Carl von Rosen

From NigerianWiki
Revision as of 23:55, 6 January 2008 by Lekan (talk | contribs) (→‎Life)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Carl Gustav Von Rosen (Aug, 19 1909-1977) was a Swedish born aviator who was a former head of an imperial Ethiopian air force.

In 1934, he was chosen as the pilot of the first plane to deliver relief materials to Ethiopia from the Red Cross when the country was at war with Italy, later in 1939, during a war between Finland and the Soviet Union, he flew with the Finish side in launching air raids on Soviet fronts.


As a child, Von Rosen's first fascination was an interest in racing cars. Born into a Swedish aristocratic family whose family can be traced to Estonia and an autocratic man as a father who was against the young swede's interest in cars, Von Rosen's interests made him ran away from home to race cars at an early age, and later at the age of 19, he received his pilot license while working with a flying circus where he was involved in rehashing World War 1 air raids. He made use of his interest in flying into forming an aircraft company that later became part of the Scandinavian airlines. In 1934, he was selected by the Red Cross to deliver relief materials to Ethiopia then under attack from the Italian Airforce. His defiance of the Italian military earned him a price tag of 10,000 placed upon him. After, the war ended, he stayed behind in Ethiopia and was involved in a local war against rebels.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, he was the chief pilot of Transair, a Swedish based airline.

During the Nigerian Civil War, he was noteworthy for flying a four engine DC-7 to supply tons of food and medicine directly to a Catholic shelter in the Biafran side. At the time, the federal government opposed direct flights to Biafra on the grounds that they may be transporting ammunitions. Then flying without permission was dangerous as most flights risked being shot at by the Egyptian flown Soviet made anti-aricraft MIG's and British supplied Vickers 40-mm.

In 1969, Von Rosen was part of a group of Swede volunteers and Biafran soldiers who launched air raids on the federal government owned air fields in Port Harcourt, Benin and Enugu.

He was killed in a place near Gode, Ethiopia by rebels forces in 1977


  • (1)LLOYD GARRISON. 'A Legendary Swedish Aviator; Carl-Gustav von Rosen ', New York Times, Aug 21, 1968