Hurricane Over the Jungle
120 Days Fighting the Japanese Onslaught in 1942
By Terence Kelly
Every Royal Air Force Squadron has a dairy which is kept at the National Archives, this records every flight, every triumph, every accident and every death. The facts makes up the very essence of the squadron, chronicles of small groups of men sharing a unique companionship before through promotion, posting, death or capture sends them their separate ways. The Squadron’s as a rule went on, surviving disasters and rebuilding, as a rule the dairy is an uninterrupted history. But occasionally, the reader may find a break in the dairy, a gap for which there is no explanation - 258 Squadron became such a gap.
In October 1941 the twenty-two pilots No 258 Squadron RAF, left Scotland for a then unknown destination, the records list the names of those 22 pilots each of very different nationalities. The next entry in the dairy is 120 days later when the new officer takes command.
The personal memoir of Terence Kelly one of those 22 pilots, he re-tells the events of those missing 120 days when all but seven of the men who had not been killed became prisoners of the Japanese. The story takes us to the final defence of Singapore, to Sumatra and onto Java where Kelly recaptures the atmosphere of the constant bitter aerial engagements with the enemy and the hostile terrain over which they fought, and onto the capture of the final members of the Squadron.
Terence Kelly flew Hurricanes in Britain and then the Far East until being captured by the Japanes and surving the dreadful conditions of their POW camps until the end of the war. He has written four other books on World War II as well as stage plays and fictional works.
This is a must for those researching the RAF in the Far East during the Japanese invasion of Malaya, Singapore, Sumatra and Java.
Ron Taylor - Britain at War and Fepow Community
Publication Date 12th May 2005
ISBN: 1 84415 198 0
Published by Pen & Sword Books