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: Le Havre (14 Jun 1944 - 15 Jun 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 14 Jun 1944 15 Jun 1944 N 16 aircraft were called for to attack the dock area of the French port of Le Havre one hour after sunset, which necessitated a daylight take-off, much to the delight of all the crews. Weather conditions at the target were ideal for the operation. All the aircraft and crews returned safely and are looking forward eagerly to some more daylight raids - referred to as the bomb aimers paradise. One aircraft failed to take off owing to a tyre bursting on the perimeter track and only 15 aircraft participated.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME840 Returned Primary 18,500ft at 22.33hrs S/L G S Smith (P)
F/Sgt R Townsend (W/Op)
F/O R Kay (F/Eng)
F/O J J Berg (Nav)
F/O L Pulfrey (A/B)
F/L St. J Tizard (MU/AG)
F/O J Heath (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Sterkrade (16 Jun 1944 - 16 Jun 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Sterkrade 16 Jun 1944 16 Jun 1944 N Nineteen aircraft and crews were offered, accepted and briefed to attack the syntheic oil plant at STERKADE on the north western edge of the Ruhr. All the aircraft took off without incident, but one aircraft "B" (P/O Beeson) was forced to abandon shortly afterwards due to the Port Inner Engine becoming unserviceable. The remainder found cloudy conditiions over most of the route, and some icing troubles were encountered. Over the target conditions of 10/10th cloud, tops above 10,000ft and from two to three thousand feet thick prevailed. However the glow of the PFF markers could be clearly seen through the cloud and the concentration was not so good as had been the case recently. Crews opinions were mixed and it is possible that bombing was somewhat scattered. Flak at the target was reported as moderate to intense, it being heavier than on previous sorties to the Ruhr, and night fighters were active. F/O Thygessen "N" had an indecisive combat, being fired at by an unidentified aircraft and returned fire, no damage or casualties were sustained. A member of "O" (F/O Wareham) thought he was seeing things when he spotted 15 enemy aircaft flying in formation, as they was on a reciprical course to "O", took no notice, he decided that Brer Rabbits advice was good so "laid low and said nothing". After a long period of sixty-nine successful sorties, it is regretted that three of our aircraft failed to return, no news being received since take off. "V" (S/Ldr Smith DFC - "B" Flight Commander), "H" (F/O Neilsen) and "P" (P/O Packham). Among the crew of F/O Neilson was the Squadron Bombing Leader F/Lt McConnell. They will be sadly missed, for they were all jolly good fellows.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ME840 FTR Missing - no news after take off S/L G S Smith (P)
F/Sgt R Townsend (W/Op)
F/O R Kay (F/Eng)
F/O J J Berg (Nav)
F/O L Pulfrey (A/B)
F/L St. J Tizard (MU/AG)
F/O J Heath (R/AG)

Summary Statistics

Based on the data in the lists displayed above, and keeping in mind that data is still being updated and thus not yet complete, the following statistics are generated:

Aircraft Deployment Statistics


Aircraft deployments 2
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Le Havre, 14 Jun 1944)

These details were last updated: 01 January 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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