9th April 1945. Ops Kiel, Germany
 
It was discovered that the "Admiral Scheer", the last of the German pocket battle ships was sunk.  It was docked in the harbour.  
Another item was that our aircraft got coned by the master search light  which then brought several other search lights into play.  
Geoff (Mearns) immediately threw the a/c into a corkscrew, it was a diving manouvre to evade fighters etc.  He threw that kite all over the sky, 
twisting and turning for seven whole minutes and eventually we got out of the range of the search lights.  We were very vulnerable because the 
glare of the search light blinds you.  In case you didn't know the engineer did not have a proper seat in the Lanc, only a pull across piece 
of webbing so during all this time I was being thrown all over the place.  We saw a JU 88 waiting to pounce but again we lost him.
 
All of this was reported at debriefing and verified by other crews.  You know, the rule of thumb was used on ops was that you were most vulnerable 
on your first five ops and your last five.  The first five because of inexperience and last because you were too sure of yourself.  We were lucky 
that night and none of us ever carried lucky charms but in the air we were a disciplined crew and never took chances.  I said the non-flying days 
were beer days, it didn't mean we always drank but I must confess to downing a few!!!
 
Geoff Mearns lived in Northwich, Cheshire and became a school teacher.  Johnny Chamboly lived in Upton Manor in London.  Bill Kelly was Canadian, 
Mac (Joe McKeen) and Danny (Dan O'Neill) came from Southern Ireland.  The last rear gunner came from Birmingham, he was a real hustler at the pool 
table but a real good guy!
 
Fred Norris 22nd May 2005