Wednesday 9 May 2018

Building the Italeri Ju 52 as the 450 RAAF transport hack 'Libyan Clipper' using the Ju 52 Xtradecal set

Building the Italeri Ju 52 as the 'Libyan Clipper' operated as a squadron hack by 450 Sq RAAF

Via Tony O'Toole; " I`ve wanted to make a model of this one for years, with its odd titles on either side of the fuselage and now that it has appeared on a recent Xtradecal sheet,....I finally can! .."

According to the ADF Serials website; " This Luftwaffe transport Junkers Ju 52/3m was captured intact by the Australian forces at Ain-El Gazala, Libya, repainted with Royal Australian Air Force roundels and nicknamed "Libyan Clipper". The aircraft was used by 450 Squadron RAAF to transport mail, food supplies and small items from Cairo and back to the front line, doing two or three trips each week. Lord Casey, Governor General of Australia, came in this aircraft to see the men of the squadron. 1943. "

see Tony's comments on the accuracy of the Xtradecal decals 

"personally I wouldn`t bother with the Xtradecals sheet. The only part of it that I used was the Libyan Clipper titles and only the one above the windows went on unmodified,....... the one on the left side was too big, the wrong style and doesn`t fit the area that it should and the letters needed to be cut in half to narrow them down as best I could! Probably better to hand paint the titles or get them custom made from the available photos. Remember that there were other captured Ju 52`s too and the SAAF had a squadron of them plying between the Union and N.Africa.."

. posted by Doug Norrie on TOCH in 2015

"...below are dates for the 'Clipper' as recorded by 450 Sqn RAAF from diaries, logbooks and the ORB, arriving and leaving Gambut, Libya. I have no knowledge that it was 450's aircraft but it was used for ferrying the pilots to Cairo on leave and bringing back beer, developed photographs etc for the sqn in 1942. It was not piloted by the sqn. It mainly flew from Gambut Main to Cairo and back when 239 Wing was there from Feb. to June 1942. After that it is not recorded.

17 Feb. 1942: Arrived at Gambut Main with German prisoners aboard and refuelled by the sqn's ground staff.
23 March 1942: To Gambut Main from Cairo with items for sqn.
6 April 1942: Arrived at Gambut Main.
12 April 1942: Sgt. T.E.N. Crouch (450 Sqn) flew as second pilot to P/O Pearson in the JU 52 ‘Libyan Clipper’ on a flight from Gambut to Cairo on leave. (Courtesy Crouch logbook) (P/O, or Sgt Pearson was being rested from operations from 238 Sqn RAF and became the regular pilot for the 'Libyan Clipper' taking persons on leave)
27 April 1942: Duke of Gloucester and AVM Coningham arrived to visit 239 Wing's sqns at Gambut No.1 Sat.
18 May 1942: Mr R.G. Casey, the newly appointed British Minister of State in the Middle East arrived at Gambut No.1 Sat. to visit 239 Wing.

No other dates after that.

12 April 1942 gives the pilot's name as Pearson.
Could be Sgt P. Pearson RAFVR from 238 Sqn RAF in 1941 and/or P/O P. Pearson RAFVR from 80 Sqn RAF, KIA 29/5/1942. Both sqns with Hurricanes as per Shores et al in 'Mediterranean Air War' Vols 1 and 2.

Butler/'War Prizes' has serial No. as possibly HK919...."

Model by Tony O'Toole