Exciting History of Tabora Airport from Mzee Erich Bajina

Exiting  History of Tabora Airport from  Mzee Erich Bajina

Tabora Aiport: courtesy by modotz.blogspot.com

Ujambo, Mzee ?

I was surprised someone had actually read my comments regarding Tabora Airport ( HTTB). Some of my comments are out of date and even funny, viewed in the light of present day politics. So, below, is material which I hope adds to the history of the Airport,…. it does have one :

I was stationed at Tabora from 1964 to 1966, as Engineer-in- Charge. I also had responsibility for the airport at Mwanza.

During the Second World War, there was a massive onslaught by the army of the then General Bernard Montgomery, on the eastern half of North Africa, against the Nazi forces under the command of Reichmarshal Erwin Rommel. Thus the name : ” The North Africa Campaign”

South Africa at that time, was part of the British Empire. The citizens were called upon to contribute to the war effort, which they did, under the command of General Jan Smuts. Now, the problem arose of the modality of hauling men and materiel all the way from Cape town to Cairo…. C-to-C !

The Royal South Africa Air force went to work.

They built what is now the building and runways at Tabora, in 1941 / 1942. This also includes the five-cylinder Diesel emergency power generator! A mile from the airport is an aerial farm where there used to be a 100 foot mast, connected to the radio beacon that was installed by the South Africans.

The length of the runways would indicate the heavy planes needed for take-off and landing.
During my sojourn in Tabora, the centre for all Air Traffic in East Africa was Nairobi. However, the local airports exercised control once the plane was in sight of the airport. All Nairobi did was record the status of planes flying within East Africa. So it was mandatory for all aircraft to contact Nairobi, with information about their positions then.
Nairobi could hardly pick up aircraft sometimes so, Tabora was the relay station, and so had more Radio transmission equipment than any normal airport.


Erich bajina


5 Responses to “Exciting History of Tabora Airport from Mzee Erich Bajina”


    As promised a couple of photo’s taken at Tabora in the 1950’s

    They are of the Vickers Viscount Demonstrator G-AMAV about 1956 on a sales tour from the UK and heading for the then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa – note the drummed fuel, at that AVTUR was nt regularly available in Tabora.

  2. Colin M Crossley Says:

    My late father Ken Crossley, was an Air Traffic Controller (ATCO) employed by the East African Common Services Organisation’s Director of Civil Aviation which was responsible for all aviation matters in East Africa from the 1940’s to sometime in ’70’s.
    He was stationed at the New airport in Dar es Salaam from November 1954 to March 1955 when he moved Tabora and stayed there to March 1957 and again from from March 1958 to September 1958 when he moved to Zanzibar where he stayed to April 1960.
    unfortunately I don’t have many photo’s but will try and find what I have.
    Colin M Crossley – UK

  3. MRS Z.J.SEMENTA Says:

    kwa kweli nimecheka sana kuona jinsi vijana walivyokuwa 20 years back inafurahisha

  4. uyui Says:

    Reblogged this on Uyui.

    • lukwangule Says:

      Where can you get this gentleman. In my view he has a lot to tell us and if he can give us some pix on those good times. Thanks for the essay it makes me feel good.

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