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Is this RAF Kallang?

Old 4th Jul 2015, 10:18
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Is this RAF Kallang?

When searching for pictures of Kallang, for my recent posting on the "Where on Earth" thread on "Jet Blast", I found this picture:



The AWM caption reads:
SINGAPORE. 1945-09-09. THE KALANG (sic) AERODROME AS SEEN FROM AN APPROACHING AIRCRAFT.
but it doesn't look like Kallang to me. Is this photo mis-identified or am I wrong (not unusual)?

Last edited by India Four Two; 6th Jul 2015 at 14:36.
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 10:46
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According to Google images it is.
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 11:29
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I don't think Kallang ever had more than one hard runway.

If it did, the cross-runway seems to have disappeared without trace by 1955:

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Old 4th Jul 2015, 16:32
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Changi

Simon, I think it's Changi, about 1947. So an AWM misident. Might take a while to prove it tho. ..... LFH
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 17:50
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I have a copy of the 1965 history of Changi, and although that picture does not appear in it, there is a picture which shows enough of an overlap to identify it as Changi
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 19:11
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Changi in 1946:

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Old 4th Jul 2015, 20:48
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Well what a fascinating photo! It's Changi and must indeed be immediately post war and the lack of any visible aircraft show it was before the RAF were using it. It's taken from the south east and what it interesting is how wide the runways look in relation to the recognisable features. The RAF layed PSP; pierced (or is it perforated? ) steel plate on the main north / south runway and relegated the east west one to parking areas, becoming the Eastern and Western dispersals.The dispersals also gained large areas of PSP, which lasted until 1964. The 02/20 main runway was sinking so it was relayed with concrete and had storm drains constucted down it's length and these appear to be areas that this photo shows had been covered in concrete by the Japanese. You wouldn't have known that in the early 60's when I knew it as grass covered the ground between runway and taxiways.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 06:59
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Well, thank you all! Part of my day job is using my PI skills, so I'm glad I wasn't seeing things.

Coincidentally, I was sitting in a departure lounge at Changi when I made the post! I'll contact the AWM and refer them to the experts here.

DR,
I've seen that Kallang photo captioned as 1945, but I suspected it was newer, as I think I can see one (or two) Constellations on the apron.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 12:35
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Photograph of Kallang

Re. the photo of Kallang. Would the airfield in the top left corner be Paya Lebar ?
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 12:50
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The photo in the "History of Changi" is dated 1947, and shows the P.S.P. runway. It takes up about 20% of the width of the strip shown in the '45 and '46 photos. There was still P.S.P. at the very Eastern end of the East/West strip as late as the end of '69, between the 205 building and the entrance from the coast road, where 41 RNZAF had their Freighters.
Krakatoa - yes.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 20:33
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Krakatoa,

As oxenos said, it is Paya Lebar. See here for a modern GE view, from the same viewpoint:

http://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/5303...ml#post9032239

Last edited by India Four Two; 5th Jul 2015 at 20:59.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 21:37
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Changi then and now

For the benefit of those who haven't been to Singapore recently, I thought I would show this comparison between DR's 1946 photo and present day GE.

Changi has changed and Singapore has grown much bigger!





Note the huge areas of reclaimed land. The new part of Changi (mostly brown in the GE view) is the air force base.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 23:10
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Copies of the 1965 book "History of Changi" by Sqn Ldr HA Probert, seem to be currently available.

I found this very authoritative personal account of Norman Quinnell's time in the RAF from 1943-47. https://sites.google.com/site/nvquinnell/home2

It includes chapters on his service at Changi in 1947-47 (F/Sgt in the operations and movements depts) and describes the activities, aircraft and personalities involved.

ISTR pre-war, the Brits had correctly assessed the number of frontline aircraft (700 odd) and other forces required to defend Singapore and Malaya, and then utterly failed to provide them. Also it was said that while looking for suitable aerodrome sites, the Changi area was dismissed as wholly unsuitable, although there had been a military camp (on what became the RAF base's domestic/technical area for some years.

The "Johore" artillery battery at Changi consisted of two twin 6 inch mountings and three single 15 inch guns located somewhere around the top left hand corner of the current airfield - ie in the NW quadrant of the old cross runways.

The RAF Changi Association RAF Changi New Website has a large archive of photos. There are thumbnails at the bottom of each 100 pix and include several aerials of the field at various times.
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 10:00
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I found this very authoritative personal account of Norman Quinnell's time in the RAF from 1943-47.
LFH,
Thanks for that - a fascinating account, which I've just read while wide awake at 2am, due to jet lag, after a 30 hour trip!
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 10:54
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Interesting Photographs. I grew up as a kid in Singapore (my father was in the RAF) and I returned there in 1998 on a short term contract as a pilot to Singapore Airlines. Naturally, I immediately tried to find all my childhood places and memories. The old school is now a Brewery (a little bit of rough justice) and the family home in Margoliath Street, off Stevens Road is now worth no less than 9 million ( not bad for a Married Quarter). The thing that really confused me was the airport, the old RAF runway is now the taxiway to the left of 02L. We now have 02C and 02R. The little grass knoll where the old tower was situated is still there but most of the new airport is now reclaimed land. Beach road opposite the Raffles Hotel is now at least a mile from the beach and so on. I went back in 2001, on another longer contract and left on retirement ten years later. The changes that have taken place still amaze me. The old Changi Hospital where the balcony overlooked the beach is now about three miles from the sea.
This is what I love about Asia, while we study the environment and complete impact studies for ten years on the mating habits of some obscure speckled moth, our northern cousins just dynamite everything in sight and just get on with it.
Coming home to Aus eleven years later, nothing has changed, everything is eleven years older and the neighbor's daughter is a little fatter.
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 12:33
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The old Changi Hospital where the balcony overlooked the beach is now about three miles from the sea.
Over 20% of Singapore's current area is reclaimed land. Singapore has done so much dredging for sand for reclamation that they've run out. They now have to import it by sea!

Last edited by India Four Two; 7th Jul 2015 at 00:08.
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 14:35
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I've contacted the AWM and pointed out the caption error on their "Kallang" picture.

While searching for the picture, I came across this nine-minute silent film, about POW repatriation, which has shots of Kallang and Changi and some Japanese aircraft. The description on the same page is a bit muddled, but good enough to make sense of the film:

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/F02617/

For anyone interested in Singapore military history, it is worth watching.

Simon, I think it's Changi, about 1947. So an AWM misident. Might take a while to prove it tho. ..... LFH
LFH,
It certainly was a long time by PPRuNe standards - 2h39!

Last edited by India Four Two; 6th Jul 2015 at 15:52.
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 21:04
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By George,

The old school is now a Brewery
You went to school? Snort.
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 21:17
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Johore Battery

It is possible to visit parts of this, off Cosford Road (just NW of the aerodrome and immediately north of the camouflaged SAF dispersal site).
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Old 7th Jul 2015, 11:18
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Rumor has it that the plan for the land reclaimation is to change the shape of the island into a rectangle...



...that way they won't need to "think outside the box".

C2j
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