|Date of Crash||14 Aug 44||Aircraft Type||Hurricane II|
|Pilot details||Plt Offr Michael Blake|
|Short Text||Cr L near Tamu after Glycol leak and engine failur|
|Details||On 14th August 1944, we were on a sortie of Hurricanes to attack a target on the Chindwin River. We had crossed the Burma border when I noticed splashes on the dashboard and the engine temp rising. I called the leader and informed him that I had a glycol leak. He told me to jettison my bombs and return to base. Since I was not sure that I would make base and I was not keen on bailing out over the densest forest that I had ever seen, I made for a village called Tamu. I knew there was a grass strip in the vicinity of Tamu. As luck would have it, the moment I got to the airstrip, the engine seized. I then proceeded to land on the airstrip. I had to belly land the aircraft as it was the monsoon period and the airstrip was most likely water-bound. Landing wheels down would have been dicey. On landing I got out and ran into the jungle. However the undergrowth was taller than me. As a result, I was forced to walk on the road leading to Tamu, which was a few miles away. I was armed with a sten gun, a pistol and a kukhri. I have never been so scared in my life. The army had taken Tamu but had not reached the airstrip. On my hike I passed a two-man Jap tank, which had been knocked out. But I was not interested in investigating it!! When I finally arrived on the outskirts of Tamu, I was stopped by a West African soldier who was on guard duty on the road. He must have been surprised to see me coming out of the wrong side, for he lined me up with his rifle. I did not know how to address him, and all I could think of yelling was SAMBO!!! Not very politically correct these days!! The CO of the Africans told me that when they took the village they counted about 800 dead Japs. I was very surprised as two other squadrons and mine had bombed Tamu for three days and I had not seen even one Jap. There was a journalist covering the capture of Tamu. He was returning to Imphal and gave me a lift back to my squadron. The looks on the faces of my squadron comrades when I walked into the Mess were one of amazement! I don't think they expected to see me again so soon!!|
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