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Thread: Identifying place names in Burma & Bengal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    17

    Default Identifying place names in Burma & Bengal

    Hello!
    I'm wondering if anyone out there, more familiar than I with the Burma campaign, would be able to help me clarify a couple of place names from wartime Burma and/or Bengal. I've recently come across an old typewritten letter of my grandfather's, which sheds a little light on his wartime travels - but which leaves me scratching my head in two instances.

    My grandfather was a wireless mechanic with the RAF, 224 Group/3rd TAF, in a mobile signals unit.

    The first place name is the "Cotton Mill Transmitters". He refers to having served in Chittagong before being moved to the "Cotton Mill Transmitters" for several months. Several months isn't an insignificant amount of time so I'd really like to find out where this might have been, but I can find nothing to give me any clues. From the way that he words his letter, I'm guessing that it's not a million miles from Chittagong. He says, "...served at Chittagong until moved to the Cotton Mills Transmitters for several months until our MSUs were moved down to Akyab..." The "moved down" suggests to me that Chittagong and the Transmitters were close together - the area from which he was "moved down". Would anyone happen to know where these transmitters were?

    The other place name is "Myngladong". This, he refers to in the sentence "...our MSUs were moved down to Akyab & then on to Ramree (en route to Rangoon) and Myngladong." Google throws up no references to Myngladong at all. The closest I can find is "Mingaladon", in Rangoon itself.

    Thanks very much in advance for anyone who can help to throw any light on these place names.
    Last edited by elfinblues; 27th June 2018 at 20:27.

  2. #2

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    There was an RAF station at Mingaladon from at least 1939, possibly earlier. At different times it had Forward Servicing, HQ and MU functions. Do you have the name of his MSU?

    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Default

    Thank you, Bruce. Would that be the Mingaladon I've found in Rangoon, or elsewhere?

    In the letter, my grandfather gives his MSU as "5797 MSU", though his service record lists him as being in 5781 MSU!

  4. #4

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    As far as I know it was near Rangoon but I stand to be corrected by anyone who knows better. There are quite few MSU ORBs at Kew but neither of those numbers appeared in a quick search. This does not mean they are not there, just that they are not highlighted in the file descriptions. If you want to do any further digging I can point you towards the list of locations where MSUs were located which would be a good way to start.

    HTH
    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

  5. #5
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    Sep 2013
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    Default

    That would be great - thank you, Bruce. Much appreciated. I am a novice when it comes to tracking down files that are more deeply hidden at Kew, so any pointers you might be able to give would be an enormous help - thank you.

  6. #6

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    I would start with these:
    AIR 23/2890 1945 - 1946
    R.A.F. and Royal Indian Air Force in India: location of units

    -
    AIR 10/3960 1944
    Location of Units in the Royal Air Force Jan. 1944-June 1944 Issue 40-45

    (the files immediately before and after this cover earlier and later dates so take this file number as a 'starting point')

    These are useful if you are visiting in person. Besides tracing the movements of a unit, you can see what other units (squadrons, MUs, RAF Regiments, signals etc.) were at the same place at the same time.

    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

  7. #7
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    Sep 2013
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    Default

    Thank you Bruce - much appreciated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Delaware, USA
    Posts
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    Default

    Did he served anywhere near Bombay? If yes Cotton Green is one possiblity (The name derives from Cotton exchanges - which probably existed near Cotton mills)

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