How American fighers went to the UK?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Jenisch, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    By ship, flying or both?
     
  2. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #2 tyrodtom, Jun 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
    The P-38 had the safety factor of 2 engines so evidently sometimes P-38 might have done it, with multi engine navigation support ( B-17, B24 ). Like the Glacier Girl for instance.
    P-51, and P-47, both with drop tanks, might have had the theoretical range, but with a single engine it would be flirting with disaster.

    I've seen several pictures of single engine aircraft cocooned in protective wrap for shipboard transport.
     
  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Vast Majority went by ship. Only a few hundred P-38s went by air.
     
  4. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    I fined it would be very risky to chance loosing even ferry pilots flying the Atlantic.
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Multi-engine aircraft such as the B-17 and B-24, were flown across the 'Pond', to Pretwick, Scotland, whilst single engine aircraft were delivered by sea, to Liverpool, and then towed, by road, either on their landing gear, or on flat-bed trucks, to Burtonwood, near Warrington, approximately half way between Liverpool and Manchester. This was the Base Air Depot where all US aircraft passed through, from delivery to major overhaul and up-grades.
    Here, the waterproofing was removed, and the aircraft re-assembled, before being checked over, ground tested, then air tested. Once declared ready, any required extra or up-dated equipment would be fitted, before they were then issued to relevant units.
    I have a number of photographs of aircraft being towed from Pier Head, Liverpool, and through the streets of Warrington, as well as many of BAD Burtonwood itself, up to it's eventual closure in the 1970s.
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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  7. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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  8. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    P40s in 1941/3 were shipped to west africa then flown across Africa to Egypt.
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Not just P-40s. This is a largely forgotten part of the war effort.

    The operation at Takoradi (Ghana) was huge. The aircraft were re erected at Takoradi, post shipping, and then ferried on to No 1 ADU in Cairo and then on to various MUs (Abusuier, Kasfariet, Heliopolis and others) to be kitted out for operational squadrons.
    It was a perilous journey with about a dozen stops. British, Polish ,South African and Rhodesian pilots all flew ferries along with some new pilots delivering the aircraft and themselves. These men could double their hours on type during the ferry flight. The regular ADU pilots returned on BOAC Lodestars or RAF Bombays.

    After the entry of Japan into the war aircraft were also ferried on to the Far East.

    Takoradi re-erected its 5000th aircraft on 30th July 1943. It was disbanded in October 1943 after the collapse of axis forces in North Africa.

    These are the numbers.

    2,272 Hurricanes

    1114 Blenheims

    736 Spitfires

    337 Beaufighters

    259 Kittyhawks

    232 Tomahawks.

    There were an additional 156 Hurricanes processed through 177 MU at Apapa (Lagos, Nigeria)

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I was at Takoradi in 1971, prior to a jungle exercise, where two hangars were used to accommodate us and our kit. Apparently, it hadn't seen much change and, in basic terms, it was rather primitive!
     
  11. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    I had always heard that Burtonwood was one of the biggest storage areas for American materiel. It was said that they could supply anything from a wheel nut to a B17 from there. It was still a bit hush hush in the 1970s - when the Americans were pulling out. They had a 10 pin bowling alley that could be used by their service personnel and local guests - I bowled (badly) there on a couple of occasions. Rumours still surrounded the underground storage areas - that they were the largest in Europe?
    I would like to see any photos of the base if that is possible guys.
     
  12. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Born and Brought up near RAF Burtonwood so claim to fame

    Probably on the Soviet first wave nuclear strike list but hey ho.
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The last American occupation was the Central Stores for the US Army (Europe), in the complex known as 'Header House'. This was a vast building, over one mile long, and half as wide, which also had a number of underground floors. It was still under the auspices of the RAF, with a RAF Squadron Leader as liaison officer, until run-down and final closure in the mid 1990s, and held everything from radio batteries to vehicles and landing craft!
    In 1989, I was commissioned by the base Colonel to provide three paintings, showing various 'eras' of the base, to hang in the new all-ranks club. By that time, the airfield, once the largest in Europe, was mainly dismantled, with the M62 Motorway passing down the line of the main runway, and housing estates starting to encroach onto the eastern and southern edges. The last remaining hangars and taxiways, on the northern side of the M62, have very recently been demolished, and the whole area is now built upon.
    There had been proposals, back in the 1960s when the USAF(E) left, to make it a regional airport for the north west, more or less replacing Liverpool (now John Lennon International) airport, and Manchester International Airport, but mining subsidence beneath the area, particularly the main runway, was seen to prevent development, particularly in the (then) light of larger and heavier airliners coming into service.
    If there's enough interest, I'll start a thread based on the photographs collected by Aldon Ferguson, the author who has produced two books about Burtonwood, and is the UK representative for the Burtonwood Association.
     
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