Aviation History and Nostalgia Whether working in aviation, retired, wannabee or just plain fascinated this forum welcomes all with a love of flight.

RAF Sharjah

Old 11th Jan 2013, 02:58
  #301 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On the Bay, Vic, Oz
Age: 80
Posts: 415
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
These were taken in 1966 on one of Tom Shephards bundu bashing trips. We went as far north along the coast as it was possible to do. Where the mountains met the sea. They were doing test drilling for oil back then. You can see how close we were to the mountains.







PS. Remember partaking of the Dutch couple's largess with fresh salads and fruit en-route. But can't remember how far up they were.

.

Last edited by alisoncc; 11th Jan 2013 at 03:02. Reason: Added PS.
alisoncc is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2013, 08:12
  #302 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Penang, Malaysia
Age: 78
Posts: 263
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have been trawling through an Air-Britain book; "Broken Wings" by Jim Halley. I first looked at 1956 and drew a blank. I then widened the search to cover 1953 - 1965. Again, nothing which tied in with the descriptions.

This afternoon, I started back from 1952. The only item which comes remotely close is an entry for 21 Sep 45. This has a Wellington GR 13, HZ976, of 294 Sqn coming to grief with the location shown as Sharjah, Trucial States. The entry in the book records an engine cutting on take-off with the aircraft swinging and the undercarriage being raised to stop. Close but probably unlikely to be the wreckage in question.

I tried to cross refer that entry to Colin Cummings book 'The Price of Peace' to see if more info might be available. Unfortunately, I cannot find a corresponding entry for that date or aircraft.

Last edited by lauriebe; 11th Jan 2013 at 08:14.
lauriebe is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2013, 08:17
  #303 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 611
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks lauriebe. It could be, although it's a bit earlier than Saro first thought. But it IS a Wellington. It might be worth looking at 294's records at the National Archives.

Laurence
l.garey is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2013, 09:12
  #304 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Penang, Malaysia
Age: 78
Posts: 263
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Laurence, it is the only Wellington loss that I can find recorded in that geographical area. However, the details seem to indicate a loss on the airfield rather than in the bondou.

Interesting to note that the serial HG116 was allocated to an ASR version of the Warwick. Examples of this version were on the strength of 294 Sqn, alongside the Wellingtons, until early 1946 it seems. However, I can find no record of an accident involving that aircraft.
lauriebe is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2013, 09:27
  #305 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 611
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks lauriebe. As I said earlier about the Warwick, 1956 would be too late for one crashing, but maybe ten years earlier than that ...
The other Wellington crash I have researched was that of HX748 in 1943, but not near Sharjah, although having departed from there, and returning in an emergency:
https://sites.google.com/site/lgarey...h-dhadnah-1943

Laurence
l.garey is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2013, 09:56
  #306 (permalink)  

Gentleman Aviator
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Teetering Towers - somewhere in the Shires
Age: 75
Posts: 3,706
Received 65 Likes on 33 Posts
HG116 was a Warwick, but I do not know of any in service at Sharjah,
... not Sharjah based per se, but Halley (Sqns of the RAF - 1980) has the following on 294 Sqn:
In November 1944 [based at Idku in Egypt] Warwicks supplemented the Wellington and in addition to ASR missions, the Sqn also flew anti-submarine patrols. In June 1945, No 294 moved to Basra and supplied detachments for the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea areas until disbanded on 8 April 1946.
... so possibly an ASR detachment at Sharjah? Will check Stanley-Price over the weekend.
teeteringhead is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2013, 10:01
  #307 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Penang, Malaysia
Age: 78
Posts: 263
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Teeteringhead, Jefford's book 'RAF Squadrons', shows 294's dets from Basra as Sharjah, Masirah and Muharraq until disbanding in Apr 46.
lauriebe is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2013, 10:20
  #308 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 611
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
teeteringhead: "Will check Stanley-Price over the weekend."

Stanley-Price refers to 294 on page 98: "as of November 1945 a detachment of No.294 Squadron for air-sea rescue duties was the only RAF presence at Sharjah." He cites 294 being disbanded in April 1946.

Colin Richardson in his book on Masirah (pp148-9) mentions 294's Warwick and Wellington (one of each it seems). Both were unserviceable a lot, so I wonder if Saro's wreck just could be the Warwick, and the dates are earlier than at first suspected. A long shot, though.

Laurence

Last edited by l.garey; 11th Jan 2013 at 10:27.
l.garey is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2013, 10:47
  #309 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Penang, Malaysia
Age: 78
Posts: 263
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Laurence, have just downloaded and am reading through the F540 of 294 Sqn for the period of the Sharjah det.

The Wellington that I mentioned in my earlier post was HZ976/G and the accident occurred whilst taking off from the airfield at Sharjah, with the aircraft coming down just off the field. So that one can be discounted.

The squadron was operating three aircraft types at the time; Walrus, Warwick and Wellington. Some Warwick serials are given in the ORB but not HG116.

Still reading.

Last edited by lauriebe; 12th Jan 2013 at 01:49. Reason: Amended aircraft code letter.
lauriebe is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2013, 21:35
  #310 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Wiltshire
Age: 80
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Al Khatt.

Hello Brakedwell. I can add a little bit more to your post 294 about the couple who had started growing vegetables at Al Khatt. By 1966 at least there was a regular weekly(?) flight to a strip(still no roads) near there, to collect veg' for use in the 'cookhouses' at Sharjah. All I knew about the place was that it was 'an experiment' to see if they could continue to grow crops there. Obviously they were still making a good job of it, five years after your time. On a flight there as a PAX(11.3.66) I took some colour slides of XM959 on the strip being loaded with the produce from a trailer being towed by a dark blue Fordson tractor, pretty modern equipment eh! Can't remember how far the strip was from the 'farm' but it couldn't have been too far(same T.O. Scouts strip as as been mentioned in the thread?) I have an aerial photo of a compound with rows of crops in it, which may have been taken as we were approaching the strip.
I have a question to ask you too. On another of my PAX flights(this time in XM291 on27.4.66) In my logbook I note that we "flew to Dibba and return, via Al Khatt(approach) landed at a strip near Ras-al-Khaima(a road by all appearences") On the way back we overflew the following strips, Khiba(is that right?) Masafi and Manama. I have a photo of Masafi which appears to have a ravine at one end and a steep slope at the other and has moutainous terrain all around. Indeed I noted that it was "300yds, no undershoot, no overshoot." Did you ever land there? Also, I know the TwinPin could get in on unprepared landing sites but how many "official strips" do you think there were in the T.O. States/Oman?

Navstar1, were you the nav' on either of these two trips?
SAROSKEETERMAN is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2013, 02:39
  #311 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Penang, Malaysia
Age: 78
Posts: 263
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have now been able to read through the 294 Sqn ORB which includes the Sharjah detachment. The first aircraft from 294 arrived at Sharjah on 17 July 1945 and the detachment was declared operational two days later. It had examples of all three types of aircraft (Walrus, Warwick and Wellington) that 294 operated on it. The detachment was withdrawn on the squadron's disbandment in April 1946.

The only loss recorded is to Wellington HZ976/G which I mentioned above. The only other loss near that area recorded in the ORB involved a USAAF C46 en-route Jask to Abadan. This aircraft was reported missing on 27 July 1945. Wreckage was sighted by a DC3 on 29 July 1945 and a Walrus aircraft from 294 was sent to the area to guide a road convoy to the site.

The ORB records the location of that wreckage as a bearing/range from Sharjah. It is given as 160 Sharjah, 20 nm. The serial number of the C46 is shown as 7353. No other details are recorded other than there were no survivors.

I think that location is well away from the position of the wreckage seen by SARO.
lauriebe is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2013, 06:37
  #312 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 611
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Saro: I'll contact you privately with some recent photos of the Masafi strip, which still exists.

Laurence
l.garey is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2013, 09:21
  #313 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Under the clouds now
Age: 86
Posts: 2,509
Received 16 Likes on 12 Posts
I wonder if the parts came from a Gulf Aviation/Kalinga Airlines DC3 inbound from Doha, which crashed somewhere east of Sharjah on 7th July 1960. The wreckage was not found until several years later. Maybe a traveller came across it earlier, picked up some some small bits of wreckage, thought better of it and discarded them nearer the coast.

ASN Aircraft accident Douglas C-47-DL VT-DGS Sharjah
brakedwell is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2013, 18:29
  #314 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Wiltshire
Age: 80
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thankyou Laurence for the Masafi photo's. Where did all that 'urban sprawl' appear from? Cut the bushes down, still usable eh?
Brakedwell may have a point about the frame being transported from it's original location? I think I'm right in saying that the Dakota is of all monocoque construction so it doesn't appear to be from that a/c or one of similar construction.
SAROSKEETERMAN is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2013, 19:48
  #315 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Under the clouds now
Age: 86
Posts: 2,509
Received 16 Likes on 12 Posts
SAROSKEETERMAN
I flew XM291 and XM959 when I was on 152 in 1959/61. They must have been a bit clapped out!
Manama and Al Khatt were the only established strips I remember east and north of Sharjah, both were integrated into tented TOS camps. However, I did land on a lot of unmarked landing grounds despite being discouraged by the powers that. The most memorable was in the mountains of the Musandam Peninsular, which I described in post 120, however that was authorised by HQPG.

Last edited by brakedwell; 12th Jan 2013 at 19:57.
brakedwell is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2013, 22:04
  #316 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Wiltshire
Age: 80
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just had a re-read of your post 120 Brakedwell. Fascinating stuff and to have the photo's to go with it. Super.
You would know more than most about the superb slow flying qualities of the TwinPin. Here's another note from one of my diary's from 15.6.61 at St. Athan when I was a 'Boy Entrant.' "XN321(dayglo) Tannoy tests - one & a half hours." What I didn't note down, was that the wind was as usual blowing a good westerly and it spent most of that time stationary above our billets on East Camp!
SAROSKEETERMAN is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2013, 06:58
  #317 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 611
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Saro: Apart from Masafi there are still quite a few landing strips to be seen around the Sharjah area, including the one up on the Saiq plateau in Oman at 2000m. We might rename it "Brakedwell International". We walked to it in 2008. There is also one at Sumaini (now also in Oman), and one with two runways arranged in a T (visible on Google Earth at 23 01N, 55E) (we were visiting the confluence at 23N, 55E when we explored it). I have photos of all these, any of which could be used tomorrow (except maybe Saiq), they are so well preserved. At Sumaini the name SUMAINI in white can also still be seen on GE at 24 39 08N, 55 53 46E.
Some of this was discussed in the old threads http://www.pprune.org/aviation-histo...d-airport.html and
http://www.pprune.org/aviation-histo...-uae-oman.html

Laurence

Last edited by l.garey; 13th Jan 2013 at 07:19.
l.garey is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2013, 09:50
  #318 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Under the clouds now
Age: 86
Posts: 2,509
Received 16 Likes on 12 Posts
What I didn't note down, was that the wind was as usual blowing a good westerly and it spent most of that time stationary above our billets on East Camp!
Saro: I had a similar experience in Bahrain after an IAL air traffic controller challenged me to fly backwards down the length of runway 30. I waited until a steady "Shamal" was blowing before I took up the challenge. We took off on RWY 30, reaching 500 feet over the upwind end of the runway, then I dropped the flaps and slats and reduced the speed to 40kts. Very slowly, the Tin Pin crept backwards down the runway. Unfortunately I had to abandon the exercise when an inbound BOAC Comet joined the circuit. Another five minutes and I would have would won a crate of Becks!.
brakedwell is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2013, 03:36
  #319 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Australia
Age: 80
Posts: 30
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Passed by a boy on a bike

Yes Brakedwell, I recall glancing out the side of our Twin Pin as we were on a short landing approach to see a boy on a pedal bike passing us on the road beside the runway!

Musafi: we had an 'interesting' attempt at take-off there. Heading towards the cliff at the end of that very short strip, a rock jammed between the wheels on one side and (luckily) spun us around rather than tipping us over.... All Hail Sgt Pilot Bebbington for very quick thinking. Looking back on it, whoever designated that as a suitable landing ground was very, very optimistic.
leesaranda is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2013, 08:34
  #320 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 611
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
leesaranda: Are you sure you are describing Masafi? The runway as it exists today is not exactly short, nearly 1000m, and there is no cliff at the end. I think you could still fly out from there, with a bit a smart rudder work to avoid the scrub! It is just north of Masafi town at 25 21N, 56 10 50E.
Could you possibly be thinking of Saiq, where there IS a cliff and it's rather short?

Laurence

Last edited by l.garey; 14th Jan 2013 at 08:47.
l.garey is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.