Born in London, I was in the heart of deprivation during WW2. During the London bombing, I became part of the Boy Scouts Messenger Service and shared an honour of the Boy Scouts Silver Cross. Regular duties were far from what one would expect to do today in the Scouts. I would recover bodies, pile them up and be responsible for delivering important wartime messages, all at the ‘tender' age of 16!
During the year 1942, I enlisted in the RAF and went to Rhodesia. I passed my pilot training and was hastily enlisted to the 216 squadron in Cairo. It was here where we would regularly perform transport duties continuously up and down the North African Coast.
Being stationed in Bari, we would often aid war efforts in Greece, Crete, Yugoslavia. Both nigh time and daylight landings were a common occurrence in which we would rescue wounded partisans.
After finishing this tour, I was posted to a place known as Impha in Burma. We carried out supply dropping, landing and delivering basic provisions for the 14th army. When the Monsoons came, the squadron was detached to Akyab. Again, regular supply dropping and standard war operations carried on from Mandalay to Rangoon where I was based as the war reached a dramatic climax. When the Squadrons dropped supplies and meals, everybody would duck. I always remember throwing water supplies down to a young lady who was holding an umbrella to shelter from the rain. I wonder if she ever fathomed where the ‘sudden downpour' came from ……
When war finished, we did trips to Saigon, Bangkok, Kualalumpa, Singapore and would often ferry prisoners of war on their return to their home land, Great Britain.
Available from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/82/a4389582.shtmlm :
© Copyright Ron Handl 2005