Mitchel Field – Return

Mitchel Field Return Visit ~ Long Island, New York

18th August (Boston to New York) Sunday
The Squadron left in full Strength of 16 Aircraft (TL-O (oboe) having arrived from Long Beach in time for the last leg of the Departure) and arrived at Mitchel Field at 15.27 hrs having flown over Worcester, Boston & Providence en route.  An Informal Party was held in the Club during the Evening for Officers, and the other Ranks enjoyed the renewed Hospitality of Mitchel Field in the NCO Club & Service Club.  The majority of Personnel took the opportunity of relaxing & resting in readiness for an assault on the Shopping Centres of New York during the next 2-Days prior to final Departure from America.  Fom the Tuesday 20th August the Ground Crews were hard at work carrying out a full Service to Radar Gear & General Preparation for the return home.

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GuyGarrod.jpgAir Chief Marshal Sir Alfred Guy Roland Garrod GBE KCB MC DFC then Permanent RAF Representative on the Military Staff Committee of the United Nations personally wrote on 15th August from the UN to congratulate Wing Commander Craig on the success of the Tour on anticipation of his Return Flight to Mitchel Field.  He had witnessed directly their precision Formation Flying and the high standards of Discipline displayed at Long Beach Air Base, California.

ImperialWar Muesum – Reel 2: Aircrew arriving at Aircraft (TL-HTW878 F/O Timothy Lamb) and Taxi out. VIP visitors looking around Lancaster with 6th Ferrying Group of Long Beach, Sign on background building.  Female Celebrity (Dorothy Lamour) signing Lancaster (SW313, TL-B – F/O Barker) and posing in front of B-29 “City of Spokane”.  RAF Officers on a Sightseeing Trip, scenes at Barbecue.  Lancasters in Formation air to air over Baltimore (Baltimore Brick Co Sign on Factory Roof). Flying over US Capitol Buildings, Washington, Crews on Parade in front of Aircraft.   View of Senate House & White House, back to Aircrew & Groundcrews being inspected by RAF/ USAAF Officers & VIPs. Picnic scene with Crew eating & posing.  Avro York being Serviced with C-47 & Lancasters on Apron. B-25 taxiing. Visitors (US Officers & Spouses) strolling around Aircraft on Display.  Engine Service on Lancaster.  Interior Shots of Officers Club.  Shots of City Skyline & elevated view over Central Park, New York & Surrounding Streets.

19th August (Mitchel Field, New York) Monday
Final preparations were got underway for Departure; no Official Entertainment was arranged for Personnel, who enjoyed relaxation and Base facilities.  The Aircraft to Depart Mitchell Field on the 22nd August for Gander where there was further Maintenance Work to be carried out.

20th August (Mitchel Field, New York) Tuesday
All Personnel were entertained by Miss G Greene and well-known Personalities of the City, including Mrs Wendell Wilkie, at a Chinese Lunch and after some “Dual” on the Chopsticks it was noted that some of the Squadron Members were doing quite well with their peculiar Dishes & Feeding Utensils.  After the Luncheon the Ladies at the Party escorted Squadron Personnel around the Shopping Centre of the City and final purchases were made, with one eye on the Cash in Hand and the other eye on Customs in the UK.  Warrant Officers, NCO’s & Airmen were Visitors to Radio City and free seats were provided at one of the Shows there.  Officers were Free for the Evening and most of the time was spent saying farewell to friends & last-minute purchases.

21st August (Mitchel Field, New York) Wednesday
One Party of Officers were entertained by Mr Phipps, the well known Polo Player of New York and another Party visited the home of Mr & Mrs W Holloway for Cocktails, Lunch, Swimming, Tennis & then Dinner.  Warrant Officers, NCOs & Airmen were free to spend their time as they wished.
Mr Howard Phipps, the son of Henry Phipps, Partner of Andrew Carnegie and onetime President of the United States Steel Corporation, was born in Allegheny, PA. He was a 1907 graduate of Yale University.  He was an ambulance driver in WWI. For some 40 years, he had been President of Phipps Houses, a not-for-profit Organisation that built model middle-income housing for Bellevue and New York Hospitals, as well as Garden Apartment complexes in Sunnyside, Queens, and housing in the Bronx.  He was a member of the Meadow Brook, Links, Piping Rock & Gulfstream Clubs and had been an expert Polo Player.  Erchless, was a massive Estate built for the Phipps Family on the Gold Coast of Long Island.

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22nd August (Mitchel Field to Gander) Thursday
The day of the Squadron’s Departure & Farewell to America. Call was at 05.15 hrs and briefing at 06.50 hrs.  Several high ranking American Officers came to see them off,  including Stratameyer.  The 14 Aircraft took off for Gander at 09.00 hrs, TL-A and TL-O having to remain behind with minor snags, which were cleared up and they took off later in the morning.  All Aircraft arrived safely at Gander and small snags were attended to.  Work on Aircraft progressed for the final Flight across the Atlantic, and Billeting & Food arrangements were similar to those on the inward Journey.

No 35 flies home
RAF mission to US ends

The famous No 35 Squadron – 16 RAF Lancasters + 1 Avro York – which has travelled 15,000 miles on a 6 week Goodwill Tour of America, was taking off from New York, where the Tour started on July 17 for its Return Home this afternoon.  The Bombers are due at St Mawgan, Cornwall on Monday. Reuter.

Returning to Mitchel Field, Long Island  NY on 18th August & Gander on 22nd August with A-Flight leaving Gander for Lagens on 24th August & Arriving St Mawgans on 25th August. On 29th August St Mawgans to Graveley Via Plymouth, Torquay and London (Fly-Pasts) with Fl/Lt Hardy. (Dates from W/C Craig’s Log Book)