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Thread: WW2 route Stockholm to Leuchars

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    Default WW2 route Stockholm to Leuchars

    I have been given a copy of the diary written by a Norwegian meteorologist describing his escape from Norway to Sweden in February 1943, and his flight from Stckholm to Leuchars a year later (25 February 1944). I know little about such flights but he records it was operated by British Airways, and the aircraft was a Liberator.

    A number of questions arise:
    1. Would the aircraft crew have been civilians of RAF?
    2. In either case would there be any details of such flights (thinking of an ORB type document or book)?
    3. What route would the aircraft have taken?

    The gentleman died last year, and the diary details have been copied to me by his widow.

    TIA
    Brian

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    Hi Brian
    Try contacting http://www.bamuseum.com/ .It cropped up on a thread a few days ago and the indication was that they were helpful. The Flights you seek were ,I think, done by BOAC, using a number of a/c incl Mosquitos and the museum may have details of a/c ,routes and possibly personnel
    Regards
    Dick

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    BOAC "civilian" aircrew were involved from what little I know.

    For example, in Flight Magazine dated Nov 4th 1943 you find:

    THE pilot of an unarmed civil Mosquito and his radio officer head the list of awards for courage and devotion to duty recently made to personnel of British Overseas Airways Corporation.
    They are Capt. Gilbert Rae and Radio Officer James S. Payne, who for some time have been regularly flying between this country and Sweden and have twice been attacked by enemy
    fighters.
    Besides l hi O.B.E. and M.B.E. respectively, Kac and Payne have received B.O.A. Certificates of Commendation.
    The official Air Ministry citation says: "The King has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Capt. Gilbert Rae and Radio Officer James Stanley Wood Payne, lioth of the British Overseas Airways Corporation, to be an Officer and a Memlxr respectively of the British Empire Order in recognition ol their high courage over an extended period in flying unarmed aircraft on the civil wartime air service between the United Kingdom and Stockholm.
    "When Capt. Rae was attacked some time ago over enemy - occupied territory his aircraft was damaged by cannon lire and the undercarriage hydraulic system was put out of action.
    By thr most skilful evasive tactics and exceptional coolness in a most hazardous situation he was able to avoid further damage, in Sweden with the undercarriage retracted. The forced
    ing was made with such skill that comparatively little damage was done to the aircraft.
    "A few days later Capt. Rae was again attacked by two German aircraft, but by his. skill and coolness he was able to shake off his assailants and land safely.
    "On a third occasion, half-way across the North Sea with a very heavy load, one of his engines failed, and it was only due to superb airmanship that he managed to get safely back to base.
    " On all these occasions Mr. Payne has been the radio officer of the aircraft. He has cheerfully and readily accepted the same risks as his pilot. His skill as a radio officer and his coolness in the lace of extreme danger have been outstanding."

    I would contact the BA Museum for one thing, they will have some very useful information for you.

    http://www.bamuseum.com/contact.html

    The above citation also appears in the London GAzette but Rae or Payne do not appear to have been an air Force officers they were non commishion aircrew.

    The crew of G-AGES Sunderland which crashed in Ireland contained a mix of BOAC civilian crew and men who had been RAF members and were seconded to BOAC for duty.

    In Flight Magazine October 19th 1944 you find:
    Northern Route Opened
    BRITISH aircraft will soon be operating over Finland for the first time for three years, when B.O.A.C. reopens the air service between Great Britain, Stockholm and Helsinki, Negotiations
    are proceeding for the renewal of traffic over this route and for the use of Helsinki's
    excellent modern airport at Malmoe, which is at present a Red Air Force base. Russia is expected to give her consent as a matter of course between Allies.

    Certainly contact the Museum anyway.
    Dennis
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

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

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    Default BOAC flights to Sweden

    These flights began in the late summer of early autum of 1940, initially with Lockheed Lodestars.

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    Hi Brian

    I have a copy of "Blockade Runners: Sweden's lifeline in the Second World War" which details the various aircraft and missions flown by the Swedes, RAF and others. If you provide a name*, I can see if he is mentioned and possible details.

    *PM/email me if you do not wish to divulge that on the board

    A

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    Thank you all gentlemen - this particular story came right out of the blue so it would be nice to be able to place it fully in context. Although you have all quoted BOAC as the carrier my reference to British Airways was copied direct from the diary - it might be that the translator substituted BA for BOAC.

    Amrit,

    The gentleman in question was Karl Johannessen; the diary entry for 25 Feb 1944 reads:

    "At 3 pm I was at British Airways and we went to Bromma (airport) again, this time it went fast. Put on the flying suit, life preserver and parachute. The plane, a Liberator, started at 6.30 pm. 12 passengers; 3 Norwegians (Bonstad, engineer Kvinden and me), 2 French diplomats and 7 Dutch seamen.

    We rose immediately to great heights. On with the oxygen mask, it got cold in spite of the thick flying suits and fur-lined boots. We had comfortable chairs to sit in. Good flight weather, just for a short time did we have turbulence.

    Landed in Scotland St Lucas (Leuchars) airport at 11.30 om after 5 hours flight, most likely northbound over Norway and later southwest over the North Sea.

    By car to Supar (I'm sure this should be Cupar). After a cup of tea to bed."

    Brian

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    Brian,

    if you can would you be able to ask if his diary covers the period of July 1945 and where he might have been on July 28th or there abouts. We have an unkown as such Norwegian in a plane crash in Ireland on that date and I follow any lead I see.

    It very very unlikely that it is your man but no harm in asking I hope.

    regards

    Dennis
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

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

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    Dennis,

    I don't have that particular page but he is definitely not your man. Shortly after the end of the war he returned to Norway with all the other Norwegians who had been working in the Central Forecast Office (most of whom (and he was one) married WAAFs who were also working there.) He died in Vashon, Washington, last year - his 91st.

    Brian

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    Brian

    I will scan a map that shows the two routes used between Bromma and Leuchars and email it to you later.

    As to the other info, I will need to check the book in detail as the information isn't provided in the most accessible way.

    A

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    As has already been said the aircrews were sometimes made up of mixed civilian and military seconded to BOAC. The Radio Officer on Mosquito G-AGGF, crashed 17th August 1943, was an RAF wireless operator on secondment. In the BOAC and AIB reports he is listed as Radio Officer H. Beaumont but CWGC lists him as Flight Sergeant H. Beaumont RAFVR, 1111883.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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