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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. C S Emeny

Clifford Stanley Emeny was born in Wellington, New Zealand on 11th January 1920. He undertook Army service in New Zealand and served as a Seaman Gunner in the Merchant Navy.

He volunteered for aircrew in September 1939 and went to the Ground Training School, Weraroa on 15th January 1940. He was posted to the Air Observers School at Ohakea on 9th February for a Lewis gunnery course and air experience.

Emeny sailed for the UK in the SS Akaroa on 23rd March. Arriving on 9th May, he was sent to No. 1 RAF Depot, Uxbridge to await a posting. This was to 264 Squadron at Duxford on 3rd June 1940 for further training.

He was awarded his air gunners badge on 26th July, promoted to Sergeant the next day and served with the squadron until February 1941, when he was posted to join 255 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey.




On 9th May Emeny was credited with destroying a German bomber at night over Hull. He also had a probable to his credit when he left the squadron on 26th June 1941 to join 409 (RCAF) Squadron at Digby. After the squadron converted to Beaufighters later in the year Emeny retrained as a Radio Observer. He was commissioned in late November.

In January 1942 he was accepted for pilot training and posted to 13 ITW Torquay. Emeny did a grading course at 22 EFTS Cambridge and left for Canada in late May. He carried out his flying training at 37 SFTS Calgary and 39 SFTS Swift Current. Now qualified as a pilot, he embarked at Halifax for the UK on 3rd February 1943.

After further training at 12(P) AFU Grantham Emeny converted to Blenheims at 60 OTU there and then went to High Ercall for a night intruder course on Mosquitos. He was posted to India on 29th November 1943 and on 5th Janaury 1944 joined 27 Squadron at Agartala. Emeny went to 45 Squadron at Yelahanka, India on 20th March 1944.

On 9th November Emeny led six Mosquitos in a dawn raid on the Japanese airfield at Meiktila. After destroying a bomber as it was taking off, his aircraft was hit by ground fire which set it alight and stopped one engine. He was then attacked by fighters and crashed in flames in the jungle. Trapped by his feet, Emeny protected himself from the fire by covering himself with his parachute and putting on his oxygen mask. He struggled free and was pulled out of the wreckage by his navigator. The two men were betrayed to the Japanese by villagers and taken to Rangoon, where they were separated.

Emeny was taken to the University and interrogated at great length and with extreme cruelty, receiving no medical treatment for his burns and injuries. He was eventually put into the prison at Rangoon and at one point went on trial and was sentenced to death by beheading for agitating for treatment for sick prisoners.

The camp was liberated before the sentence could be carried out.

Emeny was freed in early May 1945 and flown out of Calcutta, weighing 6st 10lbs. He returned to New Zealand in July and was released from the RNZAF in 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant.

Emeny subsequently married and settled in New Plymouth. He worked as a farmer, in marketing and as a natural healthcare practitioner

He died on 6th October 2000 and was buried in Awanui Services Cemetery.

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