Thought the photo of Hurricane BM999 looked familiar. Checked my album and there it is - identical photo. Also have from the same source a photo of Buffalo W8138, coded NF-O, and the same photo of the AA gun emplacement (no 13.) Obviously the troops shared their photos. I do have the rather faded originals, which Photo Section at Wigram did some work on to produce fairly good prints.
Post by Dave Homewood on Nov 3, 2014 17:40:54 GMT 12
Airmen (all ranks) were not allowed to own cameras in WWII (though a few did, breaking the rules and thankfully getting some unique shots). However there was usually a Photographer on a squadron, there for official purposes, and he normally made a bit of money on the side taking shots and selling prints to the squadron members since they were not allowed to have a camera themselves. This is why often a lot of collections have the same photos in them. It's interesting to see No. 488 Squadron must have had an official photographer with them, unless in this case it was a private photographer who made several prints to hand around his mates.
Great to see the 488 photo's surface again. My Father Bert Clayton did actually have a camera during his time in 488 Squadron taking a good number of photographs during their stay at Kallang and their subsequent escape from Singapore back to NZ. Many of these appear in my book "Last stand in Singapore". There was obviously someone else, possibly an official photographer but I was never able to establish from him which of his collection were from his camera or obtained from other sources. Given the number of times the same photo's appeared in veterans albums I sighted during my research supports the view that someone shared them around the squadron members. I would be keen to find out the identity of the group personal photo's as I do not recognize any as being from 488 Squadron. Incidentally his wartime camera is still in the family being found after he passed away in July.
Dave H, The air-cooled aero engine in the very first image on this thread is presumably a Bristol Perseus sleeve-valve 9-cylinder radial as fitted to TEAL's S.30 Empire boats. The exhaust outlets located well down the cylinders, and the cooling fins just visible on the tops of the head (two lower cylinders in the image), which were in the form of a multi-pointed star when viewed end-on, confirm this is a Bristol sleeve-valve engine. The reduction gear nose housing and ignition harness arrangements also look very characteristic too, although I do not have detailed knowledge of these. Any comments from other Board members? David D
Great photos - Happy to identify known 488 photo's as follows:
Photo 4 Taken on board the "Empire Star" during the escape from Singapore. Flg.Off. Ernie De Souza sharing can of food with Flt/Sgt Stan Guiniven
Photo 5 Similar scene - obviously photo taken minutes later, very likely Flt/Sgt Andy Chandler with can, Sgt. Ian Montgomerie to the left and Lac. "Roo" Robins in left foreground.
Photo 8 Hurricane being serviced at Kallang, Singapore
Photo 9 The squadron C.C. Sqd.Ldr. Wilf Clouston's pride and joy following a bombing raid on 22nd January 1942
Photo 11 Plt.Off. Noel Sharp with W8138 NF-O one of the most photographed Buffaloes. Noel Sharp crash landed after being hit by Japanese fire during his attack run on landing barges from the invasion fleet at Cheribon off the coast of Batavia. Noel was seen to run from his downed aircraft in to an area of jungle but was never seen again. He did not appear in any of the P.O.W camps and presumably was killed by the Japanese. I would not be surprised at that outcome as Noel and two of his fellow Kiwi pilots caused wholesale devastation on the landing craft filled with Japanese troops. The ships supporting the landing craft could not give covering fire to their troops without causing collateral damage to their own. The 488 pilots quickly realized that if they kept low down then the troops on the beach were sitting ducks and the troops suffered great losses until the beach head was established.
Photo's 12 & 13 Showing British army anti aircraft units on Kallang airfield perimeter. Bert commented that they did not bring down one Japanese bombers while he was there but succeeded in keeping the bombers up high !
Photo 15 Hurricane at Tjililitan airfield at Batavia where 488 were based for a short time following their escape from Singapore. No cover - very much unprotected and out in the open.
Photo 19 Brewster Buffalo in a bit of a mess at Kallang following one of the Japanese bombing raids.
Photo 20 What was left of Plt/Off.Jack Godsiff's buffalo W8223 after he clipped a wall on 4th January 1942 following an engine failure on takeoff. He apparently missed the roof of the squadron Dispersal hut by inches!
Photo 21 A.C.2 Fred Hall and A.C.1 Jim Boddy with their Buffalo at Kallang. Person in cockpit unknown.
I am pretty sure the remaining photo's don't relate to 488 Squadron but would be interested in their identification by others. Well done Les would love to see what else you can find in that box !
Photo 1 i assume is the engine out of Awarua as photo 2 is labeled taking the engine out photo 6 is probably ground crew training group at Hobsonville my father is center row far left photo 10 is beechcraft training machine 14 is miles hawk & 16 supermarine vickers all training machines at hobsonville
Terrific photos and thanks Graham for the caption information. The top photo is definitely a Bristol Sleeve valve engine, although the picture appears to be on its side as the sky lights in the hangar walls are at the bottom of the image. Or it could be upside down?
Keep those photo's coming Les - The first of the new batch is quite unique. The two guys standing in the crater are Reg Hall and Jim Boddy. The crater was caused by one of the "big ones" as Bert described it. The bulk of the bombs dropped on Kallang were small in size as the Japanese were keen to not knock the infrastructure around too much ! The cover in the foreground is covering a board top over the ground level foxhole of Stu Smart, Errol Law and Johnny Helmore. They were in it when the bomb arrived and miraculously survived the blast without any serious injuries. The bomb thought to be a 500 pounder fortunately blew relatively soft ground out, up and over them.
The second photo is the main hangar at Kallang which had been long abandoned as it was obviously going to be a target so not much damage ensued to men or machinery. The third photo is new to me and I am not sure that it is taken at Kallang. I have checked my files and can't relate the buildings to those shown at Kallang. They may well be from Seletar, Sembawang or Tengah which all took a pounding from shelling and high level bombing.
Post by lifeboatadam on Nov 4, 2014 21:41:47 GMT 12
When I saw the thread, I selfishly hoped that they would be of 488's 2nd incarnation in the UK as that is my area of interest. But... What a great set of photos!!! And thanks to Graham for putting names to faces for the rest of us!