29.04.2011 Dear Mrs. B.,
26.04.2011 messers:- Thomas M. or Philipp M.
Dear Sirs, I have being given your site about the heinkel by someone who knew that we owned one, and wondered whether it was the same aircraft.We bought the Heinkel HE 64 from Chris Perrem in Umtali. in February, 1950. My husband, Neville B., grew up in Umtali and knew Chris Perrem well. He was at the time , during the Federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland, needing to expand his farming project to Northern Rhodesia and found the Heinkel ideal for looking at the land from the air and landing in the smallest places. In my mind she was unique and I loved her and it caused a big problem between us when he sold her to a Mr. Louis Malloch, in 1951, who promptly crashed her. I never knew her full history then, but to me she was completely different She could land on a sixpence, and just hover down gently with those flaps. I never knew of her demise for years because my husband kept the news from me. You mention in your report that she was abandoned in Salisbury at Belvedere Airport, but from the information I have she was crashed in Umtali and lay unattended to at Perrems Airstrip. A second thing. Do you know when she was painted Blue?. In the story I have, written by Wolfgang B. . she was one of the Red Devils and that is how he knew it. However I know that when we bought her from Chris Perrem she was painted blue and no one seems to be able to tell me when or why. Perhaps she was repainted when she belonged to the Royal Aircraft Establishment. I find her history immensely interesting. I have two bad photographs of her when she was parked at our Umtali farm. We built a landing strip between our farm and the next door neighbour to get the length. It had a boundary fence between us which had to be wound up when we took off, and replaced after we were airborne, to keep the cattle out of the neighbours farm. I'm sad that she had such a sad ending. She was so famous she should have been in a museum. I hope this information is of interest to you .
Sincerely Colleen B..
30.04.2011 Good evening Mrs. B.,
30.04.2011 You have been sent 2 pictures.
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Dear Mr M.,
Thank you very much for your quick reply to my previous email. I'm afraid you will be very disappointed in my two photographs. They were taken by my husband with a very small camera and they are not focused properly. She was kept in the hanger built on to the end of the tobacco barns with a Hessian curtain pulled across to prevent as much dust as possible. The airfield on the farm was just to the left beyond some trees. We were at that time wishing to move to a larger farm in Northern Rhodesia, so nothing on the farm was permanent. Just as you get cars built for women I regarded her as a plane built for women because she was different, light and fast, and safe,and elegant (I had renamed her Lili Marlene because of her long legs) but unfortunately I never got the opportunity to take her on as mine as I was too busy with a very young family, and packing and moving to even think of obtaining my licence. Neville wanted something more weatherproof for flying across Kariba (Lake) where the weather was very changeable so by the time I had my licence and could be interested, he had sold her ,to someone who was not a natural pilot with the horrible result. I think that the repainting must have been before Chris Perrem bought her. That’s why I feel she was done by the Royal Aircraft Est. or maybe even Handley Page. At first, I thought she had been repainted after perhaps some landing in the African bush by the Perrems. BUT when I was still at school in about 1945 I happened to be at the Belvedere air field, flying model airplanes , when she arrived from one of their trips to Germany. She was blue. We were allowed to look in and out and wonder at this little thing flying all the way across Africa to Germany and England, but we were not told at that time that she was built for the air race etc. I never thought that I would own her five years later. As for her final deposit (I cannot call it a resting place) all I can find is that it was definitely Perrems Strip in Umtali. The photo that I have of her remains is labelled Umtali. As I think I have already mentioned , that the fact that she had crashed was kept from me. However I will go on with the search and I have someone on my mind who may be able to help.
Sincerely Colleen B.
03.05.2011 Dear Mr M.,
I have spent hours reading everything you have sent on the heinkel and find it so very interesting. Unfortunately everything happened so long ago that trying to get into touch with the persons concerned is almost impossible. The Perrems both passed away years ago, and I have no idea where any of their offspring could be. As you may know with the disastrous change of Government in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) now some thirty or so years ago, most of the original people are now displaced all over the world. The only person who may be able to give some details is the following man who tries to keep a record going of the Rhodesian Air Force. His name is Eddie Norris who was from Umtali. I believe he now lives in South Africa but keeps everything going. If you do not make contact please let me know because in the back of my mind there could still be someone. I would leave you to contact him because I leave for England and France at the end of this week, Sunday 8th May, and would not be able to pass on his reply if he replied after the 8th. I return to Perth on the 5th June. looking forward to a holiday .....the last time I was in France was May Day some years ago and Germany some eighteen years ago. Time passes.
Now the little He64. i wish I had had some experience flying before we had her as then I would have known what to expect but it was all new, and exciting and sometimes frightening because I didn't know!!. I do know she had instruments in the back cockpit which I was not allowed to touch unless told to. You mention an adjustable seat In the back.............. what seat? I sat on my parachute which was the only one. That is why I was very nearly put off flying altogether. But there was a seat in the front which may have been adjustable. We left from Bulawayo to fly to Umtali. About half a hour out she coughed a bit and Neville said over the intercom "That lever on your right on the side , grab it and start pumping it and don’t stop even after we land , until I switch off". At the same time we flew over a restricted flying area and suddenly there were very lights popping all over the place. He took no notice of the red lights but then said we were changing course for Salisbury to check the petrol piping. I think when the one tank got low you had to wobble pump to keep the flow going from the other tank. I knew nothing about the plane it was my first trip. I spent a miserable two hours pumping and wondering how to crawl to the front cockpit with my parachute so that I could save him as things seemed to be going wrong but couldn't leave the pump!!! (thank goodness I was a tennis player so could keep the pumping going!) On top of this i was nearly eight months pregnant so i couldn't have done that anyway. By the time we got there I was wondering why I had worried to even think of saving him! If only I had known ......... that little plane would have just waffled down with those flaps and landed on her long legs at no miles an hour. There was no problem after that !! I do hope Eddie Norris can help you and I will also try to trace some other people.
Sincerely Colleen B.
19.09.2011 Dear Mrs. B.,
19.09.2011 Dear Mr M.,
Once more , I am Colleen B. who once owned the heinkel HE 64 C . Sorry to have been so long in replying but was away!! I am wondering if you by any chance managed to contact the email address i sent you, and whether you had any luck in finding out more about the little aircraft, and whether Eddie Norris ever gave you any further address perhaps of Chris Perrems Son who I believe is still alive in South Africa, now. i am very interested to know ........as you know she was very special to me. I just wish I could have been of more help to you and it was so long ago. I do remember what she felt like though because it was my job to keep her clean and whenever I washed her she always felt so smooth over the paint work and terribly light but strong. She must have had all the basic instruments in the back as well because you could fly from either cockpit. I do not know whether there was a "wobble-pump" for the petrol in the front as well , only the back, from experience!!! I will also look though my photos to find the one of the crashed aircraft. and am still waiting for a reply from someone who I thought maybe a contact
sincerely Colleen B..
20.09.2011 Dear Mrs. B.,
19.09.2011 Dear Mr M.,
Thank you very much for your reply and that lovely document written by H. Elton. I knew he had inspected and bought the aircraft for Chris Perrem while he was in England but of course never knew which route he flew the plane out, and what an interesting journey. Flying in some of those African countries was a bit hazardous in those days. The last plane that we owned was a Beech 17 Staggerwing. Very different to the Heinkel but what a wonderful plane. I mentioned before that the Heinkel was a lovely woman’s plane whereas the Beech 17 was more my husbands delight. I have the old log book with the route of the pilot who first flew her out from England to Bulawayo in Rhodesia. What a lovely flight it must have been. That would be a trip I would love to have done in the Beech. She was so reliable in every way. She was actually presented to Prince Bernard of the Netherlands during the war to help with his refugee work. She had a powerful Pratt and Whitney engine and flew faster than any of our local passenger planes in Rhodesia at that time. I think she reminded my husband of his flying days during the war, when he flew gladiators in Greece and Crete. She is now back in the States, having flown in England in an airshow two years ago. Not bad for an old girl!!. I know all her history. too. isn't it strange that even through times of war our lives are all interwoven in some way or another as one looks back. I am glad to hear that you are getting the book by Bill Sykes. It is called Bush Horizons. unless you are getting the book called "Pride of Eagles" That is a book documenting the History of flying in central Africa (Rhodesia) and also about the flying and the unrest that we lived through. He is the person who put me in touch with Wolfgang B., an aviation Journalist whom you must know , and who actually wrote the story about the Heinkel that Bill Sykes wrote about in his book. i can give you both their email addresses if you have not been in touch. but I am sure you will know Wolfgang.
Yes I have lived a very interesting life. When I look back I have done so many things that other people cannot imagine doing let alone a woman, but the times were so different and when one thanks of it it can be explained very simply, that in those days, for fifteen years I carried a Walther in my handbag, which was no defence against the AKs that the terrorists carried. We stopped farming when Frelimo took over in Mozambique were we were then farming,. and they tried to kill my husband , along with six of our principal farm workers and my cook and clerk. They found the six bodies Life changed completely. Well that is all water under the bridge now. You may include anything that I have told you but it does not really add anything you do not already know about the Heinkel.
Sincerely colleen B..
Dear Mrs. B.,
21.09.2011 Dear Mr M.,
Thank you so much for those addresses. I wish to urgently correct your one statement. We used the aircraft to look for a new farm in Northern Rhodesia for growing tobacco. We did not farm sheep in Rhodesia. Your English interpretation is otherwise very good!
Thank you Colleen B.
04.10.2011 Dear Mr. M.,
Thank you for your email which I opened this morning after my return from a short holiday with my daughter in Sydney, I am so delighted to have been able to introduce two people who have the same interests and in fact thought you really must already know Wolfgang B. , because you are both so interested in the same things. I do hope your friendship will continue because I have become very interested in all these rebuilds, but realise that these things are only dreams unless one has the finance. But I would really like to be kept up to date with the projects. Please forgive me for my correction but there are no sheep farmers in that part of Africa we farmed in, as it is too tropical, only a few for farm mutton and the butchers. i panicked a bit because I did not want you to print the wrong information, but of course you can print whatever I have told you that may be of interest. I am still following up some contacts about the little Heinkel but it is difficult being so far from Africa now. I believe you are now enjoying Summer in Germany. You know while I was in France in May this year I considered visiting Germany to follow this up, but Wolfgang was away at the time and did not think I would be able to contact you, also there is not much i can add.
Yours sincerely Colleen B..
02.12.2011 Dear Mrs B.,
02.12.2011 Dear Mr M.,
In your last email you said you had contacted Wolfgang B. and I hope you received my reply saying how delighted I was that I have been able to bring together, two people, who have the same interests. I have been re-reading our emails with regard to the little Heinkel and I get very angry with myself not remembering more about her. However also remember that it was a time of moving farms and having a very young family and before I was able to take my pilots licence.I have a friend however who was a pilot in Rhodesia and in fact wrote a book about aviation in Central Africa from the first flight. It is full of photographs from the early days and includes a small account of the Heinkel when she belonged to the Perrems. I have in fact given a copy to Wolfgang. My friend may have some contacts who may be able to tell you more about her. Like most of us from Rhodesia, we are scattered all over the world, and he now lives in Canada. I shall contact him and give him your email address so that if he finds anything he can contact you directly. Another contact now lives in France but so far has not replied so may have the wrong address. I have asked Wolfgang to be sure to tell me of any progress you may make in the rebuild. But as he said it could be slow as we all suffer from a lack of finance!!
Sincerely Colleen B..
02.12.2011 Dear Mr. M..
Thank you for your reply and the photograph of the Heinkel in her racing colours . Her contour looks so different to when we had her because Chris Perrem had changed the cockpit to two separate open cockpits, so she had lost that sleek racing bird look, and became more like a pioneer in the wilds of Africa. Not a racing bird, but a wild bird. But she was still a beauty! Yes of course you may use my correspondence with both yourself and Wolfgang if he so wishes. But there is not a lot that I have added about her that you do not already know. Except of course that her colour had also changed and I am sure that happened when she was in England. She was definitely blue when I first saw her in belvedere Airfield in Rhodesia. A pity because I would have loved to have been flying around in a scarlet aeroplane!! The person I mentioned is not Bill Sykes . I have his book. Bill also made it clear to me that he was very busy so maybe he is still busy!! This is one written by Mitch Stirling about the pioneering of Aviation on the whole in Rhodesia, not so much about our little war, which Bills book covers very well. Mitch and his co- author collected a large number of photographs of flying in Rhodesia which makes the book so appealing. There is even a picture of a flying boat on the Zambezi River above the Victoria Falls. I would love to have seen that! I could try to get you a copy but am not sure that the place I got my copies from is still operating and would have to contact him about that. It would be interesting for any pilot. He would be very interested in anything you have to say and also may have a contact about the Heinkel. Yes the way things are going I will still be around to see the birth of a new HE64C
sincerely Colleen B. I will contact Mitch about a copy of his book.