BIGGLES IN BORNEO

Book First Published in July 1943 - 185 pages

I believe this Biggles book was never serialised elsewhere. If anybody knows differently then please E-MAIL ME

 

Biggles is asked to take 666 squadron to Borneo to fight against the Japanese from a secret airfield. Captain Rex Larrymore had discovered the airfield prior to the start of the war when he had to make a forced landing in Borneo. Larrymore has befriended the local natives, dangerous headhunters, and had set up as a prospector with a good supply of fuel and oil on this airfield, which he had named "Lucky Strike". The base is used to good effect for initial attacks on the Japanese. Our heroes are also able to rescue three men, Jackson, Gray and Flannagan who have escaped from Cotabato on the island of Mindanao. They have tales to tell of the brutality of the Japanese commandant there, a man called Yashnowada. While flying as rear gunner for Algy in a Beaufighter aircraft, Ginger finds that a deadly Krait snake has got on board the aircraft. Algy makes an emergency landing but his plane is wrecked and the Japanese capture both Algy and Ginger. They are transported by submarine to Cotabato. Biggles is soon on their trail and with the help of Suba, the chief of the headhunters they capture a Japanese soldier to find out more information. Launching an air attack and dropping escape equipment to Ginger and Algy, Biggles and his squadron succeed in not only freeing Ginger and Algy but also approximately 40 other prisoners from Cotabato. Soon after, the Japanese discover Biggles' secret airfield and make plans to attack it. One of the escaped prisoners is a Chinaman called Fee Wong. He has information about a convoy of 100 Japanese barges loaded with rubber and Biggles is asked to destroy them. Biggles sets off with Algy, Ginger and Fee Wong, in a Cayman flying boat with just enough petrol to get to Sarawak, where they are located, and back. However, the monsoon arrives early and the weather conditions call for the use of so much petrol that the machine is unable to return without refuelling. Landing at the saw mills of Telapur on Sarawak, Fee Wong makes contact with his brother and by making use of the monsoon flooded river and the bravery of a Malay called Kayan, Biggles is able to destroy the barges. With the flying boat caught up in the flooded river, Biggles and Ginger find themselves separated from Algy and Fee Wong. Biggles uses a surviving barge to get himself and Ginger back to Algy and the plane. By using a captured Japanese uniform, Ginger lures a Japanese flying boat down allowing Biggles to steal the aviation fuel. Returning to "Lucky Strike" airfield, our heroes find the Japanese in all out attack, with wave after wave of bombings and more troops trying to force their way through the jungle to the airfield. Repairs are made to the runway and Ginger is forced to fly their Liberator supply plane away towards Australia to avoid it being destroyed in the next attack. Ginger finds an Australian aircraft carrier and is able to return with a squadron of Fairey Fulmars to fight off the Japanese bombers. Suba and his headhunters deal with the attacking ground force and they return with Yashnowada's head on a spear. With their airfield safe, Biggles hands over to the Royal Australian Air Force. The dust jacket depicts the headhunters as a plane flies overhead.

 

Click here to see the story illustrations from the original HARDBACK first edition of this book

 

Biggles in Borneo

Publication Details - published by Oxford University Press

 

The spine and cover illustration from the original Oxford first edition

 

Frontispiece

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Dust jacket of the 1960 Brockhampton Press reprint (NB This is one of only FOUR Oxford books that were reprinted by Brockhampton Press)

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Frontispiece of the 1960 Brockhampton Press reprint

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