"Gert and Daisy" - the Sunderlands in Burma

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Hebridean Chindit, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Just an update and bounce back to the top of the pile again...

    Re the BBC audio transcription earlier in the thread... I've had some family from t' north listen to it and they are of the opinion that it was someone from their part of the world (one side or other of t' Pennines) that had picked up some lingua-Geordie from somewhere, and that does point somewhat to Flight Sergeant Wright, who was on all the primary flights with Jack Rand... we might get lucky with this one day...

    On my last visit to TNA I came across a letter by Brig Lentaigne (iirc) requesting the use of Catalina's for the rescue of Chindits within the same time-frame as this... I'll post the original on here in the near future...
     
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Sounds like some exciting investigative work going on here.

    However, I'd be careful about lumping those east and west of the Pennines together mate! Now where's that whippet?
     
  3. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Whippet.....isn't that a type of WWI tank?
     
  4. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    I was t'inkin' mooch more abaht settin' cat amongst thine cliff-chickens, lad...

    (the guess my Devonian buddies wife, who is from that part of t' world, and other family members from oop t' north, that it was a Lancashire one but I go it wrong last time and crew members came from both sides of t' backbone of t' country, so I'm hedgin' thine bets...) :biggrin:

    Just headin' oop t' cliff-chicken loft, lad...

    Forgot to add, 230 celebrate their 95 anniversary this year...
     
  5. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Another bump... just received a significant 10 page article of first hand info from the December 1945 issue of Blackwood's entitled Gert and Daisy, courtesy of Barbara "Rand" and family - I'll transcribe then post it here...
     
  6. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    A new poster on the Flying Boat forum noted info re an L1F, referencing Kenn Rust's 10th Air Force history work, so a little more digging found the following...

    The following image (credited to Nick King) has an interesting note above it...

    Stinson (Vultee) L-1F: The sole Stinson (Vultee) L-1F amphibian converted from an L-1A for air ambulance-rescue duties in Burma 1944; possibly attached to the 1st Liason Group (P) or 1st ACG. Colour scheme is the AAF "sea search" of Olive Drab over white.

    [​IMG]

    The poster also noted a reference to the another source naming the aircraft "Burma Belle". I'm awaiting the source info...
     
  7. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    More on the Stinson...

    I was sent a link to this (main) shot, copyright (Bob) Contreras Collection.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As far as I know it may have been taken by Walter Contreas (Contreras?) who was with a P40 Squadron known as the "Burma Banshees" - that's as much as I know at this moment...
     
  8. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Somewhat preoccupied this evening as I've just received the DVD from the IWM with the remaining movies of the rescue (ABY 9, 12-1, 12-2, 12-3, and 146) to add to the reference material... somewhat engrossing...

    I've still not had the time to transcribe the material referenced above but will post as soon as...
     
  9. zahonado

    zahonado Well-Known Member

    You must be thrilled...those old films are amazing, hope you recognise a face or two....
     
  10. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    ABY-146 is fairly straight-forward - the only bits of "Daisy" you can see is one propeller tip above the surface of the Brahmaputra... I was aware that this one would be "non-productive" but I decided that it would be for "completion" reasons...

    The other four are absolutely loaded with material...
     
  11. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    Would that Stinson, be in the right colours, or should it have that picture of the lasse's boobs on it as well?
     
  12. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    That's a good question, Bob, but as the image does appear to be fairly uniform on the "original" article ... that's the only image I've yet to come across of her too...

    Just as an aside, 230 had a CO by the name of Bob Turner too... ( reunion's next weekend, btw ;) )

    I'm still somewhat off my game but intend to post the details of the flights and numbers rescued in the records for this sole flyer too ... a minor but significant player... When I first started posting about these events this aircraft was pretty much consigned to (forgotten) history, so let's see what we can do...
     
  13. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    Ha, we might share a name but I'd want cast iron guarantees that no one fired in my direction. Failing that, a posting in a place like Brigadoon, or an agreement with the Japanese to have a pop festival instead :D Same amount of mud anyway.

    The picture I had was that Stintons with wheels, landed on some god awful jungle clearings and ferried the sick to the lake to be taken out by the Sunderlands. I couldn't see that Stinton with floats being able to do the jungle landings, it would be like landing a shopping trolley.
     
  14. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    It would be interesting if it turns up again - the first reference I found is posted quite early in this thread but the confirmation is in the 3rd Indian Division diaries - overall command for 77, 111, etc.
     
  15. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Just a brief update...

    230 had their annual reunion over the weekend which was spent in Shropshire and included a visit to the RAF Museum at Cosford - it was a wonderful opportunity to converse with a broad range of ages and experiences spanning '43 to the present day (very present day) - there was a wonderful gentleman by the name of (LAC) Alan Conrad who was able to offer me some insight into the period 230 were based in Ceylon and having known the crews of Gert and Daisy I took the opportunity to show him some of the IWM footage and also to play him that audio recording - I did tell him that Jack Rand's family had listened to it and obviously 70 years had passed, but his comment was, "If I hadn't have known, I'd have thought it was Jack ... "
    We did discuss the "pollution" of close proximity of accents (Wright's Lancashire and Rand's North-East) but the mystery of who the voice is remains ...

    I showed him the AWM/IWM pic of the crew (Gert/DP180) standing on the wing and with speed and precision that belied his age and fragility he ran off their names running left to right ...

    Re the films ... I will be asking permission of the IWM to carry out some image-capture for the purpose of starting to identify who's who for anyone that may visit ...
     
  16. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    Hi Hebridean, is the audio on this thread somewhere? Being from the north east I'd like to have a listen to it.
     
  17. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    PM and we can discuss the copyright reasons why it can't be posted on the site...
     
  18. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Whoah Jack'e... I asked Bob to give it a listen, privately, but this has now raised another issue first voiced by Jack Rand's daughter, Barbara, and her siblings - "It's not dad, but it sounds like something he would have said..." - Maybe the BBC did get an actor to read this out from a report, something Jack Rand had written, and that's why it has never been credited...

    This is Bob's findings, and those of some learned colleagues...

    "... Hmm, I listened to this three times to get a sense of how he said things... I reckon that this guy is grammar school County Durham; north east but not Geordie... There is another accent there, which is a sort of RAF "received pronunciation." I would have thought that might be drummed in, for radio talk reasons... He does seem to be a little too formal, his anecdote falls flat because of that but his accent tends to slip out when he's talking about ladders and close calls... Fair enough, as you just have to think of how the young Dimbleby's sounded on fifties BBC broadcasts...
    I took the mp3 over to the pub to see what a couple of old codgers made of it; when they were given a choice between a pilot from Durham or Lancashire they opted for Durham without a doubt... They also had to listen to it a few times to pick up on the cadence, and there was some confusion over how he said some things but again I think that's down to the RAF...
    I think his accent is a sort of posher version (for the tape archive) of modern "posh" north eastern, something like Jack Cunningham's accent..."

    It's worth posting this crew list again...

    CREW OF ‘O’ ORANGE
    Captain: F/Lt John “Jack” Rand, Cockfield, Bishop Auckland, Durham - my first guess...
    Navigator: F/O Vernon Noel Verney (RAAF), Nundah, Brisbane. - fully discounted...
    2nd Pilot: F/Sgt M Wright, Lindale, Grange-over-Sands, Lancs. - the choice of one of my friends who came from the area, but noted that a number of inflections may have come from being in close proximity to north-eastern folk for some time...
    1st Engineer: F/Sgt RF Webber, Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk - fully discounted...
    2nd Engineer: F/Sgt RH Neeve, Leeds. - northern, but Yorkshire so probably discounted
    1st WO: Ray Guertin (RCAF), Rimouski, Quebec. - fully discounted...
    2nd WO: F/Sgt RW Tulloch, Dalston, London. - fully discounted...
    WOMS: F/Sgt DJK Butcher, Tunbridge Wells - fully discounted...
    AG (rear): F/Sgt JB Knox, Horden, Co. Durham - an outsider, but from the right area too, so...

    The research continues... Flight Sergeant Knox... now then, the recording does sound like it was made by a pilot, but...

     
  19. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    Have you ever noticed how fishermen seem to get subtitles even when they speak english. I did see a little bit of an American take on life on a Scottish island, and the subtitles bore precious little resemblance to what the poor fisherman was saying.

    Well, back in the days of the wireless, the beeb must have got actors in to revoice interviews. Nothing sinister in that, but television age people, can come away with the idea that the war was fought only by plumb toned thespians.

    The guy speaking is from Durham, I'd put money on it. If he was from, not far from Durham City, then he would have a rather posh north eastern accent, it's a university town. What I'd like to know though, is whether the family allowed for the post war change in middle class accents. Any interview done in the forties and fifties, sounds bloody awful, everyone seems to be trying to do a bad impression of the queen. Yet within ten years (commercial television?) what was considered to be "received pronunciation" had changed considerably.

    The family will have heard their dad speaking in his "normal" voice, have they allowed for the changes when they listened to the tape?
     
  20. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    The family does check into the site from time to time (this and the Seawings forum) but he lived out the majority of his life in Canada... they supplied me with a bio for my work and this is some relevant pointers from it... John "Jack" Rand was born in Cockfield, Co. Durham; married there in '45... did spend a year at the Uni (lived in Tow Law)... relocated to Cornwall where two of his four children were born... the emigrated to Canada in '54, where they lived until his rather untimely death age 65...

    I'm going to stick with the actor for the moment as that seems the most logical answer - I'm pretty certain it's not John Rand if they say so...

    Bob... I fully understand the subtitle malarkey... God bless 'em, one and all... ;)
     

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