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Thread: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

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    Default Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    Any info, please Captain Gerry Durrand whose Catalina escorted the Voodoo glider flight to the UK in 1940. He was a New Zealander by birth

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    Hi Robin:

    According to Carl Christie's Ocean Bridge, the flight in question took place in mid-1943, Waco CG-4A Hadrian 'Voo-Doo' FR579 (FR580 was the reserve aircraft) and its Dakota tug departing Dorval for Prestwick via Goose Bay and BW-1 on June 24 and arriving on July 1 (Phil Butler in Air Arsenal North America quotes June 30) after 28 hours in the air. Not surprisingly, the exercise was not repeated. Christie quotes the principle Hadrian and Dakota crew member names if you are interested.

    Not clear if Durrand was a Ferry Command pilot but if he was his Ferry Command records are likely on file with DHH in Ottawa. Christie notes the support Catalina but there are no further details.

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 25th October 2020 at 16:26. Reason: minor edit

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    cheers Robert. I know the Catalina went on to RAF Helensburgh as a trials aircraft

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    What was the Catalina's serial, Robin?

    Do please let me know if you find out more about Durrand. If he doesn't have a rank, as your subject line suggests, then he was most likely a civilian Ferry Command pilot.

    Robert

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    Will do. The Catalina crew didn't share in the limelight following the Voodoo landing. Other ferry pilots I have managed to trace, Durrant remains elusive. The Catalina was on a 'special' ferry flight incase the Dakota and glider ditched. I don't think it was armed if they were attacked.

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    Robin,

    I have my doubts about Durrand being a New Zealander, having found no record of him in my database of all known New Zealand airmen up to 1948, and wonder if you may have confused him with New Zealander Charles William Halliwell Thomson who co-piloted the Voodoo glider?

    Errol

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    Robin,

    Note that you replied with the spelling ‘Durrant’...

    Robert

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    The three aircraft were:

    Dakota: FD900
    Hadrian: FR579
    Catalina: FP159

    Source:

    Peter Berry's listing: Trans-Atlantic Air Deliveries 1940-1946.

    Berry also gives July 1 as the arrival date at Prestwick.

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 26th October 2020 at 01:18. Reason: Arrival date added

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    Newspapers Thames Star 7 December 1933 Page 2

    THAMES TO GISBORNE. 'PLANE FROM HASTINGS. The aeroplane ZK—ACY, which flew over Thames yesterday morning, was piloted by Captain Durant, of Hastings, who had with him as a passenger Mr. L. Martin, of Gisborne, brother of Mrs. Geo. Price, Thames. The latter was paying a brief visit to see his sister. The 'plane left Hastings at 4 a.m. yesterday, arriving an hour later at Gisborne. It left there at 6 a.m. and landed at the Parawai racecourse at 9 a.m. On the return flight the 'plane took only 1 hour 50 minutes to complete the journey from Thames to Gisborne, a distance by direct air line of about 170 miles. The pilot then had to leave Gisborne for Hastings to take part in the welcome to Mr. C. T. P. Ulm in the afternoon.

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    Default Re: Tracing Capt Gerry Durrand, Atlantic Ferry pilot

    Still remain unconvinced by all this ID - For instance


    https://airandspace.si.edu/support/w...d-jerry-durand


    But not sure it was him

    https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pi...6140&fhid=5773

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