The underground struggle against the British gained momentum and activity became more daring and wider in scope. Initially the Irgun had concentrated on attacking centers of civilian government and had refrained from hits on army camps, but this distinction no longer existed. With all restrictions removed, the British armed forces were no longer immune from attack by our Fighting Force.
After the Second World War, the many RAF bases stationed throughout the country became targets for underground attack. On February 25, 1946, three military airfields were attacked and dozens of planes destroyed.
I spent that night, together with Shmulik and several other fighters, in one of the groves between Ramat Gan and Petah Tikva. Our role was to await the group, which had set out to attack the Lydda airfield, to collect their weapons and treat the wounded. At 8:30pm, the appointed time, we heard loud explosions, but still did not expect the fighters before midnight. An hour later, we heard a rustle and saw a group of people approaching. Our first thought was that this was a British reconnaissance unit and we immediately hid among the trees, weapons ready. When the group was close enough, we heard Hebrew being spoken. I went out to meet them and discovered that they were Lehi fighters, returning from the raid on the Kfar Syrkin airfield. Commanded by Yaakov Granek) known as blond Dov), the fighters had reached the airfield in a truck and immediately taken up positions. Under cover of fire, the sapper unit had broken into the field and rapidly approached the aircraft. They laid mines between the wings and bodies of the aircraft and beat a rapid retreat. Eight aircraft went up in flames and the action was completed without casualties.
We congratulated the Lehi fighters and stayed behind to greet our own comrades on their return from Lydda. Midnight came but nobody arrived. We continued to wait tensely in the rain, our concern growing. At around 4:00am they finally arrived. It transpired that the heavy rain and thick mud had slowed their progress and they had only reached the Lydda airfield at 10:00pm. On their way, they had heard the explosions from the direction of Kfar Syrkin (seven kilometers away) and anticipated that the troops in the camp would be on the alert. The commander of the operation Shimshon (Dov Cohen, who had served in a British army commando unit and was due to be demobilized), held a hasty conference, and it was finally decided to proceed as planned. The sappers cut the barbed wire with their special cutters and broke in. They made their way directly to the aircraft, and laid their explosives between the wing and the body of the aircraft. When a whistle was blown, they detonated the explosives and withdrew. Eleven aircraft were destroyed.
The withdrawal was difficult and took longer than planned. The rain had ceased but the soil was saturated and the mud hampered progress. The operation ended without casualties, apart from Dvora Kalfus' shoe, which disappeared in the mud. At Petah Tikva they handed over their weapons to the armorers and then continued on foot towards Ramat Gan, meeting us en route. As we were about to cross the road linking Petah Tikva road with Tel Litvinsky (present-day Tel-Hashomer), we encountered a convoy of military vehicles leaving the large camp at Tel Litvinsky on its way to impose a curfew on the main roads, and on Ramat Gan and Petah Tikva. We lingered in the orange grove until the convoy had passed and as soon as the road was clear, we crossed it at a run and left the scene as fast as possible.
Dawn had broken and we were left with the task of cleaning our mud-splattered clothes and shoes before entering town. The group made for Dvora's house, on an isolated hill near Ramat Yitzhak. The Kalfus family was very active in the Irgun; the older brother, Nathan, had been involved in illegal immigration activities and had brought many immigrants to the country; Dvora and her younger brother, Yoel, were active in the Ramat Gan branch of the Fighting Force. While their mother made us tea, the fighters tried to scrape the mud off their shoes. It was a cheerful group, the most prominent of which was Michael Ashbel, who had a good singing voice and wrote poems in his spare time. The poem he wrote about that night's operation soon became one of the most popular marching songs of the Irgun fighters.
While Shimshon and his men were marching to the Lydda airfield, another unit, commanded by Gidi (Amihai Paglin), was making its way to the Kastina airfield (presently Hatzor) to destroy 20 military aircraft.