THE ILLEGITIMATE BABE THE NICK NAME ON THIS PLANE
Out of 1000 Canadian built planes A total of 28 Mosquito's crashed or were lost en-route or went missing due to icing problems, damaged oil coolers, oil temperature Gage failures ( causing pilot to shut down the engine) RADIO FAILURES when right engine was shut down as it supplied the power. oil leaks, carburetor icing or mechanical failure.(One near MONT JOLI QUEBEC crashed after motor failure AND ONE NEAR SEVEN ISLANDS (SEPT ISLES, one blew up in the air over GOOSE BAY LABRADOR on a test flight. ( The pilot survived being blown out but the blast opened his parachute) an engineering officer with him was killed.
That was the reason for the London Base to correct these faults. One big problem was gas fumes in the body causing several to blow up in the air. A couple of openings were made in the fuselage with air scoops to evacuate these fumes which corrected the problem. The icing problems were also solved and a small compressor that the valve was freezing up and exploding in the air ( at times ) was replaced by a better model and was placed in the engine cowling where it was hot.
The crews that flew these Ferry runs were THE BEST CREWS one could ask for as many of them had finished ACTIVE TOURS OF DUTY in ACTION in these same type of planes. Others had completed delivery of many different types of planes and were thoroughly checked out on the Mosquito.
Still some were going missing between Gander and Iceland
15th of Dec. 1944 22 were dispatched , via the southern route, 6 were stranded in the north , 2 disappeared 40 minutes from BELEM BRAZIL. 2 landed on one engine as the other had failed due to damaged oil cooler failure only noticed when the plane reached hot weather.
EDDY on A TEST FLIGHT
Ready to test Lets go for a ride.That is me you see in the Navigator's seat. We flew north to Collingwood and then out over the lake . The pilot shut down one engine and we flew along as if we had two( dropping to 250 miles per hour from 300). No problem just a few adjustments and she was O.K. On the way back we flew over Camp Borden and dived at tree top heigth at some troops who were marching along a trail to give them practice in being strafed or bombed. They all scattered like chickens. A great thrill. I remembered when I had done my basic army training that we also had a plane dive at us. Now I was on the giving end.
THEY CALLED HER THE BABE'
The crew for this flight were chosen from many for the record run. They were successful and arrived safely and established a record. This was a ,moral booster as there had been doubts about the Mosquitoes ability to perform on long runs in all temperatures. It proved that the CRUMLIN crew were doing a good job.
The maintenance base jointly manned by de Havilland and RAF personnel in London was responsible for many modifications to this plane that increased its safety and prevented loss of planes and crews in delivery to Scotland.
In 1944/45 This was the test site of the MOSQUITO BOMBER AND FIGHTER BOMBER .There was a plant near the airport where the 2 halves of the body were glued together as it was split down the middle from front to rear. All the wiring and controls etc. was assembled inside first.
Incredible to see as this plane was made of sheets of double birch plywood The whole structure was of wood. Wings tail etc.Parts were made at different locations and shipped to DOWNSVIEW NEAR TORONTO TO THE de Havilland PLANT where the plane was assembled. It was then flown to London for testing and preparation for the flight across the Atlantic to Preswick Scotland and from there to the Fighter or Bomber Wings of the AIR FORCE and into 'action'. After 'D' DAY they claimed each one in action would save 1000 soldiers lives so we really worked hard to prepare test and deliver them especially in 1945.
It was the best and fastest plane the Allies had in 1941-45 and urgently needed in Europe to win the war
One thousand of these planes were built in Canada
In 1945 a couple of hundred were tested for a minimum of 5 hours flying time and then flown overseas via GANDER Newfoundland or Goose Bay Labrador to Preswick Scotland.In winter some took the Southern route through Nassau Bahamas,( SEE MY NASSAU PAGE) Belem Brazil. Ascension Island , The Azores, Accra, Natal, Dakar, Rabat sale up to Britain or across Africa to Cairo.To be used in The Italian Campaign .The one shown here broke the speed record from London Ont. To Preswick with a stop for fuel in GANDER NEWFOUNDLAND. (5 hours and 37 minutes ( had a tail wind)
8 Crews ready to deliver a Mosquito each to Scotland. They all left next morning and arrived safely. ( May 3rd and 4th l945)
A lot of these are civilian crews (in the dark uniforms) some are crews who had finished tours of duty in action in Europe and had been decorated with Distinguished Flying Cross and some also had a bar added for bravery in action. Here they were again risking their lives to deliver these planes to the front lines.
They were Australian, NEW ZEALANDERS,From the U.K., Polish, Free French and Canadian