Synopsis of Chapter Five ~ Crossing Africa
January 1941


Details of the Hurricanes leaving the Furious to fly to the airfield at Takoradi. Briefing for our section for their flight. Details of kit worn for the flight and flying procedures. First leg of the flight from Takoradi to Lagos in Nigeria, some 400 miles, along the line where the forest met the sea. Drinks at the Ikoi Club before our night at the tatty Grand Hotel. Early start next day somewhat frustrated. Then over endless forest until it transferred into the Sahara at our Kano airfield night stop.

Witnessed local tribal tributes to their Emir. Absence of cars, instead donkeys, camels and horses, plus ostriches, pelicans and vultures. Comfortable night in Government guest house, having flown 600 miles. Next day, 300 miles over scrub desert to Maiduguri, then another 700 miles to El Geneina, of which 600 miles was over hostile Vichy-French Equatorial Africa, mainly over swamps of Lake Chad. Conditions primitive at various airfields. Next day, 200 miles to El Fasher, then 700 miles over extinct volcanoes and 10,000 ft mountains, before more desert and Khartoum. My windscreen obscured by an oil leak, but no repair facilities. Worse next day on 700 miles to Wadi Haifa, coupled with an unhappy engine.

Lovely hotel night stop on banks of Nile, and late start next day while my plane was repaired. We then follwed the Nile on the 700 miles to our destination in Egypt at Ismailia over famous antiquities sites and pyramids. Having delivered the planes, they were taken from us and we became a Pilots Pool, awaiting posting to squadrons ~ a pleasant lazy life with little work and sailing and swimming..

Emir of the Hausa Tribes
Joe Irwin
El Geneina
El Fasher
Wadi Halfa
Abu Sueir
French Equatorial Africa
Tribal tributes to Emir
Shell petroleum representative
El Geneina, Sudan
Wadi Halfa, Sudan
Feluccas on Sweet Water Canal
Joe Irwin and I on Lake Timsah
My identity card photo



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