Andrews Field

Andrews Field, Washington DC  (Maryland)

8th August (Texas to Washington) Thursday
Only 14 Aircraft left Kelly Field at 07.40hrs for Andrews Field (formerly Camp Springs a Fighter Station) and arrived there at precisely 13.00 hrs EST.  One Aircraft TL-H TW878 (F/O Lamb) remained at Kelly Field owing to low Oil Pressures on the Starboard Inboard Engine.  Flying Officer Barker & Crew remained to fly the Aircraft to Andrews Field when Serviceable.  The Flight was the Longest Leg of the internal part of the Tour, and once again it was very hot (mostly for the 1st part it was 107⁰F in the shade), and everybody landed feeling very thirsty.

The Squadron Commanded by Wing Commander Alan J L Craig, will be feted for 1-Week at Andrews FieldNo.35 Squadron Personnel were taken on a weeks Tour of Washington, which included Capitol Hill, The Pentagon, The White House and the Washington Memorial. They were entertained at: The British Embassy & The Department of Justice

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Misprint – W/C A L J Craig (not Collard)

The Squadron was welcomed on Arrival by General Spaatz, Lord Inverchapel (the British Ambassador), Major General Walsh, Brig General Leon Johnson, Air Vice Marshal Waite and Air Commodore Drowley.  There ware no special Entertainments laid on for the evening but Base Facilitates & the Theatre were open to the Squadron.

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Airmail Cover Signed by W/C A J L-Craig DSO DFC in 1946 

9th August (Andrews Field, Washington) Friday
F/O Barker
& Crew arrived in TL-H from Kelly Field.
Base Facilities including Gymnasium, Baseball Equipment, Tennis Courts, Horseback Riding  & Golf were available to RAF Personnel during the day, and at 16.45 hrs all Personnel Left by Bus for the reception at the British Embassy from 18.00 to 20.00 hrs, they were entertained with a Garden Party on the Lawns.  Personnel were received by Lord Inverchapel (the British Ambassador) and Air Chief Marshal Sir Guy Garrod. Many distinguished Guests were also present. After the reception Buses conveyed all personnel back to Base.

10th August (Andrews Field, Washington) Saturday
Briefing was at 08.45 for the Formation Fly-pasts of Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Baltimore & Washington and the Squadron’s 12 Aircraft took off at 10.25 hrs for this review.  They flew again to Salute President Harry S Truman, flying over the White House in a Double V formation of 12 Lancasters as he stood on the Lawn.

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The White House and the Capitol were the Target of the RAF Bombing Squadron as 12 Heavy Type Lancaster’s completed the last lap of a 6-week mission Known as ‘Operation Lancaster or Goodwill’.  Escorted by 2 Fortresses and a Mitchell Bomber carrying Newsmen & Photographers the RAF Lancaster Far Easts’s dipped their Wings respectfully towards President Truman’s Lawn.  They roared down the Mall in a Double V Formation, out of Pennsylvania Avenue past the Capitol and on to Andrews Field.
Local Navigation was achieved by a Street Map of Washington provided by Esso Petroleum.  An Open Day was held at Andrews Field 13.00 to 15.00 hrs, and Ground Crews stood by the Aircraft until relieved by Aircrew Personnel at 14.00 hours.  The Aircraft, as usual, were the object of keen scrutiny & admiration by a large crowd who attended the Open House.  All Warrant Officers, NCO’s & Airmen left by Buses at 15.30 hrs for Chesapeake Bay Beach where they were entertained by the Enlisted & Civilian Personnel of Andrews Field to Swimming, Picnic, Supper & Dancing.  Officers were entertained at a Buffet Supper & Dance in the Officers’ Club commencing at 18.30 hrs  in the evening with numbers of pretty young ladies as Partners.

W/C A L J Craig’s & F/Lt Bullen’s Invitations to the British Embassy Washington from Air Chief Marshal Sir Alfred Guy Roland Garrod GBE KCB MC DFC then Permanent RAF Representative on the Military Staff Committee of the United Nations & Head of the RAF Delegation in Washington DC, USA.

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British Embassy Party
W/C Craig DSO DFC talking to ACM Sir Guy Garrod and perhaps his wife (smoking) at the Washington British Embassy Reception with possibly Group Capt RCM Collard in Profile.  His Brittanic Majesty’s Ambassador Lord Inverchapel (Clark Kerr) received 500 Guests at an al fresco Party in the charming Garden of the Embassy.  Refreshments were served from tables under bright Marquees in the Lawn & Guests strolled about the lovely terraces under great old trees.

11th August (Andrews Field, Washington) Sunday
Church Services were held in Washington Cathedral and the Base Chapel and the RC Church of St Matthew in Washington.  Approximately 40 Air Attaches visited the Base at the invitation of Headquarters American Army Air Forces from 10.00 to 11.30 hrs. All RAF Personnel stood by, the Aircrew in their lightweight flying suits and the Ground Crew in white overalls.  Open House was held for the British Colony in Washington from 14.00 to 17.00 hrs and a large attendance resulted.  In the evening the majority of Personnel went to a Concert by the Army Air Forces Concert Band. A very pleasant time was spent sitting in the warm Evening under the floodlit Capitol Dome listening to tunes, especially chosen in Honour of the Royal Air Force personnel present. Music was played by the USAAF Band from a vantage point in the Grounds.  The Base Theatre was also available to Personnel desiring to attend.

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12th August (Andrews Field, Washington) Monday

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W/C Craig’s  Interview with the National Broadcasting Company 12th August 1946

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Thirty Officers left by Bus at 09.00 hrs for a Tour of the Department of Justice FBI, which proved extremely interesting.  During the afternoon a conducted Tour of Washington was held for all Personnel desiring to make the Trip. The tour included a visit to the Capitol, the White House, Pentagon Building, Washington Monument & the Folger Library.  A Dinner Party was given to RAF Senior Officers at the Bolling Field Officers’ Club.

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Bolling AFB has served as a Research & Testing Ground for new Aviation Equipment and its 1st Mission provided Aerial Defence of the Capital. 

It moved to its present location, along the Potomac in the City’s Southwest Quadrant, in the 1930s.   Throughout WW2, the installation served as a Training & Organisational Base for Personnel & Units going Overseas.

The Swimming Pool at Bolling Field was available during the morning for Warrant Officers, NCO’s & Airman, and during the afternoon for other Officers.  Free seats were reserved for 20 Officers & 50 Airmen at the National Theatre in Washington for the presentation of “Dear Ruth”.  Fifty other Airmen went for a Cruise on the Potomac River by Moonlight.

13th August (Andrews Field, Washington) Tuesday
54 Officers visited the Fairchild Aviation Corporation, travelling by Air to Hagerstown, Maryland. (Flying there in a Fairchild Packet C82)  They marvelled at this Cargo Aircraft which could Take-off in 550ft of Runway and climbed literally on its Tail. After a very instructive Tour of the Works, and having been entertained to Lunch, returned to Base at 17.00 hrs.

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Fairchild Packet C82

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Fairchild Aviation Corporation Works Hagerstown

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Fairchild Aircraft Plant Works at Hagerstown, Maryland

14th August (Washington to Boston)  Wednesday
The Squadron’s Aircraft were Airborne at 12.35 hrs for the Flight to Westover Field and arrived there at exactly 16.00 hrs, their ETA.  Leaving Washington, Andrews Field at 11.35hrs they flew in Formation over Springfield, & Hartford. but had to pass up Manoeuvres over Boston because of poor Weather conditions (however they were to fly in Formation over Boston on Sunday at 09.30 if Weather permitted – Of course any visit must include Boston which was completed later in the Tour).  Also Flying over Worcester landing at Westover FieldChicopee Falls, (nr Springfield) Massachusetts on August 14th at 16.00hrs.At Arrival the Squadron was Officially received by Colonel Cortland S Johnson, Commanding Officer of Westover, the British Consul General Bernard Ponsonby Sullivan MBE, Mr W J Blanch, British consul and other Civic & Military Dignitaries & Members of the Press.