Aeroplane Monthly 1993-02
Personal album
Dakota III FZ587 of 353 Squadron at Bahrain in February 1944. Following a period with 1334 CU, this Dakota was sold to the Indian government in January 1947.
134 Squadron Hurricane IID KZ719 at Bahrain in February 1944. It was struck off RAF charge in October the same year.
Photographed at RAF North Weald in July 1939 is Hurricane I L1605. This 17 Sqn Hurricane was originally delivered to 56 Sqn and subsequently flew with Nos 213, 501 and 87 Sqns. It was destroyed on May 30, 1940.
This Spitfire V forced-landed at Southam, Warwickshire in February 1942, flown by an ATA pilot. The serial number is BL97? (the last figure being either a 3 or a 5). Southam was a relief landing ground for 9 EFTS's Tiger Moths at nearby Ansty. It was active from 1940 until December 1944, when it was transferred to the Ministry of Works.
The Fernando Po authorities refused to allow dawn supply flights to Biafra and in a vain attempt to divert attention the Anson's flightplan always showed either Sao Tome or Libreville in Gabon as the destination. On one occasion in August 1968 a locally-based Spanish Air Force Detachment T-6 Harvard was flown out to escort G-AWMG on its return to Fernando Po. When asked why the aircraft was approaching from the direction of Biafra the crew "admitted" to having got lost.
Pictured over Saskatchewan, Canada in September 1942 is Airspeed Oxford AS680 of 35 SFTS. Built in 1941, this Oxford was delivered direct to Canada.
Another view of 35 EFTS Oxford AS680 flying over Saskatchewan in September 1942.
The cockpit layout of a 35 SFTS Oxford.
Avro XIX G-AWMG at the Spanish Sahara airfield of El Aiun after it was discovered that the port engine throttle lever would not travel through the throttle gate. Local engineers managed to repair the fault sufficiently for flight.
The maximum permissible load for an Avro XIX was frequently exceeded. Milk powder, salt or Complan cargoes were also sometimes under threat from a leaking fuselage roof during the height of tropical storms. G-AWMG is seen being loaded for a Sao Tome Fernando Po shuttle, a role subsequently taken over by Fred Olsen C-46 Commando transport aircraft. To make more room the crew jettisoned the liferaft and other emergency equipment.
Immediately before its departure from the UK for Biafra G-AWMH had been specially camouflaged for participation in the film The Battle of Britain. It was repainted at Bovingdon airfield in overall white, and bore red crosses for Biafran operations. The aircraft is seen here at Jersey during its delivery flight.
At Abidjan on the Ivory Coast officials warned G-AWMG’s crew that Nigerian MiG-19s were planning to intercept the Anson on its Lome to Sao Tome sector. To thwart this threat the crew extended the aircraft's range to 700 miles by installing three 45gal oil drums in pyramid fashion just aft of the cockpit with a gravity feed into the main fuel crossfeed. To transfer fuel from the top drum to the lower two required syphoning via a length of hose holding a thumb over one end as the upper drum emptied twice as fast as the lower two! In this photograph Mike Draper expresses concern over the shifting of the centre of gravity and the strong smell of fuel. The instruments suggest that the aircraft was on course and cruising at 2,000 r.p.m.
Three views of Avro XIX G-AWMH on its belly at Port Etienne following failure of the starboard Cheetah engine while approaching the Mauretanian airfield. As the aircraft approached, a violent sandstorm swept across, obscuring the landing area. In order to bring the aircraft to a swift halt the crew retracted the undercarriage immediately after touchdown. Only the props and pitot tube sustained damage, and it was not long before G-AWMH was airborne once more.
After a spell of flights to Biafra and the reorganisation of night flights to Uli, the crew of Anson G-AWMG was tasked with a low-level air-drop of vital Complan to a remote leprosy settlement in the valley of Uzuakoli, north-east of Umuahia, on September 3, 1968. The settlement was close to the front line and was in danger of being cut off by the advancing Nigerian Army. The Anson had completed three low-level passes at near stalling speed and had dropped half its cargo when, while losing height for the fourth run, it came under enemy small-arms fire. The aircraft was hit in the port engine and, left with insufficient power, crashed into a yam plantation. Fearful of attack from the Nigerian Air Force, Mike Draper and local helpers camouflaged the wreckage. Several days later, and with a refugee family living inside the wreck, the site was rocketed by Nigerian L-29 Delfins and bombed by a lone Ilyushin Il-28. Eventually the Anson was overrun by advancing Nigerian troops after Christmas 1968.
D.H. Tiger Moth T6234 of 9 EFTS at its Ansty base in February 1942. Following a period with 25 Polish Flying Training School, this Tiger became G-AMVF in April 1957 and was sold in Australia in August 1960, becoming VH-SCI.
Tiger Moth K4271 of 9 EFTS at Ansty in February 1942. Delivered to 3 ERFTS in the winter of 1934/35, K4271 passed to 9 EFTS, then to 21 EFTS and finally ended up with the AOP School. It was struck off charge in September 1952.
Hurricane IV LD864, fit­ted with rockets, at Delhi in March 1946.