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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Contributed by 
Hull City Libraries
People in story: 
Eric Hunter
Location of story: 
Palestine
Article ID: 
A2674244
Contributed on: 
28 May 2004

Eric was stationed at Lydda(Ben-Gurion Airport) Palestine which was a transport command R.A.F. station, used for transporting troops, supplies, engines, etc, to all parts of the Middle East and Asia.

One day while at work on the ground-staff, he saw a Mospuito (twin-engine fighter bomber) flying around the aerodrome which was unusual. Somebody told him that the plane was in trouble, but it was flying round the circuit quite happily, and they wondered what was wrong with it. Apparently the plane had been over Cyprus taking photographs, and someone on the ground had taken a pot-shot at the plane and killed the pilot. The observer took over the controls and flew the plane to Lydda, and informed the control tower the situation he was in. With the pilot sitting on the left of the cockpit, and the observer on the right it was impossible for him to reach the controls for the flaps and undercarriage which were situated near the pilot's left knee. It was a case of making a belly landing and trusting to luck. He made one dummy run over the runway to see how to land, (a Mosquito lands at 120 mph with flaps and undercart down, normally). Finally he made a good approach and touched down about halfway down the runway, straight away his speed dropped down to about 50 mph, the props were milling over, and the plane shot up about 50 feet into the air, luckily it stayed horizontal and carried on a further 200 feet, and finished up on the grass at the end of the runway. When the Fire Crew with Crash Tender arrived they found that the fuselage behind seats in the cockpit had sheared off, (mostly made of Balsa wood), but the Observer got out unharmed. He received a medal for his bravery, by bringing the aircraft, with photographs back to a British base, safely. As a model maker I was able to make a model out of the remains of the balsa wood frame of the aircraft.

E G Hunter 1591528

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