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Synopsis of Chapter Six ~ Changing Jobs & First Holiday
January 1941 to June 1941


 

On my arrival the Italian Army threat to Egypt was not a serious one. However, it became so when the Germans started reinforcing it and pushed our forces back a bit, so the Canal Zone became within range of bombers. Our fighter aircraft had no radar assistance like in England - a particular disadvantage at night when the bombers were operating. The RAF command decided to set up a radar & control system. The arrival of a Wing Commander Mudie at Ismailia heralded the start - a specialist - but few could be spared for Egypt. I was the only one of our pool of pilots, or other personnel there, who had ever been in an Operations/Filter room (see Aldergrove in Chapter 3), so I was lent to him to get things moving. Then I went to hospital with sandfly fever, which made me unavailable for flying for a month, so I continued to help Mudie during my convalescence, while he was still awaiting a replacement from the UK.

As soon as I was fit, I received a posting to a squadron in Malta, but another pilot went in my place because the operations replacement from HQ hadn't arrived. By now Bing Cross was an Air Commodore and in charge of the air defence/radar programme for the whole of Egypt. He visited Ismailia and said I was to stay working for Mudie, as replacements from the UK were difficult - it was the time of heavy German bombing of England. I had quickly learnt much of Mudie's expertise and we were making good progress.

A probable reoccurrence of sandfly fever put me back in hospital and then ten days convalescence. Mudie took 10 days local leave and took me with him to Palestine - a better climate in June. We took the railway across the Sinai desert to Tel Aviv then a taxi to Jerusalem. We stayed at the Scottish Pilgrim Hostel as a base to "do" all the biblical and historic sites. Beyond Jerusalem we visited Haifa, Jericho, the River Jordan, the Dead Sea and Bethlehem.

Keywords
People
Air Commodore Bing Cross
Wing Commander Mudie
Flight Lieutenant Steve O'Donoghue
Places
Ismailia
Suez Canal Zone
Sinai Desert
Port Said
Fayid
Cairo
Pyramids
Lake Timsah
Bitter Lakes
Palestine
Jaffa
Tel Aviv
Haifa
Jerusalem
Bethlehem
Jericho
River Jordan
Dead Sea
Things
Sandfly fever
Radar
Fighter control unit
Wireless reporting units
AMES
Parachute mines
Airgraph
Photos
Hawker Hind over Port Said
Spanish girl friend at Cairo zoo
Mohamed Ali mosque at Cairo
Riding camel at pyramids
Example of an airgraph
Gat Rimon Hotel at Tel Aviv
Mount of Olives at Jerusalem
Wailing Wall at Jerusalem
Church of Nativity at Bethlehem
Old Jericho
Self and S/Ldr Mudie at Allenby Bridge
Self and Greek friend at Lake Timsah

 

 

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