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Thread: Chindit 1943 Air Liaison officers.

  1. #11
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    RCAF Casualty List No. 663, issued 26 August 1943, shows F/Lt. WHEATLEY, Kenneth Maertell, missing on active service after air operations overseas. Frank Wheatley (father) Banff, Alberta

    http://www.pegasusarchive.org/pow/Rangoon/Rangoon.xls

    has him with 17 Squadron.

    A bit more on him here, including photo:

    http://users.cyberone.com.au/clardo/mjc_haakenson.html

    Dave
    Last edited by alieneyes; 19th February 2011 at 22:26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marks View Post
    Steve,

    Just thought of :-

    W/C Sir R.G.K THOMPSON KBE 6/65, CMG 1/61, D.S.O 13/2/45 77 Brigade Burma, Military Cross 10/8/43 Burma

    More famous for his post-war career (internet)

    Mark
    Spot on Mark, he was in column 3 on the trip in 1943. Another man was Flight Lieutenant Denis Sharp from New Zealand, he was in my Grandfather's unit, column 5.

    The forum helped me find out a lot of info on him last year. Thompson was quite a boy before 1943 too, trekking out from Hong Kong after the Japanese invasion. Basically I have these two covered.

    Steve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alieneyes View Post
    RCAF Casualty List No. 663, issued 26 August 1943, shows F/Lt. WHEATLEY, Kenneth Maertell, missing on active service after air operations overseas. Frank Wheatley (father) Banff, Alberta

    http://www.pegasusarchive.org/pow/Rangoon/Rangoon.xls

    has him with 17 Squadron.

    Dave
    Thanks Dave,

    Are the Casualty lists online? The Excel list on Pegasus is my original Rangoon Jail nominal roll, it has grown a bit since then.

    Steve.

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    They are indeed, Steve:

    http://collections.civilisations.ca/warclip/pages/warclip/AdvQueryE.php?lang=0

    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by alieneyes View Post
    They are indeed, Steve:

    http://collections.civilisations.ca/warclip/pages/warclip/AdvQueryE.php?lang=0

    Dave
    Brilliant, many thanks indeed Dave.

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    Sir Robert Thompson's book "Make For The Hills" as an absolutely super read - the stuff of boys' adventure stories!!

    Old Duffer

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    Hello,

    McLAUCHLAN, Flying Officer Raymond Richard Andrew, DFC. NZ404391.
    Born: Waimate 26 Nov 1918..
    RNZAF: 24 Nov 1940 to 30 Mar 1945. Pilot.

    Citation: Distinguished Flying Cross (1 Feb 1945)
    [5 Sqn RAF (Mohawk/Hurricane)].

    Pilot Officer McLaughlan [sic] commenced operational flying in 1942, and has flown on numerous sorties over Assam, Imphal and Arakan fronts. In attacks against the enemy's lines of communication, he has destroyed many mechanical vehicles and Japanese river craft. Throughout, this officer's efficiency and determination have been worthy of the highest praise.

    Fg Off McLauchlan's first operational posting was to 123 Sqn RAF (Spitfire) at RAF Castletown, Scotland. He was then posted to India early in 1942 to 5 Sqn RAF, where he flew until late 1944.

    See:
    By Such Deeds:Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force 1923-1999.
    Hanson,C.M. (G/C.) OBE,RNZAF (rtd).
    Christchurch:Volplane Press,2001.
    p.341

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 21st February 2011 at 08:20.

  8. #18
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    Thanks Col and Old Duffer for the new info.

    I think McLauchlan flew escort with the 31 Squadron Hudson's that kept the 1943 Chindits fed and watered.

    Another gentleman I completely omitted from the original list was:

    89083 Flight Lieutenant John K. Edmonds, an Australian who also became POW in Rangoon Jail in 1943.

    Thanks again for all your help everyone!

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    Default Waaf/wraf ranks

    The WAAFs were renamed WRAF in, I think, 1948. The WAAF rank structure was carried forward to the WRAF upon its formation in the 1970s. The WAAF/WRAF had their own rank structure based upon that in use in the RAF. Flight Officer was the WAAF/WRAF equilalent to Flight Lieutenant.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_Royal_Air_Force#Ranks

    PHILRIGGER

  10. #20
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    Given that Kenneth M. Wheatley died in 1989, I was able to access his file and come up with the following. None of this really describes the circumstances by which he was captured, and I would appreciate hearing from any and all about this matter.

    WHEATLEY, Kenneth Maertell (J15781)

    Born in Bankhead, Alberta, 21 September 1920. Life Guard, 1936-1939, coal miner, 1939-1940 in Alberta. Enlisted in Calgary, 26 October 1940 and posted to No.2 Manning Depot. To No.4 SFTS, 8 December 1940; to No.2 ITS, Regina, 24 December 1940; promoted LAC, 28 January 1941; to No.16 EFTS, Edmonton that date; to No.2 Manning Depot, 29 March 1941; to No.11 SFTS, Yorkton, 11 April 1941; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 4 July 1941. To “Y” Depot, 5 July 1941. Taken on strength of No.3 PRC, 17 August 1941. To No.58 OTU, 27 August 1941. To No.124 Squadron, 7 October 1941; to No.17 Squadron, 30 October 1941.

    Commissioned 13 July 1942. Promoted Flying Officer, 13 January 1943. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 1 January 1943 (correct).

    Missing 27 April 1943

    Safe in Allied hands, 4 May 1945 (Rangoon)

    Safe in UK, 14 June 1945.

    To Canada, 8 July 1945.

    To No.10 Repair Depot, 19 July 1945.

    Retired 12 December 1945.

    RCAF Auxiliary, 2 October 1958 to 31 May 1961 (Fighter Control, No.2403 Squadron, Calgary).

    Report on file listed the following missing:

    88508 A/S/L C.J. Longmore, 18 April 1943
    89083 F/L J.K. Edmonds, 28 April 1943
    J15781 F/L K.M. Wheatley, 27 April 1943
    41952 F/L J. Redman, 20 April 1943
    591733 Corporal and A/Provisional Sergeant D.L.L. Mills, 30 March 1943
    570840 Sergeant K.R. Wyse, 28 April 1943
    1443453 LAC and A/Provisional Sergeant L.G. Young, wounded and missing approx. 6.5.43
    1414386 LAC and A/Provisional Sergeant D.G. Hammond, 1 April 1943
    1292048 LAC and A/Provisional Sergeant R.N. Wood, 1 April 1943.

    “It has been reported to me that F/L Wheatley was taken prisoner but escaped. He was later recaptured in the mountains west of Mohnyin. He was later taken into Mohnyin with his hands bound.” (Major W.P. Scott, OC No.8 Column, no date.

    He was attached 77th Indian Brigade of the Wingate expedition - “special operations”.

    Undated letter, circa 1946 - excerpt - “After OTU I was assigned to 124 Squadron (fighters) at Castletown, Scotland and later to 17 Squadron (fighters) with whom I left UK in early December 1941 to Africa. Stayed in Egypt a month and then on to the Far East. Arrived about 1st February 1942 in Burma after flying an aircraft to there from Burma. Flew extensively iin Burma and also a little in China. After that (May 1942) I was stationed in and near Calcutta during defence of that city until January 1, 1943 when I joined Wingate Expedition working behind Jap lines and was captured, April 29 1943 , released April 29, 1945.”

    The date 29 April 1943 may refer to arrival in Rangoon.

    Application for Operational Wing date 16 June 1945 stated he had flown 55 sorties (110 operational hours) with No.17 Squadron, November 1941 to 29 April 1943 (although he must have stopped flying earlier).

    While a POW he had dysentry, jaundice, weight loss, gastritis and general malnutrician. In Canada treated for hookworm. Indeed, his posting to No.10 Repair Depot (Calgary) seems to have been for administrative purposes while he was being treated in Calgary.

    I can supply a rather poor postwar picture of him to anyone interested who will inform me of their e-mail address (mine is halliday@bell.net).

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