December 18th 1941


Neil Elliot and Macmillan arrive with Wavell and we take out the three Sinnott sisters and Pamela Russell to the Saturday Club for dinner and dance and then to the 300, a low night club. All this on Burt Mann, as he is a member of both joints. I depart and am in bed by 2.30am, my partner having been seen off home.

On Saturday, news from 28 squadron that a/c is to be handed over and I have to return home, so I take Sunday morning’s train. On Saturday Pam Russell comes to lunch but Neil and Mac are so gloomy that I have all the fun with her. They go to the cinema after lunch whilst I park and then we meet for tea at Firpo’s. Then we see her home (11/2 Birdwan Road, Alipore 311) and meet Sir Guthrie and her scotch mama – ‘Desie’ – a scream. On the train back I am a bit gloomy and have lunch out of a tiffin carrier with an Indian gentleman. He gives me a cigar, whilst smoking a colossal hookah himself. Japan declares war?

I meet Thripp and Teddy Tyson on Lahore-’Pindi train and Thripp and I go to the ‘Pindi Club and drinks and dinner on Colonal Mike Gilpin. On arrival back at 0630 I find I have to take Squadron Leader Scott to Karachi and we manage to get away at 11am after some doubtful telephoning about Multan aerodrome. Well, halfway there, visibility shuts down and at 1000′ I can just see the ground. I carry on and wait for the Chenab (river) to appear under me and when it does I turn down it and hope to find the railway bridge, as I daren’t go straight on and hope to hit Multan. I am just getting panicky when it appears and I follow the railway to Multan. Visibility so bad, dust storms, that I can’t find the aerodrome for some time, circling round and round the town.

Land, refuel, find Scott has been sick in the back and decide to stay the night, in case I fail to find the next stop, Padidan, in the dust. I picquet the aircraft with the help of two small boys in a dust storm, but God only knows if I shall be able to start it again tomorrow morning. Now after a bath in Multan’s inspector’s bungalow, am feeling better, though still dusty. My first time lost in an aircraft, and not pleasant. If I hadn’t noticed the river under me when I did, I should have gone on I suppose?

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3 Responses to December 18th 1941

  1. Andy Wright says:

    Wow, I was on the edge of my seat with the date for the Pearl Harbor attack coming and figured the lack of entries was due to CDCDW suddenly being very busy. Very much looking forward to the next entry and/or the reaction to the declaration of war by the Japanese.

    • James Dunford Wood says:

      Hi Andy – thanks for your comment. It seems his references to Japan entering the war are somewhat perfunctory at first – perhaps they did not realise the significance or the danger at this early stage. However, it soon hots up! I also in error missed out a chunk of the December 5th entry, so you may want to reread the entry as it now appears on the blog. rgds james

  2. Andy Wright says:

    Btw, a great bit of flying by CDCDW.

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