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Bombing Bangkok

Heroes Remember

Interviewer: Did people shoot at you on those trips? Oh, I can’t recall whether it would be that trip, but they shot at us, I can tell you that. The trips that stand out are the longest trips. I did a couple of trips to Bangkok and then on those flights, you flew all the way out to your turning point at 500 feet above the sea. And then, when you were approaching the Isthmus of Tirah, you started your climb because you had to get up to around, in some cases, 30,000 feet just to get above the weather. Then, of course, you came down the other side into the Gulf of Siam. And on one trip I can recall ... one thing you’ve got to remember about this is, when you got to the target, or approaching the target, the navigator had to vacate his position and let the bomb aimer in so he could lie on the floor, where you usually stood, and use the bomb sight. We did ... One specific mine laying operation we did was at 350 feet above the ground. And we flew right into the harbour at Bangkok. And when we got there, we found out that it seemed the whole harbour was filled with Japanese war ships. And we got in there and flew our course and dropped the, I think it was six, torpedoes, not torpedoes, but mines. And then up, up and away, ‘cause I had already figured out the course the pilot was to fly when we were finished. And he just took off in that direction. But in the meantime, there was an awful lot of flak coming up. We never got hit at all. But that was a 15 hour trip when you did these trips to Bangkok. Rangoon was about the shortest trip I made. Went there a couple of times and it’s ten hours. So we got our flying time in pretty quickly.

Mr. Hosegood talks about a 15 hour flight to Bangkok and a harbor full of Japanese war ships.

William George Hosegood

William George Hosegood was born May 7th 1924. A carpenter’s son, Mr. Hosegood grew up with four brothers and five sisters in Fort William, Ontario. All of his brothers were in the military. “Money was scarce”, says Mr. Hosegood, who worked full time as a clerk at age 16, and held many other jobs before joining the army at 17 or 18. Originally placed in the reserve army, Mr. Hosegood joined the RCAF the next year. After graduating at the top of his navigational training class in Saskatoon, he was selected to go to Burma as a navigator. Mr. Hosegood says that his career in the military fashioned the rest of his life.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
William George Hosegood
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Southeast Asia
Air Force
159 Squadron
Flying Officer

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