Canadians on Radar in South East Asia 1941 - 1945

The Saga of the Seven Hundred and Twenty Three RCAF Radar Mechanics who served with the RAF in South East Asia during World War II

by Angus Hamilton

and many of
"Those Who Were There"

(Note: Angus Hamilton cannot be contacted directly by e-mail; however if you e-mail me, I will forward it to Angus and he will reply to queries)

 

This volume is part of the Canadian Radar History Project

Canadians on Radar in South East Asia 1941-1945

 

The document as one pdf file with all pages ( approximately 25 megs)

The document as one pdf file in PDF/A format with all pages.

 

This document is in PDF format, and in order to facilitate downloading on low speed conections it has been also been divided into 8 parts.
In this format, the largest download is just under 6 megs.

The files are:

File 1

File 2

File 3

File 4

File 5

File 6

File 7

File 8

 

For information, the Table of Contents is given below

 

Dedication

vi

File 1

Foreword by Air Commodore (ret) Douglas Gooderham

vii

Technical Foreword by William Barrie

viii

Preface

ix

Acknowledgements

xi

Prologue

xii

Maps of the Region

xiv

Part I: The War in South East Asia; the role of radar and the contribution of Canadians

1 Why we were there

1

File 2

2 Where we came from and how we got there

6

3 When, where and how many?

23

4 Canadians on Radar in "The Far East" when the Japanese attacked

28

5 Ground Search Radar in India and Ceylon

40

6 The Imphal Battle, AMES 857 and Jack Wadham

48

7 Portable RDFs/Wigwams/Light Warnings

63

8 ASV: Air-to-Surface-Vessel radar

85

File 3

9 Night Fighters: AI Technology and the Operations of 89 and 176 Squadrons

94

10 Memories of 176 Squadron

104

11 IFF: Identification Friend or Foe

113

12 Rebecca and Eureka

121

13 Support Services

129

14 Repatriation

140

Part II: We Were There

Preface and Synopsis

147

File 4

On Ground Radar

Date of arrival in South East Asia

 

Oswald Luce

5 February '42

149

"All except myself have either died in the prison camps or. . . "

 

 

Edward Goodchild

February

160

". . . having displayed great courage in the face of his Japanese captors"

 

 

Gordon MacPhail

7 February

164

"We left in great haste"

 

 

Carl Tory

5 April

178

"There was always a shortage of repair parts"

 

 

Ed Morgan

5 April

184

"We sawed the 18 inch square teakwood timbers and, with a hand auger. . ."

 

John Greenaway

5 April

188

' . . . my fingers were inches away from a Russell's viper'

 

 

Douglas Gooderham

April

191

"As Command Radar Officer I had a staff ... one third USAAF, two thirds RAF/ RCAF"

 

Olive Roberts

21 June

201

"In spite of our proximity to the enemy, it is a very quiet war, here [Cox's Bazaar]"

 

Frank de Macedo

21 June

216

File 5

"I wouldn't have missed it for the world"

 

 

Geoff Marples

21 June

222

"Grasping the ladder firmly in both hands, I set my foot on the first rung"

 

 

William Ashworth

7 July

234

"The famine did not seem to affect our rations"

 

 

Alfred Owen

23 July

238

"His Burma Star was his proudest possession"

 

 

John Gardner

17 October

243

"In Bengal nothing was safe from predators"

 

 

Al Brown

April 1943

252

"My sixteen months at the Radio School in Bangalore remain a fond memory"

 

Bernard Holt

June

259

"I have always regretted that I was posted away from the barge"

 

 

Fred King

7 August

266

"I had never heard of Eureka beacons"

 

 

Murdock Smith

December

272

"Our work had been observed by a controller who was more impressed than we realized"

 

On airborne radar

 

 

Ed Bastedo

7 June 1942

276

File 6

"Our equipment provided the aircrew with an all-weather all-seeing eye"

 

 

William Hilborn

17 October

280

"The squadron was at the ready every night at dusk and stood down at dawn"

 

Ross White

17 October

288

"Thirty months of continuous summer taught me to appreciate our four seasons"

 

William Barrie

18 October

291

"A box-car-sized aircraft packing case was converted to a temporary workshop"

 

Robert Weeks

14 September 1943

299

"In the past two weeks I've done four drops from a DC3"

 

 

Herb McClure

20 September

305

"I was the only Canadian they had seen in the Maldive Islands"

 

 

 

Vignettes

309

File 7

Looking back from 1998

• Rehabilitation and a tribute to the Legion

313

File 7

• In retrospect: our relationship with the RAF

316

• Some thoughts on India and the break-up of the British Empire

319

• Was it all worthwhile?

321

• The last word

323

Part III: The Details

Appendix I Getting there: By sea and by air

325

File 8

Appendix II AMESs (Air Ministry Experimental Stations)

 

A Ground station types

328

B AMES numbers, names, types and locations

329

C Canadians on AMESs and signals wings

332

Appendix III Squadrons and flying-related units

 

A Types of squadrons and flying-related units

338

B Squadrons and flying-related units on which Canadians served

339

C Canadians on squadrons and flying-related units

341

Glossaries

 

• Technical/Military

346

• RAF and RCAF ranks

349

• Colloquial Hindustani and other terms widely used in India and Ceylon

350

References and Bibliography

352

Geographic Index

356

Names, numbers and names index

359

About the author/editor

364

For notes by or about one or more of "Those who were there"

365

Maps                                                                                                                                     

Asia as of the 1940s

xiv

File 8

Burma and surrounding countries

xv

Japanese Invasion Routes Burma 1942

3

The Battle for Ceylon

4

Convoy and troopship routes from the UK to South East Asia

8

Casualties in "The Far East"

29

Distribution of Canadian radar mechanics on ground stations in India and Ceylon

41

Japanese invasion routes in the Imphal region, March 1944.

49

Topographic Map of the Imphal Valley

52

Assam and Northern Burma

74

Air photo of the airstrip at Broadway

75

Clive in India 1942 - 1945

202

Siting radar barge AMES 8514 near Akyab

263

Radar stations in the Calcutta area

336

Radar sites in India and Ceylon March 1943

337

Some of the larger Allied air bases in India and Ceylon

344

Approximate locations of some RAF stations, naval bases and other places

345

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated: Sept. 30 , 2015