Winston CHURCHILL attempted to reinforce the RAF at Singapore in late 1941. No.232 Fighter Squadron R.A.F. arrived too late to significantly blunt the blows of the IJAAF. On 7 February 1942, S/Ldr. Lawrence N. LANDELS was killed in action and was succeeded by S/Ldr. Richard ("Rickey") E.P. BROOKER.
"Rickey" BROOKER had the squadron leader's pennant painted below the cockpit of his No.232 Squadron Hawker Hurricane Mk.II, BE 208, "O." Flt/Lt. Arthur G. DONAHUE tells the rest of the story.
"The other flight had a combat (Sunday morning, February 8) with an escorted bombing raid, in which they brought down at least two of the enemy. Rickey was shot down in this engagement and force-landed on the airdrome, his machine crashing through the fence on the north side and out onto East Coast Road, where it shed its landing gear in the ditch on one side, slid across the road on its belly, and stopped with its nose in the ditch on the other side. Rickey himself was unhurt - except for his feelings." ("Last Flight From Singapore," The MacMillan Company, New York:1943, page 72).
See above for a photograph of Hurricane II, BE 208, "O." Note the No.232 Squadron insignia ahead of the windscreen. Sq/Ldr. BROOKER surveys the damage!
On 10 February 1942, Arthur G. DONAHUE flew with the remaining eight flyable fighters to leave Singapore before the capitulation.
Sq/Ldr. BROOKER's Hawker Hurricane Mk.II, BE 208, "O" was captured where it had been abandonded in the ditch on the north side of the airfield (see below). Note the squadron leader's pennant below the cockpit and the No.232 Fighter Squadron R.A.F.
("Viking Ship") insignia in front of the windscreen.
According to Japanese correspondent and researcher, Juzo NAKAMURA, this Hurricane was repaired, flown and evaluated for a short time by members of the IJAAF and turned over to the Tachikawa GiKen branch at Singapore.
By mid-summer 1942, the Tachikawa GiKen branch at Singapore was testing and evaluating many different Allied aircraft captured in the first months of the war. Among these captured aircraft, according to Juzo NAKAMURA, was Rickey BROOKER's Hawker Hurricane Mk.II, BE 208, "O" in IJAAF livery and with the Tachikawa GiKen insignia emblazoned on the tail (see below).
Photo credit: Asahi Shimbun via Yoshihito Kurosu and Ryutaro Nambu.
Editor's Note: This photograph originally appeared in "Koku Asahi," a monthly magazine published by the Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo, Japan. Photographers, where known, are credited on each photograph. Since no negatives or original prints remain in the Asahi Shimbun archives, the original photograph was scanned from a remaining copy of the "Koku Asahi" magazine and digitally enhanced with the kind permission of the Asahi Shimbun.
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