Westland Wapiti K2297 pranged at Razmak

Wapiti K2297

From the Wapiti Files:

Razmak was a treacherous airfield at 5000 feet altitude up a mountain, halfway between Peshawar and Miranshah. It was deeply rutted by flowing waters, and quoted by a pilot as “a pocket handkerchief pasted onto the lower slopes of a mountain”. An aircraft like the Wapiti could only land in one direction – in the upward direction of the slope that ran south to the north. A significant portion of aircraft that attempted landing at Razmak never made the return flight – crashing on the airfield. (A link to the modern day airfield – probably not the same one)

WW2 era Radial engine wreck recovered in Manipur, India

1534929_632785403449043_1777568558_oIn January 2014, a group of enthusiasts from Kounu Lairembi thougal lup, and students from “The Kumari’s Woodstalks School” explored the area of Kounu Larembi in Manipur, India and recovered a wrecked radial engine. The engine appears to be a Pratt and Whitney – twin wasp . 

08 February 2014:Konsakhul Youth Club in association with Senjam Chirang Youth Club and Kounu Lairemni Thougal Lup, Senjam Chirang handed over the “engine part” of an aircraft possibly crashed during the World War II to Imphal War Museum at Konsakhul on Saturday. 


by Hugh Halliday

Attempts to link an award of a “Mentions in Despatches” to a specific despatch will not likely yield any significant results. Historically (19th Century and some of the interwar “colonial frontier” wars) Despatches filed by Field Commanders did single out individual personnel for mention (though rarely with any details as to why they were being mentioned). However, First and Second World War Despatches such as those published in the London Gazette dealt with the broadest outlines of campaigns. As has been pointed out, a “despatch” that covered the hundreds of names appearing in even one London Gazette list would be a very cumbersome document indeed !

“SQUADRONS” e-book series from Phil Listemann

Squadron 1 - Spit VI S-02Phil Listemann, a contributing member of the RAF Commands forum is bringing out a new series “SQUADRONS”. His post on the book series follows

I’m glad to announce a new series ‘SQUADRONS!’. Each title covers the operational use of a specific type in RAF service, squadron by squadron, in detail and features numerous previously unpublished photographs. This series is available in Ebook/Epub only. Issue No.1 is on the little known and unfairly disliked Spitfire Mk.VI and issue No.2 on the Thunderbolt Mk.I.

I take this opportunity to thank again all the members who gave their time in trying to give an answer the most precise as possible to my queries, generally concerning the identity of the personnel whatever their nationality. 


Martin Arthur Thornhill 1922 ‐ 1944

Flt Sgt M A Thornhill

Flt Sgt M A Thornhill

Jeremy Halliday, cousin of Flt Sgt M A Thornhill, who died in the shooting down of Lancaster ND352 has put together a document that contains details about Martin Thornhill and the correspondence between the Government and his family regarding his loss.  Jeremy writes:

“Thanks to several websites (including RAF Commands and the RCAF Bomber Command Museum in Nanton Alberta) I have made contact with relatives of other crew members and received a significant pile of data on them such that, not least, I have been able to add names to the faces in the crew photo and update Martin’s “In Memorium”.  

Not only that but I now have sufficient to start writing a short history of the Squadron, the plane and the crew which I aim to make available (in due course) free on the internet.  

Because of this I attach for what will, in all probability, be the final edition of Martin’s document.”

The Document is available in PDF format at In Memorium – M A Thornhill

Photo Album of Flying Officer Frank Fahy – 615 Squadron, India

Flying Officer Frank Fahy - 615 Squadron , IndiaFlying Officer Frank Fahy – 615 Squadron , India

Ian Fahy contributed photos of Flying Officer Frank Fahy to the linked Gallery. The Gallery features photographs from Frank’s service in India with No.615 Squadron, including logbook pages from Nov 1944 onwards.

Frank Fahy had to bail out of a Spitfire VIII – KW-G during the tragic day on 10th August 1944 when 615 Squadron lost eight Spitfires and five pilots during an ill-fated ferry flight back to India.

Click the image on the left to view the entire photo album


Group Captain Philip Haynes (29071)

Flt Lt Haynes in a customary photograph taken before their flight to Peshawar in April 1936

Flt Lt Haynes in a customary photograph taken before their flight to Peshawar in April 1936

This Photo is from No.20 Squadron archives (via the Squadron Historian Norman Robertson). Haynes led the detachment of 'A; Flight and served on the frontier for the next two to three years.

This Photo is from No.20 Squadron archives (via the Squadron Historian Norman Robertson). Haynes led the detachment of ‘A; Flight and served on the frontier for the next two to three years.

Philip Haynes (29071 RAF) was an RAF Officer who ended up at Drigh Road, Karachi on 1st March 1934. His posting was to be the Flight Commander replacing Flying Officer H P Broad of the newly raised No.1 Squadron, Indian Air Force that has been operating as a four aircraft flight for the past one year.  The “Squadron” was commanded by Flight Lieutenant Cecil Arthur Bouchier (later Air Vice Marshal), and a Flying Officer from the RAF was on hand to act as the Flight Commander.  The Squadron had about four Indian Officers as Pilots and another as an Equipment Officer.

Prior to this posting, Haynes trained at No.3 Flying Training School as a Pilot Officer and its believed he joined as a Short Service Commission Officer