Sunday 17 February 2013

Visitors: The Danish Connection

On March 16, 1926 two Fokker C.VE belonging to the Danish Air Force took off from Copenhagen in an effort to reach Japan. Their crew members included pilot Capt Botved with mechanic Olsen and pilot 1stLT Herschend with mechanic Petersen and the Southern route, via India, was chosen.

On the 21st the two aircraft managed to reach Yesilköy in Turkey. The next they tried to reach Aleppo but only one aircraft reached the city due to bad weather. Capt Bodved landed in Eskisehir, and the following description is from his memoirs:
“The reception was polite although somewhat formal.
We were taken to the Chief of the Aviation Forces, a slight brown man with pitch black
well groomed hair. He greeted us standing on a leopard skin in front of his desk. We were given delicious Turkish coffee in small cups and had to tell details about our trip. Because of unfavourable weather forecasts we decided to wait until next day for our departure. We went into town on a small cart on a narrow gauge railway as no paved road existed. In the afternoon we visited the highest military authority an Army Corps General. Surprisingly we had to climb a ladder to reach his office on the first floor. Many civil authorities were also present, but nobody really addressed us and after half an hour the audience was over. In the evening the Turkish officers invited us for dinner in the town’s best restaurant. The take-off the next day was difficult as the propeller whirled mud up into our faces and it took three attempts to get airborne.” (Source: a quite interesting paper, HERE)

Unfortunately only one of the two aircraft R1 piloted by Capt Botved reached Japan arriving in Tokorozawa on June 1st, 1926 at 11:8 o' clock in the morning.
We had great difficulty finding information about these Danish aviators. Another interesting link with good information is THIS. Perhaps friends from Denmark reading this posting might be interested to send us more information.

Photos: Arawasi Collection

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