takoradi air route

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Jon G.
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Post by Jon G. » 21 Jan 2008 02:32

From context, it appears that she could mean that Pan-Am was the 'the leading company in commercial aviation to Latin America', That could well hold true after the outbreak of war.
Website on Brazil in WW2...Three government-controlled airlines linked Brazil to Europe: Lufthansa, the Italian Lati, and Air France. The latter built the first landing strips at Natal and Salvador. Pan-American Airways connected Brazil to the United States via a coastal seaplane route. Lufthansa fully owned the oldest Brazilian airline, Condor, and held influential interest in Varig and Vasp. Pan-Am's subsidiary, Panair do Brasil, flew a number of internal routes and acted as a feeder for the parent's international flights. The outbreak of hostilities forced Lufthansa to end its operations, and the fall of France in 1940 eliminated Air France. Lati filled the transoceanic gap, while inside Brazil, Condor expanded its flights using German pilots and receiving equipment from blockade runners. Washington wanted German influence eliminated from Varig, Vasp, and Condor, and offered inducements of aircraft, financial credits, and technical assistance. In the second half of 1941, Varig and Vasp fired its German personnel. But Condor was more of a problem. The Vargas government and its military aviation officials regarded Condor as a pioneer that had opened valuable routes through the vast interior, and were unwilling to agree to American demands that it be grounded because of its German ties. Only after Brazil entered the war in August 1942 did the government act to liquidate Condor's financial links to Lufthansa. Reorganized as Servicos Aereos Cruzeiro do Sul, the United States removed it from the black list...

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Post by phylo_roadking » 21 Jan 2008 02:40

When Varig and Vasp fired its German pilots...they all merely transferred to Condor LOL And so had the Lufthansa staff in Brazil before that, just transferred to the three internal carriers. In early 1942 there was some VERY limited repatriation of Germans to Europe....but by far the majority of flight crew anyway elected to take up Brazilian citizenship and remained with Condor as the backbone of its service even after nationalisation and rebranding. In turn many went BACK to the other lines, but by THAT point Brazil was a firm US ally anyway.Right up to the end of the 1940s and their gradual replacement with newer aircraft, the German types in service were still using "Lufthansa" marked and boxed NOS spares off the shelf LOL

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Post by Jon G. » 21 Jan 2008 03:29

I remember reading that Air Zimbabwe bought a large stock of second hand cutlery when Swissair folded in 2001.

Anyway, I find it a little difficult to verify your claim that
...In fact, under German pressure Brazil managed to refuse Pan-Am permission to expand facilities until early 1942...
do you have a source for it? It appears from the link I gave above that the biggest concession the Brazilians could get from the Americans was to allow Condor to stay flying until late 1942.

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Post by phylo_roadking » 21 Jan 2008 03:54

I'll have to try to find it, it was either a Flypast or Aeroplane article over the last couple of years.

But in the meantime you missed this in your article...
As for a grand-scale aerial attack or invasion, the hemisphere's one accessible point seemed to be the northeastern tip of Brazil, which was closer to French West Africa than to the nearest of the Antilles. The region was undefended, beyond the range of American aircraft in the Caribbean, and inaccessible by land to the Brazilian forces concentrated in the south. In November 1940, to secure the Brazilian bulge, the United States Army negotiated a secret agreement with Pan-American Airways to build two chains of airfields from North America to the northeast. In January 1941, Vargas gave verbal authority for Panair do Brasil to undertake Airport Development Program (ADP) construction at points such as Belém, Fortaleza, Natal, Recife, Maceió, and Salvador. However, because important military figures as yet were unwilling to throw themselves into the arms of the Americans, he delayed issuing a formal decree until July 1941


So I assume that explains why work wasn't completed fully and the facilites at their full size until 1942 as I read elsewhere. Don't forget Brazil didn't formally break off diplomatic relations with Germany until January 1942 at the Rio Conference. As the article says, through 1941 Rommel was busy rampaging through North Africa and diplomatic fence-sitters ALL around the world were firmly seated awaiting the outcome of events.
Last edited by phylo_roadking on 21 Jan 2008 04:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Michael Emrys
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Post by Michael Emrys » 21 Jan 2008 04:11

Andreas wrote:Lack of bases/infrastructure:B-17 not having the legs across the Pacific once Guam/Wake are taken out?
Once Wake is taken out, I don't think any more B-17s made it to the Philippines at all. The ones in Hawaii either stayed there or were eventually diverted to the SPOA after the Clark Field debacle. The ones surviving in the Philippines were moved to Mindanao IIRC and eventually to Australia to become part of the SWPA.

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Post by Michael Emrys » 21 Jan 2008 04:21

phylo_roadking wrote:...there are several known cases where Pan-Am came under pressure by NACA threatening to withdraw licenses for various lucrative routes...;)...
:?

NACA??? Were they in the airline regulation business at that time?

From here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NACA
The purpose of the committee was "to supervise and direct the scientific study of the problems of flight with a view to their practical solution, and to determine the problems which should be experimentally attacked and to discuss their solution and their application to practical questions."
No mention of airline regulation.

Michael

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Post by phylo_roadking » 21 Jan 2008 04:32

Oops, meant CAA Civil Aeronautics Administration - it was responsible for air route and aircraft certification and regulation at the time, from 1940 through to the founding of the FAA in 1958.

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Post by Jon G. » 21 Jan 2008 04:42

phylo_roadking wrote:I'll have to try to find it, it was either a Flypast or Aeroplane article over the last couple of years.
:) I remember being taken to task for mindlessly passing on poor quality information which I had gleamed from a modelling magazine which I'd picked up because it had a feature about the Focke-Wulf 200 Condor

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 445#779445

...anyway, I have no particular bias here; I'm mainly interested in what happened. To that end, it would be better if you could source some of your many assertions.

That aside...
But in the meantime you missed this in your article...
However, because important military figures as yet were unwilling to throw themselves into the arms of the Americans, he delayed issuing a formal decree until July 1941[/i]


So I assume that explains why work wasn't completed fully and the facilites at their full size until 1942 as I read elsewhere. Don't forget Brazil didn't formally break off diplomatic relations with Germany until January 1942 at the Rio Conference. As the article says, through 1941 Rommel was busy rampaging through North Africa and diplomatic fence-sitters ALL around the world were firmly seated awaiting the outcome of events.
...I don't really see that as contradicting Deborah Wing Ray's thesis, that the world wide air traffic network was developed and expanded well prior to US entry in WW2. After all, Roosevelt resorted to all sorts of tricks in order to avoid US neutrality legislationm up to and including the use of dodgy private enterprise subsidiaries to develop an overseas base network.

As for fence-sitting, the development of the Takoradi route went hand in hand with, on one side, paying more attention to de Gaulle and the Free French who held a trump card in the shape of Chad, on the other side the continued US export of foodstuffs to Vichy French North Africa, right on the tail of the May 1941 Paris protocols, which amongst other things opened up the possibilities of German bases in French West Africa.

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phylo_roadking
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Post by phylo_roadking » 21 Jan 2008 04:54

As for fence-sitting, the development of the Takoradi route went hand in hand with, on one side, paying more attention to de Gaulle and the Free French who held a trump card in the shape of Chad, on the other side the continued US export of foodstuffs to Vichy French North Africa, right on the tail of the May 1941 Paris protocols, which amongst other things opened up the possibilities of German bases in French West Africa
Actually, I was talking about Vargas' vacillation on the issue of allowing expansion of American facilities in Brazil at that point,
I remember being taken to task for mindlessly passing on poor quality information which I had gleamed from a modelling magazine
They aren't modelling magazines but two of the best-respected classic aircraft magazines in the English-speaking world.

As for
To that end, it would be better if you could source some of your many assertions.
...all but ONE confirmation comes from the article that YOU referenced...as I SAID. My magazine and book collection is scattered among three houses and at 3.59AM GMT I don't feel like driving off to check them tonight
But in the meantime you missed this in your article...
It appears from the link I gave above that the biggest concession the Brazilians could get from the Americans was to allow Condor to stay flying until late 1942.
I read the link and found the information that Vargas delayed expansion for the named fields until mid 1941 at least...

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Post by Jon G. » 02 Apr 2008 01:45

phylo_roadking wrote:...
As for
To that end, it would be better if you could source some of your many assertions.
...all but ONE confirmation comes from the article that YOU referenced...as I SAID. My magazine and book collection is scattered among three houses and at 3.59AM GMT I don't feel like driving off to check them tonight...
Right, but I am not referring to one post in particular. These posts by you...

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 79#1169879
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 22#1170622
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 46#1170646
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 80#1170680

...all contain unsourced assertions from you. It would be tedious if you had to source everything you post, but sourced arguments carry far more weight if you are trying to contradict information already provided.

For example, I wouldn't be greatly interested in seeing evidence of Lufthansa cutlery aboard Varig airplanes, but I would be very interested in seeing some kind of backing to your claims that'...There was no financing provided for there...'; '...Lufthansa/Varig was carrying something like three times as many passsengers a year IN Latin America, Brazilians were already regarding air transport as being as commonplace as bus routes, a position even North America didn't get to until the early 1950s...' and '...under German pressure Brazil managed to refuse Pan-Am permission to expand facilities until early 1942!

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Graham Clayton
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Re: takoradi air route

Post by Graham Clayton » 02 Feb 2009 10:47

Andy H wrote:The following is from The Mediterranean & Middle East Vol III by Maj.Gen Playfair (The Official British history)

By the summer of '42 the desert airforce was losing RAF Sqn strength. To avert this crisis the British goverment undertook several responses, one of which was:-

"42 Spitfires en route to Australia were, with the consent of the Australian Goverment, to be unloaded at Freetown for Takoradi early in July"

Andy H
Andy,
The 46 crated Spitfires of No. 1 Fighter Wing were being transported to Australia on board the "Stirling Castle" and "Nigerstown", which docked at Freetown harbour on the 2nd of July.

Source: Jim Grant "Spitfires Over Darwin 1943", RJ Moore Publishing, Melbourne, 1995
"Air superiority is a condition for all operations, at sea, in land, and in the air." - Air Marshal Arthur Tedder.

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Re: takoradi air route

Post by Andy H » 02 Feb 2009 20:06

Graham Clayton wrote:
Andy H wrote:The following is from The Mediterranean & Middle East Vol III by Maj.Gen Playfair (The Official British history)

By the summer of '42 the desert airforce was losing RAF Sqn strength. To avert this crisis the British goverment undertook several responses, one of which was:-

"42 Spitfires en route to Australia were, with the consent of the Australian Goverment, to be unloaded at Freetown for Takoradi early in July"

Andy H
Andy,
The 46 crated Spitfires of No. 1 Fighter Wing were being transported to Australia on board the "Stirling Castle" and "Nigerstown", which docked at Freetown harbour on the 2nd of July.

Source: Jim Grant "Spitfires Over Darwin 1943", RJ Moore Publishing, Melbourne, 1995
Thank you Graham for the additional information

Regards

Andy H

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Re: takoradi air route

Post by RockHyrax » 21 Jul 2009 12:07

Good day to you all here. :) I am a newbie just joined this day, in order to research this very topic : the Takoradi Air Route.

Very interested in what I have learned thus far, and would like to ask about the supplies of fuel for this route. How were the air strips at Kaduna / Fort Lamy etc stockpiled?

Was the main entry port in fact Freetown - with transhipment by coaster down to the Gold Coast?

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Re: takoradi air route

Post by RockHyrax » 21 Jul 2009 12:45

Good day to your Forumers. I am a newbie, joined this day in order to research the topic of the Takoradi Air Route.

Thank you for the information thus far. May I be so bold as to ask how this air route was supplied with fuel at the air strips such as Kaduna, Fort Lamy etc. Somebody in a quote above said they were 'stock piled' - was this with fuel drums, or was there a tanker route, and was the fuel shipped through ports at Lagos or the Gold Coast.

The crated aircraft that were 'offloaded at Freetown' presumably were to be trans-shipped by coastal freighter down to Takoradi.

What was the size of the RAF Station at Takoradi assembling the aircraft?

Would be grateful for any pointers you can offer.

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Re: takoradi air route

Post by Bronsky » 22 Jul 2009 20:40

RockHyrax wrote:May I be so bold as to ask how this air route was supplied with fuel at the air strips such as Kaduna, Fort Lamy etc. Somebody in a quote above said they were 'stock piled' - was this with fuel drums, or was there a tanker route, and was the fuel shipped through ports at Lagos or the Gold Coast.
The Gold Coast was not a possibility as the overland route would cross French Western Africa (AOF) which was pro-Vichy. The Free French African colony was French Equatorial Africa, think today's Cameroon.

The air route had been used for commercial flights prewar, so a chain of airfields was available with amenities to handle aircraft. Obviously, these facilities were not up to handling the large numbers that the British were now proposing to send, but they weren't building from scratch either.
RockHyrax wrote:What was the size of the RAF Station at Takoradi assembling the aircraft?
From Playfair:
"A small advanced party, under Group Captain H.K. THorold, reached Takorady on 14th July [1940 - Bronsky]. The first half of the unit - some 360 officers and airmen - disembarked on 21st August and the remainder arrived during the next few weeks. On 5th September the first consignment of aircraft arrived together with urgently needed tools, equipment, general stores and transport. There were many difficulties to be overcome owing to lack of proper equipment - from erection gear down to such necessary items as split pins! Nevertheless the first delivery flight of one Blenheim and six Hurricanes left Takorady for Egypt on 20th September."

I remember reading a fairly extensive study on this operation, but can't remember where. It may be available on-line, too, for what little that's worth.

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