Labyrinth Busker Journal - Brian Robert Pearce


RAF Reykjavik  1945 - 1946

Eggert Norddahl:  These pictures are valuable to history of Reykjavik Airport, as not too many pictures of RAF aircraft
survive from here in late 1945 to mid summer 1946. In this period the airport was closed to the public, on grounds of
International Airport / Customs Zone, and there were constantly many planes coming or going. (Keflavik was mostly
closed to international traffic in same period, 90% of civil planes still stopped at Reykjavik, that changed after 1947 as
90% of International traffic landed there from 1948 onwards, and to this day).

Eggert Norddahl has been researching Icelandic Aviation History for 30 years. On this page he makes his first initial

assessment of some of the unique pictures found on the Pearce Family album.
If other people have similar aviation photos of this period and wish them indentified they can contact me directly
Thousands of British and American serviceman visted or stayed for longer periods in Iceland
during the war and likely hundreds of small snapshot pictures are still tucked away in albums, drawers, attics or even
cellars and just remain to be discovered for what they really are.

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iceland ww2flying fortress
American Boeing B-17H Flying Fortress with rescue boat, this likely taken at Keflavik Airport, two of them were there at any time in 1945 to 1950.

mail plane
Royal Air Force (RAF) Consolidated B-24J Liberator of 220 Squadron (serial KK343 code XB-U), this is known flying several times between Prestwick
and Reykjavik in November and December 1945 - carrying Mail for the ´HR´ (Royal Mail / Postal Service) ~ Home Run.

( source)
At the outbreak of War the Squadron began patrols from Thornaby and by November 1939 had converted to Hudsons, which
it used for anti-shipping missions off Norway and the Dutch coast from May 1940. In April 1941 the squadron moved to northern
Scotland for attacks on coastal shipping and harbours in Norway and in November supplied a detachment to operate the surviving
Fortresses in January 1942 and became operational in April from Northern Ireland. In March 1943, the Squadron moved to
Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides for seven months before being transferred to the Azores where it began to convert to Liberators
in December 1944. For the rest of the war, it flew anti-submarine patrols over the South Adlantic, returning to the UK in June 1945
to join transport Command. Trooping flights to India began in October and continued until the end of April 1946. On 25 May 1946, Squadron.220
was disbanded.

percival proctor

RAF Percival Proctor (serial HM289 "C") of Station Flight Reykjavik (1942-1946) but was sold in Iceland and became TF-SHA.

avro lancaster

RAF Avro Lancaster ME374 V7-A of unknown unit (Possibly EANS - Empire Air Navigation School) known visiting in spring 1946.

dehavilland mosquito

RAF deHavilland Mosquito of ferry flight to UK from Canada 1946 (likely just one via Reykjavik in all of 1946!) but year could be 1945 and could then be any serial. It just does not show.

lockheed hudson

RAF Lockheed Hudson (likely FK807) "E" of Station Flight Reykjavik (sold as TF-SHB in 1946, crashed 1950).

vickers warwick

RAF Vickers Warwick of 280 (ASR) Squadron with lifeboat, Reykjavik 1946 (temporary detachment).


Douglas DC-3 of SABENA, at Reykjavik Airport, on ferry flight to Belgium (April or May 1946).

short sunderland

RAF Short Sunderland of 201 Squadron (code NS-D or NS-Q) at Skerjafordur/Fossvogur inlet, south of Reykjavik (Reykjavik Harbour is
on the north side, they landed at Skerjafjorður / Reykjavik Seadrome! but usually moored at Fossvogur).

Barracks and fuel storage tanks on west side of Öskjuhlið, hot water tanks at top of hill. Larger tanks are there now with dome Perlan on top.
women and soldiers
Women and Raf personnel at Reykjavik Airport, Hangar (no.4) across the ramp/runway.

Buskerbrian says: It is very likely my father and mother are in this photo. Perhaps it was taken the same day as the Hafnarfjordur photo (below).

lockheed hudson

RAF Lockheed Hudson (FK807 "E" Station Flight) at (American forces built) Ikaeq Airfield, East-Greenland, May 1946 (one visit known - purpose probably mail or ambulance flight .


 vickers warwick vickers warwick 2

RAF Vickers Warwick of 280 SQ detachment

( source)
280 Squadron formed on 10 December 1941 at Thorney Island for air-sea rescue duties.
Originally intended to have Hudsons the squadron moved to Delting with Ansons in February 1942 as the
Hudsons were required for other units.
In June the Squadron began taking part in searches along the coasts of south-east England and East Anglia.
In October 1943, the Squadron re-equipped with Warwicks for longer patrols over the North Sea as well as
being able to carry airbourne lifeboats. The squadron continued its rescue role after the end of the war, sending
detachments to Cornwall, Northern Ireland, the North of Scotland and Iceland, being disbanded on 21 June 1946. 

fuel truck

"Shell" fuel-truck (make and model not known - appears as ´Chevrolet´ but is American type).

reykjavik from Landakotskirtja

Reykjavik Harbour looking east-north-east from Catholic Church tower (Landakotskirkja) with Mt. Esja in distance.

looking north west from church

Picture 017: Looking north-west from top of Catholic Church tower (Landakotskirkja).


Reykjavik-Road, Hafnarfjordur - one of the houses was an ´Hotel Cellar´ (restaurant/bar/dance-hall), but house in right middle distance is long gone.

Buskerbrian says: The dance hall would have been a focal point for my father. A place of fond memories, where he courted his future wife. They were
extremely good dancers - and their favourite band were the Glen Miller Band.
A memory of a place where
you had many great nights courting your future wife would make this photo special indeed.

harbour of Reykjavik; air view

Aerial view of Reykjavik harbour, the Pond at top.

raf reykjavik

Douglas C-47 Dakota "N" of Royal Canadian Air Force, ferry flight from Europe to Canada 1946

This page features pictures from the:
Pearce FamilyAlbum

and is a part of the
Labyrinth Busker Journal - Brian Robert Pearce