View Full Version : 3 rd Tactical Air force Mosquitos in Burma

1st January 2009, 14:51
I have a copy of an Air Ministry photo released for publication on 23/3/44, the text on the back of the photo is:
Mosquito Bomber Crews in the Far East.
Picture taken at an R.A.F. Station from which Mosquito Fighter-Bombers operate against the Japanese in Burma and Thailand.
Picture Shows:- Climbing into the cockpit for an attack on Japanese communications in Burma - Flight Lieutenant A. Torrance of Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
The Mosquito is shown armed with cannon & machine guns, on the entrance door there is nose art showing Popeye standing on the tail of an S shaped snake with a Jap head (with glasses & cap) also a flat triangle shape with XI above it.
Can any one identify the Squadron & airfield used, an attached newspaper article mentions strafing attacks on sampans on the Sittang river, trucks near Pegu, railway & factory at Bilinon (60 mls NW of Moulmein.
I can Email the photo to any one who is interested

1st January 2009, 17:57

Just a little meat on those bare bones !

From W/C. Jefford's, 'The Flying Camels', (p.268) - 'Since No 27 sqn were then disposing of the last of their handful of Mosquitos, some of their experienced men transferred to 45 Sqn, among them Flt Lt A Torrence with Plt Off E D Rainbow and Flt Lt C S Emeny RNZAF with WO J J Yanota RCAF'.

No 45 Sqn Aircrew 1921-1976
A Torrence, Flt Lt - Sqn Ldr, P (Pilot). 12/4/44-8/3/45.

The said photograph is reproduced (on p.126), in Chaz Bowyer's, 'Mosquito at War'.

If the release date of the photograph is accurate, then it appears as if Torrance/Torrence, was with No 27 Sqn at the time.

Torrance/Torrence, was known as 'Jock', what else ?


2nd January 2009, 13:55
Thanks for the detailed info, the caption on the photo states" Release date - Thursdays Evenings Local , 23/3/44, so the photo must have been taken a few weeks before that date.
Torrance is the correct spelling based on correspondence from his cousin who lives in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire near me

2nd January 2009, 15:41
He gets one mention in "Beaufighters over Burma: 27 Squadron 1942-45"

Page 86

"the introduction of the Mosquito to the squadron's operational activities meant that targets further afield could now be attacked. The most distant operation was by Flight Lieutenant Torrance, who, with his navigator Flight Sergeant Shortis, on 13 January [1944] strafed communications from Pegu, east of Rangoon, to Moulmein - a return journey from Cox's Bazaar in the Arakan, where the aircraft had refuelled before setting out, of some 1200 miles. By contrast, the Beaufighters' longest operation were about 900 miles to places such as Lashio in Northern Burma, Ywathit in Eastern Burma and Bassein in Southern Burma"