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Thursday, June 20, 2024 Civil/General Aviation » Accidents - Civil » 1940 - India Special  
 


India Special

The granting of independence to India by Great Britian, and the creation of Pakistan resulted in large number of people caught on what was now the wrong side of the border.

To assist in transporing these people between India and Pakistan, a number of (mainly) DC-3 transprts that were flown from the UK to India, using India Special as the callsign, or flight number.

The Shuttle begins

Date 30/8 Telegram, H.M. Ambassador Cairo No. 1635, H.M. Bagdad No. 728.

About ten Dakota aircraft belonging to different British charter companies will arrive Cairo during next few days in Bagdad transit for Delhi. These are special flights organised by B.O.A.C., for the Ministry of Civil Aviation for urgent use in India. Some of the aircraft and crews may be sufficiently documented owing to short notice and you should therefore be prepared to request local authorities to facilitate immediate onward journey.

2. First charter aircraft leaving London for Cairo 0100 hours GMT August 30th.

        
 


The following report had appeared in The Examiner newspaper dated 01.09.47.

The Pakistan Government is marshalling aircraft to carry 7000 officials and their families from New Delhi to Karachi to enable Government work to get under way.

Two British companies, Scottish, Airlines and B.O.A.C., were engaged on Friday. Eleven B.O.A.C. planes left for Karachi on Saturday, but the charter was cancelled, and the planes were radioed to return. This cancellation may have been prompted by the action of the R.A.F. at New Delhi in placing two squadrons at the disposal of each of the Indian and Pakistan Governments for evacuation work.

The "Daily Mail" says five Dakotas of the Scottish Airlines would participate in the evacuation. With aircraft would go spare crews, maintenance men, and operations personnel to enable a shuttle service between New Delhi and Karachi to begin immediately.

It was estimated that the evacuation would take about a fortnight.

        
 


A British enthusiast sent me the following information.

These were basically to transport those caught on the wrong side of the new border. From my Blackbushe point of view Westminster Airway Dakota G-AJAY departed for the Indo-Pakistan refugee airlift on 2 September 1947. This was via Malta-Cairo-Sharjah-Karachi-Delhi. It then flew flights Karachi-Delhi and was joined by G-AJAZ by 08.09.47. G-AJAY departed on 19.09.47 for home Karachi-Bahrain-Cairo-Malta-Croydon. The Dakotas were allowed to carry 52 people and 117 by Bristol 170s, but a Westminster Dak carried 89 on one trip after the crowd rushed on board.

        
 


Malta Connection

The aircraft known to have passed through Malta are being listed below, both in chronological order, and in alphabetical order by registration.

Where multiple aircraft arrived on the same day, these have been listed in order of landing time.

Some aircraft spent an additional 24-hours, i.e. spending two full nights at Luqa, irrespective of whether they were travelling to, or returning from, India. The reason, or causes, for these delays is unknown, but likely to have been of a technical nature or weather related.

Although commonly referred to as DC-3s (or Dakotas by the British), many of the aircraft were in fact the military version of the civilian DC-3. The actual military designations have been used.

This page created on 07.02.23.

        
 
        
 
        
 


By Date

DATE AIRCRAFT OPERATOR REG. NOTES
30.08.47 C-47A-50-DL Westminster Airways G-AJAZ c/n 10100. Arrived from the UK for a refuelling stop between 13:00-14:25. Seen again on its return from India on 20.09.47 between 13:50-16:00.
30.08.47 C-47A-25-DL BOAC G-AGHN c/n 9414. Landed at 19:33, departed the following day at 07:20. Direction of travel unknown.
02.09.47 C-47A-25-DK Westminster Airways G-AJAY c/n 13375. Arrived from the UK for a refuelling stop between 10:25-12:04. Returned from India for a night stop later in the month on the 19th at 09:05, departing on the 20th at 10:23.
02.09.47 C-47A-10-DK Silver City Airways G-AJAU c/n 12433. Arrived from the UK for a technical stop between 13:07-14:30. Returned from India later in the month on the 18th at 21:10, departing two days later on the 20th at 04:10.
02.09.47 C-47-DL Scottish Aviation Ltd. G-AGWS c/n 6208. Refuelling stop between 13:12-18:30. Returned from India for an hour’s stop over on the 19th between 12:25-13:26.
02.09.47 C-47A-30-DK Silver City Airways G-AIRG c/n 25288/13843. Arrived from the UK for a two-hour refuelling stop-over between 13:15-14:35. Returned from India for a night stop later in the month between the 19th and 20th, landing at 17:10, departing at 05:40.
02.09.47 C-47A-25-DL BOAC G-AGHN c/n 9414. Arrived from the UK for a technical stop between 13:45-15:14. Returned from India on the 20th for another refuelling stop between 06:15-07:30.
02.09.47 C-47A-5-DK BAS Ltd. G-AJZD c/n 12333. Arrived from the UK for a 90-minute stop over between 14:00-15:30. Returned from Delhi for a night stop between the 19th/20th, landing at 17:40, taking-off at 03:15.
02.09.47 C-47A-5-DK Scottish Aviation Ltd. G-AIOE c/n 12373. Arrived from the UK at 21:43, departing on the 3rd at 07:00. Returned from India on the 20th for a refuelling atop between 12:15-13:25.
02.09.47 C-47-DL BOAC G-AGFX c/n 6223. Arrived from the UK for a refuelling stop between 22:15-23:45. Night stop later the same month between the 18th/19th on its return to the UK.
02.09.47 C-47-DL BOAC G-AGFY c/n 6224. Refuelling stop between 23:10 departing in the night of the 3rd at 00:40. Returned from India on the 18th, landing at 00:57, departing later in the morning at 11:15.
03.09.47 C-47-DL BOAC G-AGGA c/n 6241. Re-fuelling stop between 00:10-02:08.
03.09.47 C-47-DL BOAC G-AGGB c/n 6227. Refuelling stop between 11:40-13:09. Returned from Karachi on 22.11.47 at 16:48, departing on the 23rd at 05:55.
03.09.47 C-47A-1-DL BOAC G-AGHE c/n 9189. Arrived from the UK for a refuelling stop between 11:50-13:20. Returned on the 18th for another refuelling stop between 12:45-14:00.
        
 
DATE AIRCRAFT OPERATOR REG. NOTES
03.09.47 C-47A-5-DK Scottish Aviation Ltd. G-AIOF c/n 12332. Arrived from the UK for a two-hour refuelling stop-over between 13:00-14:55. Returned from India for a night stop later in the month between the 20th and 21st, landing at 15:25, departing at 07:06.
03.09.47 C-47B-10-DK BOAC G-AGKN c/n 26429/14984. Arrived for a two-hour stop-over at 23:38, departing on the 4th at 01:30. Returned from Karachi on 28.11.47 at 14:23, departing on the 29th at 07:05.
18.09.47 C-47A-10-DK Silver City Airways G-AIRH c/n 12445. Arrived from Karachi at 22:05, departing on the 20th at 04:25.
06.10.47 C-47A-5-DK BOAC G-AGZC c/n 12222. Arrived from the UK at 19:40, departing two days later on the 8th at 07:00. Returned from Karachi for a night stop between 19/20.12.47 at 15:13, departing at 05:30.
07.10.47 C-47A-25-DK Westminster Airways G-AJAY c/n 13375. Arriving from the UK at 20:15, departing on the 8th at 09:15. Returned from India for a night stop between 04/05.12.47, landing at 16:05, departing at 04:25.
14.10.47 C-47A-50-DL Westminster Airways G-AJAZ c/n 10100. Seen again on arrival from the UK for a refuelling stop between 09:00—10:47. Returned from India on 04.12.47, between 12:35-13:25.
14.10.47 C-47A-25-DK Air Contractors Ltd. G-AIWE c/n 13479. Arrived from the UK at 16:25, departing on the 15th at 01:55. Returned from India for a night stop between 22/23.11.47, landing at 15:31, departing at 06:05.
14.10.47 C-47B-30-DK Air Transport (Charter) Ltd. G-AJBH Re-fuelling stop between 16:30-18:10. Returned from Karachi, staying in Malta between 03-05.12.47, landing at 22:05, departing at 05:00.
14.10.47 C-47A-5-DK BAS Ltd. G-AJZD c/n 12333. Landed at 16:22, departing on the 15th at 02:35. Returned from Delhi on 21.11.47 23:31, departing on the 23rd at 04:55.
14.10.47 C-47A-25-DK Air Contractors Ltd. G-AIWC c/n 13474. Arrived at 16:50, departing on the 15th at 02:05. Returned on 22.11.47 at 15:20, departing on the 23rd at 07:00.
14.10.47 C-47A-5-DK Scottish Aviation Ltd. G-AJVY c/n 12358. Landed at 18:32, departing for Karachi on the 15th at 03:10. Returned on 28.11.47 at 11:15, departing on the 30th at 05:00. Nothing to indicate why the aircraft spent an additional day in Malta.
14.10.47 C-47A-1-DL BOAC G-AGZF c/n 9172. Arrived from the UK at 18:35, departing on the 15th at 03:10. Returned from Karachi on 27.11.47 at 13:45, departing two days later on the 29th at 06:00.
14.10.47 C-47-DL Scottish Aviation Ltd. G-AGWS c/n 6208. Again seen arriving from the UK at 18:55, departing the following day at 03:15. Seen on the return flight to the UK on 21.11.47 at 14:10, departing on the 22nd.
14.10.47 C-47A-5-DK Scottish Aviation Ltd. G-AIOE c/n 12373. Arrived from the UK again at 19:00, departing on the 15th at 03:05. Does not appear to have returned to the UK via Malta.
16.10.47 C-47-DL BOAC G-AGFY c/n 6224. Arrived from the UK at 16:20, departing on the 17th at 08:05. Returned from India on 4th November at 16:25, departing on the 5th at 07:30.
17.10.47 C-47A-25-DK Air Contractors Ltd. G-AIWD c/n 13475. Arrived from the UK at 16:45, departing on the 18th at 02:20. Returned from Karachi for a night stop between 28/29.11.47, landing at 11:20, departing at 06:55.
17.10.47 C-47-DL BOAC G-AGFX c/n 6223. Arrived from the UK for a night stop at 17:40, departing on the 18th at 09:10. Returned from Delhi on 04.12.47 at 15:00, departing on the 5th at 07:00.
17.10.47 C-47A-1-DL BOAC G-AGHH c/n 9187. Arrived from the UK at 18:05 – and like G-AGHE above – stayed for two days, departed on the 19th at 04:59. Returned from Karachi on 06.12.47, landing at 14:55, departing at 03:00 on the 7th.
17.10.47 C-47A-1-DL BOAC G-AGHE c/n 9189. Arrived from the UK at 19:35. Departed two days later on the 19th at 05:22. Returned from Karachi on 04.12.47 at 17:30, departing on the 5th at 05:30.
02.11.47 C-47B-20-DK Kearsley Airways G-AKAR Landed at 20:35, departing on the 3rd at 08:20. Returned from Karachi on 04.12.47 at 23:05, departing on the 5th at 08:05.
04.11.47 C-47A-20-DK Scottish Aviation Ltd. G-AJBD c/n 13012. Arrived from the UK for a night stop at 20:30, departing on the 5th at 07:45. Returned from Karachi on 29.11.47 at 11:28, departing on the 30th at 04:45.
05.11.47 Av. Lancastrian Silver City Airways G-AHBV c/n 1290. Direction of travel needs to be confirmed.
22.11.47 C-47A-1-DK Silverwings Airways G-AKAY c/n 12006. Arrived from Karachi at 16:00, departing on the 23rd at 06:20.
29.11.47 C-47B-30-DK G-AJBG c/n 25448/14003. Arrived from Karachi 15:50, departing on the 30th at 09:50.
04.12.47 C-47-DL BOAC G-AGFX c/n 6223. Arrived from Delhi at 15:00, departing for the UK on the 5th at 07:00.
12.12.47 C-47A-25-DK Air Contractors Ltd. G-AIWC c/n 13474. Re-fuelling stop between 08:00-10:25 on its way to India. Returned from Karachi for a night stop between 20/21.12.47, landing at 15:15, departing at 08:15.
12.12.47 DC-3-194C Skyways G-AGBD c/n 1980. Landed at 19:15, departing on the 13th at 10:40. Arrived from Delhi, but did not use India Special callsign.
        
 


By Registration

DATE AIRCRAFT OPERATOR REG. NOTES
05.11.47 Av. Lancastrian Silver City Airways G-AHBV c/n 1290. Direction of travel needs to be confirmed.
12.12.47 DC-3-194C Skyways G-AGBD c/n 1980. Landed at 19:15, departing on the 13th at 10:40. Arrived from Delhi, but did not use India Special callsign.
02.09.47 C-47-DL BOAC G-AGFX c/n 6223. Arrived from the UK for a refuelling stop between 22:15-23:45. Night stop later the same month between the 18th/19th on its return to the UK.
17.10.47 C-47-DL BOAC G-AGFX c/n 6223. Arrived from the UK for a night stop at 17:40, departing on the 18th at 09:10. Returned from Delhi on 04.12.47 at 15:00, departing on the 5th at 07:00.
04.12.47 C-47-DL BOAC G-AGFX c/n 6223. Arrived from Delhi at 15:00, departing for the UK on the 5th at 07:00.
02.09.47 C-47-DL BOAC G-AGFY c/n 6224. Refuelling stop between 23:10 departing in the night of the 3rd at 00:40. Returned from India on the 18th, landing at 00:57, departing later in the morning at 11:15.
16.10.47 C-47-DL BOAC G-AGFY c/n 6224. Arrived from the UK at 16:20, departing on the 17th at 08:05. Returned from India on 4th November at 16:25, departing on the 5th at 07:30.
03.09.47 C-47-DL BOAC G-AGGA c/n 6241. Re-fuelling stop between 00:10-02:08.
03.09.47 C-47-DL BOAC G-AGGB c/n 6227. Refuelling stop between 11:40-13:09. Returned from Karachi on 22.11.47 at 16:48, departing on the 23rd at 05:55.
03.09.47 C-47A-1-DL BOAC G-AGHE c/n 9189. Arrived from the UK for a refuelling stop between 11:50-13:20. Returned on the 18th for another refuelling stop between 12:45-14:00.
17.10.47 C-47A-1-DL BOAC G-AGHE c/n 9189. Arrived from the UK at 19:35. Departed two days later on the 19th at 05:22. Returned from Karachi on 04.12.47 at 17:30, departing on the 5th at 05:30.
17.10.47 C-47A-1-DL BOAC G-AGHH c/n 9187. Arrived from the UK at 18:05 – and like G-AGHE above – stayed for two days, departed on the 19th at 04:59. Returned from Karachi on 06.12.47, landing at 14:55, departing at 03:00 on the 7th.
30.08.47 C-47A-25-DL BOAC G-AGHN c/n 9414. Landed at 19:33, departed the following day at 07:20. Direction of travel unknown.
02.09.47 C-47A-25-DL BOAC G-AGHN c/n 9414. Arrived from the UK for a technical stop between 13:45-15:14. Returned from India on the 20th for another refuelling stop between 06:15-07:30.
03.09.47 C-47B-10-DK BOAC G-AGKN c/n 26429/14984. Arrived for a two-hour stop-over at 23:38, departing on the 4th at 01:30. Returned from Karachi on 28.11.47 at 14:23, departing on the 29th at 07:05.
02.09.47 C-47-DL Scottish Aviation Ltd. G-AGWS c/n 6208. Refuelling stop between 13:12-18:30. Returned from India for an hour’s stop over on the 19th between 12:25-13:26.
14.10.47 C-47-DL Scottish Aviation Ltd. G-AGWS c/n 6208. Again seen arriving from the UK at 18:55, departing the following day at 03:15. Seen on the return flight to the UK on 21.11.47 at 14:10, departing on the 22nd.
06.10.47 C-47A-5-DK BOAC G-AGZC c/n 12222. Arrived from the UK at 19:40, departing two days later on the 8th at 07:00. Returned from Karachi for a night stop between 19/20.12.47 at 15:13, departing at 05:30.
14.10.47 C-47A-1-DL BOAC G-AGZF c/n 9172. Arrived from the UK at 18:35, departing on the 15th at 03:10. Returned from Karachi on 27.11.47 at 13:45, departing two days later on the 29th at 06:00.
        
 
DATE AIRCRAFT OPERATOR REG. NOTES
02.09.47 C-47A-5-DK Scottish Aviation Ltd. G-AIOE c/n 12373. Arrived from the UK at 21:43, departing on the 3rd at 07:00. Returned from India on the 20th for a refuelling atop between 12:15-13:25.
14.10.47 C-47A-5-DK Scottish Aviation Ltd. G-AIOE c/n 12373. Arrived from the UK again at 19:00, departing on the 15th at 03:05. Does not appear to have returned to the UK via Malta.
03.09.47 C-47A-5-DK Scottish Aviation Ltd. G-AIOF c/n 12332. Arrived from the UK for a two-hour refuelling stop-over between 13:00-14:55. Returned from India for a night stop later in the month between the 20th and 21st, landing at 15:25, departing at 07:06.
02.09.47 C-47A-30-DK Silver City Airways G-AIRG c/n 25288/13843. Arrived from the UK for a two-hour refuelling stop-over between 13:15-14:35. Returned from India for a night stop later in the month between the 19th and 20th, landing at 17:10, departing at 05:40.
18.09.47 C-47A-10-DK Silver City Airways G-AIRH c/n 12445. Arrived from Karachi at 22:05, departing on the 20th at 04:25.
14.10.47 C-47A-25-DK Air Contractors Ltd. G-AIWC c/n 13474. Arrived at 16:50, departing on the 15th at 02:05. Returned on 22.11.47 at 15:20, departing on the 23rd at 07:00.
12.12.47 C-47A-25-DK Air Contractors Ltd. G-AIWC c/n 13474. Re-fuelling stop between 08:00-10:25 on its way to India. Returned from Karachi for a night stop between 20/21.12.47, landing at 15:15, departing at 08:15.
17.10.47 C-47A-25-DK Air Contractors Ltd. G-AIWD c/n 13475. Arrived from the UK at 16:45, departing on the 18th at 02:20. Returned from Karachi for a night stop between 28/29.11.47, landing at 11:20, departing at 06:55.
14.10.47 C-47A-25-DK Air Contractors Ltd. G-AIWE c/n 13479. Arrived from the UK at 16:25, departing on the 15th at 01:55. Returned from India for a night stop between 22/23.11.47, landing at 15:31, departing at 06:05.
02.09.47 C-47A-10-DK Silver City Airways G-AJAU c/n 12433. Arrived from the UK for a technical stop between 13:07-14:30. Returned from India later in the month on the 18th at 21:10, departing two days later on the 20th at 04:10.
02.09.47 C-47A-25-DK Westminster Airways G-AJAY c/n 13375. Arrived from the UK for a refuelling stop between 10:25-12:04. Returned from India for a night stop later in the month on the 19th at 09:05, departing on the 20th at 10:23.
07.10.47 C-47A-25-DK Westminster Airways G-AJAY c/n 13375. Arriving from the UK at 20:15, departing on the 8th at 09:15. Returned from India for a night stop between 04/05.12.47, landing at 16:05, departing at 04:25.
30.08.47 C-47A-50-DL Westminster Airways G-AJAZ c/n 10100. Arrived from the UK for a refuelling stop between 13:00-14:25. Seen again on its return from India on 20.09.47 between 13:50-16:00.
14.10.47 C-47A-50-DL Westminster Airways G-AJAZ c/n 10100. Seen again on arrival from the UK for a refuelling stop between 09:00—10:47. Returned from India on 04.12.47, between 12:35-13:25.
04.11.47 C-47A-20-DK Scottish Aviation Ltd. G-AJBD c/n 13012. Arrived from the UK for a night stop at 20:30, departing on the 5th at 07:45. Returned from Karachi on 29.11.47 at 11:28, departing on the 30th at 04:45.
29.11.47 C-47B-30-DK G-AJBG c/n 25448/14003. Arrived from Karachi 15:50, departing on the 30th at 09:50.
14.10.47 C-47B-30-DK Air Transport (Charter) Ltd. G-AJBH Re-fuelling stop between 16:30-18:10. Returned from Karachi, staying in Malta between 03-05.12.47, landing at 22:05, departing at 05:00.
14.10.47 C-47A-5-DK Scottish Aviation Ltd. G-AJVY c/n 12358. Landed at 18:32, departing for Karachi on the 15th at 03:10. Returned on 28.11.47 at 11:15, departing on the 30th at 05:00. Nothing to indicate why the aircraft spent an additional day in Malta.
02.09.47 C-47A-5-DK BAS Ltd. G-AJZD c/n 12333. Arrived from the UK for a 90-minute stop over between 14:00-15:30. Returned from Delhi for a night stop between the 19th/20th, landing at 17:40, taking-off at 03:15.
14.10.47 C-47A-5-DK BAS Ltd. G-AJZD c/n 12333. Landed at 16:22, departing on the 15th at 02:35. Returned from Delhi on 21.11.47 23:31, departing on the 23rd at 04:55.
02.11.47 C-47B-20-DK Kearsley Airways G-AKAR Landed at 20:35, departing on the 3rd at 08:20. Returned from Karachi on 04.12.47 at 23:05, departing on the 5th at 08:05.
22.11.47 C-47A-1-DK Silverwings Airways G-AKAY c/n 12006. Arrived from Karachi at 16:00, departing on the 23rd at 06:20.
        
 
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