May 13th 1943 – Imphal

Watty and I go out and dine with the King’s Own before I leave for Imphal. Watty gives a lecture and then we finish Bill’s last bottle of whisky. They have now moved off to Diamond Harbour near Calcutta. Nazir gets back alright and next day I set off. Two chaps go off on one sortie but Amrik says Latif is ill and will go later if feeling better. I say “OK or get a couple of Mohawks to help” having laid on a tentative bandobust (JDW: a word originating from Hindi meaning ‘organization or an arrangement made to deal with something’) with S/L Jefferies to that end. I am just about to take off when Amrik gives me a message from W/C McMichael, the A.L.O. of 4 Corps, that he is ‘very surprised’ I didn’t go myself that morning, so I expect he will try and put me in the dirt for it. I take off and reach Alipore via Silchar and Agartala, though without landing. Then on here, and nearly prang, swinging on landing. She has a small internal glycol leak, and I sniff the fumes for four hours on the way and am violently sick when I get back.

Today a signal that Latif is missing on a sortie, but no details. Looks like Joe Soap will have to go up on Ops again as the fourth pilot!

Mike alive again. Apparently he came up floating, swam ashore to Magyichaung, was offered a “V” cigarette by a Jap at the four Bren guns that shot him down, and then kept in captivity for ten days. He had his leg treated and got constipated on a diet of rice. Then one night he walked out, round Foul Point and up the beach to Maungdaw with the help of some locals met with on the way, who got Rs150/- each for their pains. The march took him three days only.


I think I have slight jaundice following the cholera injection at Imphal and that awful flight home. I shake hands with the Viceroy Lord Linlithgow when he inspects us and 15 squadron at Imphal. He is wearing a two piece suit with three rows of medal ribbons! and a topee! Ah well, I should get my boots greased again I suppose! Henry still at Ramu, and Sybil (the airstrip) no longer being used. All my boys back now. One Jack Wales posted to 28 squadron in my place from a fight squadron in Ceylon.


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One response to “May 13th 1943 – Imphal”

  1. […] (JDW: children of Maj General Elsmie, Indian Army). I have dinner with them. Mike back (JDW: see May 13th) but has fractured his spine and will have to spend 3 or 4 months in plaster of […]

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