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Mohawk III AR638 [Royal Air Force Aircraft Serial and Image Database]

 Mohawk III AR638

Aircraft Accident / Loss Entry

Date of Crash  05 Dec 42 Aircraft Name  Mohawk III Serial Number  AR638
Unit  155 Sqdn Operating Airfield  Agartala Country  India
Aircrew details Plt Offr Anthony Babington DUNFORD(119837)
Details Damaged in air combat, crash landed at Agartala. [Mohawks Over Burma] We continuously scrambled throughout the day after a recce plane but were too late each time. The Japanese Dinah returned after 2.5 hours. We calculated that it took him 1 hr to return to Akyab ,half hour to refuel and 1 hour to come back. Sure enough it came back 2.5 hours later . We were scrambled for his 1530 visit , but instead 24+ betty bombers escorted by 12+ fighters raided Chittagong. We were vectored to the enemy formation from in front and below. We could not get up to them in time , but we followed along and soon were in a general melee. Tony Dunford , who shot one down ,was shot up himself , and the instant he touched down - I had landed in front of him and was at the end of the Rwy watching -and his tires burst he flipped over on his back. I got on the back of a motorbike and we tore down the Rwy towards the crash . It so happened there were 100's of coolies working on the strip. I arranged for about 60 to lift the Mohawk up and I crawled underneath. Tony was hanging in his straps unconcious and fuel all over . We got him out and the coolies moved the plane to the edge of the edge of the strip so the rest of the chaps could land . he was very lucky he did not burn but he broke both wrists and had a concussion
Source Gerry Beauchamp

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