Flight 777 : The Mystery of Leslie Howard Hardback
by Ian Colvin
On 1 June 1943 Flight 7777, 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 endeavours.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 233 pages, illustrations
- Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 18/01/2013
- Category: Second World War
- ISBN: 9781781590164
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Review by knahs
This story of Leslie Howard and the fate of those on Flight 777 back in 1942 is interesting but hard to follow. It was easy to follow Howard as well as Churchill since I was familiar with these individuals. However, the others in the story with whom I was not familiar made those portions of the book difficult to follow. I felt that the author should have provided a glossary of those involved with a short description of their role to make it easier to tell one person from another. Otherwise, the author did do quite a bit of research to follow down the leads as to the reasoning behind the shooting down of this plane, including tracking down Nazi fliers that may have been involved. The book was originally published in 1957 and this is a new publication with a postscript from the original book. I would have liked to have known if anyone has ever done any dives in the Bay of Biscay to see if the plane wreckage could be discovered.