December 25th 1942 – Christmas in Karachi


We have a good party with 244 squadron who have a very well stocked bar, one of the best in the Gulf, and are very hospitable. Next morning about 0730 the only rainstorm this year arrives and pelts down through the chattai roofing of the mess. We can eventually stand it no longer and retreat to the kitchen which has a proper roof and make an al fresco breakfast there. Then on to Karachi, arriving on the 23rd. We find the only way on is by B.O.A.C. on 26th to Calcutta, the one Henry should be on, so we might just as well have waited in Cairo.

I ring up one Kathleen Lee (5567) to whom I have an introduction from Jane Lindsay, but she is going out all over Christmas so I can’t see her. However we all go to the dance at the Gym Club that evening and I organise a “Paul Jones”. I ask all I get if they know her, and the second one is her herself, so I go and gatecrash her party. Here I must put on record that I was once put up for the D.F.C. (or so I believe). On returning from Burma in May Tom Pierce said that with my 60 operational sorties (34 Iraq, 26 Burma) I was worth a gong, as they get them for far less in England now. Well he and Hammerbeck organise it and H puts Tom up too, but changes his recommendation to “mentioned in dispatches”. It doesn’t leave the office as far as I can gather until late July, but since then I suppose it has been cut by somebody, though I should like to know by whom. W/C Majundeer got one, though for political reasons mostly I suppose, though he did a damn good job commanding 1 squadron I.A.F. in Burma.

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