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: Duigny (10 Aug 1944 - 10 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Duigny 10 Aug 1944 10 Aug 1944 N Twenty aircraft were offered, accepted and briefed for operations again an oil storage depot at DUIGNY. The target was reached and bombed in clear weather, which was heavily defened by accurate predicted Flak, which scarred several of our aircraft and caused two slight casualties F/O Dubois "H" was hit in the neck by shrapnel and in spite of severe pain and loss of blood safely brought the aircraft back to base. F/S Francis (A/B of "V") also sustained a slight wound in his leg whilst over the target. F/O Shaw "F" when outward bound lost the use of one of his engines and reached the target about 9000ft below the bomber stream. He successfully bombed his target and was escorted home by five Spitfires. "F" attracted the attention of numberous Flak batteries but reached base safely. Photographs were once again of excellent quality.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 16,000ft at 12.02hrs F/O J J W Dawson (P)
Sgt E W C Edmunds (F/Eng)
F/Sgt F W Willmer (Nav)
Sgt J M Palmer (W/Op)
Sgt J Earnshaw (MU/AG)
F/Sgt W H Harkness (R/AG)
F/Sgt K P Brady (A/B)

Operation/Target: Douai (11 Aug 1944 - 11 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Douai 11 Aug 1944 11 Aug 1944 N Sixteen aircraft and crews were provided and briefed for an attack on DOUAI. Nearing the taget some 6/10-7/10 cloud was encountered and with the markers being a few minutes late the leading aircraft found some difficulty in locating the target with the result that they bombed the marshalling yards at CAMBRAI. Immediately after this the markers were seen to go down over DOUAI and were very accurately placed. Both targets were well and truly bombed as the photographs show. Flak and fighters were once again conspicious by their absence.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Douai 16,000ft at 16.22hrs.

[Ed: ORB says LM279, Crew Log Book LM273. Could find no reference to LM297 in other records. So LM273 assumed.]
F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Fontaine le Pain (14 Aug 1944 - 14 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Fontaine le Pain 14 Aug 1944 14 Aug 1944 N Nineteen aircraft and crews were offered and accepted but the number required was later reduced to fourteen and all took off to attack targets at FONTAINE LE PAIN in support of the Allied armies. Clear weather over the target area was marred by smoke from the battle area which also obscured the markers for some of our crews in spite of the low level attack which was made. Map reading was hampered by the numerous criss crossing of the tracks of the amoured vehicles, but all of our aircraft found and bombed their target. All our aircraft returned with the exception of "V" (F/S Hough) which crashed near Wansford all the members of the crew losing their lives.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 3000ft at 15.37hrs F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Le Coulot (15 Aug 1944 - 15 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Coulot 15 Aug 1944 15 Aug 1944 N Eighteen aircraft and crews were again offered for operations, seventeen finally taking off to attack a Luftwaffe night fighter base ay LE COULOT near Louvain in Belgium which is the most distant daylight target so far tackled. Good weather prevailed and all the aircraft identified the spot without difficulty and gave it its desserts. The runways were pleatered and the and the technical and administrative buildings got their share of a very successful prang. Flak was dispirited in most stages of the attack but the only fighters seen were those of our own cover. Good photographs were once again obtained.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned - F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Ghent Terneuzen (19 Aug 1944 - 20 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Ghent Terneuzen 19 Aug 1944 20 Aug 1944 N Just before "The Lone Ranger" touched down the remaining thirteen aircraft had taken off on yet another oil raid. This time to GHENT TERNEUZEN in Belgium. Weather over the target was clear and most of our crews identified the markers easily and there is very indication that they did their job well. Once again the Luftwaffe did not interfere and flak at the target was described as nil to negligible, and all our aircraft once again returned to base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned [Ed: ORB says LM275 "O", assumed LM273 "O" meant]

Operation/Target: Russelheim (25 Aug 1944 - 26 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Russelheim 25 Aug 1944 26 Aug 1944 N Sixteen aircraft and crews were offered and accepted for operations but were warned to stand by for a night attack. All the aircraft originally detailed took off to attack targets in RUSSELHEIM, the sixteenth being cancelled owing to the starboard outer engine being unserviceable on W5005 "N". No fewer than five new Captains were on this trip as second pilots. News was also received late in the day of the awards of the DFC to P/O Purvis for his part in the raid on 12 Aug 1944 and to F/O Dubois for his trip on the 10th Aug.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 18,500ft at 01.09hrs

[Ed. ORB says LM275 "O"]
F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Kiel (26 Aug 1944 - 27 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Kiel 26 Aug 1944 27 Aug 1944 N Eighteen aircraft and crews were offered and accepted for operations and were briefed to attack KIEL. After a first class takeoff at 21.00hrs the crews enjoyed good weather en-route to the target, but on the return journey a severe electrical storm was encountered. All crews returned safely although F/S Hopman and crew in "N" ditched in the River Humber whilst preparing to land, but were none the worse for this ducking.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned ORB has this as LM275 "O" (incorrectly?) F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Wemars-Cappel (28 Aug 1944 - 28 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Wemars-Cappel 28 Aug 1944 28 Aug 1944 N Ten aircraft and crews were detailed to attach a buzz-bomb sight ay WEMARS-CAPPEL in daylight. It is greatly regretted to have to put on record the loss of S/L K MacAleavey the "A" Flight Commander, who was also a member of the crew of "E". S/L K MacAleavey was a very popular Flight Commander and a well known member of the Navigation Union.

[Ed: in fact S/L MacAleavey survived the crash to become a POW. See below under PA991.]
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Labelled LM275 in ORB.

Operation/Target: Agenville (31 Aug 1944 - 01 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Agenville 31 Aug 1944 01 Sep 1944 N Twelve aircraft were detailed for a daylight operation at 13.05hrs, a flying bomb sight at AGENVILLE. To add to confusion there was quite a lot of heavy and accurate flak though no other opposition. This attack was considered a great success by the crews that took part. One aircraft "V" with W/Cmdr AFM Sisley and P/O Siddall and crew is missing from this Operation.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 9000ft at 15.23hrs. (Labelled LM275 in ORB, but F/O Les Cameron log book has LM273.) F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Le Havre (05 Sep 1944 - 06 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 05 Sep 1944 06 Sep 1944 N 16 Aircraft and crews were detailed and briefed to attack the enemy who are still holding out at Le Havre. In addition one aircraft with crew who were also briefed stood by as the Base Reserve but was not called upon. The operation was spread over several hours in two attacks in all 300 aircraft took part. Although the weather forecast had been reported as "sticky", it was better than anticipated. Very careful preparations for bombing this small area of approximately 1000yards square had been made; luckily there was no cloud over the target and the master bomber had ordered the main force to orbit once to obtain a good view of the target area, a very concentrated attack took place.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
Sixteen aircraft of No. 550 Squadron took part in a daylight attack on the German garrison holding out in LE HAVRE. All claim to have bombed the primary target and returned safely to base.
GENERAL
A team consisting of 2 Officers and 8 O.R's competed for Headquarters No. 1 Group Rifle Competition. Score 684 points out of a possible 850.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 11000ft at 18.43hrs F/O G S Devereau (P)
Sgt S H Ward (F/Eng)
Sgt C W Cross (Nav)
Sgt C A P Noble (A/B)
F/Sgt W Horlor (W/Op)
Sgt G E Mills (MU/AG)
Sgt J R McNamara (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Le Havre (10 Sep 1944 - 10 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 10 Sep 1944 10 Sep 1944 N 17 aircraft and crews were detailed to attack the German garrison at LE HAVRE in close support of the Allied 1st Canadian Army. On the much pasted perimeter, within view of our own troops who were only two miles off, eigth separate areas were to be blasted by over 5000 tons of HE. Each of the 17 aircraft that took off returned to Base with photographs which together add up to a pictorial record, never before equalled. Ten aiming points were obtained and of the others not one is more than 700yards from the Bullseye, and the two line overlaps show a perfact straddle of the objective. The weather was excellent and opposition from the ground and air was nil. The result of this attack is considered to have been highly successful and to confirm our enthusiasm the following signal has been received substantiting out verdict: Quote:
From Lt/General Crerar, 1st Canadian Army ... "Heavy bombers did absolutely first class job and contributed greatly to fine attack by British formation of Canadian Army."
From GOC 1st British Corps ... "All ranks unanimous in praise of absolute accuracy of bombing and timing on every occasion. On 10 September all targets were covered just as we wanted them. Prisioners testify to its accuracy. On behalf of all ranks I wish to thank you for your whole-hearted co-operation and would much appreciate if all crews taking part could be told of admiration, appreciation and gratitude of us all."
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
Seventeen aircraft took off as part of a force of 200 heavies from Command to blitz German strongholds at LE HAVRE once again. This was a very successful attack, particularly for No. 550 Squadron which obtained 10 aiming point photographs - a squadron record. The attack took place in conditions of clear visibility and subsequently proved to be the very substantial last straw which broke the German garrison's back at this Channel port.
ORGANISATION
Flying Control report record landing and take-off. 17 aircraft airbourne in 16 minutes and 14 aircraft landed in 12 minutes.
Signals Section report the fitting of Y equipment to the Squadron Aircraft almost complete and Y training programme is now in full swing showing good results.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 10500ft at 19.00hrs.

[Ed. Labelled LM275 in ORB, but F/O Les Cameron log book has LM273]
F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Frankfurt (12 Sep 1944 - 12 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Frankfurt 12 Sep 1944 12 Sep 1944 N 19 aircraft and crews were detailed to attack the FRANKFURT. 15 aircraft bombed the primary target, 3 returned early. F/O Hussey "Gee" unserviceable, F/O Abrams Air Speed Indicator unserviceable, F/O Rose compressor unserviceable. The weather conditions were good. On approach to the target area the extensive Mannhein - Mainz Frankfurt searchlight belt was seen to be in full swing and several aircraft were coned and subjected to intense FLAK. P/O Ansell in the veteran aircraft "B" was one of these, for just after bombing he received the full attention of a searchlight cone and intense flak and after having successfully emerged through this with minor damage was attacked three times by a fighter ME109. Fire was exchanged and further damage sustained. The bombing attack, from reports, appears to have been a complete success. The marking was both punctual, concentrated and clearly seen. Fires were burning well and soon merged into one mass of flames and smoke like a boiling cauldron and could be seen a 100 miles distance on the homeward journey. FLAK in the target area was described moderate in a loose barrage, the homeward journey was quiet and uneventfull. All aircraft and crews returned safely. P/O Purvis, DFC and his crew completed their first operational tour. PRU were over FRANKFURT quicker than ever after the raid and they report as follows: "The whole area around the main marshalling yard on the west side of the city is covered with smoke from numerous fires. A large area NW of the marshalling yard is seen to be almost completely gutted. A considerable quantity of rolling stock is burning in the yard. The area between the M/Y and the lines leading west from the main railway station is now almost completed devastated". Another excellent prang.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
After some respite from German targets, 550 was once again detailed, as part of a force of 185 from Command, to attack FRANKFURT tonight. Shortly after 1800 hours 19 of our aircraft took off. 15 claim to have attacked the primary. 1 attacked a German last-resort target and 3 returned early, having abandoned their mission because of technical troubles. Apart from one aircraft which landed at CARNABY because of a U/S compressor all our sorties returned safely to base.
ORGANISATION
F/Lt Lord, Base Gas and Fire Officer visited Gas and Fire Section and found everything satisfactory.
GENERAL
The 3rd, 13 Base Junion N.C.O's Discip. & Admin Course commened at this Station.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 17500ft at 23.07hrs F/L J Harris (P)
Sgt I S Freeman (F/Eng)
F/O E B Hornsby (Nav)
F/Sgt R W Richardson (A/B)
F/Sgt P F Flux (W/Op)
F/Sgt W H Barrett (MU/AG)
Sgt W A Bentley (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Steenwijk (16 Sep 1944 - 17 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Steenwijk 16 Sep 1944 17 Sep 1944 N 20 aircraft and crews, briefed and took off without incident to attack STEENWIJK airfield. The entire absence of opposition of any kind at the target and the darkness of the night was described by some of the crews as being eerie. From reports so far gathered the attack was reasonsably successful. All aircraft retruned safely to Base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 13500ft at 23.45 1/2hrs F/L J Harris (P)
Sgt I S Freeman (F/Eng)
F/O E B Hornsby (Nav)
F/Sgt R W Richardson (A/B)
F/Sgt P F Flux (W/Op)
F/Sgt W H Barrett (MU/AG)
Sgt W A Bentley (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Bigge Kerke (17 Sep 1944 - 18 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Bigge Kerke 17 Sep 1944 18 Sep 1944 N 10 aircraft and crews, briefed to attack a gunsite at BIGGE-KERKE near Flushing in daylight as part of a small forcce destined to play an opening part in yet another invasion of the fast crumbling Fortress of Europe. Unknown to our crews, they had been preceded by only a few hours by an Air Armada of well-nigh 2000 sorties flying and escorting glider and paratroops of the First Allied Airborne Army into the heart of Holland. The flak gunners at BIGGE-KERJE, who had spent the last four years endeavouring to hinder the passage of Bomber Command to and from Germany, were themselves truly blasted - we hope. All aircraft engaged in this raid returned safely. The following message of congratulations has been received from the Air Ministry:- "I am commanded by the Air Council to convey to you their warm appreciation of the part played by your Command in defeating the enemys flying bomb attacks on this country. The continuous bombing of the experimental stations, production plants, launching sites, storage depots and communications which has been carried out by you Command not only imposed on the enemy a prolonged and unwelcome delay in the launching of his campaign but effectively limited the scale of effort which he was able to make. This notable achievement has added one more to the long list of successful operations carried out by Bomber Command".
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 11000ft at 18.15 3/4hrs F/L J Harris (P)
Sgt I S Freeman (F/Eng)
F/O E B Hornsby (Nav)
F/Sgt R W Richardson (A/B)
F/Sgt P F Flux (W/Op)
F/Sgt W H Barrett (MU/AG)
Sgt W A Bentley (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Sandgatte (20 Sep 1944 - 20 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Sandgatte 20 Sep 1944 20 Sep 1944 N 14 aircraft and crews were briefed and took off to attack enemy defences at SANDGATTE. The operation is considered as having been successfuly and with this operation the Squadron scored its first century of operations. In just over eight months 550 has completed its hundredth operation from North Killingholme. Coming as a fledging from Waltham where it was hatched, the Squadron began to lay on 14th January, when 8 sorties dropped 38 tons of NE on Brunswik. Stettin and Berlin had been visited from Waltham.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 7500ft at 17.01 1/2hrs F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Neuss (23 Sep 1944 - 23 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Neuss 23 Sep 1944 23 Sep 1944 N At 10.55hrs the Squadron was informed that no operations would take place today, but the aircraft were to be bombed up ready for an early morning mission. As 12.20hrs information was received that the Squadron may be called upon tonight. At 13.30hrs informed that the Squadron would definitely operate tonight. 21 aircraft and crew were detailed, briefed and took off to attack Military objectives at NEUSS approximately 4 miles SW of Dusseldorf. 20 aircraft bombed the primary target, F/O Lord returned early owning to "GEE" being unserviceable. 10/10ths cloud over the target the results of the bombing could not be observed. All returned safely to Base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 18,500ft at 21.23hrs F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Calais (25 Sep 1944 - 25 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Calais 25 Sep 1944 25 Sep 1944 N 25 aircraft and crews detailed, briefed and took off to blast the Hun out of Calais, precision bombing was called for owning to the close proximity of Allied troops The weather conditions were bad over the target and the Master Bomber ordered all aircraft to return to base with their bombs.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Abandoned on instructions of Master Bomber F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Calais (26 Sep 1944 - 26 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Calais 26 Sep 1944 26 Sep 1944 N 24 aircraft and crews again detailed, briefed and took off to blast the Hun who are still holding out of Calais. This time the weather was good enough to permit precision bombing which was successfully applied.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 3000 at 12.22hrs. F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Walcheren (03 Oct 1944 - 03 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Walcheren 03 Oct 1944 03 Oct 1944 N 17 aircraft and crews detailed to attack and destroy a sea walll which prevent the sea innundating the low lying areas on the island of Walcheren. The weather was bad, 6/10 cloud over the route and 9/10 cloud over the target. The Master Bomber brought the attack down to 4000ft to bomb and all aircraft were able to identify visual details of the coastline, many aircraft made several runs to ensure accurate bombing. As our portion of the attack developed the wall was breached and gave way in several places and the water crashing rhough, flooding far and wide across the fields and we hope drowned the enemy defences. Good photographs were obtained. In addition to operational flying, a training programme was carried out which included five "Y" cross country exercises. The final summing up of the operations can be made with the quotation from two communiques - (1) A report brought back by two specially reporting Mosquio aircraft shows that the flooding was extensive. (2) The aircraft carrying the 12000lbs "blockbusters" and scheduled to finished off the job at the end of the attack, all brought them back undropped - they were not needed as the job had already been completed.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned - F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Saarbrucken (05 Oct 1944 - 06 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Saarbrucken 05 Oct 1944 06 Oct 1944 N 27 aircraft with crew were briefed and took-off at 18.22hrs to attack military objectives in SAARBRUCKEN. "F" (F/Lt Shaw) and "A" (S/Ldr Misselbrock) returned early, the former owing to "Gee" being unserviceable and the latter with the Captain sick. The remainder of the force, after flying through some rather dirty weather over England, found the target area almost clear with only ground base or thin cloud to prevent excellent visibility. The marking was punctual and well placed. In addition to a large and apparently concentrated mass of incendiaries with fires taking a good hold, the chief show piece of the evening was a truely tremendous explosion, so great that every crew unanimously noted the time as 22.46 hours, with a sheet of orange flame many hundreas of feet in the air, and smoke rising to 8000 to 10,000ft. It would appear that the Hun will have several rounds less to fire at our Allies of the 3rd American Army. Flak was described as being moderate. Enemy night fighters were conspicuous by their absence. Photos taken show a mass of incendiary and fire traps, but unfortunately no ground detail. Visibility deteriorated rapdily at base and the aircraft, all of which returned safely, were diverted to Norfolk. A good flying training programme was also carried out.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned - F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Emmerich (07 Oct 1944 - 07 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Emmerich 07 Oct 1944 07 Oct 1944 N Twenty five aircraft and crews were detailed and briefed, 24 took off at noon to attack Military objectives at EMMERICH in close support of the Allied Ground Forces. "F" (F/L Shaw) returned early owing to engine trouble. "C2" (F/O Hussey) failed to take off owing to compressor trouble. Emmerich, a small compact town on the North bank of the Rhine just inside Germany, serving as an important Railway Centre and a rendevous for troops and material was easily identified. The weather over the sea was cloudy, but clear with good visibility over the target. Markers were accurate and the town was soon covered by clouds of smoke, rising to a height of approximately 12,000ft, from excellent fires at their base. Very good photographs were obtained showing a vivid picture of the attack. There is no doubt that much weaving was necessary over the target as the Flak was vicious and accurately predicted and more than one aircraft brought back evidence of this in the shape of Flak holes. The return journey was uneventful, except of a grandstand view of Cleves [Ed: Kleve. A town in the Lower Rhine region of northwestern Germany near the Dutch border and the River Rhine] which had also been attacked and was burning well. At the Base the weather had deteriorated with cloud down to the "deck" and for the second time running the aircraft were diverted, this time to Faldingworth and Blyton.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 14,000ft at 14.20 hrs F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Fort Frederick Hendrick (11 Oct 1944 - 12 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Fort Frederick Hendrick 11 Oct 1944 12 Oct 1944 N 27 aircraft and crews were offered for operations but only 18 were accepted. These were briefed and took off ay 14.30hrs without incident to attack military targets at FORT FREDERICK HENDRICK, where the Hun is making a stand despite the fact that he is entirely encircled by the Allied Army. An ultimatium to surrender within 24hrs to prevent unnecessary bloodshed was handed to the Garrison Commander, but no reply having been received this was the cause of the operation, which was to blast the Hun from his own doorstep. It was rather disappointing to the boys that only 18 aircraft were called for as all the Squadron wanted to participate. In addition to the operational sorties a useful training programme was laid on consisting of "Y" cross country, figther affiliation, air to air and air to sea firing exercises and bombing practice.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Abandoned bomb-sight u/s. F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Duisburg (14 Oct 1944 - 14 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Duisburg 14 Oct 1944 14 Oct 1944 N 25 aircraft and crews were briefed to attack the large steelworks of August Thysson at Duisburg, the world largest inland port. 24 aircraft took off without incident at approx 06.30hrs to make their way through layer cloud which broke before the Rhiner but closed in again over the target and only the crew of "H" (F/O Bond) claim to have bombed the ground markers. "N" (F/S Hopman), "A2" (S/L Gainsford) and "E2" (F/O Stevenson) claim to have bombed their objectives on Navigational aids, the others endeavoured to obey the Master Bombers instruction to bomb any built up area they could see in the vicinity of the target. Several crews reported that the Thyssen works were identified and in flames and one crew reported having observed the demolition of a Rhine bridge. At least one good photograph was obtained by "C2" (F/O John) showing a carpet of bomb bursts on the Steelworks which has been enlarged and forwarded to the C in C for his inspection.
F/O Abrams and F/O Dodds and their crews failed to return from this daylight raid in which approximately 1000 heavy aircraft with fighter cover took part.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 19,000ft at 08.51hrs

Operation/Target: Wilhelmshaven (15 Oct 1944 - 16 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Wilhelmshaven 15 Oct 1944 16 Oct 1944 N 24 aircraft and crews were offered for operations, but only 8 were required and were briefed and took off to attach Wilhelmshaven, from which once again, all returned safely. In addition "Y" cross country exercises were carried out.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Abortive - starboard inner u/s.

Operation/Target: Stuttgart (19 Oct 1944 - 20 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Stuttgart 19 Oct 1944 20 Oct 1944 N Twenty six aircraft with crews were offered and twenty five were accepted, plus one aircraft to act as stand-by in the Base. The crews were briefed and took off at 16.50hrs at attack STUTTGART. Twenty took off at this time and the remaining five at 21.30hrs to attack Stuttgart, in two waves. One aircraft was cancelled at the last moment and one aircraft returned early with engine trouble, so in all only 24 aircraft proceeded to the target, one of which, it is regretted, failed to return. F/L Thomas and crew, who had only been with the Squadron a short time and were on their first operational sortie. Moderately cloudy conditions were encountered en route, but over the target 9/10 thick cloud was present and sky marking had to be resorted to. Six crews found momentary gaps to bomb ground markers. Very few results could be seen, only a vague incendiary and fire glow being visible under the cloud. Flak was reported as slight to moderate with some ineffective searchlights. "A" (F/O young) received some unpleasant attention and was well peppered by flak receiving damage in the tail plane, fuselage, flaps punctured, hydraulics and bomb container. "K" (F/O Daniels) also found Karlsruhe defences awake and received damage to the port wing, fuselage and a punctured tyre. Both aircraft landed safely at Base without casualty. All photographs show cloud and damage cannot be assessed. In additions to operational flying a training programme consisting of Air to Air firing, Air to Sea firing, practice bombing, Fighter affiliation and "Y" Night cross country exercises were carried out.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Essen (23 Oct 1944 - 23 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Essen 23 Oct 1944 23 Oct 1944 N 26 aircraft with crews were offered for operations and were briefed at 14.15hrs, with one crew acting as Squadron stand-by. Twenty-five aircraft took off at 16.15hrs to form part of a 1000 aircraft attack on ESSEN. Twenty-four succeeded in bombing the primary target and one aircraft returned early. Opposition encountered was considered moderate and the weather was reasonably good, all aircraft returned safely to Base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 19,000ft at 19.44 1/2hrs F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Essen (25 Oct 1944 - 25 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Essen 25 Oct 1944 25 Oct 1944 N 27 aircraft with crews were offered, accepted and briefed to attack once again objectives in ESSEN. The take-off was as usual good and without incident. The Station Commander, Group Captain R V McIntyre D.F.C captained "R" and like the remainder of the crews enjoyed the trip. Opposition over the target area was negligible but a fair number of jet-propelled fighters were seen high over the attackers, but no attempt was made to interfere with the bombing and all our aircraft returned safely to Base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Cologne (28 Oct 1944 - 28 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Cologne 28 Oct 1944 28 Oct 1944 N Thirty aircraft and crews were offered for opertions, twenty seven were accepted and stood by to be called upon at short notice for a daylight attack on COLOGNE. Twenty seven aircraft took off without incident at 13.10hrs, led by the Squadron Commander, Wing Commander B. Bell, more affectionately known as "Dingle". The weather conditions at Base left much to be desired and it seemed that the boys would not be able to take off owing to mist and low cloud, but the weather cleared for a brief spell which allowed the boys to take to the air and on to successfully attack military objectives in the Cologne area. The weather over the target was good and the crews highly delighted with the results achieved. The huge and busy railway bridge spanning the Rhine was seen to have had its time. All our aircraft returned safely to Base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 16,000ft at 16.04hrs F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Cologne (30 Oct 1944 - 30 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Cologne 30 Oct 1944 30 Oct 1944 N Twenty-six aircraft and crews were offered for operations, but only twenty three were required and these took off at approximately 17.30hrs to attack military objectives in COLOGNE. All but one bombed their primary targets, "Q" (F/O Allen) having to return early with his port outer engine unserviceable. The attack is considered by all crews to have been most successful.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary at 20,000ft at 21.13 1/2hrs F/O W H Tolman (P)
F/Sgt F R Lecourt (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J G Lawrence (Nav)
F/O R Deakin (A/B)
F/Sgt L A Aitken (W/Op)
Sgt T Taylor (MU/AG)
Sgt T E Vaughan (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Cologne (31 Oct 1944 - 31 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Cologne 31 Oct 1944 31 Oct 1944 N Twenty-four aircraft and crews were accepted and briefed to attack military objectives and communications at COLOGNE once again. Opposition was reported to be very moderate and the weather reasonably good. Once again crews participating considered this to have been a highly successful attack.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary at 18,000ft at 21.10 1/2hrs F/O W H Tolman (P)
F/Sgt F R Lecourt (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J G Lawrence (Nav)
F/O R Deakin (A/B)
F/Sgt L A Aitken (W/Op)
Sgt T Taylor (MU/AG)
Sgt T E Vaughan (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Dusseldorf (02 Nov 1944 - 03 Nov 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Dusseldorf 02 Nov 1944 03 Nov 1944 N Twenty seven aircraft and crews took off at approximately 16.00hrs to attack DUSSELDORF the leading commercial city of Western Germany and has exceptionaly good transport facilities both by railway and river. As a supply and concentration base for the Western Wall (Rhineland edition) it is therefore an excellent centre to eliminate. Enroute to the target the weather was good but cloudy which however cleared at 0500, leaving the target clear with bright moonlight and good visibility. Ground markers were punctual and clearly visible, placed accurately in the Marsalling yards area and very quickly a concentrated cloud of bomb smoke developed. This was added to in the later stages of the attack by the incendiary aircraft and the crews were enthusiastic about the fires which quickly took hold and emitted a rosy glow seen for almost 100 miles on the return journy. In addition light explosions were observed. Flak was reported as light at first in a barrage later increasing to intense. Night fighters also put in an appearance, all our Air gunners were on the qui vive and successfully beat off any interference from them. Photographs taken and brought back show extensive fire tracks and enthusisatic verbal reports from the aircrews show that the attack should be yet another outstanding success. It is regretted that F/Lt Foster and crew failed to return to base, nothing being heard of them since take-off. Congratualtions were extended to F/L Rose and crew on completing an excellent tour.

[Ed: see also the 4th Nov entry below, which refers to the 100th op of ED905 with F/Lt Shaw at the controls. But in fact it appears likely that 100th op occurred today 2nd Nov.]
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned ... F/O W H Tolman (P)
F/Sgt F R Lecourt (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J G Lawrence (Nav)
F/O R Deakin (A/B)
F/Sgt L A Aitken (W/Op)
Sgt T Taylor (MU/AG)
Sgt T E Vaughan (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Bochum (04 Nov 1944 - 04 Nov 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Bochum 04 Nov 1944 04 Nov 1944 N Twenty six aircraft and crews took off at approximately 17.15hrs to attack BOCHUM in the heart of the Ruhr. Aircraft "G2" (F/O Kennedy) soon after take-off found that his hydraulics were u/s and his wheels would not retract completely; thwarted in his efforts to jettison he made a successful landing at Woodbridge with all his bomb load on board. "E2" (F/O Marriott) found that the rear turret of his aircraft was u/s with an oil leak and abandoned. The remainder found 9/10 cloud en route, but over the channel this decreased and gradually cleared. The target was free from cloud, but a certain amount of industrial haze was present. Markers were punctual and fairly accurate, the target area was kept continuously marked and the bombing was well concentrated, After the incendiary attack developed, the whole area rapidly became a mass of fire, visible for approximately 100 miles and there were a number of impressive explosions. The ground defences in the target area were reported as moderate, occasionally becoming intense, with many searchlights in evidence exposing on cone of about 20 or more, there latter were at first ineffective, but later became more troublesome, several aircraft being coned. Hun night fighters made a strong reaction and figher flares were seen from the Dutch coast onwards. Many combats took place in which the following aircraft of 550 Squadron were involved, "B2" (F/O Whynacht) had 4 encounters and claims to have destroyed 2 aircraft and damaged another, whilst the other was inconclusive. All these appeared to be jet-propelled aircraft. No damage or casualties were received. "M" (F/O McCarthy) and "P" (P/O Franklyn (R)) both opened fire on two jet planes but no claims were made and the encounters were inconclusive. "V" (F/O Blackler) claims to have shot down an aircraft believed to be a jet propelled unit. The appearance of jet propelled and other rocket phenomena is only of recent origin, and these claims are being further investigated, meanwhile these claims are accepted with reserve. All our aircraft returned to Base with the exception of "F" (F/O Ansell) who landed at Manston having received damage to his aircraft from Flak, the F/Eng (F/S Sythes) receiving wounds in the thigh. Photographs brought back show extensive fire tracks. Aircraft "F" completed her 100th operational sortie, a fact that F/L Shaw is very proud of, since he has completed the major part of his tour in this aircraft.

[Ed: Can this entry about Shaw/ED905 be correct here? The battle order lists F/O W J Shaw in "F2" flying, but no F/Lt D A "Jock" Shaw in ED905 "F". Norman Franks in "Ton-Up Lancs" speculates, based on photos and the mixed up ORB at this point, that ED905 100th trip was F/Lt D A Shaw 2nd Nov 44 to Duesseldorf. This looks to be confirmed by Jock Shaw log book (information from his daughter). So perhaps the ORB just recorded this fact a day or two after the fact. The photo claimed to be ED905 taking off for 100th op may in fact be a photo of the aircraft some weeks earlier; some of the people waving have been positively identified (by John Eppel, Nav F/O J Harris crew) as being air-crew who were in fact airborne, or taxing for take-off, for the 2 Nov op so could not be standing at the end of the runway waving!.]

P.R.U cover now confirms the great damage done in this attack - the two main factories of first priority importance, with extensive blast furnaces, steel works and rolling mills all making armaments have suffered severely; of the six main buildings of one of them all are extensively damaged. A third factory (adjoining the main passenger station which is heavily damaged) manufacturing, milling and grinding machinery is still smoking and damage appears to be heavy. Destruction of unidentified industrial and commercial premises, and residential property is widespread and severe.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary at 17500ft at 19.47hrs F/O W H Tolman (P)
F/Sgt F R Lecourt (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J G Lawrence (Nav)
F/O R Deakin (A/B)
F/Sgt L A Aitken (W/Op)
Sgt T Taylor (MU/AG)
Sgt T E Vaughan (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Gelsenkirchen (06 Nov 1944 - 06 Nov 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Gelsenkirchen 06 Nov 1944 06 Nov 1944 N Twenty three aircraft with crews took off at approximately 11.00hrs to attack GELSINKIRCHEN 7 miles NE of Essen. The object of this attack was to dislocate the Huns transport facilities by bombing the very large marshalling yards. The weather at the target was 6/10 - 8/10 cloud with a convenient gap for the early arrivals who were able to identify the target area visually, as well as see a few TI markers, marking the A/P. The attack opened a few minutes early, but the later aircraft found the cloud rather too much for accurate bombing and with the M/C giving them instructions to seek their own A/Ps the end of the attack became somewhat scattered. However a good concentration of early bombs were dropped around the A/P and much smoke and later incendiaries with the large fires burning were seen. Flak was moderate to intense throughout the route through the Ruhr, from Duisburg onwards, although it varied greatly as to different aircraft: "E" (F/O Whynacht) receiving flak damage in the fuselage, bomb doors and two radiators. No enemy aircraft were seen, so the figher cover appeared to be adequate. "H" (F/O Bond) found he had no brake pressure on retun so landed without trouble at Carnaby. "M" (F/O McCarthy) did not return and no news was received from him after take off.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary at 2000ft at 13.58 1/2hrs
[Ed: typo (possible missing zero) in ORB?. Otherwise very low level.]
F/O W H Tolman (P)
F/Sgt F R Lecourt (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J G Lawrence (Nav)
F/O R Deakin (A/B)
F/Sgt L A Aitken (W/Op)
Sgt T Taylor (MU/AG)
Sgt T E Vaughan (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Duren (16 Nov 1944 - 16 Nov 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Duren 16 Nov 1944 16 Nov 1944 N 26 aircraft and crews took off in the usual Squadron style at approximately 12.30hrs to attack DUREN in close support of the advancing American armies. The weather was hazy over Duren but not unkind to our bomb aimers, who thanks to magnificient marking were able to confirm their visual observations and follow the precise instructions of the Master Bomber. The railway complex at this small town, where the line east of Aachen forks to Dusseldorf and Cologne was the aiming point for our aircraft who contribured to the moderate force. Their bombing photographs and visual reports both point to the exceptionally successfull effort which appears to have been repeated on the Command's simultaneous targets at Julich and Heinsberg. Handicapped by the lack of warning, enemy fighters were again absent. Moderate Flak at the target gave an unlucky break to "M2" (F/O George) which was unable to release its bombs due to damage, which amongst other things severed electrical connections. One of the other things was a punctured tyre, in spite of which the pilot landed his aircraft safely at Base on return with a full bomb load. From a gratifying selection of good bombing prints that of "A2" (F/O Shenker) has been chosen for the C in C's enlargement. Plottings are generally well on the mark.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary at 10000ft at 15.33 1/2hrs F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Wanne-Eikel (18 Nov 1944 - 19 Nov 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Wanne-Eikel 18 Nov 1944 19 Nov 1944 N The Squadron dispatched 29 aircraft and crews at approximately 15.30hrs to attack a synthetic oil plant at WANNE-EIKEL west of Gelsenkirchen. Soon after take off the crews encountered cloudy weather over England which however cleared across France; shortly after crossing the Rhine a thin layer of stratus cloud with tops at approximately 8000ft and similiar conditions prevailed over the target area. Although few crews were able to see ground details, the cloud was thin enough for the markers to show through and for the most part a concentrated supply of them was available. Bombing was reported to have been well concentrated around the markers and very early in the attack a large fire developed which, from the column of black smoke which arose it would seem likely that the oil plant was successfully hit. Numerous orange coloured explosions were seen during the course of the attack two which occured at 19.20 and 19.23 must have been particularly large as some of the crews clearly saw the glow when 40 miles away in the homeward journey. Flak was reported to be only slight to moderate in the target area. There were some fighters seen and a few enemy fighters appeared to be about, but our aircraft had no encounters. With the exception of one, all our aircraft attacked the primary target. "C" (F/O Smith) had trouble with a coolant leak in the port inner engine after feathering it and being able to get above 10000 feet he had to abandon just S.E. of Brussels, jettisoning some of his bombs off the East Coast in the permitted area and landing with the remainder. Owing to the deterioration in the weather only 9 aircraft landed at Base, the remainder landed at Stations in the diversion area.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary, at 19000ft at 19.01 F/L D A Shaw (P)

Operation/Target: Aschaffenburg (21 Nov 1944 - 22 Nov 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Aschaffenburg 21 Nov 1944 22 Nov 1944 N The Squadron dispatched 26 aircrarft and crews to attack the marshalling yards at ASCHAFFENBURG. The take off at 15.45hrs was good and without incident. Once again the weather denied crews the satisfaction of even seeing the target or assessing results. En route conditions were good, but over France cloud built up and the Master of Ceremonies and his deputy appeared to be going into a "huddle" to decide exactly where the target was. A small break did reveal markers and these were confirmed to be well placed and were bombed. Following aircraft were assisted by a red glow beneath the clouds and several explosions were reported. F/O Stevenson and W/O Hopman with their crews completed there first tour of operations.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary at 14000ft at 19.21 F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Freiburg (27 Nov 1944 - 27 Nov 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Freiburg 27 Nov 1944 27 Nov 1944 N 31 aircraft and crew were dispatched to attack the town of FREIBURG with its associated rail facilities at approximately 15.45hrs. The target was a small one, only approximately 2 miles by 1 and 1/2 miles, and the attack was entrusted to No. 1 Group to accomplish. With every Squadron putting out it's largest numbers, a new record was accomplished with over 300 aircraft and of these all successfully attacked the primary target, except one which was abortive. 550 Squadron accomplised their best performance to date with 31 aircraft off, 31 attacking the target and 31 aircraft returning to Base. After a smooth take-off and an uneventful journey across Allied held France, our crews found that the P.F.F. had prepared a "bang on" show for them. In spite of considerable thick stratus cloud and base well below, markers were being dropped punctually, and in great profusion while the Master Bomber had his finger "well out" and was giving clear and concise directions with machine gun rapidity. Nearly all our crews bombed on ground markers seen through the haze, although two of them took advantage of sky markers which were also dropped. The cloud base prevented the results from being reported as spectacular as they almost certainly were underneath, but the bombing appeared to be concentrated and a satisfactory fire glow soon developed by the light of which later crews were able to see a large church and streets outlined as the looked obliquely under the large pall of black smoke that soon arose. Flak was light and spasmotic, with no searchlights and none of our aircraft was hit. In fact, what "hit" most of them, was the sight of the lights of the Swiss Town of Basle "Like Piccadilly used to be, I suppose" as one Australian Navigator said, and the misty splendour of the misty Alps in the moonlight.
Postscript message from A.O.C. No. 1 Group: "Last night we operated, in all, 312 aircraft with only one abortive sortie and one aircraft missing. Please give my congratulations to all ranks for this magnificent record, which has never before been approached by any Group. It was a splendid achievement by both air and ground crews. All attacks were highly successful".
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 13000ft at 20.01 1/2 F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Dortmund (29 Nov 1944 - 29 Nov 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Dortmund 29 Nov 1944 29 Nov 1944 N 30 aircraft and crew were dispatched to attack DORTMUND. All successfully took off at approximately 11.20hrs, but the weather conditions over the target left much to be desired. Crew reports agree that after a precessional approach through the flak-strewn corridor to the target area, leading sorties arrived somewhat early to find that cloud and haze barred all but a fleeting glimpse of the built-up area and precluded effective pinpointing. The markers appeared to have been widely scatted and the Master Bomber's guidance could hardly have beeen described as inspiring. In the circumstances our sorties endeavoured to bash the bashful marker while others set off in search of built up areas. "C (F/L Maclachlan) and "L2" (F/O Williams) both claim to have bomber red markers. Pressing on, our "E2" (F/O Dale) found himself well past the target area without sighting a worthwhile objective, plain or coloured. Nothing daunted he attacked the centre of Munster and brought back a photograph to prove it. Meanwhile "W" (F/O Adams) losing height on three engines had barely reached the Rhine when prudence counselled an alternative target which he chose at the village of [STEMMELN], where a train on the main line appears in his photo to have had a clean shave. Both these lone wolves brough mementoes of flak opposition at and around their target. All out sorties returned safely, including "P" (F/O Summons) which after colliding with another aircraft en-route to the target, was coaxed on its two port engines alone through a gauntlet of flak towards Dusseldorf. Good airmanship and richly deserved good luck (which unhappily deserted the other victim - an aircraft from a sister Squadron) brought the unfortunate episode to a safe finish for F/O Summons and his crew. Losing height and weaving as much as it dared "P" presented a sitting and solitary target for Jerry's guns. A run was made on a built up area, where in far from ideal conditions the bomb-aimer declared his entire load - minus one bomb-tail - well and truly laid ... a truely remarkable performance, as was disclosed on subsequent inspection of the mangled bomb-bay. Thereafter, losing height on a "Home James!" course, and escorted on the finishing straight by a Spitfire, "P" touched down at Mansten with a dignity that belied its crumpled propellers and disembarked its crew entirely unscathed.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary at 20000ft at 15.01hrs F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Urff Dam (03 Dec 1944 - 03 Dec 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Urff Dam 03 Dec 1944 03 Dec 1944 Y 14 aircraft and crew detailed to carry out an attack on URST DAM and took off at approximately 07.30hrs without incident. The weather en-route was bad and over the target visibility was so poor and the weather so bad that the crews returned without dropping their bombs. Flying training programme was also carried out totalling 33.06hrs.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Abandoned on instructions of Master Bomber F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Karlsruhe (04 Dec 1944 - 04 Dec 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Karlsruhe 04 Dec 1944 04 Dec 1944 N 24 aircraft and crew took off at approximately 16.30hrs to attack the town and railway facilities at KARLRUHE. The crews has an uneventful but rather long trip over Allied Occupied Territory and found the target covered with 9/10th cloud. On approach some crews were able to identify the Red and Green T.I.s below cloud, which were rather scattered. The cloud rapidly moved eastwards and some of the later arrivals were able to identify the town visually. From reports it is gathered that good fires were started in the town, the glow of which could be seen for over 100 miles. Opposition from the ground consisted only of slight flak for the most part bursting well below the aircraft. All our aircraft returned safely.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned - F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Merseburg (06 Dec 1944 - 07 Dec 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Merseburg 06 Dec 1944 07 Dec 1944 N 30 crews briefed and took their aircraft off at 16.35hrs without incident to attack the synthetic oil plaint at MERSEBERG. The target was the LEUNA chemical works, one of he largest plants in Germnay, covering an area of 1 1/4 sq miles, and employing some 50000 workers in the manufacture of ammonia, fertilisers, chemicals, synthetic oil and other products. Truely a "chemical hot bed". The customary 10/10 cloud again persisted and bombing was carried out on flares. The glow of fires was visible for some distance on the return journey and several explosions were reported. Owing to the density of the cloud photographs proved useless and the report of our P.R.U colleagues are awaited with interest. Flak was reported as being moderate to intense. Little training was carried out owing to the lack of aircraft. From this operation F/L Morris and crew failed to return.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned - F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
Sgt G A Sutherland (A/B)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Essen (12 Dec 1944 - 13 Dec 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Essen 12 Dec 1944 13 Dec 1944 N 25 aircraft and crews took off without incident at 16.00hrs to attack ESSEN. The journey out proved uneventful and the 10/10 cloud which greets us with almost monotonous regularity was again in evidence. Early crews saw sky markers up aloft, a situation which gave bomb aimers rather a headache, but aircraft arriving later did not have the same problem to solve and were able to bomb in the orthdox fashion. Observed results were confined to a red glow seen reflected on the underside of the clouds and three healthy explosions each of which lighted the sky for appropimately 30 secs. Photographs were unable to throw any light on the subject and so once again we shall have to await the accurate assessment of the result. Flak was light to moderate and later increased in intensity.
In addition to the operations 20.52hrs flying training was carried out.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary 18300ft at 19.31hrs F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Ludwigshaven (15 Dec 1944 - 16 Dec 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Ludwigshaven 15 Dec 1944 16 Dec 1944 N 30 aircraft and crews took off at approximately 14.20 without incident to attack LUDWIGSHAVEN paying particular attention to the chemical works situated on the northern outskirts of the town and extending for approximately 3 miles to the village of Oppan. There was ... MORE DETAILS TBA ...
S/L Redmond on this trip completed his second tour oof operations.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned - F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Ulm (17 Dec 1944 - 18 Dec 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Ulm 17 Dec 1944 18 Dec 1944 N 29 crews were briefed to attack the rail junction at ULM situated some 100 miles inside the German frontier on the banks of the Danube. Heavy cloud compelled low flying for most of the way, but in the target area there was little more than thin stratus which did not prevent ground markers from being seen through it. The Master Bomber' assessment of the situation however was that the best results were likely to be produced from aiming on the well placed and plentiful sky markers and ordered bombing accordingly. A very good concentration of fire developed, with a number of spectacular explosions occuring among them. Defences were meagre and there were no searchlights active.
S/L Caldow "B" was unlucky - one of the few flak bursts over the target hit one of his aircrafts fuel tanks, which promptly emptied, the tailplane, elevators damaged and one of the aerials shot away which did not interfere with a safe return and landing at Base. No flying training was carried out.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary at 12000ft at 19.38hrs F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Cologne (24 Dec 1944 - 25 Dec 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Cologne 24 Dec 1944 25 Dec 1944 N 23 crews were briefed to attack the marshalling yards at COLOGNE-NIPPES. 22 aircraft successfully took off with the intention of disrupting and disorganising things generally. The weather was anything but good at the time of take off, visibility fluctuating between 400-600 yards and before take off there were sinister rumours of a possible diversion - an ugly word at any time - and the wise ones collected their small kit. F/L MacLachlan "C" was genuinely disappointed at being a non-starter with a burst radiator and F/O Grundy "O" was abortive before setting course with a faulty starboard outer engine. The remainder bombed the target. Crews were surprised at the unusual phenomena of an entire absence of cloud, and with the assistance of very accuruate ground marking, proceeed to disrupt and disorganise as ordered. Photographs show many sticks of craters across the marshalling yards with nearly all the rail tracks severed and much rolling stock destroyed. With the exception of F/O Davidson "T(? - illegible)" who landed at Ludford Magna, all the aircraft landed at U.S.A.A.F Wendling, Norfolk. Any visions both air and ground crews may have had of holly, the flowing bowl and fun and games did not materialise. A certain amount of despondency descended on the Waafery and all the ground crews could do was to drink to absent friends, which they did with some measure of enthusiasm. No flying training was carried out.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Abortive - Starboard outer u/s F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)

Operation/Target: St. Vith (26 Dec 1944 - 26 Dec 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
St. Vith 26 Dec 1944 26 Dec 1944 N The Squadron was called upon to operate, but with the majority of the Squadron still grounded at Wendling, and presumably nursing an Xmas "hangover", all the Squadron would offer was nine aircraft in an attack called from all groups on the railhead town of St. Vith, just inside Belgium on the northern side of the German advance, and was being used as a re-training centre for Panzer troops from rearward areas. Visibility was still in the visinity of 600 yards at the time of take off, but improved over the North Sea. The Continent was free from cloud and in spite of slight haze, visibility was good and the crews were able to map read and identify the target visually with ease. An excellent concentration of bombing was achieved, two large explosions were noted, one in the town and one on the railway to the N.E. Opposition was negligible except from positions behind the enemy lines on the run up to the target. No trouble was experienced from enemy fighters. Photographs brought back were excellent and showed a good concentration of bombing. F/O Williams brought back a "gem" of a photo which was enlarged for the Commander-in-Chief to see. All aircraft were diverted to R.A.F. WALTHAM.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned -

Operation/Target: Rheidt (27 Dec 1944 - 27 Dec 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Rheidt 27 Dec 1944 27 Dec 1944 N 9 aircraft which had been diverted to Waltham and Ludford Magna took off from their diversion stations to attack the marshalling yards at RHEIDT, lying as it does to the west of the Ruhr and Rhine, this centre is vitally important at the moment to the Hun for conveying his troops and materials from the Ruhr and Central Germany. Shaking off the fog the crews found the French Coast and Continent clear except for slight ground haze. The target was easily identified in good visibility and the first T.I.s cascaded on the northern end of the marshalling yards followed by otehrs which were "dead on" the aiming point. The bombing thus was very concentrated and accurate, the target soon became enveloped in smoke, rising many thousands of feet in the air. One particularly large explosion was seen in the marshalling yard, possibly ammunition waggons. Flak was negligible over the target, but some aircraft were engaged by heavy flak north of the target. No emeny fighters were seen. On the return the weather was still in its "pranky" mood and all aircraft were again diverted, this time to Finningley. No flying training was carried out from Base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned -

Operation/Target: Nuremburg (02 Jan 1945 - 02 Jan 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Nuremburg 02 Jan 1945 02 Jan 1945 N 29 aircraft with crews, plus 2 crews and aircraft from No. 166 Squadron, were briefed to attack Nuremburg. Thirty aircraft took off at approximately 15.00 hours without incident. F/O Summons failed to take off owing to his navigator having met with an accident whilst proceeding to the aircraft. Also one complete crew was sent to R.A.F Elsham Wolds and took off from there to participate in the operation for No. 103 Squadron. The crews found the weather to be cloudy over England, and the Channel, and the Continent as far as 700degress(??) East. From thence it gradually cleared and at the target conditions were excellent with only a slight ground haze and the built up area contrasted sharply with the snow covered countryside. Owing to the prevailing winds, aircraft arrived early in the target area and some aircraft orbited awaiting the Pathfinder marking. The attacks opened a few minutes early and the first ??? of mixed Red and Green Target Indicators were seen to fall across the Marshalling Yards in the ??? of the town. Excellent concentrated bombing developed, numerous explosions took place, and the glow of the raging fires could be seen 150 miles away by the crews on their return journey. A reconnisance aircraft flying over the target after the attack reported three large area of solid fires to the N.N.W. and one to the S.E. with many smaller ones over the whole area. One aircraft "E" (F/O Smith) developed an oil leak in the port inner engine whilst over France. Correctly following instructions he sought out and found an alternative target, that of the town of Pforsheim, some 25 miles north of the route, lying between Karlsruhe and Stuttgart. The ground defences consisted of slight heavy flak and numerous searchlights, but all ground opposition rapidly decreased as the attack developed. Excellent photographs brought back prove conclusively that the attack was excellent. No flying training was carried out owing to the aircraft being used for operations, but a programme of ground training was carried out by the crews not engaged on operations.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned - F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)

Operation/Target: Munich (07 Jan 1945 - 08 Jan 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Munich 07 Jan 1945 08 Jan 1945 N 27 aircraft and crews, which included 2 base reserves, were required on operations and the crews were briefed to attack MUNICH. Owing to three aircraft going unserviceable at the last moment, only 24 aircraft took off at approximately 18.00 hours. Nil to 6/10 cloud tops at 10,000ft was encountered over this country and the English Channel. A front was positioned just inside the French coast and cloud was 10/10 with tops up to 20,000ft to approx 5 degress E; from there to 7 degress E, the cloud was thin and a certain amount of icing was experienced, but after crossing the Rhine the cloud once again became 10/10 and the target was completely obscured by fairly thick cloud with tops 10/12000ft. Owing to stronger winds than forecast the main force arrived early in the target area and many orbited or dog-legged while waiting for markers. Aircraft from No. 5 Group had preceded our attack by several hours and what appeared to be the glow of fires and searchlights illuminating the cloud base could be seen for approximately 40 miles on appreoach to the target. The 5 group attackers experienced more favourable conditions and a concentrated and accuruate bombing appeared to have taken place. For our attack, the markers were sparse. The target indicators rapidly disappeared into the cloud and it was not until 22.33 hours that any degree of concentration of sky marking was achieved; many crews had bombed before this. The concentration of marking was not maintained and the attack can only be regarded as somewhat scattered. No detailed results were observed. Ground defences in the target area consisted only of slight to moderate heavy flak. Stuttgart defenders were active and several combats with night-fighters were reported. All photographs show cloud, therefore no assessment of the attack could be made although from the H.2.S. fixes there can be no doubt that the attack was correctly centered more or less on the centre of the city. F/O Ansell and crew completed a very successful tour with this trip. F/O Clarke ("P") and crew failed to return, nothing having been heard from them after take-off.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned -

Operation/Target: Leuna Oil Plant (14 Jan 1945 - 15 Jan 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Leuna Oil Plant 14 Jan 1945 15 Jan 1945 N After a week of enforced flying inactivity, the Squadron stood by for operations with 30 crews of which one complete crew was sent to R.A.F. Station, Kirmington and one to R.A.F Station Elsham to make up operationally fit crew members on these stations. F/O Cameron departed from the Squadron on posting to No. 1656 Heavy Conversion Unit, Lindholme, as an instructor. F/O Cameron had completed a very successful tour with the Squadron and was very popular with all members of the Squadron, who regret his going.
27 aircraft took off at approximately 19.00 hours to attach LEUNA synthetic oil plant near Merseberg. "N" (F/O Parsons) proved abortive owing to the unfortunate illness of one of the crew and returned to Carnahy. The remaining 26 "pressed on regardless", led throughout by the indefatigable "F" Fox. The captain F/Lt "Jock" Shaw has at last been compelled to call it a day with a grand total of 42 operations. Higher authority this time refused his application to continue on Ops much to the disappointment of Jock. The weather on route was fairly good but deteriorated at the target to 10/10 cloud. Bombing was by sky-markers and conditions prevented results being observed. Defences were active. None of our aircraft were damaged and returned safely to base. Flying Officers Harris and George completed their first tour of operations without a single abortive. No flying training was carried out.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned - F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Zeitz Oil Plant (16 Jan 1945 - 17 Jan 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Zeitz Oil Plant 16 Jan 1945 17 Jan 1945 N 26 aircraft 2 reserve aircraft and crews stood by for operations. The crews were briefed and 28 aircraft took off without incident at 17.30 hours to attack the synthetic oil plant at ZEITZ, situated some 20 miles south of Leipzig. "E" (F/Lt Pyke) had a somewhat "dicey do" soon after take off and while climbing over base the port outer engine caught fire; unable to extinguish it or feather the airscrew, F/Lt Pyke proceeded out to sea to jettison his bombs and do it quickly as the fire threatened to get out of hand. However, all went well for the fire went out soon after recrossing the coast and landed safely. The weather was as per forecast and gave no trouble. On arrival at their distant target they found clear weather and good visibility. The bombing was highly oncentrated on the centre of the target. 9 major explosions and one really super explosion which belched forth flame and black oily smoke were seen, The crew were really enthusistic and highly satisfied with their night's work. The defences and night fighters were very active, but all returned safely to base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned - F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Hamborn (22 Jan 1945 - 22 Jan 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Hamborn 22 Jan 1945 22 Jan 1945 N 27 aircrews were briefed at 08.45 hours and were in thair aircraft ready for action. The Squadron was to be led by the Station Commander G/Cpt McIntyre, but the intended operation was once again cancelled owing to adverse weather en route and over the target. Needless to say the boys were very disappointed for they all, without excpetion, thoroughly enjoy a daylight operation. A good training programme was laid on but had to be cancelled owing to the Squadron having to prepare for another operation for which 31 aircrews were briefed at 14.30 hours and successfully took of at approximately 16.45 hours. Although take off was good, it needed all the pilots skill to successfully accomplish the feat. The runways were on the treacherous side in spite of the amount of time and effort spent on clearing snow and spreading salt and sand. Watching take off my heart momentarily stood still a few times, severlal aircraft when about to become airbourne had a tendancy to swing sharply to starboard which looked decidedly dangerous.
The Squadron was led by Squadron Commander W/Cmdr Bryan Bell (Dingle) to attack the steel works at HAMBORN, the northern suburb of Duisburg. F/Lt Summons in "Q" returned early with C S U(?) trouble, but the remaining 30 had a very successful party. The target was clear of cloud, the marking was accurate and bombing concentrated. Several fires were started and explosions reported, one very impressive and 37 minutes after "N" hours. At the end of the attack the target was covered by a thick pall of smoke. Ground opposition was only slight and fighters little in evidence. All returned safely and unscathed to Base. Photographs brought back show excellent results. F/Lt Shenker and F/O Bell with their crews completed their first operational tours on the high note of this most satisfactory operation.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned - F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Mannheim-Ludwigshafen (01 Feb 1945 - 02 Feb 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Mannheim-Ludwigshafen 01 Feb 1945 02 Feb 1945 N After 10 days of enforced idleness due to excessive weather conditions the Squadron was called up on to supply 29 aircraft and crews plus two aircraft and crews in reserve to attack the rail centre and marshalling yards in LUDWIGSHAVEN. 30 aircraft successfully took off at approx. 1530hrs The weather on route was rather mixed from 10/10 cloud to clear conditions over the Channel well broken cluid over the Continent until the target 10/10 cloud built up about 5 miles hort on the run in. On the return very turbulent conditions were encountered crossing the North Sea to the Norfolk Coast. At the target both ground and sky marking was resorted to by the PFF but with the target indicators disappearing into the low cloud and some of the sky markers being too high for easy aiming, bomb aimers had rather a difficult time. Results were very obscure, there was however a very encouraging incendiary glow that developed into a compact fire mass with two explosions. From the H2S photographs brought back, it is thought that there was a tendency to undershoot. Flak was reported as slight, later decreasing to give way to night fighter activity. Night fighters were more active than usual and several combats were observed.
F/L Maltin and his crew completed their second tour and F/L Doward and his crew completed their first tour of operations successfully. F/O Lohrey and his crew failed to return and it was at first reported as missing but later it was learnt that at least five of his crew, including himself, were safe in Allied Territory, after having been forced to abandon their aircraft which had been badly damaged colliding with a friendly aircraft near the target area.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary at 16,000ft at 19.21hrs F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)
F/L C M Irving (P)

Operation/Target: Weisbane (02 Feb 1945 - 03 Feb 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Weisbane 02 Feb 1945 03 Feb 1945 N 28 aircraft and crews were accepted and briefed to attach WEISBANE where enemy troops were reported to be resting and being re-fitted preparatory to a move to the Eastern Front. Of the 28 aircraft, only 26 aircraft took off, 2 aircraft were non-starters owing to one developing engine trouble and the other being bogged due to a temporary failure of some perimeter track lighting. The weather again was our chief enemy. Cloud up to 20,000ft had been predicted over the Channel only, but in point of fact the worst conditions were over the target where there was layer cloud up to this height and over. Markers were completely obscured and in the circumstances it hardly seems likely that a concentrated attack could have been made. Flak was very ineffective but three of our aircraft saw enemy fighters and opened fire on them without response or conclusive result. All our aircraft returned safely one landing at Kirmington.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned - F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Kieve (07 Feb 1945 - 08 Feb 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Kieve 07 Feb 1945 08 Feb 1945 N 27 aircraft and crews were the Squadrons contribution to an attack on KIEVE a road centre where six routes meet, also a rail junction linking the Ruhr and those area still held by the Hun in Holland north of the Rhine - the object being to blot out the town, thus denying the enemy the main route into that part of the battle area. All aircraft successfully took off without incident in the usual Squadron style at approximately 18.30hrs. F/L Pickles in "Y" very reluctantly had to abandon his mission when over France owing to his bomb sight being unserviceable. F/L Rhude had the galling experience of going all the way to the target and then found his bombsight u/s. He made the correct decision, refrained from bombing and brought his bombs back. The route to the target was practically cloud free but the target ware was covered by 9/10-10/01 cloud about 3000ft thick. The Master Bomber had the matters well organised and brought the main force down beneath the cloud where they found the ground marking concentrated and easy to follow. The crews were unanimous that the bombing was very concentrated with "cookies" bursting all around the markers. Flak was negligible only a few spasmodic bursts being observed.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary at 5500ft at 22.17hrs F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Politz (08 Feb 1945 - 09 Feb 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Politz 08 Feb 1945 09 Feb 1945 N The Squadron stood by for a skylight operations, which was however cancelled at approx. 13.30hrs presumably owing to adverse weather. 28 aircraft were later called for an attack on a synthetic oil plant at POLITZ 3 miles north of Stettin. Owning to mechanical defects developing at the last moment only 24 aircraft took off at approx. 19.00hrs. The weather along the unfamiliar route fufilled our worst suspicions, but on approaching the Reich the waether improved considerably and the target area was found to be practically free from cloud, consequently the flares and markers were dropped punctually and accurately. The target had been attacked two hours earlier and the fires started were still visible and our boys brigthened them up considerably. Many explosions were seen and a particularly vicious one at 23.17hrs which lit up the whole area and was said to have been the best ever. All our aircraft returned safely although one, F/O Parsons in "N" landed at Carnaby with defective hydraulics. Good photographs were obtained. F/O Lohrey and four members of his crew who baled out after their attack at Ludwigshaven on the 1st Feb returned to the Squadron.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned - F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Dresden (13 Feb 1945 - 14 Feb 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Dresden 13 Feb 1945 14 Feb 1945 N 27 aircraft and crews were called upon for operations, 28 crews were briefed, one extra being held in reserve. After some effort 26 aircraft took off at approximately 21.15hrs to attack DRESDEN. The journey across England was unfortunately marred by a fatal accident in which one of our aircraft was involved (B2 - F/L Allen). It appears that an aircraft from 300 Squadron collided with ours near Appe by Manor Lincs, soon after setting course and the wreckage of both planes was scattered over a wide area as a result of explosions.
The weather en-route was better than expected. After a long journey across the continent the target was seen some 180 miles before E.T.A looming up as a dull red glow of fires still raging from a previous attack. The Bombing run was clear which enabled the crews to see the markers and a further concentrated contribution of cookies and incendiaries again made the rear reflecting against the clouds, warming the hearts and feet of the rear gunners. The defences protested, but it was only a feeble attempt. Photographs show an encouraging quantity of fire and incendiary glare and in short show that the attack was a highly successful one.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned - F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Chemnitz (13 Feb 1945 - 14 Feb 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Chemnitz 13 Feb 1945 14 Feb 1945 N 22 aircraft and crews were briefed, and successfully took off at approximately 20.00hrs to attack CHEMNITZ the Bradford of Germany with important rail junctions through which reinforcements from the west, country and southern Germany would have to pass on their way to the Eastern Front. The weather was good over England but deteriorated on approaching the target which was found covered with 10/10th cloud with tops up to 18,000ft. Markers could not be seen and crews were instructed to bomb on Navigational aids. The concensus of opinion seemed to be that the attack was rather scattered. An aircraft that had bombed however went below cloud and reported that the sourhern part of the town was burning but the northern part was untouched. Flak was slight and there were no searchlights. Photographs reveal nothing. All aircraft returned safely to base after their nine hours trip.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary at 18,000ft at 00.38hrs F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Dortmund (20 Feb 1945 - 20 Feb 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Dortmund 20 Feb 1945 20 Feb 1945 N 27 aircraft and crews took off without incident to attack once again the heavy engineering manufacturing town of DORTMUND. F/O Ferguson in "L" unfortunately returned early with his starboard inner engine u/s. The remaining aircraft found good weather along the route until approx. 0530 degress E when a low layer of thick cloud gradually built up to 4000 feet, until at the target the markers were barely visible as they dropped into it. The marking was punctual and an adequate number of ground markers, as well as some sky markers were dropped, However, the latter were somewhat scattered and although some encouraging concentrations of incendiary and fire glows were seen indistinctly under the cloud, the illuminating explosions, there was quite a lot of scatted bombing and it must only be considered, from first accounts, as a moderately successful raid. Ground defences were reproted as being only slight to moderate in a loose barrage, with one or two aircraft receiving some predicted attention. Night photographs show a good diplay of incendiary and fire tracks, but clouds have again prevented only plotting. Good shows were put up by F/O Franklyn in "G" who had his port outer engine u/s and had to feather it when over the Bexhill area on the outward journey. F/L Dale in E2 (taking F/L Sarll and crew on their initial operation) had trouble with his port outer engine which was u/s from 0500 degrees outward forcing them to bomb at 13,000 feet. F/O Mearns also had trouble with his starboard outer engine which was partially u/s for the trip.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary at 17,000ft at 01.13hrs. F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Duisburg (21 Feb 1945 - 21 Feb 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Duisburg 21 Feb 1945 21 Feb 1945 N [Ed: Target not listed in ORB. Duisburg assumed.] 24 aircraft and crews were detailed and all took off, including "B" (F/L Sarll) whose first independant trip was made with the rear turret u/s. The operations had an unhappy end in the failure of "A" (W/C Bell with the F/L Luger and his crew) to return to base. Everyone will be sorry to lose W/C Bell whose cheerful, forceful personality has been an inspiration to all members of the Squadron and Killingholme generally. It is feared that this layer cloud over the target marred the accuracy of the attack. Marking was punctual, but reports such undershooting, there were, however, large fires and several explosions around the aimers points. Flak at the target was only slight to moderate, fighters on the other hand were much in evidence, "A" F/O Smith the only aircraft to report a combat can claim a suspected ME262 as probably damaged. Owing to the thin cloud none of the photographs succeeded in showing ground details. Congratuations to F/L Harris and crew on the completion of a voluntarily extended tour, without an abortive.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 Returned Primary at 20,000ft at 23.14 1/2hrs F/O R D Harris (P)
Sgt K J B Smith (F/Eng)
F/Sgt D J Yemen (Nav)
F/O G J Nicol (A/B)
Sgt G P Kelleher (W/Op)
Sgt M T Ditson (MU/AG)
Sgt D J Hicks (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Pforzheim (23 Feb 1945 - 24 Feb 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Pforzheim 23 Feb 1945 24 Feb 1945 N 27 aircraft and crews were called for to attack PFORZHEIM and took off at approx. 16.00hrs without incident. Weather at take off was 10/10 low cloud down to 600 ft, but broke up over the continent and the target was quite clear, with some "dangerous moonlight". The markers were accurately placed and the bombing was correspondingly concentrated and the attack has every appearance of being a hightly successful one, fires could still be seen 150 miles away on the homeward journey. Very slight light flak was encountered over the target but night fighters were much in evidence. "C" (F/O Grundy) failed to return from this operation. F/O RD Harris in [NF998] despite a damaged port outer engine which caught fire over the target and severed tube caused by incendiaries, limped back and landed at Manston. One of the crew was injured but not seriously.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM273 FTR Missing - no news after take-off F/O D H Grundy (P)
W/O E W King (F/Eng)
P/O R T Sowter (Nav)
W/O R C McLauchlan (A/B)
F/Sgt L F Figg (W/Op)
Sgt E C Jarvis (MU/AG)
Sgt E J MacKenzie (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 61
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Duigny, 10 Aug 1944)

These details were last updated: 10 October 2018


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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