The photo album came from visitor Geoff Oliver from UK. His aunt Muriel was the sister of a deceased WW2 veteran Cpl. George Kennedy 991267.
The album is entitled ‘Overseas 1941 – 1945’ and has various photographs from the RAF Career of Cpl Kennedy.
The album starts with George’s voyage to India by sea in XXX 1942 where he landed up in Bombay. The first section of the album has the obligatory sight-seeing photographs of an airman visiting Bombay for the first time. A total of about 26 photographs are featured in this section (And the album below).
In August 1941, George was shipped off to the middle east, arriving at Basra in Iraq. He proceeded by truck to Shaibah and was posted to No.261 Squadron, then flying the Hawker Hurricane. The Squadron soon moved to Palestine and George made the trip by land air and rail, arriving on 1st January 1942.
Left Haifa for Egypt, arriving at Cairo on Feb 20th, 1942. Next to Helawan. From Helwan, they boarded HMT Princess Kathleen at Port Tufik, arriving at Port Sudan on Feb 26th, 1942
Waiting for them at the port was the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable, which took on the Hurricanes of No.261 and No.30 Squadrons. Its destination was Ceylon (Now Sri Lanka.). The task force sailed on 27th February, and about a week later, ON 6th March, No.30 Squadron’s Hurricanes took off from the aircraft carrier to fly to Ceylon.
261 Squadron followed suit, and on March 7th, 1942, they arrived at Trincomalee, and then on to China bay airfield by road.
The Ceylon album has 32 photographs, with about 7 from the HMS Indomitable. About ten photographs are of the Hurricanes of No.261 Squadron in northern Ceylon. Identifiable aircraft include one titled “George Walker’s Prang” showing Hurricane Z5600, and Hurricane BG957
During their time in Ceylon, April 9th, 1942. the island was attacked by Japanese Aircraft operating out of the fleet in Bay of Bengal. 261 Squadron lost 8 aircraft and 2 pilots, but claimed 14 Japanese aircraft shot down.
In January 1943, B Flight moved to Arakan on the Burma front for operations. Then to Calcutta for conversion to Thunderbolts. withdrew to Bangalore. After re-equipping with Thunderbolts, the Squadron operated out of Imphal. George Kennedy was there all the way , recording the events for his album.
The entire album consists of 16 pages with back to back photos – nearly a 100 of them.
Our Thanks goes out to Geoff Oliver for kindly providing this album to be scanned and shared with fellow researchers.