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A Goodinson

621196 Cpl Arthur Goodinson RAF 1907—1974

Arthur Goodinson, born in Rotherham, Yorkshire on 19 May 1907, was the youngest son of Mary and John William Goodinson, a coalminer. In 1930, Arthur married Margaret Littlewood, his childhood sweetheart and first cousin.

A skilled iron foundry moulder, Arthur Goodinson joined the RAF on 21 September 1938, as the Munich Crisis deepened. By late 1939 he had advanced to Leading Aircraftman and Margaret had joined the ATS, the women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service of the Army. The couple by then had three youngsters: Roy, Mary, and Freda.

    Cpl Goodinson 1940
    AC A Goodinson RAF c1938 (Foster family collection)

When war was declared that September the country prepared itself for battle, expecting heavy Luftwaffe air-raids on major cities and towns. A mass evacuation programme was organised, sending young children to billet with families in safer areas, often in the country. By war’s end, the United Kingdom had suffered 60,000 civilian dead and 86,000 wounded, in Luftwaffe air-raids and V1 or V2 rocket attacks.

    Spiveys Farm Woodsettes 1940
    Spivey’s Farm, c1940 (Goodinson family collection)
    Mary and Arthur Goodinson with their children: Mary aged six, left, four year-old Freda, centre and Roy (right) aged seven. Billetted at Spivey’s Farm in Nottinghamshire, the children were able to rejoin their mother in 1942 after she left the ATS, not long before Arthur left for 211 Squadron in India.

After his initial RAF training, Goodinson was posted to RAF Finningley in Yorkshire, then RAF Cosford and RAF Upper Heyford in Oxfordshire between 1940 and 1942, before undertaking a Fitter/Engines course and a Flight Mechanic/Engines course at RAF Weeton near Blackpool later in 1942. In one of the odd coincidences of war, his young daughter Mary’s future husband was posted to Weeton at the same time, on an Fitter/Airframe course.

In 1943, Arthur arrived home on embarkation leave for his posting to 211 Squadron, about to reform in India. Margaret was by then expecting their fourth child. They were to have seven children in all, with three more little ones born post-war. On 20 April 1943, Arthur Goodinson took ship for India, via South Africa, aboard the transport RMS Aorangi.

Flight Mechanic’s Diary 1943—1945
On arrival in India in August 1943, Arthur began keeping a careful diary-cum-scrapbook, backdating it to the start of his journey. The lined notebook he found for the purpose, of Air Forces in India issue, was laid out as an 8 column cashbook. Its large format offered plenty of scope for keeping an almost daily account of his Service life as a Flight Mechanic (Engine), on and off duty. His brief narrative remarks were written on each right-hand page. The free facing page he then filled with relevant cuttings, menus, maps, pamphlets, programmes and the like.

Arthur Goodinson said little of his war service to his family, except to mention the typhoon of May 1945 and an occasion when their airfield was attacked, during which he jumped into a dugout only to find it already occupied...by a snake. But among his papers was the diary he had kept almost every day until his repatriation in August 1945. If the book itself is somewhat worn by the passing years, his essential tale stands undimmed.

Mary remarked, of her father’s war-time diary, “anyone reading [it] must have thought he spent the war playing crib with Blackie but with the number of operations flown, the ground crew must have been working their socks off to keep the aircraft serviceable.” Indeed so, and the 211 Squadron story would be much the poorer without the various personal diaries that RAF men were not supposed to keep.

    Blackie Cribbage partner02
    Blackie, c1944 (Goodinson collection)
    In off-duty hours at Bhatpara in early 1944, they did play a lot of cribbage. Although very often the loser, Blackie soon improved enough to win quite a few rubbers, to Arthur’s initial chagrin. From mid 1944 at Feni, Blackie seems to have suffered a long period of ill-health, before returning to the Squadron later that year. By October he had been posted elsewhere. The two mates caught up again at Bangalore in mid 1945. “A Grand Lad” in Arthur’s books, Blackie may have been a Manxman—the ballad
    Ellan Vannin (Island of Man) was his favourite song.

Arthur’s brief laconic comments about work, social life, aircraft, aircrew and operations add much to the story of the Squadron, not only from the NCO groundcrew point of view but in providing an independent source for identities sometimes obscure or missing from the formal Squadron record. His notes on aircraft and aircrew refer, in the main, to those of ‘B’ Flight—his Flight.

What follows is a transcript of the diary of Cpl Arthur Goodinson RAF, as written. Occasional missing or illegible text is noted in the usual way [...], as are any added [notes] of my own, while the few spelling errors and some inconsistencies in punctuation are silently corrected.

Although it was impractical to reproduce the many cuttings pages of his diary, Goodinson also kept a considerable collection of photographs in their own, separate album. Given the sheer length of his diary, I have therefore chosen to include photographs from the album at relevant points. Like many of his fellows, knowing the scene so well, if he wrote a caption at all it was of the briefest. Any added titles and commentary are my own and shown in the usual [style].

India via South Africa

    India via South Africa
    [India via South Africa (Goodinson collection)
    The title page of Arthur’s diary, decorated with the RAF SEAC flash from his issue bush-hat.]

1943
April 6th Monday
Left Andover & arrived at No 2 PDC Morecambe [No 2 Personnel Despatch Centre had moved to Morecambe in February, from Wilmslow. The PDCs were staging posts for personnel in transit].

April 11th
Left Morecambe, arrived Gourock [on the Clyde River] via Liverpool having engine trouble on the way. SS Oarangi. [sic: Aorangi]

    Aorangi awm 30293002
    [RMS Aorangi in DEMS guise c1942 (AWM image 302930)
    Requisitioned for war service in July 1941, Aorangi was fitted out in Australia as a Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship under the
    DEMS scheme, with degaussing gear and a gun emplacement on the rear deck (just visible in this image). She took part in the evacuation of Singapore in January 1942 and before the war’s end had carried some 42,000 troops and civilians, finishing with final stints as a depot ship for the invasion of Normandy, and as Commodore’s ship of the Fleet Train to the British Pacific Fleet.

    Built in 1924 for the Union Steamship Co of New Zealand by Fairfields of Glasgow, Aorangi (“cloud piercer”) carried the Maori name of Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. A quadruple-screw vessel of 17,491 gross register tons, her two 24-cylinder Sulzer diesel engines made her capable of over 17 knots. Well-known on the Australia—New Zealand—Canada run, in the 1920s she was the fastest merchant-service motor ship in the world. Returned to service on the Vancouver mail run in 1946, she was finally retired and broken up in 1953.]

April 20th
At last we left Gourock, having had to remain on board all the time, escorted by a destroyer.
[Having thus missed sailing with troop convoy WS29, Aorangi sailed from the Clyde in company with Clan Lamont as convoy WS29A with a succession of escorting destroyers: HMS Anthony, HMS Brissenden, HMS Lewes, and HMS Boreas.]

April 26th
Arrived Casablanca in the morning, refuelled & left in the afternoon.

    Curly shipboard
    Curly (Goodinson collection)
    [Shipboard, plainly the voyage to India in 1943: Curly or Curley Iley. The casual dress suggests reasonable weather, but not tropical.]

May 1st
Arrived Dakar [capital and port of Senegal in French West Africa] & stayed overnight, leaving the following morning.

May 4th
Arrived Freetown & stayed overnight. Officers went ashore.
[The ships arrived at Freetown, capital and port of Sierra Leone in West Africa, and there rejoined the main body of convoy WS 29.]

May 5th
Left Freetown.

May 18th
Round the Cape, weather very bad.
[His 36th birthday on 19 May passed without remark.]

May 21st
Arrived Durban & stayed in dock overnight.

May 22nd
Arrived at Clairewood Camp which was about 6 miles away by train.

July 25th
Left Clairewood & Durban.
[This eight week interlude at Durban, though unexplained, may have been connected with the delays in India in getting the new Beaufighter squadrons organised.]

    Sammy V Curly
    Sammy, V? & Curly (Goodinson collection)
    [As before: 1943 India-bound. The similar deck layout and casual dress suggests this is the same vessel, though whether Aorangi on the South Africa leg or Strathaird on the India leg is uncertain. Curly Iley is mentioned several times in Arthur Goodinson’s entries, in October 1944 and in May and August 1945, but Sammy not at all—although he does appears in another photograph with one
    Tosh.]

August 7th
Arrived Alexander Docks, dock overnight.
[The draft disembarked at Bombay, now Mumbai, having sailed from Durban aboard the P&O liner Strathaird. Although convoy sailing details are not to hand, Arthur kept his Berthing Card.]

    AWM 303977 Strathaird02
    [Strathaird March 1940 (AWM image 303977)
    RMS Strathaird featured on the P&O Australia run via Suez, Bombay and Colombo from 1932. Of 22,544 gross register tons and capable of 22kts with her twin turbine-electric propulsion, she was requisitioned as a troopship in 1939. In 1940, for example, she transported Australian and New Zealand troops to the Middle East. After a DEMS re-fit, she mounted a six inch gun right aft. Returning to passenger service on the Australia run in 1947, she was retired in 1961 and scrapped.]

Aug [...]th
Arrived at Worli Camp which was about 6 miles from Bombay.

Sept 5th
Left Worli & Bombay.

Sept 6th
Arrived at Allahabad & Phaphamau to join 211 Sqdn who were re-forming.
Pilots commenced their training on
Beaufighters.

Nov [...]th
Left Phaphamau & Allahabad having completed their training.

Nov [...]th
Arrived Ranchi & Hatia [a suburb of Ranchi] & commenced RP [rocket projectile] training.

[1944 SILCHAR]
1st Jan 1944
Left Hatia, Ranchi & Barkakana to commence ops.

Jan [th]
Arrived Silchar, what a dump.

    Ablutions
    Ablutions (Goodinson collection)
    [Might that be the ever-patient crib partner Blackie, grinning, third from the right?
    No date, no place in the laconic Goodinson style, but perhaps the novelty value of an RAF ablutions block in Bengal hints at an early date, perhaps 1943, perhaps early 1944.]

Jan 11th
Left Silchar, having lost two aircrews on ops, their names were F/O Bovier & Sgt Anderson in a/c ‘P’
LZ114 & F/Sgt Seeley & Sgt Short in a/c ‘S’ LZ130.
[None of these men survived. Cpl Goodinson seems to have been writing up his diary for this period after some interval, the losses having occurred on 13 and 22 January respectively.]

[BHATPARA]
Jan 12th
Arrived Commilla & Bhatpara [Bhatpara was about 10 miles South of Comilla on the road through Feni and on to Chittagong, some 75 miles away on the coast.]

Feb 18th
Blackie, Chotah Gardner [chota: small, little] & I went on leave to Calcutta. The route taken: Bhatpara to Comilla by Gharry [originally horse-carriage, but in RAF slang, any wheeled transport including lorries] 15 miles. Comilla to Chandpur via Laxham Junction by train. Chandpur to Gualando by ferry steamer. Gualando to Calcutta by train. Had a marvellous leave.

Feb 19th
Commenced work & learned we had two more aircrews [lost] on ops, names were: F/Sgt Donaldson & Sgt Bewsher in a/c ‘R’
LZ363. F/O Sharp & F/Sgt Pottinger in a/c ‘R’ LZ122, the pilot was seen to crash land the kite after being hit by enemy fire & the observer was seen to bale out. Hope they both got away with it, as owing to the type of country it was impossible to lob down & pick them up. [Sharp and Pottinger were taken PoW and were released from Rangoon Jail in May 1945. It was unfortunate that the call-sign letter was so quickly re-issued: Donaldson and Bewsher did not survive.]

Feb 27th
Went to Comilla with the liberty-run, had a meal in the ‘V’ Cafe, saw George Formby in a film called Keep [Fit] at The Palace.

Feb 28th
Half-day. Went to Comilla on the Ration Gharry, bought a Mohammedan hat for Roy as a souvenir, peregrine [?] brooch for Margaret.
Poor shopping place, this.
Went to the Town Hall & saw an ENSA show which was quite good.
Choked with dust and had a sore arse on the way back. Altogether a dead loss this place.

Feb 29th Tuesday
W/C [W/Cdr Pat Meagher, CO] returned from Ranchi in a/c ‘M’ LZ157.
Worked on a/c ‘P’ 263 [ie Beaufighter LZ263 ‘P’, all the early aircraft of the Squadron being from the LZ batch] tank change, worked all day for sweet Fanny Adams as the “new” tank was also u/s.
Finished work at 16:00hrs & had sub-cheese hair cut. [sub-cheese:
airmens Urdu for “everything, the bloomin’ lot”]

March 1st Wednesday
A/c LZ113 ‘V’ & LZ364 ‘R’ on ops which were successful.
Went to Feni to take u/s fuel tank & collect s[erviceable] one.
Played Blackie at crib [cribbage] won 2-1. Dominoes won 2 [...].

March 2nd Thursday
Stand-down, no ops, fitted s[erviceable] tank in LZ263 ‘P’ [ha...]
Played Blackie at crib won 2-0.

March 3rd Friday
‘M’ & ‘T’ on ops, W/Cdr [Meagher] in ‘M’ returned after an hrs flying u/s.
Inspected tank in LZ263 ‘P’ found it OK.
Finished work at 16:00hrs.
Mal Drake bought me two fancy leather handbags for Marg & Freda [their younger daughter].
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1.

March 4th Saturday
‘W’ & ‘V’ on ops, which were successful. Panic about Vokes Air Cleaners which had been fitted wrong way in.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0.

March 5th Sunday
Stand-down, no ops. On aircraft guard tonight i/c [NCO in charge].
Played Blackie at crib won 2-0.

March 6th Monday
Came off guard at 7 o’clock, everything OK. Stand-off until 16:00hrs.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-0 & 2-1.
‘W‘, ‘M‘, ‘O’ & ‘P’ on ops, straffed Jap airfields & kites.
‘A’ Flt lost a kite F/O Fuller & F/Sgt Cook in a/c LZ153
[sic:
LZ227 ‘K’ according to Form 540, Form 541 & OpRep Sortie report. F/O K Fuller RAAF and his navigator Sgt Cook posted missing believed killed. LZ153 ‘K’ was shot down with the loss of Goddard and Boon on 28 May].
Nips lost 10 aircraft. Good show. Doh Ek Ek [2 1 1—the Squadron].

March 7th Tuesday
‘R’ & ‘P’ on ops, straffing boats on the Irrawaddy were successful.
Played Blackie at crib won 2-0 & 2-1. No ‘M’ [...].

March 8th Wednesday
‘R’ & ‘T’ on ops. ‘R’ failed to return the pilot was F/O [
Luing] & his observer was P/O White.
This is the third kite with the letter ‘R’ [
LZ364] that failed to return.
Received Tit-Bits from Tom & wrote ALC in reply.
[A British weekly magazine under the Newnes banner, Tit-Bits ran for over a century, as a summary of news with humour and short-stories. Publication ceased in 1984.
ALC: Air Letter Card. Servicemen were allowed one ALC and one Airgraph, post-free, per week. Both offered very limited space for written messages, as
Geoff Hoyes Christmas Airgraph example shows. ]
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0.

March 9th Thursday
‘W’ & ‘P’ on ops, both returned OK but were shot up.
S/Ldr MR [Muller-Rowland] was in ‘W’ [LZ131] & was lucky to make a good landing as he couldn’t get below 2,400rpm as his CSU [constant speed unit, the hydraulic governor controlling engine/propeller revs] conduit had been hit.
No mail. Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0.

March 10th Friday
‘M’ & ‘V’ on ops, both returned OK, W/O Hall in ‘V’ got a loco & shot up the carriages.
Finished job on ‘W‘, knocked off work at 16:00hrs. Knock up yours truly.
No mail. Played Blackie at crib won 2-0 two good games.

March 11th Saturday
‘P’ & ‘S’ on ops. ‘S’ returned OK but W/O De Pugh (Dippy) [sic: Depew] & Sgt Woolley failed to return (‘P’ ) [
LZ263 ‘P’]. Going in low to attack they hit a tree & blew up. Bad luck!
Played Blackie at crib won 2-1.
Went to Comilla & saw the film I Married a Witch at The Palace, really enjoyable film.

March 12th Sunday
‘M’ & ‘S’ on ops, both returned OK. ‘S’ had brake trouble.
Played Blackie at crib won 2-1 & 2-1.
Received two Air Letter Cards from Margaret, replied.

March 13th Monday
No ops. [LZ]231 ‘N’ had trouble with boost settings.
Arthur Parfitt & I worked on it & put it OK.
‘N’, ‘W‘, ‘V‘, ‘S’ went to an advanced base near Ramu.
Wrote to Roy, Marg & Freda, Bless ‘em. [The Goodinson children]
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1.
Cpl Birch (Blondie) shot a snake 3ft long outside our basha [quarters, of bamboo and attap construction].

March 14th Tuesday
Stand-down until 13:00hrs & were then told to take the day off.
Liberty run into Comilla cancelled.
Played Flanagan at crib lost 2-1.
Blackie & Chota Gardner on guard tonight.
Ops were very successful but F/O Cruickshank & F/O McKenzie failed to return a/c
LZ237 ‘S‘.
[LZ]113 ‘V’ starboard hydraulic pump u/s.
LZ136 ‘O’ fitted with long range petrol tank. Drop test took place today, OK.

March 15th Wednesday
‘N’ on ops new aircrew who returned OK.
Helped Cpl Parfitt (Arthur) with [LZ]113 ‘V’ everything Tich Hi [OK].
Played Blackie at crib won 2-0.
NCO i/c Bomb Dump Guard tonight.

March 16th Thursday
Came off guard, nothing to report.
‘W’ & ‘V’ on ops, both returned OK.
‘W’ & ‘O’ took off at night on an Air Sea Rescue search.
Played Blackie at crib won 2-1 & 2-0.

March 17th Friday
‘W’ & ‘O’ returned OK, lobbed in at Feni on their way back.
No mail again, wrote usual letter to Margaret.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-0.
Beer in canteen tonight & managed to get a little tight.

March 18th Saturday
‘W’ on ops, returned OK & blew up boat on Irrawaddy.
Played Blackie at crib won, 2-0 & 2-0.
Went to Comilla & saw the film This Above All at The Palace. Damned good film. Letter from Margaret.

March 19th Sunday
‘P’ & ‘X’ on ops, both returned OK.
Flap on at 14:00hrs, ‘M‘, ‘N‘, & ‘T’ took off & returned OK.
Played Blackie at crib won, 2-1 & 2-1.
Wrote to Margaret.

March 20th Monday
Stand-down, no ops, but lots of snags.
LZ136 ‘O’ on test again with long-range fuel tank.
Received a letter from Jackie Horner in S Africa & replied to same.

March 21st Tuesday
Early ops ‘N’ & ‘X’, both returned OK.
Received letter from George in Italy, replied to same
Played Blackie at crib won, 2-1.

March 22nd Wednesday
‘P’ & ‘X’ on ops, both returned OK.
Played Blackie at crib won, 2-1.
NCO i/c Bomb Dump Guard tonight.

March 23rd Thursday
Came off guard, nothing to report, rained like hell during the morning.
OPS cancelled.
Played Blackie at crib won, 2-1 & 2-0.
Thundered & Lightning & rained all night.

March 24th Friday
‘O’ & ‘X’ on ops. ‘X’ returned OK but W/O Adamson & Sgt Moss failed to return [
LZ136 ‘O’]. This was their 13th trip. Had an accident today, manhandling a prop on [...] were standing on the back of a lorry, which collapsed & I got hit on the arm by the falling prop. Don’t know the extent of the damage to my arm yet.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-1, must be losing my grip.
LZ381 ‘P’ pranged on the strip, write-off, pilot & observer got away with it (they were lucky).

March 25th Saturday
Reported sick, slept very poor during the night, my arm was aching like the clappers. Excused duty.
‘W’ & ‘N’ on ops, both returned OK.
Played Flanagan at crib, lost 2-0.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0 & 2-0 [Honour restored!].
Went to the village bazaar & bought a white shirt 4rs/12a [rupees and annas].
Flanagan & Crapper posted to BHQ Calcutta.

March 26th Sunday
No ops, arm much better.
Had a walk to the village market with Ging [Hey, one of a number of “Gingers”.]
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1, lost 2-1.
Played Thornton at crib, won 2-1.

March 27th Monday
Arm much better, dispensed with sling
‘V’ & ‘X’ on ops, ‘X’ returned OK but F/O Waddell & F/O Woodall in
LZ113 ‘V’ failed to return.
No mail.
Played Paddy at crib, won 2-1.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-1.

    paddy and friend BGH secunderabad
    Paddy & a Friend Nov 1944 Secunderabad BGH (Goodinson collection)
    [
    Hospitalised, but in good cheer, clearly the Paddy of many a crib game in the ‘B’ Flight bashas. Arthur heard by letter from him at about this time, too. Paddy was back in the UK by March 1945.]

March 28th Tuesday
‘X’ & ‘Y’ on ops, both returned OK.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1, lost 2-0.
Played Thornton at crib, won 2-1.
Went to the village market, found it very amusing.
No mail today, mail plane lobbed in at the wrong strip

March 29th Wednesday
No ops, worked on tank change on [L]479 ‘O’, also CSU starboard engine.
Oil leak on [LZ]131 ‘W’, tightened up a/s [airscrew?] shaft washer, OK.
Finished work at 20:00hrs, feeling tired tonight.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0.
Played Thornton at crib, won 2-0.
No mail again.

March 30th Thursday
‘M’ & ‘W’ on ops. W/Cdr [Pat Meagher] returned early in ‘M’ (finger trouble?).
S/Ldr MR in ‘W’ had a very successful operation.
Night flying commenced tonight.
Received parcel from Lizzie, no mail from Margaret.

March 31st Friday
‘X’ & ‘Y’ on ops, both returned OK, but ‘Y’ was shot-up, bullet through oil cooler.
No mail again today
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1.
Outer tank change on ‘Y‘.
Bought football boots for Roy from Calcutta, started to get parcel ready for Margaret.

April 1st Saturday
No ops, tank change in LZ479 ‘O’
Played Thorny at crib, won 2-1.
Went to Comilla, deadly ride, too late for the flicks so went to a Wog variety show, which wasn’t bad, Chinese acrobats were very good.
Bought 12 yards of poplin for pyjamas at Rs 1/4 per yard.
On returning to Camp, found that there was a flap on.
Maintenance had returned to work at 21:00hrs.
‘A’ Flight getting ready for early morning move to Ramu.

April 2nd Sunday
Received Janes Journal from Margaret, also Tit-Bits from Tom.
[The highly decorative comic-strip, Jane's Journal—The Diary of A Bright Young Thing appeared in the Daily Mirror every week from 1932 to 1959. Jane was a very popular character and a particular forces favourite.]
Went on air-test with F/Sgt Bell in a/c [LZ]479 ‘O’.
‘A’ Flt moved off OK.
Chiefy Clarke went to Calcutta on an Engineer Officer course, hope that he passes!
Musical interlude by the South Staffs band made quite a change, music while you eat.
[The South Staffordshire Regiment had been active in the Middle East before its duty tour in the CBI theatre, where it turned to jungle warfare.]
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1 & 2-1.

April 3rd Monday
LZ131 [‘W’] & LZ360 [‘T’] flew to Ramu to join up with ‘A’ Flt, maybe ‘A’ Flt in trouble!
Showers of Curtiss Commandos landed today from the frontline with the wounded, poor devils.
[Either from from the battle of Kohima, at this date, or perhaps from Imphal. At Bhatpara, the Squadron was some 200 to 250 miles South of the action. By late June, the Japanese thrusts at Imphal and Kohima had failed and the tide of war in India and Burma had turned at last.]
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-1 & 2-0, must be losing grip.

April 4th Tuesday
No ops, getting kites ready for move to Ramu.
Still having trouble with LZ429 ‘V’.
Bad weather, lots of rain etc, night flying cancelled.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0 & 2-0.
Walked to the village, market day.
Lots of fun & games with the Wogs, arguing the toss about the prices of goods.
Took material to have pyjamas made, cheaper that [way].
No mail again.

April 5th Wednesday
‘M’ went to Calcutta, ‘W’, ‘V’, ‘O’ & ‘Y’ went to advanced base near Ramu.
Showers of Curtiss Commandos landed with stores & casualties from the front-line.
On guard tonight NCO i/c.
[LZ]360 ‘T’ pranged on the strip at Ramu, crew in [...].
Received Airgraph from Margaret [Airgraph: airmail by microfilm].

April 6th Thursday
Came off guard, nothing to report.
Gave spare conna [konna: food] to Chicko for gathering us lachri [lakri: wood, lumber]. Poor devils, hope that mine don’t get as hungry.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0 & 2-0.
Received a L [Letter] Card from Margaret
[LZ]131 ‘W’ pranged at Ramu, engine was shot-up.
also [LZ]360 ‘T’ belly landed, crew got away with it but in hospital. Cpl Goodman & R Mercer were in it [The accident had occurred on 5 April. An engine cut on take-off, recorded as from Rhumkhapalong, apparently on a non-operational task.]

April 7th Good Friday
[LZ]157 flown on to Ramu [NE]488 ‘W’ air-tested ready to go tomorrow
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-1.

April 8th Easter Saturday
NE488 ‘W’ flown to Ramu.
Went to the village & collected 1 pair of pyjamas.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-0 & 2-1.
No mail from Margaret.

April 9th Easter Sunday
‘T’ flown to Ramu, finished for the day at 11 o’clock.
Wrote ALC [Air Letter Card] to Margaret
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-0, he has greatly improved at the game or else I’m losing my grip.
Went to Comilla & saw the film Yankee Doodle Dandy at the Palace. Good show, the ride back was deadly, felt very ill.

April 10th Easter Monday
[LZ]157 ‘M’ returned from Ramu also [LZ]231 ‘N’ shot-up replacement necessary.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0 & 2-1 & lost 2-1.
Hell of a gale in the afternoon, thundered, lightning, & rained like the devil.
No mail today.
[
LZ515] ‘X’ pranged on the strip at Ramu [Mal Haakenson and Jock Ferguson escaped injury].

April 11th Tuesday
All kites returned from Ramu.
Rained like hell in the afternoon, also hailstorm, stones as big as marbles.
Received two AL Cards, one from Margaret & the other from our Florrie & Albert.
Changed gill motor-drive in [LZ]479 ‘O’.
Left England 12 months ago. Lost at crib to Blackie 2-[...] 2-[...]

April 12th Wednesday
No ops. Put the revs up on [NE]488 ‘W’.
Rain, thundered & lightning, packed up for the day at 17:00hrs.
Received letter from Hetty & Ernie, replied to same.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-0, won 2-0.

April 13th Thursday
No day ops, tank change on [NE]488 ‘W’.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-1 & 2-1.
Night ops, ‘N’ & ‘O’ off at 01:00hrs. No mail today.
Ops kites returned OK.

April 14th Friday
Op kites ‘O’, ‘V’, & ‘W’. S/Ldr MR [Muller-Rowland] turned back in [NE]488 ‘W’ owing to bad weather.
‘O’ & ‘V’ went earlier but lobbed in at Feni owing to bad weather. Ops were a success.
Completed tank change on ‘W’ before he went, hell of a job.
Rain, thunder & lightning, place like a duckpond.
Ferry pilot in [LZ]231 ‘N’ nearly “had his lot” on take-off, swerved badly owing to the state of the strip, but managed to pull off the deck, good show!
Cpl Ede (Ted) was a passenger going on leave to Calcutta, wonder what his thoughts were!
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1, lost 2-0.
No mail today.
‘V’ had tail unit shot up.

    Cpl Ted Ede
    Cpl Ede, “Ted” (Goodinson collection)

April 15th Saturday
No ops today, very hot & sultry.
Went over to the village to have a decko [dekko, properly dekho: look] at the Ram Sammi [Ram Swami: festival] “had our lot” as it was all over by the time we got there. No mail today.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1 & 2-1.

April 16th Sunday
W’ & ‘O’ on ops, both returned OK, but ‘W’ had bullet hole in starboard oil cooler.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-1 & 2-1.
Received letter from Mal & replied to same.

April 17th Monday
[LZ]515 ‘X’ & 343 ‘N’ [sic:
LZ383 ‘N’] on ops & [‘X’] returned OK but had bullet hole in main starboard fuel tank. F/Sgt Chambers & Sgt Lovell in ‘N’ failed to return.
[In this case, Cpl Goodinson’s recording of the identity of the missing aircraft brought slips of the pen. Here he has the call letter right but the serial wrong. In his running list of losses, he had the serial correct as LX383 but with call-letter ‘X’.
LZ343 is recorded elsewhere as lost near Chiringa on 12 December 1944.

On 17 April, four aircraft took off shortly after 08:00hrs to attack beach defences, shipping & communications from Mazin to Andrew Bay, returning via Ramree Is and Combermere Bay. The Operations Record Book Form 540 noted, without serial number, that ‘N’ was “missing, last seen heading North between Ramree Is & Chebuba [sic: Cheduba] at 10.28hrs”. The Form 541 summary remarked “last seen attacking jetty”. Fortunately, the Squadron records for this period are among the most complete, with Oprep Serial No 118/Sortie Report No 13 for 17 April recording the missing aircraft as LZ383 ‘N’, “Seen to attack jetty at Lontha by aicraft ‘L’ at 10:20hrs. Last seen by aircraft ‘X’ heading North between Ramree and Cheduba, approximately 40/50ft at 10:28hrs”.]

Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-1 & 2-0.
Went to the village to the “house” of our bearer at the invitation of his brother. Had supper & thought that we get a glimpse of a wedding ceremony that was to follow, but was unlucky, as according to the Mohammedan custom it was impossible. I suppose we would have spoiled everything as they would have had to hide their womenfolk. This was a re-marriage.

April 18th Tuesday
Beer night tonight.
I got the job of changing the tank in [LZ]515 ‘X’.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1.
Got really blotto, finished drinking at 02:30 only Cpl Rigg (Riggy) & I stayed the course.

April 19th Wednesday
Got up as usual for work but felt ropey so I went back to bed & went to work in the afternoon, felt much better.
‘M’, ‘V’ & ‘Y’ on ops, all returned OK.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-0 & 2-0.
Had another drinking session tonight. Tich Hi. [OK]

April 20th Thursday
‘T’ & ‘Y’ on ops, both returned OK but ‘T’ was bashed about owing to his RPs falling short & running through his own debris.
Entertained by a Yogi, quite good, they know their stuff these blokes.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1, no mail today.
Played football for a mixed team versus the aircrew, we won 2-0.

    Dad 211 Sqn Football 1944 Burma copy
    ‘B’ Flight First XI football team 1944 (Goodinson collection)
    [Arthur Goodinson standing third from the left, wearing the white shorts.]

April 21st Friday
No ops, nothing much to do, had the afternoon off, went to the village market.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-1 & 2-1.
No mail again today.

April 22nd Saturday
‘N’, & ‘Y’ on ops, both returned OK, but ‘Y’ had his hydraulics shot up & S/Ldr MR [Muller-Rowland] the pilot made a wizard crash-landing on the strip, crew were OK.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0 & 2-1, lost 2-1.
AL Card from Margaret saying she had received parcels I sent to her from Calcutta.
Very hot today.

April 23rd Sunday
‘X’, ‘N’ & ‘V’ on ops, all returned OK
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1.
Blackie on bomb-dump Guard, no crib with him tonight. Still very hot.
Squadron team beat a team of the 6th NWAFF [West African Frontier Forces units serving in the theatre].
Played Ginger Ferrit at crib, won 2-1.

April 24th Monday
‘T’ & ‘O’ on ops, two trips each, shorter than usual & second trips were Korab [korab, poor, vexing] as the weather was duff over the target.
Received Airgraphs from Roy, Mary & Freda [ie from all the children]. Replied to same.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-1.

April 25th Tuesday
‘N’ & ‘V’ on ops, both returned OK.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0.
NCO i/c Bomb Dump Guard tonight.

[April 26th Wednesday]
Came off guard, nothing to report as usual, except that we were badly bitten by mosquitoes ants etc [lousy] dump.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-1 & 2-0.
‘N’ & ‘T’ on ops, both returned OK.

April 27th Thursday
‘Y’ on ops, returned OK, had a good trip, used all his ammo.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1 & 2-1.

April 28th Friday
‘M’ & ‘T’ on ops, both returned OK. W/Cdr Meagher in ‘M’ got a Jap fighter, damaged another, & two more collided in the air owing to his manoeuvres.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0, lost 2-0.

April 29th Saturday
‘V’ & ‘T’ on ops, ‘T’ returned OK but F/Sgt Davies &
F/Sgt Gilmore in ‘V’ failed to return. Going in to attack he failed to come out of the dive, aircraft went into the deck & blew up.
[In his later running list of Squadron losses, Goodinson recorded this aircraft not as ‘V’ but as
NE300 ‘N’, which agrees with the three Squadron records: Form 540, Form 541 and Oprep Serial no 130/Sortie Report No 29. The aircraft was seen to crash & explode by F/Sgts Bell and Lightfoot in ’V’. Posted missing believed killed, Bill Gilmore and his pilot Geoff Davies are commemorated on the Singapore Memoral at Kranji.]
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1 & 2-1.

April 30th Sunday
Ops cancelled owing to bad weather.
No mail from Margaret.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1 & lost 2-0.

May 1st Monday
‘O’ & ‘W’ on ops, both returned.
No mail again from Margaret
Played Blackie at crib, 2-1 & 2-0.

May 2nd Tuesday
‘M’, ‘W’, ‘X’ on ops, take-off at 15:00hrs, ‘O’ & ‘Y’ took off at 19:00hrs, all returned OK.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0 & 2-0.
Letter from Mal, replied to same.
No mail from Margaret.

May 3rd, Wednesday
‘T’, ‘N’ & ‘M’ on ops, ‘N’ returned, operational failure, made a ropey landing, maybe a stern-frame change.
‘T’ & ‘M’ returned OK. ‘X’ went to Calcutta, returned OK.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1 & 2-0.
No mail from Margaret.

May 4th Thursday
‘O’ & ‘X’ on day ops, ‘V’ & ‘Y’ on night ops, all returned OK.
Had a walk to the village market.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1 & 2-0.
S/Ldr
Muller-Rowland awarded Bar to DFC
His observer F/Sgt
Gilley awarded DFM.
W/Cdr
Meagher awarded DFC. Good show Doh Ek Ek.

May 5th Friday
‘M’, ‘T’ & ‘Y’ on ops, all returned OK.
Went to Comilla & saw & heard Vera Lynn at the Town Hall, it was grand to see & hear a real live Englishwoman once again.
Also saw the film Casablanca at The Palace.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1.

May 6th Saturday
‘M’, ‘V’ & ‘O’ on ops, ‘M’ & ‘V’ returned OK but F/Sgt Bell & F/Sgt Nash in ‘O’ [
LZ479] failed to return.
Ground station at Feni picked him up on the VHF [radio] & he reported engine trouble? Search party 3 a/craft but failed to see any trace. Damned good crew.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0 lost [...].

May 7th Sunday
‘Y’ & ‘Z’ on ops. ‘Y’ returned OK but W/O Hall (Shorty) & [F/Sgt] Parker in ‘Z’ [
NE539] failed to return, rumoured that after completing his op, he went in search of F/Sgt Bell.
[The two aircraft took off at about 06:30hrs to attack communications on the Lashio-Bhamo road. The missing aircraft was last seen flying towards the target area at about 07:45hrs, by Haakenson and Ferguson in ‘Y’.]
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-1.

May 8th Monday
‘M’ & ‘Y’ on day ops, ‘V’ & ‘Y’ on night ops, all returned OK. Double wheel change & CSU change on [LZ]157 ‘M’ [worked] until midnight.
‘A’ Flight pranged a kite on the strip.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-1.
No mail today from Margaret.

May 9th Tuesday
W/Cdr Meagher went to Ramu on ops, returned OK & into maintenance
Played Blackie at crib won 2-0.
Went to the village & market.

May 10th Wednesday
‘V’ & ‘W’ on ops, Sqdn Leader MR returned owing to the prop feathering on take-off, he jettisoned his fuel [...] his engine, just managed to get his wheels down & [made] a wizard landing. Damned good pilot.
[The effect of one propeller feathering itself at take-off power on a fully-laden twin-engined aircraft type rather prone to swing is best left to pilots to ponder. The Beaufighter Pilot’s Notes AP 1721 do not cover such an eventuality exactly, though lowering the undercart as late as possible on final approach was recommended].
Had a letter from J Parkinson.
‘V’ returned OK. ‘O‘, ‘T‘, ‘Y’ & ‘W’ on night ops, all returned OK.
No mail from Margaret.

May 11th Thursday
‘X’ on ops, returned OK but burst a main wheel on landing owing to the fact that he had been [shot up].
Spits, DCs & Lightning over today [Spitfires, Douglas DC 3 Dakotas and Lockheed Lightnings]..

May 12th Friday
‘V’ & ‘Z’ on ops, both returned OK.
F/O Vardigans in ‘V’ blew up a bridge with his RP [rockets].
Rumour that 14th Army patrols found the remains of F/Sgt
Bell & F/Sgt Nash.
[Loss of
LZ479 noted at the end of the month in the Operations Record Book summary, as “crashed in our lines amongst hills apparently through engine trouble.”]
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0.
Played Ginger Tarn at crib won 2-1.
On night flying tonight, or very early morning.
‘O’, ‘V’, ‘Y’ & ‘W’ took off at 03:00hrs on ops, all returned [OK].

May 13th Saturday
Received telegram from Margaret, Birthday Greetings.
Came off night duty at 07:00hrs, stand-off until 16:00hrs
‘O’ & ‘V’ on ops, both returned OK.
Trouble on a/craft ‘T’ changed CSU but still not [right], must be the prop or carburettor.
Had a walk to the village & market.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-0.

May 14th Sunday
‘Z’ & ‘H’ on ops, both returned OK.
Went to Comilla in the afternoon but unable to do any business as the Post Office was closed.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0.

May 15th Monday
‘Z’, ‘O’, ‘V’ & ‘W’ on ops, all returned OK but F/O [Haakenson] in ‘Z’ was hit by enemy fire in the oil tank, main wheel & rudder.
S/Ldr MR in ‘W’ was also hit, in the [wrapper cowling] the exhaust & gill-ring & engine fairing.
[The damaged aircraft went unremarked in the Operations Record Book Form 540, and illegibly in the Form 541. However, Haakenson and Ferguson had had a close shave: Sortie Report No 35 noted that they were hit twice by light machine gun fire within three minutes, from the ground near Okshitpin. In the second encounter, a round passed through Ferguson’s navigation table. In ‘W’, S/Ldr Muller-Rowland had had an encounter with a Zero near Natalin, the aircraft taking at least one hit by a 0.5” round.]
Blackie on guard so played Ging Tarn at crib, won [...].
Went down to Comilla with the MO in a jeep & sent £8 to Margaret.
Received Tit-Bits from Tom, letter from George with photo.

    broadcast chit
    [Broadcast chit 15 May 1944 (Goodinson collection)
    Thinking of home and family on a day at the end of April 1944 when no mail had come, Arthur applied “through the usual channels” for a spot on the home-broadcast radio programme. He was to wait almost a year before this gesture was
    rewarded. Enemy action aside, muddle and delay in the delivery of mail was a sore point, remarked on more than once in the Squadron record.]

May 16th Tuesday
‘O’ & ‘V’ on ops, both returned OK.
Received letter from Margaret, saying she had received another parcel from me also letter from Mal.
Went to the village & market.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-0 & 2-1.

May 17th Wednesday
‘M’ & ‘X’ on ops both returned OK, but ‘X’ was shot-up [but] is repairable.
Played Blackie at crib, won 2-0.
Beer tonight, Blackie & I helped dish it out, there was method in our madness, as we managed to get Murree beer instead of Meakins. Had a lovely jug-up in Reggy’s basha, packed it in at [...]

May 18th Thursday
Didn’t feel like work but had to go in.
‘Z’ & ‘O’ on ops (early) both returned OK.
On Bomb-Dump Guard tonight, NCO i/c.

May 19th Friday
My Birthday today (37), came off guard at 07:00 as usual, nothing happened.
‘W’ & ‘O’ on ops, off at 03:00hrs, both returned OK.
Played Blackie at crib, lost 2-0.

May 20th Saturday
‘M’ & ‘Y’ on ops, both returned OK.
Blackie went into “dock” at Comilla [Military Hospital, perhaps]..
Played Ging Tarn at crib won 2-1.

May 21st Sunday
‘X’ & ‘Z’ on ops, both returned OK after a successful [op].
Targets on the River Irrawaddy straffing boats, oil [dumps].
Played Ging Tarn at crib won 2-0.
Played Paddy at crib won 2-1.

May 22nd Monday
‘M’ & ‘V’ on ops, both returned OK.
Played Ging Tarn at crib, won 2-0.
Went into Comilla with Ging Tarn [...] called Whoopee, quite good.
Passed through Comilla Strip, large [...].

May 23rd Tuesday
‘T’, ‘Z’ & ‘Y’ on ops, all returned OK.
Tank change on [NE]488 ‘W’ also [...].
Played Ging Tarn at crib, won 2[...].

May 24th Wednesday
W/Cdr Meagher in [LZ]157 ‘M’ flew [...].
Played Ging Tarn at crib, won [...].
Blackie came out of “dock” [...].

FENI

May 25th Thursday
‘T’, ‘V’, ‘X’ & ‘Y’ on ops, all returned [OK]
Freddie Gamlin in ‘X’ had a narrow [escape...gunfire] entered cockpit & damaged fuel [...]. Believe he was hit in the arm.
[The Operations Record Book Form 541 noted only that light machine gun fire had entered the cockpit of ‘X’. The Sortie Report, No 47, gave a fuller account. While attacking a dispersed truck convoy with his cannons, machine-gun fire from the ground hit the petrol cock and VHF radio in Gamlin’s cockpit, one round also grazing his arm. He there-upon made another attack on the trucks, this time giving them a pair of his eight rockets, which missed. Fred Gamlin, with Barney
Mearns in the Nav “office”, then continued with his patrol, attacking a number of other targets before returning safely to Feni at 09:15hrs]
Moved to Feni by road. 177 Sqdn [Beaufighters] & 4 Sqdn IAF [Hurricane IIcs in the ground-attack role supporting XIV Army] already [there] [and] a Yank squadron with DCs.

May 26th Friday
No ops. ‘Y’ went to Calcutta [taking...] returned OK.
What a day, man-handling kites. [...]
Pleasant surprise, two AL Cards [from Margaret?]
Housie in the canteen tonight.

May 27th Saturday
‘W’, ‘X’, ‘T’ & ‘O’ on ops. ‘X’ returned owing to bad weather. Remainder returned OK but ‘T’ had his hydraulics shot-up & the pilot [F/O Stevens, with F/O Parker as Navigator] made a lovely crash-landing by the side of the strip.
Changed oil-cooler on [NE]488 ‘W‘.

May 28th Sunday
No ops for our Flight.
‘A’ Flight lost a kite, W/O
Goddard & W/O Boon [in LZ153 ‘K’] were shot down by a Yankee Lightning, the Yanks seem pretty dim on a/craft recco [That is, recognition. The Squadron record and other accounts agree they were shot down by the Americans, but by P51-A Mustangs of the 311th Fighter Group, rather than P38 Lightnings, also operational in the theatre].
Had photo taken by the cine camera, maybe Margaret will see it in Blighty.

May 29th Monday
‘W’ & ‘X’ on early ops, took off at 05:30hrs returned OK.
‘O’ & ‘V’ went later & they returned OK.
Went into the “town” of Feni tonight, lousy dump.

May 30th Tues
No ops, but plenty of work, snags on most of the kites.

May 31st Wednesday
‘T’, ‘V’, ‘X’ & ‘Z’ on ops, all returned OK, still very busy. The remainder of the blokes came in from Bhatpara. Received a letter from M Allott in Canada.

June 1st Thursday
No ops, but I was kept busy, working on [LZ]157 ‘M‘.
Exhaust ring & two flame-dampers to change.

June 2nd Friday
‘X’ & ‘T’ on early ops, both returned OK.
‘O’ & ‘Z’ went later & they returned OK.
Rained like the devil.
Heard that Blackie has gone to the Hill Station at Shillong (sick-leave).

June 3rd Sat
4 Squadron IAF lost two Hurricanes owing to bad weather.
‘M’ & ‘Y’ on ops, both returned OK.
‘A’ Flt lost a kite today.
F/O
Lockyer & F/Sgt McCormick, F/O Bishop was a passenger, he was posted to Chittagong as Intelligence Officer. Coming in to land having completed their op, [LZ270] crashed into the sea. F/Sgt McCormick was the only survivor but he was badly burnt.
Rained, thundered & lightning.
Letter from Mal.

June 4th Sun
No ops, had a cholera jab.
Violent thunderstorm, laks of pawni [parni: water. A lakh, ordinarily a count of 100,000, here implies “lots”]
Had a walk to Feni & had a meal in the station canteen.

June 5th Mon
‘V’ & ‘O’ on ops, both returned OK
‘M’, ‘W’, ‘T’ on night ops.
Housie in the canteen—no luck.

June 6th Tues
‘M‘, ‘W’, & ‘T’ on ops, all returned OK.
‘M’ was due for a major inspection & was flown away by a ferry pilot to an MU, his port engine seized & he had to crash-land, the pilot was unhurt.
Heard the news, that the second front had started in Europe.
Great joy among the lads & progress is being carefully noted.
Blackie went to Shillong on sick-leave.

June 7th Weds
‘Z’ on ops, returned OK, after lobbing in at Feni owing to bad weather.
Worked on ‘W’, changed oil tank, put revs up & cured mag-drop.
[After engine start, once warmed-up and before taxying out, the pilot carried out a series of brief engine checks. The magneto ignition of the Bristol Hercules engines was tested at 1,000rpm and again at 2,400rpm, by briefly toggling the each of the paired magnetos off and on. If a drop of more than 50rpm resulted, a further test was made at higher power. A more marked drop in rpm, or marked vibration, called for engines to be switched off and the fault investigated on the ground.]

June 8th Thurs
‘V’ on ops, returned OK.
Changed all plugs on ‘Z’, mag drop, kite OK now. [56 spark-plugs: two per cylinder in the 14 cylinders of the two Hercules].
On night duty tonight, one kite.

June 9th Frid
‘T’ took off at 03:30hrs returned OK but the pilot was shot in the head. F/Sgt Revel.
[While seeking his target area, F/Sgt Reavill accidentally over-flew Japanese-held Shwebo airfield. He was wounded in the head by light anti-aircraft fire and the hydraulics of
LZ360 ‘T‘ were damaged. Reavill was able to fly his aircraft safely back to Feni where he was able to make a good landing without benefit of flaps or brakes. Navigator F/Sgt Heywood was uninjured. Reavill was hospitalised and recovered].
‘W’ & ‘Y’ took off at 05:30 on ops & returned OK.
Came off duty at 07:00hrs, stand-off all day. Felt dead-beat.

June 10th Sat
14th anniversary of my wedding day. “Roll on that boat”.
‘V’ Took off at 03:30 & returned OK.
‘M’ took off at 05:30 & returned OK.
‘W‘, ‘O’ & ‘Z’ went later & all returned OK but ‘O’ had bullet hole in leading edge of port main-plane.
Finished work at 19:00hrs, dead tired.

June 11th Sun
‘Z’ took off at 05:00hrs & returned OK, but was shot-up.
‘V’ took off at 08:00hrs & returned OK.
‘A’ Flt lost a kite today. F/O Jackson & F/Sgt Jones were attacking an ammunition train & were shot-down.
[
LZ268 ‘G’, one of two ‘A‘ Flight aircraft tasked to attack communications and targets of opportunity in Central Burma. The Canadian pilot, J14842 F/O W Jackson and navigator 1535804 F/Sgt RB Jones were posted missing believed killed.]
Freddie Gamlin got his commission today.
Housie in canteen tonight, no luck.

June 12th Mon
‘W’ & ‘V’ on ops, both returned OK.
Had a walk to Feni, & went around the Bazaar.

June 13th Tues
‘Y’ took off on early ops at 03:30 & failed to return. The crew was F/O Harkinson & F/Sgt Ferguson. Rumour was, that they were forced down by bad weather & that they had both baled out. Hope they are OK.
[In
NE516 ‘Y’, Mal Haakenson and Jock Ferguson had taken off from Feni at 0330hrs with one other aircraft to attack the Mandalay—Rangoon railway. They were shot down just after 06:00hrs. Haakenson was wounded, but Ferguson had had time to send brief radio signals before they both baled out. On the ground they were able to find each other close to the site of the crash. They fell captive, and it was almost a year before the Squadron had news of their release from Rangoon Jail.]
‘Z’ took off on ops at 05:00hrs & returned OK.
Had a day off today.

June 14th Weds
‘O’ & ‘X’ on ops, both returned OK but ‘X’ had bullet hole in the nose.
Changed port oil tank on ‘M‘.

June 15th Thurs
‘W’ & ‘X’ on ops, ‘W’ landed at Chittagong with engine trouble.
‘X’ also crash-landed there, apparently was landing to pick up W’s Crew & his undercarriage collapsed.
Letter from Margaret today. [
NE317 ‘X’ diverted due to poor weather after a successful sortie along the Irrawaddy, Geoff Vardigans and Dennis Spencer safe].

June 16th Friday
Pay-day, ‘O’ on ops & returned OK
Weather Boke Carab! [bohot korab very poor, very annoying.]

June 17th Sat
No ops, stand-down.
Rained & thundered & lightning. Real Monsoon weather.
I was going to Chittagong by air, but the trip was cancelled owing to the weather being duff.

June 18th Sun
Raining like the devil
‘M’ went on ops but returned owing to duff intercom.
Day off owing to bad weather.

June 19th Mon
Went to Chittagong by air, to work on [NE]488 ‘W‘.
Stayed the night, lousy dump, poor grub, laks [ie lots] of mosquitoes, didn’t have a net.
Saw a film at the camp cinema called Arizona

June 20th Tues
Still working on [NE]488 ‘W’ in between showers
Stayed again overnight but had a net now.

June 21st Weds
Finished work on ‘W’ & flew back in it to Feni.
Met an officer at Chittagong that used to be my Cpl when I was at Upper Heyford in 40/41. He is now Technical Officer of 126 RSU
[F/O Taylor. The Repair and Salvage Units performed valuable work recovering damaged and wrecked aircraft and returning them to service or reducing them to components. 126 RSU had formed in April 1943 and operated out of Cox’s Bazaar, Chittagong and other sites close to the operational squadrons.]

June 22nd Thurs
‘V’ & ‘Z’ on ops, both returned owing to weather being duff.
Worked on [NE]488 ‘W’ & hope that it is OK on air test tomorrow.

June 23rd Frid
No ops, stand-down.
‘W’ on air test, found OK.
Housie in the Canteen, no luck!

June 24th
‘W’ & ‘Y’ on ops, both returned OK

June 25th Sun
Orderly Cpl & NCO i/c Fire-Guard.
Beer in the Canteen tonight [run] organised by Sgt [Weston] our new [...]
Closed the Canteen about 0215hrs.
Rugger match had taken place [...]
A real good time was had by [all].

June 26th Mon
Didn’t feel to good went down [...]
‘W’, ‘Y’ & ‘Z’ on convoy duty, all [returned OK]

June 27th Tues
‘M’ & ‘Z’ on ops, both returned OK.
‘W’ went to Calcutta, Tommy was [...]
Mac joined the Sqdn today from [...]

June 28th Weds
Morning ops cancelled owing to [weather?] bad show!
‘T’ on ops at 16:00hrs, returned [OK]
‘W’ returned from Calcutta.

June 29th Thurs
‘T’, ‘M’ & ‘X’ all on ops, all returned [OK]
W/Cdr Meagher in ‘T’ did his first [night op?]

June 30th
‘W’ & ‘X’ on ops, both returned OK
Played Mac at crib, won 2-1.

July 1st Sat
‘T’ & ‘Z’ on ops, both returned OK.
Rained until tiffin [lunch] time.
Played Mac at crib, won 2-1.

[...]

CHIRINGA
July 8th Sat
Packing up ready for a move once again.

July 9th Sun
Moved to Chiringa [about 40 miles South of Chittagong, and perhaps 90 miles from Feni].
I flew with Sgt Gutteridge, Tommy. MR [S/Ldr Muller-Rowland] was the pilot.

    B Flt 1944
    [211 Squadron groundcrew (Goodinson collection)
    Possibly ‘B’ Flight around 1944, date and place unrecorded. Goodinson maybe obscured under a bush hat in the rear rank, second from the left.]

July 10th Mon
‘O’ & ‘X’ on ops, both returned OK

July 11th Tues to 18th Tues
Ops carried out each day, all returned safely.

July 19th Weds
‘O’ & ‘Z’ on ops, both returned OK, ops successful
At long last our personal kit has arrived [from Feni 100 miles or so to the North—Squadron equipment was also still arriving both by road and by ferry].
Deadly place this for mosquitoes.

July 20th Thurs
‘O’ & ‘W’ on ops, both returned OK.
Went sick this morning, 24hrs ex-duty [excused duty]
Rained all day off & on.

Jul 21st Frid
No ops owing to the bad weather boke carab [bohot korab]
“Roads” in very bad condition.

July 22nd Sat
No ops again, we are practically marooned.
Ferry is impassable, water has risen & flooded our basha.

July 23rd Sun
‘T’, ‘Y’ & ‘Z’ on ops, all returned OK.
Played Mac at crib, won 2-0.

July 24th Mon
‘W’ & ‘Z’ on ops, both returned OK.
Played Mac at crib, won 2-1.

July 25th Tues
‘Y‘, ‘Z’ & ‘T’ all returned OK.
W/Cdr [Pat Meagher] in ‘T’ had his W/T generator on fire, shaky do for him.
Played Mac at crib, lost 2-1.

July 26th Weds
‘T‘, ‘Y’ & ‘Z’ on ops, all returned OK.
Roads were impassable for transport, had to walk to & from the camp to the strip.
Food was dished out down the strip, dead loss!

July 27th Thurs
‘Y’ & ‘Z’ on ops, ‘Y’ returned OK but F/Sgt Williams & F/Sgt Gollop in
[NE]488 ‘W’ failed to return.
‘A’ Flt pranged a kite on the strip, the kite was shot-up but the crew were OK.
Played Mac at crib, won 2-1.

July 28th Fri
‘Y’ & ‘Z’ on ops, both returned OK.
Big surprise! Cinema show tonight.
Film was called Swing Shift Music, not bad!

July 29th Sat
‘T’ &V on ops, both returned OK.
Had a walk to Chiringa village, nothing doing, dead loss.

July 30th Sun
‘O’ & ‘X’ on ops, both returned OK, but ‘O’ had bullet hole in Main Outer fuel tank (starboard).
Housie in canteen tonight—no luck!
Played Mac at crib, lost 2-1.

July 31st Mon
‘W’, ‘X’ & ‘Y’ on ops, all returned OK.
Played Mac at crib, won 2-0.

August 1st Tues
‘X’ on early morning ops, returned OK but was shot-up.
‘Y’ & ‘T’ went later, ‘T’ returned owing to bad weather. ‘Y’ returned OK but was shot-up. Returned to an MU as a flying repair.
Saw a smashing film tonight You Were Never Lovelier.

Aug 2nd Weds
‘V’ on early ops, returned OK.
‘T’ & ‘X’ went later, both returned OK.
Housie in the Canteen tonight, won 5 chips.

Aug 3rd Thurs
‘X’ on early ops, returned OK.
‘T’ & ‘Z’ went later, both returned OK.
Played Bellamy at crib, lost 2-1.

Aug 4th Frid
‘X’ on early ops, returned OK.
‘V’ & ‘Z’ went later, both returned OK.
Housie in the Cookhouse, I won 18 chips.

    Cookhouse
    Cookhouse, Chiringa c1944 (Goodinson collection)

Aug 5th Sat
Early ops cancelled owing to bad weather.
‘T’ & ‘X’ went later, & returned OK.
Went to the cinema & saw the film Moon Over Vermont

Aug 6th Sun
‘Z’ on early ops, returned OK plus bullet holes.
‘W’ & ‘O’ went later, & returned OK.
Played Mac at crib, won 2-0 & 2-1.

Aug 7th Mon
‘Y’ on early ops, lobbed in at Chittagong on the way back owing to bad weather.
Remainder of ops cancelled.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-0, lost 2-0.
Housie in the cookhouse, Tommy won 15 chips.

Aug 8th Tues
‘X’ on early ops, returned OK.
‘O’, ‘Y’ & ‘W’ went later & returned OK.
Saw the film Lone Wolf Takes a Chance, quite good!
Played Bell at crib, won 2-0.
1 year today since I arrived in India.

Aug 9th Weds
‘V’ on early ops, cancelled owing to bad weather.
‘Y’ & ‘Z’ went later, both returned OK.
Housie in the cookhouse, I won 15 chips.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-0.

Aug 10th Thurs
Orderly Cpl.
‘V’ on early ops, returned OK.
‘W’ & ‘T’ went later & returned OK.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-0.

Aug 11th Fri
Blackie returns from sick leave from Shillong.
‘Z’ & ‘T’ on ops, both returned OK.
Housie in the cookhouse, Tommy won 18 chips.
Played Bell at crib, lost 2-0.

Aug 12th Sat
Sgt Gutteridge posted to 322 MU Cawnpore
‘W’, ‘Y’ & ‘Z’ on ops, ‘W’ & ‘Y’ returned OK but P/O Gamlin &
W/O Mearns (Barney) failed to return (Two Good Blokes) [NE713 ‘Z’].
Cpls invited to a social in the Sgts Mess, I got drunk on rum & went out like a light.

Aug 13th
‘W’ & ‘Y’ on ops, both returned OK.
Went to the cinema & saw the film My Sister Eileen.

Aug 14th Mon
‘V’ & ‘Z’ on ops, both returned OK.
Squadron’s Birthday [one year anniversary in India], beer in canteen, had a “right good do” but kept sober.

Aug 15th Tues
Stand-down, no ops. Day off.
I was woke up very rudely this morning by Ted & Blackie pouring beer on me & was I Barbary [from barbary ape: service slang. Irritated, in this sense, but also an ill-tempered or difficult person].
Another drinking session tonight, we had a grand “do” & a good time was had by all, wrapped up about 01:00hrs.

Aug 16th Weds
‘X’, ‘T’ & ‘W’ on ops, all returned OK.
Housie tonight, Tommy won 30 chips & I won 6 chips.
Played Bell at crib, lost 2-0.

Aug 17th Thurs
‘V’ & ‘Z’ on ops, ‘V’ ran into a shower of Kite Hawks & smashed in the look-out window. W/O Pattinson (Rotherham lad) the pilot fired the RPs into the Hills & returned [a cheel or kite-hawk, with a wingspan of 4 feet and weighing up to 10 pounds, was bound to damage something if struck at 200kts or so].
‘Z’ returned OK but had bullet holes in the cupola [the perspex dome over the Navigator’s position and rear gun mounting].
Saw the film Our Wife, quite good!
Played Bell at crib, won 2-0
Don’t feel to good, voice nearly gone.

Aug 18th Fri
‘V’ & ‘Z’ on ops, both returned OK.
Played Bell at crib, lost 2-0 & 2-0.
Housie tonight, I won 10 chips.

Aug 19th Sat
‘V’ & ‘Z’ on ops, both returned OK.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-0.

Aug 20th Sun
‘Y’ & ‘Z’ on ops, both returned OK.
Moved bashas again, radiogram in the next basha should get all the news.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-0.

August 21st Mon
‘Z’ & ‘Y’ on ops, both returned OK, after successfully straffing rolling stock & locos
Half-day, did a bit of “charping” [from charpoy, the airmen’s cord-strung bed: “spine-bashing”, in Desert terms. Kip.]

Aug 22nd Tues
‘V’ & ‘O’ on ops, both returned OK but ‘O’ was hit by enemy fire.
Changed a junk-head on ‘O’. [In the Bristol Hercules sleeve-valve design, the term for the complex cylinder head, fitting over and deep into each cylinder].
Played Geordie at crib, lost 2-1 & lost to Bell 2-0
Saw the film Winter Time, quite good!

Aug 23rd Weds
‘V’ on early ops, returned OK.
‘Y’ went later & returned OK.
Played Bell at crib & lost 2-0.
Housie tonight, no luck!

Aug 24th Thurs
‘T’ & ‘Z’ on ops. ‘T’ returned OK but ‘Z’ lobbed in at Comilla owing to bad weather.
Saw the film Destroyer with EG Robinson.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-1

Aug 25th Fri
‘Z’ returned from Comilla with bullet hole in leading edge of main-plane.
No ops, owing to bad weather.
Andy won the Flight crib tournament.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-0.
Housie tonight, Tommy won 11 chips.
Played Tommy at crib, lost 2-0.
Tommy & I played Bell & R Mercer at crib, won 2-1.
Bert Sharp posted, good bloke, Bert.

Aug 26th Sat
Our Babs birthday, God bless her [his youngest daughter Freda].
‘T’ & ‘Y’ on ops, both returned OK, & had a good day with cannon & RPs.
Played Fraser in crib tournament, won 2-0.

Aug 27th Sun
‘X’ & ‘Y’ on ops, both returned OK.
‘A’ Flt lost a kite today [
LZ]232 ‘D’ F/O Cuddy & W/O Tomlinson were the crew, hit a tree?

Aug 28th Mon
‘X‘, ‘Y’ & ‘O’ on ops, all returned OK.
‘X’ went on a search for the crew of [LZ]232 ‘D’ but didn’t have any luck.
[Keith Cuddy and his navigator had been taken captive, they survived Rangoon Jail].
Housie tonight, I won 15 chips.

Aug 29th Tues
‘O’ on ops. returned OK.
Beat Ging Macer in the second round at crib 2-0.
Beat Bell in the third round 2-1.
Saw the film Footlight Serenade, good show.

Aug 30th Weds
‘O’ on ops, returned OK & had 3 MT [Mechanical Transport: trucks] to his credit.
Lost to Benny in the crib tournament 2-1.
Housie tonight, Tommy won 15 chips.

    Benny Smokey Adam and Taff Ging Charlie Chris02
    Benny, Smokey & Adam. Taff, Ging, Charlie & Chris
    [Smokey Naylor. There were several Taffs, and several Ginges too.]

Aug 31st Thurs
‘Z’ on ops, returned OK.
S/Ldr MR has now got 271½hrs on ops to his credit on his second tour, 28½hrs to finish his tour, good luck to him [at this date it was still 300 hours operational flying to complete a tour of duty, before being relieved or “screened”: posted for a period of non-operational duty, possibly instructing or staff work].
Beat A Parfitt on the crib tournament 2-1.

Sept 1st Frid
3 op failures owing to the bad weather.
2 engines with pawnee [parni: water] in the magnetos & the third one, the VHF [radio] blew up just after take-off.
This is the worst day we had had so far.
Housie tonight, I won 10 chips.

Sept 2nd Sat
‘V’ on early ops, my turn on.
‘V’ returned OK but had bullet holes in 87 [gallon outer] tank & exhaust branch pipes.
Played Benny in the crib final lost 2-0.

Sept 2nd Saturday
‘A’ Flt pranged a kite [
NE720] on the strip, crew were safe ENGINE CUT. F/O Moffatt also had an engine cut but he made a wizard landing on one engine.
Played Bell at crib, lost 2-1.

Sept 3rd Sun
5th Anniversary of the War.
‘Z’ & ‘X’ on ops, both returned OK.
S/Ldr MR added another 4½ making his total hours into 276.
Laks [lakh: a large number, hence “much”] of unserviceability owing to the PAWNEE.
Played Tommy at crib, won 2-0.

Sept 4th Mon
‘O’ & ‘X’ on ops with RPs, both returned OK.
Housie tonight, I won 20 chips.

Sept 5th Tues
‘X’ & ‘Z’ on ops, both returned OK.
S/Ldr MR in ‘Z’ added another 6½ to his credit, making his total up to 282½ ophrs.
Played Bell at crib, lost 2-1.

Sept 6th Weds
‘O’ & ‘V’ on ops, both returned OK.
Housie in the canteen, I won 10 chips.

Sept 7th Thurs
‘X’ & ‘O’ on early ops, both returned OK.
Arthur Parfitt’s turn on.

Sept 8th
‘O‘, ‘Y’ & ‘T’ on ops, all returned OK.
Housie tonight, no luck!

Sept 9th Sat
‘X’ & ‘W’ on ops, both returned OK.
Beer in the Canteen tonight, I’m TT [Tee-total: on the wagon.]

Sept 10th Sun
‘V’ & ‘W’ on early ops, both returned OK.
‘T’, ‘M’ & ‘W’ went later & returned OK, after having a very good day.
S/Ldr MR has now about 5½hrs to go to complete his [second] tour, good luck to him!
W/Cdr Meagher has been awarded the DSO.

Sept 11th Mon
No ops today, stand-down.
Tommy won 20 chips & I won 30 chips at Housie.
Played Bell at crib, lost 2-0.

Sept 12th Tues
‘V’ on early ops, my turn on, ‘V’ returned OK.
Tommy & I played Bing & Chota Ray at crib, won & lost 2-0 then won the deciding leg.

Sept 13th Weds
‘W’ & ‘O’ on early ops, Andy’s turn on.
‘O’ didn’t go & ‘M’ took its place, both returned OK but ‘W’ was shot up. ‘O’ went to Calcutta & returned with Rs 1,000 worth of hooch for the Sgts Mess.
Housie tonight, Tommy won 60 chips.

Sept 14th Thurs
‘M’ on early ops, Benny’s turn, returned OK.
‘X’ came out of ‘M’ & ‘S’ after inspection & went on air test & NFT [Night Flying Test].
Hydraulics went for a Burton [gone missing or dead: u/s in this case] & the pilot had to make a crash landing (a wizard one). The crew were OK.
The Pilot was W/O England & his observer W/O Blaxall.

Sep 15th Frid
‘Z’ & ‘T’ on early ops. Chips Lawson’s turn on.
Battle of Britain parade on the strip.
Only ‘Z’ went on ops & returned OK.
‘O’ nearly had it on take-off, swerved badly, F/O Stayman did a good job of driving & managed to pull-up without doing any damage. The reason for the swerve was the starboard mag failed on the port engine [magneto ignition, two per engine].
W/O England (Inky) nearly had to crash-land ‘Y’ owing to hydraulic trouble.
Housie tonight, Tommy won 30 chips & I won 20 chips!

Sept 16th Sat
‘Z’ & ‘T’ on early ops, my turn on, both returned OK.
Tommy & I played Bing & Bill at crib, we won 2-0 & 2-1.

Sept 17th Sun
‘T’ & ‘V’ on ops, ‘V’ returned OK but ‘T’ crashed into the sea 2 miles off the coast from Mungdaw. The crew,
F/O Mitchell & F/Sgt Palmer, were picked up by the ASRS [Air-Sea Rescue Service] having used the dinghy. F/O Mitchell sustained a broken nose. S/Ldr MR in ‘Z’ went on the search.
Saw the film called Edge of Darkness. Good show!
T’s no was
NE702.
[S/Ldr Muller-Rowland and W/O Gilley had taken off in ‘Z’ to search for Mitchell and Palmer. Finding them ditched off Elephant Point, MR contacted the rescue launch stationed off Naf Peninsula, then loitered as top cover for the ditched crew until they were picked up. The Form 540 & Form 541 give a brief summary. The Sortie Reports usually offer more expansive accounts, however, those for September to November 1944 appear to be missing from the copies at The National Archives. Mitchell was subsequently awarded the DFC, in part for his composed handling & ditching of his crippled aircraft, which he had nursed to comparative safety with an engine afire.]

Sept 18th Mon
‘Z’ & ‘H’ on ops, ‘H’ returned owing to bad weather.
‘Z’ completed the op & also returned.
Housie tonight, no luck!

Sept 19th Tues
‘T’ on ops, returned owing to the bad weather.
Went to the WAFF Hospital to have my finger ‘X‘-rayed, everything OK.
Saw the film Dr Gillespie’s Murder Case, OK.

Sept 20th Weds
Time expired, what a life.
[Pre-war, the shortest period that a man could enlist in an RAF ground trade was five years, up to a maximum of 12 years. Arthur is referring to his peace-time enlistment in September 1938, apparently for six years. The war, of course, saw such service dates extended “for the duration”.]
‘T’ on ops with RPs, returned OK.

Sept 21st Thurs
‘Z’ on ops (early). Andy’s turn on, returned OK, after a good day straffing locos & river barges.
Tommy & I played Bill & Bing at crib, won 2-0, 1-2 [1-0?]

Sept 22nd Fri
‘Z’ on ops, returned OK.
‘O’ NE500 was flown off to an MU for an advanced major [inspection/overhaul].
Housie tonight, I won 20 chips.
Great News! On the radio, increase in Services pay also Japanese campaign pay & White Paper with regards to demobilization.

Sept 23rd Sat
‘W’ on early ops, Benny’s turn on, returned OK after a good day, shot up locos & carriages.
‘T’ went later, shooting MT transport, returned OK.
Invitation to the Sgt Mess, passed out again. Can’t get used to this liquor

Sept 24th Sun
No morning ops but went down to the strip to see ‘O’ off on VHF calibration test.
Also worked on mag [magneto] job on ‘V’ but felt queer.
Good job Tommy was with me, he finished the job. Grand Lad Tommy, he comes from Oswaldtwistle [a mill town in Lancashire].
‘T’ & ‘W’ on afternoon ops, ‘W’ returned OK. W/O Gilley (Ron) completed his first tour of ops 300hrs. S/Ldr MR had already completed his tour but he flew him off. What a chap to have on the Squadron [ie Muller-Rowland continued on ops until Gilley his Navigator had also done 300hrs].
W/O England (Inky) & W/O Blaxall failed to return in ‘T’.
[Shown as NV808 on Cpl Goodinson’s loss
list, England and Blaxall were in fact flying NE808 ‘T’. Sadly, they were never found.]

Sept 25th Mon
‘M’ on early ops, Chips turn on, returned OK but was shot-up in the nose & prop. ‘Z’ also took off on a search for ‘T’ & returned OK, no luck.
Housie tonight, Tommy won 5 chips.

Sept 26th Tues
‘W’ on early ops, my turn on, returned OK.
Saw the film Girl Crazy, quite a pleasant change from war!

Sept 27th Weds
‘V’ on early ops, Andy’s turn on, returned OK.
‘O’ went later & returned OK.
F/Sgt Begg got a loco [F/Sgts Begg & Rowan in Beaufighter ‘V’].
177 Sqdn lost a kite on ops [F/O Mackay and F/O Ede] & also pranged one on the side of the strip, he had been badly shot-up [F/O Sutherland Brown and W/O Aldham in Beaufighter NV260 ‘E’].
‘A’ Flt also lost a kite [in Beaufighter
NE762 ‘E’, F/O Shippy Shipppin and W/O Jim Oblein were brought down by groundfire—they survived captivity in Rangoon Jail].
Housie tonight, I won 15 chips.

    PO Begg and pal
    P/O Begg & a pal (Goodinson collection)
    [Arthur’s own title. Both aircrew, perhaps, as Begg was a ‘B’ Flight pilot. Hat, shorts, socks and shoes are typical Burma working undress, though not for flying duty. Presumably the pal is not Rowan.]
    PO Dennis Rowan
    P/O Dennis Rowan (Goodinson collection)
    [In casual clothes off-duty, Begg’s Navigator Dennis Rowan. The pair were commissioned in late February 1945 and went on to complete their 200hr tour together on
    10 March 1945. Begg was awarded the DFC in October that year.]

Sept 28th Thurs
Stand-down until 13:30, played goal in a soccer match between the two ‘B’ Flt bashas, we lost 5-0, what a goal-keeper!
Saw the film The Iron Major, propaganda!

Sept 29th Frid
‘W’ on ops, Benny’s turn on, ops cancelled, on [stand-by] instead.
‘V’ went on ops & returned OK.
Housie tonight, no luck

Sept 30th Sat
‘X’ & ‘Z’ on early ops, Chips turn on, both returned OK

Oct 1st Sun
‘W’ & ‘M’ on ops, both returned OK but there was [lots] of panic about Chalky White in ‘M’ as he was overdue & had only 20 gals of petrol left when he landed [enough fuel for about 10 minutes flying at normal engine settings, perhaps 20 with utmost economy].

Oct 2nd Mon
No ops, ‘T’ on NFT [possibly NE705], swung badly off the strip & wrote off a wog who was driving a Dumper. Kite was a write-off but the crew were OK.
Housie tonight I won 55 chips & Tommy won 10 chips.

Oct 3rd Tues
No day ops. Domino & Crib Tournaments 1st round.
Blackie’s farewell party, prior to his going to Bangalore. Grand do, Grand lad!

Oct 4th Weds
No ops. Housie tonight, no luck!
Beat Bell in the 1st round of Dominoes.

Oct 5th Thurs
‘X’ on ops, returned OK.
New Flight Commander arrived, F/Lt Cole
‘V’ on night ops, my turn on, returned OK.
W/Cdr Hill of 177 Sqdn missing, he used to be with ‘A’ [‘A’ Flight of 211 Squadron. PoW survivor, Rangoon].
‘W’ on early morning ops, returned OK.
Finished night duty at 04:00hrs, stand-off all day.
Housie tonight, no luck!
Beat Geordie in the 2nd round at crib.

Oct 7th Sat
‘O’ & ‘M’ on early ops, Chips turn on, both returned [OK]
‘Y’ went to Calcutta & returned OK.
Saw the film The Flight to Russia, OK!

Oct 8th Sun
‘O’, ‘W’, ‘S’ & ‘X’ all returned OK after a successful attack with RPs on railway sheds etc. Altogether 8 a/craft went from our Sqdn, & 6 from 177 Sqdn took part in the strike.

Oct 9th Mon
No ops, beer in the canteen, got sozzled!

Oct 10th Tues
‘S’, ‘M’ & ‘Z’ on early ops, Andy’s turn on, all returned [OK].

Oct 11th Weds
18 months today since I left Blighty, roll on the [next] 18 months & the boat [halfway point in a notionally 3 year overseas posting].
‘V’ & ‘M’ on, both returned OK but ‘M’ was shot-up & had to have a tail oleo change [the rear wheel strut damaged].
‘V’ was on a search for a Liberator crew who were in a dinghy, also a MT [Motor Torpedo] boat that had gone out to their rescue. No luck.
Housie tonight, Tommy won 10 chips.

Oct 12th Thurs
‘Z’ on ops, returned OK.
Tommy beat me in the crib final 2-0.
Twiggy won the Domino final, beating Curly 5 [...]

Oct 13th Frid
‘X’ on early ops, Ging Macer’s turn, returned OK.
The Sqdn Concert Party gave us a show called Plandemonium, a good effort by the lads.

    211 Squadron choir 1944
    211 Squadron choir 1944 (Goodinson collection)

Oct 14th Sat
‘W’ on early ops, Arthur’s turn, returned OK.
‘O’ [
NE288] went later & failed to return. The crew were F/Sgt Hipperson & F/Sgt Harvey. This was their first op with the Squadron, hard luck. They were attacking a target & went straight in.

Oct 15th Sun
‘Z’ & ‘M’ on ops (early), my turn on. Both returned OK.
Housie tonight, Tommy won 20 chips.

Mon Oct 16th
No ops, saw the film Let’s Face It for the second time, good show.

Oct 17th Tues
‘O’ & ‘X’ on early ops, Chips turn on, both returned OK, but ‘O’ had a bullet hole in the tail-plane.
177 Squadron lost a kite, crashed into the hills about 8 miles from here.

Oct 18th Weds
‘Z’, ‘W’ & ‘S’ on ops, ‘W’ & ‘S’ returned OK but F/Lt Coles & F/O Painter in [
NE540] ‘Z‘ failed to return. He was shot down by Zeros [Nakajima Ki 43 Oscars].
Altogether 6 kites from our Sqdn, 6 from 177 [Sqdn] & 9 Mosquitoes from 82 Sqdn took part in an airfield strike but Nippo was waiting for them.
Housie tonight, I won 27 chips.

Oct 19th Thurs
‘V’ on stand-by, my turn on, no ops.
A dart-board was brought back from Calcutta by Cliff Shaw, great joy amongst the dart fans. Mac chasing around with his clearance chit for Blighty.

Oct 20th Friday
‘Y’ on early ops, Benny’s turn on, returned OK after a blank day.
Housie tonight, I won 12 chjps.

Oct 21st Sat
‘V’ & ‘W’ on ops, both returned OK.

Oct 22nd Sun
‘Y’ on ops (early) Ging Macer’s turn on, returned OK.
‘O’ went to Calcutta.
S/Ldr MR flying for the last time with the Sqdn, he is due for the boat, everyone is sorry to see him go. What a pilot & a man!
Sgt Pitt (Jock) posted to Lahore, exchange posting. His replacement is Sgt (Chotah) Bradwell, good [...].

Oct 23rd Mon
‘V’ on early ops, Chips turn on, returned OK.
‘M’ went later on a search for a Liberator crew somewhere off Rangoon, no luck!
Housie tonight, no luck!

Oct 24th Tues
‘X’ & ‘Z’ on early ops, Ging Macer’s turn on, returned OK.

Oct 25th Weds
‘O’ on ops, returned OK.
Housie tonight, no luck!

Oct 26th Thurs
‘Y’ on early ops, Benny’s turn on, returned OK.
‘W’ went later on ops & returned OK.

Oct 27th Frid
‘V’ on early ops, my turn on, returned OK.
Housie tonight, Tommy won 15 chips.

Oct 28th Sat
No ops but ‘M’ on stand-by, my turn on.
Beer tonight, drunk again!

Oct 29th Sun
‘S’, ‘Z’ & ‘M’ on ops. Arthur’s turn on, all returned OK.

Oct 30th Mon
‘O’ & ‘W’ on ops, ‘W’ returned with oil leak. ‘O’ returned later, OK.

Oct 31st Tues
‘Y’ on night ops, ‘V’ on early morning ops, Ging Macer’s turn on.
‘V’ returned owing to the bad weather conditions.
‘Y’ returned later.
Housie tonight I won 20 chips, Tommy won 16 chips.

Nov 1st Weds
No day ops, ‘W’ on night ops, my turn on, returned [OK]
Housie tonight, Tommy won 18 chips.

Nov 2nd Thurs
‘Z’ on early ops, Arthur’s turn on, ‘Z’ returned with [vibration, most likely engine or ignition malfunction].
‘M’ went in ‘Z’ place & returned OK.
‘W’ & ‘X’ on night ops, both returned OK.

Nov 3rd Frid
‘O’ went on a ASR returned OK but no luck!
Housie tonight, I won 12 chips.

Nov 4th Sat
‘Z’ on ops, returned OK but had bullet hole in port main [plane].
I was runner-up to Benny in the Flt Darts Tournament.

Nov 5th Sun
‘V’ on early ops, Ging Macer’s turn on, ‘V’ returned OK after a good trip with RPs & cannon.

Mon Nov 6th
‘Y’ on early ops, Benny’s turn on, returned OK
Housie tonight, Tommy & I won 10 chips each.

Nov 7th Tues
‘M’, ‘V’ & ‘X’ on early ops, my turn on, all returned OK

Nov 8th Wed
‘V’ & ‘Y’ on ops, both returned OK
Housie tonight, I won 25 chips.

Nov 9th Thurs
Going on leave, taking off in ‘M’ NV364 [sic:
NV384] we crashed. [I] got a shaking up & the navigator had a cut above his right eye.

[Overall, Arthur Goodinson’s personal diary was remarkably consistent in detail, however, although his entry was complete and unequivocal for the aircraft in his narrow escape, in this case he was mistaken as to the identity. The Squadron Form 540 recorded the crash this day as NV384: starboard engine cut on take-off, Cat B damage (beyond repair on site,repairable at a Maintenance Unit or at a contractor‘s works). Arthur was one of those who kept photographs of this close shave.

Beaufighter NV384 remained on Squadron charge until struck off on 31 May 1945 as the Squadron accounts were finalised on conversion to the de Havilland Mosquito. As for “NV364”, that machine did appear later on the roster, as NV364 ‘J’, damaged on operations and belly-landed at Chiringa 20 February 1945.]

We took off late in ‘Z’, made the grade this time & arrived in Calcutta at 12:15hrs
Stayed at the YMCA for the night, went to the Metro Cinema & saw the film Road to [Morocco].

Nov 10th Frid
Made enquiries about a train for Nanatal [possibly Nainital, a lake resort district in the Uttarakhand Himalayas]. Got a [torch?] & was about to put our luggage in a taxi bound for Hourah station when I received a message to return to camp. What a life!
Flew back with Chalky White in ‘X’, carried 1,000 chips worth of hooch & six men [six passengers in a Beaufighter fuselage...], made the grade. On arrival at Chiringa I was told that I [had] been recalled to attend the Inquiry of a/c ‘M’ [NV384 accident inquiry].

Nov 11th Sat
Armistice day, hanging around for the Inquiry. F/O Stevens missing, he was flying the Sqdn Moth [DH.82 Tiger Moth used for non-operational and casual trips—the Squadron “hack”, identity not recorded] with an Army Capt as passenger. They were to drop mail to some advanced Army wallahs near the Jap positions.

Nov 12th Sun
F/O Mitchell & F/O Parker went out in the Harvard on a search for F/O Stevens & the Army Capt, couldn’t see anything owing to the mists in the hills.
Saw the film His Butler’s Sister with Deanna [Durbin].
Still searching for F/O Stevens & the Army Capt.
Ted & I split a bottle of rum.
Cinema burnt [down] during the night.

Nov 13th Tuesday
Still hanging on for the Inquiry, on the sick list.
Good news! F/O Stevens & the Army Capt arrived back at Chiringa. The gen was that the prop fell off the Moth, but he managed to glide the kite down OK. They came down the river in skiffty [kistie: river craft] everyone was delighted.
F/O Stevens gave an informal talk to the lads and his adventures made the talk very interesting.

Nov 14th Weds
Still waiting for the Inquiry, still sick!
Housie tonight, no luck!

Nov 16th Thurs
Started work today but taking things steady.
‘S’ & ‘Y’ on ops, ‘S’ returned OK, but
F/O Mitchell & F/Sgt Palmer are missing.
Rumoured that they have lobbed down in Burma. We all hope so.
Received letters from Blackie and Paddy.

Nov 17th Frid
stand-down, no ops.
Gen about F/O Mitchell, he was chased by 3 Zeros [Oscars, according to the Form 541] so he went down to deck level & gave the kite [the] gun for 15 minutes & shook them off. He lobbed in at Tamu, a strip recently taken over by us from the Japs.
Housie tonight, Bell won 25 chips.

Nov 18th Sat
‘M’ & ‘W’ on ops, both returned OK.
F/O Mitchell & F/Sgt Palmer returned in ‘Y’ from Tamu. Brought back a few souvenirs (Jap). His top speed in ‘Y‘ was 265 knots [305 mph]. ‘Y‘ returned for RSU for engine check.
[The Hercules engines were rated for +10lb boost at 2,900rpm for 5 minutes continuous combat power—after a sustained period at high power settings, apart from very heavy fuel consumption, an engine check against signs of wear or strain was a necessary precaution].

Mon 19th Sun
‘Z’, ‘S’ & ‘V’ on ops, all returned OK.

Nov 20th Mon
No ops, stand-down.
RAF Chiringa played Argatala at soccer, lost 4-[...], they were outplayed.
Housie tonight, no luck!

Nov 21st Tues
Resumed my leave, flew to Calcutta with
F/Lt Dagnall.
Had a feeling that something was wrong with the a/craft.
Book for a film at The New Empire, The Phantom Lad, but didn’t see the film. Dined with F/Lt Dagnall & P/O Gilly at Firpos [for decades a very well-known restaurant of old Calcutta]. Wizard night!

Nov 22nd Weds
Shopping for Xmas, brought coloured paper & priced several items. Booked at The Lighthouse & saw film Mr Wilkie Goes to War.

Nov 23rd Thurs
Bought cigars for the do at Xmas.
Booked again & saw the film The Phantom Lady.

Nov 24th Fri
Bought rum & whisky for Xmas & priced chocolates [...]
Bought hand-made cigarette cases for Tom, [Brenda &]
Saw the film Crazy House at The Lighthouse, quite a change from the usual war stuff, lots of fun.

Nov 25th Sat
Went to the races at The Calcutta Turf Club & backed two winners, Victor & Adam, should have backed another one Pretty Star but couldn‘t get the money on.
Saw the film Auld Acquaintances at the [Elizabeth] Cinema, fine show!

Nov 26th Sun
Layed in bed all day.

Nov 27th to Dec 5th
Still on leave in Calcutta, last night [out] with the boys.

Dec 6th Wednes
Returned from Calcutta in ‘X’ flown by F/O Moffatt who shot up Cal a few times, saying good bye to his girl-friend.
I didn‘t feel to good after the night out & was glad when we touched down.

Dec 7th Thurs
Whilst I‘d been on leave, F/O Stevens & F/Lt Parker, F/O
Vardigans & F/Sgt Spencer completed their op hours [by now set at 200hrs] on their first tour, good show.
Trying to catch up with my mail.
Chalky White got his commission.

Dec 8th Friday
Had a shock this morning, on the hooks!!!? Case admonished. [on the hooks: on a disciplinary charge. This was not the best news, but depending on the nature of the misdemeanour and the admonition, not a permanent bar to progress.]
‘S’ & ‘V’ on ops, both returned OK.
House tonight, I won 15 chips.

Dec 9th, Sat
stand-down, no ops.
DCs taking W African troops to the front.

Dec 10th Sun
‘S’ & ‘O’ on early ops, early ops cancelled, both a/c went later & returned OK.

Dec 11th Mon
‘W’ & ‘S’ on early ops, my turn on, ‘M’ went later & all a/craft returned OK.
Went to the Toc H & played Housie, no luck.
[Toc H: derived from World War I signallers jargon and referring to Talbot House, the first of a long line of Soldier‘s Clubs, set up near Ypres in 1915 by an Army Chaplain of Australian birth, Rev PB Clayton. The Toc H Christian movement and its motto Service to others continue today in Australia and elsewhere. At Poperinghe, the original Talbot House continues to receive many, many visitors each year.]

Dec 12th
Stand-down, no ops.

Dec 13th Weds
‘Z’ & ‘M’ on ops, both returned OK, ‘M’ had vibration [perhaps engine vibration, due to ignition or other malfunction].
RP practice at Chittagong.
Housie tonight, no luck.

Dec 14th Fri
No ops, but 4 kites on RP practice off Chittagong.
Received War Service & Jap Campaign pay.
Housie at the Toc H, no luck.

Dec 16th Sat
‘X’ & ‘O’ on ops, both returned OK.
Ted’s birthday, we celebrated on RUM.

Dec 17th Sun
‘S’ on early ops, my turn on. ‘M’ went later & both a/craft returned OK.
‘A’ Flt lost a kite [
LZ343] which was on a wireless test, F/Sgt [Bell] & Sgt Laurence was the wireless bloke, both were killed & they were buried at Chittagong.
One of 27 Sqdn’s kites [KW318 ‘Z’] crashed on take-off & wrote-off one of our kites, [
NV210] ‘W’.
Luckily no-one was hurt.

Dec 18th Mon
No ops, RP practice.
Lord Louis Mountbatten paid us a visit, he spoke to several of us including myself.
Housie tonight, no luck!

    Mountbatten arrives
    [Mountbatten arrives, 18 December 1944 (Goodinson collection)
    The SEAC supremo Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten arrives for his
    pre-Christmas inspection. Tall and instantly recognisable, he advances, right. Next to him, hand out in greeting, is a very high ranking RAF officer with pilot’s wings, very likely AM Alec Coryton CB MVO DFC who had recently been appointed Commander, RAF Bengal & Burma. The third, beret-wearing, officer is carrying a swagger stick. In the shadows, an unidentifiable officer. The receiving party stand at attention as their senior commanders approach. Nearest the camera, the tallest man at the rear of the receiving party has strong hints, by stance and sheer height, of the acting 211 Squadron CO Bob Dagnall. Although ‘A’ Flight navigator Jim Oblein missed this parade whilst in captivity, he and other survivors met Coryton in person soon after their release from Rangoon Jail.]

Dec 19th, Tues
‘S’ & ‘O’ on ops, both returned OK.

Dec 20th to Dec 29th
Ops were carried out with the usual stand-downs.

Dec 21st Thurs
Flew to Calcutta on a hooch run. F/O Vardigans was the [pilot].
Stayed in Calcutta overnight & visited the Transit Camp [&] BHQ, met Robbie. Sgt Walker was with me.

Dec 22nd Friday
Left Calcutta on the 10 o’clock train, & after a lot of changing trains & the ferry steamer, Sgt Walker & I arrived back at Chiringa on Christmas Eve.

211Sqn Flight photo repaired
211 Squadron Chiringa December 1944 (Goodinson collection)
[Cpl Goodinson is sitting on the left (starboard) engine cowling wearing a bush hat, elbows on knees. S/Ldr Bob Dagnall, acting CO, is readily recognisable, centre front row, in forage cap. The complete Squadron photograph held by other
members was clearly taken on the same day, from the matching details in the scene. It seems likely that three group shots were taken on this day: the one of the whole Squadron; this one (apparently of ‘B’ Flight given Cpl Goodinson’s presence) and perhaps another, not yet found, of ‘A’ Flight.]

Dec 24th Sat CHRISTMAS EVE to Dec 29th
Had a grand time in “Holiday Inn”. [An RAF Christmas tradition: the airmen, with no mess but a canteen, re-constructed it as a temporary hostelry, of materials to hand, for the festive season].

    Christmas 1944 footy
    Football match Christmas 1944 (Goodinson collection)

    Christmas morning 1944
    Christmas morning 1944 (Goodinson collection)
    [“Sister Hannah” standing by to render aid to the footballers.]

    Christmas dinner 1944
    Christmas dinner 1944 (Goodinson collection)
    [The RAF Christmas dinner tradition: the men served by their officers. This was a popular shot, a print of which can also be seen in
    Bill Dickinson’s set.]

    christmas44 bearer garlands
    Garlands made by the bearers Christmas 1944 (Goodinson collection)
    [The RAF in India: airmen in their bashas also had the services of a bearer for assorted tasks. And then there were the char wallahs.]

    Lads and Char wallahs
    Some of the lads with Char Wallahs (Goodinson collection)
    [
    No names, no pack-drill.]

    cha wallah chit
    Char wallah chit (Goodinson collection)
    [Tea and light refreshments on the go provided by the char wallahs—and the RAF had a chit to cover that, too.]

    tommy thompson christmas 1944
    Tommy (Goodinson collection)
    [The greeting: “Best wishes Xmas 1944 R Thompson”]

Dec 30th Saturday
‘M’ & ‘X’ on early ops, my turn on, both returned OK.
Another do in “Holiday Inn”.

Dec 31st Sun
New Year’s Eve, another do.

Jan 1st 1945 Monday
Farewell party for Cpl Parfitt (Arthur) & Cpl Ans[...]
Invited to the Sgts Mess, where we proceeded to [get] drunk.
Arthur & Andy are due for the Boat, having [done] 4 years out here.

Jan 2nd Tues
Flew to Ranchi with F/O Russell on detachment.
Sqdn is going on intensive RP practice.

Jan 3rd to Jan 10th
Still at Ranchi, working hard but managed to get into town & see a few films & do some shopping.

Jan 10th Weds
Detachment went back to Chiringa & I went into [hospital] at Ranchi.

Jan 15th Mon
Discharged from hospital & proceeded to Calcutta.

Jan 16th Tues
Arrived in Calcutta & stayed at the Transit Camp waiting for a reservation for the train.
Heard that S/Ldr
Dagnall & F/O Stenning had failed to return from ops on Jan 13th [NE603 ‘O’].

Jan 16th to Jan 20th
Still waiting for a train but got to the films every [day] & saw Calcutta in general.

Jan 20th Saturday
Left Calcutta for Chiringa.

Jan 21st Sunday
Arrived at Chandpur via Gualando. Left Chandpur at 21:15 for Chittagong.

Jan 22nd Mon
Arrived Chittagong at 03:15 & caught 04:15 train for Dhozari & arrived there at 07:00hrs.
Arrived Chiringa at 10:30hrs.

Jan 23rd Tues.
Had the day off, getting my accounts straightened [out] & catching up with my mail.

Jan 24th Weds
‘W’, ‘R’ & ‘Z’ on ops, Benny’s turn on, all returned OK.
Went to a show at the camp cinema, given by the BRRE, quite good?
Ted Ede & Jack Edmunds are in ‘B’ Flt.

Jan 25th Thurs
‘V’, ‘S’ & ‘M’ on ops, Jack’s turn on, all returned OK.

Jan 26th Fri
No ops, stand-down.
Housie tonight, for the last time, Tommy won 60 chips.

Jan 27th Sat
‘V’, ‘M’ & ‘X’ on ops, my turn on, all returned OK.

Jan 28th Sun
‘V’, ‘R’ & ‘M’ on ops, Ted’s turn on, all returned OK.
Housie in 27 Sqdn’s Canteen, no luck!

Jan 29th Mon
‘P’, ‘V’ & ‘R’ on ops, Chips turn on, all a/craft returned OK.
Ted & I had a little celebration & got a little tight.

Jan 30th Tues
‘X’ on ops, Benny’s turn on, ‘X’ returned OK.
Ted & I had another session.

Jan 31st Wed
‘V’, ‘Z’ & ‘X’ on ops, Ging Macer’s turn on, ‘X’ & ‘V’ returned OK but ‘Z’ had a bullet hole through hydraulic pipe line & he couldn’t get his undercarriage down, so he crash-landed. F/Lt
Stacey [RAAF]
was the pilot & P/O
Carruthers cut his finger. [NE646]

Feb 1st Thurs
‘P’, ‘S’ & ‘W’ on ops, Jack’s turn on, all returned OK. The pilot returned in ‘W’ owing to sickness (air).

Feb 2nd Fri
‘V’, ‘R’ & ‘W’ on ops, my turn on, all returned OK.
Beer night tonight (just my luck).

Feb 3rd Sat
‘M’ ‘R’, ‘X’ & ‘S’ on ops, Ted’s turn on, all returned OK. ‘X’ had a bullet hole in the elevators & fractured boost pump.

Feb 4th Sun
‘Z’ on ops, Chips Lawson’s turn on, ‘Z’ returned OK.

Feb 5th Mon
‘V’ & ‘W’ on ops, my turn on, both returned OK.
Played football for our second team against HQ, result 4-4. I scored a goal & it was a good game.

Feb 6th Tues
‘M’ & ‘V’ on ops, both returned OK but ‘M’ was shot-up.
This was ‘V’s last trip before a major (damned good kite).

Feb 7th Weds
‘W’, ‘X’, ‘S’ & ‘V’ on ops, Benny’s turn on, ‘W’, ‘X’ & ‘S returned OK but ‘X’ had been shot up.
F/Sgt Fitzpatrick & F/Sgt Lock in [
LZ399] ‘V’ failed to return.

Feb 8th Thurs
Stand-down. No ops.
F/O Stevens & F/Sgt Parker awarded the DFC.

Feb 9th Frid
‘Z’ on early ops, Jack’s turn on, ‘Z’ returned later.
‘W’ ‘M’ & ‘S’ went later, Ging Macer’s turn on.
‘M’ & ‘S’ returned OK but ‘W’ flown by F/Sgt Purnell, F/Sgt Grimsdell failed to return, weather conditions were very bad & he was in touch with F/Lt Stacey half an hour’s flying from home. [The ground stations, however, heard nothing from
LZ372 ‘W’, while aircraft ‘S’ patrolling the same area several hours later saw no trace.]

Feb 10th Sat
‘M’ on ops, my turn on, returned OK.
Received a letter from Mac who had arrived home.

Feb 11th Sun
No ops, stand-down.
177 Sqdn pranged a kite on the side of the strip, he couldn’t get his wheels down.
Received a letter from Blackie at Bangalore.

Feb 12th Mon
‘M’, ‘P’, ‘R’ & ’Z’ on ops, Dick Clive’s turn on, all returned OK.
‘A’ Flt lost a kite today, W/O Leach & F/O Callaghan were the crew [
NV553 ‘G’ was last seen 40 miles SE of Rangoon at 07:20hrs but nothing more was heard from the aircraft. The pair were taken captive and survived Rangoon Jail.]

Feb 13th Tues
‘R’, ‘M’ & ‘V’ on night ops, Ted slipped down & broke a bone in his hand.
Ops were cancelled.

Feb 14th Weds
‘S’ on ops, which returned OK.
(Chalky White) & W/O Andrews who flew ‘S’ have now only 5 hours to do to complete 1st tour of ops.
177 Sqdn pranged another on the strip, his port main wheel had been burst with a bullet & on landing swung off the strip. The Pilot put on his brakes & the kite turned completely over. The crew had a narrow escape & were unhurt.

Feb 15th Thurs
‘R’, ‘V’, ‘M’, & ‘Z’ on ops. ‘R’ returned owing to bad weather, the rest returned OK.
Saw an ENSA Buoys Ahoy at the Cinema, quite good.
[ENSA, the Entertainments National Service Association and its successor, Combined Services Entertainment. The organisation created for taking entertainment to British Commonwealth forces in World War II, operating under the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes umbrella. The NAAFI had been set up as early as 1921 to provide recreation centres and canteens for service personnel in the ranks. Officers Mess, Sergeants Mess, NAAFI Canteen for other ranks: as entry by members of each group to the others off-duty domains was by invitation, these small islands of recreation offered some relaxation of Service discipline.]

Feb 16th Fri
Ted & I went to Cox’s Bazaar, hitched both ways & got back to Chiringa at about 20:00hrs.

Feb 17th Sat
‘M’, ‘R’ & ‘S’ on ops, all returned OK.
Chalky White & W/O Andrews finished their 1st tour of operations in ‘S’.
Ted & I split a bottle, & finished up in the Sgts Mess.

Feb 18th Sun
‘R’, ‘V’, ‘W’ & ‘X’ on ops, all returned OK.
‘A’ Flt pranged a kite on the strip, it had been shot-up [
KW316 ‘H’, Sgt Webster and F/Sgt Hopes].
Entertained by the WAAF band.

Feb 19th Mon
No ops. Stand-down.
177 Sqdn pranged a kite on the crash strip, couldn’t get his wheels down.

Feb 20th Tues
‘Z’ & ‘S’ on ops, my turn on, both returned OK &
F/Lt Wood in ‘S’ got a loco.
‘A’ Flt pranged another kite on landing.
Flying Control to blame, allowing a Hudson to move onto the strip as he was landing. Hard luck on the pilot, as he had flown back on one engine from the River Irrawaddy [F/Sgt FTN White RCAF and his navigator, Sgt Bennett were uninjured in
NV364 ‘J’]
‘A’ Flt CO was shot-up, but he got back OK. Kite went into M & S for repairs.
[Flying in
NV605 ‘F’ at 50ft, S/Ldr Martineau made repeated passes with rockets and cannon upon a group of road tankers. The aircraft took small-arms fire damage to both wings and starboard propeller. Martineau continued his attacks until ammunition was exhausted before turning away for base, returning safely with Navigator P/O Lacey and their passenger Major Prentice.]

Feb 21st Weds
‘M’ on early ops, my turn on, returned OK.
P/O Begg & P/O Rowan have now 22½hrs to go to finish their 1st op tour of 200hrs.
‘V’, ‘W’, ‘X’ went later, Dick’s turn on, all returned OK but ‘X’ was shot up, 20mm cannon shells through starboard main inner tank. [An extremely lucky escape for W/O Lowcock and F/O Heywood—the tank could easily have exploded with fatal results.]

Feb 22nd Thurs
‘W’, ‘R’ & ‘S’ on ops, Ted’s turn on, ‘S’ returned early owing to bad weather.
‘W’ & ‘R’ completed their op & returned OK.
F/O Russell in ‘R’, got a loco & 3 gharries.

Feb 23rd Fri
No ops, stand-down.
“M’ went to Calcutta on a hooch run, piloted by P/O White (Chalky).
27 Squadron lost another kite, engine cut on take-off & the kite went in, the observer was killed & the pilot badly burnt. [In Beaufighter RD275 ‘H’, F/O A Stephens had sustained a dislocated shoulder and severe burns to his arms, face and neck. His navigator F/Sgt Butler was killed instantly.]
‘M’ returned from Calcutta.

Feb 24th Sat
‘P’, ‘S’, & ‘Z’ on ops, all returned OK
Super Fortress landed on the strip to be refuelled. They are a wizard job!

Feb 25th Sun
‘V’ on early, returned OK, Benny’s turn on.
‘M’, ‘S’ & ‘W’ went later, all returned OK.
The Sqdn played HAA [Heavy Anti-Aircraft unit] at soccer & won 3-1.

Feb 26th Mon
‘R’, ‘P’ & ‘Z’ on night ops, Ging Macer’s turn on, all a/c returned OK.
‘S’ swung badly on NFT take-off & was examined & the rivetting was found badly sheared. RSU job.

Feb 27th Tues
No ops, stand-down.
Saw a native wedding on the other side of the [strip].
Had a decko though field glasses borrowed from [...] Post near our dispersal.
There was laks of noise, banging of drums & waving flags.
This was the first part of the wedding, the [bride] carried to the village of her husband to be [in a] closed canopy.

Feb 28th Weds
‘R‘ & ‘Z’ on ops, both returned OK.
I played centre forward for the second team [v] HQ, we won 1-0, I scored the goal.

March 1st Thurs
‘H’, ‘P’, ‘R’ & ‘V’ on ops, all returned OK.
‘A’ Flt pranged a kite on the strip, a main [tyre] burst on landing.
Sqdn Concert Party gave us a show, Further Round the Bend. Tomorrow night’s show is Tubby [Cpl Bond] last with the Rocketeers Concert Party.

    Beaufighter prang 211 Sqn
    Beaufighter prang (Goodinson collection)
    [Unidentified Beaufighter, no date. The state of the aircraft is consistent with the accident of 1 March to ‘G’ flown by P/Os Anderson and Davies, with Cat II damage—repairable, but not at the Squadron.]

March 2nd Fri
‘R’, ‘W’ & ‘Z’ on ops, my turn on, ‘R’ swing badly on [take]-off & ‘M’ went in its place. ‘M’ returned owing to weather. ‘A’ Flt lost another kite, the crew baled out over [...F/Lt Smith and W/O Webber in
LX948 ‘J’ baled out over Ramree Is, and were returned safely to the Squadron]. The other aircraft returned OK.

March 3rd Sat
No ops, stand-down.
Replacement for ‘S’ came in, of the LZ series. Saw Ralph Readers Gang Show No 3 at the cinema, it has been named The Beaumont, good show! 27 Sqdn lost another kite.

March 4th Sun
‘Z’ & ‘X’ on ops, Dick’s turn on, ‘V’ went later & all a/c returned OK.
Ted & I went to the Sgt’s Mess & got a little tight.
Had a chat with W/O Webber about his baling out experience over Ramree Island.

March 5th Mon
‘M’, ‘W’ & ‘X’ on ops, Ted’s turn on, all returned OK.
Tubby Bond posted to Cox’s Bazaar.

March 6th Tues
No ops (day)—stand-down.
‘Z’ & ‘X’ on night ops, Jack’s turn on, both returned OK.
Marie Burke & Co gave us a show in the cinema tonight not very good, Ted & I came out after 15 mins.

    Marie Burke Co02
    Marie Burke & Co (Goodinson collection)
    [Despite the undoubted effort made by entertainers to visit stations far afield, the acts were not always well received by the men.]

March 7th Weds
Beer night tonight, got sozzled.
F/Lt Stacey [‘B’ Flight Commander and an
RAAF man] made up to S/Ldr.
Heard that our old Flight Commander is missing off ops.
RSU pranged a kite on the strip, dead engine & no undercarriage.

March 8th Thurs
‘P’ & ’W ‘on ops, Ging Macer’s turn on, both returned OK.

March 9th Frid
‘M’ & ‘R’ on early ops, my turn on, both returned OK.
‘A’ Flt pranged a kite on take-off which burst into flames, the crew were OK.
[W/Os Thompson and Whale in
NE496 ‘H’. The aircraft swung on take-off and crashed into trees opposite Flying Control.]
‘V’, ‘W’ & ‘Z’ went later on ops. Dick’s turn on. All a/craft returned OK.

March 10th Sat
‘M’ on ops, Ted’s turn on.
P/O Begg & P/O Rowan on their last op trip, an Army Major was a passenger. ‘M’ returned OK. Good old [J & D?]. Saw a film called Double Indemnity, open but a good show, first film in months, what a change.

March 11th Sun
Stand-down, no ops.
Invited to the Sgts Mess to celebrate P/O Begg‘s & P/O Rowan’s completion of 1st op tour of 200hrs.
Got a little tight on rum.
Curly, Con, Ted & Ginge were also invited.

    Benny and Curly
    Benny & Curly (Goodinson collection)

March 12th Mon
‘P’ & ‘X’ on ops, both returned OK & W/Cdr Lovelock in [
NV202] ‘P’ came back on one engine, his oil pressure had gone for a Burton, he cut his engine & feathered his prop & made a wizard landing. Second team beat ‘A’ Flt second team 3-1 at soccer, I missed a penalty.
‘M’ went later on ops, Ging Macer’s turn on.
F/Lt Stayman left us bound for Akyab.
177 [Squadron] pranged a kite on the strip (no brakes).
“A’ Flt also pranged, taxiing from M & S.

March 13th Tues
‘M’, ‘R’ & ‘V’ on ops, my turn on, all returned OK.
‘M’s last trip before being flown away for a major [inspection and overhaul].
One of the best kites we have had on the Squadron.
Visit to Chiringa of the RAF Central Band.

Wednes March 14th
No ops, standing by.
Heard that one of 27 Sqdn kites lobbed in at Akyab on one engine & crashed into two DCs. The crew were unhurt but the sub-cheese [the whole lot] went up in flames a few minutes afterwards & some lives were lost.
[According to Bowyer, The Flying Elephants (Ch 17), with a serious oil leak in the port engine of Beaufighter KW404, W/O Sewell lost control on landing at Akyab and crashed into a parked Dakota near the strip, with no reported casualties beyond the slight injuries to Sewell and his navigator W/O D White.]
Rumoured that an advance party of 177 Sqdn have left for Northern Burma? Duff gen.
Played Ted at crib, lost 2-0.

Thurs March 15th
No ops, stand-down.
‘V’ went to Calcutta on a hooch run, returned OK.
Saw the RAF Central Dance Band at the cinema in Gypsy to Swing, a real change & thoroughly enjoyable.
Played Ted at crib & won 2-0

Friday, March 16th
‘S’, ‘M’, ‘Z’ & ‘R’ on ops, Dick’s turn on, all a/c returned OK.
Went to Cox’s Bazaar & on to Mercy Island.
Ted, Pat & I split a bottle of gin & then went to the Sgts Mess.

Sat March 17th
‘S’, ‘X’, ‘P’ & ‘M’ on ops, ‘P’ returned owing to loss of oil pressure (duff gauge).
Ted’s turn for night duty.
Played Ted at crib, won 2-0.

Sun March 18th
‘Z’ & ‘R’ on ops, Jack’s turn on, both returned OK.
Played [Jack?] at crib, won 2-1, played him at darts, won 2-0.

Mon March 20th [19th]
No ops, stand down.
‘P’ & ‘X’ went to Calcutta, ‘X’ returned OK.
Played Ted at crib, won 2-0.
27 Sqdn pranged a kite. Made a ropey landing & a cross-wind caught him.

March 20th Tues
‘Z’. ‘M’ & ‘W’ on ops, Ging Macer’s turn on, all returned OK.
‘P’ returned OK from Calcutta.
Camp cinema opened at last, the film And the Thousands Cheer was marvellous, roll on the next film.

March 21st Weds
‘R’ & ‘V’ on ops (early), both returned OK.
‘P’ & ‘S’ went later, George’s turn on, both returned OK.
Played Ted at crib, won 2-1.
W/Cdr
Lovelock did 7hrs in ‘P’ and still had 60 galls fuel left.
[The Squadron CO in a ‘B’ Flight machine showing considerable flying skill. Some study had been exercised to better understand boost, mixture and revs settings to achieve such durations, other 211 Squadron pilots also achieving such flight times.]

    Lovelock 34

    [Though an accomplished pilot of much experience as a pre-war permanent RAF officer and war-time CO of two other operational Squadrons, Lovelock was never regarded by the 211s with the warmth accorded Muller-Rowland, Meagher or Gordon-Finlayson.

    Post-war, Lovelock was embittered by the great shake-out of RAF personnel, as Cpl Goodinson’s cutting suggests. A featured correspondent for Flight, by 1952 Lovelock had left the RAF and was serving in the R Aux AF as a Flight Commander with 622 Squadron (in effect, Air Work Ltd as transport arm of the RAF).

    En route from Blackbushe to the Suez Canal Zone, his Air Work HP Hermes IV G-ALDB/WZ839 was carrying 54 troops and 6 crew to Malta on 23 July 1952 when the aircraft lost its starboard outer propeller, damaging the starboard inner which then also failed. Lovelock was able to execute a safe asymmetric-power forced-landing at night in a French field near Pithiviers, despite ground obstacles. All personnel aboard then escaped safely before the aircraft was destroyed by fire. Lovelock was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air in December 1952.]
     

‘A’ Flt pranged a kite on the strip, he couldn’t get his undercarriage down, wizard prang! [F/O Montague Browne & F/Sgt Price, who partially repaired the failed hydraulic system of RD271 ‘L’ by simply adding water, enough for Montague Browne to pull on some flap for landing but not enough for the undercart to oblige. His belly landing was excellent.]

March 22nd Thurs
27 Sqdn pranged a kite on the strip, couldn’t get his legs down.
‘R’, ‘S’, & ‘W’ on night ops, my turn on, all returned OK.

March 23rd Fri
Stand-down, no ops.
G/Cpt Tomlin in ‘M’ went to Akyab & returned OK.
Ted & I celebrated the wife’s birthday, which is tomorrow.

March 24th Sat
‘P‘ & ‘S’ on ops, Dick’s turn on, both returned OK.
Went to the cinema & saw the film To the Stars, not bad!
‘R’, ‘W’ & ‘X’ & ‘Z’ went later, all returned OK but ‘W’ & ‘X’ were shot up. ‘X’ went into RSU & was badly knocked about. [F/Sgts Taylor and Broome. In
RD281 ‘X’ they were damaged by AA fire at Namhpe. Tom Taylor replied with a long burst from the cannons and returned and land safely with Cat II damage to the aircraft.]

March 25th
First film for the IAF & enrolled followers [Indian personnel serving on RAF stations as cooks, barbers, cartmen and the like.]
Johnnie Birch completed his first 200 ops hrs, good show.
Air Raid warning, nothing happened here.

March 26th Mon
Nothing during the day.
‘R’, ‘H’, ‘P’ & ‘W’ on ops (night), Ted’s turn on, all a/craft returned OK.
Played Ted at crib won 2-0, lost 2-1.

March 27th Tues
No ops, stand-down, received a letter from Paddy who has arrived back in Blighty.
Saw the film The Butler’s Sister for the second time.

March 28th Wed
‘R’ & ‘M’ on ops, Jack’s turn on, both returned OK
‘W’ & ‘V’ went later & returned OK. Played Ted at crib, won 2-0 [...]

March 29th Thurs
‘P’ went to Calcutta on a hooch & cigarette run. Smoky Naylor was a passenger.
‘S’ & ‘L’ on ops, Benny’s turn on, both returned OK.
We played M & S [Maintenance & Servicing?] second team, we won 3-2. I scored two goals & George Rawley scored the other.
DC [Dakota] pranged about 3 miles away believed to be carrying outward mail.
Played Ted at crib, lost 2-1.

March 30th Good Friday
‘P‘ still at Calcutta u/s
‘M’, ‘Z’, & ‘V’ on ops, George’s turn on, all returned OK.
Saw the film Lady Let’s Dance, very enjoyable.
177 [Sqdn] pranged a kite just off the strip, crew were OK.
Played Ted at crib, won 2-0.

March 31st Sat
Sweeping changes, an Echelon has been formed [
7211 Servicing Echelon] & I am now in charge of a gang in the Snag Flt. [snag: technical or equipment failure]
Beat Ted at crib 2-1.

April 1st Easter Sun
Second day in Snag Flt, not many jobs on, had the afternoon off.
177 Sqdn pranged a kite on the crash strip.
6 kites on ops, one went to Calcutta & returned OK. All aircraft returned OK.
Played Ted at crib, won 2-0.

    Beaufighter prang 211 Sqn.jpg 2
    Beaufighters in collision I (Goodinson collection)

    Beaufighter prang 211 Sqn.jpg 3
    Beaufighters in collision II (Goodinson collection)
    [
    An anonymous pair in a highly embarrassing position. There is no precisely matching entry among Arthur’s notes of such events. There were quite a lot of accidents on the airstrip shared by the three Beaufighter Squadrons. Those on landing were often due to mechanical failure or damage from enemy fire. Those on take-off were sometimes brought about by engine problems, but some were down to ham-fisted handling ending in take-off swing. The Beaufighter, with engines well forward, was rather unforgiving at high power with tail up if incipient swing was not anticipated and promptly corrected.]

April 2nd Easter Mon
6 aircraft on night flying. Ted’s turn on.
Today I got an inspection for my gang, this is my first on the Squadron. a/c ‘M‘ 562 [possibly
NV526 ‘M’ of Alan Wythe DFM or perhaps NV562—both were on Squadron charge and survived the war].
All a/craft returned OK. Saw the film Don’t Take It to Heart.

April 3rd Tue
Stand down, no ops. Played Ted at crib, won 1-0.
Beer night, Ted & I managed to get slightly inebriated on Murree [beer].

April 4th Weds
6 aircraft on ops, all returned OK.
Finished the inspection, no snags.
Played Ted at crib, won 2-0

April 5th Thurs
2 kites on ops, both returned OK, but one of them was shot up & is a write-off as far as we are concerned [in
NV607 ‘K’, Walters & Kemp were flying at 400ft when their aircraft was hit by ground-fire in the engine, wing and engine bearer but returned safely. Assessed at first as Cat II damage, but struck off charge at the end of May].
Saw the film Bathing Beauty. Wizard show.

April 6th Fri
Laks
of NFTs & local flying.
Started on my second inspection on ‘W’.
Two years today since I got in the train for Morecambe & the start of my overseas tour. Roll on.
Saw the film Twilight Hour, British but good.
Got the gen that I shall be going to Dacca to broadcast home to Margaret & the children on the 9th.
[The chance to broadcast home from India required much patience. Arthur Goodinson’s application had been made almost a year earlier, at the end of
April 1944, then forwarded from India to the War Office in London.]

April 7th Sat
Ted got the news that he has been lucky in the draw for Blighty leave, good luck to him.
4 kites on ops, all returned OK.
Ted had a farewell party and we all had a wizard time.

April 8th Sun
8 kites on ops.
Ted left today at 2 o’clock bound for Blighty.
Played Bell at crib, lost 2-0.

April 9th Mon
Left at 2 o’clock for Dacca, as we were passing Dhozari Transit Camp, the cookhouse caught fire & along with another basha, was completely burnt down.
On arrival at Dhozari rail head, we were told that the 5:30 train to Chittagong was cancelled so we had to spend the night at the camp.

April 10th Tues
Caught the 07:30 train to Chittagong & on arrival there had a dekko at the town. Caught the 4:30 in the afternoon for Dacca.

April 11th Wednes
Changed at Ahkona for Dacca & arrived there at about 10 o’clock. Went to broadcast at 2 o’clock & arrived back at about 7 o’clock in the evening.

    My radio script at Dacca April 11th 1945
    “621196 Cpl Goodinson A
    His Wife Mrs Goodinson of Regent Street, Long Baton, Derbyshire.”

    “Hello Sweetheart, Hello Roy, Mary and Babs, hope that you are happy and well. I’m looking forward to the day when we are together once more. God bless you all.”

Saw a film called Follies of 1943 which had been cut beyond recognition.
Two years today since I got on the boat at Liverpool.

April 12th Thurs
Went into the town/city of Dacca, owing to Police Regulations we were only allowed in the main street & they were out of bounds after 7 o’clock at night.
This is a hot bed of the Ghandi Wallahs.
[The Mahatma had been released from custody in 1944. By 1945 the Indian independence movement—and momentum for East Bengal to be part of a separate Muslim Pakistan—were both growing, as the war against the Axis powers dragged slowly to an end.]
As a shopping centre, Dacca is a dead loss.
Saw the film Hitler’s Gang at the Britannic.

April 13th Fri
Left Dacca at 01:30hrs & arrived Chittagong at 20:30hrs.

April 14th Sat
Left Chittagong and arrived on camp at 12:30.
Heard the news that F/O Mitchell & P/O Palmer had to bale out of a/c ‘R’ [
NT984] over the strip owing to having been shot up & couldn’t lose height.
Both made the jump OK & F/O Mitchell landed in the river but was OK.
Also heard that W/Cdr Bradly lost his life on a take off with 27 Squadron, his passenger baled out & made the grade OK. [W/Cdr TPA Bradley DSO DFC & P/O Holmes had been killed in action on 10 April.]
Saw the film Lost Angel quite good and a change from the usual film. Storm blowing up.

April 15th
No ops, owing to bad weather.
Bristol expert took up a kite from each squadron, commenced to do some real flying, saw him roll a Beaufighter several times, he certainly knows his gen.
Tommy, Dai & I split a bottle of gin & a bottle of sherry.

April 16th
7 kites on ops, all returned OK, but two a/craft were shot-up & one returned owing to bad weather.
Played Bell at crib. won 2-0.

April 17th Tues
My gang & I on day off!
Heard the news that F/Lt Stayman, P/O Spencer, S/Ldr Martineau, F/O Vardigans & P/O Hopkins have been awarded the DFC. Damned good show.
Saw a double-featured programme Take it or Leave It & The Bermuda Mystery, quite good.
Two kites on ops, both returned OK.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-0.

April 18th Weds
Stand down, no ops.
‘M’ & ‘D’ went to Calcutta.
22 Sqdn moved in from Joari.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-1.

April 19th Thurs
Stand down, no ops. ‘D’ returned from Calcutta but ‘M’ is u/s there.
Played centre forward for Servicing [Echelon 7211] against MT [Section].
MT won 1-0 a good clean game.

April 21st Sat
Rained like hell. ‘M’ returned from Calcutta.
Two kites on ops.
22 Sqdn commenced ops.
Played Bell at crib lost 2-1.

April 22nd Sun
No ops, stand down.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-1.
Saw the film Shine on Harvest Moon, real good show.

April 23rd Mon
Stand down, no ops.
Went to Chittagong & stayed the [night] at the Transit Camp.
Saw the film Climax at the Palace, not very good.
Jack Mulvey drowned in the river at the rear of the camp.
[Back at Chiringa, LAC C Mulvey, another Flight Mech (Engine), had drowned in a casual swimming expedition. Mulvey’s body was found the next afternoon.]

April 24th Tues
Left Chittagong at 12:00hrs & arrived Chiringa at 18:00hrs.
11 kites on ops.
Total opshrs to the end of March 6,704.
Total number of sorties 1654.
[Equivalent to 34 completed 200hr tours, for the loss on operations over that time of 37 two-man crews, average sortie duration 4hrs].
Played Bell at crib, lost 2-0.

April 25th Weds
11 kites on ops, all returned OK.
6 of the kits were on a strike on MTBs hiding off shore & well-camouflaged, results not known.
Saw the film For Whom the Bell Tolls. Wizard film.

April 26th Thurs
Stand down, no ops.
Changed a carb [carburettor] on ‘W’ KW413 OK.
Played Bell at crib, lost 2-0.
W/Cdr [Lovelock DFC, CO] in ‘P’ came back from Trichinopoly, having been to have a dekho at the site that we are going to on the next move, which won’t be long now. Cheers!
177 Sqdn lost a kite today, the pilot was W/Cdr Nottage and his observer P/O
Bolitho, an ex-211 Sqdn chap. [The tale of their forced landing, escape and evasion is told by Sutherland Brown in Silently Into the Midst of Things.]
22 Sqdn also lost a kite today.

April 27th Frid
Stand down, no ops, but I was kept busy with my gang, with snags on three kites.
Heard the news today that the strike on the MT Boats was a huge success.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-1.

April 28th Sat
8 kites on ops, all returned OK.
Nothing much in the way of snags.
Beer night tonight. Heard news that Germany had asked for unconditional [sic] surrender which was not given, because the Russians were not included.
[Himmler made a unilateral overture through the Swedish diplomat Bernadotte, to surrender to Britain and the United States but to continue to resist the Russians—who were already fighting in Berlin. The approach was rejected.]
We all had a wizard session.

April 29th Sun
No day ops, 2 kites on night ops, which returned OK.
The Flt daftar [office] burnt down.
I/C a/craft guard, nothing to report.

April 30th Mon
Came off guard about 07:00hrs, stand-off until the afternoon. 22 Sqdn lost kite.
No ops—stand down, big do on tomorrow.
Saw a double feature programme at the cinema, Silver Key & Seven Days Ashore. OK.
On Sunday one of 27 Sqdn’s kites coming in to land hit the water bowser, driven by a wog who was killed. The kite turned over but the crew were OK, but very lucky.
W/Cdr Lovelock DFC our CO gave us the gen that tomorrow was the start of the push to re-capture Rangoon, our Beaufighters going in with RPs & cannon.
3 kites took off at 16:00hrs with RP, all returned [OK].
Played Bell at crib, won 2-1.
[On this date Adolf Hitler committed suicide in Berlin.]

May 1st Tues
Myself & the gang on day off.
6 kites from our Sqdn, 6 from 22 Sqdn & 5 from 177 Sqdn took off on the big do around Rangoon.
177 Sqdn should have sent 6 but one swung on take-off & the kite was a write-off, no gen as to how the crew are. Later gen, the crew were OK—lucky people!
6 more a/craft took off later & all our a/c returned OK after a successful operation.
Very little opposition was encountered.
Played Bell at crib lost 2-0.

May 2nd Weds
12 more aircraft took off in the early hours of the morning with RPs for the Rangoon area, all returned OK, except ‘R’ which had run into his own debris from the salvo of his RPs [
NE688 ‘R’ of F/Lt Strumbos RCAF].
The pilot got the a/craft back OK but it is a RSU job.
W/Cdr Lovelock DFC told us that the operations were a complete success.
Played Bell at crib lost 2-0.

May 3rd Thurs
2 a/craft on ops, both returned OK.
Advance party left for Trichinopoly.
Saw the film San Diego I love You, not bad.
J McClennan’s posting through (bound for Ramree Island).

May 4th Fri
Early ops cancelled owing to bad weather.
2 a/craft left for Trichinopoly & 2 went on ops.
Was placed in charge of the Servicing Flt.
Played Bell at crib, lost 2-0.
Played Pat at crib, won 2-1.

May 5th Sat
6 kites on ops, all returned OK except
NV202 ‘P’ which was shot up, the navigator had a narrow [escape]
Heard the news that quite a number of our a/crew lost on ops are safe & have been released from a PoW Camp at Rangoon.
Also that Shorty Hall & Jack Parker were shot dead resisting arrest after being shot down.
[It was almost exactly a year since P/Os Hall & Parker had been shot down in
NE539 ‘Z’ on 7 May 1944. Hall was executed shortly after but Parker was made a Prisoner of War, one of a large group held in appalling and brutal conditions at Rangoon Jail described by Barney Mearns. In all, 18 men of the Squadron had fallen into Japanese hands, 16 of them surviving to be taken to Rangoon Jail where, by May 1945, only 12 remained alive. The other four, Bovier, Luing, Parker and White were among the roll of PoWs in Rangoon who had died from a combination of dysentery, cholera and starvation while prisoners in the custody of the Imperial Japanese Army.]
Played Bell at crib, won 2-0.

May 6th Sun
No ops, but on stand-by.
2 kites went to Comilla to bring back some of our a/crew who had been PoW but the Army authorities would not let them come.
We are now going to Bangalore instead of Trichinopoly.
45 & 82 Mosquito Sqdns came in & stayed for a few days.

May 7th Mon
Good news today, we are leaving our [Beaufighters] & equipment with the RSU & taking our our own equipment bus.
6 kites on ops, all returned OK except F/O Anderson & P/O [F/O Davies] in [
NV603] ‘G’ who failed to return [the Squadron’s last losses in action].
Played Bell at crib, lost 2-0

May 8th Tues
No ops, but one kite went on a search for missing aircraft & crew. No luck.
V Day. The was against Germany is over at last.
Chiefy Jones had a farewell party in the Sgts Mess. What a night.

    With All My Best Wishes Chiefy Jones
    Chiefy Jones (Taff) (Goodinson collection)
    [The greeting reads “With all my best wishes [...] Jones. Clearly Another Taff.]

May 9th Weds
Stand down, no ops.
Chiefy Jones left for Blighty along with Sgt Mi[...] & Buck Taylor.
[In the style of the time, the repatriation of the senior NCOs was noted briefly but without names in the Squadron record.]
Saw a double feature programme at the cinema The Unwelcome Guest & Pardon My Rhythm.

May 10th Thurs
Heavy gale during the night, violent thunderstorm which woke all the camp about 03:00hrs.
Several bashas were blown down & practically every basha was damaged. Canteen collapsed & part of the cookhouse.
Finished work at tiffin time & we were told that we are handing the Beaus over to RSU & the remaining Sqdns tomorrow.
Preparing for the move.
ENSA are giving a show tonight & tomorrow, Love in a Mist. I’m unlucky, didn’t get a ticket.

May 11th Fri
Handed over the kites to the RSU & 177, 22 & 27 Sqdns, packed flight kit & are now standing by.
had a drink with Pat in their basha.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-1.

May 12th Sat
Still waiting to move.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-1 lost 2-0.
Tommy, Taff & I split a bottle of gin.

    TaffThomas Cyril Tommy Steve
    Taff, Cyril, Tommy, Steve (Goodinson collection)
    [Taff Thomas front left, Tommy Thompson rear left.]

May 13th Sun
Rumoured that we are not leaving until the 24th.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-1 & 2-0, lost 2-0.
Played Pat at crib, won 2-1.
‘B‘ Flt beat ‘A’ Flt 2-1 at soccer.

May 14th Mon
Still waiting to move.
Played Bell at crib, won 2-1 & beat Tommy also 2-1.
Fierce gale blew up during the night & blew down our basha.
I got trapped but managed to get away OK.
What a night for everyone, rain, thunder & lightning.
Finish up in the camp church, but had little sleep.

May 15th Tues
Up at 05:30 salvaging our kits, nearly all the bashas on the camp were down.
Later on the sun came out & we managed to dry our clothes & bedding.
Moved in the afternoon to an old WAFF camp.
[About three-quarters of the bashas had been flattened, as Monty
Walter’s photos and Ron Kemp’s narratives show. The old Toc H club was re-opened to accommodate some 80 of the dispossessed but the bulk of the men ended up at the West African Frontier Force camp, some 5 miles away.]
Had a chota celebration with Pat & the gang.

May 16th Wednes
Making ourselves comfortable at this place.
Another storm during the night but the bashas are much safer as the main supports are made of teak [as opposed to the bamboo poles of Chiringa bashas, clearly seen in Arthur’s interior shot.]

    B Flt Basha 1944 211 Sqn
    ‘B’ Flight Basha 1944 (Goodinson collection)

May 17th Thurs
Went to the camp cinema & saw the film called The Monahans, musical show, quite good.

May 18th Fri
After being trounced two days at crib, by Bell & Tommy, I laid the bogey & beat them both, 2-0, 2-1 & 2-1.

May 19th Sat
My birthday, 38, how time flies. Pat, the boys & I had a chotah session.

May 20th Sun
Mail came today from Bangalore but I didn’t get a letter from Margaret. It’s above 3 weeks since I had a letter, hope everything is alright, still no news is good news.

May 21st Mon
Dhobie day [dhobi: washing.]
Heard the gen about the camp at Bangalore, seems OK.
Saw the film called From Bowery to Broadway, quite good.

May 22nd
Saw a match between teams, one from this camp & the old camp, the old camp won 2-1, good game to watch.
Beer-nite, Yankee Lion Beer, 6 bottles per man (12oz) [half-bottles in other words—roughly stubbies in Australian terms, not long-necks].

May 23rd Wed
At last the movement has begin, all heavy equipment was taken & loaded at Dohazari.
Another 7 bottles of beer tonight.

May 24th Thurs
Another day of loading.
Saw the film Sensations of 1945.
Finished off the beer tonight.

May 25th Fri
Left Chiringa for Dohazari & left there at 17:00hrs

May 26th Sat
Arrived Gualando via Chandpur by ferry steamer at 17:30hrs
Left Gualando at 20:00hrs.

May 27th Sun
Arrived at a Junction at 05:30hrs left at 08:00hrs.
Arrived at Kharampur [Kharagpur] at 19:30hrs this place has the longest [railway station] platform in India.
To get to here we travelled through a hell of a storm. Lightning was dancing along the rails.
Left Kharampur at 21:00hrs.
Managed to wangle through the piquet & bought two bottles of old rum.

May 28th Mon
Passed over a bridge about a mile long over the Ganges on our way to Cuttack & arrived there at 08:30.Here we encountered hundreds of natives with their usual cry of “Baksheesh sahib”.
Left Cuttack at 10:00hrs arrived at Khurda Road 11:30hrs passing some marvellous temples along the way [about 40 miles: the modern travel time is little different, albeit by road.]
Left Khurda Road at 12 hours [one of the rare occasions, like the Dacca broadcast to Margaret, where military time slipped from mind] passing through the following stations: Khairapur, Taipung, Balugan, Rambha, Hummah, Gnajam, Chatrapur, Berampur, Golantra, Ichchapuram, Sompetra, Barova, Manadra Bridge, Mandassa Road, Palasu, Noupada, Kotabommali, Vizianagram, Anakapelli, Kasimkota.

May 29th Tues
Still travelling. We are now in the State of Hyderabad passing the following stations: Bayyavaram, Yellow Machilla Naspataum [sic], Gullypadu, Tuni, Humsamaram, Annaranam, Samalkot, Dwarapudi, Kadiam, Royal Mundri, Godavari, Pasivelda, Chagulla, Niduadvolu, Marampalli, Nevapalam, Chebrol, Brumadal, Denduluru, Ellore, Nuzvid, Ampapuram, Bezwarda Junc. 22:20.

Bridge at Godavari 9016 feet in length took us 14mins 16secs to cross [about 1.7 miles at 7mph or 2.7km at 12kmh]

May 30th Weds
00:30hrs Tenali picked up flower & was told that it was called poplar.
Ealing, Ulavapadu, Tettu, Kavali, Bitragur to 08:30hrs.
Left Bitragunta at 10:00hrs arrived at Korukkupeta at 17:30hrs having passed through Talmanchi, Gudur Mazudupeta, Dharayari Chattram, Piliveddepalam, Sullurepeta, Tada, AramBokkam, Elavar, Gummudipundi, Kavarappalkur, Ponnari, Ennore, Tandiarpet. Left Korukkupeta at 18:15hrs (this place is 5 miles from Madras), Perambur, Villavakkam, Kunnathur, Ambottur, Avadi, Pathabiram, Tinnan, Sevapet, Trivellore, arrived at .....? 21:00hrs, left at 22:15.

Bangalore, Mysore
May 31st Thurs
Arrived at Jalapet Junction in the early hours of the morning & left at 07:30, passed through Patchur, Kuppam which is 2240 feet above sea level, Bismathan, Kamasamudram, Bowringpet, Tyakal & Whitefield, arriving at Bangalore at 13:30. Met Blackie on the station. On the way to Yellahanka, passed through the Towers of Silence (Parsee) [Funerary towers for the disposal of the dead in the Parsee tradition].
Went into the town & had a jolly night.

June 1st Fri
Went down to the Section, nothing much doing although we have got about 6 Mosquito aircraft.
Went out again & met Flanagan in Bangalore. [Yelahanka was less than 10 miles North from Central Bangalore].

June 2nd Sat
Nothing much doing yet, went to town again & met Flanagan again, he is stationed at RAF Kolar [some 30 miles East of Bangalore].

June 3rd Sun
Day off, passed the time away answering mail.
Went to the camp cinema & saw the film called They Live Dangerously. Poor film.

June 4th Mon
Still nothing doing much, heard a bit of gen about some BEMs [British Empire Medal, awarded to NCOs and other ranks for meritorious service. Like all Service decorations, only sparsely awarded and on a quota system. The King’s Regulations & Air Council Instructions carefully noted that “faithful or zealous performance of ordinary duty is not sufficient in itself” [para 246 (b)]. Sadly, Arthur Goodinson was not among those awarded.]
Draught beer in the canteen, not bad stuff, had a reunion party with Blackie.

June 5th Tues
Another [batch of?] Mosquitoes came in today, got my first job, an Acceptance Check on one of them.

June 6th Weds
Things are still quiet.
Saw the film Sqdn Leader X, not bad.
Had a few drinks with Blackie in the canteen.

June 7th Thurs
Still quiet, received a parcel from Margaret.
Helped Chotah Bradwell to layout some a/frame [airframe] stuff for instructional purposes.
[The Squadron was converting from the
Bristol Beaufighter, a stressed-skin metal monocoque airframe with air-cooled radial engines to the balsa/ply composite monocoque and liquid-cooled in-line engines of the DH Mosquito.]

June 8th Fri
Still quiet. Helped Chotah again with some a/frame parts for spares.

June 9th Sat
Same procedure as previous days.
Another acceptance in.
Had a few drinks with a new Cpl to the Sqdn, decent type.
Half day.

June 10th Sun
Day off, rest of the blokes loading & unloading our kit which arrived yesterday.
Sqdn beat 4 IAF Sqdn 6-0 at soccer.
Saw the film Design For Scandal, quite good.

June 11th Mon
Attended a lecture on Hamilton a/screws, picked up some gen [technical differences in pitch/constant speed controls, which varied from one propeller manufacturer to another].
On guard tonight.

June 12th Tues
Came off guard at 07:00hrs, nothing happened, although the natives had broken into places the night before.
Got a fresh job i/c Plug Bay [looking after the ignition and spark-plugs for the V-12 Merlins, with 2 plugs per cylinder or 48 per aircraft—vs 56 for the two 14-cylinder Hercules of the Beaufighter].
Went to Bangalore & saw the film Dixie, a bit disappointing.

June 13th Weds
Started on the fresh job, but nothing much to do owing to the lack of tools [whether due to enemy action or organisational muddle, a repeated frustration of Service life thoughout the war].
Saw the film Seven Miles from Alcatraz.
Met Blackie in the canteen, & Pat, Jack, Taff, Blackie & I had a chotah session [a few drinks].

    TaffThomas
    Taff Thomas (Goodinson collection)

June 14th Thurs
Still waiting for tools etc.
Sqdn lost 2-0 to the Station team at soccer tonight. It was a good game spoiled by the high wind.

June 15th Fri
Still hanging on.
Saw Cpl Topham, who told me that I would be having my medical next week.

June 16th Sat
Picked up a hell of a cold, reported sick & got 24 [hours excused duty]. Stayed in bed the rest of the day.
Saw the film Fallen Sparrows, quite good.

June 17th Sun
Still feeling rough, another 24hrs ex-duty.
Me for the old charp again [charp: charpoy—bed].
Saw the film The Cross of Lorraine.

June 18th Mon
Still feeling rough but commenced work in the afternoon
D-Day for Demobilisation Roll On!

June 19th Tues
Nothing to report except the news that I’ll probably be back in Blighty in Sept.

June 20th Weds
Went down to the BMH Bangalore but got to go again [a visit to Bangalore Military Hospital, to arrange the pre-repatriation medical check perhaps]
The Sqdn lost 3-1 to the RSU at soccer.

June 21st Thurs
Nothing much doing, things on the quiet side although the pilots are getting on with the [conversion flying] courses OK, not much engine trouble as yet.
Sqdn lost 5-0 to the Station at soccer.

29th June Fri
Came off guard at 07:15, nothing to report except that jackals were in chorus during the night.
Lost two good pilots today in an a/craft accident.
W/O Lowcock (Jeff) & F/Sgt Wilkes were using evasive tactics (practice) against a Spitfire & crashed into a village killing about 40 natives, cattle etc [
Mosquito HR554].

30 June Sat
Funeral (military) for W/O Lowcock & F/Sgt Wilkes in Bangalore.
Station team beat a Wing team 6-1 at soccer.
I went into Bangalore at 2 o’clock, bought pendant & bracelets & saw the film Winged Victory at the Globe.

1 July Sun
Day off for everybody except guards etc.
Saw the film Heaven Can Wait a real pleasant film.
Sqdn team beat BMH 4-1 at soccer.

2 July Mon
Went with Dai Thomas to Bangalore to fetch an Eyety [Italian PoW] band who were giving a concert on camp. Very good! The band was the late Duke of D’Oasto’s Band (PoW).
[Prince Amedeo of Savoy-Aosta, 3rd Duke of Aosta, had been Italian Commander-in-Chief of the Italian military forces in Eritrea, Abyssinia and Italian Somaliland. He surrendered with his forces in May 1941 at Amba Alagi in northern Abyssinia. Regarded as a gallant opponent, Aosta died in captivity in Kenya in March 1942 from the complications of TB and malaria.]
Today there was an Aerial Display & we lost two good men, W/O Webster & F/Sgt Hopes (Corky & Jackie). They were dive bombing and failed to pull out.
[The loss of Webster and Hopes in their Mosquito
RF779, just three days after that of Lowcock and Wilkes in HR554, was deeply felt by the men of 211 Squadron—perhaps the more so during a non-operational period. The apparently brusque reaction of Lovelock as Squadron CO remains sharply etched in the memory of Squadron aircrew.]

Jul 3rd Tues
Station teams beat Binny’s Mills [a long-standing local fabric manufacturing firm] 6-1 at soccer.
Funeral of W/O Webster & F/Sgt Hopes at Bangalore.
Saw the film This Sun for Hire, very good!

July 4th Weds
Started to pack-up once more, heard that we are moving on the 7th? [to St Thomas Mount]
Saw the film Nick Carter Master Detective, a bit far-fetched, usual Yankee effort.
Beer in the canteen but not for me tonight.

July 16th Mon
Heard the gen that release groups 9-18 to be in by the end of Sept.
Main Party & kit arrived [at St Thomas Mount] from Bangalore.
I was i/c Train Guard.

July 17th Tues
Came off guard, nothing to report.
Unloading the kit & equipment today, I need this.
Saw the film The Master of Dimitrios at YWCA.

Jul 18th Weds
Firing up the Plug Bay, handed in our Gas Equipment.
Saw the film Edie Was a Lady. Very poor.

July 19th Fri
Went swimming at the YWCA pool & then to Madras.

Jul 21st Sat
Saw ENSA show, quite good.

July 22nd Sun
Sqdn team beat REME [Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers] at cricket by 3 wickets.
84 Sqdn lost a kite in the pawnee.
[84 Squadron had come to St Thomas Mount at the end of June with their Mosquitoes. F/Sgt Kirby and his passenger LAC Tidsley were killed when their aircraft hit the water near the shore-line and caught fire on bouncing ashore. The accident was believed to be the result of a high-speed stall while practicing dive-bombing.]

Jul 23rd Mon
Went to Madras with Ging Hey, went to the new Customs House and had a shufti [look] round generally.
Saw the film Tarzan & the Amazons at the New Elphinstone Cinema [new in 1932], dead loss, came back on the E tram.

Tues 24th
Chiefy Patineau & Sgt Chaplow leave the Squadron for Blighty tonight, Chiefy on demob and Chap on [...]
Saw the film Dreaming at the YWCA.

July 31st
Went to Madras & saw the film I’ll Walk Beside You at the New Elphinstone, quite good.

August 1st
Played for M&S at soccer against the Flt, the result was 1-1, I scored the goal.
Saw the film Princess O’Rourke at the camp cinema, very good farce with plenty of laughs.

August 2nd
Heard the news that F/O Smith, group 14, goes tomorrow, won’t be long now for yours truly.
Curley Iley (grand lad) left tonight on [repat] after 4 years in India etc.
Saw the film Songs of Nevada, poor show!

August 3rd
Had my medical, passed Grade I OK
At long last I’ve got my boat warning. Cheers.
Saw the film Quiet Wedding, a good laugh, [but] the film was spoiled owing to it being cut.

August 4th
Got cleared today, just waiting for the word to go.
Celebration tonight, my farewell party.
Finished up in the Officer’s Mess after supper.

August 5th
Saw the film The Way Ahead, very good [and still regarded today as a war-time classic].

August 6th
All set, ready for going on the way to Blighty.
Train leaves tomorrow night at 10:20.
Saw an ENSA show, Buoys Ahoy [same show I had seen at Chiringa on 15 February]

[With the irony of war, Arthur Goodinson’s diary breaks off at this point, as he awaits repatriation. After the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by nuclear bombs on 6 August and 8 August, the Japanese finally surrendered on 14 August 1945. The Second World War was over.]

    Aircrew table
    Aircrew losses January 1944 to February 1945 (Goodinson diary)
    The final page in Cpl Goodinson’s diary was given over to a roll of 211 Squadron aircrew lost on operations from January 1944 to February 1945, by date and aircraft identity. The entries from that roll have helped fill out the account of aircraft and crew losses of the Squadron’s
    Bristol Beaufighter operations.

Other photographs

    Jerry Boatbuilder
    Jerry the boat builder (Goodinson collection)
    [An interesting frame, the Warren-truss style of the hull bottom perhaps reflecting the pre-war skills of an RAF Fitter/Airframe or Carpenter, more than a boat-builder.]

    SammyTosh
    Sammy & Tosh (Goodinson collection)

    P_O 'Paddy' copy
    Paddy (Goodinson collection)
    [An unidentified Pilot Officer. The absence of wings on a open-necked bush shirt indicates casual dress, more than any hint of ground vs air crew. There is a slight resemblance to Arthur’s long standing NCO cribbage partner
    Paddy, who returned to the UK in March 1945 after a period of ill health.]

Sweet peace sits crowned with smiles...
Mary was aged twelve when her father returned home safe in September 1945, kitted out with the pinstripe demob suit that saw him through all the family weddings of the fifties and sixties. As she remarked “it took a lot of adjusting by everyone, particularly our mother, who had been dealing with everything for the seven years he had been in the RAF”.

Mary’s own husband was to serve for 35 years as RAF groundcrew. Her older brother Roy also served for 4 years, and she herself was a Physical Training Instructor in the WRAF for five years. Quite a Goodinson tradition of RAF service.

    Mum and Dad 196403
    Goodinson family gathering 1964 (Foster collection)
    Everybody beaming. Margaret in her favourite party frock and Arthur, left, in his RAF blazer and tie, worn with pride for all special occasions—other than the family weddings! The three eldest grandchildren here include Mary’s eldest son, now 52, sitting next to his grandfather. Eventually, the tide of grand-children swelled to no less than 18. These family reunions began in 1963 when Mary and her husband returned from his RAF posting to Aden. So enjoyable, they became an annual event that continues to the present day.

After the war, the Goodinson family returned to Rotherham and Arthur went back to his old job at the William Heaton Iron and Brass foundry, where he continued working as a bath moulder until laid off in 1964. A keen cricketer from before the war, once back in Rotherham he turned to umpiring, which he kept up until 1973. Arthur Goodinson died of a heart attack in 1974, aged 67.

Members of the family live in Rotherham still. Mary and her late sister Freda were the main drivers in gathering together the family history and their father’s war service. Mary very kindly copied a very large amount of her father’s material for me, from which this narrative has been compiled. Freda passed away in January 2009 before this page could be completed, Roy in 2012.

Sources
211 Squadron Operations Record Book Monthly Summaries (RAF Form 540) TNA AIR 27/1303
211 Squadron Oprep/Sortie Reports TNA AIR 27/1305—AIR 27/1310
Cpl A Goodinson, Diary 1943-1945, photograph album 1943—1945
Personal correspondence with Mary Foster (née Goodinson) .
Personal correspondence with
Dennis Spencer.
Personal correspondence with
Monty Walters.

Australian War Memorial Image database.
National Archives of Australia
Record Search database
Flight Archive,
1952

Air Ministry RAF War Manual (AP 1301) Part II Organization and Administration
Bingham Bristol Beaufighter
Bowyer The Flying Elephants
Burton Mission to Burma
Franklin Mellor Medical History of the Second World War—Casualties & Medical Statistics
Hague The Allied Convoy System
Halley RAF Aircraft LA100—LZ999
Halley RAF Aircraft NA100—NZ999
Halley Squadrons of the RAF & Commonwealth 1918—1988
Neate Scorpions Sting—The Story of No 84 Squadron RAF
Sutherland Brown Silently Into the Midst of Things
Thomas Beaufighter Aces of World War 2

www.211squadron.org © D Clark & others 2017
Site created 15 Apr 2001, last updated 2 Mar 2017. Page created 31 Jul 2009, last updated 31 Jul 2014
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