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 (26 Nov 1943 - 27 Nov 1943)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 26 Nov 1943 27 Nov 1943 N Eight aircraft took off to attack targets in Berlin, of which 7 were successfull and dropped ca. 29 tons of HE and incendiaries. They returned and landed safely Base, Grimsby. No news received from LM379 after take-off and F/L Prangley and crew considered missing.

[Ed: The Prangley crew therefore were the first crew the squadron lost after it commenced operations.]
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
DV306 Returned Primary 2120hrs. 22,000ft. Bombed green TIs. Good concentration of fires. Aircraft holed by flak over target. F/O J J Logan (Nav)
F/L R W Picton (P)
Sgt K P C Williams (W/Op)
Sgt T H Guest (F/Eng)
F/O J F Potter (A/B)
Sgt W M Keen (MU/AG)
Sgt J W Porteous (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (02 Dec 1943 - 03 Dec 1943)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 02 Dec 1943 03 Dec 1943 N Twelve aircraft and crews were offered and accepted for operations. Crews were briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Three aircraft abandoned their mission, one aircraft is missing with all of the crew, and eight aircraft successfully bombed the targets.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
DV306 Returned Primary 20,800ft. At 20.22 attacked by J.U.88. Enemy opened fire, returned by Lancaster. Enemy aircraft probably damaged. No further fires seen. F/O J J Logan (Nav)
F/L R W Picton (P)
Sgt K P C Williams (W/Op)
Sgt T H Guest (F/Eng)
F/O J F Potter (A/B)
Sgt W M Keen (MU/AG)
Sgt J W Porteous (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (16 Dec 1943 - 17 Dec 1943)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 16 Dec 1943 17 Dec 1943 N Fifteen crews were offered for operations and with aircraft loaned from No.100 Squadron. They briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Two of the sorties were abortive but the remaining aircraft bombed the targets and returned safely to BASE.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
DV306 Returned Primary 20,000ft at 20.03hrs. Red glow on cloud and explosion seen at 20.00hrs. Landing conditions difficult. F/O J J Logan (Nav)
F/L R W Picton (P)
Sgt K P C Williams (W/Op)
Sgt T H Guest (F/Eng)
F/O J F Potter (A/B)
Sgt W M Keen (MU/AG)
Sgt J W Porteous (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Frankfurt (20 Dec 1943 - 20 Dec 1943)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Frankfurt 20 Dec 1943 20 Dec 1943 N Thirteen aircraft and crews were offered for operations and briefed to attack targets in FRANKFURT. Two aircraft returned early but the remainder successfully attached targets and returned safely to BASE. Air and ground training was carried out during the day and night.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
DV306 Returned Primary 20,000ft at 19.44hrs. Some scattered fires reflected on cloud before bombing. Good red fires seen as aircraft left target area. F/O J J Logan (Nav)
F/L R W Picton (P)
Sgt K P C Williams (W/Op)
Sgt T H Guest (F/Eng)
F/O J F Potter (A/B)
Sgt W M Keen (MU/AG)
Sgt J W Porteous (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (23 Dec 1943 - 24 Dec 1943)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 23 Dec 1943 24 Dec 1943 N With aircraft loaned from 100 Sqdn, seventeen aircraft and crews were briefed for operations and to attack targets in BERLIN. Two aircraft cancelled at the last moment owing to unserviceability. Shortly after takeoff two aircraft collided in mid-air, crashed and were burnt out, the crews of both being killed. One aircraft did not return - no news after take off. Two aircraft returned early, the remainder successfully attacked the targets and in spite of very bad weather conditions over BASE - GRIMSBY landed safely.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
DV306 Returned Primary 20,500ft at 04.06 1/2hrs. Marking good with plenty of R.P. flares. Good fires to south of target reflected on clouds visible up to 80 miles. F/O J J Logan (Nav)
F/L R W Picton (P)
Sgt K P C Williams (W/Op)
Sgt T H Guest (F/Eng)
F/O J F Potter (A/B)
Sgt W M Keen (MU/AG)
Sgt J W Porteous (R/AG)

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
DV306 Returned Primary 22,000ft at 20.16hrs. A large green glow seen under cloud. A terrific concentration of aircraft. 20 below us as we bombed. Serious lack of markers on homeward run.

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
DV306 Returned Primary 20,000ft, Bombed at 03:18hrs. A certain amount of concentration was achieved on the target. Defences were negligible.

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
DV306 FTR Missing - no news after take-off.

[Ed: this was the first crew lost since the squadron moved to North Killingholme.]
F/O D W Cobbin (P)
Sgt F T Stiling (F/Eng)
F/O K L Agnew (Nav)
P/O J L McKeown (A/B)
Sgt R Laverick (W/Op)
Sgt L K Gilmar (MU/AG)
Sgt R Willis (R/AG)

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 8
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Berlin, 26 Nov 1943)

These details were last updated: 18 June 2017


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.


Return to the top of the page.