Kisumu Airport


Although by the late 1950s Kisumu Airport fulfilled a minor role, in the late 1930s it had been a major airport for both land planes and Imperial Airways flyingboats.

The control tower.  People were free to wander across the entire airfield in these days - PHOTOs Peter Caton

East African Airways C47Bs  called at the airport on a morning service from Nairobi to Entebbe via Kisumu and Jinja.  The return flight was in the afternoon.  There was also a daily direct C47B flight between Nairobi and Entebbe as well as the circuitous EC 063 Round the Lake service, also by C47B, which called at Musoma, Mwanza, Seronera, Arusha, Mwanza (again!) and finally at Entebbe - PHOTOs Peter Caton

Cessna 180 at Kisumu.  Light aircraft were a common sight at lesser airfields like Kasese in Uganda which boasted little more than a grass strip but was required to have a fire tender as it was on an East African Airways route serviced by C47Bs - PHOTOs Peter Caton

BOAC Flyingboat at Port Bell, Uganda - PHOTO Imperial War Museum

The abandoned slip used by the flyingboats.  Perhaps the most famous of the flyingboats was the Imperial Aiways - Corsair, G-ADVR.  After leaving Kisumu it called at Port Bell (for Kampala) in Uganda where the radio direction loop was replaced wrongly in reverse.  On 14 march 1939 the aircaft departed Port Bell for Juba but became totally lost and eventually made an emergency landing in Faradje which was then in the Belgian Congo.

The aircraft was seriously damaged but was repaired.  However on attempting take-off from Faradje it was again severely damaged but was yet again repaired.

Eventually Corsair was flown out of Faradje and served with BOAC in India during World War 2.  (In November 1939 Imperial Airways became the British Overseas Airways Corporation) - PHOTO Peter Caton


East Africa