292 Sqn RAF 'Sea Otter' aircraft - any photos?

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by airlana, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. airlana

    airlana Member

    From late 1944 to the end of the war, RAF 292 Sqn operated "Sea Otters" in India and the Arakan area Burma.

    Would anyone have photos either of the "Sea Otters" or their bases or crew.

    I can't find much information anywhere on 292's "Sea Otters" let alone photos.

    thanks in advance

    airlana
     
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Hello Airlana

    Just a thought the link below just in case you cant find any other info

    No 292 Squadron Association: - John Reeves, 46 Ladywell Road, Boroughbridge, N.Yorks. YO51 9HL: tel 01423 323065 fax: 01423 860999: e-mail (via) malreeves@yahoo.com : info website www.rquirk.com

    from

    Sqn Histories 291-295_P


    regards
    Clive
     
  3. airlana

    airlana Member

    Hello Airlana

    Just a thought the link below just in case you cant find any other info

    No 292 Squadron Association: - John Reeves, 46 Ladywell Road, Boroughbridge, N.Yorks. YO51 9HL: tel 01423 323065 fax: 01423 860999: e-mail (via) malreeves@yahoo.com : info website www.rquirk.com

    from

    Sqn Histories 291-295_P


    regards
    Clive

    Hi Clive and thank you for the links.

    rquirk.com has copies of quite a few of 292's reports and these have been helpful.
    I'm also a paid subscriber to rafweb.org which is a great site but unfortunately it only has a brief mention of 292's Sea Otters.

    I'll try the Association, thank you for the email.

    Meanwhile someone here may have a photo or two to share.

    regards Ash

    airlana
     
  4. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  5. airlana

    airlana Member

    Airlana,

    Take a look at this site. I appreciate that it is not 292 Sqn.


    Regards
    Tom

    Thanks Tom, I appreciate your help.

    I've quite a few general photos of Sea Otter photos from books and the web, etc. India/Burma and especially 292 Sqn is the problem, they're obviously few and far between if at all any exist. Surely they must ??

    regards Ash

    airlana
     
  6. airlana

    airlana Member

    Ideally I’m after photos specifically of 292 Sqn Sea Otters, bases or crew.

    Obviously there’s a reason for wanting the photos, but first an excerpt from
    “Personal Diary of Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten 1943-1946” edited by Philip Ziegler.

    “Wednesday 17 January 1945.
    At 1500 we went back to the airfield [Akyab]……………… We then took off in a Sea Otter, which is merely the old Naval Walrus Amphibian converted to air-sea rescue work by the RAF. We took off on wheels and then flew over Baronga Island, and landed as a flying boat in Hunter’s Bay after half an hour’s flight. We were then taken ashore in an LCP and landed at the ‘follow-up’ beach on the Myebon Peninsular.
    We visited the beach on which the actual assault was carried out, which was further to the east. It was strongly defended and it is almost a miracle that the Commandos had only four killed in the assault, particularly as they themselves buried 95 Japs. I feel it was largely due to the heavy naval and air bombardment which caused the Japanese to get to their shelters, as three 37m guns were captured intact. We then drove on in a jeep towards the Front. We got to within 3,000 yards of the enemy, against whom the Gurkhas were at that time in action, when we had unfortunately to go back because there are no night flying facilities on Akyab and it was getting late”

    There’s a little more to the story that Mountbatten omits. Upon arriving back at Akyab it was dark and the strip had to be lit up with headlights from any vehicles the ground crew could round up. A few days later, the pilot received a personal note from Mountbatten thanking him for a safe return.

    The Sea Otter pilot was Barney Barnett who had spent his previous time in India/Burma with 136 Sqn on Hurricanes and Spitfires. Just how Barney finished up on Sea Otters is another story in itself – hopefully to be told another time on this forum.

    Barney, one of nature’s true gentlemen, a great guy and friend, has a birthday coming up in a few months, and as he has very few mementos of his time on Sea Otters I thought a few photos would make a wonderful surprise birthday present. It would really make his day.

    Hence my request for photos.

    Had a look online at the Imperial War Museum photo collection but couldn’t find anything. Maybe I had the search set up wrong. I would have thought that even on a trip like this there would have been an ‘official’ PR/photographer accompanying Mountbatten.

    So far I’ve found two, see below. One from a book on RAF-SEAC Combat Units and the other at Akyab with a Sea Otter in the foreground. They’re not positively indentified as 292 Sqn but a start none the less.

    regards
    Ash

    airlana
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Had a good look for 292 Squadron Sea Otter photos but sorry to say I turned up a blank.

    Just a short history of the Squadron......



    No.292 was formed as an air-sea rescue unit in eastern India in February 1944, initially equipped with Walrus amphibians. Warwick aircraft were received in April, and Sea Otters in November. Following problems with the Warwicks, some Liberator VIs were added during December. The unit operated in flights, the Sea Otters being based in the Arakan area. In April and May 1945 the unit commenced disbanding, reforming as five individual flights, numbered 1-5 ASR Flights. In June these became respectively 1346-1350 Flights while 1351 Flight was formed from the remaining E Flight of 292 Squadron. 1346-1349 Flights were equipped with Warwicks and Liberators, while 1350 and 1351 Flights employed the Walrus and Sea Otter amphibians.
    Commanding Officer

    Wg Cdr E.A. Starling February 1944 -
     
  8. Oggie2620

    Oggie2620 Senior Member

    Will have a look in my RAF Sqns book for 292 Sqn stuff and come back to you....

    Dee
     
  9. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Basically a Walrus with the engine the "right" way round!!
     
  10. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Basically a Walrus with the engine the "right" way round!!

    Almost, but the Walrus had the engine suspended between the two wings and the Otter is integral with the Top wing.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  11. Oggie2620

    Oggie2620 Senior Member

    Unfortunately the entry about 292 didnt have a picture of anything but heres the entry in full
    292 Sqn was formed on 1 Feb 1944 at Jessore for a air-sea rescue duties over the Bay of Bengal, a detachment being based in Ceylon. Initially Walruses were used and in April 1944 were supplemented by Warwicks, but the latter proved unsuitable for tropical conditions and were replaced by Liberators in December. Some Sea Otters were received in November 1944 and as well as carrying out searches over the sea the Sqn also covered the coastal areas of Burma. In February 1945 the Sqn moved to Agartala to be closer to the operational areas as the front line in Burma moved eastwards and it disbanded there on 14 June. Its duties were taken over by 1347, 1348 and 1349 Flights operating independantly...
    Sqn Aircraft WalrusI & II feb 1944-Jun 1945, Warwick I Apr 1944-Jun 1945 (though non operation after Dec 44), Sea Otter Nov 1944-Jun 1945 & Liberator VI Dec 1944-Jun 1945.
    Good luck finding photos
    Dee :indexCA7C9VES:
     
  12. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  13. airlana

    airlana Member

    Thank you to all who have replied re the 292 sqn photos.

    I had the feeling this was a bit like the 'needle in the haystack" when I started but still hopeful something will turn up in time for Barney's birthday.

    regards Ash

    airlana
     
  14. airlana

    airlana Member

  15. Oggie2620

    Oggie2620 Senior Member

    Hi
    The information I have is basically the same as Peters except:
    Sqn bases Jessore from 01/02/44 then Agartala 05/02/45 till disbanded on 14/06/45.
    a/c types Walrus I&II (feb 44 to jun 45), Warwick I (apr 44 to dec 44-though they had them till jun 45 they were none operational after dec), Sea Otter (nov 44 to jun 45) & Liberator VI (dec 44 to jun 45).
    Dee;)
     
  16. battleship

    battleship Junior Member

    From late 1944 to the end of the war, RAF 292 Sqn operated "Sea Otters" in India and the Arakan area Burma.

    Would anyone have photos either of the "Sea Otters" or their bases or crew.

    I can't find much information anywhere on 292's "Sea Otters" let alone photos.

    thanks in advance

    airlana

    Hope this arrives in time for Barney's birthday.
    My father, Roy King, flew with Barney on a couple of occasions as a Wireless Opp/Air Gunner in 292 Squadron E Flight aircraft JM771 and JM767. Dad's regular pilot in 292 was a New Zealander called Charles Beale, known as Chas Beale, who was also in 136 Squadron may be remembered by Barney. The attached photo shows a skinny youth, Dad, standing alongside the cockpit of JM772 which according to his log book was one of the aircraft in E Flight 292 squadron. Additionally attached is a copy of photos taken from a book which described the operations of Spitfires and Hurricanes in Burma. Chas Beale, top right; Dudley Barnett, bottom right. If this is the same Barnett then your may now have a photo of Barney in his Spitfire days that you didn't previously have.

    John

    Chas and Barney.jpg

    Sea Otter.jpg
     
    CL1 likes this.
  17. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    John,

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    Great pictures and thank you for sharing them.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  18. airlana

    airlana Member

    Hi Everyone,

    Firstly my apologises for taking so long to reply, but work commitments and a trip away left me with little free time, so just catching up now.

    Many thanks to all who have contibuted to my request. I realise it's a bit like "looking for the needle in a haystack" when it comes to photos of lesser known units etc, but it all helps.

    John, what a wonderful surprise to see your post and your Dad with 292sqd. Thank you so much for posting this on the forum. I've just emailed to Barney a copy of your message and will phone him later today. He will be absolutely delighted to receive this news. I'll probably see him in the next few days (he lives only about 20mins drive from me) so will hold off on a detailed reply till then.

    Again my thanks to everyone

    regards Ash
    airlana
     
  19. slaphead

    slaphead very occasional visitor

    Hi John,

    Welcome to the forum. What brilliant photos, thank you for joining the forum and posting them. What are your interests? Do you fancy writing a bit of an introduction about yourself and your dad? If not, get a mug of tea, pull up a chair and enjoy the forum. :)

    Andy
     
  20. WhiskeyGolf

    WhiskeyGolf Senior Member

    Hi everyone, I’m new here, and would also be interested in any photos of Sea Otters from 292 Squadron.

    My Great Uncle, John Horan (RNZAF), who was an Air Gunner with Pilot F/Lt Peter Almack with 292, was killed in operations on 9 January 1945 in Akyab. They took off from Cox's Bazaar and were supposed to be undergoing ASR readiness and experimental water landings when 8 Oscars attacked them. There was also a second Otter on operations that day, piloted by F/O Barnett, who had just delivered a Wing Commander and Brigadier to Akyab. On board both Otters were photographers from the Air Ministry film unit.

    Uncle Johnny was the only one killed that day, his body found washed up on a beach by members of No 3205 Royal Air Force Servicing Commando.

    I would also like to get photos of a Spitfire named “Kiwi’s Revenge”, which was named after Johnny and which flew with 292 after he was killed.

    SE Asia was Johnny’s 4th tour, so if anyone knows of any other stories of Johnny during his first three tours these would be greatly appreciated (264 and 277 Squadrons).

    Cheers
    Wendy
     

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