For four years during World War II, my father-in-law served in RAF Squadron 159 in India.
We knew very little about this period of his life until the death of my mother-in-law in 2004. Soon after this he began to talk more about his experiences, firstly travelling aboard ship and being in India for four long years in various locations.
He also produced some black and white photographs in regard to his service, some of which I have included here for illustration in these several pieces.
It became a fairly common trait among servicemen on all sides after that war, and also post the Great War of 1914-18, to be reticent about their time in service, especially about describing more traumatic events. It must be remembered that back then there was little in the way of counselling after experiencing such action.
It must be said, however, that my father-in-law didn’t see active service during that time, arriving on the subcontinent at the age of twenty one. He was part of the ground crew, a critically important role for missions. They had been sent onto India in the first half of the year, before the arrival of the aircraft; the plane of choice for the long distance raids eastwards was the B-24 Consolidated Liberator, a four engine bomber produced in the United States.
The reason for the deployment of this squadron (among others) was to defend the then British Empire from Japanese incursions into south east Asia, threatening Burma and even India itself. India was strategically well placed for such operations to halt and repel this advance.
Nov. 21, 1944 Dear Folks – BANG ! All in one and a half hours my bags are packed, my equipment is turned in, I climbed into a G.I. truck, I travel halfway across camp, I get out of the truck, I draw new company equipment, and unpack my bags. Now I’m in a new […]
Her wounds had been grievous that morning in 1941, when Japanese torpedo bombers swept low over the shallow waters of Pearl Harbor and unleashed their deadly cargoes at the easy targets moored along Battleship Row. The surface might of the U.S. Pacific Fleet was virtually helpless against the onslaught, and those ships moored outboard received […]
There have been rumours and several ‘conspiracy theories’ since the Second World War claiming that the Germans built a secret base in Antarctica, creating a kind of breakaway civilisation.
Now, with another story in the news about an apparently sophisticated 400 ft ship being found in an iceberg off the coast of Antarctica, these stories have resurfaced once again.
It is known that the Germans made several expeditions to Antarctica prior to the war. When by 1942 they realised they were going to lose, they apparently began to secretly transfer men and materials to a hidden base they had created in Antarctica, in a region called Neuschwabenland. Here, allegedly, they found areas free of ice, as well as areas under the ice they could inhabit safely.
Are Flying Saucers Real?
Of course, it would seem there is no way of verifying these theories and rumours, but it is definitely known that the Germans were also experimenting with some serious hi tech, in the form of flying discs. The blueprints for these craft are available and some of them were actually built and could fly.
However, it is indeed a huge leap of faith to associate these (as some do) with the flying saucer phenomenon, or UFOs, which exploded in to the news controversially in 1947 with the Roswell Incident.
How much actual truth lies behind these rumours I cannot say. As far as we know the biggest populations in Antarctica are still penguins. Nevertheless, it is intriguing to speculate.