July 28th 1942


Larsen goes to Razmak for an artillery shoot but bursts a wheel on landing. He mends 22 punctures in the inner tube but the valve has gone as well. Sgt Ridley flies up with a spare, does a ground loop and writes off his aircraft. Larsen complains of being sniped whilst salvaging the aircraft.

Yesterday four a/c go to Miramshah and then to bomb Narakai. Also nine Blenheims of 34 sqn from Peshawar and 3 and 4 IAF sqns. Robin White’s engine cuts out and he force lands up the Kazha Algad, overturning his a/c. He is seen to get out and wave, but airgunner is still in the wreckage. Sgt Grey comes back and reports at Miramshah and Sgt Hilton drops 2 x 250 lbs on the target. Larsen goes off with medical supplies and sees two naked bodies 100′ from the aircraft, so he bombs and shoots up all nearby buildings.

Later in the day they do another raid on same target. Hammerbeck flies to Peshawar to tell them that leaflets have been dropped first, and then later has alot of bumph to deal with and so misses both raids. Larsen gets a bullet in his engine cowling. Khassadars go out and bring the bodies into Miramshah. Robin White shot and stabbed in the back. Sgt Ellis had a hole in his head, presumably from the crash, and was minus his balls.

We now have 3 out of the 7 a/c with which we left Ranchi. 28 sqn dying a slow death, but not a hope of sending some of the aircrews on leave. I haven’t done any ‘ops’ yet, only a trip to look at the Datta Khal country and some local formation flying.

Alec Johnston turns up as what is called ‘Army Cooperation Advisor’ – a sort of air staff officer, who writes down all we do, like an A.I.L.O.

S/Ldr Mehr Singh CO 3 sqn once force landed in Waziristan, but he set fire to his aircraft, after having taken out the compass, then hid all day and navigated into Datta Khal by day [night]. Robin was going to marry Joyce Knowles on 15th or 26th August, when we had gotten back.

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