By Harley Boxall,Joe Bamford
On Thursday four April 1940 a sign got here via from Air Headquarters that plane have been to make a reconnaissance of Sabang Harbour and picture any transport therein. 5 Blenheims took-off from Alor celebrity at 1030 and on leaving Sabang in the back of at 1300 hours, Boxall climbed to realize top for the lengthy go back sea crossing. He had won an altitude of 9,000 toes. whilst, a few 40 miles from the coast of Sumatra, the oil strain of his starboard engine fell to 0. inside of a minute or so, the port engine seized and he was once flying in silence. After a profitable crash touchdown at the sea the workforce waded throughout the coral, heedless of the cuts inflicted, and fell exhausted at the seashore. The island used to be approximately miles lengthy by way of one mile throughout, emerging steeply from the shore to a peak of approximately 400 ft and coated with thick jungle all the way down to the water’s side. via the morning of the 3rd day that they had been forty-eight hours with no meals. They questioned alongside the seashore and picked up extra wooden and ate unripe ‘plums’. It used to be now not until eventually the 6th day small local boat got here silently around the fringe of the mangrove heading for the seashore, ultimately rescuing the workforce.
In September 1940 Harley was once promoted to flight lieutenant and given command of the RAF Station at Alor big name in Malaya. sixty two Squadron flew on what Harley later defined, because the first and merely operation that it conducted as a unit, while he lead 11 Blenheims to bomb the japanese invasion fleet. opposed to the chances, all of sixty two Squadron’s plane and crews lower back to Alor megastar accurately yet nearly half-an-hour once they had landed and whereas the Blenhiems have been nonetheless being rearmed and refuelled, the japanese attacked the airfield. A strength of approximately twenty-seven enemy airplane bombed Alor superstar thoroughly destroying at the least 3 Blenheims and rendering one other 3 broken and unserviceable. because the eastern invasion unfold Harley ultimately escaped from Java on 2 March aboard the ‘Tung music’ , it used to be one of many final ships to leave.
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Harley Boxall was once presented his RAF wings on three October 1936 and was once published to forty Squadron flying Hawker Hinds. On 1 April 1937 he was once published to Bircham Newton in Norfolk to coach with 206 Squadron which was once a common Reconnaissance and coaching unit outfitted with the Avro Anson. He then joined sixty two Squadron almost immediately after it used to be shaped and obtained its first Blenheim in February 1938.
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Devotion to a Calling : Far-East Flying and Survival with 62 Squadron RAF by Harley Boxall,Joe Bamford