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Lockheed Hudson being serviced in hanger

Lockheed Hudson being serviced in hanger

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Lockheed Hudson being serviced in hanger

A Lockheed Hudson of No.206 Squadron being serviced in a Coastal Command hanger.

Taken from Coastal Command, 1939-1942, HMSO, published 1943, p.73

Lockheed Hudson Aircraft in WWII, Andrew Hendrie, Crowood Press. A look at the development of the Hudson, and its career with the RAF, USAAF, RNZAF and RAAF. Covers the anti-submarine and anti-shipping uses of the Hudson, as well at its role in Air-Sea Rescue and special operations. The text is supported by a good collection of first hand accounts.

British Overseas Airways Corporation

British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) was the British state-owned airline created in 1939 by the merger of Imperial Airways and British Airways Ltd. It continued operating overseas services throughout World War II. After the passing of the Civil Aviation Act 1946, European and South American services passed to two further state-owned airlines, British European Airways (BEA) and British South American Airways (BSAA). BOAC absorbed BSAA in 1949, but BEA continued to operate British domestic and European routes for the next quarter century. A 1971 Act of Parliament merged BOAC and BEA, effective 31 March 1974, forming today's British Airways. [1] For most of its history its main rival was Pan Am.


September 1939 — January 1942. R.A.F. Thornaby, Yorkshire. <18 Group>
Detachment Dyce, Aberdeenshire.
Detachment Bircham Newton, Norfolk. <16 Group>
January 2 1942 — 20 July 1942. R.A.F. Skitten, Wick, Caithness.
August 5 1942 — August 1942. Sumburgh, Shetlands.
(August 1942 — August 1942> Detachment Gosport, Hampshire. <16 Group>
September 9 — December 17 1942. North Front, Gibraltar.
December 1942 — July 1943. Blida, Algeria.
Detachment Bone, Algeria.
August 1943. Protville.
September 1943. Bo Rizzo.
Detachment Grottaglie, Italy.
October 1943. Montecorvino, Sicily.
December 1943. Grottaglie, Italy.
Detachment Guado.
January 1943 - February 1944. Montecorvino, Sicily.
Detachment Bo Rizzo.
Disbanded 31st July 1944.

Reformed 1st August 1944.
1 August 1944 — 28 August 1945.
No 8 Pathfinder Group. Bomber Command “Light Night Striking Force.” R.A.F. Downham Market, Norfolk.

Reformed 10th May 1946.
10 May 1946 — 10 March 1957. R.A.F. Thornaby, Yorkshire.

17 March 1930 — December 31 Avro 504 Lynx.
December 1931- January 1937. Westland Wapiti IIA.

Redesignated to a Fighter Squadron
16 January 1937 — 20 March 1939. Demon.

Redesignated to a General Reconnaissance Unit.
20 March 1939. Anson.
October 1939 — November 1940. Blackburn Botha I/ June 1940 Anson I.
February 1941. Blenheim I.
February 1941. Blenheim IV.
July 1941. Lockheed Hudson V.
March 1943. Lockheed Hudson VI.
June 1943. Lockheed Hudson IIIA.

Redesignated No 8 Pathfinder Light Night Striking Force.
1 August 1944. Mosquito B. XX, B. XXV, B. XVI August 1944 onwards.

Redesignated Night Fighter Unit.
July 1947. Mosquito NF30.

Redesignated Day Fighter Squadron.
August 1948. Spitfire F 22.
December 1949. Vampire/Spitfire phased out June 1951.
April 1959. FB 9’s.

Motto: Omnibus ungulis (With all talons)
Badge: A falcon’s leg, erased, belied and fessed. The falcon’s leg was chosen to indicate the squadron’s readiness to go into the air at any time and attack tooth and nail.
Authority: King George VI, July 1937.

Squadron Codes used:-
PG Oct 1938-Sep 1939.
UL Sep 1939-1942.
6T 1944-1945, 1949-Apr 1951.
RAO May 1946-1949.

26 February 1938
Cpl. Laycock, M. R. A.F.
Accidentally killed in a motorcycle accident.
6 October 1939
PltOff. Scott, J. RAF
Accidentally killed in a motorcycle accident. Cremated at West Hartlepool.
27 October 1939
Anson 1 N5204 UL-N
PltOff. Baird, A.D. RAF No known grave.
FltLt. Garnett, G.W. R. (Aux) A. F.
AC2. Smith. Wounded.
Cpl. Wilson, R.A. RAF A/g. Buried at Stockton.
On routine patrol the aircraft was shot down near the Humber Lightship, by a Hurricane based at Digby. HMS Stork recovered AC2 Smith and the body of Cpl. Wilson.
19 Nov 1939
PltOff. Robertson, J.W.C. Attached to 220 Sqn.
2 Feb 1940
Anson I N5199 UL-M
FgOff. Johnson. Safe.
PltOff. Lambert. Safe.
AC2 Lumley. Injured.
Cpl.Young. Safe.
On M/T Convoy Patrol, the aircraft force landed in the sea due to engine failure and sank after 45 minutes. A minesweeper 6 miles off Blyth, Northumberland, picked up the crew
6 June 1940
AC2. Nutter, F.W. RAF
Died as the result of wounds received during air raid. Buried at Burnley.
10 June 1940
Cpl. Wilson, J. RAF Buried at Billingham.
Accidentally struck by a propeller blade during the blackout.
16 June 1940
Anson 1 N5067 UL-L
PltOff. Duncan. Injured
Sgt. Walpole, L.B. R. (Aux) A.F. Died of wounds 19 June 1940.
In bad visibility, the aircraft hit high-tension cables and crashed near Brotten.
August 24 1940
Botha I L6209 UL-O
PltOff. Horner, D.H.F. Injured.
PltOff. Reid. Safe.
On a convoy escort mission, the engine cut out after take-off. The Botha was belly-landed but hit a ditch at Ormsby, County Durham.
31 August 1940
Botha I L6165 UL
PltOff. Creed, T.H. RAF No known grave.
PltOff. Barrett. Wounded
AC1. Corrigan, T.E. R. (Aux) A. F. No known grave.
AC2. Beadnall, G. R. (Aux) A .F.
Took off on a training flight but was unable to land due to the presence of intruders. The aircraft was presumed to have ditched in the North Sea.
7 March 1941
Anson I R9817 UL-Y
Sgt. Cutting, R.M. RAF No known grave.
Sgt. Frost. Safe
Sgt. Edwards, T.A. RAF No known grave.
Sgt. White, A.C. RAFVR
Left for a transit flight to Dyce, but ditched at 0840 hours. At about 0900 hours information was received that an aircraft had crashed in the sea off Whinnyfold, and the coastguard sent out a motor boat from Cruden Bay. She found nothing, but a Destroyer picked up Sgt. Frost, 3 miles off Collieston, Aberdeen.
30 June 1941
Blenhiem IV Z5982 UL-L
PltOff. Sir MacRobert, I.W. RAFVR No known grave
Sgt. Best, A.P. RAFVR
Sgt. Hillwood, H. RAFVR
FgOff. Keating, R.K. RAFVR
The aircraft was on an air sea rescue sortie and ditched while searching for a dingy that had been reported at 5325N 0230E.
2 September 1941
Hudson V AM599 UL-H
F/Sgt. Broomhead, William Collin Eugene. RAFVR Pilot. Flekkefjord Cemetery.
Sgt. Thomas, Basil Lawson. RAFVR Pilot.
Sgt. Christie, John Millar. RAFVR Wo/Ag.
Sgt. Law, George. RAFVR Wo/Ag.
7 September 1941
Hudson V AM601 UL-N
Sgt, Harrington. Injured
Sgt. Foster. Injured
Sgt. Bennett. Injured
Sgt. Corrie, T.R.B. RAFVR Died of injuries
Took off to provide air cover for convoy EC70. The aircraft overshot the runway at 2245 hours during a night landing at Thornaby and crashed into valley beyond the East/West runway.
20 October 1941
Hudson V AM523 UL-F
Sgt. Hendy, A. RAFVR Frederikshavn Cemetery.
Sgt. Symons, S.A. RAFVR
Sgt. Wright, W.P. RAF
Sgt. White, W. RAFVR
Took off in a battle flight with two other aircraft from the squadron. After failing to find any shipping the flight turned to attack the Thisted seaplane base. After dropping bombs on the slipway F/608 was seen to make a vertical bank and dropped out of sight. Shortly afterwards an aircraft was seen burning on the ground.
5 November 1941
Hudson V AM657 UL-D
WgCdr. Darbyshire, R.S. RAF
PltOff. Berry, J.D. RAFVR
Sgt. Mandall, S.R. RAFVR
FgOff. Hoar, G.A. RAFVR
Hudson V AM642 UL-R
Sgt. Yeates, G.R. RCAF
Sgt. Hazlett, F.J. RCAF
Sgt. Sansome, J.
Sgt. Elkington, E.W.
Took off in company in the early evening for a shipping strike off the Frisian Islands and failed to return.
16 November 1941
Hudson V AM883 UL-N
F/Sgt. Wood, R.C. RAF Buried in Dyce Churchyard.
Sgt. Neville, R.J. RAFVR Buried in Dartford Churchyard
Sgt. Pain, L.J. RAFVR Buried in Wandsworth Churchyard.
Sgt. Shuidan. Injured.
On a patrol from Stavanger to Kristainsand, at 2055 hours the aircraft was diverted to Kinloss. Flew into high ground at The Buck, 2 miles west of Lumsden, Aberdeenshire at 2235 hours.
23 November 1941
Hudson V AM715 UL-T
F/Sgt. Fullerton, George Noile. RCAF Frederikshavn Cemetery.
F/Sgt. MacMillan, Russel Hamilton. RCAF
Sgt. Short, John. RAFVR
Sgt. Simmonds, Francis George. RAFVR
On a routine Horn Li patrol from Horns Rock in Denmark to Lista in Norway. At mid-morning the aircraft flew in over Denmark by the town of Henne, on the west coast of Jutland. Then took a course for Tarm and flew north over the town of Skjern’ crossing right over the railroad between the two towns. According to an eyewitness report, the aircraft suddenly plunged down and struck the fence that ran beside the railway and burst into flames. One of the crew was thrown clear of the flames and later died as the result of wounds received.
6 Feb 1942.
Sgt. Bennett, Douglas Leonard. RAF Wo/Ag. Trondheim Cemetery.
7 Feb 1942.
FltLt. Walker, David Frank. DFC RAFVR Pilot. Trondheim Cemetery.
17 March 1942.
FgOff. Martel, M.J. RAAF No known grave
20 April 1942.
F/Sgt. Wilson, David Robert. RAFVR Sola Cemetery.
W/Off. Bonathan, Lewis Clifford. RAF Trondheim Cemetery.
F/Sgt. Hemery, Albert Anthony, RCAF
Sgt. Leek, Bernard Harry. RAF
F/Sgt. Willey, Thomas Edward. RAFVR
23 May 1942.
Lt. Callaghan, G.B. SAAF Pilot. Trondheim Cemetery.
Sgt. Cameron, William Muir. RAFVR Wo/Ag.
Sgt. Davie, Arthur Collins, RAFVR Obs. Bergen Cemetery
26 June 1943.
F/Sgt. Dettmann, R.A.K. RAAF El Alia Cemetery.
F/Sgt. Beitz, C.F. RAAF
FgOff. Wecker, A.R. RAAF
12 July 1943.
FgOff. Ellis, D.W. RAAF Malta Memorial
F/Sgt. Rubens, N.A. RAAF
F/Sgt. Van Waning, K. RAAF
14 September 1943.
F/Sgt. Pettitt, E.N. RAAF Malta Memorial
FgOff. Bradley, B.G.S. RAAF
F/Sgt. Sheldon, L.W. RAAF
27 January 1944.
F/Sgt. Thornton, L. RAAF Malta Memorial
21 February 1944.
F/Sgt. Dietman, J.A. RAAF Cambridge City Cemetery.
27/28 August 1944. Mosquito XX KB212.
FgOff. Coles, M.W. DFC RCAF
Flt.Lt. Darby, C.E. DFM RCAF
13/14 September 1944. Mosquito XX KB359.
Took off at 2042 hours from Downham Market on an operation to Berlin and crashed at 2315 hours, 11km NW from Naven.
SqnLdr. Barrett, C.R. DFC RAFVR
FgOff. Fogden, E.S. RAFVR
15/16 September 1944. Mosquito XX KB239.
Took off at 2345 hours from Downham Market on an operation to Berlin and crashed at 0230 hours at Bahnof.
FltLt. Smith, B.H. RCAF
Sgt. Pegg, L.F. RAFVR
9 October 1944. Mosquito XX KB261.
Took off at 1803 hours from Downham Market on an operation to Wilhemshaven and on return to base dived into ground at 2130 hours.
FltLt. Gardner, R.G. RAFVR Buried at Bearstead Churchyard.
FgOFF. Sweetman, O.C. DFM RAFVR Buried at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
11/12 October 1944. Mosquito XX KB348.
Took off from Downham Market at 0136 hours on an operation to Berlin.
FgOff. Reeder S.W. RAFVR
F/Sgt. Bolton, R.J. RAAF
6/7 November 1944. Mosquito XX KB364.
The aircraft crashed, probably due to heavy icing, at Bawdeswell, near Norwich.
PltOff. McLean, J. RAFVR Buried in Tranent Cemetery
Sgt. Tansley, M.L. RAFVR Buried in Fulham Cemetery
10/11 November 1944. Mosquito XX KB360.
On a mission to Hanover, crashed near Wisbeach due to port engine failure.
FltLt. Webb, S.D. RCAF
FgOff. Campbell. Injured.
6/7 December 1944. Mosquito XX KB235.
Took off on an operation to Berlin and crashed near Wijhe in Holland.
FgOff. Weir, G.R.E. RAFVR
FgOff. Hardy, J.E.C. RAFVR
5/6 March 1945. Mosquito XX KB197.
Took off at 1823 hours from Downham Market on an operation to Berlin and crashed near Braine-le-Comte.
Lt. MacLean, M.H.M. DFC RAAF
Sgt. Todd, R. RAFVR

RAF Costal Command Losses. Vol.1.
RAF Bomber Command Losses. Vol.IIII.
608 Squadron and RAF Thornaby. E.W. Sockett.

SqnLdr. Barratt, C.D. DFC RAFVR
Lt. MacLean, M.H.M. DFC RAAF
FltLt. Walker, D.F. DFC RAF
FltLt. Noden, Denys. DFC RCAF 23rd March 1945.
FgOff. Coles, M.W. DFC RCAF
FltLt. Danby, C.C. DFM RCAF
FgOff. Sweetman, O.C. DFM RAFVR
Sgt. Aughty, Harold. MID August 1940.
LAC Smith. Hon. MID 27 April 1940.
Lt. MacLean, M.H.M. DFC RAAF

Thornaby Aerodrome, known locally as Foggins Field, came into being in 1930. Although the area had been used as a staging post by aircraft between Catterick and Marske, since 1914.
The Auxiliary Air Force 608 Bomber Squadron was formed at Thornaby on 17 March 1930, and consisted of one officer and 11 airmen. They were initially based at Catterick Camp, until the hangers were completed, and equipped with Avro Lynx aircraft, then Westland Wapiti bombers from late 1931. At this time the aerodrome was ‘merely a large field’ with two corrugated sheet metal hangers and a few brick outbuildings. The control tower was a small hut with a large notice that requested visiting pilots to report there.
The first adjutant of 608 Squadron was Flt.Lt. C.L. Falconer. On the 16th June 1930 flying instructor, Howard Davies was appointed to Command. He resigned in 1933 due to the pressure of business.
The second Commanding Officer was Sqn.Ldr. Ivo. W.H. Thompson, he sent a letter dated 11th May 1932 to Thornaby Council asking for the closure of Milbank Lane, on the North East boundary, at set hours during the weekends, so that bombing practice could be carried out using 8 and a half-pound bombs containing stannic acid. The council minutes record that the council was not agreeable to this request. Also noted in the council for 1932 the valuation of the aerodrome was £540. The area covered was 194 acres and the Thornaby Hall, built by the Crossthwaite family, served as the Officers Mess. In addition there were four staff cottages, a hanger, drill hall and mess rooms. On the 30th December 1934, SqnLdr. G.H. Amber took command of 608 Squadron.
It would be true to say that 608 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force grew up in parallel with the construction of RAF Thornaby and that to some extent the character of the squadron was moulded by this growth and that the character of the squadron was what would be expected from those born within the area of the White Rose. Built up by enterprising people, prominent in commerce and industry, who where willing to give up their time freely in the aid of a worthwhile cause.
Over the years, hampered by financial famine and lack of resources, the ‘weekend flyers’ gradually built up the necessary skills and experience for the squadron’s capabilities to be taken seriously. The major breakthrough arrived in 1935, when the first Regular Royal Air Force Unit arrived at Thornaby. It was No. 9 F.T.S. equipped with yellow painted Hawk Hart trainers. Suddenly, huts were strung up to accommodate the personnel and canvas hangers to cover the aircraft. The unit remained until 1937 and during its stay a start was made on the Bellmen Hangers, which were completed by the end of that year.
On the 1st. June 1937, a Station Headquarters was established at Thornaby with Wing Commander J. Leacroft M.C. in command. He transferred the Station to No 16 Reconnaissance Group of Coastal Command with the expressed policy of having two General Reconnaissance Squadrons and one Auxiliary Air Force Fighter Squadron. With the purpose, that the fighter squadron would be available to defend the base and protect the General Reconnaissance Squadrons.
The two squadrons concerned were to be 233 Squadron, which was joined by 224 Squadron, so that both were present on the 9th. July 1937. At that time the establishment of aircraft at Thornaby was formidable. Each squadron possessed 18 Anson’s, plus 6 in reserve each, giving a total of 48 aircraft. In addition, 608 Squadron could muster 9 Demon aircraft and 2 reserve aircraft, with the addition of one reserve and one for Headquarters practice.
As the result of the build up, following the visit by Sir Fredrick Bowhill on the 3rd of November 1937, the command of the Station was upgraded to that of a Group Captain that meant that on the 15th of November, Wing Commander L. Leacroft was replaced by Group Captain A.H. Jackson.
By September 1938, 608 Squadron consisted of a contingent of 2 Officers and 40 other ranks of the Regular Royal Air Force, with 16 Officers and 137 other ranks of the Auxiliary Air Force. Equipped with 14 Demon aircraft and 5 reserves, 1 Hart Trainer and 4 Tutor’s.
In August 1938, 224 Squadron moved to Leuchars followed in September by 233 Squadron. The station was then transferred to No 5 Bomber Group with two bomber squadrons of Fairy Battle aircraft, 106 and 185 joining 608 (Fighter) Squadron.
The two bomber squadrons departed at the end of September and the role of RAF Thornaby was again changed, this time to No 16 (Reconnaissance) Group, Coastal Command. 269 Squadron arrived the following day.
In the midst of all these changes, 608’s Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader Ambler transferred to take up command of 609 Squadron and was replaced by Squadron Leader G. Shaw. Then, the storm clouds of war gathered.

No profile of 608 Squadron would be complete without reference to her sister squadron at Thornaby, who arrived on the 21st of August 1939, with 23 of its available Anson aircraft. As the men of 608 Squadron began to train in earnest, on the 5th of September, Hudson aircraft began to arrive as replacement aircraft for 220 Squadron, with more arriving over the next ten days. Over the next 20 months, until April 1941, the two squadrons would share aircraft and personnel on an intimate basis.

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13 June 1937, Late

Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, in Africa. (Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections)

13 June 1937: Leg 16. After refueling the Lockheed Electra 10E Special at Khartoum, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan continue on to Massawa, Eritrea, 459 miles (739 kilometers) further on.

Exactly two hundred miles out we crossed at right angles at Athara River which flows northward into the Nile. Thence the low desert roughened and rose, first into sloping sandy foothills, then mountains where green vegetation, almost the first we had seen in Africa, began to appear below us. Well into Eretrea we flew over the headwaters of a second considerable river, the Khor Baruka, which drains this highland region northward into the Red Sea. Heated air blasted up from the mountain slopes, buffering the ship unkindly. Even above 10,000 feet it was rough going. . . Massawa admits to being one of the hottest cities in the world. In the summer the thermometer often hits 120 degrees in the shade. . . On the evening of our arrival the thermometer registered 100 degrees, but that night it became comparatively cool. . . It had been a long day, what with the landmarkless desert flying, the stop at Khartoum, the rough going over the mountains the long trip down, and there was fair reason for a pilot to feel famished. (As usual I had forgotten to eat.) “Are you hungry?” an English-speaking officer asked me. “As hollow as a bamboo horse.”

Great Circle route from Khartoum, Sudan, to Massawa, Eritrea, 395 nautical miles (454 statute miles/731 kilometers) Great Circle Mapper)

One of the outcomes of Silloth Tourism Action Group’s ‘Silloth Airfield’ Project, which was funded by Heritage Lottery, is a film about the airfield. To the great delight of a large local audience, it was launched at a celebration evening on 24th April 2015. The film provides information about the airfield and how it was used. It also refers to memories of the civilian workers and airmen who were based there during the War years and its aftermath.

“We offer our sincere thanks to the many airmen and civilian personnel who came from all over the UK and other allied countries to serve at Silloth Aerodrome during WW2. We are very proud and forever grateful for the service you gave, and we will support ongoing efforts to preserve your memories and stories into the future.” Silloth Tourism Action Group (STAG).



Intended as a successor to the F-104, the Lancer was another product from Lockheed's Skunk Works (the official alias for the company's Advanced Development Projects branch). Clarence L "Kelly" Johnson headed the department during this period, while Skunk works designers carried out all aerodynamic studies and wind tunnel testing on the type.

Airframe Edit

The CL-1200 was to have kept the basic F-104 fuselage structure, increased in length to provide 46% extra internal fuel capacity. The fuselage extension consisted of a 30 in (76 cm) plug between the standard F-104 front and center fuselage sections. Unlike the F-104, the rear fuselage section was to be constructed using titanium alloy for the frames, longerons and skinning around the jet exhaust. The major revision of the design was a shoulder-mounted wing of 53% larger area [3] which was also moved further aft. The new wing had a span of 29 ft (8.8 m) and still featured leading and trailing edge flaps but gained new leading edge extensions, while the 10° anhedral of the Starfighter was retained. The flap system was designed to be either manual or automatic in operation the system configuring them as required for load factor, airspeed and altitude. The new inner wing panels featured an additional trailing edge flap which doubled the area in comparison to the F-104 this would have improved short-field performance and lowered the landing speed. The boundary layer control system of the F-104 was deemed unnecessary due to the increased flap area and was omitted. The outer wing panels were virtually identical to those of the F-104.

The tailplane was increased in area, split into two separate surfaces, and moved down from the top of the vertical fin to the lower rear fuselage in order to avoid the downwash effects from the high-set wing at high angles of attack which could have resulted in a deep stall condition. The repositioning of the tailplane was also a measure taken to eliminate the Starfighter's known pitch-up problems. For commonality the landing gear, hydraulic and electrical systems remained essentially identical to the F-104. The strengthened windshield from the F-104S was to be used to withstand the aerodynamic heating of flight at higher Mach numbers. A two-seat trainer version was planned, as was a reconnaissance and all-weather interceptor version. This would have been achieved by simply using the existing forward fuselage sections and avionics from the TF-104G, RF-104G and F-104S. [4]

Powerplant Edit

The initial variant of the Lancer was to be the CL-1200-1, powered by a single J79-GE-19 turbojet which was an uprated version of the engine used in the F-104. The second, more advanced variant, the CL-1200-2, was to have redesigned center and rear fuselage sections that could accommodate a modern turbofan engine as an improvement on the J79 turbojet. This turbofan engine was to be the Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-100 as used in the F-111F. The TF-30-P-100 would have provided a 60 percent increase in thrust at maximum power. The air intakes were located in the same position as on the F-104, but they were to employ variable shock cones with four-inch movement in place of the F-104's fixed cones to optimize engine performance over a wide speed range. [3]

Armament Edit

The Lancer was intended to retain the 20 mm General Electric M61A1 cannon as its primary armament, although a 30 mm DEFA gun could be fitted as an alternative. For the ground-attack role nine weapons stations were provided: one under the fuselage, three under each wing, and one at each wingtip. Two Nord Aviation AS-30 missiles could be carried on the inner underwing pylons, while up to 12,000 lb (5,450 kg) of ordnance could be carried on short-range ground-attack missions. Air-to-air missiles designed to be carried were AIM-7 Sparrow (maximum of four) and AIM-9 Sidewinder (typically, six to be carried with a maximum of 10 possible). External fuel tanks of the same type and capacity as the F-104 could be carried on the wing tips and on underwing pylons to increase ferry range. [5]

Performance Edit

The estimated gross weight was 35,000 lb (16,000 kg) with maximum external load, and a top speed of 1,700 mph (2,720 km/h, Mach 2.5) at 35,000 ft (10,700 m) was envisaged. The takeoff run was estimated to be 1,450 ft (440 m) in the intercept configuration only 52% of that required for the F-104G with a similar improvement on landing performance due to the slower approach speed. Lockheed's chief designer "Kelly" Johnson projected that the CL-1200-2 would be superior in air-to-air combat to any known fighter. [6]

Cost Edit

Lockheed carried out a comprehensive survey and believed that there was a worldwide market for an advanced design, low-price fighter aircraft over the decade of the 1970s. [1] Other aircraft manufacturers also recognized the opportunity and this was the reason for the fierce competition for sales at the time. Lockheed calculations showed that even a 10% share of this market (750 aircraft) would be a worthwhile venture they further reasoned that development costs for the Lancer would be approximately 70.5 million US Dollars (1970). Unit costs depended on the size of the production run with $2.7 million being quoted in the case of a production run of 500 aircraft and $2.4 million for twice this number.

Lockheed also researched the operating costs for the first 10 years of operation which included the provision of spares, ground equipment, technical manuals, and both maintenance and flight training. For a production run of 500 aircraft, the support cost over 10 years was given as $330 million, reducing to $180 million if 1,000 Lancers were built.

Operating costs over 10 years were also calculated. By adding the total of all these costs Lockheed claimed that their product offered significant savings over both the Dassault Mirage F-1 and the F-4F Phantom when their equivalent costs were shown. [3]

CL-1200-1 Edit

In November 1970 the Northrop F-5-21 was named the winner of the International Fighter Aircraft competition following which no interest was shown in the CL-1200 by existing F-104 operators and the project was then terminated.

CL-704 VTOL Edit

Another cancelled Starfighter derivative, pre-dating the CL-1200 Lancer by eight years and not directly related, was the CL-704 VTOL strike and reconnaissance aircraft originally proposed in 1962 as a joint venture between Lockheed and Short Brothers and Harland Ltd. Designed purely for VTOL operations, it was to have had seven vertically mounted Rolls-Royce RB181 lift engines in each of the enlarged wingtip pods the main forward propulsion being provided by a Rolls Royce RB.168R mounted in the fuselage. The project was cancelled due to the numerous complexities involved and the highly advanced development of the Hawker P.1127. [7]

A larger-winged F-104 variant was proposed as an alternative to the MRCA (Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) then being designed as a multi-national European project. Nothing ever emerged, and the MRCA eventually became the Panavia Tornado. [7]

The USAF planned to buy at least one experimental Lancer under the designation X-27 (called the CL-1600 by Lockheed) [8] for Mach 2.6 testing. The X-27 was to be similar in overall configuration to the Lancer, but was to feature modified engine air intakes of rectangular form. However, the X-27 program received almost no U.S. Congressional or Air Force support. Due to the lack of funding, no flight-capable aircraft were constructed. One full-scale mockup was built by Lockheed, although up to three fuselages had been converted before the shutdown of the project.

Data from [9] NB: These are estimated figures given by Lockheed as neither type flew.


Today, RAF Henlow houses the Joint Arms Control Implementation Group (JACIG), all 3 of the RAF’S Police Wings (including the Tactical Provost Squadron), the RAF Centre for Aviation Medicine (RAF CAM), DE&S, 616 Volunteer Gliding Squadron which operatesVigilant T1 motor gliders and number 1 Military Intelligence Brigade HQ. A civilian flying school also operates from the site.

Administratively, RAF Henlow was part of a combined base, RAF Brampton Wyton Henlow but this has been disbanded with RAF Brampton being closed.


Henlow facilities include a Medical and Dental Centre, Officers’ Mess, WOs’ and Sgts’ Mess, Junior Ranks Club – ‘Whittles’, Junior Ranks Mess and Coffee Shop – ‘Crystals’, Welfare housing – ‘Whittle’s Inn’, Gymnasium, Swimming pool, bowling alley, an 8 runway grass airfield and a 9 hole golf course open to the public.

16 June 1937

Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, being fueled at Karachi, India (Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections)

16 June 1937: After flying nearly 2,000 miles (3,220 kilometers) the previous day, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan lay over at Karachi, India (now, Pakistan). The Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, is fueled and serviced in preparation for the next leg of the Around-the-World flight.

Landward from Karachi there is desert. To the north is the thirsty hilly landscape of Kohistan, the limestone spurs of the Kirthir range, breaking down southwards into sandy wastes. Southerly is a monotonous expanse riddled by creeks and mangrove swamps reaching to the coast, and further south the great Indus River, born one thousand miles north in Afghanistan, flows into the Arabian Sea. The city’s population is close to 300,000, its seaport serving a huge hinterland which embraces the whole of Sind, Baluchistan, Afghanistan, the Punjab, and beyond. Karachi airdrome is, I think, the largest that I know. It is the main intermediate point on all the traffic from Europe to India and the east. Imperial Airways flies frequent schedules all the way to Australia, and K.L.M. to the Dutch East Indies. In military aviation it is, I suppose, the most important headquarters in India, strategically located in relation to the mountain country of the Northwest Frontier, with its troublesome tribes.

In our hurried scheme of things, with the problems of our own special transport uppermost, most of or time “ashore” was spent in and around hangars. More important far than sightseeing was seeing to it that our faithful sky steed was well groomed and fed, its minute mechanical wants cared for. So the geography of our journey likely will remain most clearly memorized in terms of landing-field environments, of odors of baking metal, gasoline and perspiring ground crews of the roar of warming motors and the clatter of metal-working tools. Such impressions competed, perforce, with the lovely sights of the new worlds we glimpsed the delectable perfumes of flowers, spices and fragrant country side the sounds and songs and music of diverse peoples. . . . Of all those things, external to the task at hand, we clutched what we could.

Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, undergoing maintenance inside a hangar at Karachi, India. (Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections)

He Slept With Cary Grant and Spencer Tracy—And Changed Hollywood History

Scotty Bowers ran a brothel out of a gas station and slept with dozens of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Inside his ‘Secret History of Hollywood’ and why we should believe his stories.

Kevin Fallon

Senior Entertainment Reporter

About 45 minutes into the new documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, the most unbelievable monologue you’ll ever hear is delivered. And it’s all true. Allegedly.

“I fucked Bette Davis in World War II when she was married to a guy. I used to fix her up with tricks, and we used to have three-way deals. I went to bed with J. Edgar Hoover. He was in drag. He was not a great beauty either, you know, but I was treating him just like he was a girl.”

Scotty Bowers, now 95 and more than 60 years past his prime as the so-called “pimp to the stars,” grins mischievously as he loosens the tap, continuing his deluge of secrets.

“One day Cary Grant was in the gas station and Rock Hudson just happened to be there, so Cary Grant picked him up. I fixed him up with Rock for 20 bucks, and Rock saw him several times. This is before Rock had any movie. Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, I never tricked them together. I would fix them up with guys, and then I would see her at Gary Cooper’s house. She would come in and quietly open the gate and be like, ‘Shh.’ Ten minutes later I’m fucking her and she’s screaming.”

After spending two years following Bowers for the cinema verité-style documentary about the gregarious former sex worker, filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer laughs, summarizing the unique and actually profound appeal of the subject of his movie.

“This is someone who seems to have just not been hit with the shame stick and not burdened with feelings of guilt,” Tyrnauer says, speaking over coffee at Manhattan’s NoMad Hotel the week before the film’s release. “He didn’t have that instilled. He seemed to live an exemplary life in terms of being free of shame and guilt. That could be a lesson for all of us.”

Perhaps unexpectedly, lessons abound in Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood. Tyrnauer began filming Bowers following the release of his memoir, Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars, a juicy tell-all recounting his time operating a brothel, of sorts, out of a gas station on Hollywood Boulevard starting in the late 1940s and finally retiring decades later, during the AIDS crisis.

As Bowers tells it, he slept with Spencer Tracy, Vivien Leigh, Cary Grant, and the Duke of Windsor—the abdicated King Edward VIII. The list of stars he allegedly set up with prostitutes reads like a stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame: Tennessee Williams, Charles Laughton, Vincent Price, Katharine Hepburn, Gloria Swanson, Noël Coward, Rock Hudson, Cole Porter, and more.

When Bowers released his book, essentially outing Grant, Tracy, and Hepburn, among others, as gay or bisexual, critics ranging from casual readers to Barbara Walters blasted him for spreading salacious stories about long-dead subjects who couldn’t defend themselves or question their veracity. That was out of respect, Bowers claims. They weren’t his secrets to tell when they were alive, but now that they’re gone, he thinks they can’t hurt them.

But now that Tyrnauer is giving Bowers another platform, similar criticisms are being aired again. In a New York Times piece about Tyrnauer and the film, noted film scholar Jeanine Basinger—who happened to be the chair of Tyrnauer’s film school and clashed with him there—verbally scoffs about the documentary’s pursuit. “This is a perfect example of the expression, ‘people need to get a life,’” she says. “Personally, I’m more interested in the work of these people than their possible off-screen shenanigans.”

As several entertainment journalists, including Buzzfeed’s Kate Aurthur and Vanity Fair’s Rebecca Keegan, were quick to point out on Twitter, that opinion is horseshit.

Tyrnauer suspects Basinger didn’t see the film, especially since she seems to ignore its entire point.

The reason Bowers has stories to tell is because these actors were captives of a Hollywood studio system that weaponized moral clauses, contractually preventing them from living their authentic lives. “They were victims of a certain kind of persecution,” Tyrnauer says. They went to Scotty because paying sex workers was their only option, especially for people like Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, whose same-sex escapades were at odds with the heteronormative images of them manufactured by studios.

To claim to be interested in that era of Hollywood but not in the ways that these actors navigated their sexuality is insane. It’s not gossip. It’s biography. It’s anthropology. It’s our history.

“For some reason our culture is willing to dismiss the full biographies of all of these characters as being shenanigans,” Tyrnauer says. “Take Caravaggio, for instance. If you’re an art scholar, do you just want to know what Caravaggio was up to in the painting studio? Don’t you want to know what Caravaggio was up to when he wasn’t holding a paintbrush? Is that not relevant to who Caravaggio was? So why do we dismiss details about what Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were up to off-screen?”

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood isn’t a tell-all. Tyrnauer calls it an alternative history of one of the most important times in our country’s history, the story of Hollywood and the image machine, which changed the way we all perceive ourselves and the world. Looking at the Hollywood system and the image factory through the lens of a sex worker to the stars couldn’t be more relevant.

“If Scotty had been operating a brothel out of a gas station in Des Moines, Iowa, it would be a fun, interesting, maybe relevant story, but it wouldn’t have the operatic location and narrative that this movie has,” Tyrnauer says.

Criticizing Bowers’ stories as trivial compared to these actors’ on-screen work ignores the fact that their private lives were often scripted by studios and they were forced to perform those narratives in order to continue that on-screen work. More, it fosters a delusion that moral clauses don’t still exist, if not literally in contracts, then inherently in an industry that forces known gay actors to perform heterosexuality in order to further their careers.

The same people who dismiss stories about Hollywood and sex as irrelevant are the ones who erupt in outrage at the insinuation that these actors had same-sex sexual relationships and that these stories are being told when they’re not alive to speak to them. It illustrates the reluctance to admit how deeply and seriously we are all affected and influenced by Hollywood and its players.

“The book was dismissed as a tell-all, however it was a best-seller,” Tyrnauer says. “So there’s the contradiction.”

Now to briefly dismount from our high horse, here’s another reason the book was a best-seller. The stories are wild. And so is this movie.

Bowers was just out of the Marines when he moved to Hollywood and got a job working at the Richfield gas station at 5777 Hollywood Boulevard. One afternoon, the Oscar-nominated actor Walter Pidgeon drove up. “What’s a nice guy like you doing working at a gas station?” he asked Bowers, inviting him to come home with him to swim in his pool. They did much more than that, and, seeing an opportunity, he began “tricking,” as he calls it, eventually hiring other former Marines as sex workers.

“Everything was 20 bucks,” Bowers says. “I would say to my friends, ‘I’m gonna fix you up with a trick and all the guy’s gonna do is take and suck your cock. It’s the same as if your girl was sucking your cock. If you want to close your eyes and think it’s her sucking your cock, do.’ ‘OK, I’ll do it once. Well, once, twice…’”

He tricked with Cary Grant and Randolph Scott, who were lovers, Bowers says, but told people they were just living as roommates. Bowers says he’s been with them both individually, together as a threesome, and with a fourth for paired group sex. He says he had a three-way at Frank Sinatra’s house with Ava Gardner and Lana Turner. He would arrange men for the former King Edward VIII to sleep with— “he sucked me off like a pro”—and women for the mistress he abdicated the throne for, Wallis Simpson, to sleep with.

He estimates that he fixed Katharine Hepburn up with more than 150 women over the course of 39 years. Cole Porter once requested that Bowers set him up with 15 men at once. “I want to suck 15 guys off, one after another,” he said.

“Why shouldn’t Cole Porter have a voracious sexual appetite?” Tyrnauer says, when I ask if he thinks people would have an easier time believing Bowers’ stories if they weren’t so outrageous. “I don’t know if he did or not, but why would I find that unbelievable?” He laughs. “There’s a wonderful Cole Porter song, ‘Too Darn Hot’ where one of the lyrics is ‘a Marine for his queen’ and ‘a G.I. for his cutie pie.’ I’m thinking maybe Scotty is his Marine.”

Through all of this, Bowers was never treated like a madame. To people like George Cukor, the legendary director of The Philadelphia Story and My Fair Lady, he was considered a friend. That ended up being his key to earning the trust of the biggest names in show business, with the most to lose if these secrets were ever outed.

“Are these stories substantiable? My answer is yes, very much so,” Tyrnauer says. Should now take it as fact that the likes of Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn had same-sex sexual relationships? He doesn’t flinch: “Yes.”

Considering that Tyrnauer purports to be correcting history with this film and the facts of that correction are largely from the mouth of one person, Bowers’ reliability as a narrator was obviously important to him.

Gore Vidal ended up being an important source for Tyrnauer, who counts the famed writer as a personal friend. Vidal was a client and then friend of Bowers, but his “very active carnal life,” as Tyrnauer calls it, wasn’t included in Bowers’s book. The reason: Vidal was still alive. (One of Vidal’s last public outings was to the book’s release party.) Independently, Vidal and Bowers confided in Tyrnauer stories about each other and about that time at the gas station, and the stories all checked out.

Several of the sex workers Bowers employed are also still alive, and Tyrnauer interviewed them for the documentary. They all verified Bowers’s accounts, some on camera. One even still had an index card Bowers had made with the contact information of a dozen men who were interested in sexual services. “A smoking gun,” Tyrnauer calls it. One of the men on the card was still alive, and confirmed Bowers’ stories to Tyrnauer, too. All of this was in addition to the work a team of researchers did to fact-check many of Bowers’ anecdotes.

Scotty Bowers didn’t kiss and tell when these people were alive. But he kissed, sucked, fucked, and is telling us now that these people are dead.

The instinct to disbelieve him is unfortunate, given how these sex lives give us a much greater insight into the reality of an industry that shaped our culture. At a time when there still is not an out gay or lesbian movie star starring as the lead in blockbusters, and people still debate whether an out gay or lesbian actor could be believable as a romantic lead, the fact that Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, two iconic romantic leads, had same-sex relationships is illuminating.

It’s prudent to see Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood to recognize that. The fact that it’s so dishy and sex-filled—Tyrnauer includes vintage nude photos and sex films that Bowers stars in—is icing on the cake.

“For Scotty Bowers, sex is a fact of life. It’s not avoided. So to make a movie that avoided sex and explicit nudity just wouldn’t have made sense,” he says. “Plus, who doesn’t want sex on screen? We all want a little sex. It keeps you interested. Scotty was really hot as a young man. He was just undeniably hot. Why not show some skin?”

Photograph of a Lockheed Hudson Bomber, A16-31

A rectangular black and white silver gelatin glass plate negative in landscape format. The image depicts the final assembly of a Lockheed Hudson Bomber, aircraft A16-31, at Bankstown Airport, Sydney. The plate is accompanied by a paper sleeve with handwritten text which reads, '1730 / LOCKHEED HUDSON BOMBER A - 16 - 31 / IN HANGAR AT BANKSTOWN 'DROME / FINAL ASSEMBLY AFTER REPAIRS AT CLYDE / 30.7.41'.

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The Clyde Engineering Company photograph collection is made up of around 1300 half plate glass negatives and approximately 4000 triacetate negatives.

The triacetate collection appears to date from the late 1930s through to 1960s the glass plates from around 1900-1950. Most of the photographs are commissioned works taken around the Clyde Works in Granville, Sydney. Others are copies of original photographic prints, blueprints and pages from books. These are hard to accurately date it is almost certain that the collection is the work of numerous photographers unfortunately their identity is at present unknown.

Glass plates were first used to support photographic emulsions in the late 1840s and remained in continuous use right through until the middle of the twentieth century. While the earliest plates supported 'dry' and 'wet' collodion emulsions these were replaced with silver gelatin emulsions in the 1880s. Unlike earlier plates these were mass produced on a huge scale and were capable of fast speeds even at half and full plate sizes.

One drawback of this process was that larger plate sizes required a correspondingly large camera to fit the plate. These were relatively cumbersome and when you take into consideration the weight of the glass plates it is no surprise to find they were mainly used for studio and commercial work. However they were still favoured by many professionals for a long time after roll film was introduced by Kodak in the late 1880s. This was because the large plates could be more easily worked on for masking and their contact prints provided better results than some of the early enlarging equipment

Geoff Barker, Assistant Curator, Total Asset Management Project, February, 2008

Gernsheim, H. and Gernsheim A., The History of Photography from the Earliest Use of the Camera Obscura in the Eleventh Century up to 1914. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1955.



The Clyde Engineering Company photograph collection was acquired by the Powerhouse Museum in December 1987. The material was removed from Clyde Engineering when the offices were being relocated and appears to be only a portion of the original collection. Around 1350 half plate glass negatives and approximately 4000 triacetate negatives came to the Museum at this time.

The triacetate collection is made up predominantly of copies of blueprints and plans of machinery dating from the late 1940s through to 1960s. These subjects may have referred to actual work carried out by Clyde but material appears to have also been used for research and copied directly from books. In 2007 the triacetate negatives were placed into cold storage while waiting to be catalogued. In the same year the glass plates were catalogued and digitised as a part of the Total Asset Management Project for the Museum's collection database and website and for Picture Australia.

The subject matter contained in the half plate glass negatives covers over 60 years of the Clyde Engineering Company's activities in New South Wales. It starts in the 1880s when the company was still called Hudson Brothers and goes through to the late 1940s. Most of these images were taken at the Clyde Works in Granville, Sydney, New South Wales and many include interior and exterior images of the people and workshops at Clyde Engineering and on the banks of the Duck River.

Some appear to have been commissioned to record the completion of particular Clyde projects such as locomotives, boilers and agricultural equipment at the Clyde works. A few have been photographed in other locations such as the aircraft photographs taken at Bankstown Airport and some works photographed after delivery.

A few photographs are copies of original photographic prints, blueprints and pages from books and these are hard to accurately date. As most of the original negatives were taken over a long time period it is almost certain the photographs are the work of numerous photographers, unfortunately their identity is at present unknown.

Some of the negatives have appeared in a Clyde booklet published for the delegates of the 'Seventh Congress of the Chamber of Commerce of the British Empire in 1909' and a Clyde booklet held by the museum which was published around 1945. These publications and the fact that some of the negatives have been masked make it clear that the while the photographers were cataloguing the accomplishments of the company they were also creating content used to advertise and promote the company's products.

Two photographers who did photographic work for Clyde from the 1960s onwards were Charles French of 87 Yarram Street, Lidcombe in New South Wales and Jack Draper an employee and photographer employed by Clyde Engineering around the same period.

Geoff Barker, Assistant Curator, Total Asset Management Project, February, 2008

Watch the video: restored WW2 lockheed hudson bomber (May 2022).