March 10th 1942 – Akyab

Neil Elliot takes me to Akyab as second pilot on his Lockheed 12a, rather like driving a car. I see 136 Squadron and do (yesterday afternoon and this morning and afternoon) 18 landings on the Mark 1 Hurricane, eventually doing a couple perfectly. A place reminiscent of the Madras coast, and I have a bed in a house overlooking the sea. Good shops in the bazaar where most things, except beer, can be obtained at a reasonable price.

Farr here, driving a Valencia. I get awful drunk on my promotion, taking about four pegs of whisky with ice and fizzy orange squash. I then go off to relieve myself in the bushes near the mess, and decide that one more drink will kill me. I have a quick dinner, walk to my bed, about 600′, keeping straight with some difficulty. I ease springs as usual, and have a hell of a time trying to climb up the stairs to my balcony where I sleep.

Harris, Sgt Hilton, and F/lt Pierce of 28 sqn arrive to fly Hurricanes in Burma (as per the order). Pierce is from England and was in 4 Sqn with Lysanders in France. We come on from Akyab, back to Magwe in the Lockheed 12a and find we are the Army Coop part of this “Burwing” under G/C Seton-Broughal and we eventually retreat to China! We are being given three mark 1 Hurricanes from 17 Sqn at present and will practise on these until ours arrive, if they ever do. Drinks with Lakri and Neil in the Club last night, very pleasant.


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