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Willy Brandt flight to Berlin 1989

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Willy Brandt flight to Berlin 1989

Old 12th Dec 2020, 15:14
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Willy Brandt flight to Berlin 1989

9th Nov. 1989 The Berlin wall fell, unbeknown to Willy Brandt,
as he was moving with his wife to a new house in Unkel south
of Bonn. His TV had not been turned on, and they first knew
of the previous day's event was when he was called by a
journalist for his thoughts on the fall of the Wall on 10th. Nov.
He was flown to Berlin that morning by a British Military aircraft.
Does anyone remember the flight ? Where it originated CGN or
an RAF base further north ? Did it arrive at Gatow ? Aircraft type ?
and was his wife on board ?

Lance Shippey
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Old 12th Dec 2020, 15:48
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Originally Posted by Lance Shippey View Post
9th Nov. 1989 The Berlin wall fell, unbeknown to Willy Brandt,
as he was moving with his wife to a new house in Unkel south
of Bonn. His TV had not been turned on, and they first knew
of the previous day's event was when he was called by a
journalist for his thoughts on the fall of the Wall on 10th. Nov.
He was flown to Berlin that morning by a British Military aircraft.
Does anyone remember the flight ? Where it originated CGN or
an RAF base further north ? Did it arrive at Gatow ? Aircraft type ?
and was his wife on board ?

Lance Shippey
Cologne/Bonn military airport

Twin-engined Hawker-Siddeley

No wife

Lands in Tempelhof

"Um 10.15 Uhr fährt Hans Simon seinen Chef und Rosen vom Bundeshaus zum militärischen Flughafen Köln/Bonn. Dort steht eine kleine zweimotorige Hawker Siddeley bereit, eine elegante Offizierin in Uniform empfängt die Fluggäste. Start gegen 10.45 Uhr, neben Brandt und Rosen sitzen in der Maschine die Büromitarbeiterin Gabriele Holleder, der Leiter von Brandts Begleitkommando, Hans-Wolfgang Zayc, und ein weiterer Personenschützer."...........Gegen zwölf Uhr landet Brandt auf dem Flughafen Tempelhof. Ein Dienstwagen des Berliner Senats fährt ihn zunächst zum Rathaus Schöneberg, ..."

I can't post links ( anyone understand the reasoning to need 10 posts ). This came out of Die Welt
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Old 12th Dec 2020, 16:28
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https://www.16va.be/pembrokes_part2_eng.html

60 Squadron, presumably from Wildenrath. See the above link, looks like he was flown in the Pembroke.
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Old 12th Dec 2020, 17:50
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Wouldn't some Dominie or Jetstream be more likely?

I remember how "old" and uninformed Mr. Brandt sounded during the very first days after the wall came down. (Well ,nobody could know that much at that very moment and tell the future) Only to rev up to some high RPM to become some bright sharp mind for the next years again and somebody who really influenced the entire unification in a very positive way.
The big mistake was that his social democrat party did not really recreate the party they once had in East Germany because they now wanted to unite with the communists instead somehow. The same communist party (SED) that had put East German SPD members to jail for not wanting to unite with them before...
So SPD lost back then what they would need today to keep it from extinction.
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Old 12th Dec 2020, 18:07
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Dear Speedywheels.
Thanks a million for this. I found a pdf link on your
attachment which gave me the info. The 10th Nov.
flight was from CGN to Gatow with an Andover C2
flown by Flt. Lieutenant Greg Dodson of 60 Squadron.
he was on a routine flt Wildenrath - Guetersloh when
asked to divert to CGN to pick up Willy Brandt.

I had found some info in journal 22, of the Royal Air
Force Historical Society, page 16. by A.V.M. Nicholl
Asst. Chief of the Defence staff operational requirements
(Air Systems) which described events and the possibility
of Willy Brandt celebrating all around Bonn, and Cologne
on the night of 9th November 1989. Also making reference
to the RAF and US keeping a Black Hawk nearby to
collect him. and an RAF aircraft cleared straight through
to Berlin, just in case.
The facts remain that Willy had no idea that the wall had
fallen until the morning of the 10th. Kohl had been in WAW
at a dinner, and informed on the 9th. Nov, and had gone
to BER on the 10th. Brandt gave a speech outside the
Schoeneberg Town Hall, West Berlin at 2 pm.

Thanks again Speedwheels

lance Shippey
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Old 12th Dec 2020, 18:23
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Have been at the town hall myself back then. Kohl had a kind of difficult standing in Berlin on this very day because he didn't leave Warsaw right away the evening before. People remembered Adenauer only too well who already seemed to have had "missed" the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 being late with speeches and guarantees to defend West Berlin.
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Old 12th Dec 2020, 19:41
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Dear Less Hair.
I agree with the assessment of Adenauer, He was possibly more
interested in his garden than defending West Berlin. I often hear
that was one of the reasons why he favoured Bonn as the provisional
Capital. He also lived in Unkel am Rhein, for a while, where Willy
Brandt lived. September 20th 1992 Gorbachev, hearing that "His
Old Friend Willy" was seriously ill, arrived at the Brandt house in
Unkel unannounced, rang the intercom bell, and a lady answered
asking "Who is there" ? the answer "Gorbachev" Mrs Brandt didn't
open the door, thinking it was a joke. Willy died a couple of weeks
later on 8th October 1992 at 4.35pm. He was buried in Berlin....
His gravestone inscribed with pseudonym "Willy Brandt" rather
than Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm.

Lance Shippey
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Old 12th Dec 2020, 20:00
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Interesting that he was flown with a Pembroke which by the time was quite long in the tooth. I doubt any other military personell transports with piston engines remained in 1990.
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Old 12th Dec 2020, 20:13
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I'm not aware of any aside from the local Gatow Chipmunks of BRIXMIS fame.
However RN still had Doves and Sea Herons back then doing the odd Gatow visit.
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Old 12th Dec 2020, 21:21
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Lieber Tartiflette fan,
Vielen Dank. Many Thanks.
Die Welt appears to have everything well documented,
He was not alone when flying to THF Quite amazing that
none of them had tried to contact him on the night of the
fall. The information from 60 squadron about the Andover
being diverted to CGN to pick him up, suggests that the
flight was arranged at the last minute. I wonder if the flt.
had to be paid for, and if so, by whom ?

Lance Shippey

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Old 12th Dec 2020, 22:10
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Originally Posted by Lance Shippey View Post
Lieber Tartiflette fan,
Vielen Dank. Many Thanks.
Die Welt appears to have everything well documented,
He was not alone when flying to THF Quite amazing that
none of them had tried to contact him on the night of the
fall. The information from 60 squadron about the Andover
being diverted to CGN to pick him up, suggests that the
flight was arranged at the last minute. I wonder if the flt.
had to be paid for, and if so, by whom ?

Lance Shippey
The article does say that Hessischer Rundfunk rang between 04 00 and 05 00. That was literally the day after they moved into a new house, so very few people would have the number.. The flight was arranged by the mayor of Berlin, Walter Momper. I would guess - but not knowing how the RAF operates - that they would have been happy to play a helping role at such an auspicious moment and forego the repayment, or somehow lose it in the budget for the administration of Berlin.
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 00:07
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Hey guys that was me. We had flown from Wildenrath to Koln in an Andover C1 (XS597) with a group of local Burgermeisters for their annual conference. Whilst we were the we got a call that a passenger was arriving and we had to take him immediately to Templehof, West Berlin. When he turned up we recognised Herr Willy Brandt. Amazing day. We had heard that the wall had come down because one of our Pembrokes was in Berlin on the night of 9th November on its usual task. The atmosphere in the city on the 10th was unbelievable.

Greg Dodson
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 07:25
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Originally Posted by Chuck Spanner View Post
Hey guys that was me.
Greg Dodson
Wow, this just got interesting. Was Tempelhof your original destination, or were you just handed a new mission at Cologne since you happened to be there? Or were you going somewhere else but changed plan at Cologne? Was there anything extraordinary on the flight (surprisingly smooth transition to Berlin compared to normal ops etc)? Please share your story!
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 07:45
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Originally Posted by Beamr View Post
Wow, this just got interesting. Was Tempelhof your original destination, or were you just handed a new mission at Cologne since you happened to be there? Or were you going somewhere else but changed plan at Cologne? Was there anything extraordinary on the flight (surprisingly smooth transition to Berlin compared to normal ops etc)? Please share your story!
Hi Beamr.
You read my mind. Same questions from me.
Where were to Burgermeister loaded, and where
was their final destination ? Did Guetersloh ever
come into the scenario? how many pax seats did
XS597 have, and was their a special call-sign for
the CGN/THF sector ?

Lance Shippey
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 09:41
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Hello again, guys.

I was 29 at the time and had been a captain on 60 Sqn for 2 years. The trip was in an Andover C1 XS597 which was not a modified Andover for the Hallmark operation. Funnily enough I had flown the "Lines" the previous month in a Pembroke. The aircraft had a seat fit for about 14, if I remember rightly. Since it had a ramp access all baggage was stowed in a netted baggage area just before the navigator station. The aircraft was normally used for aeromedical flights from Wildenrath via Gutersloh to Northolt and the odd passenger trip. That particular day we were tasked to take the Burgermeisters to Koln and remain there until the afternoon and return them to Wildenrath. It seemed we were in for a boring day sitting on the aircraft playing bridge. (Crew compliment was Capt, Copilot, Navigator and Loadmaster). I'm pretty sure the LM was WO Eddie East who went on to become the first RAF WO Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London. Look him up, he may still be there.

Anyway, I was called in to the handler's office for a phone call from my operations (no mobile phones then). I was told to prep the aircraft immediately for a VIP passenger and to take him directly to Templehof. I was not told who the passenger was, just that he and his entourage (4 in total, I think) had to get to Templehof asap. There was not a special call sign as that would have created attention we did not need as we flew the Berlin corridor. Just after we got airborne the LM came forward and announced that the passenger was Willy Brandt. I don't remember his wife being on board. Whilst we were enroute there were several attempts to divert the aircraft to RAF Gatow, presumably for the kudos of receiving Willy Brandt, but this was against my strict briefing to go to Templehof. On arrival we parked under the famous awning at Templehof and Willy was whisked away to the celebrations in the city centre. We remained all day in Berlin and returned him to Koln that night. I still have my piece of the Berlin Wall and an East German border guard's hat. The hat cost me a few dollars and he felt like a millionaire.

I was in Berlin a couple of months later and whilst enroute to the hotel I asked the taxi driver what he thought about the wall coming down. He said that he and a lot of other West Berliners would like to put it back up. They were overwhelmed by the vast numbers of poor East Berliners and East Germans that flooded in to the city and those people were POOR. The Deutscher Bank had always maintained that any East Germans that came to the west would be given DM100. They kept their promise and many East Germans believed they were rich beyond their wildest dreams. Stories abound of them walking in to BMW dealerships trying to buy a car with their DM100. They had no real concept of the value of items in the west.

Sorry that this is a long post but I hope it's interesting.
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 09:45
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Talking

Originally Posted by Tartiflette Fan View Post
Cologne/Bonn military airport

"Um 10.15 Uhr fährt Hans Simon seinen Chef und Rosen vom Bundeshaus zum militärischen Flughafen Köln/Bonn. Dort steht eine kleine zweimotorige Hawker Siddeley bereit, eine elegante Offizierin in Uniform empfängt die Fluggäste. Start gegen 10.45 Uhr, neben Brandt und Rosen sitzen in der Maschine die Büromitarbeiterin Gabriele Holleder, der Leiter von Brandts Begleitkommando, Hans-Wolfgang Zayc, und ein weiterer Personenschützer."...........Gegen zwölf Uhr landet Brandt auf dem Flughafen Tempelhof. Ein Dienstwagen des Berliner Senats fährt ihn zunächst zum Rathaus Schöneberg, ..."
This came out of Die Welt

I don't ever remember being called an "elegant officer' 😂
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 09:50
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"Elegant female officer".

Most interesting reading. Thanks very much for sharing.
Those 100 DM so called "Begrüßungsgeld" (welcome payment) in hard currency were a west German taxpayer's gift to all Easterners on their first visit. They had been unable to own any hard currency and needed something for basics. East German money had no value in the West.
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 10:11
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Greg Dodson, thank you very much, from my perspective your story was too short, it is very interesting to hear this kind of personal experiences of individuals involved in historical events.

could you please tell more about the attempts of getting the AC to RAF Gatow, what were their reasoning for the divert at the time? And what were your responses?
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 10:25
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Wouldn't allied flights not have to be coordinated with the soviets including destination before? Could the destination be changed while in flight already?
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 20:36
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Hi Greg. Thanks for the info, Klaus-Henning Rosen, Willy Brandt's personal office chief since 1976 had tried to arrange a flight to Berlin
on the 10th November 1989. Mayor of Berlin Walter Momper had already arranged a British Military aircraft and invites Brandt to Berlin.
Brandt's personal driver Hans Simon drives him for 25 mins from Unkel to the Government quarter in Bonn, where he has a meeting.
10.15 hrs Hans Simon drives Brandt and Rosen to CGN where they meet Gabriele Holleder, one of Brandt's office workers and Hans-
Wolfgang Zayc, Brandt's trusted bodyguard who has been on many many trips with him. plus another security guard.
12.00 hrs a/c arrives at THF. Brandt and party leave for Walter Momper's office, where Willy has a cognac.
17.00 hrs Speech in front of 20,000 - 40,000 people on J.F.Kennedy Platz in front of Schoeneberg Town Hall.
Newspaper Die Welt (Welt) report that Brandt stayed at the Steigenberger Hotel, Los Angeles Platz, near the Ku-Damm on the night of
10th November, and left Berlin 11th. November at 08.30 hrs on a Linien Flug (probably BA) from BER to CGN.
Greg do you know if you flew the Andover THF/CGN empty on the evening of the 10th November, and perhaps your flight was a decoy ?
Walter Momper had a meeting on the 9th November in Bonn, and returned to BER on board an American Military aircraft.. Do you have
any idea from where he would have boarded the US Military aircraft.? (Perhaps Rhein Main or Hahn ? )

Lance Shippey
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