The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by phylo_roadking » 23 Mar 2010 20:39

It ALSO means that these two straight lines across the landscape diverging from a point off the picture to the left...

Image

...are the runways at RAF Kaldadarnes marked on the Canadian map!

What a mess :( No wonder they evacuated.
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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by phylo_roadking » 24 Mar 2010 04:12

Jon, in answer to your question - according to Conn and Stetson, from September throuigh to the start of December 1941 there were ongoing discussions about basing four-engined bombers (of some type) on Iceland, and the final decision to move 24 have indeed been taken - on the eve of Pearl Harbour 8O One party to the decision had said that no, light bombers were what was needed, others that longer-ranged aircraft to replace the Navy PBYs at Iceland. In the end - events in early December ensured these particular aircraft never arrived...

I don't have any details as yet as to what was based at Keflavik afterwards during the war.

However...although normally outside the parameters of the No.269 Sqn. chronology, occasionally the compiler gives a snapshot of what was on the island as a whole...

As of 15th February 1943 -
No 120 Squadron Detachment, Liberator aircraft at Reykjavik
From Wiki -
Reformed as part of Coastal Command in Northern Ireland in 1941 at RAF Nutts Corner, the unit was equipped with the Consolidated Liberator, flying against the U-Boat threat in the war in the North Atlantic. The squadron received the first Mark I Liberators in June and began flying nine of them in September from bases in Aldergrove, Northern Ireland and Reykjavik, Iceland. The number of Liberators in September 1942 had increased to six Mark I, two Mark II, and three Mark III. 120 Squadron remained the only Coastal Command squadron flying VLR (Very Long Range) Liberators in February 1943 with five Mark I and twelve Mark III
And earlier, on 12th October 1942 -
Sqn. Ldr. Terence Bulloch in a VLR Liberator of No 120 Squadron on detachment to Reykjavik sank U597 SW Iceland. This was the first sinking by one of only five Mk1 VLR Liberators in Coastal Command which, with on operational range of 2400 miles, were able to close the Mid-Atlantic ‘Gap’ thus paving the way for the ‘Hunters’ becoming the ‘Hunted’.
Apart from that, the only other British four-engined aircraft I can see operating out of Iceland were the Sunderlands stationed at HMS Baldur, the flying boat base at Reykjavik.

HOWEVER...At least one more Liberator arrived on Iceland - but not in the way intended :( On the 3rd of May 1943 -
US Liberator aircraft sighted off Kaldaðarnes and given permission to land. Did not do so. Subsequently crashed on Fagradalsfjall Mountain on Reykjanes. Twelve killed including General Andrews US Army, Commander-in-Chief, US European Theatre of Operations, the successor to General Eisenhower who had just been appointed Supreme Commander Allied Forces Europe (SACEUR). There was one survivor.
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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by phylo_roadking » 12 Apr 2010 01:51

Some time ago it was suggested that as part of the exploitation phase after airborne landings in Iceland as part of a 1940 Operation IKARUS (obviously it was a WI :P ) the German invaders would be able to use engineering plant they found on the island....left there was part of the Reykjavik harbour expansion of 1936...to develop landing grounds on the island for long-range resupply flights.

Recently, while researching this thread on the history of RAF airfields on Iceland - I came across this reference on the history of Reykjavik Airport...

http://translate.google.co.uk/translate ... n%26sa%3DN
Agnar Kofoed-Hansen barðist fyrir hönd Flugmálafélags Íslands fyrir gerð varanlegs flugvallar í Vatnsmýrinni og Gústaf E. Pálsson, verkfræðingur, teiknaði hann 1937. Ekkert gerðist fyrr en Bretar komu og hófu framkvæmdir eftir eigin skipulagi árið 1940. Tækjabúnaður þeirra til framkvæmdanna var mjög takmarkaður og frumstæður, þannig að ekki var skipt um jarðveg undir flugbrautunum. Þetta kostaði miklar lagfæringar síðar (sjá Rauðhóla), einkum á árunum 1999-2001. Íslendingar fengu síðan full yfirráð yfir flugvellinum í lok stríðsins
The automatic translation of this is -
Agnar Kofoed-Hansen fought on behalf of the Icelandic Civil Aviation Ministry for making permanent the airport in Vatnsmýri and Gustav E. Palsson, an engineer, he drew in 1937. Nothing happened until the British came and started construction on its own organization in 1940. Equipment for their construction was very limited and primitive, so this was replaced by soil runways. This high cost facility later (see Rauðhóla), especially in the years 1999-2001. Since Iceland gained full control of the airport at the end of the war.
I doublechecked the automatic translation with Jon G., who confirmed the sentence highlighted read something like -
'...they only had limited and primitive equipment for constructing the airfield, so the soil under the runway was not 'replaced' (i.e. no ballasting - his note)...'
The British didn't bring much equipment...and obviously there was none on the island already or they'd have used THAT ...hence all the problems of flooding undercutting them at Kaldadarnes thirty miles away....if Reykjavik, a pre-war small but "national" airport already known for bogging, couldn't even be satisfactorily "hardened"! 8O
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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by Chromeboomerang » 24 Apr 2010 05:54

So we have the worst stormy weather day since 1925 & there was no damage to planes or huts at Kaldadarnes. Sounds pretty scary. Field used starting Aug 1940, wasn't flooded til 1943. 3 years of use then eh? & a Communist movement also happening, well that should well give the Germans something to worry about before deciding to invade.

"No aircraft or Nissen huts damaged at Kaldaðarnes."


& mention of a Sunderland crash,( a flying boat not associated with Kaldadarnes), as though it were something unique. Werner Molders died in a plane crash, they happen on any war front, nothing unusual about it. Snow rarely stays long in Iceland, not much ado there. Battle of Britain was often fogged in.



In Reykjavik, Iceland the average temperature is 5.00C (41F). -2.00C (28.40F) is the lowest monthly average low temperature (occurring in January, February, December) while 14.00C (57.20F) is the highest monthly average high temperature which occurs in July & August. The average temperature range is therefore 11.50C (52.70F).

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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by phylo_roadking » 24 Apr 2010 16:19

& a Communist movement also happening
Er....a Communist daily newspaper with a readership of around 150 doth not a "movement" make! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Field used starting Aug 1940, wasn't flooded til 1943. 3 years of use then eh?
Yes, highly practical and convenient all-weather use...
Image

:lol: :lol: :lol:
8 Apr 1941 A Air Ministry informed that Battle aircraft of No.98 Squadron were operating from Kaldaðarnes but runway improvements necessary.
Last edited by phylo_roadking on 24 Apr 2010 17:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by phylo_roadking » 24 Apr 2010 17:09

& mention of a Sunderland crash,( a flying boat not associated with Kaldadarnes), as though it were something unique.
It was...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Geo ... ke_of_Kent
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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by Chromeboomerang » 26 Apr 2010 09:00

Annual sunshine hours in Reykjavík are around 1,300, which is comparable with other places in Northern and North-Eastern Europe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reykjav%C3%ADk

Nope, un-unique, airplane crashes very common to all European countries. Both Seaplanes & land based ones. Kindergarten stuff.

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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by phylo_roadking » 26 Apr 2010 14:59

Annual sunshine hours in Reykjavík are around 1,300, which is comparable with other places in Northern and North-Eastern Europe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reykjav%C3%ADk
You're STILL not reading sources, and thus end up posting irrelevant material...
Prince George was killed on 25 August 1942 when the Short Sunderland flying boat in which he was a passenger crashed into a hillside near Dunbeath, Caithness.....
You DO realise that's Scotland , not Iceland....? :P
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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by Chromeboomerang » 03 Aug 2012 23:08

He was headed to Iceland, if anything it proves Scotland can be as dangerous as Iceland.

& as to not reading sources, this is from your source...

land based planes at Iceland using a stadium as runway, 1928-31.

In 1928 a new company established (John Alexander). It worked for 1931 but the Depression and other setbacks had to fall. Over the next two years using Dutch meteorological officers stadium, which had been predetermined and shaped smooth considerably.

http://translate.google.co.uk/translate ... n%26sa%3DN


As to runways & your point-s about their difficulties in being constructed, there is this...


it took 3 & 1/2 days to build a transport runway at Normandy.


The next need was for transport strips for the evacuation of wounded and for emergency supply. The first of these fields, 3500 feet in length and 140 feet wide, was operational by noon of D+3 days.

http://www.ixengineercommand.com/units/ ... tory04.php

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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by phylo_roadking » 04 Aug 2012 00:16

Ah, Dovre Gubbe returns! I just KNEW you couldn't resist popping up again...
& as to not reading sources, this is from your source...

land based planes at Iceland using a stadium as runway, 1928-31.

In 1928 a new company established (John Alexander). It worked for 1931 but the Depression and other setbacks had to fall. Over the next two years using Dutch meteorological officers stadium, which had been predetermined and shaped smooth considerably.

http://translate.google.co.uk/translate ... n%26sa%3DN
Yes - smoothed....remembering that THESE were the same runways that a Lufthansa Condor later bogged down on, eh? :wink:

And I see you've forgotten - conveniently - that Reykjavik was beyond the maximum range of a 1940 Ju52 flying from Norway....

As for this...
As to runways & your point-s about their difficulties in being constructed, there is this...

it took 3 & 1/2 days to build a transport runway at Normandy.

The next need was for transport strips for the evacuation of wounded and for emergency supply. The first of these fields, 3500 feet in length and 140 feet wide, was operational by noon of D+3 days.

http://www.ixengineercommand.com/units/ ... tory04.php
...I see you STILL haven't abandoned your old way of simply bombarding a thread with virtually irrelevant references....

You seem to have neglected to paste up what was required to lay out and open even the simplest of airstrips in Normandy...
Shortly after eleven o’clock the first three trucks and trailers went down the ramp into about three feet of water and slowly made their way ashore. The fourth truck in line, pulling a road-roller on a trailer, hesitated to shift gears at the foot of the ramp and embedded itself in the soft sand. No amount of pulling could move it after that, nor could a tractor from shore help. The truck and trailer blocked the exit so that further unloading was impossible. After daylight, with the tide in, the ship reversed itself and drove ashore a short distance away.

By ten o’clock the tide was out again and we rapidly unloaded all of the trucks and equipment of our ship and also of the other two who had anchored off shore the night before. Our heavy tractor-crane was used to recover the roller and trailer from the sand, while all of the equipment was dispersed along hedgerows in an assembly area three or four miles from the beach.
I.E. NOT the sort of equipment that was going to arrive by aircraft or glider ;)

Next, of course...I see you've neglected to mention the terrain... OR what they actually DID to open these airfields! :lol:

You see...Normandy isn't/wasn't ALL Bocage...by no means! It also has very large stretches of flat farmland, sometimes RIGHT behind the coast - farmland that has been cultivated and farmed continuously now for over two thousand years! Those first three airfields - A-1 St Pierre Du Mont, A-2 Cricqueville-en-Bessin, and A-3 Cardonville - were created simply by removing hedgerows from flat, well-developed and well-drained farmland in high summer and laying thousands of square yards of "SMT" - "Square-Mesh Track"...

Image

And is there ANY real need to remind you that the thaw of Spring 1940 was 6-8 weeks late in Scandanavia and Iceland??? :P That even SMT....which ALSO wasn't going to be flown to Iceland (P.S. the Germans didn't use that technique anyway!)....let alone woodplanking or jute matting...wasn't going to be ANY good when flat ground was either feet-deep in mud or still flooded by Spring Thaw runoff???
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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by phylo_roadking » 04 Aug 2012 00:57

Annual sunshine hours in Reykjavík are around 1,300, which is comparable with other places in Northern and North-Eastern Europe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reykjav%C3%ADk
...I see you STILL haven't abandoned your old way of simply bombarding a thread with virtually irrelevant references....
Is it REALLY necessary to point out that those are average figures??? :roll: And that 1940 was most definitely NOT average in weather terms in the Northern Hemisphere??? :P

To paraphrase - the winter of 1939-1940 was the start of a three-year La Nina event that saw mongst other things the Jetstream moving much further south than normal....and the Spring Thaw in northern latitudes came many weeks...months...later than normal! Historically, it was one of the reasons why the Allies experienced so many problems in Norway in April and May 1940 - this was the planned window of operations for their attempt to create an Enclave in Scandanavia...but when they arrived they encountered a thaw that was FAR later than normal :P They ran into rivers in spate, boggy ground that they expected to have hardened (the planned airfield at Bodo, the boggy ground at Bardofuss...), and snow still on the ground!

In the case of Norway and Iceland...the Jetstream moving south that winter/spring allowed the so-called "Polar Spiral" to hose down cold winter weather, storm front after storm front, down to lower latitudes for month after month.

(The same circumstances repeated a year later resulted in the River Bug still having overflowed its banks in early June 1941, the Spring Rasputitsa appearing to have lasted two weeks longer than normal, etc....)
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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by Chromeboomerang » 04 Aug 2012 04:06

Good god man, who said a JU 52 would fly from Norway to Reykjavik? Who said trucks would be flown in on gliders?? Man you are the king of silly. Trucks come on board cargo ships, please try & make a note this time, last time I mentioned it, you apparently forgot it. Author Oluf Reed Olsen mentioned in his book 2 Eggs on my Plate that the Germans prior to the invasion of Norway sent in cargo ships with war accoutrements hidden in the bowels of the ships.

Wooden planking?

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b39/K ... oto3-1.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b39/K ... h1JG5_.jpg


The terrain was mentioned in the Icelandic site at the stadium, it was mentioned that it was completely flat.


So... Phlyo, if the weather was what you said it was in the region circa 1940, how then did the germans build & succesfully use runways in Norway at the time at even higher latitudes?



http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpres ... continues/

with the result that current temperatures appear much warmer than when compared with the warm period during the 1940’s











Reykjavik airport...
In regard to weather conditions, Vatnsmýri is an ideal location for an airport
http://www.isavia.is/english/airports/r ... transport/

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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by phylo_roadking » 04 Aug 2012 11:00

Yes...wood, the material the icelanders were perrenially short of...
Good god man, who said a JU 52 would fly from Norway to Reykjavik? Who said trucks would be flown in on gliders?? Man you are the king of silly. Trucks come on board cargo ships, please try & make a note this time, last time I mentioned it, you apparently forgot it. Author Oluf Reed Olsen mentioned in his book 2 Eggs on my Plate that the Germans prior to the invasion of Norway sent in cargo ships with war accoutrements hidden in the bowels of the ships.
Would these be the SAME ships that the RN intercepted a slew of, once they decided to enter Norwegian waters? That the entire history of the Narvik area in April and May 1940 was predicated on Dietl's second supply ship NOT arriving, and the KM's expected tanker NOT arriving? :P

To reach Iceland - the Germans have to sail across the North Sea through several lines of RN patrol, and Coastal Command maritime patrol...not sneak through Neutral coastal waters :P Don't forget they're NOT going to be escorted - after Norway, the KM was sitting hiding in the Baltic...half its destroyers sunk, a third of its capital ships lost, and half of the rest badly damaged!
So... Phlyo, if the weather was what you said it was in the region circa 1940, how then did the germans build & succesfully use runways in Norway at the time at even higher latitudes?

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpres ... continues/

with the result that current temperatures appear much warmer than when compared with the warm period during the 1940’s
Averages, remember they're averages! :lol: :lol: :lol: Summers were better than normal....but winters were far worse, with Spring Thaws happening later than normal for three years. Perhaps you point would be better illustrated with a list of airfields the Germans built and operated from scratch before the height of summer 1940? :wink:
Reykjavik airport...
In regard to weather conditions, Vatnsmýri is an ideal location for an airport
http://www.isavia.is/english/airports/r ... transport/
Yes indeed, the weather...you know, that stuff in the SKY?...is great for flying at Reykjavik....but not necessarily great once it has hit the ground! :lol: :lol: :lol:
In regard to weather conditions, Vatnsmýri is an ideal location for an airport, but as the area was a marshland, an immense amount of red gravel had to be transported from Rauðhólar hills to be used as ground material for runways.
Yeah, oh so perfect for an airport :lol: :lol: :lol: Remember that sinking Condor...

By the way, thanks for the reference...READ CAREFULLY
Scheduled flights from Reykjavík Airport started in March of 1940 when Air Iceland moved its headquarters from Akureyri to Reykjavík.

At that time, the runway had a grass surface, but today’s runways are paved with asphalt. In October 1940, the British occupying forces started work on an airport in Vatnsmýri....
Let's look at the FULL passage, shall we??? :wink:
At that time, the runway had a grass surface, but today’s runways are paved with asphalt. In October 1940, the British occupying forces started work on an airport in Vatnsmýri. That structure forms the basis for the airport as we know it today. In regard to weather conditions, Vatnsmýri is an ideal location for an airport, but as the area was a marshland, an immense amount of red gravel had to be transported from Rauðhólar hills to be used as ground material for runways.
I.E. it was the BRITISH who started transporting the gravel as ballast for runways...and the job took some years to complete If you read back through this thread, you'll notice it took some time for Reykjavik to be operational...and in fact it was STILL being developed when the Americans arrived and took over! It was the Americans who experienced the local protests at the house clearances for finishing the runways!
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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 04 Aug 2012 12:03

You are right Phylo, it is the same flailing about, tossing bits at the wall thinking they will stick. You would think for the amount of effort something useful, or at least relevant would be presented. The standards for presenting evidence here are resonablly clear, so you have to wonder why he does not follow them.

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Re: The Troubled History of RAF Kaldadarnes

Post by Chromeboomerang » 04 Aug 2012 21:43

Yet the British aircraft landed at Kaldadarnes, ( as has been previously pointed out to you), Aug 1940.


Iceland receives on average 779 mm (30.7 in) of precipitation annually



the average annual rainfall in England during the period 1961-1990, according to the Met Office's records was 828mm (33 inches, or thereabouts!)


Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_a ... z22c4VEB00
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_a ... in_England




Rauðhólar hills to be used as ground material for runways.

Yes, locally found. very good.


A Lockheed Hudson of No. 269 Squadron RAF prepares to take off on a patrol over the North Atalantic from Kaldadarnes, Iceland. And runway is dirt.
..
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/searc ... Iceland%22





On 26 July 1940 the squadron left Gatwick on the first stage of its flight to Kaldadarnes, Iceland, a hastily prepared landing ground on the bank of the river Ölfusá, about 40 km southeast of Reykjavik
Five hours and twenty minutes later they all landed safely at Kaldadarnes,

http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/1 ... dendum.htm

13 September 1940 when F/Lt. H.C.G. Wilcox, RCAF took off from Kaldadarnes to transport a army colonel to Akureyri on Iceland’s north coast.

That gives us 2 usable landing grounds "being used" aug-sept 1940, Kaldadarnes & and Akureyri

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