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
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.
Commodore Bing Cross
Wing Commander Mudie
Flight Lieutenant Steve O'Donoghue
Suez Canal Zone
Fighter control unit
Wireless reporting units
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
Self and S/Ldr Mudie at Allenby Bridge
Self and Greek friend at Lake Timsah
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