In March 1942 the 1st Air Landing Reconnaissance Squadron (that Dick was to join in April) was training on Salisbury Plain from their base at Shaw House near Newbury. Dick was presumably still in Dorset where there was yet more privation on the home front as gas and electricity were rationed.
The county was still receiving occasional air attacks and there was intense activity off the coast to enforce the Royal Navy’s blockade of the Channel, although five German destroyers and a raider slipped through to the Atlantic. Some of Poole's flying boats were commandeered to relieve the siege of Malta. The island was critical to the interception of Rommel’s supplies in North Africa but was remorselessly bombed by the Luftwaffe. In March 1942 all five ships in a convoy were sunk and the troops and civilian population faced starvation (from ‘The Second World War’ by Antony Beevor, published by Weidenfield and Nicolson 2012).
Lord Louis Mountbatten was promoted as Chief of Combined Operations and his commandos carried out a successful raid to destroy the dock at St Nazaire, the only eastern Atlantic dock large enough to accommodate Hitler’s super battleship the Tirpitz.
Japan achieved victory in the Java Sea at the beginning of March and by the end of the month held the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) and Rangoon, the capital of Burma. They bombed Port Moresby, the capital of New Guinea, and Darwin, again. Faced by the threat of Japanese invasion Australia had begun evacuation of the north in December 1941, just as the first US troops arrived to help defend the country. However, after March 1942 the direct threat of Japanese invasion diminished.