June 1st 1943 – Ranchi


28 squadron send up four pilots instead of my having to go, but Buckland is soon missing. Later it transpires he gets shot up and force lands at Chittagong. I get another whack of malaria and am in bed for two days, later getting the whole course of Atebrin etc from my squadron M.O.

I fly in formation for the Tunisian Victory celebrations (JDW: On May 13th 230,000 Axis troops had surrendered to Montgomery in North Africa), later going to the Governor’s Ball from 7-9pm. I get plenty to drink – Solar’s No 1 whisky not too bad – and the A.D.C. is one Wood from 11 Sikhs who used to be in my platoon at Sandhurst. Later dinner at B.N.R. with Tom Pierce, his fiance Jackie Marchant and some QAIMNS (Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service).

I go down to Calcutta a few days ago to see 221 Group. Stay at their Mess with Paddy O’Malley and we go to see the film “Desert Victory”. The next day a/c is u/s so I spend one more night, and then return here in a Dragonfly as a passenger. Air Marshal Garrod  (JDW: Deputy Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, India) visits Ranchi and seems interested in my Indians. We are  moving to Trichinopoly, and the advance party left yesterday. The route worries me, so I have signalled AHQ India and hope to get a reply, if they get the damn signal. Trichinopoly will be pretty hot and I suspect we shall have to live in tents.

Great winds and dust storms blowing here. Shall be glad to get away, Breakfast now consists of lychees and nimbu pani!! (lemonade).

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