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War Around the World

India & Ceylon


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War Around 
the World

North Africa / Middle East
page 1

March 03

To ship, big freighter, Douglas C-47. Just as I feared, bucket seats! See all gear stowed, keeping blanket to sit on and musette bag to live out of, raincoat for warmth.

Well, "big freighters" aren't what they used to be.



Take off at 0610 against the red sky of the desert dawn for "Slow Flight", Cairo bound for New Delhi. Hot red sun, rises beyond the leagues of sand as we fly across the Suez Canal, emerald green ditch straight across yellow, brown waste. ... 
We wake them up to get strapped in their safety belts for here is Habbamiya air field below. Land 1058. Climb out and stand in hot sun while we gas.

The Miracle at Habaniya

Take off 1140, climb up to 4000 feet and continue our voyage at 160 M.P.H. with favoring wind. Desert, desert. 1400 - 1430 Vast marshes and wide waters stretching away below. ...
We drop lower and lower, the narrow river bears a number of seagoing ships, beyond the tall rows of palms the taller smoking oil chimneys, surrounded by big round oil tanks. The airfield, the big curve to windward, the low, fast skim over the telegraph wires, bump. 1450, we are on Persian soil. The land of Iran, town of Abadan. 


Abadan, Iranian Political Geography