Contents of transparent bag

(Attached to the inside back cover of the original album was a plastic case. Its contents were listed. Below are sample scans of them).

1) Map which I used when flying from the Imphal Valley and airstrips in Burma. Have circled Sadaung, near Mandalay, where I ended my tour with 155 Squadron.

Map of Burma

2) Post-war letter from Mrs Edith Entwistle, mother of Clive, killed near Yeu. I wrote to his parents after his death.

Letter from Edith Entwistle, page 1Letter from Edith Entwistle, page 2Letter from Edith Entwistle, page 3

My Dear Norman,

I don't know how to begin this letter as I am very conscious that it should have been written long ago. Perhaps I can explain best by saying that the various V.E. & V.J. Days and all that they implied made me too restless and miserable to settle down and write letters. Then, too, the Air Ministry have added nothing, as yet, to their communication of Jan 16 last year except to notify us of the list of effects leaving Bombay. We have unofficial information collected privately as early as last Oct as to what actually happened in Dec of the previous year - but the fact that such information has not been verified by the Air Ministry up to date has prevented us from feeling at liberty to disclose such facts as we have received. You will understand, I know, how all this vagueness on the part of the Authorities and our own anxieties have kept me from wanting to write to anyone. Don't misunderstand me - I realise that all facts must be checked - & that takes time - But there it is - and knowing that that particular district was then occupied by the Japs - you can realise our trouble.

And now I must tell you thet our friend Mr Wilson of Ainsdale told us of your meeting in Poona with S/L Astley. Your last letter was from Peshawar so I can only hope that this will be forwarded from the last address.

The above address and tel. no. are of our S'port house which is also for the time being - our office. Should you ever want to get in touch with us - there is always a staff on the spot during business hours - and they deal with all inquiries & forward correspondence when we are away in Worcestershire. We go down to the farm again this coming weekend for a short holiday - and hope to spend most of the spring and summer at the cottage.

We hope things are going well with you in every way & shall be pleased to see you any time.

Best regards to you - v. sincerely yours Edith Entwistle

3) Booklet entitled 'Canada's Air Heritage', presented to me by Group Captain N Irwin, Commanding Officer of the Service Flying Training Unit Aylmer, Ontario, when I got my wings. He inscribed it with a personal message.

Canada's Air Heritage

4) Account of 615 Squadron monsoon disaster, written by 615 pilot S/L McGarigle who was involved. (See page 79).

F/L "Waddy" McGarrigle, RCAF, Pilot 615 Squadron

The pre-flight briefing consisted of taking a good look at the map of the area over which we were going to fly. I had never before seen that part of the country and there were not enough maps to go around. We were flying as a squadron with all the aircraft that we had. The flight was taking us away from any enemy action and we did not expect any problems. From the Imphal Valley, we flew in a westerly direction through the mountains heading for the Plains of Bengal. When we got clear of the mountains there was an enormous CuNim in front of us and I started to think about the map I had seen, trying to guess where we go to an alternate landing field. To my surprise the CO started to climb the squadron, staying on course, directly towards this gigantic and scary looking storm. I kept my section in place in the formation, thinking that the CO was just fooling around and would change course at the last minute. When it became doubtful that this was going to happen I had a plan of my own; if the CO was going to climb into a storm like that, he could go without me.

The moment we hit cloud, I throttled back to a fast idle and began a rate one turn to starboard. The turbulence was the worst I had ever experienced and I had a great deal of trouble just getting turned around. Eventually, I came to a small clearing in the cloud and my No 2 shouted into the R/T "There's land down there". That scared the hell out of me because until I saw him there, I hadn't imagined that anyone had stayed that close. When I questioned him later on he said that he was motivated by fear; he was afraid that he would be done for if he lost me.

I went down through the break in the clouds and came out over country as flat as a table top and completely flooded. Thinking about the map, I could remember seeing alternate airfields to the north of our proposed route but I was sure if there were any mountains in that direction. Deciding to fly towards Calcutta, I estimated course and flew at 200ft through torrential rain, over a seemingly endless expanse of flooded fields, dotted here and there with houses and clumps of trees. The fuel gauge and the clock were not working, so this part of the trip seemed to last forever. Every few minutes I would call on the R/T until a controller answered and directed me to Baigachi. After landing there, I discovered that there was no paint left on any of the leading edges; the whole thing looked like it had been sand-blasted! We had been in the air for 2hrs 15mins.

Home | 1988-1933 | 1933-1940 | 1940-1942 | 1943 | 1943-1944 | 1945