View Full Version : Hurricane pilot in Burma.

4th November 2010, 19:59
Hi All,

Can anyone verify or elaborate on the following Airman?

Warrant Officer 778104 J. I. Thomson.

258 Squadron, forced to land his Hurricane over Akyab, Burma. He was captured by the INA and ended up in Rangoon Jail.

To be honest I cannot be completely sure of all the above detail!



4th November 2010, 20:17
According to the London Gazette, that RAF registration no. (if that's what it is) belonged to:

778104 Ernest Patrick JAMES (160236) who was promoted to Sgt. on 11 Nov 1944.

258 Sqn was in the far east from 28 Jan 1941 and based at Singapore, Sumatra and Java until it was absorbed into three other squadrons on 18 Feb 1942.

4th November 2010, 21:44
Chris Shores, "Air War for Burma" records Warrant Officer J.I. Thomson, No.20 Squadron, as force-landing Hurricane KW745 "W" in the Mayu area (wherever that is) due to mechanical failure, 20 February 1944..

5th November 2010, 00:14
Hi Steve,

776104 W/O James Ian THOMSON RAFVR - Held Burma (Rangoon).

Unsung Heroes of the Royal Air Force:The Far East Prisoners of War.
Stubbs,Les & Pam.
Grantham:Barny Books,2002.

Thomson was local enlistment in the Middle East (774000-776199), November 1939 - June 1940.


5th November 2010, 08:18
Thanks to all for this brilliant help.

Col and Hugh, that is my man, no doubt about it, Mayu is the peninsula that is almost the last bit of Burma on the Bay of Bengal coast.

Apparently Thomson was shooting up some local shipping when his engine failed and he had to put her down.

David, thanks for your help, I was one digit out there, but it makes all the difference, my mistake.


3rd April 2016, 05:10
Happy to hear Thomson survived.. Another pilot an year later from the same squadron was seen walking towards friendly lines after landing less than 3 miles across.. and was never seen again.

Excerpt from the ORB
"Force landed between MAYU Range and MAYU River . Pilot was alive and unhurt. He was seen walking towards our lines. Before landing he reported rough running engine and a high radiator temperature. W/O Thompson burned the aircraft before leaving it . . Map ref PR690902. "

3rd April 2016, 06:57

"Another pilot a year later from the same squadron was seen walking towards friendly lines ..."

No.20 Sqn.
Hurricane II HW858

Aircraft hit attacking gunpost. Crash-landed, pilot seen walking away. Last reported position 21.35N 95.25E.

1530598 F/Sgt Ronald Frederick BURKILL RAFVR - Missing

Commemorated on the Singapore Memorial.


3rd April 2016, 16:30
Col, thats him. a subsequent unconfirmed report collected by the 14th Army suggests that Burkill got 'arrested by two Burmese and was killed'. No final resting place.