"Blackpool" and the 111th Indian Infantry Brigade

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Hebridean Chindit, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. CooShed

    CooShed Member

    HC, on both the group photos he is first row far left and the one with the five guys (my favourite) he is second from the right.

    Thanks Bamboo43, I am really pleased to have them. I'm sure there are more bits and bobs kicking about in the family and as I get them I will bring them back here!

    cheers
    Graeme
     
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Graeme,

    They are great, you are lucky to have them, wish I had something similar for my granddad.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  3. Our bill

    Our bill Well-Known Member

    Can I just say I have so enjoyed this thread, it has been educational and very interesting and I hope it continues to grow.You chaps should be proud of what you are achieving each in your own right and topics . Burma will no more be the forgotten war thanks to chaps like yourselves . Each of you through this site educate people like myself in a style that is so easy to absorb and so exciting that it leaves me wanting to learn more . Thankyou ken, Steve and Sol and the many others on this thread .kind regards Elsie
     
  4. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    That's what it's all about, Elsie... that's what it's all about...
     
  5. andy007

    andy007 Senior Member

    Hear, hear Elsie. I have certainly learnt a lot from this thread.
     
  6. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Sadly, I must report that Major Bill Towill, Adjutant to the 3/9 Gurkhas, author of the excellent work "A Chindit's Chronicle", and a survivor of both Blackpool and Dunkirk (RAMC), passed away December 14th... He was 93... RIP Bill...
     
  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Very sorry to hear that HC. It has not been a good period for Chindit 1 either, we lost three veterans before Christmas and two more are sadly now quite poorly.

    :poppy: RIP Major Bill Towill
     
  8. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    It hardly seems that long ago they were talking about the last "Tommy", so ... :(
     
  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I know what you mean, but time waits of no man, as the saying goes.
     
  10. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Just a bump as a reminder...

    70 years ago the 111th were on the march across the hills from Mokso Sakan (by Lake Indawgyi) to Namkwin to establish the "Clydeside" block...
     
  11. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    I haven't bounced this up for some time as I've been concentrating so much on the 230 Squadron links for quite a while, but it's good practice for a researcher to go back over his steps on a regular basis, to see if new material has emerged...

    Anyway, Google Earth has updated its satellite imagery, about a year back, and if you enter the latitude and longitude details below you will find yourself almost directly in the centre of the "Blackpool" Block, as it looks now...

    25.0519731082, 96.5702349845

    If you back out a bit, and look slightly south and just above the lower river and off to the east where the rivers join, this area of relative flat-land is where the strip was...
    Namkwin is slightly up and to the east. The road and railway line is pretty much as it was, route-wise, at the time...

    All the various maps and drawings of the area that I've found are being merged into this as a template for as accurate a location plan as I can construct for the book...

    A bit of playing with Google Earth and you can alter your perspective and view-point to get a better idea of the location...
    Back out a bit further and to the north-west, beyond the mountain range, which I believe peaks at 3144m, you will find Lake Indawgyi...
    "Plymouth" was at the lower south-east corner and "Dawlish" was a few miles south on the eastern shores of the lake...
    Use their search-engine for Dibrugarh and that is roughly where the Sunderland's flew to-and-from...

    If you have a compatible joystick, and the capability to fly with one, you can do just that and get as true a perspective of how difficult the terrain between Indawgyi and Dibrugarh is; then you will have a better understanding of what risks were taken by the crews of Gert and Daisy...

    I make no excuse for posting what is effectively the same information up on two separate pages; just spreading the news...
     
  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi HC,

    You have no shame with the double posting, but I might give the Google Earth journey a go. Keep up the excellent work.

    Steve
     
  13. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    [Sinatra] Come fly with me, come fly, let's fly away... [/Sinatra] ;)

    Got to be honest my Bamboo Buddy but it should now be quite easy to find most of the well known locations and create a virtual tour for those that can't make the trip...
     
  14. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Google Earth detailing to create your own "My Places" map...

    Key points around Lake Indawgyi...

    The best easily available map is referenced as NG 47 09 which can be located via the links below - this shows the areas around "Blackpool", Lake Indawgyi, and Point 2171... For others, the map also shows Mogaung and Myitkyina...

    Lake Indawgyi...
    To find this you need only enter the name as it is now considered a nature reserve; there are numerous modern images of the area on-line...

    Mokso Sakan...
    25°10'5 N 96°25'28 E
    Mokso...
    25° 9'33 N 96°26'56 E
    As far as I can see on the present maps that are available, they are no longer shown; I can only presume that the locals moved on. Using the campaign maps within Barton's Narrative the above map references are the best location I can find - there appears to be two places commonly referenced - Mokso Sakan, by the edge of the mountain/swamp region, slightly north of the river, and Mokso, which was up-river east a few miles... The CIA maps show three differing locations for Mokso; that is not unusual as once an area was played-out they upped (bamboo) sticks and moved to another location...

    "Plymouth" and "Dawlish"...
    It gets more difficult to accurately be certain of the location of "Plymouth" or "Dawlish" because although they are referenced on Barton's copies of the maps the name appears but not a specific point, so the location is subjective...
    "Plymouth"...
    I'm going to go for a location shown as a stop-off point for the 111th on their way in to Mokso Sakan and on to "Blackpool". the point was known as a small village called Lepon but is no longer at the location shown on Barton's map.
    25° 3'56N 96°20'34E
    "Dawlish"
    There is a natural point on the maps which is not visible in GE as it is obscured by a cloud... this aligns with the approximate location on Barton's map, so, best guess for now...
    25°12'57N 96°22'9E

    Nyaungbin...
    This is a location within GE so all you need do is enter the name... why this location...?
    Fact 1: 230 Squadron's diaries reference at least three pick-up points on the lake - south, north, and on Gert's final trips in a reference on 30th June to a "new area at the extreme northern end of the lake..."
    Fact 2: One of the 3rd Indian Division diaries notes "Commando platoon now at NYAUNGBIN. Constructing hospital and flying boat base…

    Hepu...
    This location is also within GE, so you only need to type it in...
    Fact 1: Reverend Mackay... although he incorrectly notes "Maggie the Sutherland flying boat", his article clearly notes troops going to "the jetty at Hepu" presumably to await collection from the lake, but was it...?
    Fact 2: The Barton's maps clearly show the 14th Infantry Division stopping at Hepu, and as the sick/wounded of the 111th and 6th WA had been left in their care...

    Regarding maps...
    The following are links to maps for almost all of Operation Thursday within Burma, but you will need to know where to look and all the relevant names of places - the relevant maps on both links are NF-46-12, NF-46-16, NG-47-9 & NG-47-13.
    These are 1" = 4 miles maps, as are the maps within Barton's Narratives...

    http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/jog/burma/
    http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/ams/burma/

    More notes to follow...
     
  15. zahonado

    zahonado Well-Known Member

    Thank you for putting up the links..Bamboo already sent me some. They don't seem to load on the iPad though ....But to have the whole list is great. Well done
     
  16. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    You're just gonna have to upgrade to the iPad's big brother, Za... ;)

    Plenty more locations to find yet...

    The Chindit Navy...
    The operating area was the lake and the Indaw River, which opens into the lake near the upper east side...

    Indaw Chaung... outflow point into the lake...
    25°13'57.00"N 96°23'6.00"E

    They operated up to Chaungwa, which I now believe was also code-named "Autumn"...
    Chaungwa - "Autumn"
    25°16'58.00"N 96°27'53.00"E

    Point 2171 - Taungni Bum...
    Taungni Bum (remember that bum is the Burmese word for mountain) is a given location in GE so use that as a search - this was the area the final battles involving the 111th took place and also the location Jim Blaker earnt his posthumous VC...

    Kyunslai Pass...
    24°59'9.00"N 96°23'15.00"E
    This is the route between Lonton and Hopin that is mentioned in several accounts - a route used by several brigades...
     
  17. zahonado

    zahonado Well-Known Member

    Think it was just low broadband speed ! HAvent got to grips with google earth so far either...
     
  18. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    More solar panels, Za... more solar panels... ;)
     
  19. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Another few to add to the list for the Chindit Navy...

    The primary outflow of water from Lake Indawgyi, and the route the Chindit Navy took, is the Indaw Chaung, which flows into the Namkawng Chaung at Kamaing, passing through Chaungwa and Manwe on the way; Lakhren was also a diversion off this route...

    Kamaing...
    Again, a known site to Google Earth so just use the name for the general area...
    Kamaing was the location of a hospital at that time, which was pretty much the end of the line for what was left of the 111th, the 14th, the 6thWA, and possibly a variety of other parties... 282 personnel were noted there for most of the last ten days of July 1944, excluding the very end when it jumped to 550 on 28/29th July, then slid 431/30th 393/31st... presumably they were relocated further from the front line...
    A more precise location is the outflow point where the Indaw Chaung merges with the Namkawng Chaung
    25°31'43.00"N 96°42'50.00"E

    Manwe...
    Manwe no longer appears to exist - from the various maps this appears to be the most likely location...
    25°25'3.00"N 96°33'48.00"E

    Lakhren...
    The location I've chosen appears to have signs of habitation and again is the most likely point - Lakhren is mentioned in several accounts associated with 1st Cameronians and the 111th...
    25°24'29.00"N 96°35'14.00"E

    Padigahtawng...
    I've been unable to locate any signs of habitation in this jungle region of the mountains, so this has been reckoned from the maps - again, several mentions and 1st Cameronians, etc - a mid-point en-route to Point 2171...
    25°21'1.00"N 96°42'11.00"E

    This pretty much raps the locations covered towards the end of the 111th and post "Blackpool", post May 25th to end July 1944...
     
  20. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi HC,

    I will email you direct, but in any case; have you got the map coordinates (lats and longs) for the landing strips at Piccadilly, Aberdeen and Chowringhee?

    Cheers

    Steve
     

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