By Harley Boxall,Joe Bamford
On Thursday four April 1940 a sign got here via from Air Headquarters that airplane have been to make a reconnaissance of Sabang Harbour and photo any delivery therein. 5 Blenheims took-off from Alor famous person at 1030 and on leaving Sabang at the back of at 1300 hours, Boxall climbed to achieve peak for the lengthy go back sea crossing. He had received an altitude of 9,000 toes. whilst, a few 40 miles from the coast of Sumatra, the oil strain of his starboard engine fell to 0. inside a minute or so, the port engine seized and he was once flying in silence. After a profitable crash touchdown at the sea the workforce waded in the course of the coral, heedless of the cuts inflicted, and fell exhausted at the seashore. The island used to be approximately miles lengthy via one mile throughout, emerging steeply from the shore to a peak of approximately 400 toes and coated with thick jungle all the way down to the water’s area. by way of the morning of the 3rd day they'd been forty-eight hours with no nutrients. They puzzled alongside the seashore and picked up extra wooden and ate unripe ‘plums’. It was once no longer until eventually the 6th day small local boat got here silently around the fringe of the mangrove heading for the seashore, finally rescuing the group.
In September 1940 Harley used to be promoted to flight lieutenant and given command of the RAF Station at Alor famous person in Malaya. sixty two Squadron flew on what Harley later defined, because the first and simply operation that it conducted as a unit, whilst he lead 11 Blenheims to bomb the japanese invasion fleet. opposed to the percentages, all of sixty two Squadron’s plane and crews back to Alor famous person accurately yet nearly half-an-hour when they had landed and whereas the Blenhiems have been nonetheless being rearmed and refuelled, the japanese attacked the airfield. A strength of approximately twenty-seven enemy plane bombed Alor big name thoroughly destroying not less than 3 Blenheims and rendering one other 3 broken and unserviceable. because the jap invasion unfold Harley ultimately escaped from Java on 2 March aboard the ‘Tung music’ , it was once one of many final ships to leave.
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Additional info for Devotion to a Calling : Far-East Flying and Survival with 62 Squadron RAF
Devotion to a Calling : Far-East Flying and Survival with 62 Squadron RAF by Harley Boxall,Joe Bamford