Liberator AL504, Winston Churchill's Aircraft

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georgetanksherman
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Liberator AL504, Winston Churchill's Aircraft

Post by georgetanksherman » Sat Feb 10, 2024 2:14 am

Greetings Everyone,

I have a question on the Flight Crew for Liberator AL504, I know the aircraft and both Pilot and Co-Pilots were Americans in the Royal Air Force Ferry Command but I not sure if the two Flight Engineers and Wireless Operator were Royal Air Force Ferry Command or Royal Canadian Air Force

Liberator, AL504, July 43 to Sept. 1943

Aircraft arrived in England June 1942, was assigned to V.I.P. Section RAFFC, Capt. Vanderkloot and crew was assigned as Pilot for Prime Minister Winston Churchill. A Navigator was not assigned to the crew as Capt. Vanderkloot required doing the NAV himself, the crew logged over 22,000 miles flying P.M. Churchill to meetings. Aircraft was withdrawn from service Sept. 1943, sent to the U.S. for further modifications, returning to England on March 1944 and this crews final flight on the aircraft was in November of 1944. (Sadly this aircraft was lost on March 27, 1945, Unknown cause and unknown location)

Crew: Pilot: Capt. William J. Vanderkloot, RAFFC, Lake Bluff, Illinois, U.S.A. – Survived
Co-Pilot: 1st Officer Jack Ruggles, RAFFC, San Francisco, California, U.S.A. – Survived
Flt Eng: John Affleck, London, Ontario, Canada
Flt Eng: Ronnie Williams, Centerville, New Brunswick, Canada
Radio Op: Russ Holmes, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Any and all help would truly be appreciated !

Cheers !

George

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Re: Liberator AL504, Winston Churchill's Aircraft

Post by Temujin » Mon Feb 12, 2024 11:38 am


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Re: Liberator AL504, Winston Churchill's Aircraft

Post by Temujin » Mon Feb 12, 2024 11:40 am


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Re: Liberator AL504, Winston Churchill's Aircraft

Post by georgetanksherman » Mon Feb 12, 2024 5:28 pm

Temujin,

Prior to the crash, and prior to the modifications, this Crew:

Pilot: Capt. William J. Vanderkloot, RAFFC, Lake Bluff, Illinois, U.S.A. – Survived
Co-Pilot: 1st Officer Jack Ruggles, RAFFC, San Francisco, California, U.S.A. – Survived
Flt Eng: John Affleck, London, Ontario, Canada
Flt Eng: Ronnie Williams, Centerville, New Brunswick, Canada
Radio Op: Russ Holmes, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Was the crew who flew Winston Churchill to all the meetings, in 42 and 43, then the aircraft was sent back to the states for modification to stretch the fuselage and put on a single tail. After the modification the aircraft returned to the U.K. but was no long Winston Churchill's aircraft. Which sadly was lost with Crew (Not Crew listed above) and Passengers. M.I.A.

Liberator AL504, I know the Pilot and Co-Pilot where with the RAF Ferry Command but could not find if the 3 Canadians were also RAF Ferry Command or Royal Canadian Air Force.

Hope all is well !

Cheers George

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Re: Liberator AL504, Winston Churchill's Aircraft

Post by georgetanksherman » Wed Feb 14, 2024 8:54 pm

Update:

Pilot: Capt. William J. Vanderkloot, RAFFC, Lake Bluff, Illinois, U.S.A. – Survived - Died: April 8, 2000
Co-Pilot: 1st Officer Jack Ruggles, RAFFC, San Francisco, California, U.S.A. – Survived - Died: 2001
Nav: Sqdn Ldr Charles T. Kimber, RAF, 42940, W. Hartlepool, Co. Durham, England - Survived - Died: 2008
Flt Eng: John Affleck, RAFFC, London, Ontario, Canada - Survived - Died: September 15, 2013
Flt Eng: Ronnie Williams, Centerville, New Brunswick, Canada - Survived - Died: November 17, 2005
Radio Op: Russ Holmes, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

There was a Navigator on this crew, Sqdn Ldr Charles T. Kimber DFC 42940, RAF, W. Hartlepool, County Durham England.

Flt Engineer John Affleck had joined the RCAF, but for some reason, he left RCAF, joined the RAFFC and served 1942 to 1945.

Still looking for info on:

Radio Op: Russ Holmes, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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