Map, Ramree Island, Kyaukpyu area, invaded 21 Jan 45

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Matt Poole, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Like so many, he went there to make a better life, post World One, Australia, New Zealand, America etc, etc.
  2. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    My tongue was firmly in my cheek.

    Sittingbourne in Kent, is in the Garden of England, it used to be one of the loveliest parts of the country, hop fields, oast houses, woods and meadows and I cannot imagine why anyone would leave such an idyllic place if they didn't have to.

    I have a great deal of respect for Australia and Australians, I even have relatives there, many of whose forebears arrived unintentionally with the insistence of His Majesties' government. There is even a bay in Sydney with my family name which, in turn, gave its name to a famous merchantman that covered itself in glory during the Battle of the Atlantic.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  3. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member


    thanks for posting this breakdown which seems to be the standard late war format for 215 Squadron, other squadrons have variations of their own. I have had a quick look through my other 215 Squadron photographs and have made a few notes which I have added in italics.

    The third photo in the sequence from this aircraft

    215/653: The squadron (215) and probably a mission ID number.

    This number appears to be an identifier for an individual aircraft's sortie. Other aircraft on the same mission were allocated different numbers. I have several photographs of the Amarapura Raid on the 21st January 1945. The photograph from Templesmith in "A" was numbered 658 and the photographs from Hadaway in D are all numbered 670

    21 JAN 45: The date, obviously

    F8//6100: The camera has an 8" focal length (I believe) // altitude of aircraft in feet when the image was shot

    Arrow pointing right: The direction of movement for the Liberator

    4X1000MC 4x1000GP 4X500MC: These are the # of bombs X the weight in pounds and the type of bomb. See the Battle Order, page 2, where these are listed (attached).

    Not all of the photographs carry details of the bomb load. But from a limited survey of those that I have most of 215's do, 99 Squadron's do as do 356 Squadron's. One 215 Squadron photographs has the extra detail, (T.D.11 secs), which I take to mean Time to Destination. It cannot mean Time Down

    170˚: The compass heading of the aircraft when the image was shot

    0929: The time when the image was shot, and it matches about the halfway point of 215 Squadron's op. Also, the time of "bombs gone" for aircraft "C" was listed in the post-op sortie report as 0929 and a half! Same minute.

    C: The individual aircraft letter code painted on the fuselage

    W/O Hadaway: Warrant Officer Hadaway, the aircraft's commander (pilot)

    W Kyaukpyu: Not sure about the "W", maybe it's to signify direction, such as West Kyaukpyu. It is not the first-name initial of Hadaway, which is J. The town on the water on the north side of Ramree Island, just to the east, was Kyaukpyu.

    I don't think that the W is for West, other 215 Squadron photographs have D, M, O, T, X or Y at this point.
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Without sticking my nose in and having it bloodied

    Could the TD represent Time Delay, not sure if that would mean before armed (on the way down) or once 'landed' - although 11 seconds would seem an arbitary and short delay unless it means that it allows the bomb to penetrate rather than just exploding on impact (or the first thing it hits), so its penetration could be deeper, with greater effect

    Just a thought
  5. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member


    you may be right as the height the photograph was taken appears to be 400 ft. An 11 second delay would allow an aircraft time to put itself a fair distance away from the blast.

  6. Matt Poole

    Matt Poole Member

    Tricky Dicky, I think you're correct in thinking that TD means Time Delay. In many other instances, I've seen bomb loads which include TD bombs with a number after it, indicating a delay in the explosion after the bombs have hit the ground. This is so the enemy will be wary of returning to clear the site and get things, like railways, repaired and up & running again soon. And, of course, the intention is also to kill more of the enemy.

    I know I recently came across written info about the desire to inflict further damage on a Burma-Siam Railway target using TD bombs.

    It's not the same (not a TD bombing), but the legendary Cambelltown's delayed explosion 11.5 hours after it had been crashed into the drydock at St. Nazaire, France killed people who had no idea an explosion had been planned.

    Sometimes, though, the numbers after TD confuse me. For example, on the page 2 of the Battle Order for 215 for 21 Jan '45 (Oops, I did forget to post it in thread #38 -- thanks for bringing it to my attention, Simon. I have added it to that thread.), the number ".025" is recorded after the bomb info: "4 X 1000 G.P.T.D. .025". Well, that's four 1000 lb general purpose bombs with a time delay, but .025 can't be seconds. I don't know what it means. TI is seen next to bomb loads, too, and that means Time Instantaneous. TI means that the detonation occurs when the bomb hits, which is why a number was x'd out on the page 2 of the Battle Order after being erroneously typed -- there is no number for a bomb that is set to detonate upon impact..

    Thanks for your thoughts, Simon. Your collection really impresses I'd like to be your neighbor and drop by for a look! If I see a letter code like the W after a pilot's name in other similar photos, and I can figure it out, I'll come back and share my thoughts. So the W probably doesn't mean West...I really was guessing at that, but I can't think of what else it stood for.

    I should add that I don't know the meaning of "M.C." in the bomb load listing and on the photo.


  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    OK - I do remember seeing a film of low flying Liberators in the Far East dropping bombs from very low levels which were fitted with parachutes to slow down their fall and therefore not blow the tailplane off the aircraft - trying to find it


    There is some on here about 1 min in but its not the one I remember

    This might be the one - although they are B 25 Mitchells -
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
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  8. Matt Poole

    Matt Poole Member

    One of the 356 Squadron Liberators which bombed Black Hill on Ramree Island on 21 Jan '45 was damaged by a large fragment of a bomb which caused considerable damage. Nobody was injured, and the Lib was able to make it to Chittagong up the coast, while the other Libs returned to Dhubalia, north of Calcutta. The bombing was from only 2500 - 3300 feet (staggered), and apparently that wasn't enough height to avoid damage from exploding bombs.

    Just for the fun of it (because nothing else in my life should be prioritized...yeah, RIGHT!), I took three photos from 356 Sqn's op that day and more or less matched them to Google Earth. The GE altitudes and angles are not perfect, but they don't have to be. I was still able to match to the photos, and I can conclude that the photos were all taken on 21 Jan '45 and they show the geographic areas associated with 355/356 Sqns' attack, and also 215 and 99 Sqns' attacks.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
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  9. Kiwi REd One

    Kiwi REd One Junior Member

    Very interesting thread...some great research going on here.

    I think you will find that "M.C." bombs in RAF abbreviations stands for Medium Capacity type bombs, so called bacause a MC bomb contained twice as much explosive as its General Purpose equivalent.

    More detailed explanation here: BC - Bombs, Mines, Incen's

    Hope that helps
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  10. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Some more excellent location matching from Matt.

    Here is my 215 Squadron photograph with the very low altitude and Time Delayed bomb load.

    The aircraft may be scarpering from Kawkadut as there is a huge pall of smoke in the distance.

    bur 010.JPG bur 011.JPG
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
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  11. Matt Poole

    Matt Poole Member

    Nice, Simon! I've run out of time, but quickly in Google Earth I have found the area matching the 215 Sqn photo from 8 April 1945, although the drainage has been altered a bit and the rice paddy levees. Often these levees stay identical for donkey's years, but I think the land has been reworked a bit. I'll post photos when I get a chance, maybe Thursday, maybe not. I also have the 215 Sqn Operations Record Book for this op -- which also happens to be the very last op of Roy Andrews' tour with 215 Sqn (Roy being the veteran whose memoir I'm reworking into a book). He wasn't on F/Lt Finch's Lib, but his Lib bombed a road bridge which, I tentatively think, is what the smoke and dust cloud in the background indicates.

    Finch's Lib was flying due West (270 degrees), but this shot is looking back toward the west. Incidentally, I think the bridge target that Roy's crew went after that day is the same bridge that is seen in post #128 on the last page (7) of the pinned thread "Aerial photographs of Allied bombing raids on Japanese occupied Burma".

    I have some figuring out to do...and Thursday's looking a bit crowded, now that I look ahead.


  12. Matt Poole

    Matt Poole Member

    Peter, thanks for chiming in about the meaning of "MC" in the bomb descriptions. I haven't looked at the link yet, but the one question I have left is the meaning of the Time Delay of .025.
  13. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member


    there is absolutely no hurry, the Allied Bombing of Japanese Occupied Burma thread is a long term ongoing project. I will repost the 215 Sqn Kawkadut photograph there so as not to have two separate bombing threads going at once. We should restrict this one to Ramree Island.

  14. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Some reconnaissance photographs of Kyaukpyu Harbour taken on the 16th March, 1943 by 353 Squadron.

    Varopus WW2 020.JPG Varopus WW2 021.JPG Varopus WW2 022.JPG
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