Thursday, 12 January 2012
Winston CHURCHILL attempted to reinforce the RAF at Singapore in late 1941. No.232 Fighter Squadron R.A.F. arrived too late to significantly blunt the blows of the IJAAF. On 7 February 1942, S/Ldr. Lawrence N. LANDELS was killed in action and was succeeded by S/Ldr. Richard ("Rickey") E.P. BROOKER. "Rickey" BROOKER had the squadron leader's pennant painted below the cockpit of his No.232 Squadron Hawker Hurricane Mk.II, BE 208, "O." Flt/Lt. Arthur G. DONAHUE tells the rest of the story.
"The other flight had a combat (Sunday morning, February 8) with an escorted bombing raid, in which they brought down at least two of the enemy. Rickey was shot down in this engagement and force-landed on the airdrome, his machine crashing through the fence on the north side and out onto East Coast Road, where it shed its landing gear in the ditch on one side, slid across the road on its belly, and stopped with its nose in the ditch on the other side. Rickey himself was unhurt - except for his feelings." ("Last Flight From Singapore," The MacMillan Company, New York:1943, page 72).
See above for a photograph of Hurricane II, BE 208, "O." Note the No.232 Squadron insignia ahead of the windscreen. Sq/Ldr. BROOKER surveys the damage!
Photo Credit: Arthur G. Donahue, D.F.C.