World Flight Completes Double Hop Landing at Baghdad
by Lt. L. P. Arnold, "Chicago", Mechanic
Some one made a mistake & called us half an hour late this morning -- and so missed breakfast. At 5:30 we left Bandar Abbas & made a fast trip to Bushire -- arriving at 9:30. The country was the same as that of yesterday -- perhaps more mountainous. The formations taken by the ridges, cliffs, etc. when seen through a haze resemble many things -- villages, great buildings, churches, and walls. A person with a lot of imagination could see lots of things.
Immediately on landing at Bushire we refueled and at 11 started for Baghdad -- Fuller, our counsel, sent for some sandwiches which did not arrive in time so in addition to no breakfast we also missed lunch. Enroute to Baghdad we pass Basra near which site was located the traditional Garden of Eden -- also we passed over Babylon & I wonder if it was the one of ancient mythology & famed for its fall.
At 5:50 we arrived at Baghdad & its large RAF airdrome. Everyone was out to greet us, fed us cold drinks & sandwiches while we performed the routine work and then took us to the mess for dinner. They were very kind & allowed us to retire immediately after dinner -- everyone was tired & while I remember getting into bed, I don't remember laying down.
Most of us are suffering from sunburned knees for at Karachi we adopted the English "shorts" -- they being the coolest, lightest.
by Lt. L. H. Smith, Commanding
At 5:40, this morning, the flight was under way for Bushire, everything working smoothly and the personnel elated over the speed being made since leaving Calcutta. Again, it was necessary for the coast line to be followed because of very high mountains inland. Very few emergency landing fields were observed on the first part of this flight, but beyond the Mond River the country was more populated and some cultivated areas were passed. The flight landed at Bushire at 9:30. The planes were refueled and preparations made for immediately continuing to Baghdad. The field at Bushire was prepared by the French, having a partially completed hangar and several planes. It was an excellent field, suitable for any type of plane.
At 11:25 a.m., immediately upon completion of the fueling, the flight continued with Baghdad as its destination, with a good emergency landing field operated by the British at Basra to fall back on in case of necessity. The flight followed along the coast to a point about 15 miles north of the city of Bandar Dilan where a direct compass course was taken across the desert to Basra, then it followed close to the Euphrates River until it reached Hilla where a direct course was taken to Baghdad, landing at 5:55. The country flown over, outside of the inhabited sections of deserts where no water could have been obtained, furnished no special hazards. The weather conditions were ideal. The field at Baghdad is a large one and is the headquarters for the Royal Air Force, which, without the help of any other branches of the British Army, entirely covers Mesopotamia. The most interesting part of their equipment was the troop carrying planes which they have found to be the only successful means of combating raiding parties of natives. The American planes were of great interest to the air officers there; their engineering officers being especially surprised at the remarkable condition they were in after completing such a long flight.
Several of the flight, in the rush to get an early start, failed to obtain their breakfast on this day, and, with the flight as covered, it was impossible for them to get food until about 10:00 p.m. in the evening.