Thunderbolts over Burma

A Pilot's War Against the Japanese in 1945 and the Battle of Sittang Bend

Angus Findon

The Republic P-47 proved to be a formidable ground-attack aircraft and in RAF service was especially devastating during the fighting in Burma in 1945. There, the Thunderbolt was deployed using the ‘cab rank' system that proved so effective for the Hawker Typhoons during the Battle for Normandy.
Date Published :
December 2020
Publisher :
Air World
Illustration :
50 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526779663
Pages : 192
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
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$34.95

Overview
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The Republic P-47 proved to be a formidable ground-attack aircraft and in RAF service was especially devastating during the fighting in Burma in 1945. There, the Thunderbolt was deployed using the ‘cab rank’ system that proved so effective for the Hawker Typhoons during the Battle for Normandy. Flying standing patrols close to the front line, as and when they were needed the Thunderbolts would be directed to specific targets by ground controllers deployed among the Army units in contact with the enemy. The effects of the aerial bombardment the Thunderbolts unleashed was all too often devastating.

Though he only joined 34 Squadron in 1945, Angus Findon quickly found himself embroiled in the last battles of the Second World War – as the many entries in his pilot’s logbook testify. In particular, he and his fellow Thunderbolt pilots, often operating alongside RAF Spitfires, played a vital part in the Battle of the Sittang Bend.

On 2 July 1945, a Gurkha patrol ambushed a small enemy unit and captured a dispatch bag containing a copy of the operational plan for a break-out that the Japanese Army was planning. Forewarned, the Allies were ready when the enemy attack came.

So swift and destructive was the RAF response, that the breakout ended in disaster for the Japanese who suffered such severe losses that some formations were wiped out. The Battle of Sittang Bend effectively brought the war in Burma to an end.

In his remarkable memoir, never previously published and supported here by additional narrative from the aviation historian Mark Hillier, Angus Findon details not only his part in the Allied victory from his initial training, but graphically recounts what it was like to fly the Thunderbolt and operate in the harsh conditions of the Burmese airfields during the final months of the Second World War.

About The Author
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Like many young boys educated in the lead up to the Second World War, ANGUS FINDON was set on joining the RAF and becoming a fighter pilot. However, plagued by ill health he was initially forced to settle for helping the war effort by joining the ARP. Subsequently employed as a ploughman working the fields of the South Downs, he also served in the Home Guard. Not one to give up, he persisted in his desire to fly and eventually, after training in Canada, found himself in the cockpit of a Republic P-47 Thunderbolt II in Burma.

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