Doing additional research for a forthcoming book, I am becoming more and more impressed with the deeds of the men serving in Commonwealth and NEI squadrons during the bitterly fought 55 day Malayan campaign that ended with the surrender of Singapore. Today, I have updated my overview of Commonwealth squadrons – notably about No. 243 and 453 squadrons. One of the other finds was this photo.
It shows a Hawker Hurricane at Kallang airfield, probably early February 1942. By that time the other Singapore airfields had come in range of the Japanese artillery across the straits of Johore and had been abandoned. No. 488 (NZ) Squadron is reported to have received nine of these cannon armed Hurricanes though the operational history is sketchy (to say the least).
Another “find” was the official “Report on air operations in Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies 1941 – 1942” , published as a supplement to the “London Gazette” of February 26, 1948. For those of you interested in the state of preparedness of the defence of Singapore and Malaya it is a real eye opener
The air defence of the whole, immense peninsula had to be carried out with 43 Brewster Buffalo fighters. The defence against enemy shipping was put on the shoulders of two squadrons equipped with obsolete Vickers Vildebeest biplane torpedo bombers that could not even top 100 Mph…
And still, they fought with what they had.