Seven planes are smuggled.

The Ansons being refueled at Rome Seven planes are smuggled secretly from Britain on their way to Eretz-Yisrael


Freddy Fredkins, Sherut Ha’avir’s purchase representative in Europe, focused his efforts, in February 1948, on obtaining export permits for planes that had already been purchased in that part of the world. For instance, in order to make it possible to take four Avro Ansons out of Britain, Fredkins filed a request for for an export permit that named Singapore as the planes’ final destination.

An Australian trade company served as cover for the operation; the company was supposedly acting as a go-between in the deal struck by the Singaporean aviation firm doing the buying, and the British firm doing the selling. The planes bore the British livery and civilian markings that were given to them in early 1946, when they were purchased from the RAF surplus.

On February 27th Fredkins arrived in Israel, met with Ben Gurion and recounted his activities. It turned out that he had managed to bring seven planes out of Britain: five Ansons and a Rapide which made it to Paris, and a Proctor that was routed through Marseilles.