Libya / a 5'500km Journey on the traces of the lost Planes

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Kuno, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    As anounced elsewhere, I have just come back from a desert journey 'chasing' the remnants of some plane-wreckages in the desert.

    The route was about like this:
     

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    Owen likes this.
  2. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Tripoli > Sebha > Tmissa;

    One of the foreseen trucks was not fixed in the workshop. A replacement promised in Sebha. So I had to rent a bus in addition to bring people and a part of the equipment down there.

    Naturally, the promised car was not there.

    The one which came the next morning late only maaged to drive for about 15kms. Then it was not serviceable aymore.

    Another replaceent was ordered from Oubari, some 200kms away. And then we could start towards Tmissa at 1500hrs instead of 0800hrs. Half a day delay already at the beginning...
     

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  3. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Tmissa > Waw el-Kebr > Waw en-Namous;

    After staying in the palms outside Tmissa for the night, we crossed the sadsheet and drove then through the hills to the desperate place called Waw el-Kebir. Stayed for lunch and continued to the fascinating black oasis Waw en-Namous.

    The wreck of the chevrolet is not of 'LRDG origin' but of the "Colonne Leclerc".

    (A real pitty that again and again people are not satisfied unless they can drive down the crater and spoil te view for all following visitors with their traces :-()
     

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  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    A real adventure , makes my european tour holiday phoos look rather poor.
    :(
    I'd wondered why you hadn't been on the forum.
     
  5. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    A fantastic adventure, some people have all the luck. Did you find any aircraft wrecks?

    Regards
    Peter
     
  6. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Kuno.

    More great photos.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  7. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Waw en-Namous > Bir el-Ma'ruf > Tazerbo;

    Actually not a difficult stage. But luckily - to be faster and come back to the itinerary - we deviated the dunes of the Rebiana Sandsea. A 150km before reaching Tazerbo, the engine of one of the trucks gave up. No chance, it had to be towed. Unfortunately a ston destroyed the windscreen.

    The CMP wreck was lost after the war by the French. The plane is an Imam Ro.1 which crashd during the reconaissance for the Italian attack on Kufra in late 1930.

    ....the sand around Tazerbo is nothing but very soooooooooooooooooooft.
     

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  8. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Tazerbo > Buzema > Kufra;

    Lucky those who know somebody in Tazerbo, the next oasis we approached. Omar in his 'Mad Max' workshop made the necessary repais on the LR's engine during the night whilst other friends made a whole house available for us to stay for the night (if I say 'friends' then it means that one of us has met Raadi once some years back...). It is incredible who helpful people can be to foreigners!

    Unfortunately no windscreen was available at Tazerbo.

    The next day we were able to continue. But more time was lost.

    On our way we inteded to visit a landing ground and a 1942 truck wreck of the Sudan Defence Force. Unfortunately the truck had been removed since I had seen it in May 2008! (Will come back to this subject in a separate thread).

    We visited the Tazerbo Waterfields an got a good explanation abot by the responsible supervisor before we were definitely heading to the abandoned oasis of Buzema. Since there were lots of Moskuitos, we decided to drive some further kilometres and to stay in the sanddunes for the night.

    Next day we started very early and crossed the dune ridges of the Rebianah Sandsea. Since then we know, what was meant, when in the old maps 'Large Patches of soft Sand' was shown.

    Kufra was reached in the late afternoon.

    Both fuel stations were closed. There was no fuel supply for already 15 days!!!

    Bad situation. From Kufra we had planned to drive for 1'000kms directly to Giarabub.... we needed a lot of fuel!
     

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  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Fantastic pictures !
     
  10. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Now it becomes a little bit more serious. With me were family members of a SAAF airfoce soldier who was with the 15 Squadron and suffered dead during the famous 'Kufra Tragedy'. We inteded to visit the site where 8 members of that squadron came to dead and the only one survivor was found. Further the site of the third Blenheim was on our route as well. There, three other airmen died from thirst.

    Who is interested in details could find them in the book "The Aegean Pirates" writen by Dr. G.D. Thompson.

    Was a very special moment to stand at such place.

    There is actually not much left of that Blenheim. But this 'removal' was already done long time ago. The remnants are as they were in the 1960ies.
     

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  11. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    We continue towards North. A Meteorite impact crater "BP Crater" is one of the targets and a suspicious hill I found in an old map called "Needle Hill". The coordinate fits by only a very few hundert metres!

    Going is very good!
     

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  12. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Just some impressions of ...
     

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  13. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    How about some coordinates of your trip so we can follow you on Google Earth? :)
     
  14. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Will bring an overview map at the end of the 'report'.
     
  15. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Could do it even now. In the momnt we are close to the border t Egypt, just crossing this horizontal "_ . _ . _" line.
     

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  16. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    The B.24 Liberator named 'Lady be Good' is probably known to everybody here in the forum.

    In about 1995 the Libyan Dpartment of Antiquities decided to bring the plane to a safe place to avoid further looting by visitors. In the report is mentioned that they found removed parts quite far away from the wreck.

    In fact the plane was cut in three large pieces and transported to a yard in Tobruk where it was just dumped. It was moved then at least once and suffered even more damage.

    What wonders today's visitor of the actual crashsite - there are still large parts lying around.

    The wreckage has moved once more this year and is now not accessible anymore for visitors - it is stored at the el-Adem AFB south of Tobruk

    The memorial which was erected on the site is not worth discussion.
     

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  17. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    The next target for us was the famous 'Howard's Cairn'. We were searching for it already in 2007 but without success. Hardly a chance to find it this time...

    Going was very good and obviously the driver behind me was not really awake. It was his job to observe, if the third truck is following. I turned a small circle and realized that it had disapeared.

    We returned in our tracks for more than ten kilometres and there it stood. Mouth open. Not good.

    Again a hose was broken. Luckily it could be replaced by another hose - one of the heating. We would not need the heating now.

    The other pic gives an impression of a Libyan driver's "tool & spares box".
     

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  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I'm just reading about the 7th Indian Brigades escape from Bengahzi in January '42, so I do like reading about desert driving adventures at the moment.
    Losing a vehicle due to fatigue featured in that too.
     
  19. Medic7922

    Medic7922 Senior Member

    My old neighbour long since passed away told me that he was with the RAF in North Africa, He was part of a unit whose job was to go out into the desert to recover shot down aircraft and crews, He also mentioned that the RAF where short of spares so would take parts off any type of downed aircraft Allied & Axis.
     
  20. Medic,

    That is exactly what my great-grandfather Walter Cook did. I had been egrossed in this thread and had completely forgotten him, even though his picture is right by me. This is a super thread, many thanks Kuno.

    Regards,

    Steve Garnett
     

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