Burma Star Association
Burma Star Association

Frank Kellin's Memories

Frank enlisted in the RCAF on March 16th. 1943 ( his 18 th. Birthday). After training as a WAG he was posted to #5 OTU at Boundary Bay. Here he trained on B.24's and later converted to B24 Liberators. 

 

When the overseas posting came through,  Frank and his crew picked up a Lib. at Dorval and flew via Gander, the Azores, Morocco, Tripoli, Egypt, and Iraq to Karachi. This flight, covering 8,297 miles, took 41 hours & 20 minutes. It started in a temperature of  43 deg. (F) and ended in a temperature of  + l15 deg.(F). 

 

The flight continued on to Bombay, Nagpur, Calcutta and thence to Salboni where they joined 355 Squadron (RAF). On their first day with the squadron they were called on to fly an air sea search for a missing aircraft. 

 

On New Years eve 1944 they flew a single, low level, night operation against a Japanese supply ship in the Gulf of Siam. With a crew of 8, with  extra fuel tanks, they attacked at 400 feet and by skip bombing they successfully created their own New Years fireworks display. 

 

Other memorable operations included a pattern bombing mission against an enemy position in the hills near Kangaw. For this effort the squadron received a "thank you" signal from the army unit involved. On Feb.3, 1945 they flew another long distance raid of 2,350 miles against a rail marshalling yard at Jumbhorn Thailand. 

 

Later that same month, on an attack on enemy positions at Rangoon they had a US air force captain with them as second pilot. His job was to try and find out why RAF were having more success with pattern bombing. During this operation the Liberators encountered heavy ack-ack which damaged two Liberators. One of these was the plane in which he was flying - it received a large hole in the #4 engine. However the squadron shot down two enemy fighters. 

 

Attacks followed on Mahlaing, also spotted a large convoy of Japanese shipping. Frank's plane acted as "Master Bomber" to light up the target on an attack on the Bankok electric power plant.. Other ops followed against enemy positions in the Rangoon area, as well as a memorable attack on a Japanese supply and personnel depot 30 miles south of Mandalay. At the debriefing for this operation they were advised that they had caused 600 casualties among enemy officers! That's what can happen when you hit a Japanese war- time brothel! 

 

On the completion of his tour, and a six week mountain climbing course, Frank transferred to #3 Air Liaison and worked as liaison  between the Army and the Air Force. This involved a change from Air Force blue to Army khaki as a Captain. 

 

Frank was discharged in Winnipeg on Feb 26 1946.

When you go home

tell them of us and say,

For your tomorrow,

we gave our today

Lt Gen Slim at Fort Dufferin, Mandalay, in March 1945 Lt Gen Slim at Fort Dufferin, Mandalay, in March 1945
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