Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Winnie's Wings

Winston Churchill loved aircraft.  Below, top two pictures from February 1914, next he's in a Short Brothers 'Calcutta" flying boat moored on the Thames across from the Houses of Parliament, then in April 1939 flying as co-pilot at No. 615 Auxiliary Air Force Squadron at Kenley (where he had just been gazetted the squadron's Honorary Air Commodore).  Below that, looking out of his personal transport, the B24 Liberator "Commando" piloted by the American Bill Vanderkloot.  (Churchill's last flight on this aircraft was on February 7, 1943.  Later, with a different pilot and crew, the plane crashed with the loss of all aboard.)  Photos from Martin Gilbert's excellent book, "Churchill.  A Photographic Portrait" (Penguin Books in asssociation with William Heinemann, 1974).  Final photo from Bruce West's book, "The Man Who Flew Churchill" (McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1975).