* World War II French refugees RAF 271 squadeon

German Western Offensive: French Refugees--RAF 271 Squadron (April 1946)

Figure 1.--Here we see RAF polots using Luftwaffe Ju-52s seized by the FAF at the end of the War. The Ju-52 was a Ford Tri-motor clone. This one is absolutely a Ju-52. Notice the engines. The Ford had the wing engines under the wings. They are delivering 200 children of French Resistannce fighters for a summer vacation in Britain (April 15, 1946). Some, probably many of hese children lost a parent or both parents because the Germans caught and killed so many Resistance fighters.

The British Royal Air Force's No. 271 Squadron operated in both World War I and II. It was a transport squadron (March 1940 - December 1946). The squadron was created from the former 1680 Flight at Doncaster, in a transport role (May 1940). Equipment mostly consisted of the Handley Page Harrow, supplemented with the Bristol Bombay and civil airliners impressed into military service, including the Handley Page H.P. 42s from Imperial Airways. They also had a few Ford Tri-motors. Their assignment was to support RAF units in France, but just as they arrived the Germans struck and their role quickly changed to evacuating RAF personnel when the fall of France quickly became inevitable. After France fell the Squadron mostly functioned in Britain supporting RAF operations with a focus on Scotland. We are not sure what happened to the Squadron's Ford Tri-motors. But we nore that they acquired some Luftwaffe Junkers-52s (a Ford Tri-motor clone) at the end of the War. Here we see the Squadron useing the newly acquired Ju-52s to fly some 200 chilldren of the French Resistannce fighters to Britain for a summer vacation. They arrived at Northolt in the Ju 52s, for a 3 1/2 month holiday in the country (April 15, 1946). The children vacationrd near Marlow in Buckinghamshire, staying with private families. While this a a charming scene, readers should umderstand that many of these children were traumatized by the War. Participating in the Resistance was very dangerous. The German intelligence services were very good at finding and breaking resistance cells. Many of these chi;dren will have lost a parent. Some may have lost both parents.


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Created: 5:53 PM 1/24/2020
Last updated: 12:30 AM 1/27/2020