steadyaku47 comment : A story from the past worthy of sharing – as sent to me.
Times today on the Talalla brothers. It was about a documentary to be
aired on History Channel today in conjunction with Malaysia Day. It
tells the story of two pilot brothers — Henry and Cyril Talalla — who to
this day were among the very few known Malaysians to fly for the Royal
British Air force during World War II.
Henry, 24, a fighter pilot for the RAF since 1941, flew
rocket-carrying Typhoons for the 182nd squadron, while his brother
Cyril, flew the Spitfire for the 118th Squadron.
In July 1944, Henry took off with four British Typhoons to provide
air support to the Allied ground troops fighting the Nazi defence line
south of the city of Caen, northern France. Henry’s squadron was tasked
with attacking a concentration of tanks at Fontenay Le Marmion and pin
back the German defence formation south of Caen. This would allow the
Americans to launch Operation Cobra, designed to breakout from the Nazi
defence line in the west.
Henry’s was the third aircraft in a group of four Typhoon aircraft.
During the 60-degree dive and after firing his rockets, Henry came under
heavy anti-aircraft fire from Nazi ground support and disappeared from
formation. Henry had been shot down and crashed 18km away from his
target. Hearing the news, his brother Cyril flew alone over northern
France in his mustang back into the battle zone. Desperately searching
for his brother, he traced Henry’s flight path but found nothing.
Twenty one days after the crash, French farmer Louie Bree found a
grave by the side of a wrecked aircraft, presumed to have been dug by
the French resistance movement.
After the war in 1945, Henry’s father, with some information about
the aircraft from the British Minister of Defence and the French local
police, flew to France and tracked down Louie Bree’s farm which led him
to Henry’s grave. Fifty years later, the British government exhumed
Henry’s body and transferred it to the military cemetery in Banneville
Every year since then, the small village of Airan have paid tribute
to this Malaysian hero in a ceremony. One member of the Talalla family
will always be there.