Gert & Daisy - 230 Squadron and the Chindits

The Short Sunderland, Dornier Do-24, Kawanishi H8K 'Emily' and many more.

Re: Gert & Daisy - 230 Squadron and the Chindits

Postby Kenny » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:02 pm

June 30th 1944 was my dad's 21st Birthday... he spent it in hospital, probably in Dibrugarh... he was one of the lucky ones...

Meanwhile, Gert successfully flew to Indawgyi, and although there was heavy cloud cover and rain a further 40 Chindit's were flown out from the north end of the lake...
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Re: Gert & Daisy - 230 Squadron and the Chindits

Postby Kenny » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:00 pm

July 1st 1944 - Gert successfully completed another mission flying out another 40 injured Chindits...
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Re: Gert & Daisy - 230 Squadron and the Chindits

Postby Kenny » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:39 am

3rd July 1944... the last Sunderland flight to and from Indawgyi... from the records... history might have recorded two lost Sunderlands, as you will read...

1120 departure - 130 minute flight-time... as I type this, they were 20 minutes from alighting on the lake...
With considerably better weather it was agreed to bring forward the time of take off by one hour and aircraft was airborne at 1120 hours. An escort of P-51 (Mustangs) was provided from DINJAN. On this occasion special medical supplies were taken and also some coined currency at the request of the Army authorities.

50 minutes on the lake - a slow turnaround, by their usual standards...
A landing was made at 1330 and after embarking casualties and one very disconsolate Japanese prisoner, course was set for base at 1420 hours.

Film exists of this, showing the prisoner; presumed that at least a further 40 casualties were flown out as not noted...
140 minutes flight-time back to Dibrugarh...
On this, the final sortie, the most favourable weather of any of the journeys was experienced. Base was reached at 1640 hours.
It was rumoured some time later that at 1500 hours (i.e. twenty minutes after the aircraft had left) Japanese fighters machine gunned the lake and sank one of the large rubber rafts which had been used for ferrying the casualties to the aircraft. On both previous occasions the aircraft had been on the lake at this time.
Finally, half an hour after landing and before the refuelling party had gone aboard, the mooring buoy broke and the Sunderland started to drift downstream. However it was recovered by the efforts of the Captain and three of the crew who safely anchored the aircraft until the buoy had been repaired by the Flight Commander and the Navigator.


As the flow of water on the Brahmaputra was quite significant they were lucky to have been successful with this... The flight where Gert had all four engines cut whilst carrying survivors is not recorded in the Squadron records but only in a Canadian press release referencing a member of the crew: WO Ray Guertin...

Nearly completed this review... just one sad event left to note...
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Re: Gert & Daisy - 230 Squadron and the Chindits

Postby Kenny » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:54 am

4th July 1944... nearly the end of the story... from the Squadron records...

DP180 - “GERT”
Departure and arrival time not noted

On completion of ‘O’s share in the operation, the aircraft left DIBRUGARH for CALCUTTA carrying as passengers OC Operation ‘River’ - Wing Commander Drake AFC, and PR personnel. After arrival in CALCUTTA news came through of the loss of aircraft ‘Q’ and so ‘O’ awaited the arrival of the Flight Commander, Squadron Leader Middleton and the Captain and crew of ‘Q’.

JM659 - “DAISY” – LOSS OF AIRCRAFT
1800

‘The most bitter pill of all’.
A very high wind sprang up and without any warning struck the aircraft on the starboard side sending the port main-plane hard into the water. The angle was so steep that water immediately poured through the port galley hatch from which the drogue was streamed to keep the aircraft steady under normal conditions. Water also entered by the front port hatch and the aircraft was lurching at such a precarious angle and the position was so hopeless that the boat guard of F/L Marshall and F/S Turner reluctantly abandoned it. They were picked up by a native craft after their dinghy had been overturned by the storm.


Daisy had been dogged by misfortune throughout the operation, but... :(
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Re: Gert & Daisy - 230 Squadron and the Chindits

Postby Kenny » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:29 pm

Had a busy week so missed a couple of dates for this memorium...

7th July 1944 - the crew of Daisy and Sqn Ldr Middleton arrived at Dum Dum to rejoin Gert for transportation back to Koggala...
8th July 1944 - both 230 crews on board Gert left Calcutta for a 7 1/2 hour flight to Red Hills Lake, Madras...
9th July 1944 - Gert departed from Madras for Koggala arriving at 1325... stories to tell at the beach bar...

That ends 230's story here, but not quite the end of the story... we still have the Burma Bell mystery...

4th July 1944, the little Stinson float plane flew out 4 casualties to Tingkawk
5th July 1944, a further 5 were flown out...

A SEAC article from circa late '44 or early '45 gives the total flown out by this little plane to be 37, but these are the last recorded dates I presently have for her flights... other than being operated by the USAAF I presently have no other information...

That brings this memorium to its conclusion, but not the story... ;)

I'll bring the IWM image postings up to date at my earliest opportunity...
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Re: Gert & Daisy - 230 Squadron and the Chindits

Postby AlexNortonesq » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:59 pm

Thank you Kenny for all your work in bringing this story to us. You have dug deeply into it and produced a wonderful narrative.
Last edited by AlexNortonesq on Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gert & Daisy - 230 Squadron and the Chindits

Postby Kenny » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:41 pm

Tip of the iceberg, Alex... tip of the iceberg... ;)
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Re: Gert & Daisy - 230 Squadron and the Chindits

Postby Kenny » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:49 pm

This is a link to all of my Photobucket images for ABY9 - those already posted included... 107 images in total... this is the best I can do, time wise, for the present moment...

password = Sunderland
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Re: Gert & Daisy - 230 Squadron and the Chindits

Postby Kenny230 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:44 pm

Been a while... same guy, now living in the Highlands... still researching the same material... :mrgreen:

230 Squadron's 100th anniversary takes place this year in August...
An update from previous notes is that all photobucket imagery (sadly) is now history due to their change of policies...
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