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Synopsis of Chapter Twelve ~ Teheran - (2nd Visit)
&
Abadan again
February 1943 - September 1943


 

Back to Teheran in late February, in horrendous driving conditions, rainstorms, snow blizzards and 30degree frosts at Kermanshah. Little sleep and some damage to our vehicles. 3SOR to be base unit, chiefly controlling aircraft movements until we got promised Radar Unit. I was CO of RAF Station, Mehrabad and RAF Teheran - the latter comprising a met unit, some RAF police, and liaison with local Russian and US Air Force bases. Living conditions as before, but signs of Spring. Extra Hurricane Squadron to look after, withdrawn for replenishment after mauling in General Montgomery's advance into Libya.

Visit to former Royal Palace, containing the Peacock Throne, and my being presented to the Shah. Trip up to 8000ft of the 20,000ft Mt. Demavend. Pilots had seen various game from the air, so we organised a few shoots. On the most successful one we bagged 5 wild boar. On my evening walks I discovered parts of the Qanat system of irrigation (mainly underground). Bizarre treatment of berserk, drunken Russian soldier who injured 3 of my Airmen. North of Mahrabad a 130 mile mountain range rising to 13,000ft separated us from (Russian occupied) Caspian Sea area. Got permission for 4 of us to visit for 48hrs. Dirt road to tunnel at 10,000ft - the only crossing point. Scary driving conditions. Spent night on the shores at Ramsar, former Royal Summer Palace, now Russian Leave Centre. Later partnered Georgian 'Princess' at Charity Ball.

Friendship with Anne Rowlatt, an army nurse sent up to deal with civilian Typhus outbreak. Mehrabad life not too onerous as our Radar Unit still hadn't arrived. Then in early July, I was posted back to the SOR at Abadan to be 2nd in command to Wing Commander 'Ginger' Murray. Hints of a possible Japanese fleet attack on the Persian Gulf installations. Arrived to 120degree shade temperatures and primitive living conditions. Murray often absent, so I was often Acting CO. Arranged a parade and march-past on Sept. 2nd to commemorate 4 years of surviving the war. Able to get in a bit of solo flying again in a Hawker Hart or Tiger Moth, but had to make atrocious 4 hour road journey to Basra to replace worn-out clothing. Regular use of oil co. swimming pool kept me fit through hottest August for years.

Keywords
People
The Shah of Persia
F/Lt Marsh
F/Lt Raitt
F/O Fitzgeral
Anne Rowlatt
Dr Davis
Princess Tamara of Georgia
Wing Cdr 'Ginger' Murray
F/Lt Cardin
King Darius
Places
Kharnaquin
Khermanshah
Bisitun
Py-I-Tak Pass
Hamadan
Qum
Mehrabad airfield
Teheran
Mount Demavend
Kerej
Gach-I-Sar
Chalus
Caspian Sea Ramsar
Darband
Abadan
Basra
Things
Cuneiform writing
Royal Palace
Peacock Throne
Wild Boar
Qanat Irrigation system
Caspian caviar
Typhus outbreak
Persian style picnic
August temperatures
Solo flying
Anniversary parade
Photos
Convoy Habbaniya to Teheran March 1943
Khadimain Mosque nr Bagdad March 1943
Hamadan March 1943
RAF 25th birthday march-past, Teheran May 1943
Lashkarak, Demavend March 1943
Our 'bag' nr Mehrabad April 1943
Road to the Caspian May 1943
Ramsar May 1943
Nr Basra Oct 1943

 

 

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