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Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

Voyage of 6 Field Ambulance

Voyage of 6 Field Ambulance

Egypt's singularly appropriate send-off to 6 Field Ambulance was a sandstorm so severe that visibility was reduced to a foot or two. The desert blizzard continued with unabated fury for several days. The men remained in their tents, since to venture outside might mean groping about for hours in a blinding vortex of dust and sand.

With HQ 2 NZ Division and the ADMS office and staff, 6 Field Ambulance boarded the SS Barpeta at Alexandria on 18 March, while 5 Field Ambulance was settling into camp at Amiriya, and arrived at Piraeus four days later. The voyage was an eventful one. Two days out the convoy was attacked by dive-bombing aircraft, which swooped down from low clouds and dropped bombs dangerously near a transport. Ships were raked with machine-gun fire and a tanker alongside the Barpeta was hit and set ablaze, but the fire was got under control, and the vessel reached port safely with the other ships of the convoy. Luckily, there were no casualties.