RAF losses-Typhoon Wanda.jpg

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 14:05

Extract from "History of RAF Kai Tak" by GLD Alderson published by RAF Kai Tak circa 1971

Incident at Lantau Island not High Island

No doubt there will be more in the SCMP from that time

Date picture taken
1 Sep 1962


I don't have access to the SCMP, but I did find this photo caption from a 1962 copy of the ILN that puts the men on High Island:

Ravaged by the winds: Stone and mortar broke and houses crashed over the heads of men. Five RAF men were victims on exercise at High Island.

I was stationed at Kai Tak when Wanda struck.I may be wrong but was told then that the tragedy happened at High Island.

Did a quick online search of the papers of the day. See here

British Royal Air Force enlisted men were found dead Sunday in the wreckage of a stone hut blown down by Saturday's Typhoon Wanda, the worst storm to hit this crown colony in 25 years. Their deaths raised the known toll from the typhoon to 47 dead. At least 505 persons were injured and 30,000 others left homeless by the storm which was preceded by a five-foot high tidal wave. Sir Robert Black, British governor of Hong Kong, made a four- hour tour of devastated areas and said afterwards, "I am appalled by the damage." Fishing villages along the coast of the New Territories area north of here were particularly hard hit. Wanda, with the 162-mile an hour peak winds, was described by newspapers as the worst typhoon to sweep across this colony since 1937. The five British RAF men, two corporals and three senior air craftsmen, had been camping out on High Island, an isolated island off the coast of Hong Kong. They were on what was officially described as an "expedition training scheme."


Just shows you cannot always believe what has been written in books

The Lantau location has been repeated in print elsewhere presumably  by copying from Alderson's book

Reminds me of a picture I posted on gwulo a few years ago of a Mansion with the printed caption"Castle Peak" underneath it from a well-known book on Hong Kong, but numerous readers couldn't decided over a long period exactly where it was in the area.

Eventually it was  pin-pointed as being in Macau!


It was a sad day for me as some of my good friends died.There was a lot of anger against the man who could have rescued the men before the typhoon struck.We could see it coming on radar days before.