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Thread: 31 Squadron Airman

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    Default 31 Squadron Airman

    Looking for details of the death of Flt Lt Norman Lee BAUGH MC 43524 who was killed on 31-1-1943. Having been captured by the Japanese in Hong Kong in December 1941, he escaped on a raft and evetually made it overland to Bombay.
    I have found a note that he was killed flying 'the Hump', although I am unsure what that is.

    Many thanks
    Martyn

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    Hello Martyn,

    31-1-1943
    No.31 Sqn.
    DC-3 MA929

    Took off from Dinjan en route for Fort Hertz at 1330 on 31/1/43. The aircraft failed to arrive at Fort Hertz and has not been found. It was last seen by a Hudson pilot at 7,000 feet near Kamku, heading for Fort Hertz at 1400 hours.

    AUS401101 F/O (1st Pilot) Hugh John Munro CAMPBELL MiD RAAF +
    1377419 F/Sgt (2nd Pilot) John Orson NICHOLLS RAFVR +
    AUS407107 W/O (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Kenneth Ross PHELPS RAAF +
    CAN R/74121 WO2 (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Joseph Jean Jacques Fernand CASAUBON RCAF +
    1082946 AC1 (Fitter IIE) Thomas Gladstone WILLIAMSON RAFVR +
    43524 F/Lt Norman Lee BAUGH MC RAF + (Passenger)

    All commemorated on the Singapore Memorial.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 26th August 2009 at 13:33. Reason: minor correction

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    Col,

    Many thanks for your detailed reply.

    Regards
    Martyn

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    Default Book on the history of No.31 Squadron.

    Hello Martyn,

    There is a book on the history of No 31 Squadron called "First In The Indian Skies" by Norman Franks. Published in the 1980s. I don't know whether this crash or crew are mentioned.

    From Googling, I found on "Wikipedia" that the Hump was the name given by Allied pilots in the Second World War to the eastern end of the Himalayan Mountains over which they flew from India to China to resupply the Flying Tigers and the Chinese Government of Chiang Kai-shek. The region is noted for high mountain ranges and huge parallel gorges, and transverses the upper regions of the larger rivers of South-East Asia: Mekong, Irrawaddy, Salween, etc. Allied pilots began flying cargo resupply missions over the Hump in April 1942, after the Japanese blocked the Burma Road. Missions continued until near the end of the war, when the Ledo Road opened.

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 26th August 2009 at 13:09. Reason: adding info about the "Hump"

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    Martyn/Norman,

    To save you the trouble of a look-up, here is what Franks has to say:

    Appendix C.
    Squadron Aircraft.

    Douglas DC3

    MA929 June 1942.

    First in the Indian Skies/Franks p.235

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 26th August 2009 at 13:25.

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    Norman/Col,

    Thanks for the additional information.

    Martyn

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    Col,
    I have sent you a e-mail concerning 31 Sqn but not directly to do do with the topic
    Norman

    Martyn,
    Thank you for letting me pass this message to Col through your thread
    Norman

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    Default Thanks for this

    Interested to read the bits of the following thread, picked up by a random Google. HJM Campbell (known to his family as Cam) was my uncle and we have bits and pieces at home about him and his last flight. The version we had was that his plane was last seen being pursued by a Japanese fighter. Cam's photo is on my desk as I write this. I saw his name on the Kranji memorial last year. The family legend was that the flight went ahead in bad weather because a 'bigwig' insisted on travelling though I can't determine from the passenger list who this gent might have been. A family myth possibly. Cam carried the same name as his uncle who died from wounds at Gallipoli (legs shot off while swimming).

    Question for Col Bruggy. Is the mention in the appendix of Franks book the only mention there?

    Quote Originally Posted by COL BRUGGY View Post
    Hello Martyn,

    31-1-1943
    No.31 Sqn.
    DC-3 MA929

    Took off from Dinjan en route for Fort Hertz at 1330 on 31/1/43. The aircraft failed to arrive at Fort Hertz and has not been found. It was last seen by a Hudson pilot at 7,000 feet near Kamku, heading for Fort Hertz at 1400 hours.

    AUS401101 F/O (1st Pilot) Hugh John Munro CAMPBELL MiD RAAF +
    1377419 F/Sgt (2nd Pilot) John Orson NICHOLLS RAFVR +
    AUS407107 W/O (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Kenneth Ross PHELPS RAAF +
    CAN R/74121 WO2 (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Joseph Jean Jacques Fernand CASAUBON RCAF +
    1082946 AC1 (Fitter IIE) Thomas Gladstone WILLIAMSON RAFVR +
    43524 F/Lt Norman Lee BAUGH MC RAF + (Passenger)

    All commemorated on the Singapore Memorial.

    Col.

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    Hi David,

    Couple of mentions of your uncle in "First in the Indian Skies".

    The author, Norman Franks, cites two mentions in the index (pp.91 & 92), I can only find the one on p.91.

    Chapter Five (p.91)

    A.

    During January (1943), some awards were made. Mike Vlasto was Mentioned in Depatches for his work in Burma, and the following were also mentioned: (one of whom, was), Australian T/Sergeant H J Campbell (pilot).

    B.

    David Lord (later VC), took-off on a night sortie on the 12th January (1943) and lost an engine soon after becoming airborne. His crew consisted of Pilot Officer Campbell 2nd pilot (whom l assume is your Uncle), Sgt Rootes, WOP/AG, LAC Roze ACH/AG, LAC Cooper (Fitter/Armourer). While Lord throttled back the burning engine and shut off its petrol supply, Campbell turned the Dak back towards the strip while Sergeant Rootes radioed for the base to keep the flare-path on. Lord took over as the Dak lost height through mist,drizzle and low cloud, to make a successful belly landing although he hit a clump of bamboo which swung the aircraft around and caused more damage than the crash-landing. The Dak was LR235 - "J".

    There is a rather indistinct photo of LR235 after the crash-landing, on the same page.

    That's it, basically.

    I have no scanner, so can't help from that angle.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 25th July 2010 at 14:35.

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    Default 31st Squadron, Burma 1942-3

    Hi Gents,

    This post caught my eye while browsing your forum, so I thought I would join up and ask for your help and advice.

    I have been researching my Grandfather and his time in Burma during WW2. He was a 1943 Chindit who sadly did not return home, dying a POW in Rangoon Jail. After 3 years of extensive research I have found out much about his and his unit (13th Kings Liverpool's) time in Burma. I have began to collate a Roll of Honour for all the personnel that took part in or supported operation 'Longcloth'.

    This is where I could do with some help. I would like to find as many names as possible of the men from 31 Squadron and possibly the 194 Squadron as these were the two units that supplied the Chindits in 1943-44. My main focus would be the crew that supplied in 1942-43, as this would be directly involving my Grandad's time.

    I saw on the post the name of Michael Vlasto whose Dakota crew famously picked 17 wounded Chindits from a jungle clearing in April 1943. This story features heavily in Chindit folklore and is covered in many books. Here is a great link from the 'Life' magazine from back then, covering the story:

    http://cbi-theater-1.home.comcast.net/~cbi-theater-1/life062843/life062843.html

    I hope this will be of some interest to some of you and I look forward to any help you can offer.

    Many thanks.

    Bamboo.

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