Military Review

Interrupted flights over the territory of Turkey during the Second World War

US Air Force bombers (USAAF), who took part in World War II, arrived in North Africa in 1942. They acted in coordination with the Royal Air Force of Great Britain (RAF). At the headquarters of the USAAF and the RAF, the main goals were defined in order to fight Hitler:

1- Aviation German industry
2- Submarine bases
3- Bearing Plants
4- Refineries
5- Rubber and Tire Industry
6- Military transport bases

Bomber commander fleet US, which was localized at Egyptian air base - Fayed, served as Colonel Harry halverson. The fleet consisted of many bombers B-24 - Liberator. Colonel Halverson developed plans for the attacks, which were named after him: HALverson PROject = HALPRO.

His first goal - Refineries in Romania - Ploiesti. Because this refinery provided 60% of the German army's need for oil and fuel, especially high octane, used in aviation.

On the night of June 11 1942, under the command of Colonel Halverson, the 13 B-24 Liberator units left the Fayed air base. 12 June early morning they were over targets. According to US military records, ten of the thirteen aircraft were able to throw their bombs over the refinery, one at the port of Constanta and two for unknown targets. But they did not hit the factories, and the return of the aircraft turned into a nightmare. Due to various failures, three aircraft landed in Ankara, one aircraft landed at Adapazari. Turkey, which is not a party to the war, was interned by airplanes and crews. The crew of the aircraft under the command of Colonel Halverson and another three aircraft with their crews flew to Ramadi (Iraq) and landed there. Three planes landed in unknown places in Iraq and one of them was seriously damaged as a result of the accident. The remaining two aircraft landed in Aleppo (Syria).

Interrupted flights over the territory of Turkey during the Second World War

During the Second World War, it was customary to give names to US Air Force aircraft. The names of the aircraft that were forced to land in Turkey were as follows:


The one that landed in Adapazarı: TOWN HALL.

The United States said they donated Turkish aircraft so as not to aggravate the political crisis. The crews were placed in a hotel in Ankara. The guards stood at the door, the crew members could go out, go shopping if desired, only under the supervision of the guards.

In August, the Turkish General Staff ordered 1942 to transfer the aircraft to the 1 air fleet, which was stationed at Eskisehir. Three of the four aircraft with the help of American staff were repaired and flew to Eskisehir. During the war, the inhabitants of Eskisehir, who saw huge planes over the city, experienced “exciting moments”. Half of the American personnel were taken to Eskisehir for repairs and training.

One tricky member of the American crew suggested that it was necessary to turn on the engines regularly, taking fuel to prevent damage to the rubber-coated fuel tanks. Thus, every time the engines were turned on, little by little he was able to fill half the tank with fuel. 15 December 1942, when everyone was at dinner, the Americans ran into the plane, whose tank is half full. The pilots quickly gave start to the engines, not checking anything on the plane: neither a parachute, nor radio communication, nor water, nor power supply.

The plane they stole was “BROOKLYN RAMBLER”, and already had Turkish signs and a Turkish flag. Half an hour later to catch "BROOKLYN RAMBLER", a Turkish fighter Martin 139 1932-th year, flew, but could not catch up with the bomber. "BROOKLYN RAMBLER" met British military aircraft near Cyprus. Seeing the Turkish signs and the Turkish flag, they intercepted it in the air and opened fire on the warning. Americans waving hands, shouts made it clear that their own. "BROOKLYN RAMBLER" successfully managed to land on the British base in Cyprus with minor damage.

Negotiations with the United States and the United Kingdom at the beginning of 1943 have resulted in the aircraft being repaired and returned to Turkey. The crew who escaped from Eskisehir traveled to Egypt and joined the HALPRO team. The rest of the crew, staying at the hotel in Ankara, fled from the hotel in groups. Then they joined the North African troops through Syria with fake passports.

The Americans, who were unable to damage the Ploiesti refinery in the 1942 year, started working again in the middle of the 1943 year to re-attack. They developed a new plan, expanding cooperation with the British. The short title of this plan was the CBO (British / American Bomber Offensive) - Operation Pointblank.

The Ploiesti refinery was one of the best protected sites in Europe. Twenty miles east of Ploiesti was the base of German fighters. Me - 109 / 110. Along the way, there were also fighter bases in Greece and Bulgaria. From all sides the refinery was equipped with anti-aircraft guns. According to the documents, it turned out that there were 237 anti-aircraft guns and they were all used by German military personnel.

B-24 bombers could fly at high altitude, and according to the plan they should destroy the main targets. The calculations made by the American and British personnel found that 1270 raids are required to inflict 90 percentage damage to targets. It seemed impossible. One American colonel made a calculation that would inflict the same damage using fewer low-altitude aircraft. This plan was presented to Roosevelt and Churchill by the commanders and was adopted. Operations given the name - “TIDAL WAVE - Tidal wave. "

In order to train in accordance with this plan, an individual model of the silhouette of the refinery was built in the desert, which is located in the south of Benghazi. The crew trained for two weeks with training bombs. This training seemed commander quite successful. Finally, after all the preparations were completed, on Sunday, August 1 1943 of the year, the X-NUMX bombers of B-178D-Liberators began to withdraw from Benghazi base in Libya with heavy loads.

Bombers headed north at an altitude of 3000 feet above the sea in order to overcome German radar. When they saw the land, climbed 10000 feet. But German radars immediately tracked the situation and alarmed all the German aviation units in the region. Even under unfavorable meteorological conditions, the groups of airplanes were far from each other, they had to break the radio silence - here the Germans realized that the purpose of the bombers was Ploiesti and they brought all the anti-aircraft elements to high readiness. When they flew through Bulgaria, the bombers descended to low altitudes and left the screens of German radars.

Approaching the bombers flew almost at the height of the chimney, leaving their bombs. Aerial bombardment damaged the refinery by 42 percent. However, this damage was repaired during the 3-4 weeks, and according to some sources, the Ploeshti refinery began operating with higher efficiency than before the bombing.

As for the bombers:

The sources give different numbers; however, only 93 from 178 aircraft could return to their base in Benghazi; 13 of them, not reaching the goal, returned due to failures or damage from enemy fire; 19 could land on the land of their allies; 3 of them fell into the sea (HADLEY'S HAREM aircraft fell into the sea near Antalya, below we will describe it in detail); 7 of them landed in Turkey - the crew was interned.

As a result, the 44 aircraft was lost, 41 of which were bombers.

Of the 1726 people in the personnel who participated in the operation, 532 was killed, caught, detained or missing. Operation “TIDAL WAVE” was completed a complete failure.

The names of the aircraft that landed in Turkey were as follows:

The fate of HADLEY'S HAREM, which fell into the sea near Manavgat (Antalya):

Such a comic name for the aircraft was given by the aircraft commander Gilbert B. Hadley. Besides him, the plane was still 9 people. Pilot Assistant James R. Linzei, Navigator Harold Tabakoff, Engineer Rasle Page, Bomber Leon Storms, Radio Operator William Leonard, Machine Gunner Christopher Holweger (to supply machine guns), Machine Gunners Pershing W. Waples, Leroy Neuton, Frank Nemeth. The plane was supposed to fly in the group of Flight One, to the left of the group leader John "killer" Kane.

During a raid on refineries in Ploiesti (Romania), HADLEY'S HAREM was the first aircraft on the left flank of Colonel John R. Kane, who led Flight One as the leader of the group. When approaching the target, one anti-aircraft missile passed through the nasal section of HADLEY'S HAREM and exploded, causing great damage. Bombist Storms died as a result of chest injuries derived from fragments. Navigator Tabakoff was also injured. Engine №2 stopped. Engineer Page manually drove a bomb bay and dropped bombs to lose some weight. After receiving another 2 strike from anti-aircraft missiles, the plane headed back to Benghazi. However, after some time, the crew commander realized that this was impossible, and changed his course to the British air base in Cyprus through Turkey. Engine number XXUMX stopped over Anatolia. Over the Taurus Mountains, the oil pressure for the engine №3 quickly decreased. It became clear to the commander that they would not be able to fly to Cyprus. The plane lost the last two engines near Manavgat, trying to land. One of its wings touched the water, which caused the plane to fall and fall apart on the 1 part. The pilot and co-pilot could not get out of the front of the wrecked plane, and the body of the deceased bomber Storms remained on board the drowned plane. The crew, which survived, reached the coast by swimming. First aid was provided by local residents. The wounded were then transferred to the American Hospital (Admiral Bristol Hospital) in Istanbul. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey stated that these people were injured in a sea disaster, which allowed them to freely leave the country after the completion of their treatment.


Oguz Altunsechen - a diving enthusiast and an underwater photographer, in 1972, near Manavgat, studied sea turtles at a depth of 30 meters. One day he accidentally discovered the front of a crashed plane. He informed the relevant authorities about it, but in those years it was technically impossible to pull something out of such depth. In 1994, he found out from a magazine that one "crazy" American was looking for something off the coast of Antalya, something that had lost 50 years ago.

«We were two or three miles from our target, flying about 50 feet from the ground when we were hit“- recalls Newton. "We could not turn because we were flying very close to each other with other aircraft, so we continued to fly, trying not to touch the chimneys". They threw their bombs, and then ordered the crew to get rid of everything else, fire extinguishers, rescuers Mae West, parachutes, to facilitate the cargo aircraft. "We were 25 miles off the coast of Turkey and flew just above the speed limit.“- recalled Newton. "Hadley turned left to the ground, it was around 8 hours of the night, and we lost oil pressure and height". Newton recalls how Hadley asked his teammates: “Do you want to try the beach? Or water? ”Suddenly, the two remaining engines fell silent, and the plane sank 150 feet, first nuzzling the water and breaking into three parts.

Although Hadley and Lindsay both drowned, seven crew members survived the crash. Among them was Newton, whose leg was broken. Using a small oxygen bottle as a buoy, he sailed for four hours before reaching the coast, where he was rescued by a Turk, who carried him two miles to the village.

«I never thought of it as a big deal, ”he said. "In those days someone always had a terrible историяworse than yours».

After the war, he managed to get some nautical charts and thought about the Hadley course. He decided that he would find B-24. He went to Turkey, where one local newspaper published an article about HADLEY'S HAREM, but he was not lucky with the search. After he returned to the United States, he was contacted by a retired Turkish marine photographer who wrote in his letter that he knew the story and knew where to find the B-24. “The man wrote that he and his sons dived to B-24 for 20 years,” said Newton. Based on new information, Newton again visited Turkey, hired divers and a boat and went to the place with a Turkish photographer.

Hadley's Harem sualtı

«When we got to the place, I almost had a heart attack, I was so excited"Said Newton. "But the weather was bad, usually the sea is transparent, but that day we didn’t see anything from the surface.».

In the end, debris was found in 110 feet from the water, the nose was partially buried. Several items were removed from the wreckage, and when the parts were checked, their B-24 affirmation was confirmed, it was an encouraging sign. Negotiations with the Turkish government on permission to issue the aircraft were difficult, and Newton's spending increased. In addition, Newton had a plan - the restoration of the nose. On his third trip, Newton invited Peter Frizzell, who makes a film about the Ploiesti raid. Frizell became the head of the recovery operation, which included an operation to extract the nose of the aircraft using large balloons. More than one and a half months passed, and they succeeded. Not only was the front part pulled out intact, they also removed the remains of Hadley and Lindsay. In addition, they found Eidley's aviator sunglasses, his wrist watch, and one of his mother-of-pearl pistols. Finding the plane, Newton did not immediately contact with the families. He and Frizell handed over the remains to the US embassy in Turkey, the bodies were identified there and then they notified the families.
Although no aircraft arrived in the 1939 year, when the war began, the aircraft of many countries participating in the war with 1940, were landed, shot down or dropped in Turkey.

Here is their short story.

8 and 9 September 1940, the Italian bombers S 81 и cant-z-1007 landed on the Turkish shores, but the planes were badly damaged. Rescued twelve crew members were taken to the Italian Red Cross, while others were taken to Ankara.

During this year, a total of eighteen aircraft, including six Italian, five German, four French, two Russian and one English, landed or fell in different places in Turkey. German 22, Italian 22, French 11 and Russian 8 military were detained, there are no data about the dead and those who fled from Turkey.
Only three of these eighteen aircraft landed intact or with little damage.
This is a German reconnaissance aircraft. Do 17Italian bomber Savoia-84; and the other is a Russian bomber, its type is not marked in the documents. These aircraft were sent to the aircraft factory - Kayseri.

This year, a total of fourteen aircraft came out: nine German, three Yugoslav-Croat, one British and one Russian aircraft (except for the American B-24 mentioned above).
Three of them flew in, abandoning the war (3 Yugoslav-Croatian Bristol blenheim, others landed due to failures.

Twenty-seven crew members: twenty-five Germans, one Briton and one Russian were interned, and nine Yugoslav soldiers were sent to the Yozgat refugee camp this year.

Five planes: three Bristol blenheim, od Hawker Hurricane and the plane Ju 88that landed during the year were delivered to the Turkish Air Force.

During this year, the 21 aircraft (with the exception of the American B-24 mentioned above) landed or fell in Turkey. These are twelve British, two German, two Italian, two American, one Russian, one Romanian and one Yugoslav aircraft. Of these aircraft, three aircraft were delivered to the Turkish Air Force, three Spitfire, od Messerschmitt Bf.109, od Beaufighter and one Romanian training aircraft.

Approximately one hundred crew members were interned, others died or fled.

During the year, a total of twenty-three aircraft, including nine American, six British, three Romanian, two German, two Russian and one Bulgarian aircraft landed on the territory of Turkey. Of these aircraft, 14 aircraft were delivered to the Turkish air force, seven of which were B-24, one Hurricane, one 20-24Dz.Shh, one Savoia, one Morane-Saulnier MS.406, Yak-7, Yak-9 and one Bulgarian sea plane.

Twenty crew members were interned, others died or fled.

In 1945, in the last year of the war, there was no landing of aircraft in Turkey. But for the first time, one aircraft was forced to land:
The Fifth Aviation Regiment of the Turkish Air Force was located in Bursa. The second battalion of this regiment moved to Sarigazi to protect the Straits and the North-Western part of Anatolia. Since there was still no radar in Turkey at that time, the following measures were taken: an oversight hut was built on Chamlij’s hill, a large haystack was installed next to it. If the plane was seen, a haystack was lit, and the pilots who were waiting in the plane, started the engines and took off from Sarigazi.

In the 1945 year, seeing the fire in the hills, the 4 aircraft went up Focke-Wulf Fw-190 FW-190 (Focke-Wulf Fw 190 - 72 units were bought from Germany in 1943-th year) and met German Heinkel He 111 over the Sea of ​​Marmara. The German aircraft, opening the chassis and flaps, made it clear that he had no hostile intent. Turkish aircraft led a German plane to Yeshilkoy and allowed him to sit there, then returned to Sarygazi.

Thus, the premium of Turkey, which has made great efforts for non-participation in the war, amounted to about thirty aircraft.
The material is collected from different Internet sites by me.
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  1. kig
    kig 3 November 2017 15: 38
    three aircraft landed in Ankara
    debris was discovered 110 feet from the water, the nose was partially buried

    Is that machine translation? Would be shy.
    1. antivirus
      antivirus 3 November 2017 16: 43
      what google life-giving does
      on the other hand, Jews participate and Turks can join. And the Greeks.
      Then the Palestinians with their history of struggle (?) Will appear.
      later from Iraq and Iran? - against the USA and Israel.
      "is expanding, justice is growing ..."
  2. ALEXX.
    ALEXX. 3 November 2017 16: 07
    In principle, not bad. But the translation is clumsy.
  3. The comment was deleted.
  4. iouris
    iouris 4 November 2017 12: 18
    It is possible to understand the general meaning, however ... It seems that the article is written in Turkish, and the source is a translation into English.