Three in a 109

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1st Lieutenant
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
Here is a little story I read of in the book "The Last Escaper."

In April of 1940 twenty four Hampdens were out over the North Sea in daylight, looking for some reported German ships. They were set upon by BF-109's and six were shot down. Only one of the Hampdens hit was able to crash land on an island off the Norweigan bearing a dead rear gunner and a badly burnt wireless operator and a injured navigator. They wounded were being treated by a Norweigan doctor when they heard that one of the 109's had run low on fuel and had to make an emergency landing on the island. Aided by the doctor, the three RAF men were taken to the 109, where they removed the seat and canopy, but the wireless operator in the rear fuselage, and had the pilot, Don Domaldson, sit in the navigator's lap. They refueled the 109 with car gas and tried to take off, but the combined weight of the thee airmen, combined with the low octane rating of the car gas, led to their being unable to make a successful short field takeoff. On the third try they hit a tree and that was bloody well that.

Don Donaldson later was one of the few to eventually escape from a German POW camp and return to Great Britian, sneaking aboard a ship bound for Sweden.

Three in 109! Imagine that flight over the North Sea, with two guys in the cockpit. Sounds a wee bit breezy.
No it was done quite often. With moving base f.i.
Furthermore combat sorties with a cameraman in the back with a 190 wasnt a 1 time deal either

A 109 with 3 scored a kill even.
Yes, I have read reports of 109's with someone in the rear fuselage. They would have to be small to get-in through the rear access, and light or the CofG would be awful.

I read of a pilot ferrying an F3F from one airfield to another in HI before WW2. He agreed to let an enlisted man climb into the radio compartment and get a ride to the other airfield. Unfortunately the tailwheel cam apart on landing and the effects on the passenger were not pleasant; he was glad to scramble out of there!

In the pre-WW2 movie Flight Command there was a scene where an F3F out of San Diego suffered an oil leak and had to make an emergency landing on a beach. The airplane overturned, injuring the pilot. So another F3F landed and the pilot removed the radio transmitter from his own airplane, stuff the injured pilot in the compartment and flew to safety. Of course the F3F was rather rotund and had a lot of room in the aft fuselage, similar to the F4F, seen below. That hatch looks easily capable of letting a man in, and in fact it is pretty obvious that it had to be, to enable the radios to be accessed. The transmitter is the unit in the rear. Note the blanket on the floor, no doubt an attempt to avoid the "bed of nails" situation associated with having your body spread across stringers. OUCH!

Yes, I have read reports of 109's with someone in the rear fuselage. They would have to be small to get-in through the rear access, and light or the CofG would be awful.

I posted a diagram somewhere but i cant find it now. As i remember pilot, behind seat facing tail and one oin the tail more or less laying.
Finns regularly transported passengers in the Brewster B-239 fighter. It was not specially forbidden and ground transport was slow and dangerous due to partisans. Two passengers with luggage was normal.
Wasn't there a 109 flight from Yugoslavia to Italy with a U.S.POW pilot in the fuselage to affect a surrender. I seem to remember a pic with a large U.S. flag painted on the sides.
There was. Its on this board.

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