Lyneham to Karachi in 1943

Today a direct flight from London to Karachi takes just over 10 hours in a comfortable widebody, more likely a few hours longer with a stop to make a connection.      Back in 1943, for the young men of the Royal Air Force transferring with their short/medium range aircraft, such a journey was a very different proposition.     Journey Map This page summarises the jouney made by my father, Flight Sergeant William McDonald Grant, when he transferred from RAF Lyneham to Karachi in November/December 1943 as a member of 176 Squadron.    William was the observer on a Bristol Beaufighter VI no. X8028, piloted throughout by Flight Sergeant Gosling.     Please note that the mileages are my estimates based on current commercial routings and don't take account of the conditions in 1943, e.g. routing round Spanish airspace.       (The return jouney, some 13 months later, was very different - in a Consolidated Liberator KG821 direct from Rathmalana except for a diversion to Kankesanturai in Ceylon because of bad weather.)


Date Departure From To Flying Time Miles (est) Notes
25.11.1943 11:00 Lyneham Portreath 1h 0m 170  
29.11.1943 08:05 Portreath Gibraltar 5h 40m 990  
30.11.1943 08:15 Gibraltar Castel Benito 5h 20m 1060 Near Tripoli
01.12.1943 09:15 Castel Benito Cairo West 5h 35m 1110  
04.12.1943 06:45 Cairo West RAF Habbaniya 4h 10m 750 55m w of Baghdad
05.12.1943 06:25 Habbaniya Bahrein 3h 15m 615  
06.12.1943 03:25 Bahrein Sharjah 2h 0m 310  
06.12.1943 06:10 Sharjah Karachi (Mauripok) 3h 35m 735  
      Totals 30h 35m 5740  

Version 1.5 30/05/2020