Squadron Operations: Summary Information

Overview

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

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

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

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

Servicemen Deployed: Names of the crew in the operation.

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

Definitions of the abbreviations used are available: here.

Manageable Lists

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


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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 16 Dec 1943 17 Dec 1943 N Fifteen crews were offered for operations and with aircraft loaned from No.100 Squadron. They briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Two of the sorties were abortive but the remaining aircraft bombed the targets and returned safely to BASE.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 20,000ft at 20.07 hrs. Orange glow on cloud. Trip very uneventful. Sgt H F J Woods (P)
F/Sgt J R E Legere (A/B)
Sgt L F Wright (W/Op)
Sgt J C Atherton (MU/AG)
Sgt T A (pos Thompson (F/Eng)
Sgt M Miles (A/B)
Sgt L M Collicutt (R/AG)

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Frankfurt 20 Dec 1943 20 Dec 1943 N Thirteen aircraft and crews were offered for operations and briefed to attack targets in FRANKFURT. Two aircraft returned early but the remainder successfully attached targets and returned safely to BASE. Air and ground training was carried out during the day and night.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 21,000ft at 19.46hrs. Area marked by incendaries, had every appearance of being a town. Slight heavy flak in one engine. Twice intercepted near target. Could not fire as guns were frozen. Sgt H F J Woods (P)
Sgt M E Giles (Nav)
F/Sgt J R E Legere (A/B)
Sgt L F Wright (W/Op)
Sgt J C Atherton (MU/AG)
Sgt L B Martin (F/Eng)
Sgt J McConnell (R/AG)

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 29 Dec 1943 30 Dec 1943 N Fourteen aircraft with crews were offered and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Five aircraft returned early but the remained successfully attached their targets and returned safely to BASE. Orders were received that the Sqdn should remove to RAF Station, NORTH KILLINGHOLME, LINCOLNSHIRE by 3rd January 1944.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Abandoned at 18.05hrs at 20,000ft. Naviator on wrong course and heading to NORWAY. Sgt A Bodill (R/AG)
Sgt A H Bowers (MU/AG)
Sgt W L Bradley (P)
Sgt S J Harrison (F/Eng)
Sgt V J Pickford (Nav)
Sgt R N Aitken (A/B)
Sgt J Hill (W/Op)

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 01 Jan 1944 01 Jan 1944 N Twelve aircraft with crew were offered for operations and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Two aircraft returned early, one aircraft failed to return to BASE (no news since take-off) and one aircraft on returning, crashed and was burnt out at Whapole Drive, Lincs all the crew being killed. RAF Station SUTTON BRIDGE signalled details of the crash. The remaining aircraft bombed the targets and returned safely, landing base - GRIMSBY.
Station Summary
This date had been tentatively arranged for arrival of 550 Squadron. The Squadron however, operated from WALTHAM on 1/2 Jan and no squadron personnel arrived ay North Killingholme.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 20,000ft at 03:17 bombed glow of R/G R/P flare through cloud.

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 02 Jan 1944 03 Jan 1944 N Eleven aircraft were offered for operations, three subsequently being withdrawn owing to unserviceability. The remainder briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Three aircraft returned early, but the remainder successfully bombed the targets and on returing to this country, owing to bad weather conditions were landed at various bases.
Station Summary
550 Squadron again operated from WALTHAM.
9550 Servicing Echelon, C.O. F/L G COOPER having, been formed on 25/11/43, arrived today, complete with Electrical Section.
F/O H G GARDINER, Station Armament Officer, has been on duty for the last few days arranging for equipment to be transferred from WALTHAM. Bomb trolleys arrived today.
S/Ldr E R BARKER Station Intelligence Officer arrived today from Wickenby.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 16,000ft at 02.54hrs. Diverted to Middleton St. George. Engaged ME.109 at 03.05hrs over BERLIN. M.U.G. opened fire. Aircraft seen hit in engine and burst into flames and go straight down into centre of fire over target.

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Brunswick 14 Jan 1944 15 Jan 1944 Y Twelve aircraft with crews were offered for operations and were briefed to attack targets in BRUNSWICK. One aircraft did not take off owing to unserviceability, two aircraft returned early (abortives) and one aircraft did not return (no news since take-off) and is, with the crew posted as "missing". Eight aircraft successfully bombed the targets and returned safely to base.
Station Summary
11 aircraft of 550 Squadron were detailed to take part in a heavy attack on BRUNSWICK, Preparations for this first operation went, on the whole, smoothly, although the early take-off called for maximum speed and an all-out effort from still under-established ground-staffs. Bombing-up was duly completed and 11 aircraft took off in 37 minutes. 2 sorties were abortive; 1 aircraft was missing and 1 landed at WOODBRIDGE due to engine failure. The remaining 7 aircraft, which claim to have attacked the primary target, were landed at base all within 18 mins by portable lighting, the Drem lighting system being unfinished.
A timely demonstration of bomb-handling by a special party from 1 Group Headquarters proved of value to the Station Bomb Stores personnel.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 20,000ft at 19.19hrs. Bombed 1/2 miles to port of Sky Markers. Inter-communication momentarily unserviceable on run up. Bomb Aimer unable to direct Pilot.

Operation/Target: Berlin (20 Jan 1944 - 21 Jan 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 20 Jan 1944 21 Jan 1944 N Eleven aircraft with crews were offered for operations and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. One aircraft did not take off owing to unserviceability and one aircraft returned early with engine trouble. Nine aircraft successfully bombed their targets and returned safely to BASE.
Station Summary
11 aircraft of 550 Squadron detailed for major attack on Berlin. 1 was cancelled because of u/s rear turret. Of the remaining ten sorties, 9 claim to have attacked Berlin, while 1 was abortive. In spite of even shorter notice of this operation than the last, preparations were adequate for the eary take-off called for, and bombing-up was completed.
The A.O.C. 1 Group, air Vice Marshal Rice, accompanied by the acting Base Commander, 13 Base Group Captain Dickens, arrived after briefing and remained to watch take-off. The S.I.O. of 1 Group, S/Ldr Foster, accompanied by the S.I.O 13 Base, S/Ldr Dale, also by F/Lt Gould (Intelligence 1 Group Headquarters) also visited us. F/Lt Gibson, S.I.O. ELSHAM WOLDS, paid a short visit to the Station during interrogation.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 22,000ft at 19.42hrs P/O N S Rogers (P)
Sgt P W Wise (F/Eng)
F/O H T A Evans (Nav)
Sgt N C Jenkins (A/B)
F/Sgt D Salmon (W/Op)
F/Sgt M E Mills (MU/AG)
Sgt J H Marshall (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Magdeburg (21 Jan 1944 - 22 Jan 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Magdeburg 21 Jan 1944 22 Jan 1944 N Ten aircraft with crews were offered for operations and briefed to attack targets in MADGEBURG. One aircraft did not take off owing to unserviceability, two aircraft returned early. Six aircraft successfully attacked the targets and returned safely to BASE. One aircraft did not return to BASE - no news since take off.
Station Summary
Command "Bullseye" flown by new crews.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Returned early. Port outer engine unserviceable P/O V J Bouchard (P)
W/O D H Knight (Nav)
Sgt J H Knox (A/B)
Sgt R Binney (F/Eng)
Sgt E J Baker (W/Op)
Sgt C A Rann (MU/AG)
Sgt J J M Calvin (R/AG)

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 27 Jan 1944 28 Jan 1944 N Fourteen aircraft with crews were offered and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Four aircraft returned early, but the remaining ten successfully bombed the target and returned safely to BASE.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 18,000ft at 20.34 1/2 hrs

Operation/Target: Berlin (28 Jan 1944 - 29 Jan 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 28 Jan 1944 29 Jan 1944 N Thirteen aircraft with crews were offered and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Two aircraft returned early, but the remaining eleven dropped their bombs on the target returned safely to BASE.
Station Summary
A Station Post Office was opened on a Class A basis.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 18,000ft at 03.19 1/2hrs. Unable to climb above 175000ft until through front on outward journey. Rime and icing.

Operation/Target: Berlin (30 Jan 1944 - 31 Jan 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 30 Jan 1944 31 Jan 1944 N Thirteen aircraft with crews were offered for operations and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. One aircraft did not take off due to unserviceability, one aircraft returned early, and one aircraft did not return - no news since take off. Ten aircraft successfully bombed the target. F/O G.A. Morrison in DV305 was attacked by enemy fighter over BERLIN and the two gunners killed instantaneously. The B/A (F/O Warren) through a misunderstood order, baled out. In spite of severe damage to the aircraft and with no navigational aids, apart from the Moon and Stars, returned safely, landed WOODBRIDGE.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 16,000ft are 20.28.hrs. Aircraft received late. Insufficient time to complete bombing up.

Operation/Target: Berlin (15 Feb 1944 - 16 Feb 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 15 Feb 1944 16 Feb 1944 N Fifteen aircraft with crews were offered for operations and accepted. Crews were briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Two aircraft did not take-off owing to technical trouble. One aircraft failed to return from the operations - no news since take-off. One aircraft successfully bombed the target and returned on three engines, landing at RAF Station LISSETT, YORKSHIRE. The remaining ten aircraft successfully attacked the targets and returned safely to BASE - NORTH KILLINGHOLME. Two of the new aircraft Pilots flew on the operations as second Pilot.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 22,000ft at 21.23hrs. Bombed flares.

Operation/Target: Leipzig (19 Feb 1944 - 20 Feb 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Leipzig 19 Feb 1944 20 Feb 1944 N Sixteen aircraft with crews were offered for operations and briefed to attack targets in LEIPZIG. Two aircraft did not take-off due to technical failures, two aircraft returned early with engine trouble. One aircraft failed to return - no news since take-off. Eleven aircraft successfully bombed the target nine of whom returned safely and landed at BASE - NORTH KILLINGHOLME. One aircraft landed at RAF Station MANSTON and the second at RAF Station COLTISHALL. One enemy fighter (ME109) was shot down by the gunners in LM392 F/L J. S. G. CRAWFORD, PILOT.
Station Summary
Decision made that Bomb Aimers should attend Main Aircrew Briefing for Operations rather than accompany Navigators to the specialist briefing given by the Station Navigation Officer - it would seem that, at that time, navigators did not attend the main briefing.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 21,000ft at 04.03hrs. Fire glow well concentrated, seen 100 miles on exit at 04.36hrs.

Operation/Target: Stuttgart (20 Feb 1944 - 21 Feb 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Stuttgart 20 Feb 1944 21 Feb 1944 N Fourteen aircraft with crews were offered for operations and briefed to attack targets in STUTTGART. Two aircraft did not take-off owing to techincal troubles. Twelve aircraft successfully bombed the targets and returned safely, landing at BASE - NORTH KILLINGHOLME.
Station Summary
Lancaster ME582 modified so that camera is operated by the opening and closing of the bomb doors.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 21,000ft at 04.04hrs, bombed green TIs.

Operation/Target: Schweinfurt (24 Feb 1944 - 25 Feb 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Schweinfurt 24 Feb 1944 25 Feb 1944 N Fifteen aircraft with crews were offered and briefed to attack targets in SCHWEINFURT. One aircraft did not take-off owing to technical trouble and two aircraft returned early with engine failures. The remaining 12 aircraft successfully bombed the targets and returned safely, landing at BASE - NORTH KILLINGHOLME. One new crew completed night cross country flying.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned -

Operation/Target: Stuttgart (01 Mar 1944 - 02 Mar 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Stuttgart 01 Mar 1944 02 Mar 1944 N Thirteen aircraft with crews were offered for operations and briefed to attach targets in STUTTGART. One aircraft did not take off owing to insufficient brake pressures. Twelve aircraft successfully bombed their targets and returned safely to base. One aircraft landed at RAF Station, Manston and a second at RAF Station Grimsby. One aircraft and crew completed a night cross country.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 20,000ft at 03.11hrs. Bombed sky markers. Landed GRIMSBY.

Operation/Target: Frankfurt (22 Mar 1944 - 23 Mar 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Frankfurt 22 Mar 1944 23 Mar 1944 N Seventeen aircraft and crews were offered for operations and briefed to attack targets in FRANKFURT. Another excellent take-off was achieved all seventeen aircraft being airbourne within 21 minutes. There was only one abortive sortie, "N" LM425 (Capt F/S Jefferies) having to return, after reaching the enemy coast, with an unserviceable starboard inner engine. All the rest of the aircraft successfully bombed target and returned safely to base, after one of the best attacks for some time. Enemy defences were moderate and night fighters not much in evidence.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 21,000ft at 21.58hrs. Bombed red and green target indicators.

Operation/Target: Berlin (24 Mar 1944 - 25 Mar 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 24 Mar 1944 25 Mar 1944 N Seventeen aircraft and crews were offered for operations and were briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Another snappy take-off was achieved, sixteen aircraft being airbourne within 17 minutes, the seventeenth aircraft being delayed for five minutes while a navigation aid indicator was changed. The route was "hot" but 15 aircraft bombed Berlin. The remaining two were forced to bomb last resort targets - "T" LM455 S/Ldr Graham Captain bombing an aerodrome 50 miles SW of Berlin after overshooting and "G" ND403, Captain P/O Bowen-Bravery who, after having his rear turret rendered u/s, bombed a flak emplacement on the West coast of Denmark. Soon afterwards "G" encountered a single engineed aircraft and the mid-upper gunnner gave it a short burst. A short while later a burning aircraft was seen by three members of the crew to be descending, and burning on the ground. It is claimed as destroyed. Defences over Berlin were moderate, but there were a large number of enemy night-fighters around Berlin. Soon after leaving Berlin "D" ME581 Captain F/L R. W. Picton had a combat with a FW. Condor and both the MU gunner (Can.R.110509 Sgt. Keen, W.M.), and rear gunner (Sgt. Porteous, J.W.) received serious injuries from cannon fire. Fortunately, however, both are recovering. The wireless operator (Sgt. Williams, K.T.C.) who was in the astrodome after warning the pilot continued to give advice and evasive instructions to the pilot. After the action Sgt Williams went to the rear gunner whose oxygen was severed, gave him his own mask and assisted him out of the turret. Subsequently Sgt. Williams sent a W/T message giving details of the casualty so that medical aid was waiting when the aircraft landed. Sgt. Williams prompt action combined with the pilots skilled handling of his aircraft undoubtedly prevented the E/A from making a more effective attack. All the aircraft landed safely at Base, except "F" LL747 (Captin F/O Richard, Can.J.23518) which without brake pressure landed safely at Woodbridge.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 21,000ft at 22.38hrs. P/O W N H Brawn (P)
Sgt R H Paxton (F/Eng)
W/O C A Sowden (Nav)
Sgt P Pindar (A/B)
Sgt F E Dawson (W/Op)
Sgt R A Caley (MU/AG)
Sgt W J Jones (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Essen (26 Mar 1944 - 27 Mar 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Essen 26 Mar 1944 27 Mar 1944 N Seventeen aircraft and crews were offered for operations and were briefed to attack targets in ESSEN. Sixteen aircraft took off in 25 minutes, the seventeenth "C" MD425 (Capt F/S Foster being cancelled due to the rear turret being u/s. Much layer cloud wasencounted at the enemy coast going out, over the target and to the enemy coast on return. Opposition from the ground was light in the early stages of the attack, with a tendency to increase as the attack developed, while fighter activity was on a somewhat reduced scale as compared with recent raids. LL831 "M" (Captin F/O E V Sage) and DV309 "S" (Cpatin F/S Hinde) both had inconclusive combats, in which no damage or casualities were sustained. All our aircraft returned safely to base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 22,500ft at 22.04hrs P/O W N H Brawn (P)
Sgt R H Paxton (F/Eng)
W/O C A Sowden (Nav)
Sgt P Pindar (A/B)
Sgt F E Dawson (W/Op)
Sgt R A Caley (MU/AG)
Sgt W J Jones (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Nuremberg (30 Mar 1944 - 31 Mar 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Nuremberg 30 Mar 1944 31 Mar 1944 N Seventeen aircraft and crews were offered for operations and were briefed to attack targets in NUREMBURG. Twelve successfully attacked the main target, three the last resort target and two (F/S Jefferies in LM425 "N" and F/S Foster in ND425 "C") failed to return. The remaining aircraft landed at base with the exception of F/O Sage in "U" who landed at Kelstern owing to fuel shortage. One new crew also carried out night circuits and landings. P/O McCrae in ME556 "F" received injuries to his left arm and the rear gunner Sgt Brown injuries to his left eye in combat with an enemy night fighter. The aircraft also suffered extensive damage.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 20,500ft at 01.16hrs. Bombed R/Y sky markers. F/L W H Waycott (A/G)
F/O J J Logan (Nav)
F/L R W Picton (P)
Sgt K P C Williams (W/Op)
Sgt T H Guest (F/Eng)
F/O J F Potter (A/B)
Sgt W Essar (MU/AG)

Operation/Target: Aulnoye (10 Apr 1944 - 11 Apr 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Aulnoye 10 Apr 1944 11 Apr 1944 N Fifteen aircraft and crew were offered for operations and were briefed to attack the marshalling yards at AULNOYE. The weather was clear over the channel and France, and at the target some thin cloud or ground haze did not prevent the PFF markers being clearly seen. The attack was well concentrated and many HE explosions were seen., Retuning to the French coast active searchlights and flak were encountered, while night fighter were also active in the area. LL747 "P" (Captain F/O J.O. Richard) had an inconclusive combat with an ME109, and strikes were seen, although no claim was made. No damage ot casualties were received by aircraft "P". All our aircraft returned safely to Base, except LL836 "E" (Captain F/Lt R.W. Picton) about which no news has been received since take off.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 9,500ft at 02.33hrs Sgt A Cleghorn (W/Op)
P/O E F Marles (P)
Sgt G L Grant (F/Eng)
Sgt H W Cooper (Nav)
F/Sgt J H Elliott (A/B)
Sgt J E Roberts (MU/AG)
Sgt E W Kendall (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Rouen (18 Apr 1944 - 19 Apr 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Rouen 18 Apr 1944 19 Apr 1944 N Eighteen aircraft with crews were offered for operations and sixteen accepted, the crews being briefed to attack the marshalling yards at ROUEN. Another splendid take-off was achievced, all sizxteen aircraft being airbourne within 15 minutes. Excellent weather prevailed over France and the PFF delivered their markers with punctuality and clarity. The attack was both accurate and concentrated and many HEs were seen exploding on the marshalling yards. Night photographs of ground details were obtained by practically all the crews. Defences over the target were slight to moderate, mainly projected at the higher flying aircraft, and search lights were conspicuous by their absence. All out crews returned safely to Base. Training was continued, two new crews taking part in a night cross-cournty and night circuits and landings.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 10,000ft at 00.21hrs. Bombed Green TIs. P/O W J Bibby (P)
Sgt F P McLoughlin (F/Eng)
F/O J P Rennie (Nav)
F/O A N Shedock (A/B)
Sgt A J Jeffries (W/Op)
Sgt D R S Howell (MU/AG)
Sgt R J Kimbrey (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Cologne (20 Apr 1944 - 21 Apr 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Cologne 20 Apr 1944 21 Apr 1944 N Eighteen aircraft with crews were offered for operations and briefed to attach targets in COLOGNE. All our aircraft were airbourne within 24 minutes despite the fact that enemy intruders were in the neighbourhood. The route was quiet and on arrival at Cologne 10/10ths cloud with tops approximately 1-50000ft were encountered. PFF were late and when they arrived were somewhat scattered. Although the could mitigated against observation, two explosions penetrated through, and the glow reflected in the sky was visible until our aircrafrt were past the Dutch Coast on return. Defences over Cologne were reported as a moderate flak barrage with search lights ineffective due to the cloud blanket. LL 747 "P" (Captain F/Lt J.O Richard) was shadowed by an unidentifed twin engined aircraft over the North Sea on the outward journey which made three approaches, but a short burst from the rear gunner (Sgt. Conaghan) discouraged any further attentions. The homeward route was quiet and all our aircraft returned safely to base. Only four sightings of enemy aircraft were reported throughout the trip. Train continued, one new crew successfully completing a night cross country flight, bombing and circuits and landings and another crew day circuits and landings.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned - P/O W J Bibby (P)
Sgt F P McLoughlin (F/Eng)
F/O J P Rennie (Nav)
F/O A N Shedock (A/B)
Sgt A J Jeffries (W/Op)
Sgt R J Kimbrey (R/AG)
Sgt A R Blackburn (MU/AG)

Operation/Target: Dusseldorf (22 Apr 1944 - 23 Apr 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Dusseldorf 22 Apr 1944 23 Apr 1944 N Eighteen aircraft with crews were offered for operations and briefed to attach targets in DUSSELDORF. The route to the target was quiet. Over the target area high cirrus cloud and many condensation trails hampered the view of some of the higher flying aircraft, but it was clear below. The defences were very active, flak being described as slight at the beginning of the attack but increasing to a moderate to intense loose barrage, with a great deal of searchlight activity. Night fighter activity was moderate, only three sightings being reported. Just after bombimg the target LM460 "R" (Captain F/Lt A B Craig) was coned and some flak damage to the R/T aerial and the M/U turrets was received. This was quickly followed by an attack by a ME 109 which was beaten off after a short exchange fo fire. No further damage was received and there were no casualties. All crews were enthusiastic over the result of the attack. All our aircraft returned safely to base except ME581 "D" (Captain F/O Milburn), no news of which has been received since take-off. In the last four attacks the Squadron has sent 60 aircraft without any early returns - a jolly good show by all the personnel concerned. Training continued with a new crew succeessfully completing a cross country flight, practice bombing and circuits and landings. When taking part in air to air firing LL834 "K" (Captain F/O D F Neilson) was forced to land on the sea near Grimsby owning to engine failure. All the crew were rescued by the A.S.R.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned - P/O W J Bibby (P)
Sgt F P McLoughlin (F/Eng)
F/O J P Rennie (Nav)
F/O A N Shedock (A/B)
Sgt A J Jeffries (W/Op)
Sgt R J Kimbrey (R/AG)
Sgt A R Blackburn (MU/AG)

Operation/Target: Karlsruhe (24 Apr 1944 - 25 Apr 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Karlsruhe 24 Apr 1944 25 Apr 1944 N Eighteen aircraft with crews were offered for operations and briefed to attach targets in KARLSRUHE. The weather was more difficult than usual; thick cloud was encountered soon after the enemy coast was reached and this remained until near the target area with a great deal of static disturbance and icing. The cloud broke suddenly just short of the target, and most crews were able to see quite clearly the PFF markers, which although a few minutes late, were well concentrated. Defences en route did not affect most of our aircraft, although the MANNHEIM area was active. At KARLSRUHE defences were reported as slight to moderate with flak with no searchlight, while the homeward route was uneventable. Night fighter activity was not very apparent, only four sightings and no comabts being reported. All our crews retuned safely to base. Training proceeded, a new crew carrying out air to air firing.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned -

Operation/Target: Essen (26 Apr 1944 - 27 Apr 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Essen 26 Apr 1944 27 Apr 1944 N Eighteen aircraft were offered and accepted for operations. The crews were briefed to attach ESSEN and after the usual excellent Squadron take-off all attacked the target area and returned safely to Base. The general impression was that the ESSEN defences has lost much of their sting, but as for the searchlight belt, F/O Sage "U" said "I have never seen so many searchlights, but they did not worry us and we went straight through them without any trouble." P/O Kenyon in "M" however, had a less pleasant experience, watching a cone building up on his aircraft during his bombing run, he was forced to drop his load short in order to escape from it. As his photos show, he was only 4 miles north of the aiming point when this happened. One "cookie" made the round trip on "S" (P/O Jones) whose Bomber AImer found it had "hung up" over the target and brought it home. Only slight flak damage was reported by two aircraft "H" W/Cdr Bennett DFC and "O" P/O Marles. Weather en-route caused no trouble and although industrial haze over the target was reported by most crews conditions were good for ground marking. The Target Indicators were all "pranged". F/Lt A B Craig and his crew were first home by a short spinner to finish their first tour. In addition to the Squadron Operational effort three new crews carried out night circuits and landings.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned - Sgt R H Field (P)
Sgt F N Ashton (F/Eng)
Sgt W E Sellis (Nav)
Sgt S J Strand (A/B)
Sgt B G Holmes (W/Op)
Sgt J Boyd (MU/AG)
Sgt F A West (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Maintenon (30 Apr 1944 - 01 May 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Maintenon 30 Apr 1944 01 May 1944 N Eighteen aircraft with crews were offered for operations, but only twelve were required. The crews were briefed to attack MAINTENON. The twelve aircraft were again airbourne in the short space of fourteen minutes. All the aircraft bombed the primary target successfully, ten photographs being plotted, two of which were on the aiming point. The weather was good and the target was clearly identified , Terrific explosions were seen by the crew when nearing the target and further explosions seen on on the return journey and whilst over the English coast. All the aircraft returned safely to Base without damage or incident. Ground and air crew alike were very enthusiastic to think that the Squadron may be top of the Group "League" for these successful results.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned -

Operation/Target: Mailly (03 May 1944 - 04 May 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Mailly 03 May 1944 04 May 1944 N Eighteen aircraft and crews were offered for operations and were accepted. The crews were briefed to attack the Military Barracks at MAILLY. The accepted number of aircraft and crews took off without incident in the usual Squadron style. The weather was clear throughout the journey to and over the target, good visibility and bright moonlight assisted in locating the target, resulting in the target being effectively dealt with. Fires caused by earlier attacks int he MAILLY area were still burning but the Master of Ceremonies had some difficulties in assessing the markers accuracy, with the result that the main force was held up for some minutes. When the order to bomb was finally given, the rush, to quote W/O Knox "D", was like the starting gate at the Derby! Markers appeared to be accurate and a very good concentration of bombing at once became apparent with one or two healthy fires and smoke clouds rising to a height of 8,000ft. The flak defences in the MAILLY area were only moderate, although the light flak was more intense than had been seen for some time. Numerous enemy night fighters were present and many combats were seen taking place in the bright moonlight - these combats continued until well on the way homewards. "J" F/Sgt Lloyd had a somewhat "dicey" return journey, about half an hour after having bombed the objective he was attacked by an unidentified aircraft and with the trimming tabs shot away his aircraft became temporarily out of control but managed to shake off the enemy fighter. Five minutes later a second attack set fire to the aircraft bomb bay and fuselage. The order to bale out was given and obeyed by the Mid Upper Gunner Sgt Pearce, Read Gunner Sgt Crilley and the Air Bomber F/O Yaternick. The aircraft went into a dive which help to extinguish the flame. Sgt Moore the wireless operator, used all the extinguishers to put out the remaining fire, and when these were exhausted, beat out the flames with his feet and hands. Finding the navigator suffering from severe burns, he rendered first aid and took over the navigational duties, obtained accurate fixes which enabled the pilot to bring back his aircraft safely to England, landing at R.A.F. Station FORD. A very good show put up by the worthy members of 550 Squadron. Many crews found that interference from a broadcasting station made listening to the Master of Ceremonies possessive wireless instructions difficult - as F/Sgt Salmon of "Q" said "One didn't know whether to go in and bomb or stay 'Deep in the Heart of Texas'!" Fourteen good night photographs taken by the Squadron aircraft show that this small precision target received a good "Strafing".
One aircraft "H" (F/L Grain and crew) failed to return. In addition to a very fine crew the aircraft contained the Army Local Defence Adviser, who had gone to see what real modern bombing attacks were like.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 7,000ft at 00.29hrs

Operation/Target: Rennes (07 May 1944 - 08 May 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Rennes 07 May 1944 08 May 1944 N Seventeen and crews were offered for operations but only eleven were accepted. The crews were briefed to attack RENNES AIRFIELD, and an AMMUNITION DUMP situated some three miles south of the airfield. The eleven aircraft took off in the Squadron style, ten having been detailed to attack the hangers, flying control and oil fuel stores between the runways and "K" P/O Bouchard with fourteen aircraft of other Squadrons, to attack the Station Headquarters buildings and barracks and also the main runway. All seems to have gone according to plan and to quote "D" (F/O Bowen-Bravery) "a cookie dropped between hanger and runway and I saw part of the hanger blow up". Several members of aircrews reports having see thick black smoke clouds from oil fires up to 10,000ft. The weather was clear and the airfield clearly seen. The defences were not at all pronounced and the searchlights were immediately doused after the first bomb went down, another case of "discretion being the better part of valour". Ten good night photographs were taken. All our aircraft returned to Base. Two new crews (P/O Purney and Sgt White) completed night cross country training flights.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned -

Operation/Target: Duisburg (21 May 1944 - 22 May 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Duisburg 21 May 1944 22 May 1944 N Eighteen aircraft and crews offered for operations and all were accepted and briefed to attach targets in DUISBURG, the steel and coal centre of the Ruhr and Rhine, which has not had the attention of Bomber Command for about twelve months. The weather over the target was cloudy and called for blind bombing by a method which has already paid good dividends in "Happy Valley". Photographs as was to be expected yielded no joy and cannot profitably be commented upon, all showing thick cloud and in some instances fine tracks. Although there were several sightings of the enemy the general impressions of DUISBURG defences confirms the view that they were less active than a year ago. P/O Dukelow, F/S Hinde and Sgt Essex with their crews failed to return to Base.

[Ed: but can only find 17 aircraft listed in the battle-order (after multiple cross-checking)of which 3 FTR.]
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 FTR Missing Sgt K A Essex (P)
Sgt A W McWhirter (F/Eng)
F/Sgt F J W Smith (Nav)
F/Sgt R E Porter (A/B)
Sgt A Symonds (W/Op)
Sgt P L McIver (MU/AG)
Sgt R E Muffett (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 30
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Berlin, 16 Dec 1943)

These details were last updated: 06 May 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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