Edward VIII flies home courtesy XXIV – 1930

This interesting article was spotted and sent in by Gerrie Forthergill-Lukes to add to our historic archive. Gerrie is not an Association Member but was on the Squadron in 1963 at Colerne and again at Lyneham 1981 and 1991. He writes:-

“On May 28th 2015, Channel 4 showed a documentary Edward VI11, The Lion King. In his closing words the Presenter said that at the end of the holiday in 1930, the Prince of Wales hitched a lift on an R.A.F.
machine from Sudan to Egtpt. My thoughts went to 47 Sqn who were based in Sudan at that time, and in fact turned out to be the carriers. From Egypt he sailed to Marseilles where he disembarked to continue his journey by air. 24 Sqdn were his hosts. The 3 Officers mentioned have been confirmed by the R.A.F.Museum archives Hendon as being with the Sqn on those dates.

Congratulations on you Century, 100 Not out.


 

Prince of Wales Apr 1930

Prince of Wales arriving at Windsor – Apr 1930

AFTER a magnificent flight from Marseilles, H.R.H. the Prince of Wales arrived home from Africa on April 25, when he landed on his private aerodrome in Windsor Great Park. Quite a considerable portion of the Prince’s journey home has been carried out by air. The Prince and his party left Malakal on April 13 in R.A.F. Fairey IIIF machines and flew to Khartoum, via Kosti. The journey was continued on April 16 to Wadi Haifa and Assuan, and Cairo was reached the following day.

 

The Prince proceeded by the P. and O. liner Rawalpindi to Marseilles, where he arrived on April 25 at 5.45 a.m. Meanwhile, three R.A.F. machines—one a Westland “Wapiti” piloted by Sqn Ldr Don, and the others, a Fairey IIIF piloted by Flight-Lieut. A. W. Heslop and another “Wapiti” piloted by Flying Officer H. W. Pearson-Rogers set out from Northolt on April 22 for Marseilles, where they arrived on April 24, for it was announced that, weather permitting, the Prince would make the last stage of the journey home by air.

Thus, immediately the Rawalpindi docked, the Prince, who wore a light grey suit with a grey-blue pull-over, and his party motored to the Marignane aerodrome, where the three R.A.F. machines were in readiness. At 7.35 a.m. the three machines started off, the Prince in the “Wapiti” piloted by Sqn Ld. Don. At 9 a.m. they landed at Bron Aerodrome, Lyons, to refuel, having covered the 175 miles from Marseilles in 1 hr. 30 min. Here Twenty-five minutes later the flight was resumed, and the next stop was Le Bourget. No members of the public were allowed on the ground, but the Prince was greeted by the British Ambassador, Lord Tyrrell, and officers of the 34th Air Regiment.

After luncheon, at the regimental mess, several officers asked the Prince to sign their pilot cards, which he did, but when, shortly after, some 40 more made the same request, he smilingly said he was afraid he would have to leave that for a future occasion. At 1.45 p.m., amid enthusiastic cheers, the Prince set off again, escorted by nine French aeroplanes led by Capt. Lackeman. The French coast was crossed at 3 p.m. at Grisnez, where the French escort left them, and in “exchange” a R.A.F. flying-boat took over escort duties across the Channel.

The crossing took 15 minutes, and on reaching the English coast nine “Siskins” of No. 25 Squadron (Hawkinge) met them and escorted them to Windsor. At Windsor the “Siskins” and the two other machines which accompanied the Prince from Marseilles turned off and returned to their bases, and the Prince’s ” Wapiti ” made a perfect landing, at 4 p.m., on his private landing ground at Canadian Camp (Smith’s Lawn), in Windsor Great Park. Thus the 650 miles from Marseilles was covered in 6 hr. 10 min. flying time, or at a speed of 105 m.p.h.

After a welcome cigarette and a few minutes’ chat, the Royal car arrived, and the Prince, together with Prince George drove to the Fishing Cottage to join the King and Queen, where the Prince stayed some time for tea and tales of adventure. Later the Prince went onto Fort Belvedere and thence to York House.

 

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