Bennett and the Russians

Here are two curious little facts about Bennett and the Russians that I came across this afternoon whilst having a massive tidy-up in the office. Bennett was awarded the Order of Alexander Nevsky by the Russians, presumably just after the war had ended and before relations between the USSR and the western powers began to seriously deteriorate. By 1948, the situation had become critical with the beginnings of the Cold War. And Bennett was one of the aircrew who flew on the Berlin Airlift after the Russians had blockaded the city.

He flew a Tudor II, a large passenger liner built by Avro, the makers of the Lancaster. Apparently on one occasion he nearly died, taking off before the externally attached wing elevator locks had been removed.

Below: Tudor II aircraft, from British Pathe newsreel.

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