World Flight Makes Hop to Rangoon
by Lt. L. P. Arnold, "Chicago", Mechanic
After the usual couple of hours preliminary work we hopped off for Rangoon. Rather than go way south to cross the Malay Peninsula we headed west by following rivers, etc. most of the way crossing 120 miles of land. In the center of the peninsula there are mountains 4000 feet high, the land is all jungle, and as the clouds were down on the mountain tops, the air was very rough & bumpy -- especially as the valleys would suck you downward -- all making a rather thrilling combination & everyone was sure glad to get across the peninsula.
At Tavoy we landed & gassed from the destroyer "Sicard" -- before leaving the water became very rough & on the take-off Wade & Nelson both snapped some wires. Wade was in the air right away so came on with the wires trailing & as Nelson was still on the water he remained behind & fixed them while the rest continued on.
At five o'clock we arrived in Rangoon, the river has a very swift current & the wind was blowing strongly so that the water was rough & making the mooring difficult. I managed to get dragged off into the water & had a wild scramble to get back aboard the plane again. Nelson arrived shortly afterwards & eventually all were securely moored, and we went ashore to stay with some English boys that have a commercial airplane co. Kemp, Patrick & Capt. Lamphere in charge of the local post.
At their home we washed & dressed & then went to a club where Mr. Robertson on behalf of the Governor of India entertained us at a very delightful dinner where we met some fine people.
About ten returned & soon were asleep, for the day had been a long, hard and hot one; and everyone was tired.
by Lt. L. H. Smith, Commanding
This morning at 7:40, the flight started for Tavoy flying down the mouth of the Bangkok River, then along the coast to the Nam Neklong River, following this river to Kanburi, then west to Wangmuk and across the mountains to Tavoy. During a considerable part of this time, the planes were out gliding distance from any water and were over dense jungles. The clouds were rather low and in passing over the ridge of mountains which was 4000 feet high, the "New Orleans" encountered a down current and experienced considerable difficulty in regaining its altitude. The flight landed at Tavoy at 11:35, where the Destroyer Sicard was waiting with fueling preparations. The moorings were placed near Tavoy Point and before the planes had finished refueling, a storm came up from the south making the water exceedingly rough and dangerous to remain even though weather reports for the next flight were very unsatisfactory.
This afternoon, after considerable difficulty in refueling in the rough water, the flight started at 2:42 p.m. Rough water caused the "Boston" and "New Orleans" to break vertical wires. The "Boston" got into the air, while the "New Orleans" found it necessary to replace them before taking off. It being dangerous to land again because of the weather, the "Chicago" and "Boston" continued to Rangoon, flying north along the coast through numerous rain storms to Amherst where a direct compass course was taken to the mouth of the Rangoon River, landing at Rangoon at a commercial seaplane station at 5:50. The "New Orleans" having replaced its wires took the same course, arriving at Rangoon about 20 minutes later. The moorings here had been placed too close together and considerable difficulty was experienced in placing new moorings in the swift current of the river. Mr. Kemp, owner of the commercial airplane company, greatly assisted during the the stay in Rangoon, as also did the officers of the Royal Engineer Corps of the British Army who were stationed here.
Mr. Robertson extended the welcome of India on behalf of the British along with many official greetings from dignitaries whose headquarters were in Rangoon.