Wings over Glasgow Q Stuart James asked in December 2011 for information on Scottish de Havilland Queen Bee production.
A Dave Miller writes from Australia to say that Scottish Aviation acquired an old warehouse at 39 West Campbell Street, Glasgow, for building Queen Bees, but the project was sub-contracted to Morris and the West of Scotland Furniture Co of Beith, Ayrshire. A contract was issued for 150, later reduced to 60, the first being completed in August 1943. Serials ran between LF779 and LF867, with blockout batches. The only surviving flying example is LF858/G-BLUZ. Scottish Aviation also had sites at Largs Bay and Greenock (Cairds Shipyard), used for the maintenance of seaplanes and amphibians.
Checkpoint Charlie Q Details were requested in the March issue on pieces of an aircraft in the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, Berlin, which I said was obviously a Storch; it was not!
A Geoff Dobson has received an email from the museum, giving the story. Rolf Schauss, who had a parachute-jump school, had been contacted by a family named Arnditz in East Germany who wished, for humanitarian reasons, to escape to the West. Without permission Schauss took PZL Wilga D-EDDG from Saarbrucken, hedge-hopped across the border to Hungary and landed in a field near Jak, took the family and flew out, being shot at, but landed in Pinkafeld, Austria, the whole action lasting 19min! Schauss and Bernd Alt wrote a book about the escape, Angst vergessen, but there seems to have been only a German edition.
Q We had a query in the February issue about aircraft on the Foulness site.
A There have been two replies so far. Alan Marshall, as a member of the Royal Observer Corps, donned his uniform and visited Foulness every week from 1962 to 1991 and can name some of them. They included Vickers Valiant B.2 WJ954, BAC TSR.2 XR219, Boeing B-29s WZ966 and ’967, Handley Page Halifax RT779, English Electric Canberra WE113, Supermarine Type 508, Westland Whirlwind XR453, four Supermarine Scimitars, about 60 Gloster Meteors and the two Bristol T.188s, XF923 and ’926. The latter fortunately was saved and is in the RAF Museum Cosford. Mr Marshall recalls seeing a book there which recorded every aircraft which went to Foulness.
Major Tony Hill says the Receipt and Issue records for the period January 1954 to September 1991 have survived, but it is thought that aircraft there before early 1953 may have been destroyed in the surge tide of January 31, 1953, when virtually the whole of Foulness was flooded. The accuracy and amount of information recorded depended on the diligence of the relevant recorder.
Historic archive material includes notes taken from the desk diaries of the site foreman from 1964 to the early 1990s, some correspondence files and reminiscences, and it is only from the last (including some from Wg Cdr Ken Wallis) that Major Hill has an idea of a few aircraft types that ended their days at Foulness, but no detail of serials or dates. This is a frustrating gap in his researches, which run to some 90 pages, and he would be pleased to hear from readers with any information.