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RAF Officers' mess fire, Iwakuni Japan 1947

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RAF Officers' mess fire, Iwakuni Japan 1947

Old 4th Sep 2011, 21:20
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RAF Officers' mess fire, Iwakuni Japan 1947

Hope it's OK to ask & link, but I'm interested in whether anyone can shed any light on two events in my late father's career (Sqn Ldr N.R "Steve" Stevens, retired 1970). He was a WW2 nav, & after the war, ended up as DAPM in Japan. He escaped a fire in the officers' mess (losing his wartime logbook in the process). Sadly some people were killed, but I've not found any other references. I have scanned some old newspapers he kept - link below - you can zoom the images to read the text.

Does anyone know anything more about this event?

The newspapers inform us that various pet rabbits were saved, & that the officers lost everything including their fountain pens.

JapanFire1947 pictures by botophucket2 - Photobucket

I've also scanned a couple of pages from a US newspaper from October 1952 when he was a Lincoln nav during a bombing competition. Again, if anyone remembers this, or has any anecdotes to share, I'd be interested to hear them.
Hope this is appropriate here!
Tim
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Old 11th Jan 2014, 18:26
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Re: Iwakuni mess Fire etc

My father also was there. S/Ldr J Stafford-Baker, OIC a P.R. section for the BCAIR units forming an occupation force for two counties of Japan, MacArthurs lot did the rest. Some
PR work was in fact done but in reality the unit was undertaking intelligence work.
Somewhere amidst fathers papers is a photo of the fire actually being fought, he did mention the event once or twice. Also spoke about rescue work by RAF personnnel for the local civilians after a severe earthquake. he edited the BCAIR personnel magazine, and there are copies of that at the imperial War Museum. Fire details will very ikely be included. Relations with McArthurs lot to whomDdad theoretically reported, were rather frosty. Otherairfields under command were at Miho and I think a place called Shimonoseki. Iwakuni was pre war Japanese Fleet Air Arm base, with water runways for floatplanes as well as the usual tarmac. Buildings were mostly brickbuilt somewhat in Royal Navy style. Iwakuni is currently big USAF base. father had been RAF war Artist during WW2, and painted much again in Japan. Some now in the iwakuni town museum, the Ww2 stuff in the IWM, at Hendon and al over the world. You Dad will certainy have known my Dad. Regards
JuliusStafford-Baker Junior
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