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WORLD WAR II IN KELATTÉ : Hello Gong Limau, Goodbye Pak Amat (2)

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WORLD WAR II IN KELATTÉ :


Hello Gong Limau,

Goodbye Pak Amat ..... ( 2 )




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A backdated entry as an update for the previous entry with the same title.


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UPDATED 22 DEC 2009 :





* A lone pillbox by the runaway ....

... of what used to be the British Military Airfield of Pengkalan Chepa.

This pillbox, along with several other pillboxes ( some still remain ) once served as a
part of the heavy fortification built by the British around the airfield as a defensive
measure against any attack targeting the strategic site.

The Japanese, realizing the threat posed by the airfield against their planned landings
in Pattani and Singgora, decided to first neutralize it by mean of an invasion through
Kuala Pak Amat and nearby beaches, which was launched just after midnight on that
fateful 8th December 1941 day.

Amidst heavy resistance, the airfield fell to the Japanese hands in less than a day.
The British retreated south but not before they blew up parts of the runaway to avoid
the Japanese from turning it against them. The Japanese however reacted immediately
by hiring locals to do the fixing, an experience, channeled to me by my granduncle who
happened to be one of the hired labourers.

He was living in Salor at that time, some 20 km away from Pengkalan Chepa and had to
walk the distance on foot daily, stopping only briefly for some rest at several wayside
charity houses ( Wakaf ) which dotted the roadsides of Kelantan. Though roughly treated
( he could still remember and pronounce correctly the Japanese insults uttered to him by
his supervisors ), he told me how he was properly paid for his work, at 50 cent a day.
Indeed the first one or two years of Japanese occupation in Kelantan was fine, until
inflation went beyond control and all available foodstuff got confiscated and diverted to
feed the occupier's soldiers ...

After the war, the military airfield was turned into a civilian airport.
The nearby barracks were maintained however, now as a military camp for the
8th Brigade of the Royal Malay Regiment ( Rejimen Askar Melayu DiRaja ) or
known locally as, Kem Pengkalan Chepa.

As for the airport, it is currently known as the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport of Pengkalan
Chepa - a much renowned airport in the East Coast. It currently caters to the highest
number of passengers in the region ( 2008 : 836,060 ) with highest number of trips per
day, beating that of Kuantan ( 2008 : 259,529 ) and the " international " airport of Kuala
Terengganu ( 2008 : 487,495 ).

* Ref : The Malaysian Airports Website

The airport also serves as a training school for one of only three currently operating
flying schools in Malaysia ( the other two are in Langkawi and Malacca, not including
the one in Ipoh which is a helicopter training school ) and the airplanes seen in the
above shot are among those owned by the school - the APFT.






* Aerial view of Sultan Ismail Petra Airport ....

The Pengkalan Chepa River is seen through this shot, below at the right hand corner.

Close by, where the river meets the sea is Kuala Pak Amat, where the historical
landing took place ...

* Image taken from : Ahmet Akin Diler @ Jetphotos.net






MORE SUGGESTED READINGS :


Vintage Aeroplane Writer : Remember the 8th that came before the 7th.

Awazisan Maru : Japanese Transport Ship Sank off Kuala Pak Amat Dec 1941

Antigravity.com : Diving The Japanese Invasion Wreck

Malaysia Diving Community Forum : Awajisan-maru Wreck Diving





* The twisted propeller and parts of the engine from RAAF Hudson A16-19 ....

... which was used against the Japanese transport ships during the Kuala Pak Amat invasion.

The part comes from one of two Hudsons that were lost during the attack. It laid on the
seabed off Kuala Pak Amat until 1976, when it was found, fished out and then taken to
Australia.

Currently on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Read more about it : http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/hudson/A16-19.html

* Clik image for the original source







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