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: Oisemont-Neuville (30 Jun 1944 - 30 Jun 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Oisemont-Neuville 30 Jun 1944 30 Jun 1944 N Nineteen aircraft and crews were offered, accepted and briefed to attack OISEMONT-NEUVILLE yet another lair of the "Doodle Bug". Once again the aircraft took off successfully at 06.00hrs and all returned safely at approximately 09.45hrs. The target was obscured by cloud through which all bombs were released. No opposition from enemy fighters was reported and the Flak was slight and spasmodic. The port outer engine of "D" (F/Lt MacAleavey) cut when the aircraft was setting course over the base, but "Mac" and his crew were determined not to be deprived of a daylight show and carried on, the aircraft making what height it could, and although deprived of certain navigational aids, bombed on a D.R. rim from several thousand feet below the stream, after having reached the target in time. The successful completion of this trip enabled the Squadron once again to chalk up one more 100% effort. Although the Squadron has only operated on fifteen occasions during the month it has certainly been the busiest month so far, due to cancellations and one recall. It is however noteworthy that the Squadron's operational hours far exceeds those of any other month since its formation, as does the tonnage of bombs dropped.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Primary 14,000ft as 08.00hrs. Bombed on Gee.

Operation/Target: Pas de Calais (02 Jul 1944 - 02 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Pas de Calais 02 Jul 1944 02 Jul 1944 N The nineteen aircraft and crew offered were accepted for operations. All took off successfully shortly before miday without incident as usual. Eighteen returned at 15.45 hours. "D" (P/O Hussey) returned earlier through engine failure and was sent out to jettison part off the bomb load before landing. The target was the Flying Bomb Site in the Pas de Calais and the weather over the target was good. Most crews brought back enthusiastic reports. Markers were well placed and most of the crews were able to map read their positions to good purposes. The evidence of our own cameras makes it reasonable to suppose that the operation was highly successful. No Luftwaffe opposition was experienced the defence being confined to light flak.
W/Cmdr Connolly returned from six days leave and S/L Nicolas proceed on leave on completion of his second tour of operations.
The Squadron was given a definite stand down until the evening of 3rd July which was much appreciated by the boys, who needless to say took full advantage.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned - P/O H S Vaughan (P)
Sgt R W Metcalfe (F/Eng)
P/O L C Davies (Nav)
F/Sgt D Porter (A/B)
Sgt T Elliott (W/Op)
Sgt W J Watson (MU/AG)
Sgt L D Purser (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Dijon (05 Jul 1944 - 05 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Dijon 05 Jul 1944 05 Jul 1944 N Fourteen aircraft and crews offered, were briefed for operations. All the aircraft took off in good time and without incident to bomb a rail centre on the outskirts of DIJON in Eastern France. The weather en route and over the target was good, a full moon with visibility excellent. The markers were punctual and accurate and many crews found visual confirmation in the town layout, the river, canal and marshalling round houses themselves. The bombing, from all accounts, was reasonable concentrated and there was an encouraging red explosion lasting several seconds soon after the attack opened. Good photographs are obtained. Flak was negligible, and no enemy night fighters were encountered.
Two new crews were detailed to carry out cross-country exercises to complete their training in the Squadron prior to becoming operationally efficient.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Primary 6,000ft at 01.59hrs P/O H S Vaughan (P)
Sgt R W Metcalfe (F/Eng)
P/O L C Davies (Nav)
F/Sgt D Porter (A/B)
Sgt T Elliott (W/Op)
Sgt W J Watson (MU/AG)
Sgt L D Purser (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Dijon (06 Jul 1944 - 06 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Dijon 06 Jul 1944 06 Jul 1944 N Fifteen aircraft and crews were required for operations and were briefed and successfully took off at 19.00hrs to attack another flying bomb site in the Pas de Calais. One aircraft "Q" (F/O Wareham) was bogged down for a short time and it seemed that "Q" would not take-off, but the "A" Flight Commander - F/Lt MacAleavey - came along, leant against the wheel an within five minutes "Q" was airbourne. As on most of these targets, flak was neglligible and no fighters dared to brave the effective Spitfire cover. Excellent photographs were obtained, the bombing was concentrated and the attack once again was successful. The new Squadron Signals Leader, F/O Davidson, joined the Squadron vice [??] F/Lt Tippett who was admitted to R.A.F. Hospital, Rauceby suffering from Pleurisy and is likely to be off the Squadron strength for roughly three months. The weather was excellent so good in fact that it brought out visitors from Group Headquarters. Nine aircraft was required for operations in the morning.
P/O D F Laing, attached from No. 17 S.F.T.S under the Affiliiiation Scheme flew with P/O Shaw in "F", as second pilot.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Abortive. Made 3 runs over target to release bombs, found no fuses, spare fitted. F/O W F Cox (A/B)
F/O M L Dubois (P)
Sgt H Tulip (F/Eng)
F/O J C Young (Nav)
Sgt H Wood (W/Op)
Sgt R Eves (MU/AG)
Sgt L R R Haynes (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Caen (07 Jul 1944 - 07 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Caen 07 Jul 1944 07 Jul 1944 N The nine aircraft and crews who originally were briefed at 10.00hrs and later stood by for late afternoon operations for which a further nine crews were added and all briefed ay 17.30hrs. The eigthteen [Ed.: hand-written note states 17] aircraft successfully took off at 19.30hrs to attack the town of CAEN in co-operation with the Allied armies in France. The attack was highly successful and thoroughly enjoyed by all members of the air-crews who participated in the strafe. A congratulatory message by signal was received on the Station as the crews were touching down. "From 2nd Army: - the heavy bomber attack which has just taken place was a wonderfully impressive show. The second Army would like their appreciation passed to all crews. Flak appeared to be intense at the beginning of the attack but died down during the attack". Later a further note of appreciation was struck by our receipt of the following message for all crew concerned in the operation: It was passed to our C in C by the AOC of TAF Group and reads: "The effort of your chaps we witnessed over Caen tonight made us all feel very proud to belong to the RAF".
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Primary 8,000ft at 22.02hrs P/O H S Vaughan (P)
Sgt R W Metcalfe (F/Eng)
P/O L C Davies (Nav)
F/Sgt D Porter (A/B)
Sgt T Elliott (W/Op)
Sgt W J Watson (MU/AG)
Sgt L D Purser (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Revigny (12 Jul 1944 - 12 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Revigny 12 Jul 1944 12 Jul 1944 N Nineteen aircraft and crews were offered accepted and briefed for operations. All took off at 21.15hrs without incident to bomb Marshalling Yards at REVIGNY in Eastern France. The weather over the target was bad, which precluded accurate marking or visual identification on the target. Recco flares having failed to lighten the darkness, the Master of Ceremonies, for whose instructions our crews were waiting, felt obliged to call the party off. The gunners of one of our crews, P/O Bell and F/S Teasdale, Mid-Upper and Rear Gunners respectively of "C" (Sgt Town) accepted a challenge from an enemy fighter and claim to have shot it down in flames and to have seen it hit the deck. Two of our crews P/O Boocock and P/O Davies failed to return. Owing to bad weather conditions all the Squadron aircraft landed at ten different airfields in the Norfolk and Suffolk areas, one crash landed at Wattisham, and another crew abandoned their aircraft, all members making successful parachute descents. A signal was received from the Air Ministry stating that Sergeant J G Pearce has arrived in the UK. This N.C.O is one of three ordered to bale out whilst over enemy occupied territory when F/S Lloyd's aircraft got into difficulties whilst returning from Mailly on the 4th May.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Primary 5,000ft at 02.02. Bombed TIY, landed Downham Market. P/O H S Vaughan (P)
Sgt R W Metcalfe (F/Eng)
P/O L C Davies (Nav)
F/Sgt D Porter (A/B)
Sgt T Elliott (W/Op)
Sgt W J Watson (MU/AG)
Sgt L D Purser (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Revigny (14 Jul 1944 - 14 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Revigny 14 Jul 1944 14 Jul 1944 N Eleven aircraft and crews only were required for operations. The crews were briefed and took off to bomb REVIGNY Marshalling Yards. As was the case on our last visit to this target two nights previously it was again found impossible to mark the target with sufficient accuracy to ensure the desired results. Our aircraft received instructions to return to Base with their bombs. Opposition from the ground defences was reported as being negligible, there there appears to have been considerable activity by the Luftwaffe. W/O Ansell in "D" was attached unsuccessfully by a rocket firing fighter whose fire was returned, but no strikes were claimed by our gunners. No printable photographs were obtained. Wing Commander Connolly and crew, which included the Gunnery Leader Flight Lieutenant K.W.L. Fuller D.F.C failed to return to base. Wing Commander Connolly, during his comparatively short time with the Squadron proved hmself to be a leader of men, a man of understanding, and was liked by all with whom he came into close contact. The Squadron has lost not only an efficient Commander, but a very gallant Gentleman.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Ordered not to bomb. P/O H S Vaughan (P)
Sgt R W Metcalfe (F/Eng)
P/O L C Davies (Nav)
F/Sgt D Porter (A/B)
Sgt T Elliott (W/Op)
Sgt W J Watson (MU/AG)
Sgt L D Purser (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Caen (18 Jul 1944 - 18 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Caen 18 Jul 1944 18 Jul 1944 N The eighteen aircraft warned yesterday were detailed to attack military strong points in the Caen area in support of the military plans to break through. The Squadron's aiming point was the village of SANNERVILLE where the enermy had concentrations of mortars, long range guns, anti-tank guns, A.A. units, Transport and reserve personnel. Our aircraft arrived over the target just before sunrise at 05.45 hours. Conditions were ideal, visibility being excellent. The markers which were easy to identify in the light of dawn were punctual and accurate with the exception of one dropped 100 yards south. Bombing concentrations weer excellent. Flak was negligible at first but on leaving the target, accurate predicated flak was encountered. The only fighters seen were those of the Spitfire cover. All our crews arrived back safely in time for breakfast feeling highly satisfied with their mornings work.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Primary 7,000 feet at 05.52 hours P/O H S Vaughan (P)
Sgt R W Metcalfe (F/Eng)
P/O L C Davies (Nav)
F/Sgt D Porter (A/B)
Sgt T Elliott (W/Op)
Sgt W J Watson (MU/AG)
Sgt L D Purser (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Scholven-Buer (19 Jul 1944 - 19 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Scholven-Buer 19 Jul 1944 19 Jul 1944 N The sixteen aircraft which were offered and accepted were briefed to carry out attacks on the largest synthetic oil plant in the Ruhr, situated at SCHOLVEN-BUER near GELSENKIRCHEN. The aircraft took off without incident carrying a nice load of "cookies". Weather over the target was clear, though industrial haze prevented pinpointing. Bomb Aimers were presetned with an accurately and punctually marked target, and most crews spoke of a close concentration round the markers which were clearly seen. Results were immediate and unmistakable, several outsize explosions were seen and black oily smoke is reported to have reached a height of 16,000ft and as was expected good photographs were obtained. Ground opposition was more intense than at recent targets and although there were several sigthings of enemy fighters, none of our crews reported combats. The Wireless Operator of "G" (P/O Hussey) sustained a fractured arm as a result of shapnel received whilst over the target. With the exception of one, "M" (F/O Clark) all the aircraft returned to Base. This aircraft was twice hit by Flak on its bombing run rendering its Port Outer engine unserviceable and after bombing the markers, the Port Inner has to be feathered when it caught fire. On the homeward track whilst over the North Sea the Starboard Inner Engine gave out, leaving only one engine serviceable and this was running hot. The crew decided to try to make for an English airfield, but when the coast had been crossed a lot of height was lost and the Captain ordered the crew to bale out. After holding the aircraft on an even keel to allow the crew to bale out, it is presumed that the aircraft was too low for the Captain to follow and in trying to land the aircraft hit overhead cables and crashed, the Pilot crashing with his aircraft and losing his life. His crew landed near Seething in Norfolk.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Primary 19,000ft at 01.30 1/2hrs P/O H S Vaughan (P)
Sgt R W Metcalfe (F/Eng)
P/O L C Davies (Nav)
F/Sgt D Porter (A/B)
Sgt T Elliott (W/Op)
Sgt W J Watson (MU/AG)
Sgt L D Purser (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Cahagnes (30 Jul 1944 - 30 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Cahagnes 30 Jul 1944 30 Jul 1944 N The fourteen aircraft and crews which had been accepted for operations were detailed to attach targets behind enemy lines at CAHAGNES in Normandy. All crew members were in high spirits delighted at being able to go on another daylight strafe, and on this mission the Squadron was led by Squadron Commander W/Cmdr Sisley. After attacking the target successfully the boys carried out some daring ground straffing from a height of 100 feet, shooting up tanks, rolling stock, and Huns. In fact anything they thought to be of military value to the enemy. No fighters were encountered and flak was negligible.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Primary 2300ft at 08.38hrs

[Squadron CO W/Cdr Sisley pilot]
W/Cdr A F M Sisley (P)
Sgt S Leary (F/Eng)
F/Sgt C Stoddard (Nav)
F/Sgt K R S Scholefield (A/B)
Sgt L W Guthrie (W/Op)
Sgt J Wright (MU/AG)
Sgt V S B Scoble (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Le Havre (01 Aug 1944 - 02 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 01 Aug 1944 02 Aug 1944 N Yesterday evening the fourteen aircraft which had been offer an accepted took off at about 18.15hrs to attack the dock installations at LE HAVRE. The compact dock area was unmistakably clear to the Bomb Aimers and pin-pointing was even easier than on the dusk operation six weeks ago. The fighter cover prevented any molestation by the Luftwaffe though ground opposition was spirited at most stages of the attack, and "P" (S/L MacAleavey) was slightly damaged by Flak which varied during the attack from slight to intense. The photographs obtained were some of the best ever achieved and all were easily plottable. One of our crews reports that a "U" boat was seen to received a direct hit causing it to settle at an angle in the water. In addition to the operational sorties one of our new crews carried out a cross country in a "Y" aircraft, having with them as instructors F/L Gardiner.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Primary 13,000ft at 20.03hrs S/L K MacAleavey (Nav)
F/O S C Beeson (P)
Sgt K J R Hewlett (F/Eng)
F/Sgt F Neal (A/B)
Sgt J K Norgate (W/Op)
Sgt J A Trayhorn (R/AG)
Sgt H S Picton (MU/AG)

Operation/Target: Belle Croix les Bruyers (02 Aug 1944 - 02 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Belle Croix les Bruyers 02 Aug 1944 02 Aug 1944 N Once again an evening attack and fifteen aircraft and crews were offered but only eleven required. The crews were briefed to attack military objectives at BELLE CROIX LES BRUYERS, this the Squadron's second daylight sortie in as many days was very disappointing to the boys, as owning to 10/10 cloud it was not possible to attack with sufficient accuracy and the Master Bomber called the party off. A further fifteen aircraft and crews were required for operations during the afternoon but were informed that it would again be an evening attack.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Abortive 10/10 cloud, mission abandoned on instructions of Master Bomber

Operation/Target: Le Havre (03 Aug 1944 - 03 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 03 Aug 1944 03 Aug 1944 N The fifteen aircraft took off again without incident to attack targets in the port area of LE HAVRE, as in spite of the previous concentrated bombing the "U" boat seen before seems to have borne a charmed life and had apparantly been towed to another part of the docks and this with other shipping was our target. The fifteen aircraft, after climbing through cloud had a perfect run down over England in blazing sunshine. Weather at Le Havre was clear and with good visiblity and all the Bomb Aimers were able to identify the aiming point visually. Very good bombing was accomplished on this raid and the good photographs brought back confirm this. No enemy fighters were seen and the only fly in the ointment was accurate flak which was not so intense as during the previous raid. A burst uncomfortably near made several sears on "K" (F/O Steele) but the Pin up girl on the aircraft was unmarked.
All our aircraft returned safely and touched down in the neighbourhood of 20.30 hours just in t ime for the crews to receive some well earned refreshment.
When the aircraft had been evacuated by the crews they were taken over by the hard working ground staff who worked far into the night and in some cases all through the night, to service and bomb up once again.
Shortly before lunch a striking force of twelve aircarft took off in as a many minutes to attached a Flying Bomb site at TROSSY ST MAXIMIM, the Squadron being led by the Station Commander Group Captain McIntyre D.F.C and all the aircraft carried 15,000 lbs of H.E. which is a new record laod devised by the Armoury. No fighters were seen over the Channel but covering Spitfires were well in evidence on reaching the French Coast. Accurate bursts of Flak were encountered during the trip and "V" (F/O Fauman) came back with a small shrapnel hole in the fuselage. Low cloud persisted over France but there were many large gaps, through which craters would be seen, evidence of previous attacks on other Bomb Sites.
Our 12 aircraft released there 80 tons of bombs within 1 1/2 minutres and most of the photographs confirm that a very large proportion of the bombs landed "plumb on" the target. The particularly fine photograph of "F" (P/O Shaw was enlarged and forwarded to the C in C and shows the dense profusion of bursts 2 minutes after the attack opened.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Primary 13,000ft at 19.05hrs

Operation/Target: Trossy St Maximim (03 Aug 1944 - 03 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Trossy St Maximim 03 Aug 1944 03 Aug 1944 N Shortly before lunch a striking force of twelve aircraft took off in as a many minutes to attached a Flying Bomb site at TROSSY ST MAXIMIM, the Squadron being led by the Station Commander Group Captain McIntyre D.F.C and all the aircraft carried 15,000 lbs of H.E. which is a new record laod devised by the Armoury. No fighters were seen over the Channel but covering Spitfires were well in evidence on reaching the French Coast. Accurate bursts of Flak were encountered during the trip and "V" (F/O Fauman) came back with a small shrapnel hole in the fuselage. Low cloud persisted over France but there were many large gaps, through which craters would be seen, evidence of previous attacks on other Bomb Sites.
Our 12 aircraft released there 80 tons of bombs within 1 1/2 minutres and most of the photographs confirm that a very large proportion of the bombs landed "plumb on" the target. The particularly fine photograph of "F" (P/O Shaw) was enlarged and forwarded to the C in C and shows the dense profusion of bursts 2 minutes after the attack opened.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Primary 12000ft at 14.16 1/2hrs

Operation/Target: Pauillac (05 Aug 1944 - 05 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Pauillac 05 Aug 1944 05 Aug 1944 N Fourteen aircraft and crews were required, provided and briefed to attack oil depots at PAUILLAC a few miles south of the previous days attack.
All of the aircraft took off successfully with most of the crews in their shirt sleeves. Formation flying which has been practiced by the Squadron stood them in good stead and all the aircraft kept togther as far as the target, with S/L Redmond's section all the way home as well. The weather at the target was cloudy but the markers were accurately placed and all our aircraft planted their bombs on and around the aiming point. A huge fire was soon started and gradually enveloped the whole target with a particularly large explosion occurring at 19.10 hours. Excellent photographs were obtained by our crews and P.R.U. whol following close on their heels reported that severe damage was done in the attack.
The route and target was trouble free from Flak and fighters while our fighter cover was comfortingly noticeable. All our aircraft returned safely though owing to fog conditions at base all landed at Sandtoft, with the exception of "H" which landed at Skellingthorpe.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Primary 8000ft at 19.08hrs F/L N L Rose (P)
Sgt K L Willis (F/Eng)
F/O R C Foote (Nav)
F/O E G Caswell (A/B)
Sgt G W Page (W/Op)
F/O J S Tointon (MU/AG)
Sgt G S Spragg (R/AG)

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
ME583 Returned Primary 15000ft at 12.06hrs

Operation/Target: Falaise (13 Aug 1944 - 13 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Falaise 13 Aug 1944 13 Aug 1944 N Five aircraft were required for an attack on enemy troop positions at FALAISE. Weather at the target was thin cloud through which markers and bomb bursts could be seen together with two or three excellent orange explosions. Flak at the target was moderate but no enemy fighters were seen and our aircraft reported an uneventful trip.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Primary 8,500ft at 02.19hrs F/O L B Cameron (P)
P/O J R Rigby (Nav)
Sgt D Eldridge (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J W White (W/Op)
Sgt F P Popple (MU/AG)
Sgt J F Piertney (R/AG)
F/O E G Caswell (A/B)

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
ME583 Returned Primary 3000 at 15.32hrs P/O H S Vaughan (P)
Sgt R W Metcalfe (F/Eng)
P/O L C Davies (Nav)
F/Sgt D Porter (A/B)
Sgt T Elliott (W/Op)
Sgt W J Watson (MU/AG)
Sgt L D Purser (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
ME583 Returned - P/O H S Vaughan (P)
Sgt R W Metcalfe (F/Eng)
P/O L C Davies (Nav)
F/Sgt D Porter (A/B)
Sgt T Elliott (W/Op)
Sgt W J Watson (MU/AG)
Sgt L D Purser (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Stettin (17 Aug 1944 - 17 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Stettin 17 Aug 1944 17 Aug 1944 N The fourteen aircraft and crews which had been accepted and briefed to attack targets at STETTIN which was the first time this month the Squadron went to Germany by night. Weather at the target had been 10/10 cloud in layers up to 17,000 feet prior to the attack commencing. But several crews report clear patches just before reaching the city. There were two main fire areas which were seen by our crews when several miles on the homeward journey.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned - P/O H S Vaughan (P)
Sgt R W Metcalfe (F/Eng)
P/O L C Davies (Nav)
F/Sgt D Porter (A/B)
Sgt T Elliott (W/Op)
Sgt W J Watson (MU/AG)
Sgt L D Purser (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
ME583 Returned 10,000ft at 00.07 1/2hrs

Operation/Target: Le Havre (06 Sep 1944 - 07 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 06 Sep 1944 07 Sep 1944 N 15 aircraft and crews were detailed once again to attack troop concentrations to the north east of the town of LE HAVRE where Hun suicide regiments were still holding out and who had not felt the weight of our bombs the evening before. The aircraft took off to time in usual 550 Squadron style. "J" F/O Rose returned early owing to RAE compressor being unserviceable. The weather enroute was fairly good with 10/10 thin cloud at the target, this did not however prevent our bomb aimers from clearly identifying the aiming point.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
Once agan No. 550 Squadron took part in a daylight attack on LE HAVRE. Fifteen aircraft took off as part of a Command force of 290. 1 abandoned its mission due to a U/S bombsite. All returned safely to Base.
ORGANISATION
M.T. Fitters sent on 2 weeks tyre course.
Snow plough collected in readiness for coming Winter.
GENERAL
Lecture given by S/Ldr Cameron [Ed: of the R.A.F. Regiment] on "Prisoners of War" proved of great interest, being well attended by both the WAAF and Airmen.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME583 Returned Primary 7000ft at 09:26hrs

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
ME583 Returned Primary 10,000ft at 18.58hrs

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 23
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Oisemont-Neuville, 30 Jun 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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