Report from Bias Bay-01 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Report from Bias Bay-01

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Report from Bias Bay-01
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The first jet powered aircraft to reach Hong Kong and possibly China is believed to be a Royal Air Force de Havilland Vampire fighter flown up from Singapore in January 1949.

Unfortunately, the pilot missed Hong Kong and overshot. With a lack of fuel, he was forced to land on a beach at Bias Bay in Chinese territory.

The combined forces of the RAF and Royal Navy successfully rescued the aircraft and pilot and brought them back to Kai Tak Airport, ignoring the fact that they did not have permission to be in the location from the Chinese government such as it was at that time.

After a quick check-over at Kai Tak the Vampire was demonstrated over Hong Kong by giving impressive air displays.

Included in the rescue was the light-cruiser HMS Belfast that can still be visited on the River Thames in London today, though I doubt if historical information on board mentions this incident to visitors.

Photographs of the event show Sunderland flying boats of the RAF moored on Bias Bay and Royal Navy sailors lounging around on the beach seemingly totally unconcerned they were trespassing and at a notorious pirate’s lair on foreign soil, Images are from the HKHAA archive.

The story was told in an edition of the aircraft manufacture’s ‘house’ magazine, the De Havilland Gazette. The SCMP also closely followed the events as they happened, as no doubt did the other Hong Kong newspapers.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Thursday, January 8, 1948

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Report from Bias Bay-02
Report from Bias Bay-02, by IDJ

 

Report from Bias Bay-03
Report from Bias Bay-03, by IDJ

 

Report from Bias Bay-04.jpg
Report from Bias Bay-04.jpg, by IDJ

 

Report from Bias Bay-005
Report from Bias Bay-005, by IDJ

 

Report from Bias Bay-006-villagers look on
Report from Bias Bay-006-villagers look on, by IDJ

 

Report from Bias Bay-007.jpg
Report from Bias Bay-007.jpg, by IDJ

 

Report from Bias Bay-008.jpg
Report from Bias Bay-008.jpg, by IDJ

 

Report from Bias Bay-009-loading onto HMS Belfast
Report from Bias Bay-009-loading onto HMS Belfast, by IDJ

 

Report from Bias Bay-010-loading onto HMS Belfast
Report from Bias Bay-010-loading onto HMS Belfast, by IDJ

 

Report from Bias Bay-011
Report from Bias Bay-011, by IDJ

 

Nice photos. In 1995, the SCMP retold the event. See here The Vampire (VG703) was also covered here in Britain's Cold War Fighters.