Sunday, September 23, 2018
Text Size

356 Squadron crew in Rangoon War Cemetery

More
6 months 3 weeks ago #5615 by brianj
brianj replied the topic: 356 Squadron crew in Rangoon War Cemetery
Thanks Geoff for that information. Seeing all the war graves brings it home the huge numbers of young men who did not return home. The graves are beautifully looked after by the CWGC.
Regards
Brian

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
6 months 3 weeks ago #5616 by Smith 565
Smith 565 replied the topic: 356 Squadron crew in Rangoon War Cemetery
Gary /Brian,

You're both most welcome. It looks a lovely place to go to, but mired with political problems etc and I doubt I'll ever get there. And I expect the holes made in the countryside by my dad will have been filled in by now!

Do you have any general photos of the setting of F/O Ross' crew graves Brian?

Geoff

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
6 months 3 weeks ago #5617 by brianj
brianj replied the topic: 356 Squadron crew in Rangoon War Cemetery
Hi Geoff,
I enclose some photos of the War Cemetery. I know that the country is run by the military despite there being a democratic elected government which I think will eventually gain the freedom they deserve. We found the country lovely with some amazing sights. The people are really friendly and make you welcome.
regards
Brian

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
6 months 3 weeks ago #5618 by Smith 565
Smith 565 replied the topic: 356 Squadron crew in Rangoon War Cemetery
Hi Brian,

Thanks for posting the additional images; I hadn't expected the setting to be so beautiful. I like the way local people seem to use the cemetery to walk through, sit and chat etc. Less formal and 'friendlier' than the often empty cemeteries on the Western Front.

Regards,

Geoff

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 months 2 weeks ago #5619 by Matt_Poole
Matt_Poole replied the topic: 356 Squadron crew in Rangoon War Cemetery
I'm just adding excerpts from "Signed with Their Honour", the 355/356 Squadrons history, a long out-of-print book put together mainly by the late Mike Jones. From the monthly summary for June 1945:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Two days later sixteen aircraft from both squadrons were detailed to attack Japanese troop concentrations at Alugale Burma (primary) and Japanese troop concentration at Bilan village (secondary). Two 355 Squadron aircraft bombed the secondary target. The bombs fell in the woods and amongst the group of bashas. Six 355 Squadron Liberators returned early due to bad weather. Two 356 Squadron aircraft also failed to reach either target due to bad weather and returned to base early. Five 356 Squadron crews reached the primary target and bombed the ordered area, destroying bridges, leaving scattered fires and large volumes of smoke as well as strafing the area. Aircraft ‘C’ (KH361), a 356 Squadron Liberator, failed to return to base.

On the 19th ... News was received that aircraft ‘C’ (KH361) lost on the 12th, had been located. The aircraft had crashed into a hill side six miles north of Foul Point, eight bodies had been found within.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Also in the book are excerpts from Dave Campbell's diary. Regarding the loss of KH361:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Tuesday, June 12th, up at 04.30, had breakfast and to the nearest transport trucks at 05.15. We took off at 06.55 with Johnny (Huey, second pilot) at the controls of S (KH357). Weather very cloudy, flew at 4000 feet, lots of rain, especially on the Arakan coast and around Ramree. Charlie wanted to cut over the mountains but changed his mind and we stuck to the briefed route. We arrived at our initial point five minutes early and found a three drift wind velocity in the target area. We went in early before the markers were dropped and Hal found the target on a dummy run. We came back and dropped sixteen 260 pound and twelve 120 pound fragmentation anti-personnel bombs from 1000 feet. Just got our bombs away before the rain started. We headed for home and climbed to 8000 feet with cloud all around. We got a pinpoint on the Irrawaddy and turned on ETA at the coast. It cleared up enough to see Ramree and we flew home at 4000 feet. Landed at 17.10. There was a report that our friend F/O Ross and crew landed at Alipore.

On Wednesday, June 13th heard that F/O Ross and crew (in KH361/C) were not reported anywhere and we feared for them. We were quite chummy with his crew. I was especially friendly with F/O Ralph Fisher, his navigator, I felt bad. On the 19th June aircraft ‘C’ was located, crashed into a hill, 6 miles north of Foul Point, eight bodies were found. I often wondered if it was a navigational error that caused them to crash into a mountain in a rain storm. Ralph had counted so much on getting back, his loss made us feel sad and helpless.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Cheers,

Matt

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 months 2 weeks ago #5620 by brianj
brianj replied the topic: 356 Squadron crew in Rangoon War Cemetery
Thanks Matt,
It's very interesting and tragic to know the story behind this crash.
Regards
Brian

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.130 seconds