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Journal of a Seaplane Cruise Around The World
Part Three: Asia

Sunday, October 21

Baghdad to Basra

The sun had set about 15 minutes before we landed, and it was rather a pretty sight. We took particular care in flying a straight course because the lower Tigris was broken up into so many small channels that one could never follow it from the map alone. Is is only a few weeks since a group of four ships from the Bombay Flying Club started off from the Baghdad to Basra and got lost, ending up in the desert 200 miles off course. Most of the planes were in the hands of students, but with them was an instructor who put all the gasoline into one ship and started off on his own, luckily reaching civilization before his fuel ran out. He was so vague about the position of the lost man however, that it was three days before the Royal Air Force located them, ----three days of strenuous effort with two dozen ships flying throughout the daylight hours. The R.A.F. estimated that it cost them £20,000 to effect the rescue. No wonder the Baghdad wireless operator kept asking "OK7" as we came down the Euphrates!

We have fallen into the best of hands, for this is the base headquarters of the Royal Air Force, which patrols the Persian Gulf. There is a permanent establishment here because it is such a barren outpost, and they have taken particular pains to make the men comfortable. Most of the squadron has gone off to us to moor in a creek, and then took us ashore to meet the squadron leader, P.G. Scott, and others, and we were soon feeling much at home.

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