Bob Morgan's Black and White PhotosClick here to return to the Bob Morgan index
The captions are under the pictures.
Photos #1 and #2
Aerial views of Dharan (Early 1946), depicting the working buildings and residences of ARAMCO employees. These were houses for families with a few exceptions. there was a school for the children single men and women were housed in separate dormitories there was a recreational area consisting of dining quarters, a club house, swimming pool sport areas, and a hospital the roads were not paved - but graded and oiled. They were quite good. The food was very good, especially when we started flying in produce and fresh meat from Asmara Eritrea. ARAMCO had an office in Asmara headed by a former Major in the Italian army.
The approach to runway 35 at Dharan. The airport was being constructed by the U.S. military. The first month or so we landed on an oiled sand strip. Later this strip was used by ARAMCO's single engine airline patrol aircraft (light area, upper left side).
Photo #4 Taken at low level heading north, and showing the beach area and the gulf of Bahrain.
Photo #5 Close final approach to runway 35 at Dharan.
Photo #6 Shows original tower and operations building at Dharan when airport was maintained by U.S. military .
Photos #7 thru #10 A school teacher and school children of ARAMCO personnel.
Photos #11 and #12 Nurse at ARAMCO's hospital.
Photos #13 thru #19 A form of entertainment at ARAMCO, a donkey race - looks as if nurse Betty is in the lead.
Photo #20 Our living quarters at ARAMCO
Photo #21 George Carl and Ralph Austin - pilots assigned to the ARAMCO Charter
Photo #22 Ralph Austin riding a motor scooter made out of miscellaneous salvaged parts, probably the first motorized scooter in Saudi Arabia. Top speed about 30 MPH.
Photos #23 thru #29 The inhabitants of the house shown in photo #24 Back row (left to right) - Ralph Austin, Al Keinholtz, George Carl, front row (left to right) - Gordon Najor, George Walker, and Hank (last name forgotten).
Photo #30 first Trans World airlines DC-3 (ET-T-12) leased to ARAMCO, original military registration 6408, when used by military.
Photo #31 second leased DC-3 (|ET-T-17), original military registration 3519, aircraft 6408 (ET-T-12) made its first flight for ARAMCO on January 15, 1946, from Cairo-Jeddah-Dhahran. Aircraft 3519 (ET-T-17) made its first flight for ARAMCO from Cairo to (Lydda) Tel-Aviv on June 16, 1946. The aircraft made five flights out of Lydda and Jerusalem, being utilized for the aerial mapping of the Saudi-Arabian pipeline. ARAMCO personnel were on board, including Max Steineke, who was ARAMCO's Chief Geologist, he was instrumental in developing the oil fields of the Middle East.
Photo #32 aircraft 3519 before it was painted in TWA colors. We had problems with the civil aviation agencies in several countries, because of the unmarked aircraft, Saudi-Arabia was not part of the civil aviation community. Ethiopia was, and aircraft 3519 and 6408 were placed under Ethiopian registration
Photos #32A and #33 top executives of ARAMCO (early 1946) names on back of photo #32A photo #33 was taken at Jeddah another photo of ARAMCO personnel - the man in sunglasses is "Dutch" Hammond, newly hired captain for Saudi-Arabian airlines, Hammond was a former major in the U.S. army air force, all American personnel for ARAMCO charter and Saudi-Arabian airlines were ex-military.
Photo #34 "Hank", one of our house roommates, boarding a TWA DC-4 to return to the United states for a vacation.
Photos #35 thru #53 the return of King Azizibn Saud from Cairo to Dharan. This occurred in 1946 or early 1947. I believe the King attended an Arab conference in Cairo.
Photos #54 thru #58 TWA's inaugural scheduled flights to Dharan, using Lockheed Constellations instead of Douglas DC-4s aircraft in foreground is an Air Service DC-3, later to called air India.
Photo #59 ARAMCO personnel- whereabouts unknown
Photos #60 thru #63 employees of ARAMCO and local residents, many of ARAMCO employees were Saudi-Arabian nationals, Indian and Sudanese.
Photos #64 and #65 the trucks are Kenworth, multi-axel drive, equipped with sand tires, some trucks had two engines, this was necessary to transport heavy drilling equipment over roadless terrain.
Photos #66 thru #69 well drilling crew at Duwadami drilling for water
Photo #70 whereabouts unknown
These Photos were in the Dharan area.
Photo #71 Gordon Najor is the ARAMCO employee in this photo. Najor was Personnel Director.
Photo #72 ARAMCO employees, local citizens and pilot Robert Morgan petting gazelle.
Photo #73 same area as Photos 71 and 72.
The following Photos will be in the Riyadh locale, the American construction firms of Bechtel and Morrison Sverdrup were instrumental in doing most of the construction of many services in Saudi-Arabia during the late 1940's Bechtel had a construction and housing complex in the vicinity of Riyadh airport during its development.
Photo #74 Bechtel community center, showing crown prince Saud in conversation with Bechtel personnel, the gentleman on the left is Bechtel's General Manager.
Photos #75 thru #77 Photographed at the same time; almost every day some member of the Royal family would visit the site, the next five photos are what I believe to be of the most historical significance, you can check your records of this meeting, it was in 1947 or 1948. It is the meeting of King Aziz ibn Saud and King Abdullah of Trans-Jorgan.
Photo #78 I believe this is the Rolls Royce given to the King by Winston Churchill.
Photo #79 A local scene showing SA-R-3, one of the three Royal aircraft.
This could be the aircraft used to transport King Abdullah from Trans-Jordan. The pilot would have been Joe grant, general manager of Saudi-Arabian airlines.
Photo #80 Shows the tents and carpets spread on the sands, the pilot walking on the carpets is Ralph Austin, the first American pilot employed to fly in Saudi-Arabia.
Photos #81 and #82 Photographs of the two kings.
Photos #83 thru #87 The ruins of a city near Riyadh. The back of photo #87 tells the story, I believe the city is Dar'iayh.
Photos #88 thru #90 Shows the early days of Al Kharj.
Photos #91 thru #94 Bedouin scenes
Photos #95 thru #99 The King's hunting camp at Buraida
The next sequence of Photos are of Jeddah and vicinity.
Photo #100 Aerial view of Jeddah, taken from the southwest.
Photos #101 thru #103 The flight line at Jeddah, the first living quarters for the American personnel at Jeddah were converted offices and a former mansion of a Belgian count, the mansion was within walking distance of the airport.
Photos #104 and #105 Taken at the airport, those residing at the airport were jack Bartlett and wife (she is on the left in photo #105), Esker Coffey and wife (she is in the right in photo #105). Mrs. Coffey's name is Zelda and she is of French nationality, at the right in photo #104 were the living quarters of Mark Othewaite and his wife. Also, Joe grant and his wife, Nina, lived there. Joe grant was a line captain with TWA, who took leave to manage operational duties of Saudi-Arabian airlines
Photo #106 The front entrance to the Belgian mansion which was converted to living quarters, the pilot is Bob Fix, one of our captains, who lived in the mansion. It was a large complex consisting of the main house and a separate area of buildings for servants which was converted for our use. The entire complex was walled and the buildings were wired for electricity, but no electricity was available. A large inoperative generator was found - we repaired it and had plenty of electricity. Later we installed a back-up generator for water. We had tanks on the roofs that were replenished daily, water was brought in on donkey carts - each holding a 55 gallon drum. In this complex four other Husbands and wives resided. There were also rooms for single men, and later, Bechtel constructed living quarters with all the amenities.
The next series of Photos- #107 thru #122, I have placed in the miscellaneous category.
Photo #107 interior of aircraft DC-3s. (ET-T-12) or 3519 (ET-T-17).
Photo #108 Cockpit of one of the DC-3s.
Photos #109 and #110 Two of our captains - Robert Kay on left and Al Law on right, photographed at a hotel in Khartoum, Sudan, and on the wing of an aircraft.
Photo #111 A formation shot of SA-R-2 - one of the three Royal aircraft, when more than one aircraft was being utilized, the King enjoyed flying in formation, at times he sat in one of the pilot's seats and enjoyed the view.
Photo #112 The King entering one of the Royal aircraft
Photo #113 An Air Services of India DC-3 at Dharan. Later known as Air India.
Photo #114 Whereabouts unknown.
Photo #115 Name unknown - ARAMCO employee at Jeddah.
Photos #116 thru #120 Whereabouts unknown.
Photos #121 and #122- my pet gazelle. I came off a flight one day, and it was missing. It probably made a fine dinner.
Here is additional information concerning the American personnel attached to Saudi-Arabian airlines. There were thirteen pilots, three mechanics, and an electronics specialist. There were four American, one French and one Turkish wives. Originally, we did not have official uniforms, so we wore U.S. military khaki without insignias. Later we had uniforms tailored, the insignia (photo in the Color section) were crafted by a silversmith located in the basement of the Shepherd's Hotel in Cairo. All of the co-pilots and radio operators were Saudi nationals. We understood they received their training from Italian instructors.
According to my records through spring 1949, Saudi-Arabian airlines had thirteen DC-3s. SA-T-2 thru SA-T-10 had S.A.A. markings. The three Royal aircraft were SA-R-1, a gift from the U.S. Government; SA-R-2 and SA-R-3. All three Royal aircraft were converted and customized in Glendale, California, there were also several single engine aircraft at Jeddah and Taif. There was also a Ford tri-motor which was supposedly owned by Wallace Beery, an old-time actor.
- Bob Morgan