A Jewish Pilot in the Land of Milk and Honey — Part 2

My activity at the Club included a lot of ground- schooling: I took a course in Aerodynamics from Davidka Abramovich ( later Professor David Abir); Lectures in Theory of Flight by Uri Breier; A course in Meteorology which was taught by Ingenieur Shragenheim (an architect and engineer) who served during the 1st Word War as a Meteorology-Officer in the Zeppelin Squadron of the German Imperial Air Force; A course in Radio-telegraphy which was taught by Mr. Cohen who used to be Sargent Wireless-Operartor in the Jordan Legion before the Kingdom of Jordan was founded. I went on constructing aero-models, instructed by David Harif and Zeev Schwabe. The Club had a large library full of books on Aviation, mainly about flying, gliding and soaring in English, French and German as well as magazines on these subjects and since I could read all these three languages I was devouring as much as I could (during the time left from my school-homework).
Late in March 1942 I was informed that next month, during Passover, a short Gliding course of 4 days will be held at Kfar-Yeladim. The course started on the morrow of the Pesach-Seder night, April 8, 1942. Kfar-Yeladim was erected during the mid thirties of last century so as to serve as the central school for all the Jewish Kibutzim and Moshavim of the Valley. of Jezrreel .  It was mainly an agricultural school and had a large cowshed. During the riots of 1936-1939 the school was attacked and the cowshed was damaged by fire. The Education Department of the National Committee decided to close the school and have individual schools in each settlement. Kfar-Yeladim was then handed over to the Jewish Settlement Police and to the Aero Club of Palestine which turned the damaged cowshed into a hangar for its gliders and sailplanes.
One could get from Tel-Aviv to Kfar-Yeladim by bus but the Jewish bus Company Eged did not drive on the day of Pesach and so one had to take the Arab bus which drove from Jaffa to Nazareth. I found out that two other Tel-Aviv Club members planned to go as well so I joined them.
Early on April 8 I took my haversack which was filled with food for 4 days and some clean underwear and polo-shirts and walked from our house on 1 Bialik Street to the clock-tower center in Jaffa where I met Yaakov Avisar who was 18 and Yehuda Fishman who was 21. We bought tickets and boarded the bus. Avisar said that we should sit together on the very last bench. Avisar had a loaded revolver in his bag. All three of us were Hagana members. The bus departed on time and went through Jenin and a few other Arab villages finally reaching Afulah. His next stop was Nazareth. Kfar-Yeladim is on that road, 5 kilometers from Afulah so we asked the driver if he will stop for us there and he refused. We left the bus and started walking. It is somewhat uphill for Kfar-Yeladim is at the southwestern foot of Giv’at Hamoreh (Hamoreh Hill). 90 minutes later we entered the gate to Kfar-Yeladim, went into the yard in front of the cowshed-hangar and met our friends who were there with the glider.
Early in 1935, nine German Jews who felt the ground burning under their feet sent one of them, Dr. Rudolph Feige to Palestine to see if they would be able to make a living there and meanwhile , since all 9 of them were employed in aviation and were also flying light-aircraft, gliders and sailplanes, to investigate the possibility of gliding in Palestine. Dr. Feige was one of of the chief German meteorologists at that time and a glider-pilot  He arrived in Palestine and met at Haifa with the survivors of the “Carmel Club” (which preceded the Aero Club of Palestine). He decided that Mount Carmel was fit for Gliding. In February 1935 all 9 men came to Israel to assist in the Macabiah which took part in April 1935. They brought with them 2 “Grunau-Baby” Sailplanes from Germany. They launched their sailplanes from Mount Carmel and performed some beautiful and interesting soaring flights. This caused the several aero-clubs which existed in the country such as “Hacarmel” of Haifa with its 15 members, “Hashachaf” of the Jordan-Valley with its 20 members and “The Flying Camel” of Tel-Aviv with its 40 members to unite and became “The Aero Club of Palestine” with its center in Tel-Aviv and three branches in : Tel-Aviv; Haifa and Jordan-Valley.
The Haganah paid attention to this activity. Eliyahu Golomb and Dov Hoz started assisting this activity and slowly bringing it under the aegis of the Hagana. An Aviation company called “Aviron” was formed with a flying-school and charter-flights. A budget was set so as to build or buy Airplanes and Gliders. A primary-glider, S.G.8, was bought from Germany and another primary-glider, Wrona-Bis was bought from Poland. Later on an intermediate-glider, Chaika, was bought from Poland and then a high-performance sailplane, Komar-Bis was also bought from them. Two delegates were sent to the annual meeting of the FAI which was held that year in Warsaw, Poland and the Aero Club of Palestine was accepted as a member by the FAI and more airplanes and gliders were bought in Poland.
One of the 9 Jewish immigrants from Germany was Aeronautical-Engineer Emil Pohorille who planned and built 2 primary-gliders of his own named “Poho”. Many young men nd women joined the Club and the gliding avtivity was transferred from Mount Carmel to Giv’at Hamore which lay on the north side of the Valley of Jezreel with Kfar-Yeladim at the western foot of this hill and the town of Afulah 5 kilometeres south of it.
When we reached the yard in front of the cowshed we found a group of 15 young men and women, headed by the Gliding-Instructor Uri Breier and a Wrona-Bis primary-glider with a bundgee-cord. We were welcomed and placing the glider on a setup made of an iron-axe with two car-wheels on both sides we had a mule harnessed to this contraption and with one of us leading the mule and another holding the left wing tip so it does not bend and scratch the ground we proceeded out towards the 0A launching ground at the very foot of the hill where novices started their training.
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