China Burma India Theater (CBI) (later IBT, or India-Burma theater) 1 China Burma India Theater (CBI) (later IBT, or India-Burma theater) 2 China Burma India Theater (CBI) (later IBT, or India-Burma theater) 3 China Burma India Theater (CBI) (later IBT, or India-Burma theater) 4 AIR-FIELDS IN MIDNAPORE World War II and now AIR-FIELDS IN WEST MIDNAPORE World War II and now AIR-FIELDS IN EAST MIDNAPORE World War II and now AIR-FIELDS IN MEDINIPUR World War II and now AIR-FIELDS IN MEDINIPORE World War II and now AIR-FIELDS IN MIDNAPUR World War II and now
 
 
 
 
 
 
7th Bombardment Group (1942–1945)  India (B-17, B-24).

Salboni
Air Field

 
Type
Military airfield
Coordinates
22°36'43"N   87°17'55"E
Built
1942
In use
1942-1946
Current condition
Abandoned
Battles/wars
World War II

'A' Flight, 159, Salboni (Salbani), May, 1943. The officer seated centre I've forgotten, but next is 'Chiefy' Hughes who did a wonderful job with the 'new' Liberators during latter months of 1942. I've noted also he returned to England after a breakdown and died summer 1944. Next to him is Sgt.Harper,Fitter 2e. and next to him (front row 3rd left) is Chiefy Warren, NCO i/c Armourers. The officer apart, these are all ground crew (myself back row, right.) Photo Courtesy Of George Barker-Read.

'A' Flight, 159, Salboni (Salbani), May, 1943. The officer seated centre I've forgotten, but next is 'Chiefy' Hughes who did a wonderful job with the 'new' Liberators during latter months of 1942. I've noted also he returned to England after a breakdown and died summer 1944. Next to him is Sgt.Harper,Fitter 2e. and next to him (front row 3rd left) is Chiefy Warren, NCO i/c Armourers. The officer apart, these are all ground crew (myself back row, right.) Photo Courtesy Of George Barker-Read.

Dan Brooks In Front Of Just Jake at Salbani. Picture Courtesy of Alasdair Brooks.
Dan Brooks In Front Of Just Jake at Salbani. Picture Courtesy of Alasdair Brooks.

The Salbani Christmas Show 1942. A burnt-out basha used as stage, a harmonica group performing while Lofty Laughton sits at piano. Note mike stand, and the loudspeaker is a domestic radio set. Photos & Text Courtesy Of George Barker-Read.
The Salbani Christmas Show 1942. A burnt-out basha used as stage, a harmonica group performing while Lofty Laughton sits at piano. Note mike stand, and the loudspeaker is a domestic radio set. Photos & Text Courtesy Of George Barker-Read.


356 Squadron Taken at Salbani. Picture Courtesy of Joe Carberry.


Billet at Salbani. Photo courtesy of Thomas Oliver (ex 159 Squadron Groundcrew).


Salbani Dining Hall. Photo courtesy of Thomas Oliver (ex 159 Squadron Groundcrew).


Salbani Village. Photo courtesy of Thomas Oliver (ex 159 Squadron Groundcrew).

albani Group. Photo courtesy of Thomas Oliver (ex 159 Squadron Groundcrew).
albani Group. Photo courtesy of Thomas Oliver (ex 159 Squadron Groundcrew).


Salbani Group. Photo courtesy of Thomas Oliver (ex 159 Squadron Groundcrew).


Salbani Basha. Photo courtesy of Thomas Oliver (ex 159 Squadron Groundcrew).


Photo shows BZ838 'O', a Mk III Lib of 159 Squadron, after its crash landing at Salbani at 00.56 on 25 Sept 1943. Pilot: Freddie Stokes, who suffered a compound fracture of the left lower leg and was in hospital for months. 2nd Pilot: Tony Johnstone, perforated eardrum. It ended his RAF flying career. Nav: Denis Boissier, residing in S. Africa. Rear gunner: Paddy Goodison Boissier and Stokoe escaped from the top hatch and missed the No. 2 prop running at full speed by inches. They were basically uninjured but were given a full bottle of French cognac to polish off...which they did! Air gunner: Dennis Stokoe - simple fracture to the left hand. Picture & Text Courtesy of Matt Poole.


Salbani Control Tower. Photo courtesy of Thomas Oliver (ex 159 Squadron Groundcrew).

 


 

 

Life at Salbani by Tony Donell

Written by Mike Jones
Thursday, 04 February 2010 12:32

Tony Donell

Tony (second pilot to the Harrison crew) kept a diary whilst at Salbani. The text of the diary is unique in that it gives an almost day to day account of what it was like to be at Salbani. Except for the words in brackets, the text set down is a true and accurate copy of the contents of Tony’s diary.

Wednesday September 13th (1944): Up at 4 a.m. and to breakfast - fried bread, bacon and egg and not too bad. Usual rush to the ghari with kit and rations - but we didn’t fly. This is getting a bit boring - aircraft ‘D’. Went to village later in morning with Bob Postle (Australian with 356 Squadron) - interesting, and my first visit. ‘Evening in Paris’, 3.4 in one shop, 1.4 in another ten yards away - so Bob didn’t buy either. Looked round market - also a bloke with a skull liberally splashed with red paint and also a piece of white cloth splashed with red - he drew a crowd but what mysterious tricks he was up to I have no idea. Paddy fields are well under water and growing quickly. We took a gun out after lunch and walked across fields - what fools in the midday heat. I felt pretty sick so we lay beneath a tree after penetrating some bush; after we came back - a shower cools things down temporarily. Op’ was Moulmein South railway station - first combined 355 and 356, and a success. More »

 

 

 

Tug Wilson

Written by Mike Jones
Sunday, 23 August 2009 11:28

I was born on the 7th November 1923. Though my birth certificate reads Alfred I was always called Tug. It is something to do with all Wilson's being called Tug, my dad was called old Tug and I was called young Tug. At school I only answered to the name Tug.
As a lad I always wanted to join the RAF. I tried to join in 1940 but was told I was too young. I was already a member of the ATC (with the rank of corporal) at Kelly College in Tavistock, which was where I lived. In 1941 I applied again, was given my RAF number (1314681), tested and then sent home to await my orders. The RAF paid for me to attend classes four days a week at Kelly College so that I could improve my education in order to be considered as a pilot. I got fed up waiting and applied to the Fleet Air Arm. They were happy for me to join, I reported to the recruitment centre at Plymouth. I went to the Royal Navy section of the centre and started filling in the relevant forms. The Flight Lieutenant, who enlisted me originally in the RAF, came out of the RAF section, recognised me and asked what was going on. The Royal Navy could not take me as I already belonged to the RAF. Nine months later I got called up by the RAF but unfortunately my education standard was not sufficient to be considered for pilot training and I was allocated to wireless operator/air gunner training. More »

 

Salboni Air-Field (December 2010) – Photo: Arindam Bhowmik
Salboni Air-Field (December 2010) Photo: Arindam Bhowmik

Salboni Railway Crossing (December 2010) – Photo: Arindam Bhowmik
Salboni Railway Crossing (December 2010) Photo: Arindam Bhowmik



 

356 Squadron RAF

Description of the Squadron's Badge
An elephant's head, affrontee
Squadron's Motto:
Liberamus per caerula (We liberate through tropical skies)
Formation date:
18/8/45 at Salbani, India

No. 356 Squadron RAF was a short-lived long range bomber squadron of the Royal Air Force between 1944 and 1945.

History: The squadron was formed on 15 January 1944 at Salbani, Bengal, British India, as a long range bomber unit equipped with the Consolidated Liberator. The squadron attacked Japanese bases in South East Asia and planted mines outside enemy harbours. In July 1945 the squadron moved to the Cocos Islands to prepare for the invasion of Malaya. The end of the war came before the invasion was carried out and the squadron performed supply-dropping and transport duties until it was disbanded on 15 November 1945.

 

 

 

160 Squadron RAF

Description of the Squadron's Badge
A Singhalese lion rampant holding a Singhalese sword

Squadron's Motto:
Api soya paragasamu (We seek and strike)
Formation date:

No. 160 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force unit during World War II, when it flew for four years in a number of roles including heavy bomber, minelaying, reconnaissance, special operations and transport unit in the Middle East and South-East Asian theatre of World War II.

Brief History:

Disbanded Merged with No.178 squadron on 15/1/43. Reformed 22/11/1942 (yes, this is correct. The second existence of the squadron was formed before the first was absorbed by No.178 Squadron) and Disbanded 1/10/1946 when renumbered as No.120 Squadron. Reformed 3/2/43 and disbanded 30/9/45

 

 

 

RAF 159 Squadron

Motto: Quo non, quando non (Whether not, when not)

Badge: In front of logs enflamed a peacock's head holds a woodman's axe. 159 Squadron was the first four-engined heavy bomber unit in India. The peacock's head commemorates its association with Burma, the axe its pathfinder activities in blazing the trail.

History of 159 Squadron: No.159 Squadron was formed on 1 June 1918 as a nucleus but was disbanded again on 4 July 1918after formation had been suspended to provide reinforcements for France.

On 2 January 1942, No.159 reformed at Molesworth and its groung echelon left for the Middle East in Febuary.

raf_159_Sqn

After being employed on servicing duties, it was posted to India in May. The first group of No.159's Liberators were flown out to Palestine in July 1942 and carried out bombing raids on enemy bases in North Africa, Italy and Greece before flying on to India, the first arriving at Salbani on 30 September. Operations against the Japenese began on 17 November and the long range bombing and reconnaissance missions were undertaken for the rest of the war over targets in Burma, Siam, Malaya, Indo-China and the Dutch East Indies. After Japan surrendered, No.159 was engaged in transport and survey duties before disbanding on 1 June 1946.

Squadron Bases & Airfields
Equipment Used and Dates
Molesworth 2/1/1942 as ground echelon en route to Middle East 12/2/1942.
Liberator II 5/1942-8/1943
Fayid 15/4/1942 En route to Far East 10/5/1942, element remained at Fayid.
Liberator V 7/1943-8/1943
Deolali 24/5/142
Liberator III 8/1943-6/1944
Chakrata 1//1942
Liberator VI 3/1944-7/1945
Salbani 1//1942 - 27/9/1942 Air echelon training at Polebrook with no.1653 HCU 1/1942
Liberator V 7/1944-2/1945
Lyneham 26/4/1942
Liberator VIII 6/1945-6/1946
Fayid 7//1942 (personnel from Nos 147, 159, 160, 454 and 458 squadrons)
St Jean 2/7/1942
Aqir 12/8/1942
Joint squadron restyled as No.160, No.159 aircraft to Far East 16/9/1942.
Salbani 27/9/1942. Detachment
Dudhkundi circa 8/1943
Digri 24/10/1943 Detachment
Dhubalia 9/3/1944 Detachment
Madhaiganj circa March 1944
Digri 15/4/1944
Detachments Jessore, Akyab, China Bay, Drigh Road, Pegu
Salbani 2/10/1945-1/6/1946
detachments Pegu, Santa Cruz, Sookerating
 
 
 
 
Hellbird Herald
 
................................................................

NEWS PUBLICATION OF THE XX BOMBER COMMAND
 
 
 
 
33d Fighter Group (1944–1945)

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