February 22nd 1942 – Rangoon


I have to go and get the kite from J. Walker. I do a recce whilst Burt Mann does his first (recce) solo then he does the afternoon one. I go to town, borrow Paddy O’Malley’s motorbike and go swimming at Kokine. A beautiful bath with grass terraces alongside. Then back to find Johnston once more in the squadron. Pete Jennings arrives with orders for evacuation. A boat goes that night with Johnston on board, and most of the squadron. Hammerbeck leading the air party to Calcutta next day.

C.O., Teddy, Mann and self and Sgt Hilton remain, eventually to go to Magwe as one flight. Much looting in a warehouse on the docks and I manage to get a bottle of John Jamieson. On the way back Sgts Farebrother, Edgar, self and Corporal Johnston break into “Watsons”, a big store, to try and get a watch for me. We stumble around with torches, but no watches. Then a shout of “come out or I fire”, a bit of a commotion on the doorstep, shouts of “turn out the guard” as we are discovered. We come out into the street one by one, expecting a bullet any minute.

A man shouts “Looters! Bastards”. I reply, then he says “Are you white men?!” and we let in the clutch and away, but no shooting. Only a chankider (JDW: nightwatchman?), and Watson himself.

Yesterday we move into Inseim Mess, the Girls Bible School, where all the drink is free. Masses of refugees on the roads out past John Haig, mostly Bengalis and Madrasis. We pick up a dead B.M. Policeman. Teddy and I go to see the burning of some houses in town yesterday. Some looter drops a match, and many houses in the river front burnt, as they are all wooden. Today I do a recce over Sittang River, and now Pete Jennings has gone as advisor or something to 17th Division, and told Burt and I to hop in our Lysanders when the fighters go, and make for Magwe. Teddy and Hilton left this morning. OK if our Lysanders aren’t damaged in the meantime!

This entry was posted in 1942/02, Burma Campaign, 1942. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to February 22nd 1942 – Rangoon

  1. Jagan says:

    Yes Chankider should have been Chowkidaar == Watchman!

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