Sunday, 13 November 2011

Bill Belton, 62 Squadron RAF

This is the formal picture of my father when he joined the Volunteer Regiment of the RAF as an armourer (he was younger than the conscription age when he volunteered). After a period of training he joined 62 Squadron and sailed out to Singapore. He escaped Singapore on the last plane and later escaped Sumatra on an old Dutch cargo ship, the Kota Gede, which only made the journey to Ceylon safely because the Captain disobeyed orders and steered a different course to safety. My father then became seriously ill with rheumatic fever and spent some months in a mountain hospital at the foot of the Himalayas before returning home. Despite all the danger that he had been in, he enjoyed his time in the RAF and tried to rejoin after the war but the cost of going to London for an interview was prohibitive at the time.
Hilary Hartigan 2011