The Middle East

Extracts from a report on Operations at ABU SALAMI
on 23rd May 1939 from Lt Col R.K. Ross to HQ 14 Inf Bde.

.....All the enemy bodies brought in had been killed by my own troops, but I am quite convinced that the RAF, whose gallantry was beyond praise, must have accounted for many more ....However I wish to emphasise most strongly the excellent work done by the RAF and the truly gallant manner in which it was carried out.

In the first place the whole action would have been impossible without their effective co-operation. The topographical features were large and none too suitable for low flying attack..... Nevertheless the RAF succeeded in pinning a very large number of rebels to the ground for an hour and a quarter before we arrived.

The gallantry displayed by all pilots was magnificent. One aeroplane was shot right at the beginning and had to return to the aerodrome. The pilot, I understand, immediately returned in another aeroplane. I also understand that at least one other aeroplane was hit.

The daring of their low flying attacks was magnificent to watch.

I would particularly draw attention to the pilot of one aeroplane, which I can only describe as being of a dirty yellow colour. This pilot’s daring was quite outstanding. He seemed to be continuously flying over the enemy’s position and at times was below the level of the enemy on the highest part of Hill ‘C’. I do not know the pilot’s name but, if his own authorities agree, I would most strongly recommend him for a decoration. He was the talk of my whole Battalion.



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