‘The White Liberators of Tripoli’. My late Uncle was a Gunner in the 30th Regiment LAA (Light Anti-Aircraft) Royal Artillery during WW2 and saw service in North Africa and Italy from 1941 until 1945. He had over the years recorded meticulously in a diary (then against the rules) his service life throughout North Africa and Italy right up to when he was de-mobbed in Austria in 1946. After his death in 2017 his diary was published in a book entitled ‘Tobruk to Trieste, Life of a Bofors Gunner 1941-45’. In June 1943 he wrote that his battery of LAA 40mm Bofors Guns was spread around the perimeter of Castel Benito airfield just outside Tripoli in Libya. At the time there was still the risk of air attack by the Luftwaffe based in Sicily. There was however very little action and the bored gunners soon made friends with the RAF ground personnel who serviced the aircraft rotating through Castel Benito, mainly he noted DC-3 ‘Dakota’s’. After a few weeks of this boredom the gunners noticed the arrival and departure of a ‘White Consolidated Liberator’ (B-24/LB-30 aircraft) at Castel Benito regularly twice a week. Out of curiosity more than anything else they asked the RAF ground crews what the aircraft did, to be told it was a ‘mail plane’. Arriving from England by way of French Morocco, Algeria and then Tripol. One of the RAF LAC’s then told my Uncle that the previous week he had flown home to England for four days on the plane at a cost of ten Pounds !. Asking for more information my Uncle was told that the pilots would drop you off at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and bring you back from there, with the understanding however that if you were caught you were on your own. But how about getting out, and back into, Brize Norton without an appropriate pass or paybook they asked ?. You exchange paybooks with one of the AA gunners at Brize Norton for a Pound as long as you are only away 48 hours they were told. The gunners were not closely monitored at Castel Benito and would only be reported AWOL after a few days by their Sergeant. Of course ten Pounds and the few additional Pounds required for the Paybook and train fares in England to get home was a lot of money considering a gunners pay was ten shillings a week but a ‘short term loan’ with interest could often be had from the ‘rich’ non-smokers in the troop who sold their cigarette ration. The end of this story however had a rather sad outcome. One of my Uncle’s fellow gunners attempted the trip and all agog with excitement they watched him leave on the ‘White Liberator’ one Wednesday morning. There numbers were not checked by an officer and the following Saturday the Liberator duly arrived back at Castel Benito with the errant ‘passenger gunner’ full of his account of the successful escapade (his family lived in Kent). A few weeks later the ruse was tried again, and a Liverpool gunner climbed aboard the Liberator on a Sunday morning, they waited for his return the following Wednesday but the plane never arrived. There was a rumour that it had been shot down en-route to England ?. A few days later the unfortunate gunner had to be reported AWOL and no more was heard of him. A week or so later the 30th Regiment LAA moved southwest to Al Azizia. My main reason for relating this story is to try and find out if such an air ‘postal service’ did operate to Tripoli in 1943 ?. Of Course, as to if the story is entirely accurate is a matter of conjecture now, some of the facts may well be distorted by time and memory, my Uncle is no longer with us in order to verify this. There may be a number of possibilities of course and I raise these questions : Are there any records indicating that the RAF did operate a mail/transport service with Liberator aircraft from England to/routing through Tripoli Libya ?. The ‘White Liberator’ statement may not have been correct and it could have been mistaken as an aluminium unpainted aircraft, or it could have been a grey/white RAF Coastal Command Liberator ?. I believe BOAC operated an intermittent service throughout most of the war from England to Cairo Egypt via neutral Portugal (Lisbon), Gibraltar, Morocco, Algeria and Tripoli, especially after the Germans/Italians were defeated in Libya (1943). I also believe they used both Liberator Mk 1 (unarmed transport) and DC-2 & DC-3 aircraft on the Lisbon route at different stages ?. I have been an avid reader of the ‘Aeroplane’ journal for the past fifty years and I thought many years ago I read in the journal of unarmed Liberator aircraft during the war taking and returning forces mail to the Middle East for the British ‘Post Office’ ?. There was also of course the well documented incident of BOAC Flight 777-A that was shot down by German aircraft over the Bay of Biscay in June 1943 while on a flight from Lisbon to Bristol (Whitchurch). One other definite documented incident relates to an unarmed BOAC Liberator Mk 1 returning from Cairo and being shot down in error by an RAF Polish fighter pilot while over the English Channel in January 1942 ?. I also believe there was a second unconfirmed incident report of an allied unarmed Liberator aircraft crash landing in Portugal in 1943 ?. Any further information or help in clarifying the story will be much appreciated.