ndola.
    He seems to have left Featherstone and the Anson there and on
    3/3/49 Cpt. Strange Belvedere-Lusaka-Ndola-Eastleigh
    5/3/49 Cpt. Nel Eastleigh-Khartoum-Castel Benito
    6/3/49 Cpt Meaker Castel Benito - London Airport. Above three were in a Bristol Freighter and Skymaster.
    I am not sure what he was doing but he told us he was armed and had to stay with the plane when they landed. My father was in touch with people at Manston about 30 years ago and they were equally unsure about precisely what role No1 Ferry Unit carried out, it does seem to be a bit of mystery.

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    Default Re: Transport Command Squadron x Ferry Unit difference

    Bill (et al)

    In the mid-1950s the fairly regularly flown (by 70 Sqn Hastings (later based in Cyprus) and Malta Shackletons) route was:
    El Adem > Fayid (later the Black Mountain at Nasser’s Corner at 22N 25E) – Wadi Halfa > Khartoum (> Aden) > Malakal > Juba > Nairobi.
    Other a/c did this (and/or variations of) route. Some of the ‘freight’ was a bit strange! But as nobbut a junior airman (but officially supernumerary crew) one was not supposed to know what it was – but one did!

    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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    Default Re: Transport Command Squadron x Ferry Unit difference

    After that there was “Trek Airways” (I think?). Whoever it was had a York which used to route through El Adem on “ferry duties”? ZS-DKI was a reg that comes to my ancient memory. They were filled with mortar bombs (I was on guard round them!). They came from Belgium, and went “South”!!!! They were still just a dot above the horizon minutes later! Heavily overloaded, and struggling for height?
    Many, many, years later I am on Ascension Is (Op CORPORATE). During that unpleasantness one noted a fairly regular C-141 (with no external airframe markings whatsoever) arriving from the USA and subsequently departing towards Angola. It was crewed by persons with very severe haircuts but with no identifying badges on their flight overalls! If it was late on take-off, the ‘locals’ would say, conversationally, “I see the gunrunner was late off this morning?”.
    Not a lot changes, does it?
    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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    Default Re: Transport Command Squadron x Ferry Unit difference

    Peter
    How about any dates, even approximate! ZS-DKI was a Viking operated by them 1954-58, an ex-Eagle aircraft, which is also interesting. Not sure where such a load could have been delivered so early, though. Corporate - 1982? At the same time venerable Il-18s travelledto Angola via Malta, a popular spot. This has little to aircraft ferrying though.
    https://www.facebook.com/Franciszek-Grabowski-241360809684411/

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    Default Re: Transport Command Squadron x Ferry Unit difference

    Further to my other post, I have had another look at my father's logs and he was on a Dakota KJ950 on Aug 19th flying from Luqa to Ellinikon (Athens) on Ferry duty Googled the Dakota and below came up. He left net day on a Viking
    to RAF as Dakota IV KJ950. Transferred to Greek AF Aug 18, 1949. SX-ECD.
    Bill Webb

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