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Thread: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    Will answer in greater detail later but bottom line is that DHH-held aircrew assignment cards confirm that Andrew Graham Gerrand was indeed the captain for the delivery flight of Catalina FP159 in June 1943.

    Robert

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    And I hope the right guy is identified - I am confident it is Andrew Graham Gerrand

    Just correcting 70 odd years of wrong information!

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    How do I find DH-H list? i.e. I have Captain Gentry at RAF Helensburgh with Coronado in JX470

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    Dana Lafayette Gentry
    Watson-Hanks Family
    Matching Person details
    Spouse: Patricia Gentry
    Father: Charles N Gentry
    Mother: Frances Ferguson
    Birth: 18/02/1908 (18 Feb 1908) Missouri USA
    Death: 01/06/1979 (1 Jun 1979) Cocoa Brevard Florida USA


    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...is-this-Gentry

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    Robin,

    There is no name list that Iím aware of. The cards for all categories of aircrew are stored alphabetically.

    Go to the DHH web site, enter your request - at least the surname plus flight details with date and serial if you have them - and they will email you a scan of the set of cards if they can make a match. They cannot work without a name as there is no index from aircraft serials to crew member names.

    You will find that personal details apart from full name are now redacted. But if you offer details such as those Paul just provided they will confirm if itís the same person.

    Details on Gerrand and FP159 to follow shortly.

    Robert

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    thank you Robert

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    Robin:

    Here you go. Personal details are now redacted in scans of these cards but DHH confirms the details Paul provided in Post #24 relate to Captain Andrew Graham Gerrand of RAFFC.

    Captain Andrew Graham Gerrand – Extracts from RAF Ferry Command Aircrew Assignment Cards
    Flight hours on arrival at RAFFC: 7,300
    Completed flying check: June 26, 1942
    Appointed Captain: July 7, 1942
    Resigned: April 4, 1945

    Types delivered to UK as captain (except as noted):
    • Mitchell – 3 including 1 to Australia
    • Lodestar – 1 to Australia
    • PBY-5/5B – 7 including FP159
    • Liberator – 4 including 1 as first officer and 1 to India
    • Mariner – 1 to UK and 1 from UK
    • Dakota – 2

    Delivery of Catalina seaplane FP159 including escort to Hadrian FR579 towed by Dakota FD900
    June 22, 1943: Elizabeth City, North Carolina to Montreal, Quebec
    June 23: Montreal to Goose Bay, Newfoundland
    June 23: Goose Bay to Mingnan, Quebec
    June 23: Mingnan to Goose Bay
    June 27: Goose Bay to Julienhaab, Greenland, now known as Qaqortoq
    June 30: Julienhaab to Reykjavik, Iceland
    July 1: Reykjavik to Largs(?), UK

    Now I'm curious how these flights dovetailed with those of the Dakota/Hadrian combination. I assume they linked up at or near Goose Bay. More to follow.

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 31st October 2020 at 02:25. Reason: Clarified delivery section title

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    This from an IWM photo caption. Looks like the Catalina and Hadrian/Dakota combination came together on June 27 somewhere near Goose Bay:

    A Waco Hadrian Mark I, FR579 “Voo Doo [sic]”, glider on the ground at Dorval, near Montreal, Canada, before being towed across the Atlantic by a Douglas Dakota of RAF Transport Command. The hinged nose of the glider is open for loading the freight to be carried, consisting of 3360 lbs of medical supplies, engine and radio parts. The flight was accomplished in four legs. On 23 June 1943 the Dakota/Hadrian combination flew from Dorval to Goose Bay, Labrador. On 27 June the combination headed for 'Bluie West 1' (Narsarssuak) in Greenland. Three days later [June 30] the glider was towed over the Atlantic, landing in Iceland after a flight of 7 hours and 15 minutes. On 1 July the combination flew the final leg, landing at Prestwick, Ayrshire.

    Robert

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    Captain A G (Gerry) Gerrand was certainly a very well known airline pilot in New Zealand and Australia, with seemingly a long and colourful life. He was, as already pointed out, an Australian, a big, powerfully built man, with a fearsome reputation as a hard taskmaster of airline pilots, and handy with his fists. He was a fairly senior pilot with Union Airways in New Zealand in the days of the DH 86s, and Lockheed 10A Electras, but was awarded a commission in RNZAF about the outbreak of WW2. His RNZAF career was cut short after he was seen involved in a fist fight (possibly instigated by others) in a public bar not far from his operational station at Ohakea, and was requested to resign his commission for indulging in actions "not becoming, or expected of an officer of His Majesty's forces" or similar words. He was, so far as I know, taken back by Union Airways, and was at some point appointed Operations Manager of the new, government-owned National Airways Corporation, probably in 1946. He was thus responsible for the operations of all the Corporation's aircraft (and their flight crews), and therefore attempted to control all flights so that they adhered to the published timetables as closely as possible. I have been told by some old NAC pilots that any pilot who took off late or arrived at their destination late (that is over a minute later than scheduled) would be duly hauled before the Operations Manager to explain himself, with any excuse, no matter how plausible, being routinely ignored. The Ops Manager then terrorised the unfortunate with a detailed account of his gross shortcomings as an airline pilot, who was then sent out of the office thinking he had been fired. Gerrand also sometimes kept his hand in with flying, including captaining at least one Corporation C-47 to Australia in about 1947/48 for its conversion to a civilian DC-3. As I do not have easy access to my other notes on Union Airways, or the early days of NAC, I will not attempt to comment on anything that I am not so certain about. Perhaps A G Gerrand is on the internet? The way he managed the NAC timetables seems to have been based on the methods employed by the American higher command to oversee the "Hump" freight operation from India and over the Himalayas to China during the years 1942/45, with the crews being constantly reminded that "There is NO WEATHER over the supply routes into China" (in other words, we expect the schedules to operate as per the timetables, regardless of actual weather), which the crews valiantly attempted to comply with.
    David D

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    Thanks David.You did not tell me the colour of his hair! Cheers

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