Back to Ismailia to complete
setting up of Operations/Fitter Rooms and chain of Wireless Reporting
Units. I was unscathed when a bomb hit my living quarters. Shortly
after, Mudie and I moved to Port Said to find a site for a dish-aerial
Radar Unit, soon to be delivered. German drive to Egyptian border
in western Desert brought nightly bombing raids to Naval Installations
at the head of the Canal.
Arrival of Wing Commander (Tubby) Mermagen DSO,DFC from UK to site
on airfield, alongside our Radar, to house a Hurricane Squadron.
He decided airfield took priority over Radar, so I was to work 80%
alongside him and 20% for Mudie. He was a lovely boss and it was
an interesting job as I had to do a bit of everything until other
officers were drafted in to take over. One of the first pilots to
arrive was my pal, Pilot Officer Joe Irwin (ex Furious) who had
a week's leave. Mermagen granted me 6 days leave to join him. We
went back to Palestine and into Lebanon and Syria, as the Vichy
French there had been subdued. Bathing at Beirut, on to Damascus,
then to the Sea of Galilee and a shortened version of my holiday
in the Jerusalem area.
Others took over my work for Mermagen, who recommended me for promotion.
Germans pushed back to Benghasi, so less bombing. Completed installation
of Radar Unit and started training as Fighter Controller, exercising
with the Squadron. Now a Flying Officer, I received promotion to
Acting Flight Lieutenant (paid) at Christmas
Wing Commander (Tubby) Mermagen DSO, DFC
Pilot Officer Joe Irwin
Pilot Officer Jim Ward
Sea of Galilee
Setting up of Radar Unit at Port Said
Setting up airfield for Fighter Squadron at Port Said
Regular night bombing at Port Said
6 days holiday with Joe Irwin, Palestine, Lebanon & Syria
Squadron installed, Radar Unit ready
Training as Fighter Controller
Promoted to Flying Officer
Promoted to Acting Flight Liuetenant (paid)
ruins at Baalbek, Syria Oct.1941
Joe Irwin at Sea of Galilee, Tiberias Oct.1941
Photo on desk in Port Said April 1942
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