550 Squadron Photos

F/O G S Devereau and Crew

F/O Devereau and crew were posted to 550 Sqdn from No. 1 LFS w.e.f 12.8.44:

The pictures below are of the F/O Devereau crew. Many thanks to Sean Feast (great nephew of B/A Peter Noble) for making these pictures available.

Click image F/O Devereau & Crew
L-to-R: Peter Noble (A/B), Bill Horlor (W/Op), Geoff Mills (MU/AG), "Mac" Macnamara (R/AG), Bill Cross (Nav), George Devereau (Pilot).
Missing from the crew is Stephen Ward (F/Eng), who they picked up at HCU
Click image F/O George Devereau (P)
Click image Sgt Peter Noble (B/A)
Click image Air Bombers (group)
Sgt Peter Noble (B/A), middle row, seated second from left.

The Devereau crew were with 550 Squadron from August 1944 - November 1944. On 7th November 1944 the crew was posted to 150 Squadron, when part of "C" Flight was transfered to form the nucleus of 150 Squadron.

Sadly, shortly after joining 150 Squadron the Devereau crew was shot down in December 1944 and all were killed. They were taking part in an evening raid on Essen on the 12th December 1944, but F/Lt Devereau, on his 27th raid, failed to return, and they became the first crew to be lost since 150 Squadron was re-formed.

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Battle Order: 150 Squadron, 12th December 1944
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12th December 1944, Devereau crew missing

Peter Noble Diary

There follows below several pages from the personal diary of Sgt Peter Noble (B/A) in George Devereau's crew. His 1944 diary details each of his 23 operations before being shot down and killed in December over Essen.

Not only does the diary record the operations (even recording the bomb loads for every raid) the crew undertake but there is a wonderful level of detail about the "hum-drum", all the "little things" of everyday life when the crew is off-duty.

Many thanks to Sean Feast (great nephew) for permission to display these pages.

August 1944

Click image 29th August: Here is op number one and very nearly his last.
Entry begins: 'Operations Stettin. Almost didn't come back'.
September 1944
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3rd: Gilze-Rijen (bombing photo attached below)
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A bad head cold obliged Peter to miss out on ops on 17 September and he recalls that 'the boys came back OK'.
20th September: flew as a 'spare bod' in the crew of F/Sgt Hopman (bombing photo attached below), ironically recording 'bags of fun on return'!
21st September: a picture paints a thousand words. His promotion to flight sergeant has finally come through!
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Devereau crew: Gilze-Rijen bombing photo
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Hopman crew: Sangatte bombing photo (target - enemy troop concentration near Sangatte)
October 1944

Operations 11 through to 20 and another snapshot from history. Peter took part in Operation Hurricane: two trips to Duisberg in a 24-hour period in which the RAF dropped more than 4,000 tons of HE and incendiaries. The first op included "bags of flak and twitch"
Then came Essen (ops 14 and 15) and a daylight to Cologne.
The end of October was especially busy - four ops in six days. Who said the "Bomber Boys" had it easy after 1943? And a new name for their aircraft: "Bouncing Baby".

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November 1944
Click image 6th November: 21st op with 550 Sqdn. Mentions the loss of F/O Leonard McCarthy (later confirmed as killed with his entire crew).
7th November: Posted to Fiskterton, a "shambles", a "horrible dump". This is in reference to the move of 550 Squadron "C" Flight to reform 150 Squadron first at Fiskerton, and then its permanent base at Hemswell.