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: 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
ME776 Returned Primary 7,000 feet at 05.45 hours F/O P M Roche (P)
F/O L Wareham (P)
Sgt F J Thrush (F/Eng)
F/O B O Sibree (Nav)
F/O G F Bodman (A/B)
Sgt C A McKernan (W/Op)
Sgt J H Washington (MU/AG)
F/O R W Kemp (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
ME776 Returned Primary 20,500ft at 01.30hrs

Operation/Target: Wizernes (20 Jul 1944 - 20 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Wizernes 20 Jul 1944 20 Jul 1944 N Nineteen aircraft andcrews were offered, accepted and briefed for an early evening attach on a target in WIZENEF [Ed. - assumed incorrect spelling, and Wizernes or Wizemes(?) V-bomb site is intended.]. All the aircraft took off successfully in good style and all reached the target which was bombed with the usual precision. Flak opposition at the target was negligible and the only fighters to be seen were, once again, Spitfires. All out aircraft returned safely to base bringing back good photographs.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary 14,000ft at 21.00 hrs F/O L Wareham (P)
Sgt F J Thrush (F/Eng)
F/O B O Sibree (Nav)
F/O G F Bodman (A/B)
Sgt C A McKernan (W/Op)
Sgt J H Washington (MU/AG)
F/O R W Kemp (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Kiel (23 Jul 1944 - 23 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Kiel 23 Jul 1944 23 Jul 1944 N Seventeen aircraft and crews offered, accepted and briefed for operations against the enemy's Naval Base at Kiel. All the aircraft took off in the usual Squadron style and the outward journey was uneventful with mainly cloudy conditions. More cloud was encountered in the target area, but being fairly thin the markers were seen through it. Concentration appeared to be satisfactory, healthy fires were buring and were seen when 120 miles away. Flak was reported as intense over the target and the West Danish Coast was also active, but no serious trouble was encoutneed, "C" (P/O Holdsworth) had a short encountered with a JU88, the firing starting simultaneously; no damage or casualties were sustained by our aircraft, while strikes were observed on the enemy - it is only claimed as probably damaged. All our aircraft returned safely to base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned -

Operation/Target: Stuttgart (28 Jul 1944 - 28 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Stuttgart 28 Jul 1944 28 Jul 1944 N Eighteen aircraft and crews were offered but only seventeen were accepted for operations. The crews were briefed to attack STUTTGART once again and all successfully took off without incident. All the aircraft claim to have bombed the target area and contrary to the previous raids experienced fairly heavy opposition from the ground defences, Two of our aircraft "O" P/O Jones and "T" F/O Roche failed to return from this mission, two other aircraft failed to reach Base and landed at Woodbridge and Bombrook. In the crew of "O" as Navigator was F/O Dinney who has for several weeks been acting as the Squadron Navigation Leader.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary 17500ft at 01.50hrs. Explosion at 01.49hrs.

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
ME776 Returned Primary 2000ft at 08.22hrs

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
ME776 Returned Primary 14,000ft at 19.59. 1/2hrs F/L N L Rose (P)
F/O L Wareham (P)
Sgt F J Thrush (F/Eng)
F/O B O Sibree (Nav)
F/O G F Bodman (A/B)
Sgt C A McKernan (W/Op)
Sgt J H Washington (MU/AG)
F/O R W Kemp (R/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
ME776 Returned Abortive 10/10 cloud, mission abandoned on instructions of Master Bomber F/O L Wareham (P)
Sgt F J Thrush (F/Eng)
F/O B O Sibree (Nav)
F/O G F Bodman (A/B)
Sgt C A McKernan (W/Op)
Sgt J H Washington (MU/AG)
F/O R W Kemp (R/AG)

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
ME776 Returned Primary 12000ft at 14.16 1/2hrs. Collided with another Lancaster over target.

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
ME776 Returned Primary 13500ft at 20.02 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
ME776 Returned Primary 8000ft at 19.04hrs F/O L Wareham (P)
Sgt F J Thrush (F/Eng)
F/O B O Sibree (Nav)
F/O G F Bodman (A/B)
Sgt C A McKernan (W/Op)
Sgt J H Washington (MU/AG)
F/O R W Kemp (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Fontenay (08 Aug 1944 - 08 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Fontenay 08 Aug 1944 08 Aug 1944 N The seventeen aircraft took off in the evening to carry our an attack on enemy troop concentrations at FONTENAY in the Caen sector. Haze at the target limited visibility, markers, adied by the ground forces, were generally good, but in the latter stages were obscured by smoke dust and haze. The Master Bomber accordingly felt compelled to order sorties who had not yet bombed to take their bombs home again, five very disappointed crews of this Squadron did this, but the remainder had bombed. Flak was negligable and as no photographs were taken on this trip it was left to P.R.U. to confirm the concentation was amongst the best of the night.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary 8000ft at 23.19 1/2hrs F/O L Wareham (P)
Sgt F J Thrush (F/Eng)
F/O B O Sibree (Nav)
F/O G F Bodman (A/B)
Sgt C A McKernan (W/Op)
Sgt J H Washington (MU/AG)
F/O R W Kemp (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
ME776 Returned Primary 16300ft at 12.00hrs

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
ME776 Returned Cambrai 16300ft at 16.12 1/2hrs F/O L Wareham (P)
Sgt F J Thrush (F/Eng)
F/O B O Sibree (Nav)
F/O G F Bodman (A/B)
Sgt C A McKernan (W/Op)
Sgt J H Washington (MU/AG)
F/O R W Kemp (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Bordeaux (12 Aug 1944 - 12 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Bordeaux 12 Aug 1944 12 Aug 1944 N Six aircraft were required for an attack on oil storage tanks at BORDEAUX and all took off on their long trip in almost perfect weather and the target area was clearly seen. Accurate flak was encountered over the target and "A" (F/O Purvis) was hit before bombing, rendering two engines unserviceable and the controls to the third would not function. Owing to this loss of power the aircraft fell out of control from 10,000ft to 1,500ft, when F/O Purvis regained control. On the return journey the bombs were manually released and the Flight Engineer (Sgt Leary) who was wounded gave valuable assistance to his Captain, who was nursing the aircraft back on one and a half engines. A crash landing was made at Bolt Mead and due to the unserviceable flaps and brakes the aircraft overshot coming to rest against a thick stone wall. Photographs show that the target "has had it".

[Ed: F/O Purvis received an immediate Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions.]
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary 10500ft at 15.10hrs. Damaged slightly by H/H

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
ME776 Returned Primary 3000ft at 13.35hrs 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: 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
ME776 Returned - 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: 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
ME776 Returned - 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: 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
ME776 Returned -

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
ME776 Returned Primary 18,000ft at 01.04 1/2hrs 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: 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
ME776 Returned - 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: Stettin (29 Aug 1944 - 30 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Stettin 29 Aug 1944 30 Aug 1944 N Sixteen aircraft with crews were accepted briefed and took off at 21.00hrs to attack STETTIN. One aircraft "C" W/O Ansell and crew are missing from the Operation.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary 18,000ft at 02.04hrs P/O A D Young (P)
Sgt J Hill (F/Eng)
F/O P J Singer (Nav)
Sgt C R S Daniels (A/B)
F/Sgt J W Pidcock (W/Op)
Sgt E Thompson (MU/AG)
Sgt C Hillsdon (R/AG)

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
ME776 Returned Primary 9800ft at 15.20hrs P/O R Hopman (P)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/AG)

Operation/Target: Gilze-Rijen (02 Sep 1944 - 03 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Gilze-Rijen 02 Sep 1944 03 Sep 1944 N Thirteen aircraft and crews were detailed for a daylight operation on the aerodrome of GILZEREGEN. They all took off successfully, though "A" piloted by F/O R.Purvis aborted with the ASI unserviceable. Take off time was at 15.50hrs. It started to rain at Base just before take off and the weather was generally bad. The height to fly at was 12000ft but there cloud at this height which consisted mainly of 10/10th strata cumulus. Some crews flew above this cloud and others below as there was pretty severe icing in it. Over the target itself the cloud broke to 4/10ths str. cum. with tops about 6000ft. There was very little opposition of any sort, no fighter and slight flak. The PFF dropped their markers "bang on" and the bombing was well concentrated. From the bombing photographs the aerodrome and runways seem very hard hit. On the return journey aircraft ran into cloud about 60 miles from the English coast which cleared for about 100 miles and the closed in again. Most of the crews seem to have flown back from Nottingham at about 1000ft to avoid low cloud. The weather back at Base was very bad indeed with rain and bad visibility combined with low cloud. "J" piloted by P/O McCarthy came back with the starboard inner engine feathered; this was was to save the engine which was running very badly. All aircraft landed back at Base safely.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
Two days of preparation bore fruit with the despatch of 13 aircraft (part of a Group force of 30) to raid the GILZE-RIJEN airfield in Holland. 1 aircraft abandoned its mission due to technical trouble. The remainded returned to base claiming to have attacked the primary target. Before they took off at about 1600 hours news had been received that there would be no further targets for today and tonight.
GENERAL
A United Voluntary Service for the National Day of Prayer was held in the Station Church, Padre Croft of R.A.F. Station Elsham Wolds taking the service. It was well attended by Station Personnal, considering there was an operaitonal take off at the same time.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary 11,000 feet at 17.33 1/2 hrs.

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
ME776 Returned Primary 11000ft at 18.12hrs 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: 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
ME776 Returned Primary 9000ft at 19.30hrs 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: 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
ME776 Returned Abandoned landed at Carnaby, compressor u/a 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: 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
ME776 Returned Primary 13,000ft at 23.45 1/2hrs 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: 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
ME776 Returned Primary 11000ft at 18.17 1/2hrs

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
ME776 Returned Primary 18,000ft at 21.20hrs F/L R P Stone (P)
F/Sgt C W Sawyers (Nav)
Sgt G E White (F/Eng)
F/Sgt E W Halliday (A/B)
Sgt D E Norgrove (W/Op)
Sgt L G B Wartnaby (MU/AG)
Sgt W G Beney (R/AG)
F/O J E L John (P)

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
ME776 Returned Abandoned on instructions of Master Bomber

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
ME776 Returned Primary 3000 at 12.22 1/2hrs. F/Sgt T Fairclough (W/Op)

Operation/Target: Calais (27 Sep 1944 - 27 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Calais 27 Sep 1944 27 Sep 1944 N 17 aircraft and crews took off for Calais early this morning once again to bomb the Hun into submission. The weather was good and the bombing results were excellent.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary 5000ft at 10.13hrs. F/Sgt T Fairclough (W/Op)

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
ME776 Returned Abandoned. F/Sgt T Fairclough (W/Op)

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Fort Frederick Hendrick 12 Oct 1944 12 Oct 1944 N 28 aircraft and crews were offered for operations but only 12, 11 plus one reserve and one crew detailed to act as the Base reserve aircraft. The crews were briefed to carry out yet another attack on FORT FREDERICK HENDRICK, which despite yesterdays attack was still holding out. All our eleven aircraft returned safely to base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary 9000ft at 08.21hrs F/Sgt T Fairclough (W/Op)

Operation/Target: Duisburg (14 Oct 1944 - 15 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Duisburg 14 Oct 1944 15 Oct 1944 N There was no respite for the Squadron for a further 25 aircraft and crews were required, provided and briefed to attack once again Duisburg the scene of their early morning visit. All our aircraft returned safely from this operation.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary 20,000ft at 01.32hrs F/O J E L John (P)
Sgt D E Scuffell (F/Eng)
Sgt C F L Blancher (Nav)
F/O J Meek (A/B)
Sgt R Lee (W/Op)
Sgt C A McDonald (MU/AG)
Sgt A J Fitzgerald (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
ME776 Returned Primary 19,000ft at 08.50hrs F/O J E L John (P)
Sgt D E Scuffell (F/Eng)
Sgt C F L Blancher (Nav)
F/O J Meek (A/B)
Sgt R Lee (W/Op)
Sgt C A McDonald (MU/AG)
Sgt A J Fitzgerald (R/AG)

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
ME776 Returned Primary at 18,000ft at 19.53hrs P/O W J Shaw (P)
Sgt J Crawford (F/Eng)
Sgt C Eardley (Nav)
Sgt H H Tregonning (A/B)
Sgt R F Jones (W/Op)
Sgt R Murphy (MU/AG)
Sgt J O'Leary (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
ME776 Returned Primary 19,000 feet at 15.35hrs

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
ME776 Returned Primary 19,500ft at 15.47 1/2hrs

Operation/Target: Walcheren (29 Oct 1944 - 29 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Walcheren 29 Oct 1944 29 Oct 1944 N 30 aircraft and crews were again offered for operations, but only eight were accepted for another daylight attack on the gun enplacements off the island of WALCHEREN at Domburg. No opposition was experienced and the target was successfully bombed, and all our aircraft returned without incident. This is considered to have been the Squadrons easiest operation since its inception. In addition to operations 13 1/2 hrs flying training was carried out.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 8000ft at 13.18 hrs

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
ME776 Returned Primary at 19,000ft at 21.07hrs P/O W J Shaw (P)
Sgt J Crawford (F/Eng)
Sgt C Eardley (Nav)
Sgt H H Tregonning (A/B)
Sgt R F Jones (W/Op)
Sgt R Murphy (MU/AG)
Sgt J O'Leary (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
ME776 Returned Primary ay 17,000ft at 21.06hrs

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
ME776 Returned ...

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
ME776 Returned Primary at 17,000ft at 19.45hrs

Operation/Target: Wanne-Eikel (09 Nov 1944 - 09 Nov 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Wanne-Eikel 09 Nov 1944 09 Nov 1944 N 23 aircraft and crews from 550 Squadron together with one aircraft from each of 166 and 103 Sqdns took off at approximately 07.20hrs to attack the synthetic oil plant at WANNE-EIKEL 2.5 miles NW of Bochum one of the lesser known towns of the Ruhr but nevertheless important since it forms part of the general Ruhr network of railway and marshalling yards. The take-off was good as was the weather up to the French coast after which the crews encountered cloud banks and when the target area was reached there was thick cumulous at 20,000ft with layer cloud below. Only one aircraft E2 (F/O Stevenson) had a fleeting glimpse of the target, and but for navigational aids the raid would have dissolved itself into a veritable blind mans buff. With such conditions existing it is impossible to assess the success or otherwise of the operation. Flak was scattered and erratic, and the fighter cover of Spitfires and Mustangs kept enemy fighters out of harms way. All our aircraft returned safely and the boys enjoyed a late lunch.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
At first light 25 aircraft took off from NORTH KILLINGHOLME (comprising 23 of 550 Squadron and 1 of 166 Squadron and 1 of 103 Squadron, the latter having landed here from training) to attack WANNE-EICKEL, as part of a No. 1 Group force of 233 aircraft. All out aircraft returned safely having claimed to have bombed the target.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary, at 22000ft at 10.45 F/L D A Shaw (P)

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
ME776 Returned Primary, at 18000ft at 19.04

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
ME776 Returned Primary at 13000ft at 19.18 F/O C S George (P)
Sgt E E Okines (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J D Johnson (Nav)
F/Sgt G A Stecker (A/B)
F/Sgt T H Jeffs (W/Op)
Sgt E W Kilby (MU/AG)
Sgt R Challoner (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
ME776 Returned - F/O C S George (P)
Sgt E E Okines (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J D Johnson (Nav)
F/Sgt G A Stecker (A/B)
F/Sgt T H Jeffs (W/Op)
Sgt E W Kilby (MU/AG)
Sgt R Challoner (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
ME776 Returned -

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
ME776 Returned Primary at 11000ft at 19.40hrs F/O C S George (P)
Sgt E E Okines (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J D Johnson (Nav)
F/Sgt G A Stecker (A/B)
F/Sgt T H Jeffs (W/Op)
Sgt E W Kilby (MU/AG)
Sgt R Challoner (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
ME776 Returned - F/O C S George (P)
Sgt E E Okines (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J D Johnson (Nav)
F/Sgt G A Stecker (A/B)
F/Sgt T H Jeffs (W/Op)
Sgt E W Kilby (MU/AG)
Sgt R Challoner (R/AG)

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
ME776 Returned - F/O C S George (P)
Sgt E E Okines (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J D Johnson (Nav)
F/Sgt G A Stecker (A/B)
F/Sgt T H Jeffs (W/Op)
Sgt E W Kilby (MU/AG)
Sgt R Challoner (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Osterfeld (31 Dec 1944 - 31 Dec 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Osterfeld 31 Dec 1944 31 Dec 1944 N 14 aircraft were dispatched from the Squadron at 15.00 hours to assist in the attack on OSTERFELD marshalling yards on the northern end of the Ruhr. The journey outward was uneventful, except that adverse winds from the north speeded up considerably more than forecast, and gave the navigators a lot of hurried extra work to do. On the final "run-in" to the target the aircraft were travelling at something like 350mph ground-speed - "that's 550 that was" - the bomb aimers had to look slippy and "pull their fingers out". The weather at the target was 10/10 fairly thin cloud, thin enough for most bomb-aimers to get a reasonable view of the markers which were in fair supply. Most crews bombed them, only two being forced to rely on navigational aids. Reports of the attack varied from "good" to "disappointing". However, encouraging confirmation came along in the shape of photographs showing sticks right across the marshalling yards and the T.I. streaks also well placed. Flak was again reported as slight and spasmodic, some crews even stated that they had experienced no flak wahtsoever throughout the entire journey through the Ruhr, which is incredibly amazing - however they should know! Eleven hours flying training was carried out during the day and night.


So ends the year 1944, with a good job behind us, and a better and we hope, a final job ahead of us. Come what may 550 is always ready for the fray.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 19,000ft at 18.48 1/2

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
ME776 Returned - F/O C S George (P)
Sgt E E Okines (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J D Johnson (Nav)
F/Sgt G A Stecker (A/B)
F/Sgt T H Jeffs (W/Op)
Sgt E W Kilby (MU/AG)
Sgt R Challoner (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Hannover (05 Jan 1945 - 06 Jan 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Hannover 05 Jan 1945 06 Jan 1945 N 24 aircraft with crews took off at approximately 19.00 hours to attack HANOVER. The weather was nowhere difficult on route and our crews were led visually to the target by means of it's "Blaze of Glory" that could be seen for a hnudred miles, this blaze had been started by an earlier attack two and a half hours before by [unreadable]. Our attack was to impede the fire fighters and add more fuel to the fires. The [???] was blazing beautifully and the second installment of H.Es and incendaries was added to the [???]. Fires and smoke increased and could be seen by our crews when over the Zuider Zee on their return. Good photographs were brought back. Flak was reported generally as moderate, but accurate for height and there was searchlight activity, although with the glare of Recc. flares above and the fire glow below they had a pretty thin time. The attack was an outstanding success and Hanover now has a hangover. One of our aircraft "M" (F/O Adams) and crew failed to return, no news being received after take-off. They were a grand team and will be missed by all on the Squadron. A good flying training programme was also carried out.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 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: 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
ME776 Returned - F/O C S George (P)
Sgt E E Okines (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J D Johnson (Nav)
F/Sgt G A Stecker (A/B)
F/Sgt T H Jeffs (W/Op)
Sgt E W Kilby (MU/AG)
Sgt R Challoner (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
ME776 Returned -

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
ME776 Returned Primary at 19,000ft at 20.03

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
ME776 Returned -

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
ME776 Returned -

Operation/Target: Bottrop (03 Feb 1945 - 03 Feb 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Bottrop 03 Feb 1945 03 Feb 1945 N The Squadron were called upon to supply 14 aircraft and crews for an attack on the Prosper Coking Plant at BOTTROP north of Essen. In contract to the previous night the weather was good but opinions waried as to whether the target was entirely cloud free but either haze or very thin cloud obscured exact ground detail. The markers were accurately placed and the bombing appear to be equally as good. There were several explosions and quite a number of fires. Ground opposition was reported as being from slight to moderate. Numerous searchlighs were active and believed to have been illuminating for fighters, where were reports as being numerous. F/O Nye and crew in "R" failed to return. It is believed that they has fallen a victim to a night fighter after crossing the battle front and were shot down in Holland. It is feared there were no survivors. F/O Cowper and "F" "pressed on" with his rear turret practically unserviceable throughout the trip. Owing to haze the photographs taken over the target were not particularly good, some of them have, however, been plotted and at least one aiming point secured.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 16,000ft at 19.42hrs F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt J Chamboly (MU/AG)
Sgt A G Slater (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
ME776 Returned - F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt J Chamboly (MU/AG)
Sgt A G Slater (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
ME776 Returned Abortive - Starboard inner u/s F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt J Chamboly (MU/AG)
Sgt A G Slater (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
ME776 Returned - F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt J Chamboly (MU/AG)
Sgt A G Slater (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
ME776 Returned Primary at 20,000ft at 00.41hrs F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt J Chamboly (MU/AG)
F/O C J Wearmouth (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
ME776 Returned Primary at 17,000ft at 01.16hrs. F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt J Chamboly (MU/AG)
F/O C J Wearmouth (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
ME776 Returned Primary at 18,000ft at 23.19hrs F/O G E Mearns (P)
F/Sgt R E Martin-Smith (R/AG)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt J Chamboly (MU/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
ME776 Returned Primary at 9000ft at 20.02 F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt J Chamboly (MU/AG)
Sgt E L Robinson (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Meuss (28 Feb 1945 - 28 Feb 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Meuss 28 Feb 1945 28 Feb 1945 Y 27 aircraft and crews were detailed and took off without incident at approximately 08.00hrs to attack the railway centre at MEUSS and the river unloading port on the Western Bank of the Rhine just opposite Dusseldorf. The crews had been in the air little more than an hour when they were recalled. The operation was cancelled due to forecast cloudy conditions over the target area and the close proximity of our troops The boys were very disappointed to not be able to strike again at the common enemy.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Recalled F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt A Colin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Mannheim (01 Mar 1945 - 01 Mar 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Mannheim 01 Mar 1945 01 Mar 1945 N 26 aircraft with their crews took off at approximately 11.30hrs without incident to participate in a daylight attach on a large concentation of enemy troops reported to be in the vicinity of the Rhine bridgeheads near MANNHEIM. It was unfortunate that on this daylight raid the target was covered by 10/0ths could and results of our bombing could not be observed and assessment of the raid was not possible. Ground defences consisted of approximately a dozen bursts of heavy flak. The bombers were escorted by fighters who kept their opposite numbers out of sight. "K" (F/O Davidson) had a starboard outer engine catch fire and although losing height pressed on to the target bombed and returned safely.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned - F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt A Colin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Chemnitz (05 Mar 1945 - 06 Mar 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Chemnitz 05 Mar 1945 06 Mar 1945 N 26 aircraft, including the reserve, as it was apparant immediately after take-off that "E2" (F/L Dale) would be abortive with a port engine unserviceable, took off at approximately 16.45hrs as part of a force of over 700 Lancasters and Halifaxes detailed to attack CHEMNITZ. The trip to the target was without incident, with a layer of 10/10 cloud beneath most of the time. On reaching the target area it was quickly seen that the cloud prevented anything other the sky marking which was called for by the Master Bomber. His broadcasting was much distorted by static interference, but he was generally heard. The first release point flares went down 3 minutes before "H" hour; they were plentiful and well grouped but fell into the cloud tops rather quickly and later there was a gap when no flares were seen. Detailed results could not be seen but judging from the incendiary glow and the bursts of the cookies, bombing appeard to be concentrated. There was only very slight heavy flak over the target area, but the Leipzig defences were active and the night fighters were in evidence, both over the target and along the first two legs of the homeward route. Three aircraft reported combats but none claimed any night fighters destroyed. 22 aircraft landed safely at base; "J" (P/O Findlay) landed at Benson, "O" (F/O Harris) at Carnaby, with flaps unserviceable, and "F" (F/S Wilson) at Tempsford, with damage sustained in combat but no casualties.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 17,000ft at 21.46hrs F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt A Colin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Dessau (07 Mar 1945 - 08 Mar 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Dessau 07 Mar 1945 08 Mar 1945 N 27 aircraft took off at approximately 17.00hrs on operations, but not without incident. "E2" (W/O Lukies) proved most fractious. The starboard outer engine cut on take-off. The aircraft swung dangerously but the pilot by masterly handling avoided a hanger and other obstacles, proceeded to the jettison area and returned safely. The other aircraft set course on the long route to DESSAU. Cloud amounts variable. Opposition was lively, both from flak and night fighters, but the former was not so strong over the target. Some crews bombed ground markers through 3/10 cloud with a clear view of the town and River Elbe; others had to rely on sky markers owing to 10/10 cloud. General opinion was that the attack was well concentrated and that the target was set, well and truely, ablaze. "M" (S/L Pickles) had it's "Gee" unserviceable from Southern England outwards, but the crew pressed on and after some meandering found themselves near to the target. They bombed in solitary state, a healthy concentration of fires left by their comrades. Two crews reported inconclusive combats with night fighters. Three aircraft "V" (F/O Jones), "O" (F/O Harris) and "R" (P/O Nielson) failed to return and it was with deepest regret that they were reported missing. Nothing was heard from any of them after take-off. Three aircraft and crews carried out flying in training involving over 7 hrs flying.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 15000ft at 22.07hrs F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt A Colin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Kassel (08 Mar 1945 - 09 Mar 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Kassel 08 Mar 1945 09 Mar 1945 N The Squardon was again called to operate and 23 aircraft took off in quick time without incident at approximately 17.20hrs. The target was Kassel. All the aircraft bombed the primary target indicated including "H" (F/O Cowper) whose port inner engine caught fire and was feathered some 200 miles short of the target. 10/10 cloud covered practically the whole of the continental route, but was broken immediately over the target, which was clearly visible through only a thin layer. Bombing was heavily concentrated, the incendiaries tooks a firm hold and the resultant fire glow could still be seen when aircraft were crossing the Rhine over 100 miles away. Flak over the target was light to moderate and there was little sign of fighter activity - a happy contrast to the previous night's experience. All the Squadron's aircraft returned safely to base, where at interrogation the crews were sleepy but satisfied. One aircraft and crew completed a night flying training drill lasting 2 3/4 hrs
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 19,000ft at 21.37hrs F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt A Colin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Misburg (15 Mar 1945 - 16 Mar 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Misburg 15 Mar 1945 16 Mar 1945 N Another oil target. [Ed. Misburg? TBC.] 19 aircraft offered and all took off. Most of the "incident", in fact, came before take-off when the CO provided entertainment for the crews whiling away the last few moments on the deck by chasing a way a horse which was contravening Station Standing Orders by appropriating one of the runways as a cantering area. After a breathless 10 min exhibition, almost a rodeo, of horse steering by car, the take-off proceded. Except for the English Channel, the route wascloudless and over the target only ground haze was present. Ground identification was possible for many of the crews in the light of the illuminating flares, but ground markers were accurately placed and in excellent concentration. Almost immediately after the first bombs were dropped the target was enveloped in flame and smoke which rose to 10000 feet from a particularly big explosion. An excellently concentrated attack developed, large fires soon became established and two further large explosions occurred. The glow from the first would be seen upwards of 100 miles on the return journey. Opposition from the ground was generally described as moderate heavy flak, although this was accurate for the height and early crews found it hotter than those succeeding them. Some fighters were active but none of our aircraft reported combats, all returned safely to base.

[Ed: this last part of the last sentence appears to be an error in the monthly summary in the ORB. Because on the battle order list for the date one aircraft is listed as failing to return to base. P/O Wallace RNZAF crew, NG287 "Q" (5 killed, 1 Evd, 1 PoW.]
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned -

Operation/Target: Hanau (18 Mar 1945 - 19 Mar 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Hanau 18 Mar 1945 19 Mar 1945 N Squadron detailed 18 aircraft to attack Hanau. "M2" (F/L Sarll) aircraft developed ignition trouble in the port outer engine and did not leave its dispersal. The other 17 aircraft took off in quick succession, commencing at23.50 hours. The route was moderately quite, athough approaching the target and coming out of it, there was evidence of night fighters. Cloud varied in amount, but over the target it was thin. The marking was carried out punctually and in text book fashion. Bombing was reported as well concentrated and the effects were visible from 85 mils distant on the return journey. "D2" (F/O Lukies) reported a combat with a JU.88 and claimed it as damaged. Reports of other crews confirmed this. F/L Dale and crew completed their tour with this op. "Q" (F/L Burrows) aircraft failed to return. Five members returned to the Sqdn after baling out over no-mans-land and spending exciting days with the 12th US Army. Three aircarft and crews flew 14 1/4 hours on training details.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 10,000ft at 04.32 1/2hrs

Operation/Target: Hildesheim (22 Mar 1945 - 22 Mar 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Hildesheim 22 Mar 1945 22 Mar 1945 N The Squadron was called to put up 16 aircraft on operations. All took off without incident at approx. 11.30 hours. The attack, a small one, was on HILDESHEIM, 20 miles SE of Hannover. Formation, outward bound to the target, was good in almost perfect weather conditions. Although the leader took the main force rather close by Osnabruck and Hanover, there was an almost complete absence of flak at the target and crews had no difficulty in visually identifying it, marked in an accurate and concentrated style. Soon the Master Bomber had to give directions to aim wiht the smoke as a guiode and within a few minutes the whole of the built up areas was a mass of smoke and dust. The smoke, rising to 15000 ft, could be seen from 200 miles. "C2" (F/L Parsons) was hit by heavy flak and had two fuel takes holed, "L" (F/S Wilson) was hit by incendiaries over the target, the port wing tip and aileron being damaged. All the Squadron's aircraft returned safely to base. F/O Davidon DFC and his crew completed their tour with this operation. 4 aircraft and crews on the flying training programme spent 14 hours in the air.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned - F/L D R Parsons (P)
F/Sgt J P Tasker (MU/AG)
Sgt G E Carter (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J Price (Nav)
Sgt M W Morrison (A/B)
F/Sgt K Robinson (W/Op)
Sgt E Dinsley (MU/AG)

Operation/Target: Paderborn (27 Mar 1945 - 27 Mar 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Paderborn 27 Mar 1945 27 Mar 1945 N The squadron was called upon to provide 18 aircraft to participate in an attack on PADERBORN. The aircraft took off without incident at approx. 14.50 hours in the usual efficient manner. 10/10 cloud covered the target and most of the route, which according to the crews had the semblance of a "cross country". No enemy fighters were seen, there was no flak over the target and very little along the route. The cloud layer prevented any assessment of the bombing accuracy but a large mushroom of smoke came up through the cloud tops to 12000ft. So something caught fire somewhere! All the aircraft returned and landed safely at base, although "J" (F/O Percival) had the misfortune to be stuck by incendiaries from an aircraft flying just above. A training programme involving 4 aircraft and crews and a total of hours day flying was carried out.

[Ed: Although there appears to be 1 aircraft missing from the listing in the ORB battle order.]
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 17,000ft at 17.32hrs

Operation/Target: Hamburg (31 Mar 1945 - 31 Mar 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Hamburg 31 Mar 1945 31 Mar 1945 N 16 aircraft with crews took off at approximately 06.20 to attack HAMBURG. The weather conditions were bad - 10/10 cloud all the way and over the target. The bombing on sky markers, which were rather scattered, was not considered to be concentrated and the results are awaited. Flak was moderately heavy and two of our aircraft were damaged without casualties. All aircraft returned safely to base just before mid-day to enjoy a good luncheon. Flying training programme was carried out during the afternoon and evening. The Squadron has enjoyed a good months work although unable to put into the air large numbers of crews through crews becoming tour-expired so quickly in succession.

MESSAGE FROM AIR OFFICER COMMANDING No. 1 GROUP.
The month of March 1945 ends with No. 1 Group breaking all records for sorties flown and for bomb tonnage lifted against the enemy of reaching the figures of 3674 (sorties) and 17902 (tons). These achievements truly reflect the energy and determination both of the aircrews and of the ground crews to strike hard blows against the bewildered enemy. I congratulate you all on this magnificient effort and am confident that, should you be called upon to repeat and perhaps even exceed these figures in the Month of April, none will be found wanting. Blucke.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 18,000ft at 08.47hrs

Operation/Target: Nordhausen (03 Apr 1945 - 03 Apr 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Nordhausen 03 Apr 1945 03 Apr 1945 N 23 aircraft took off - one cancelled owning to engine trouble the remainder took off without incident - to attack a military barracks at NORDHAUSEN. The weather however was not at all cooperative. The continent was covered with varying amounts of cloud 5/10 - 10/10 solid with tops 12000ft. There were no signs of any sky marking and consequently the Master Bomber gave instructions to bomb on the best "Navigational aids" possible which in most cases was H2S. Four crews decided that the state of their H2S did not warrant bombing and brought their bombs back to base, which in the circumstances was the best procedure. The attack was very scattered. No opposition from ground or air was experienced.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Abortive - target not identified by H2S

Operation/Target: Lutzendorf (04 Apr 1945 - 04 Apr 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Lutzendorf 04 Apr 1945 04 Apr 1945 N 20 aircraft took off without incident to attack oil plant at LUTZENDORF. Mets briefing had made a courageous attempt to prove that the clouds would not be as black as they were painted, forecasting "after a good look at the map" generous breaks over the target in the threatened 8 - 10/10 cloud. The forecast was triumphly justified by a cloud free target with visibility only marred by a slight haze, although 8/10 cloud persisted to a point under 50 miles from target. Mets assurance, however, that umbrellas would not be required on return was not so happy. Markers after a somewhat slow start were plentiful and crews who were able to identify visually reported that they were actually placed. Bombing was well concentrated and although fires were not impressive much black smoke rose from the target early in the attack, so much so that the Master Bomber at H+3 ordered the crews to bomb smoke. Numerous explosions, with one particularly large one, in the target area were reported. Ground opposition consisted of slight to moderate H/F, a slight amount of light flak and about no ineffective searchlights. There was some enemy figher activity and "P" (F/S Williams) had a tussle with an ME.109 short of the target. The enemy aircraft was first seen 300 yards aways and "Ps" rear gunner immediately opened fire seeing numerous strikes before Jerry broke away without returing fire. Generally the route was trouble free. We regret to report that "X" (F/O Hayes) failed to return, no news being received after take-off.

[Ed: target alternatively spellt Lützkendorf (2 miles east of Mücheln) (i.e. the original ORB entry missed a "ü" and "k"). Also known as Krumpa.]
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 15000ft at 01.33 F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt A Colin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Kiel (09 Apr 1945 - 10 Apr 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Kiel 09 Apr 1945 10 Apr 1945 N 23 aircraft and crews took off at approx. 19.40hrs without incident to attack KIEL, and joining the other aircraft from neighbouring bases, made an impressive picture as they streamed away to their target. The trip was uneventful for the outward jounrney, and the Met. proving accurate with some cloud en route but clearing completely in the target area, an excellent attack developed. The marking was clearly visible in spite of slight ground haze, and with some details of the Fjord and the coastline visible, appeared accurate. The Master Bomber was faint and difficult to hear, but most crews heard enough to understand the bombing instructions. Bombing appeared very concentrated and soon a pall of black smoke was billowing up with numerous explosions occuring underneath, while the cheerful sight of the glow of fires was seen for upwards of 90/100 miles on the homeward route. Flak varied from slight to intense and several fighters were seen over the target, although none of our aircraft was involved in combats. 22 aircraft attacked the primary target, one aircraft "N" (F/L Parsons) having to abandon soon after take-off due to some of the instrunments going u/s (a good attempt was made to cope with a piece of string as an artificial horizon but without avail). All our aircraft returned safely, including S/L Newitt and his crew who are to be warmly congratulated on finishing their second tour. The photographs shows some excellent ground detail, one or two of them being the clearest received for some time. The best for clarity was that of "R" (F/L Mitchell) which has been plotted as 600yards from the A/P - taken in the early part of the operation it shows that the main weight of the attack fell slightly to the N.E. of the A/P, but sufficiently near to make a successfull attack.
Eight hours night flying training was carried out by two new crews, F/S Thomas and F/S Banahan with their respective crews.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 14,000ft at 22.35hrs F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt A Colin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Plauen (10 Apr 1945 - 11 Apr 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Plauen 10 Apr 1945 11 Apr 1945 N No. 1 Groups attack last night on Plauen therefore might be regarded as a gesture of "no favour shown". PLAUEN a town about the size of Huddersfield 60(?) miles SSW of Leipzig is a junction where the main line from Berlin and Dresden to the south splits, one branch going S.W. towards Schweinfurt, threatenend by the American forces, and another to Nuremberg, Munich, and the Salzberg area, where Hitler is known to be concentrating material and his most fanatical followers for the "Last Round-up" The attack thus has a dual purpose - to prevent the sinews if was getting to the forces opposing the Americans and to delay the withdrawal to the Bavarian Alps by smashing Plauen's rail facilities. This and the trend of Bomber Command's future targets were indicated by the A.O.C No. 1 Group (Air Vice Marshall R.S. Burke DSO DFC) when he honoured 550 Squadron by attending its briefing. With the heavy influx of new crews, 550 Squadron is now regaining its former scale of effort.

Twenty-seven aircraft were detailed, of these 26 took off, "U" being cancelled because of engine trouble. Weather en-route was cloudless and with only a slight haze at the target many crews were able to identify visually the built-up area of the town. P.F.F were punctual and markers were dropped plumb in the centre of the town. So concentrated was the bombing that it completely obliterated the marking with dust and smoke, and immediately after "H" hours, the Master Bombert ordered bombing on the centre of the smoke which was seen billowing to 8/10,000feet. Several explosions were reported and fires were started which could be seen for upwards of 100 miles on the return journey. Ground defences were negligible at the opening of the attack, but increased to slight to slightly scatted H.F mainly below the bombing height band. There was some slight fighter activity but none of the our aircraft was engaged in combat. At interrogation crews were surprisingly full of beans after their long trip. One of the best pieces of back chat came from a Navigator and a Rear Gunner who differed over the amount of flak encountered over the target. The Navigator took the honours with the final and cruel retort "anyway we were home by the time you got to the target". "J" (F/L Browne) landed back at Manston on two engines after a trip that was full of incident. Soon after crossing the French coast outward and when at 3000ft J's starboard engine caught fire and had to be feathered. Although there was no hope of gaining the briefed bombing height, the Captain decided to carry on to the target which was reached on time, and at a height of 11500ft, well below the main force bombing height. Preferring to wait for the end of the attack to going in under the open bomb doors of the main Force "J" orbited the target area twice. Then 2 1/2mins after the close of the main attack J's air-bomber dropped his bombs on an Emergency sighting angle - the bomb sight was u/s owing to the failure of the starboard inner and the crew had the satisfaction of seeing them drop close to a blazing factory. On the camera run, with the bomb doors still open, "J" was hit by flak which damaged the tops of the bomb bays. Control of the aircraft was not affected but J's troubles were by no means over. In the region of Frankfurt while at 9000ft the port outer engine, which had been giving cause for anxiety, failed. Height was maintained, but the area of the Rhine I.A.Zs had to be crossed at 9000ft and these opened up. Fortunately, they broke off as soon as the colours of the period were fired and a safe landing was made at Manston, Photos confirm that the bombing was concentrated. F/L MacLachlan and crew completed their tour of operations.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 18,000ft at 23.15 1/2hrs

Operation/Target: Potsdam (14 Apr 1945 - 15 Apr 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Potsdam 14 Apr 1945 15 Apr 1945 N The Squadron supplied 25 aircraft with crew as their contribution towards a force of 400 to attack POTSDAM. They took off without let or hinderance and Londoners could have seen them flying serenely over the Metropolis - cloud and other things being equal. The journey across France, Luxemburg and Western Germany was as uninspiring as it was lenghty. There was a certain amount of flak on approaching the target and on the way out, but considering it was the heart of Germnay and only 18 miles from Berlin, the defences, to use an Americanism, seemed about "tapped out". May they remain in this conciliatory state! Several decoys were seen but did not swerve us from our main purpose. The target was found to be clear of cloud and was identified visually by the adjoining lakes. Markers were plentiful and with the Master Bomber giving explicit instructions, the attack developed along the right lines. The journey back was just a long, long trail and all out aircraft landed safely at Base in the "wee small hours". Our three Musketeers again produced plottable photographs and our congratualtions are extened to F2 (F/O Town) on obtaining an A/P - a fast pace, which we hope can be kept up. Details of all plottable photographs are given, but this in no way detracts from the merits of the others. They are merely devoid of ground details and full of exuberance of smoke and fire.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 18,000ft at 22.50hrs F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt I Rees (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Heligoland (18 Apr 1945 - 18 Apr 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Heligoland 18 Apr 1945 18 Apr 1945 N 28 aircraft with crews took off in the usual 550 Squadron style at 10.10hrs to attack the German fortified island of HELIGOLAND. The crews were delighted at being able to participate in another daylight raid. The journey outward was uneventful and visibiity was excellent, the weather being that of a hot summer's day. Our contribution was part of a force of 950 aircraft. Bombing commenced a minute early and the absence of marking in no way affected the accuracy of the bombing. Indeed, the concentration of bombing was so tremendous that it was not thought that markers, had they been dropped, would have remained visible long enough for them to have been used as an aiming point. The island was so saturated by the weight of the attack that the crews met only negigible opposition from the ground defences. No enemy aircraft were encountered. A great number of excellent photographs were obtained giving proof of an outstanding attack. An aircraft carrying a movie-camera was present throughout the attack. P/O Town had to return early owing to engine failure. Eleven hours night flying training was also carried out.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS: A daylight operation took place on the defensive fortress of HELIGOLAND ISLAND. 28 aircraft took off from North Killingholme, one was abortive due to excessive coolant temperature in the port outer engine, and the remainder bombed the primary with excellent results.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Abortive - Excessive coolant temperature in Port Outer

Operation/Target: Wachenfeld (25 Apr 1945 - 25 Apr 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Wachenfeld 25 Apr 1945 25 Apr 1945 N After two day of non-operational flying the Squadron was called upon for operations. The honour of making the front-page headlines was given to Nos 1 and 5 Groups. No 5 Group were attacking the Eagle's Nest, the Wachenfeld, and the SS Barracks in three separate attacks, some with 12000lb bombs, at 09:00 and No 1 Group followed up at 0945 with the main weight of the attach with the aiming point on the SS Barracks. MUCH MORE DETAIL TBA

CONGRATULATIONS: to F/O Screen on his immediate DFC - won on the Hanover raid of 25th March last after a good show on 3 engines.
And congratulations to F/L Browne on his immediate DFC - achieved on the Plauen raid on 10th April and equally good show on two engines.
And finally congratulations to F/L Parsons and his crew on completing their operational tour.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 18,000ft at 09.55 1/2hrs

Operation/Target: Valkenburg/MANNA (30 Apr 1945 - 30 Apr 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Valkenburg/MANNA 30 Apr 1945 30 Apr 1945 N MANNA mission. 28 aircraft with crews carried out another Manna mission to Holland. The aircraft took off at approx. 16.00hrs and were back in time to enjoy their normal evening meal and pleased that they had been privileged to do some good to our brave Dutch Allies.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned MANNA mission. F/O F J A Cox (P)
P/O S J Jackson (F/Eng)
F/O A Davidson (Nav)
F/O P M Fletcher (A/B)
Sgt R Townend (W/Op)
Sgt E J Chick (MU/AG)
Sgt H W E Gee (R/AG)

Operation/Target: -/MANNA (01 May 1945 - 01 May 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
-/MANNA 01 May 1945 01 May 1945 N 27 aircraft with crews took off at 14.00hrs with a further supply of food.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS: A "MANNA" operations, i.e. food dropping, was ordered, on a dropping zone north east of Rotterdam, 27 aircraft were detailed, all of them took off, dropped 60.453 tons of food, and all returned without incident. The Dutch inhabitants of the area evinced the usual enthusiasm, many flags being noticed and convoys of vehicles proceeding to the dropping areas.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 400ft at 15.34hrs. MANNA mission.

Operation/Target: -/MANNA (02 May 1945 - 02 May 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
-/MANNA 02 May 1945 02 May 1945 N Once again 27 aircraft with crew took off at 12.30hrs to deliver more groceries to the Dutch people.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS: A "MANNA" operation was ordered, and 27 aircraft proceeded to the same area adjoining Rotterdam, dropped in all 60.453 tons of food and all returned safely without incident. Advice was received from Base operations that "MANNA" and "EXODUS" sorties are to count as operational trips for the purposes of compiling aircrew's tours.
Sport: Football - Station 2nd XI 5, Barrow 2.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 500ft at 14.08hrs. MANNA mission.

Operation/Target: -/MANNA (03 May 1945 - 03 May 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
-/MANNA 03 May 1945 03 May 1945 N 27 aircraft took off before midday on another "Manna" mission.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS: 27 aircraft were detailed for another "MANNA" dropping operation on the same area of Western Holland as previously, dropping 60.453 tons of food and all returned safely.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 400ft at 13.23 1/2hrs. MANNA mission. Sgt F E Drawbridge (F/Eng)
W/O H Davies (P)
Sgt G V Weller (Nav)
Sgt K P Moran (A/B)
Sgt R A Phillips (W/Op)
Sgt J F Wilson (MU/AG)
Sgt J L Robson (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Rotterdam/MANNA (07 May 1945 - 07 May 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Rotterdam/MANNA 07 May 1945 07 May 1945 N 30 aircraft with crews led by Wing Commander McWatters took off on a "Manna" mission. F/O Handley (K2) on his return flight was able to assist in the rescue of at least three aircrew members of a Fortress which came down in the sea. On sighting this aircraft the W/Op at once turned I.F.F. to "Distress", the aircraft being then practically submerged. Descending to 200ft the crew of K2 saw an American type dingy and believed they also saw a figure in it; on returning from their orbit, however, the dingy was seen to be upside down and no figure present. A tramp ship was then spotted some 6 or 7 miles south proceeding south away from the wreck. K2 flew over to this ship and signalled to it by Aldis lamp "S.O.S. follow us". The ship replied from the bridge by Aldis lamp and turned round and followed K2 back to the wreck. In the meantime the W/Op had been passing position, time, height details etc on M/F Section "G" and had received in return "Stand By" orders. On arriving back at the wreck the ship lowered a boat. Approximately 2 miles north of the wreck, K2 found airman No. 1 in the water with a parachute floating all around him but apparently without any Mae-West as no yellow harness was visible. A Mae-West was thrown to him by the rear-gunner from the rear turret, which was seen to fall near the airman and which he donned. A flame float was also dropped. By this time, several Fortresses had arrived on the scene and circuits had become somewhat congested. A second airman was then spotted east of the wreck and another Mae-West was dropped to him, and a Red Verey cartridge fired. A Catalina aircraft then arrived on the scene, alighted on the sea and picked up surviver No. 1. A Walrus aircraft also appeared, alighted and picked up airman No. 2. Still circling the area, K2 sighted a second dinghy which appeared empty; however one of the last remaining flame floats was dropped to mark it, also a Mae-West. Almost immediately a third survivier was seen in the water and by means of a red verey light and R/T instructions on "Darkie" frequency, the Catalina aircraft taxied over and effected another rescue. Further search was continued, but as no more survivors were visible and the area was now thoroughtly marked and patrolled, and as two more aircraft were seen approaching with airborne lifeboat and an escorting Spitfire, K2 left the scene and continued her homeward journey, well satisfied with the happy twist in circumstances that had enabled them to assist in the resuce operations, and, at the same time, considerably enlivened what otherwise woulhd have been a somehwat monotonous trip.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Primary at 500ft at 14.59hrs. MANNA Mission

Operation/Target: Brussels/EXODUS (11 May 1945 - 11 May 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Brussels/EXODUS 11 May 1945 11 May 1945 N 25 aircraft and crews took off at approx 15.45hrs for Brussels at very short notice after standing by for the most of the day. Ex-prisoners of war were brought back. Three of our aircraft "R", "A2" and "E2" landed at Westcott with their human cargo, but unable to take off owing to technical trouble.

[Ed: all flights flying with only 6 crew, one or other of the A/Gs being absent].
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned EXODUS

Operation/Target: Italy/Dodge (30 Sep 1945 - 30 Sep 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Italy/Dodge 30 Sep 1945 30 Sep 1945 N Phase II. Operation Dodge.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Operation Dodge F/L D A Shaw (P)
P/O S Walmsley (MU/AG)

Operation/Target: Dodge (02 Oct 1945 - 02 Oct 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Dodge 02 Oct 1945 02 Oct 1945 N Four crews were detailed to carry out local Flying Training involving three hours flying.
Operation Dodge
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME776 Returned Operation Dodge F/L D A Shaw (P)
P/O S Walmsley (MU/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 94
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Caen, 18 Jul 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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