U series - Reconnaissance by K J Newman
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Squadron Leader K. (Kos) J. Newman, DFC & Bar, talks about flying Mosquito and Mitchell aircraft on photographic reconnaissance survey work in Burma for the Royal Airforce.
He has just established a record for the flight from England to India, which he accomplished in a total of 12 hours 25 minutes. They made only one stop in Cairo.
They often make long flights over water, mapping Japanese shipping around South East Asia. The Japanese move most of their shipping overnight and are good at hiding them by day.
Railways are easier to map, although the Japanese often build dummy lines and bridges and camouflage those in use. He has seen Allied prisoners of war working on the railway lines; even from that distance he said they seemed miserable.
The information they are looking for is whether ports and railways are still open after bombing raids.
He talks about the menace of tropical storms, which are impossible to escape if caught in one. They are often forced to turn back.
They do not have too much trouble from enemy opposition. The Japanese do not want to give away the location of their anti-aircraft artillery, and they often fly at greater altitude than the Japanese fighter planes. However, that does not mean they underestimate them.
When they land, their films are rushed away to process. They are then examined by experts to locate signs of Japanese activity. There is an art to deciphering the camouflage used by the Japanese.
He names other New Zealanders in his squadron: Squadron Leader Bill Murray of Mosgiel; Cliff Andrews of Wellington; Jack Irvine of New Plymouth; Jack Lloyd of Wellington and Joe Patterson of Otago.
Reference number 20225
Media type AUDIO
Collection Sound Collection
Newman, K. J., approximately 1912-1965