September 20th 1942 – Bhopal

A week of organising flying, and chasing the sergeant aircrews and cyphers as duty officer every third evening. I go to Aransol to have a kite repaired and have lunch with Paddy O’Malley. I put up a black by asking “P” Staff (S/L Miliken) to post Hammerbeck, which he doesn’t take too well. Hope it doesn’t get back to him.

Now in Bhopal. Signal came for 4 a/c to go down but we can only manage two and 20 Sqn is sending two. I go off yesterday with F/Sgt Perry to Allahabad round some clouds and then 320 miles to Bhopal in 2hrs 55. Jaubert is in charge here and Fyson and Bhose present. It’s I.A.T.U. [Indian Army Training Unit?] – we are to co-operate with somebody. 77 Brigade presumably, who are at Sangar about 100 miles off.

Excellent shooting around here if it could be got, but I expect I shall be busy. 28 sqn bucking up with Mann as acting CO and Carmicheal acting Adjutant, as the latter makes the sparks fly. Time I put this down:

28 Squadron


S/L G.R.W. Hammerbeck [or BRW/ORW]
F/L A.S. Mann
F/L T.R. Pierce (ex England)
F/O H.G.F. Larsen (ex UK ex RASR)
F/O E.R.K. Humphries (ex 17 Dogras)
P/O H. R. Carmichael
P/O Douglas (ex PAVO – sick, posted to Ambala)


F/L E.R. Adams – adjutant
F/L F.R.J. Gunn – signals
P/O G.W.O. Smith – cyphers
P/O B.R. Williams – cyphers
F/L M.R. Matheson – M.O.
P/O Price – equipment

No news of our Vengeances. They are in Karachi but we are way down on the list for them. We manage to keep 3 ‘Lizzies’ flying, but we must get rid of Hammerbeck. How? ‘Bud’ Rose, Major ALO, gone to Risalpur for 3 months, he could get things moving OK. I go out to Armoured Brigade, but wrote about that last time. No ambitions at present. Would like to get home but that is too distant – in the interim – stay alive, get some flying and attain that unfulfilled dream of mine!!! (JDW: ?)


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2 responses to “September 20th 1942 – Bhopal”

  1. Hello James,

    I continue to enjoy your father’s diaries enormously, especially (rather selfishly) for the numerous references to my own father. I know that he would have loved to have read them if he had survived for a few more years – he only died in 2009 at the good old age of 90. I hope you enjoyed reading his own ‘Story’ and the references back to Colin. They parted ways when my father left Burma, but were re-united later in Europe. No doubt that will all come out in a couple of years time. I am still serving in Oman at the moment, but when I get back to the UK and retrieve his stuff from store, I will see if I can find any photos or other material that might interest you.

    All the best,


    1. james dunford wood Avatar
      james dunford wood

      Hi Tim – please do get in touch when you return and maybe we can met up. Meanwhile there’s a great entry on your father coming up – something about letting off a bomb outside the Mess. Do you remember that story?
      best wishesd

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