From: Bratislava, Slovakia
64th Sentai war diary entry No.5
Date: 12th December 1941 Tokyo time
From the 3rd Air Division came request to slow down enemy retreat down the Malayan Peninsula. Only planes in range to carry full bomb load were heavy bombers of 62nd and 98th Sentai. Target, roads out of Taiping, were full of retreating troops and refugees - and these we were ordered to slow down. Both bomber units sent up 26 heavy bombers and escort was provided by 15 planes of the 64th Sentai (three had to return early).
As the planes neared Malaya coast, clouds began to accumulate and soon serious thunderstorm developed. By taking a somewhat circuitous route to the south the bombers arrived over target later then scheduled.
Bombardiers looking through their bomb-sights laid their pattern pretty accurately as each vic bombed individually. Fighters of the 64th Sentai circled around looking for enemy planes, but none had been spotted.
On the ground, men of the 28th Gurkha Brigade commandeering any vehicle they could have lay their hands on were moving along the only major road to the south on the left side of the road. The right side of the road was full of fleeing civilians - Europeans, Chinese, Malays, all mixed together.
Noisy as a flock of people with carts, animals and vehicles could be, it couldn't drown the sound of engines overhead. Lieutnant Jock MacIntyre of the 2/2nd Gurkha Rifles seeing the planes, ordered his Gurkhas out of the truck and started to spread the refugees to the woods on both sides of the road. Other soldiers, tired, and many wounded with bandages on their hands or heads, seeing the example joined in the effort. As the enemy bombers neared, panic started on the road. A truck run over the handcart in an attempt to move further. People run in panic across the road trying to save their kids, animals or property on handcarts.
Screaming sound of falling bombs soon filled the air as each living being was trying to find a hiding place, be it trunk of a tree or hole in the ground of whatever origin. One of the first bombs landed directly on the road where Jock MacIntyre and several of his men were trying to move truck out of the way. He and most of his squad disappeared in the explosion.
Bombing took only several minutes, but it left the road in a mess. Vehicles and carts burning, several animals dead, craters in and around the road - that was the picture. People started to emerge from the woods on both sides of the road and screams of wounded superseded the sound of explosions. Wounded were attended, loaded on several vehicles and sent forward to a field hospital. Soon the stream of refugees and vehicles resumed their march to the south. Nobody cared much about dozen bodies of MacIntyre and his men lying in a ditch.
Return flight to Kompong Trach was rather rough ride through several storms, and some planes separated from the formation. However, all of them managed to return to base and land safely. It was not a glorious job, but one that had to be done....