512, 437, 31 Squadrons
supplied by Mrs Rene Cunnell, found in Freds papers
Fred died in 2005
Fred Cunnell served with 31 Squadron flying over the Burmese jungle on supply dropping missions to the 14th Army. The aircraft were Dakotas carrying loads of goods, ammunition and food and also medical supplies often over Japanese held territory to find our forward troops where the supplies had to be accurately dropped by parachute which was more often than not a small clearing in the jungle.
When the war ended suddenly in August only two months after the end of the European war, 31 Squadron was ordered to Singapore and Java where its Dakotas were used to repatriate British and Commonwealth troops and Dutch civilians who had been prisoners of the Japanese.
This was dangerous work and the local population resented the return of the Colonial (Dutch) power and the whole of the Dutch East Indies were in revolt. The British were seen as helping to return to colonial rule and consequently targets for bomb and bullet.
More 31 Squadron were killed than during the previous war years.
Links & Notes
31 Squadron http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafmarham/aboutus/31sqn.cfm
page last updated 28 June 2010: © ACA Surrey Branch 2010