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Flight 777: The Mystery of Leslie Howard

Flight 777: The Mystery of Leslie Howard

by Ian Colvin


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On 1 June 1943 Flight 777, a Douglas DC-3, en route from Lisbon to Britain, was shot down over the Bay of Biscay by German aircraft. Among the dead was the actor Leslie Howard, who had returned from Hollywood to England to help the British war effort. Also on board was Howard's tax adviser, Alfred Chenhalls, who smoked cigars and looked remarkably like Winston Churchill. Did the Germans believe that Churchill was on board Flight 777?

Other aircraft flying that route went unmolested by the Luftwaffe in spite of the German air presence over the Bay of Biscay. These flights were operated by Dutch crews flying aircraft of KLM which were on charter to BOAC and it was an experience Dutch crew that was lost that day. Ian Colvin carried out an exhaustive investigation into the incident, including interviewing former Luftwaffe personnel and this book, first published in 1957, is the result of his endeavors.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526766793
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 04/26/2020
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,040,193
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Ian Colvin was an eminent British journalist who had worked in pre-war Berlin where he made secret contacts with anti-Nazis. Hitler’s regime expelled him from Germany but, in the 1950s, he was able to use some of those contacts to help him investigate the reasons behind the shooting down of Flight 777.

Table of Contents

Introduction to 2012 Edition 1

Foreword 7

1 Mystery of an Aircraft 9

2 The Search 18

3 The Ibis 28

4 Enter Leslie Howard 38

5 The War with Goebbels 48

6 The Bristol Story 57

7 Lisbon Scene 68

8 The Spy-Line 79

9 Interlude at Abinger 90

10 How to use Cloud 96

11 The Passengers 110

12 The Jewish Agent 117

13 Outward Bound 124

14 Countess Miranda 130

15 The Madrid Episode 136

16 The Bay of Biscay 150

17 The End of May 156

18 Last Weekend 166

19 Flight 777 172

20 Aftermath 179

21 Case for the Luftwaffe 186

22 Curtain 196

Postscript 205

Notes 210

Select Bibliography 223

Index 224

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