I have to land back with a U/S A.S.I. at Ramu, a thing I haven’t done before, but manage OK. I go on a dawn sortie with Flynn, a new pilot, weaving, down Alethangyaw way, but see nothing. Land back at Sybil and then go out weaving on Mackilligin (JDW: a fellow pilot) down towards Htizwe. Since four days ago I have been sitting about up here and it’s damn boring now everything is organised. Various signals from 224 Group that 2 Squadron I.A.F. are relieving us and that we should move to Ranchi by 28th, as the squadron is moving elsewhere. However the last one says “take no further action re. move of 2 sqn” and that’s the last I hear. Not a word from Ranchi, but Bob Garrett set off from here yesterday by aircraft and I hope to get some “gen” out of them – probably another rocket.
We put the tables and chairs outside the Mess of an evening and still have some gin and a little rum, but squash is running low. Photo and visual recces report increase of Jap fighter aircraft on their forward ‘dromes and numerous messages come in warning us to be on the “Que Vive” (JDW: on the look out.)
However there is no control at Sybil – or Somerset Maughan as I prefer to call it – and I suspect we shall buy it if anything happens.
I go on guard the other night – 8-10.30pm – on the a/c as there aren’t enough “irks”. (JDW: men?) Brigadier Cavendish of 6 Brigade confirmed died in Japanese hands after they raided his brigade HQ at Indin. Two Hurricanes shot up Buthidaung yesterday, giving rise to the rumour that Japs were flying Hurricanes. They also shot up the Maungdaw-Buthidaung road some weeks ago. My God!
The last time I am at Sybil I see a storm brewing up north so try and ring up Rami Ops. I cannot get through, so when I get fed up I go outside and it is almost upon us. I, MacKilligan and Macmillan take off, down wind, and then I find it is so bumpy and gusty that I cannot control the aircraft safely. I shout “pancake!” into the V.H.F. (we changed some 10 days ago) and turn down wind to feel the aircraft torn out of my hand and blown down wind at an alarming speed. On turning into the approach to land again I am blown off and lose considerable height, but eventually manage to get down OK, followed by the other two. A black storm, soon over, and mostly wind, so later I return to Ramu after lunching with Watty on cheese and pickles.