Fuel shortage forced the landing of Blenheim (BA288) in Lisboa Airport









Portela Airport - Lisbon

RAF      1 OADU

Bristol Blenheim  V       BA288


Portreath (GB) → Middle East


Sgt    G. Ashplant                GB

Sgt    W. B. H. Smalley        GB

Sgt    H. W. R. Bakewell      Austrália

They had to land because of fuel shortage. The crew was first taken to a military unit and latter to a police station, where they contacted the British Embassy.

In Lisbon they spend the night in the Suisse Atlantic Hotel and the rest of the internment was spent in Caldas da Rainha.

On July 12 they were returned home. Smalley died on February 13, 1943 serving with the 116 Squadron. He is buried on the Pwllheli Borough Cemetery. Ashplant died serving the same unit on July 25, 1943 and is buried in the Hamburg Cemetery.

The aircraft was used by the Portuguese "Aeronáutica Militar" with the plate number AM261.

*Aviões da Cruz de Cristo – Mário Canongia Lopes
*'The Bristol Blenheim' - Warner
*Evade & Escape Report - National Archives/ London Kew
*Portreath ORB - National Archives/ London Kew
*Comonwealth War Graves Comission - site CWGC