- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Flying Officer Graham Skellam
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Royal Air Force
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 08 December 2004
This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Congleton Museum on behalf of Graham Skellam following the display of his war memories in the museum's World War II Exhibition. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.
Graham Skellam was trained in 1943 in South Africa on Tiger Moths at No. 6 Elementary Flying School, Potsheftrom and on Harvards at No. 27 Senior Flying Training School, Bloemfontein.
He travelled from South Africa to Heliopolis, Egypt, via trains and flying boats arrving December 1943.
After ten weeks operational instruction on Hurricanes he was posted to India for further training. He was then assigned to 113 Squadron at Palel, Northern Assam. This was ten weeks after The Battle of Kohima; the turning point of the Burma war.
113 Squadron was an army liaison unit and flew Hurricane IIC's which could carry a 250lb bomb under each wing.
His involvement in the war began in September 1944 and lasted until the fighting was over
He moved from Palel to Yazago on 19th December as the Japs were retreating and then on to Onbauk and Ondaw. Mandalay was then captured and the Squadron was re-eqipped with Thunderbolts. Mr. Skellam recalls the wall that was built round Mandelay in order to keep the Burmese out and not, he has added, the Germans.
Altogether Flying Officer Skellam flew 154 operational sorties against Japanese positions.
Graham Skellam has lived in or near Congleton for 82 years.
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