- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Philip Stearn, Douglas Stearn - RAF
- Location of story:
- India and Burma
- Background to story:
- Royal Air Force
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 17 July 2005
This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Odilia Roberts from the Derby Action Team on behalf of Philip Stearn and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.
Douglas Stearn was an Aircraftsman in the RAF. After serving at Pembroke Dock he was shipped out to India. His main task (as I understand) was to locate and retrieve planes that had crashed in remote jungle areas. My father rarely talked about what he found at these sites, though once he mentioned that there was usually a crater at the impact site. As for any remains, I can only imagine. His Unit worked in India and Burma, and (I think) occasionally got within range of the Japanese Army.
More often than not though, his experiences were of a more everyday nature — everyday for the Forces, that is. Troops stationed in sub tropical climates were required to be inoculated against diseases. A medical tent was set up at camp and, curiously, 2 orderlies stood about 20 feet from the tent. Their duties became clear. The injections were administered; the recipients walked from the tent and after 20 feet went down like a sack of potatoes.
I understand that the Unit was also required to assemble aircraft on a beach. The unusual scenario would start with the arrival of crates marked ‘Hindustad Aircraft Corporation’. These contained all the aircraft parts required to assemble a complete aircraft. Rather more complicated than Airfix!
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