February 11th 1942


I go off with F/Sgt Perry but get foxed by the satellite landing ground – Hilton and I and four of 1 Squadron under Pritipal Singh. Namsang is at 3200 and pretty cold, though hot baths had been laid on for us by Sides, the Australian station master. Next morning Pritipal and A flight go off and I lead the second with Hilton and an Indian. The latter is late, so by the time I get off the first flight has vanished. We stooge over shocking country and the Salswein (?), and after 1.30 I come upon a town in Indo-China. I think it’s Chiengmai, near the Mekong River, and having done 1.30 don’t feel like wasting time, so seeing nothing of military importance I set course for home and drop my bombs in a forest. The other two see them go, thinks I’m nuts, and return and bomb Chiengmai.

I reach home after 2.57 in the air and Hilton’s engine going for 3.15. It later turns out that my navigation was better than I thought and we were over Chiengmai all the time. Later we return to Magwe, I deduct 75 from 360 degrees and get my reciprocal as 285 degrees. It seems all wrong and after half an hour I check up again, find my mistake, and decide I’m lost. I turn a bit south with my heart in my mouth and eventually strike Thazi railway station on the two lakes. I then turn down the railway to Pyawbwe and set a course for home. Hilton doesn’t fancy that and sets off by himself from Thazi.

Hammerbeck comes up. The Japs have broken through near Martaban and Lysander recces are required. I refuse to go down today, but will have to shortly, when the aircraft are fixed up.

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