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Churchill at the controls of the Flying Boat

Returning to London after visiting Canada and the United States

This photograph is of Sir Winston Churchill at the controls of a Boeing 314 Flying Boat on his way back home after visiting America and Canada.

churchill flying
Churchill flying back after the conference.

A turning point in the Second World War.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill left England on HMS Duke of York for what turned out to be a rough weather passage of eleven days, docking in Hampton Roads, Virginia on the 22nd of December 1941. He then was flown to Washington, DC to meet with President Franklin Roosevelt.

On the 26th of December, Churchill addressed Congress. He was moved by his roaring reception by Congress, and responded by flashing the V-for-victory sign.1 Churchill returned to the White House very pleased and relieved after the speech.

The intense activity continued in Washington for Churchill, talking with the President and staff while carrying on with the heavy demands of working long distance from London and communicating with the allied leaders, yet he proceeded to Ottawa by train to meet with Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, and to address the Canadian Parliament on December 30. Included in this speech Churchill introduced an item of retrospect, Sir Harry Lauder’s song of the last war:

"If we all look back on the history of the past
We can just tell where we are." 2

which went down well.

He then returned to Washington to continue the summit, followed by a few days of rest and then Churchill left for England on January 14, 1942, flying home via Bermuda.

Note 1: [^] Smithsonian magazine, 2017, January 13, ‘In the Darkest Days of World War II, Winston Churchill’s Visit to the White House Brought Hope to Washington’, Trickey, Erick.

Note 2: [^] Churchill, Winston S. The Grand Alliance, volume 3 of The Second World War, p.679



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Revised: 31 October 2022