MHaselden - I have spent the past 6 years researching previously unrecorded information regarding the Brewster Buffalo sqns in Malaya, Singapore and Burma during 1941-42. I have accessed virtually all the available records in the Public Records Office and have also been fortunate in receiving tremendous support from ex-Buffalo pilots and groundcrew, and their relatives.
I am still on the lookout for information about Buffalos in any of the theatres mentioned. I am particularly interested in anecdotes about experiences in Malaya during Dec 41 because most official records were lost during that month. I have trawled through virtually all the available books on the subject published in the UK and Australia. Does anybody out there have any additional information? I am particularly interested in a Buffalo that crashed at Pontian Kechil on 15 Dec 41, as well as any personnel who served with 81 Repair and Salvage Unit.
Absolutely any information may be of interest from other RAF, RAAF and RNZAF personnel, as well as soldiers who had the misfortune to be tasked with defending the airfields in northern Malaya.
For the record, I have completed 14 yrs service in the RAF. We still remember the sacrifices of our forebears and always will do so.
Keith - This is probably a needless question, but have you read "Bloody Shambles" Volume 1. I have read this book while researching my father's military history, Army not RAF. It states two Buffalos were lost that day, but not to enemy action. I will provide more detail if you want it, but I suspect you may have it already.
MHaselden - >Keith, Yes, I have read (and re-read and re-read) Bloody Shambles. In fact reading that book got me started on the whole Buffalo research project. I had always believed the accepted history that the Buffalo was wiped from the skies by the Japanese until I read Bloody Shambles. I then started to tally which Buffalos were lost and for what reasons, a process which highlighted some contradictions in the Bloody Shambles narrative. I now have the confirmed fates of two-thirds of the Buffalos that flew in the Far East and have amassed some fantastic stories from the surviving pilots who flew them. The other Buffalo that crashed on 15 Dec 41 was "Congo" Kinninmont's AN172 which flipped over at Port Swettenham airfield. The airframe I am interested in was flown by a Fg Off Hooper of 21 Sqn and crashed in a paddy field at Pontian Kechil. Thanks for your interest.
Brewster Buffalo - click to view web site.