Thursday, July 28, 2011

FlyPast 2010-05

There was no respite on Christmas Day as the Wing attacked a concentration of enemy motor transport to the south of Agedabia. No.260 successfully strafed, while Clive (in BEI67) held 94 above as top cover. Sgt McKay of 260 was hit by ground fire and force landed in the desert. With the attack concluded. Cllive ordered 260 to fly a defensive circle around their downed colleague, with 94 protecting them from above. Making a skilful landing near the crashed Hurricane, McKay sprinted up and exchanged places with his rescuer. ( Hive climbed back in, and sitting on his passengers lap, took off just as an enemy column approached. For his enterprising and daring action Clive received a bar to his DFC. On Boxing Day Clive visited the AOC at Derna to request 94 be given a breather, as the intense 'ops' had pushed maintenance to the limit. During a lull Clive took 48 hours leave in the Delta area, where on January 8 he learned he had been posted to ground-based duties. The new CO of 94 was the redoubtable Sqn Ldr Ernest 'Imshi' Mason dfc, an ace' from the first Libyan campaign, who took over on January 21. Clive did not take up his new 'desk' post, as a renewed German offensive kept him engaged in the desert on Wing matters. On January 28, 1942 he flew to Benina to get 260 and 4 Squadron SAAF out, but on arrival found the Germans in possession and with 109s in the circuit, beat a hasty retreat. From early February 94 Squadron converted to Curtiss Kittyhawks and began familiarisation. On the 11 th Clive visited Sqn Ldr Mason at LG 110 to check if his old squadron was fit to return to 'ops'.