THE BROADWAY BRUISERS

CHINDIT TOP COVER

In 1944, a detachment of Spitfires was briefly based alongside the Chindits deep behind Japanese lines. Tom Spencer details the dramatic, against-the-odds actions they experienced

Ron Fulstow’s painting, ‘Hostile Company’, depicts 81 Squadron’s Alan Peart trying to fend off Japanese Ki-43 ‘Oscar’ fighters over Broadway
RON FULSTOW VIA FLYPAST

On February 17, 1944, with the situation in the Arakan area of southern Burma stabilised, the Spitfire Mk.VIIIs of Squadron Leader ‘Babe’ Whitamore’s 81 Squadron returned to Tulihal, near Imphal, before moving to Kangla on the eastern side of the Imphal. One of the pilots was a New Zealander, Flying Officer Alan Peart who recalled: “The valley gave me a strong impression of Shangri-La of Lost Horizon fame. It was high up in the mountain range separating India from Burma.”

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