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Some of the aircrew of the first Hudson deliveries that began on November 10, 1940: Standing, L-R, W.B. Lyons, D.L. Gentry, R. Adams, C.M. Tripp, W.C. Rodgers, J.A. Webber, J.D. McIntyre, S.T.B. Cripps, N.G. Mullett, A.M. Loughridge, A. Andrew, N.E. Smith, G.R. Hutchison, J.W. Gray, D.C.T. Bennett; kneeling, L-R, D.B. Jarvis, H.G. Meyers, J.E. Giles, E.F. Clausewitz, K. Garden, W.T. Mellor

Some of the aircrew of the first Hudson deliveries that began on November 10, 1940: Standing, L-R, W.B. Lyons, D.L. Gentry, R. Adams, C.M. Tripp, W.C. Rodgers, J.A. Webber, J.D. McIntyre, S.T.B. Cripps, N.G. Mullett, A.M. Loughridge, A. Andrew, N.E. Smith, G.R. Hutchison, J.W. Gray, D.C.T. Bennett; kneeling, L-R, D.B. Jarvis, H.G. Meyers, J.E. Giles, E.F. Clausewitz, K. Garden, W.T. Mellor

First B-24 Liberator through Gander airport

First B-24 Liberator through Gander airport

In 1942, Prime Minister Winston Churchill needed to fly to Russia by way of Africa to meet with Stalin. It was decided that since the B-24 Liberator had the range, to assign one to him for this crucial mission, and to select an elite group of aircrew from the RAF Ferry Command to get the job done: the men above. L-R, Canadian Russ Holmes as Radio Officer; American Jack Ruggles as second pilot; American Bill VanDerKloot as first pilot; and Canadians Ron Williams and John Affleck as flight engineers. Behind them is their ship, Lib AL504, Commando.

In 1942, Prime Minister Winston Churchill needed to fly to Russia by way of Africa to meet with Stalin. It was decided that since the B-24 Liberator had the range, to assign one to him for this crucial mission, and to select an elite group of aircrew from the RAF Ferry Command to get the job done: the men above. L-R, Canadian Russ Holmes as Radio Officer; American Jack Ruggles as second pilot; American Bill VanDerKloot as first pilot; and Canadians Ron Williams and John Affleck as flight engineers. Behind them is their ship, Lib AL504, Commando.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the copilot's seat of Liberator AL504, Commando, taken by Capt. William VanDerKloot during their secret trip to Russia. Photo courtesy of Bill VanDerKloot Jr.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the copilot’s seat of Liberator AL504, Commando, taken by Capt. William VanDerKloot during their secret trip to Russia. Photo courtesy of Bill VanDerKloot Jr.

The Commander-in-Chief of the RAFFC, Air Chief Marshal Sir Frederick Bowhill GBE, KCB, CMG, DSO

The Commander-in-Chief of the RAFFC, Air Chief Marshal Sir Frederick Bowhill GBE, KCB, CMG, DSO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This picture of Ferry Command aircrew in 1942 at Dorval was taken before the departure of ten B-26 Marauders for the RAF across the South Atlantic ferry route to the Near East. Wing Commander John Adams, DFC, AFC from the Royal New Zealand Air Force, is the large man in the center, sitting next to RAFFC Commander-in-Chief, Air Chief Marshal Sir Frederick Bowhill GBE, KCB, CMG, DSO.

This picture of Ferry Command aircrew in 1942 at Dorval was taken before the departure of ten B-26 Marauders for the RAF across the South Atlantic ferry route to the Near East. Wing Commander John Adams, DFC, AFC from the Royal New Zealand Air Force, is the large man in the center, sitting next to RAFFC Commander-in-Chief, Air Chief Marshal Sir Frederick Bowhill GBE, KCB, CMG, DSO.

Australian long-distance flyer D.C.T. "Don" Bennett led the first group of seven Hudsons across the North Atlantic on September 10-11th, 1940. Later in the war he led the Pathfinder Group for RAF Bomber Command.

Australian long-distance flyer D.C.T. “Don” Bennett led the first group of seven Hudsons across the North Atlantic on November 10-11th, 1940. Later in the war he led the Pathfinder Group for RAF Bomber Command.

RAFFC Group Captain/Senior Air Staff Officer, later Air Commodore Griffith "Taffy" Powell CBE, who actually named AL504 "Commando"

RAFFC Group Captain/Senior Air Staff Officer, later Air Commodore Griffith “Taffy” Powell CBE, who actually named AL504 “Commando”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lockheed Hudsons being checked out in Gander, Newfoundland, 1941, before delivery across the North Atlantic to Prestwick, Scotland

Lockheed Hudsons being checked out in Gander, Newfoundland, 1941, before delivery across the North Atlantic to Prestwick, Scotland.

John Joseph "Joe" Gilmore with Gander's air-sea rescue deHavilland Moth. Joe was also a crack mechanic.

John Joseph “Joe” Gilmore with Gander’s air-sea rescue deHavilland Moth. Joe was also a crack mechanic.

Crew of Marco Polo, L-R: Flight Lieutenant H.J. Farley, Flight Engineer A. Wright, Flying Officer A. Colato, Radio Officer C.P. Meagher, First Officer E.E. Abbott, Captain George P. Evans, OBE

Crew of Marco Polo, L-R: Flight Lieutenant H.J. Farley, Flight Engineer A. Wright, Flying Officer A. Colato, Radio Officer C.P. Meagher, First Officer E.E. Abbott, Captain George P. Evans, OBE