Squadron Operations: Summary Information

Overview

There follows below a list of the all of the operations flown by 550 Squadron and the aircraft involved on each. The information used to build this page was taken in the first instance from the lists provided on the original Squadron Association web-site, but has been augmented by new information gathered since that time (squadron operations logs, individual aircrew log books, and other sources).

This information is not yet complete: it has been build from the a number of sources (documentary and people) and compilation of complete lists is an ongoing task that is expected to take quite some time to complete. So please don't shout just yet if you spot an omission - work continues to build a more complete, and accurate, list.
Do however shout if you spot an error! Please email any corrections or information to the contact details in the link at the bottom of the page.

Operation Summary: The column headers should be fairly self-explanatory. The term "aborted" as used here covers a number of possibilities:

Aircraft Deployed: When a link to a particular aircraft is given, this indicates aircraft known to have taken part in this raid (in the records currently available to the web-site author). A record of whether the aircraft returned or failed to return (FTR) is also logged.

Servicemen Deployed: Names of the crew in the operation.

Station Summary: This section is the information from the RAF North Killingholme Station Record Book for the operational date (if available).

Definitions of the abbreviations used are available: here.

Manageable Lists

The amount of data in the database is growing and this is resulting in the "all operations/targets" list getting rapidly bigger and thus slower to generate. There are options to display shorter, more quickly generated, reports if you want to home in on something specific. For example, there are options to generate reports on operations to a single target, or by single aircraft (to all targets) or by single aircraft to a single target. There is, on the database-reports summary page, a short user guide (PDF format) on how to do this.


Operation/Target: Berlin (29 Dec 1943 - 30 Dec 1943)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 29 Dec 1943 30 Dec 1943 N Fourteen aircraft with crews were offered and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Five aircraft returned early but the remained successfully attached their targets and returned safely to BASE. Orders were received that the Sqdn should remove to RAF Station, NORTH KILLINGHOLME, LINCOLNSHIRE by 3rd January 1944.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
DV176 Returned Abandoned at 17.45hrs at 18,000ft. Oxygen supply reduced to one third and one half after take-off. Suspected leak in altitude regulator.

[Ed: ORB states DU176. Unclear which aircraft this is or could be. (There is no DV176?. Other?)]
F/L A B Craig (P)
Sgt L C Woodcock (F/Eng)
F/Sgt E M England (Nav)
W/O L W Notman (A/B)
Sgt R S Pilson (R/AG)
F/Sgt S H Brasher (MU/AG)
Sgt B G Davies (W/Op)

Operation/Target: Berlin (01 Jan 1944 - 01 Jan 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 01 Jan 1944 01 Jan 1944 N Twelve aircraft with crew were offered for operations and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Two aircraft returned early, one aircraft failed to return to BASE (no news since take-off) and one aircraft on returning, crashed and was burnt out at Whapole Drive, Lincs all the crew being killed. RAF Station SUTTON BRIDGE signalled details of the crash. The remaining aircraft bombed the targets and returned safely, landing base - GRIMSBY.
Station Summary
This date had been tentatively arranged for arrival of 550 Squadron. The Squadron however, operated from WALTHAM on 1/2 Jan and no squadron personnel arrived ay North Killingholme.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
DV176 Returned Primary 19,000ft. Bombed at 03.13 hours glow of fires on cloud as markers has disappeared after run in.

Operation/Target: Berlin (02 Jan 1944 - 03 Jan 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 02 Jan 1944 03 Jan 1944 N Eleven aircraft were offered for operations, three subsequently being withdrawn owing to unserviceability. The remainder briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Three aircraft returned early, but the remainder successfully bombed the targets and on returing to this country, owing to bad weather conditions were landed at various bases.
Station Summary
550 Squadron again operated from WALTHAM.
9550 Servicing Echelon, C.O. F/L G COOPER having, been formed on 25/11/43, arrived today, complete with Electrical Section.
F/O H G GARDINER, Station Armament Officer, has been on duty for the last few days arranging for equipment to be transferred from WALTHAM. Bomb trolleys arrived today.
S/Ldr E R BARKER Station Intelligence Officer arrived today from Wickenby.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
DV176 Returned Primary 19,000 feet at 03.06hrs. Late take off caused lateness of target. Enemy aircraft opened fire at 600yards. Our aircraft made a diving turn and lost enemy aircraft.

Operation/Target: Brunswick (14 Jan 1944 - 15 Jan 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Brunswick 14 Jan 1944 15 Jan 1944 Y Twelve aircraft with crews were offered for operations and were briefed to attack targets in BRUNSWICK. One aircraft did not take off owing to unserviceability, two aircraft returned early (abortives) and one aircraft did not return (no news since take-off) and is, with the crew posted as "missing". Eight aircraft successfully bombed the targets and returned safely to base.
Station Summary
11 aircraft of 550 Squadron were detailed to take part in a heavy attack on BRUNSWICK, Preparations for this first operation went, on the whole, smoothly, although the early take-off called for maximum speed and an all-out effort from still under-established ground-staffs. Bombing-up was duly completed and 11 aircraft took off in 37 minutes. 2 sorties were abortive; 1 aircraft was missing and 1 landed at WOODBRIDGE due to engine failure. The remaining 7 aircraft, which claim to have attacked the primary target, were landed at base all within 18 mins by portable lighting, the Drem lighting system being unfinished.
A timely demonstration of bomb-handling by a special party from 1 Group Headquarters proved of value to the Station Bomb Stores personnel.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
DV176 Returned Primary 21,000ft at 19.16hrs. Returned on 2 1/2 engines. Landed at WOODBRIDGE.

Operation/Target: Berlin (27 Jan 1944 - 28 Jan 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 27 Jan 1944 28 Jan 1944 N Fourteen aircraft with crews were offered and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Four aircraft returned early, but the remaining ten successfully bombed the target and returned safely to BASE.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
DV176 Returned Primary 20,000ft at 20.33 hrs

Summary Statistics

Based on the data in the lists displayed above, and keeping in mind that data is still being updated and thus not yet complete, the following statistics are generated:

Aircraft Deployment Statistics


Aircraft deployments 5
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Berlin, 29 Dec 1943)

These details were last updated: 13 November 2019


Note

this list is still being built and will take some time to complete
what is currently displayed is believed accurate but much more is still to be added

This note describes the options currently available to produce a smaller, more manageable list and also describes planned future enhancements to the reporting facility.


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