Synopsis of Chapter Nine ~ Shaibah & Abadan Days
May 1942 - August 1942


War news was bad. The Germans were into the Crimea and across the border into Egypt, and the Japanese into Burma. The Top Brass decided to give more protection to Kirkuk in Iraq and Abadan on the Persian Gulf, source of our only petroleum.

I was posted to Shaibah to set up a Fighter Sector Operations Room, and a Wing Commander was sent to do the same at Abadan. Journey by rail to Haifa, on to Damascus, and 600 miles on Nairn Trans-Desert bus to RAF HQ at Hubbaniya. Then rail from Baghdad to Basra and motor launch to Abadan where Duke of Gloucester welcomed me! Climatic conditions, dust storms and medical problems made the job difficult. Trips establishing sites took me to the Garden of Eden, Ur of the Chaldees and Kuwait. Moved to Abadan when Shaibah SOR nearly complete. Severe humidity problems there were improved by use of oil company's facilities.

Called urgently to conference headed by General Montgomery near Alamein. Flight mainly by Imperial Airways Flying Boat, landing at lake near Habbaniyah, Dead Sea and the Nile at Cairo. Review of general military situation and Montgomery's plans to break German stranglehold at Alamein. Pre-emptive Rommel strike defeated. Then back to Abadan, mainly by air.

Duke of Gloucester
General Montgomery
F/Lt Castle
Vere Mumford
Field Marshal Rommel
Qurna (Garden of Eden site)
Ur of the Chaldees (Ziggurat)
Dead Sea
Nile at Cairo
Nairn Trans-Desert bus
Sector Operations rooms at Abadan and Shaibah
RDF Stations
Pre Battle of Alamein Conference at Montgomery's HQ
Imperial Airways Flying Boats
Hawker Hart & Hind, and Magister aircraft
Nairn bus crossing Sinai Desert May 1942
Landing stage, Basra May 1942
Desert Urinal Sept.1942
Swimming Gala, Abadan June 1942



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