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Noyade 24th Mar 2021 07:14

Crazy stab - but Shackletons and Ju 86s - are we in South Africa?

Max Tow 24th Mar 2021 07:25

Originally Posted by Noyade (Post 11015137)
Crazy stab - but Shackletons and Ju 86s - are we in South Africa?

Not at all crazy but no to SA. The Shack is ex UK but you're getting much warmer. The Ju 86 is a crucial I.D. so have a quick dig before the northern hemisphere sleuths log on? I need the airfield's name in 1940.


Crew room photo 1940

Asturias56 24th Mar 2021 08:40

Mauritius? Doesn't look right..................

Sideshow Bob 24th Mar 2021 08:54

Originally Posted by Max Tow (Post 11015145)
No to SA. The Shack is ex UK but you're getting warmer. The Ju 86 is a crucial I.D. so have a quick dig before the northern hemisphere sleuths log on? I need the airfield's name in 1940.

Not sure of the airfield's name in 1940, but as the RAF like to name bases after the area the guardroom is situated in, I'm guessing something like RAF Kipevu (suburb of Mombasa) (or was it a RNAS as the FAA used it as a land base of the British Eastern Fleet?).

Max Tow 24th Mar 2021 09:06

Well done SB! I think you meant HMS Kipanga, which was the co-located naval air station, but Mombasa is spot on so take a bow.

I was actually after RAF Port Reitz (named after the 19th century commissioner Lieutenant J.J. Reitz), now Moi International (after the former President of Kenya).

The airfield was established early during WW2 by the South African forces in preparation for the successful but little known conflict with Italy in the Horn of Africa. The airfield was home to Furies, Gladiators & Hurricanes, together with detachments from 12 Sqn and 34 Coastal Reconnaissance Flight, operating Junkers 86Z aircraft.

As an aside,19 Ju86 passenger aircraft were ordered by the allegedly pro-Nazi Defence Minister Oswald Pirow for South African Airways before the war, together with one Ju86K bomber, and the former were hurriedly converted for military use as war loomed. After SA decided to enter the war alongside Britain, the aircraft began coastal patrols in support of the RN base in Cape Town before some were moved to Kenya, where there was a further Ju86 base at Nanyuki.

The "French connection" noted in response to Jensdad's guess alluded to Ju86 ZS-ALN 650. In 1941 this aircraft became lost in a storm over Ethiopia and was forced to land in Djibouti, where the aircraft was impounded by the Vichy French and used as a transport with Junkers support, until returned to the SAAF in 1944 and broken up for spares. Apparently the use of German aircraft could cause confusion - on 31 Oct 1940, a Ju86 carrying the S.A. Prime Minister and C in C Gen.Jan Smuts and the British Commanding Officer East Africa, Gen.Alan Cunningham, was attacked and almost shot down by SAAF Furies based at Archers Post in northern Kenya after failing to give the required recognition signal.

The above mentioned SAAF unit emblems are visible in the crew room photo, including 3 Sqn's "Fighting Wasps."

'The Hurricane (I.D. letter is actually Q not O) pictured was from 3 Sqn SAAF.Following the move north by the South African units, the RAF base was shared during the war and after by the Royal Navy in support of carrier borne aircraft from the Indian Ocean fleet using Kilindini harbour.

The airport was extensively redeveloped in the 1970s, with a new runway. In addition to the activities as Kenya's second international airport, the base hosts air force units, including those pictured from the USAF - the C5s and C141s pictured in the early 1990s for relief operations "Provide Relief" and "Support Hope" in Somalia.

My sadly failed clues were: the repeated mention of "two rights" (=Reitz) and the words "magnificent" and "wonders" in connection with degrees East of Suez were intended to suggest the number "7" , which is the number of degrees that Port Reitz/Mombasa lies east of Suez. The"dependable engines" remark referred to the P&W Hornets on the SAA Ju 86s.

All yours, SB...

Moi International

RAF?RNAS Port Reitz

Sideshow Bob 24th Mar 2021 13:02

Thanks Max Tow, again without nipping up into the loft I have nothing too old but here's one from the turn of the 21st Century

OUAQUKGF Ops 24th Mar 2021 14:03

Is it North America - One of those 'Graveyard' Airfields ?

Sideshow Bob 24th Mar 2021 15:46

Definitely not on in the Americas

Asturias56 24th Mar 2021 17:11

that was good challenge Max :ugh:

Is this one Africa perhaps?

OUAQUKGF Ops 24th Mar 2021 17:42

Central Asia (including Afghanistan) ?

Sideshow Bob 24th Mar 2021 19:43

It's somewhere in between (although Afghanistan was just a corridor away).

Max Tow 25th Mar 2021 02:54

Pre or post 9/11?

OUAQUKGF Ops 25th Mar 2021 07:27

Talking about a corridor away points to N/W Pakistan but I'm not sure when the Americans managed to obtain facilities there post 9/11. I'm going to go for Kulob Airport in Southern Tadjikistan . Looks suitably run down. ( 3000 metre runway) and is that an American C17 wing?

Sideshow Bob 25th Mar 2021 07:47

The picture was taken in Dec 01 so very much in the time of the outfall from 9/11. Still a little far north OUAQUKGF Ops, the Boulevard (the corridor mentioned) ran from the Arabian Sea/Gulf of Oman to the south of Afghanistan. Here's a picture looking the other way down the runway but still standing north of the runway. ps yes was a C17 wing but he was just a visitor.

OUAQUKGF Ops 25th Mar 2021 08:13

Is it Seeb (Muscat) Oman?

India Four Two 25th Mar 2021 08:33

Nimrod on the left.

zetec2 25th Mar 2021 09:24

Whats that in the background ? Greyhound ?

old,not bold 25th Mar 2021 10:57

If it's a Skyvan that increases the probability of Seeb, but I'm unconvinced. Those hills look very familiar, though.

Max Tow 25th Mar 2021 11:48

No, with those 4 fins it's a Greyhound. They and Nimrod MR2/R1 were based in Muscat during Enduring Freedom/Operation Veritas in Dec 2001 so I'd tend to go along with OUAQUKGF's Seeb guess.

sycamore 25th Mar 2021 12:48

RAF Herc. as well....

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