Flying boat

posted in: Mini Memories 1

My informant PJ Thomas remembers flying to Durban via BOAC flying boat. He wrote:

Hi, I came across your web page and thought you might be interested in my experience. After WWII my dad was demobbed from the air force. The government offered assisted passage to ex servicemen to anywhere in the Commonwealth. My uncle had been in the navy and he described Durban as one of the best places he had visited, and was heading there. My parents then booked a passage to Durban on a flying boat.

I was then 9 years old when we departed from Poole on the 8th Feb. 1947. The trip took five days, landing in the evening and staying overnight while the plane was checked and refuelled. I made contact recently with the British Airways Museum who were most helpful. When asked the date of the flight I was able to give it from my dad’s old passport. They then gave me the flight log for that trip which went as follows:-

8th Feb. 1947
BOAC flight 4M19 – ShortS26 flying boat “Golden Hind”.

 Golden Hind on one of her visits to Durban.
Departed Poole 0740
Arrived Augusta 1616
9th February
Dep.  Augusta 0535
Arrived Cairo 1050
10th February
Changed to BOAC flight 50E4 “Caledonia”
Dep. Cairo (time not recorded)
Arrive Khartoum (time not stated)
Arrive Kisumu 1440
11 February
Departed Kisumu 0405
Arrive Mozambique 1400
12th February
Dep. Mozambique 0300
Arr. Beira 0630 Dep. 0705
Arr.Lourenco Marques 1100 (Dep. not stated)
Arrive Durban 1315.

There is a growing archive of flying boat-related material on this website. The main flying boat page is here and it has links to other pages on passenger flying boats, military ones, and eye-witness accounts. The general aviation page is here.

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  1. Michael Horn
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    Hi, I found your website while searching for historical material related to my mother who lived for her first 32 years in Durban. Helen married my father Peter Horn in Durban in October 1946. My father was a Captain with Imperial/BOAC and flew fying boats after the war between UK and SA. He was the skipper of the last commercial flying boat to leave Durban – the Caledonia – on 12th March 1947 for Southampton. I have a number of photos and 2 cartoons from the local papers signalling the end of that era. My parents settled in southern England in 1947 with my father continuing his career with BOAC until his retirement in 1973 finishing on Boeing 707’s – a far cry from his trining on Tiger Moths!

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