Dakota Mk III FZ679

 

During April 2019, I was contacted by project follower Doug Down, who's father R.S. Down was stationed at RAF Blakehill from March 44 to March 45, flying Dakotas, first for 233 Squadron and then 437 Squadron. He was PO, FO then Ft/Lt in the RCAF. His plane in both Squadrons was mostly Dakota III FZ679 dropping paratroops on D-Day and also flying tug duty to Arnhem. Amazingly he also flew Dakota FZ692 Kwicherbichen!

 

Doug hopes to travel from Canada to visit Blakehill over the next couple of years to retrace his fathers footsteps and has sent me some interesting photos.

A wonderful image of FZ679 which we believe to have been taken at RAF Blakehill - note the truck in the background, now confirmed as a Fordson WOT2.

Flt/Lt Russell Saward Down is also pictured in the photo during casevac from Normandy to England.and also pictured with his car and driving licence - along with the summons from the Swindon police for driving without lights in Bradford Road, Old Town!