January 1, 1970

In 1943, it was calculated that he’d travelled 110,000 miles by ship or plane since the beginning of the war.

Before his speech to the British troops in Carthage, for example, he’d been in Washington in the US the previous week (until 25 May 1943); two days later, on 27 May, he’d then travelled by flying boat to Newfoundland and then on to Gibraltar. (On the way to Gibraltar, the flying boat was struck by lightning which apparently caused the pilot some concern but Churchill didn’t seem unduly worried; ‘there were no consequences which after all are what is important in air journeys’). The following day, Churchill flew from Gibraltar to Algiers on a converted Lancaster bomber to meet Eisenhower. Two days later, on 1 June, Churchill travelled from Algiers to a military aerodrome to attend the briefing of an American squadron about to bomb Pantelleria Island and that same day flew on to Tunis, where he addressed those thousands of troops. Only the next day, 2 June, Churchill was flying back to Algiers – and taking the controls himself (at least, for a while)! He was nearly seventy years old …

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