10th February 1943

Yesterday W/Cs Ford and Smythe tell me 224 Group’s policy. That is that all low level TAC/Rs are to be unescorted, and only medium level or photography to be escorted. OK. So off I go by myself to look for a 75mm gun near Laungchaung, but of course am unable to locate it. I do however see a sort of cave, or deep water hole in the hill side, but no one is impressed. I watch six Bisleys (Blenheims) bomb Magiychaung and see incendiary portions burning around but no apparent damage or destruction. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the foundation of the Japanese Empire, so we are expecting a packet on this front. F/M Wavell was down and has made a new plan, which is apparently to take Foul Point and hold it until the monsoon and then withdraw, presumably to India. Akyab to be left to the Japs!

No jobs today so far but am expecting the peace to be shattered any minute now. My landings are getting very bad and I expect to drop a wing tip in, almost every time. Ford wants us to do low level recces of Akyab Island for the better education of 224 Group.

Impressions: sunset at 6.10pm, a smoke and a drink then; sitting in the ‘dug down’ mess consuming gin or rum and rolling dice with Mike and Watty.

Smallwood and Major Wagstaffe come down as A.L.O. as Watty is sick. Freezing at night but snug under three red hospital blankets. Coming home low over the hills and flying under cover of sheer steep sides. Ardeline gets a bullet through his fin on the Myshaung-Theyattabin road of all places!


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