We had left McGuire on October 24th and after our October flying we arrived in Chateauroux on October 30th. Now, from Chateauroux we had to fly to Wheelus AB. You can read about Wheelus Air Base here:
“In September 1969 King Idris I was overthrown by a group of military officers centred on Muammar Gaddafi. Before the revolution, the US and Libya had already reached agreement on US withdrawal from Wheelus. This proceeded according to plan, and the facility was turned over to the new Libyan authorities on 11 June 1970.“
We went in and out of Wheelus AB pretty frequently, but I never laid over there. This time I left Wheelus for Athens. Enroute, I had a five year old boy sitting on my lap when we passed over an Aircraft Carrier. I rolled up the plane so he could see the carrier. I asked him if he wanted to land on it and he said: “Yes!”
We flew in and out now Athens and around the Middle East for several days and we landed in Yalova. We had to fly low over the field to drive the sheep or goats off the runway. There was just a single runway in 1965. Here is an image of Yalova today.
You can see Istanbul to the north, across the Sea of Marmara. One night, I was in Istanbul and I needed to fly to Yalova. The ceiling was 700 feet. There was only an ADF navigational radio at Yalova and the minimum you could descend to was 1100 feet. I could not fly there on an instrument flight plan. I decided to go VFR, that means Visual Flight Rules and went into the IST operations office to file for a VFR flight. The Major looked at my papers and said: “Don’t you know you can not fly VFR at night from Istanbul? You have to file for SPECIAL VFR flight.”
I said, “How do I do that?” He answered, pointing to my paper, “Put Special here.” So, I added SPECIAL in front of VFR and he approved my flight.
So, I flew a Special VFR flight from Istanbul to Yalova at 500 feet and landed at Yalova at night.
Finally, we got back to McGuire on November 11th.