Route to Christmas Island?

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dennis.wren
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Route to Christmas Island?

My name is Paul Wren. My father, Dennis (I registered his name in case anyone recognises it), was in the RAF and posted to Christmas Island as part of the RAF crash crew driving the crash tenders. He witnessed at least one of the tests while he was there.

 My wife and I are planning to visit Christmas Island this year and I'm looking for information about the route that service personnel took to get there back in the late 1950s. My father has told me he flew in a Handley Page Hastings aircraft and there were stops in Iceland (or Greenland?), Goose Bay in Labrador then he believes it was on to Nebraska, then the west coast, possible San Francisco then Honolulu and finally Kiribati. He's not very clear on the exact stops as his memory is poor now after suffering two small strokes but he's fairly sure of the number of stops. Do you know of any source of information that might help me to clarify this route further? I'd love to follow in his footsteps as closely as possible rather than just take a long haul flight to LA or San Francisco. Any information you might be able to offer would be gratefully received. I created a Facebook page with pictures from my father's time on the Island if anyone is interested to see them. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1008185780961.999.1714463730&type=3 If that link doesn't work serach for Dennis Wren. His page has a profile picture of him in his RAF uniform. Thanks :)

Chris Fish
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Hi all again.

I don't know if the content of what I wrote to you about an half an hour ago has been sent to you but this screen cleared and so I will try and carry on.  What I was saying.  I don't know if I am telling you what you may already know.  But if you wish to upload your wonderful pictures to your wall on this site.  You will find if you go into Forum, select Site and look down Technical Support,  Uploading by Chris Fish, 27/05/2012,  This I submitted for another member, to upload his pictures.  To make the picture story load in the the last picture first and work to the first as first picture of your story.  Could you give the year or over the year and months you were on the Atoll.  I have found that in such a short time of service personnel first went on the Island there were great changes to accommodation and other facilities. 

If you are not aware of how to look at the pictures of other members "wall"  one does not have to be logged in, hover the mouse pointer over the grey colour words and these will turn RED then click with the left mouse button and the pictures will be loaded in and displayed.

You see over night I had this thought as you have requested trying to return to Christmas Island as near as possible by your founding fathers journey of an experience of life those fifty years plus ago.

I wonder if you have given this a thought?  Fly by Iceland Air to Iceland and have a few days in Iceland.  Iceland Air do very good trips from London, Heathrow and some other airports.  Iceland Air have a low cost airline that fly out of Standsted.  After a look at Iceland, then fly on by Iceland Air to Canada or America then get linking airlines to fly down to Hawaii and then do the hop across to Christmas Island by I think it is Pacific Airlines.  If I recall there is a weekly flight by Boeing 737 to the Island.

I live here in Norwich a mile from my home to the the reception at Norwich International Airport.  Like others my lady, Daphne and I used to go to Iceland for the day.  It only takes just over three hours and to us was a good but with a great difference to going to London for the day.  By the time one had left home and reached London it was about three hours.  Iceland to us is a wonderful place, we have been out from there Whale Watching, been to Pingvellavaten the oldest Parliament in the world been down to Geyser and Gollfoss.  The waterfall here is seventy meters high and I have stood on the rock in the Centre at the top of the waterfall and look down the gorge.  We have been in the extinct Volcano that Borg the Icelandic Singer done her concert from above the water in the bottom.

If you do the Golden Circle Tour, which takes nine hours to go around you will visit these places.  A couple of places I would say not to miss is a visit to the Grimskirk Church, which is just of the Centre of Reykjavik.  The church cannot be missed as it looks like a finger pointing into the air.  A visit to the Pearlan again is a must and visit the fifth floor and take a taste of the Icelandic cakes and chocolate drink and coffee.  You will no doubt have your swimming costume with you, so why not were it while in Iceland by going to the Blue Lagoon at www.bluelagoon.com and taking a swim in the hot water that comes up from 8,000 feet after going through the Turbines creating electricity.  It is a great complex and having a meal of Icelandic Cod is great (not inexpensive but great meal and experience.  You will find the water to drink is a wonderful taste. Never tasted water so good.  We used to purchase bottles of water and bring them home and keep them in the fridge for use.)  One can purchase DVD's in the shop there, in PAL, for our DVD Players, English spoken narration.  Here are a some titles: ICELAND THE LIVING LAND,  THE BLUE LAGOON and REYKJAVIK and IN MEMORIAM, a film by Omar Ragnrsson about Gollfoss the lady who saved this site.  Very very interesting.  By the way one can get a lot of knowledge of Iceland if you key into your search engine Iceland.Is.  We have taken a day SAFARI at two different times one one with a Ranger, named Thor in his Four Wheel Drive Motor and one with the Ranger, Ragnar Lovedel in his Landrover.  Went down to Klefarvatan the only lake in Iceland that is only filled by drain off of water from the land.  There was an Earthquake in 2000 (in Iceland there are very minor earthquake each day but you would not know there has been one unless you see ripple go across one's drink on the table.) that split the bottom and the water was draining out. Where we stood we should have been prior to 2000 about six to eight feet under water.  I have heard that scientists think the lake is now healing its self and the silica is healing the damage.

Regards to you all.  Must sign off for now but if you wish to keep in contact you can use my address chrisfish99@talktalk.net

Chris Fish 17-2-2013

Hi Paul and Dennis,


Thanks for your mail.  Pleased to see that you have obtained some details that will allow you to track back on one of the routes taken to Christmas Island.


Just would like to point out if you have not tried look

dennis.wren
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Many thanks for the information Chris.

Iceland is a place that my wife has visited and insists that I should do the same too so that may be a separate holiday for us. It does look beautiful.

I found the following information regarding RAF Comet flights from Lyneham to Christmas Island that looks pretty much the route that my father described.

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1958/1958%20-%200431.html

I think this may be what I'm looking for.