Aerial photographs of Allied bombing raids on Japanese occupied Burma.

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by High Wood, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Here is a 177 Squadron photograph that I am having problems with. It is No 11 in a sequence taken on Sortie 384 on the 11th November 1944. The hand written caption on the back states, "Oil pipe line "pranged" very successfully by one of our crews. Taikyi - Prome railway".

    The Operations Record Book shows four sorties being flown on the 11th November 1944, each involving two aircraft. but none of the four reports mention an attack on the oil pipe line. The amount of thick black smoke would certainly suggest burning oil, but the reports only mention burning lorries.

    177 001.JPG

    The most likely report is this one:

    Aircraft type and No. NE 807 Crew: F/L A. Sutherland Brown. W/O J. Aldham & NV 375. Crew: F/L O.E. Simpson. F/O N.F. Archer. Time up: 1200 hrs. Time down: 16.50

    Remarks: Aircraft reached target at BAWLAKE and started patrol at 13.50. A few miles north of BAWLAKE a lorry was seen in centre of the road. After the first attack it caught fire. Red flames were seen and a huge column of oily black smoke resulted. The lorry before attack seemed to be loaded. Shortly afterwards a second lorry, an open one from which coolies jumped off, was seen moving north. It was hit while moving and ran off the road. After 3 attacks by each aircraft it was set on fire. No further movement was reported to HOPONG but on the road between HOPONG and LOILEM two lorries were seen, the first facing west and the second one a few miles away moving west when first seen. Both aircraft attacked in each case and the vehicles were set on fire. When attacking the second lorry, smoke could still be seen from the burning wreck of the first one. Patrol finished at LAIKHA at 1507.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
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  2. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Google Chrome.
  3. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Exactly There is no problem with Chrome -but why should I have to use Chrome? I've been using my browser for years, it meets all the official HTML standards etc etc.
  4. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Another 177 Squadron photograph, this time dating from the 14th December 1944, whose exact location may be difficult to identify. The hand written caption says, Lorry attacked by our squadron, destroyed. Yinnyein S/E of Thaton.

    Here is the relevant section of the report.

    NV 376. Crew: S/L Hunt. H.B. F/O Marquis. J. & NE 642. Crew: F/O Elliott. F.C & F/O Perry W.J.

    At YINNYEIN a lorry with military personnel and coolies were seen moving south and an attack was made before the lorry came to a standstill. The lorry was hit and at least three of the troops were killed. The M.T. was left with smoke coming out of it. Rifle fire was encountered from the roadside. Off patrol at 0850. Low stratus over target but generally fair.

    I do not have a map of the Thaton area.

    177 009.JPG
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  5. Matt Poole

    Matt Poole Member

    From personal experience, I know of the frustrating idiosyncracies of browsers and forums, and I sometimes reluctantly give in and begrudgingly play by the rules forced upon me. If you can grit your teeth and abide by the mysterious rules forced upon you, then that would be the short-term solution. And trying to get technical answers from the webmaster, or from the technical god who is responsible for the workings of, might lead to a satisfactory long-term solution -- but going that route is hardly fun! Hopefully, can make changes to accomodate you. One thing's for sure - we'd love to see your photos. Good luck.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
  6. Matt Poole

    Matt Poole Member


    I'm going to guess that I've found the location, just south of THATON. Closer to THATON than to YINNYEIN. There is clearly a main road which crosses the rail line at an angle*, and especially if you enlarge the wartime image, a rail bridge at the bottom of the image is evident. The watercourse may not be a flooded stream -- I can't tell, but so be it. The bridge is unmistakable. Here are comparison images using and a 1:250,000 map from the 1950s, but which was compiled from older sources for the most part. The image is looking southwesterly, more or less. Typical of captions, the location is not at Yinnyein, and Yinnyein is not southeast of Thaton; it is almost due south.

    [EDIT: *Well, a 90 degree angle is still an angle, but ya knows what I mean. The intersection is at an acute angle...or is it obtuse? Or acute on one side and obtuse on the other? It's just nothing close to a right angle. I know a man of ill repute, but I don't know an angle of ill acute or ill obtuse.]

    [ANOTHER EDIT: Ye of observant natures will recognize (or recognise, depending upon your culture, or lack thereof) that I rotated the 1:250,000 map to more or less match the Beaufighter photo. The text is large, but, eh, I'm in a rush to rake leaves. I mean, I don't WANT to, but it's sunny and calm and warm enough in late November where I'd be a Poole, I mean a fool, not to take advantage of the opportunity.]


    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
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  7. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Maybe I should task you guys with trying to figure out where some of the 230 Sqn imagery is from... :D
    The detail in this here thread is quite simply astonishing... :salut:
  8. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Wow, just Wow, that was one photograph whose location I didn't think was identifiable; quite literally a corner of some foreign field and you have found it. I take my hat off to you. That said, I have plenty more which will be harder to find as I do not have even the remotest details as to location, just some readily identifiable features.
  9. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Here is an example of a photograph which has lost it original caption but should, in theory, be identifiable given enough time and effort. At first glance it looks nothing special, but there is a wealth of detail on closer examination.

    Unknown bombed bridge.jpg
  10. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Here is an annotated copy of the same photograph. The red circle marked A shows a heavily bombed railway bridge, note the large bomb craters. B marks the site of two replacement bridges, one of which is possibly a new road bridge. The blue lines mark the route of the railway. The orange arrow points to a very distinctive circular feature.

    This could be literally anywhere in Burma or even just across the border in Thailand. Luckily Burma didn't have an extensive rail network outside the main north-south lines and most of the smaller lines branch from the main n/s line, so fairly simple really.

    Unknown bombed bridge - Copy.jpg
  11. Matt Poole

    Matt Poole Member

    EASY! It's central London at noon on 23 June 1944. Behind the 143rd tree from the left, you'll see a Rolls Royce with Winston Churchill in the back seat...kissing Dwight Eisenhower. And there's a rare and elusive Pussycat Swallowtail butterfly. That's the Thames River. Nah, Simon, this baby's location will likely remain a mystery unless the caption or flight info can be found.

    I just lucked out with the last location ID. It's kind of like someone who has won the lottery -- the stars aligned once, but the odds are against him ever winning again!

    But I am a genius -- make sure you understand that. And I'm modest...something I like to brag about. [EDIT: Truthfully, I'm much closer to "igneous" than "genius" (and to quote Simon & Garfunkle: "I am a rock, I am an island"), though once in a great while I have been called "ingenious" -- but that's their label, not mine.]
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
  12. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member


    I wasn't seriously expecting a result before supper time, (its 13.30 here now) so there is still plenty of time. But seriously, I have spent hours with my maps looking for this one and had come up with one or two possibilities. The trouble is that when I go to google maps, I can never find an exact match. My guess is that it is either up somewhere towards Myitkyina, probably north of Katha, or down past Moulmein towards the Three Pagodas Pass, north or possibly south of Mandalay, or perhaps east of Pegu or west of Prome or maybe about 300 miles NNE of Rangoon, somewhere in the Shan Hills near a large white pagoda. But to be honest, I am not really sure.

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
  13. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Have to just say how I am enjoying watching this thread develop. I do have the odd image of a similar nature, but Matt and I will almost certainly overlap, so I will leave him to continue his contributions in peace.
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  14. Matt Poole

    Matt Poole Member

    I think finding the sharp thingy in the dead grass pile will be the exception rather than the rule for me.

    needle in haystack.jpg
  15. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Here is another photograph that I struggled with for a long time but have eventually located. Strictly speaking there are two photographs that join together but it was this feature on the smaller one that puzzled me. I will post both photographs and a google view of the area today. I was further amazed when I realised that I had actually been to this place many years ago.

    baaaa 004.JPG
  16. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    The photograph dates from 28th February 1945. This section is east of the photograph in post 115 and overlaps it slightly.

    baaaa 006.JPG
  17. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Google Maps

    I had at first thought that the puzzling infrastructure in the first photograph had some sort of military application. It is in fact an artificial island and moat in central Bangkok, Thailand.

    215 Squadron. RAF.

    28th February 1945. 11.14 - 00.34 hours. Korat, Thailand.

    12 aircraft were detailed for a Day Bombing attack on the Railway Yards at Korat, Thailand. Weather was variable - apart from the unusual cloud over the Arakan Hills, aircraft had to climb over a belt of cumulus-nimbus east of the Salween, with tops to 12,000 - 17,000 feet. Weather over the target was good, and aircraft readily identified all ground detail, bombing in formation, in one run. An excellent concentration of bursts was obtained on the target, causing heavy damage to the yards and surrounding buildings. No opposition was encountered, and all aircraft returned safely, aircraft "Q" re-fuelling at Cox's Bazaar, en route for base.

    The RAF Museum has a version of the same photograph numbered as PC71/19/1739.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
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  18. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Here are a few taken by the us army, i have more if i can find them, one i have was taken in china
    burma ww2  bridge .jpg burma ww2  bridge back of photo.jpg burma ww2 blown up railway bridge and new bridge next toit.jpg burma ww2 blown up railway bridge and new bridge next to it back of photos.jpg burma ww2 blown up railway bridge ww2.jpg burma ww2 blown up railway bridge.jpg burma ww2.jpg
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  19. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    A few more of a shot up Japanese train. Where do i put the other photos i have not of the bombing.
    burma us train.jpg burma train shot up.jpg burma us train 1.jpg
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  20. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member


    good to see you back on the forum, I had wondered what hat happened to you. These are superb photographs and I should be able to locate some of these on the map. It will have to be tomorrow though as it is now too dark to photograph maps. I know this because the chickens have all gone into their house and I have just locked them in for the night.


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