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Biafra

Old 13th Feb 2010, 08:58
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Quote by four wings
.............By the way, the C97s were never used. They were flown into Lagos by the US Government at the end of the war with the idea of replacing the aid flights, as 700,000 people were dying of starvation.........
The C-97Gs most certainly were used, by both Joint Church Aid ( U.S. registered) and Red Cross ( Swiss registry) In fact one JCA aircraft was destroyed on 9th May 1969 by the Nigerian AF whilst landing at Uli N52679 c/n 16710 ex 52-2679. One further JCA aircraft was lost on 26th September 1969 on final approach to Uli with 5 fatalities 1 English and 4 American aircraft N52676 c/n 16707 ex 52-2676.
For further details of flights by number by weight of cargo carried by type etc buy the Shadows book, it is all there in the appendices.
Hope it helps clarify matters
Be lucky
David
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Old 13th Feb 2010, 16:12
  #22 (permalink)  
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Many thanks. I stand corrected! Just why I was interested in getting more input as I only saw things from one side of the country - although I did have the experience of being one of the first foreigners to see Uli Ihiala after the war. Now for the Shadows book......
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Old 15th Feb 2010, 10:09
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Have a look here: Biafran Airlift

ARCO (Bermuda) Ltd was one of airlines of the (in)famous Hank Warton. Here is the story about ARCOs Biafran ops told by a Swedish Capt:

Lae - inte bara en stad på Nya Guinea - ARCO i Biafraliften

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Old 15th Feb 2010, 20:08
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Four wings check your PMs please
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David
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Old 24th Feb 2010, 10:38
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French Navy Neptunes to Biafra?

Four Wings makes an interesting recollection of French Navy Neptunes ferrying arms from Cotonou to Biafra. As the author of "Shadows", I spent many years (on and off) researching the airlift and gained access to many sources in France as well as speaking with many of the aircrew who took part. I never came across the Neptune story and would dearly love to know more. Avgas Dionosaur makes some very kind comments about the book and it is shame that the publisher went belly-up although I did manage to secure a stock beforehand.
You are correct, of course, that after the conflict Uli has a dismembered DC-4. This was one of Jack Malloch's DC-4s that came to grief when it turned onto Uli strip to take off - in the wrong direction and simply ran out of runway!
When we were making "Jesus Christ Airlines" we made a speedy visit to film the former Uli strip and amazingly there were still bits of engine in the adjacent bush - and that was 30 years after the event. The war museum at Umuahia, however, contains a fascinating collection of aircraft and relics. We also spent a considerable number of hours interviewing Hank Warton in Miami but in the end none of that was ever used in the documentary because the Miami setting was considered overtly opulent for a film about Third World conflict and poverty. Interestingly the film rights have since been acquired by a leading British producer and maybe one day the story will appear in Hollywood format. Who knows?
Meanwhile do tell me more about the French Neptunes; call me on [email protected]
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Old 24th Feb 2010, 17:41
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for your great input Biafranbaby.
I wonder if the presence of the Neptune could have been a French government attempt to locate the Federal Nigerian gun boats for the benefit of French / French sponsored arms/ relief flights, or even to assess their vulnerability to jamming ? Just a thought.
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David
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Old 26th Feb 2010, 13:11
  #27 (permalink)  
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Sorry, your contact comes up as 'invalid hash' try a PM?

As for the Neptune - if you can find anybody from Field Aircraft Services (who, as I posted before, did the ground servicing at Cotonou) they could verify it. I can only say that one time I was there I saw a Neptune take off immediately after a DC6 and that is what I was told - carrying arms, and therefore surely actually landing at Uli. If only I had asked more questions when I was in ex Biafra - unfortunately I was too busy trying to get fuel supplies in. There must be some Ibo people who will remember it (all my friends were from the Fed side).
On that score, did you know that the post-war relief helicopters lifting supplies locally were from Arizona Helicopters (aka Air America / CIA)?
I went berserk one day with one of their pilots.
Getting in fuel was supremely difficult before the Niger bridge was temporarily repaired - I had to do it by small trucks carrying drums, going across on a ferry-barge. All our road tankers were 32-36 ton size. Small conventional trucks were at a premium and my good friend Allen Jones who ran the ICRC logistics (got an MBE for it) and I used to share the few we could get. Using helicopters locally was crazy but what the Western media/public opinion wanted - it looked dramatic but every drum of fuel was one less crate of food.
Then this pilot told me that when he got tired of the heat he went up to 5,000 feet, opened the door and cooled off. I could have killed him.
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Old 5th Mar 2010, 19:14
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Can anyone help me please ??

I believe that an Australian pilot who also flew on the airlift has written and published a book on it (or at the very least a chapter in his book), and would dearly like to know his name and the title.
Anyone with any suggestions as to who this might be. I would be most appreciative.
Thanks in anticipation for your time and trouble.
Be lucky
David
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Old 7th Mar 2010, 22:19
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Books on Biafra

I think the book that you are thinking of is, if I recollect corrrectly, "Roll Back The Skies" by Verdun Polley who sadly passed away just a few years ago. I have a copy of it somewhere. He helped me with "Shadows" and sent over photocopy extracts of his impressive log-book.

Vern was also involved in ferrying Pakistan brand-new L-1049s from Burbank to Pakistan in the 1950s and was later involved in a Pakistan gun-running operation to the Yemen, flying L-1049Hs. Great guy and sadly missed.
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Old 9th Mar 2010, 09:41
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Ozzie Biafra Book

A book well worth searching out which covers MiG ops in Biafra plus a whole load more of misc. old-prop flying around Africa in the 70s and 80s is "The Cross-Eyed Spitting Cobra" by Noel Vonhoff.
I had to order it from Australia but it was worth the wait and every penny.
MZ
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Old 10th Mar 2010, 18:15
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There were number of Rhodies in and out of Uli - Alastair Wicks for one and Air Trans Africa had the aircraft. The Sao Tome run was largely ammunition provided from South Africa. The Lisbon-Fernando Po-Uli run had food, aid and heavier equipment. It was fairly safe (especially when they covered up the barrels after landing) as the Egyptian pilots wouldn't descend to lower than 25,00 feet. Hank Wharton flew out on his Super Connie with loads of Nigerian currency bound for Zurich. He lost a few when they had to land in Togo. There were plenty of familiar faces in Uli (Congo Muller, Rolf Steiner, etc.) from the earlier humanitarian assistance given in Elizabethville, Albertville and Coquilhatville in the Congo. The money all came via Jaques Foccart in France and the co-ordination from Caritas guys from Rome. It was a very strange but memorable time.
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Old 11th Mar 2010, 10:48
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Found Zombie thread

Found this in the cellar covered in cobwebs, it does go off on a bit of a war rant but some posts might be of interest.
http://www.pprune.org/african-aviati...vil-war-2.html
Hope it helps
Be lucky
David
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 12:30
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Quote by 1970s Spotter
A book well worth searching out which covers MiG ops in Biafra plus a whole load more of misc. old-prop flying around Africa in the 70s and 80s is "The Cross-Eyed Spitting Cobra" by Noel Vonhoff.
I have located a source for this book "in order to avoid the advertisement police" please PM me for details.
Be lucky
David
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 22:15
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Book on Biafra

Biafran Baby, I loved your book. An ace Biafran pilot confirmed the Annabelle codes and most of your details. Is there any evidence anywhere that the priests aided or abbetted weapon smuggling into Biafra. And whatever happened to the ther crazy Mercy Mission crew?
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Old 27th Jun 2010, 23:40
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Biafran Baby, I loved your book. An ace Biafran pilot confirmed the Annabelle codes and most of your details. Is there any evidence anywhere that the priests aided or abbetted weapon smuggling into Biafra. And whatever happened to the ther crazy Mercy Mission crew?
I have to agree with Limbo Line. Great reading! Bought the book shortly after it was published. I have an interest in the subject ever since meeting one of the Mig-17 pilots (he also flew B-26K, T-6, and T-28s in the Congo) years ago.

T J
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Old 28th Jun 2010, 12:26
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Nigeria'sMiG pilots

I'd be delighted to hear from anyone who's met any of the MiG pilots. Vonhoff, the Australian, was one of them. I am also interested in flight logs of the MiG and other pilots doing bombing or strafing runs in Biafra. Any ideas, leads, souces would be helpful.
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Old 30th Jun 2010, 21:39
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The guy has shared a lot of photos for Shadows. Even his log book. When I met him he was flying helicopters for the offshore industry. I guess he is retired by now. He was living in the UK, but as far as I remember he also owned a house in South Africa. He's very likely gone back there now.

T J
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Old 1st Jul 2010, 11:58
  #38 (permalink)  

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If memory serves, there was a South African captain in Transmeridian, Jimmy Webb, who flew MIGs for the Nigerians but I have no idea where might be now.
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Old 4th Jul 2010, 01:34
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I just found out about this book. Written by one of the Biafran pilots who flew during the conflict. Should be interesting to get the story from one of the locals. I really need to get hold of this one.

:: The Last Flight Book ::

T J
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Old 26th Jul 2010, 09:13
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Copy of Micheal Drapers book on a certain popular auction website. I found it a good read a while ago..............
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