February 3rd 1942 – Rangoon

Deacon has trouble at He-Ho and Nobby Clark returns for spares, so Burt Mann and I go down [to Rangoon] the next morning. We call at Toungoo where I meet Watson and then to Ningaladon. We are then sent to a satellite “z” or Zayatkwin where we find a dump of tents, very little water and nothing to drink. Burt goes into Group and I play poker with S/Ldr Burberry (31) and some others. Air raid alarms at night and one Jap bomber comes over at 4000″ with his lights on, does a dummy run, then turns rounds and drops a stick of A.P. near the runway, damaging a Tomahalk only. We have no ground crew, no petrol or oil, and Group ringing up with different orders all the time. Some D/F calibrations in the afternoon and we see Pat Jennings and Tate arrive in Ningaladon to find out what’s what at Group. More alarms that night but no bombs, and next morning we go to look for Tate’s aircraft at “Johnny Walker” as tail wheel nearly gone on mine. We can’t find it and return, then off to Ningaladon where I burst my wheel and hand the kite over to S/Ldr Majumdar of 1st IAF, stationed at Toungoo. Burt and Bill Tate then return to Laskio with GOC Hutton and staff in back, Majumdar goes off and I am left with four airmen at Ningaladon and two sergeants at Zayatkwin and no orders, as the detachment appears to be finished and we are going on bombing raids from Toungoo.

I telephone Group who contact Pete Jennings and order me to “await further orders”, so I fix myself up with a billet at the Rangoon Golf Club where I am now. Airmen and officers mixed and plenty of beer and a dhobi of all things, so I am well off at last. Met some 113 Sqn boys who take me to town last night to the Savoy. Whisky 1/4 and a damn good feed there. Met Stuart of 12 Frontier Force Rifles on the staff, who said they only had 2 1/2 battalions at Moulmein and could have held it with one more, but Hutton refused it. Then we go and search for brothels, but though we get to several opium dives, no women seen so we return to bed. Well I reckon I shall miss this bombing trip, and how the hell I get back to the Squadron I don’t know.


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