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Thread: Question re Christmas Island March 20 1942

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    Default Question re Christmas Island March 20 1942

    I am doing some research on an RAF Ferry Command vets Pilot's Log which involves a flight to Australia March 20-April 23 1942.

    Hamilton, California to Charleville with stops in Hickam,Christmas Island, Fiji,Ipswich,Charleville.

    My question, wasn't Christmas Island occuppied by the Japanese at that point (April 21 1942) if so,....how could he have landed.

    I am looking at his Log as I write this.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    David
    Last edited by drm2m; 5th January 2009 at 15:59.

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    Christmas Island was invaded and occuppied on the 31st March 1942.

    A

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    David,

    Surprising as it may seem, there are in fact two Christmas Islands - one in the Indian Ocean (occupied by the Japanese in WWII), the other in the Pacific (remained in Allied hands).

    Errol

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    David,

    A bit of a long shot, but just wondering if the aircraft happened to be a Hudson, and if so was a Sgt Cornish a member of its crew (as a wireless operator)?

    Errol

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    From memory, the Christmas Island in the Pacific was south of Hawaii, and was a stop over point for ferrying aircraft from the earliest days of the war in the Pacific. I think it was one of the island bases originally built by Pan American Airways, and was quickly taken over by the US military in December 1941. It was originally to be used for the southern route from Hawaii to Australia and New Zealand, and was perfectly located for delivering aircraft to these two Dominions.

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    Thanks to all that have responded, I very much appreciate your help.

    The aircraft was a B-25 No.502 that was piloted by Capt Gilbert S Tobin, an American from Verona New Jersey, who joined RAF Ferry Command in October 1941.
    He was based out of Montreal.

    Interestingly enough he delivered KN751 a B-24 to Dhubalia India on June 7 1945 which was refurbished and delivered back to the RAF museum outside of Lyneham in July 1974, where it now sits.

    The reason for my question... followed the examination of his log….was prompted by having read about the Japanese occupying Christmas in March 42.

    However, the suggestion that ‘IF’ the Christmas Island where the allied base was situated remained in operation,....that would resolve my dilemma.

    David

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    As a point of interest ,the following relates to KN 751 (B-24) in the RAF Museum.

    Consolidated B-24L Liberator, KN751
    KN 751 was built by Ford at Willow Run (44 -50206) for the RAF, delivered in June 1945 and proceed to join 99 Squadron at Dhubalia, (India).
    99 Squadron played a full part in the Burma Campaign, as a Bomber Squadron raiding a large number of varied targets in support of the 14th Army.
    In August/September 1944 the Squadron converted to Liberators. It was to fly its final W.W.2 bombing and strafing attack against Benkoelin in Sumatra on 7th August having been in action throughout the whole of W.W.2.
    KN 751 arrived in time to partake in 99 Squadrons wartime final operational sorties as well as supply dropping to P.O.W. Camps and also the repatriation of P.O.W.s after hostilities.
    KN751 was taken on charge by 6 (M.R.) Squadron after the R.A.F. left India as HE 807 and was presented to the R.A.F. Museum arriving at Lyneham on 7th July 1974. Later she was sent to R.A.F. Colerne.
    It carries a plaque on both sides of its nose reading "Presented by the Indian Air Force to the Royal Air Force Museum", above the bomb aimer's position.
    Source: www.rquirk.com

    http://www.ruudleeuw.com/museum-raf_hendon.htm

    This aircraft is detailed in the sixth item on the attached web site link. (With photos.)

    David

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