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By H. Wittenberg

Airplane layout four (2001) seventy nine - eighty

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Cumberlege, a bearded naval officer with a gold ring in one ear, commanded a caique from Haifa renamed HMS Dolphin and fitted with a two-pounder gun and a pair of Oerlikons for defence against aircraft. The rest of the crew consisted of Cumberlege's cousin, Cle, a major in the Royal Artillery, who had demoted himself to gun-layer on this extraordinary vessel, a South African private in the Black Watch called Jumbo Steele, and Able Seaman Saunders. The Dolphin sailed to Heraklion, where Hammond met up with John Pendlebury for the first time since their separation in Athens the previous summer.

From Suda Bay, Wilkinson hitched a lift to Canea and searched for the British Legation. To his surprise, he found Harold Caccia clipping the hedge. Even more surprising was his attire: patent leather shoes with rubber soles, striped morning-coat trousers, a black cycling jacket and a Panama hat with the ribbon of the Eton Ramblers. They went off for lunch at a good restaurant, then Caccia proposed a walk to Venizelos's birthplace — a respectable distance. They soon found themselves passing 'some extremely bolshie Australian troops'.

Most of the stragglers from Greece were transported on to Egypt, while formed units were moved out to their designated defence positions. They had been given little chance to sample the delights of Canea's thirty-seven brothels — 'thirty-six of them owner-driven' according to the New Zealand Division Provost-Marshal. The bulk of the Australian troops were moved eastwards to Georgioupolis, Rethymno and Heraklion. The New Zealanders, on the other hand, marched westwards to take up positions along the coast between Canea and the airfield of Maleme, where the Blenheims of 30 Squadron were now based to fly shipping patrols over the Aegean to chase off Stukas.

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Aircraft performance, theory and practice by H. Wittenberg


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