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BOAC Hythe Flying Boat G-AGJO

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:17 am
by Aotearoa
I have a beautiful shot of BOAC Hythe G-AGJO in the all-metal livery that I understand was introduced from Jan 1945 onwards:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/152506730@N03/

I need somebody who knows a bit about the Transport Command Radio Call-signs of WWII to help me please.
Behind G-AGJO you can see another aircraft with the Call-sign 'OQZS'. This was the call-sign of G-AGES. Now here is my query:
G-AGJO wasn't delivered to BOAC until 3 February 1944 but G-AGES was destroyed in the accident at Mount Brandon, Ireland on 28 July 1943!!
So that aircraft cannot be G-AGES!
Is it possible that when Sunderlands G-AHEO, G-AHEP and G-AHER were delivered to BOAC in March 1945, that one of them could have been allocated G-AGES's former call-sign??
If not, how can this photo be explained please??
I would have thought that 1945 would have been too late to be issuing call-signs as the war had nearly ended!
Many thanks.

Re: BOAC Hythe Flying Boat G-AGJO

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:58 pm
by longshot
Hi Paul....Although G-AGES is usually associated with the call-sign OQZS the Air Britain 'Ocean Sentinel' book doesn't list any Sunderland as OQZS in the individual histories (but it does link G-AGES to OQZS in the index!) I've posted your query on the Air-Britain forum. Mick

Re: BOAC Hythe Flying Boat G-AGJO

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:16 pm
by longshot
Hi Paul...Got an answer from M.P. on Air-Britain's ABIX forum..... (he's an expert on Bournemouth area aviation in England)
' The mystery Sunderland OQZS is DD860 / G-AHEP. When BOAC received their Sunderlands from 1943 they carried civil registrations. However from early 1944 they began to wear Transport Command style codes/serials. At the end of the war the surviving Sunderlands were converted at Hythe into the 'Hythe Class'. However the initial ones appeared in 1945/46 with their former codes/serials, not civil registrations. I'm trying to establish the date when the first one appeared with civil registration only (as per G-AGJO in the photo).
When the Transport Command codes were allocated they were meant to tie in with the Sundelands civil registration. So OQZS was allocated to G-AGES despite the fact that it had already crashed! OQZS was then re-allocated to DD860 (date unknown) which was civilian registered as G-AHEP in March 1946. However it was not converted at the time and the photo seems to show it 'beached' at Hythe awaiting its fate.
I would say that the year in 1946 as that is when 'civil' Hythes first appeared.'
....So it seems to be a case of a posthumous Radio Code allocation on paper....Mick

Re: BOAC Hythe Flying Boat G-AGJO

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:34 am
by Aotearoa
Hi Mick
Thanks so much indeed for this information. I thought it strange especially as G-AGES had crashed about 3 years before this shot was taken.
I'm happy to accept your explanation and am very pleased you took the time to investigate through Air Britain and post your findings.
Thanks again and best regards
Paul