September 24th 1942

Miller of 20 Sqn comes down and takes command. Yesterday we fly General Wavell and ADC to Dana near Sangar, a nasty little landing ground about 500′ long. We then do a sortie each. I go and beat up Damoh village and sappers there fire stuff off at me. It bursts in the air nearby and my a/gunner feels it and sees occasional puffs of smoke. After landing F/Ls Longmore and some man with New Guinea on his shoulders drive us to Sangar. We bathe in the rest house, feed at the infantry officers mess, and then have a couple of drinks at the club. Return to sleep under a tent at Dana landing ground.

A dawn sortie at about 0645 then back to breakfast on the flying field. General Wavell then turns up again and returns to Bhopal in the back of my Lysander. From the Nawabs Palace have come two colossal marquees for his three pilots as Wavell is lunching at the Palace.

We eat off the royal plate and have a royal cold luncheon too. Dudley Withers is down here piloting Wavell in a D.C.S. Sangar’s a pleasant spot and I wouldn’t mind being stationed there or here for a bit. The best shooting in India, and at one’s front door.

Ground strafing Damoh last evening I feel that uncomfortable feeling that I used to get in Burma. The ‘let’s get out of here’ sort of thing. My nerve must still be bad yet. We return to Ranchi tomorrow, but miller’s Lizzie seems to go so much faster than mine and I don’t know if I can keep up to Allahabad – 320 miles – so perhaps I shall go to Jhansi instead.


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One response to “September 24th 1942”

  1. I just finished reading “The Flying Hours” – by A P Millar who was the pilot mentioned in this page. He devotes a couple of pages to this event in fair detail, including an amusing turn of events.

    Though he mentioned the other pilot as “Dunford” I knew it was CDW straight away.

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