BOAC Air Hostess-1949

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 23:25

The young lady in this picture was supposedly the first local BOAC air hostess. No name was supplied with the image when given to me by the captain of the aircraft. It shows staff in a BOAC launch leaving a BOAC flying boat and heading for the Kai Tak airport jetty. She may be a Batley girl.

Date picture taken
15 Jun 1949


IDJ thats a fantastic picture.

Any plane buffs able to identify the aircraft? G-AHZF

You may well be right. That girl might possibly be Ivy Batley?

If you look at the picture of Olive on the Cathay Pacific Crash 1949 pages, they have some similarities. Both girls have a slightly 'eurasian' look.



That particular aircraft G-AHZF is a Short Sandringham S25 /V (BOAC Plymouth Class) christened 'Poole' after a southern England town where BOAC's flying boat terminus was at one time. For a passenger's description of a BOAC flying boat flight to Hong Kong have a look at the 50 minute DVD 'Wings over Hong Kong' made in 1997 and originally shown on BBC Worldwide TV at that time. It may still be available via which is where my copy originated. The passenger discusses her late 1940s flight to HK and an ex-steward describes his duties on such a flight while conducting a tour around the inside of a similar flying boat to a Sandringham. Flying boat services to Hong Kong ceased in 1949 when their flights were taken over by landplanes. 

Hi Dad's old logbooks show a number of flights with this plane.

Mainly up to Shanghai in 1949 which was when I was born in HKG

IDJ has sent in some more information about this photo:

The girl in the photo is Angelina D'Silva and was the first locally born stewardess to serve with BOAC.

The pictured flight went to Shanghai in 1949. At that time BOAC flew flying boats to Shanghai and onwards to Japan. And they also flew flights to Shanghai under the Hong Kong Airways title.

Hong Kong Airways was a BOAC company. Mike Cussan's father flew these services for a period.

The BOAC flying boats also flew twice a week on a HK-Singapore shuttle, and HK Airways was planning to use the flying boats on a HK-Manila service, but this never got further than route survey flights. 

The last visit by a BOAC flying boat was a new Short Solent type that was chartered by Chinese businessmen to take them to the UK to attend a trade fare/exhibition.

I wonder if anybody heard of Bill Olson who worked for BOAC and then BA out of HK from around '59 to '71. He was sometimes known as Ossie and was actually christened William Oswald Olson.

Memory - somewhat blurred - tells me he had something to do with recruitment of local crew for the London route. Also I think he had something to do with the HK-Manila route opening up.

Any info most welcome.