By Harley Boxall,Joe Bamford
On Thursday four April 1940 a sign got here via from Air Headquarters that airplane have been to make a reconnaissance of Sabang Harbour and photo any transport therein. 5 Blenheims took-off from Alor celebrity at 1030 and on leaving Sabang at the back of at 1300 hours, Boxall climbed to achieve peak for the lengthy go back sea crossing. He had won an altitude of 9,000 feet. while, 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 used to be flying in silence. After a profitable crash touchdown at the sea the group waded in the course of the coral, heedless of the cuts inflicted, and fell exhausted at the seashore. The island was once approximately miles lengthy through one mile throughout, emerging steeply from the shore to a peak of approximately 400 toes and coated with thick jungle all the way down to the water’s side. via the morning of the 3rd day they'd been forty-eight hours with no nutrients. They puzzled alongside the seashore and picked up extra wooden and ate unripe ‘plums’. It was once now not till the 6th day small local boat got here silently around the fringe of the mangrove heading for the seashore, finally rescuing the workforce.
In September 1940 Harley used to be promoted to flight lieutenant and given command of the RAF Station at Alor famous person in Malaya. sixty two Squadron flew on what Harley later defined, because the first and basically operation that it conducted as a unit, while he lead 11 Blenheims to bomb the japanese invasion fleet. opposed to the percentages, all of sixty two Squadron’s airplane and crews lower back to Alor big name correctly yet nearly half-an-hour when 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 big name thoroughly destroying no less than 3 Blenheims and rendering one other 3 broken and unserviceable. because the jap invasion unfold Harley eventually escaped from Java on 2 March aboard the ‘Tung tune’ , it used to be one of many final ships to leave.
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