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: 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
ND972 Returned Primary 20,500ft at 01.32 1/2hrs F/O P M Roche (P)
Sgt P A O Adams (F/Eng)
F/O R W Archer (Nav)
F/O D Rudd (A/B)
F/O S G Spakowski (W/Op)
F/O R F Calderhead (MU/AG)
F/O E T Meaker (R/AG)

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
ND972 Returned Primary 13,500 feet at 21.00 hours

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 encounter 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
ND972 Returned Primary 20,500 feet at 01.29 hours. Fires seen 100 miles on return.

Operation/Target: Stuttgart (24 Jul 1944 - 24 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Stuttgart 24 Jul 1944 24 Jul 1944 N Fifteen aircraft were laid on to bomb STUTTGART, that take off being as usual without incident. All claimed to have bombed the target successfully although the city was covered by thin cloud the markers could be seen and several fires illuminated the cloud. Several vivid explosions brightened the proceedings. Flak at the target was repoted as being moderate. Several Night Fighters were seen but did not attack, two peeled off when the gunners of "F" (F/O Cann) and "T" (F/O Roche) opened fire.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary 17,500 feet at 01.53 hours. Fire area seen as a glow.

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
ND972 Returned Primary 18,500ft at 01.54hrs. Bombing and fires extensive

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
ND972 Returned Primary 2500ft at 08.31hrs

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
ND972 Returned Primary 14,000ft at 20.01hrs F/Lt R Thomas (P)
F/O H G Manley (P)
Sgt S F Beardmore (F/Eng)
Sgt V R Farmer (Nav)
F/Sgt A C H Stack (A/B)
Sgt E J Wilkins (W/Op)
Sgt J J Curtis (MU/AG)
Sgt C R Cronk (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
ND972 Returned Primary 13,000ft at 14.17hrs

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
ND972 Returned Primary 14,000ft at 18.59 1/2hrs F/Lt R Thomas (P)
Sgt S F Beardmore (F/Eng)
Sgt V R Farmer (Nav)
F/Sgt A C H Stack (A/B)
Sgt E J Wilkins (W/Op)
Sgt J J Curtis (MU/AG)
Sgt C R Cronk (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Pauillac (04 Aug 1944 - 04 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Pauillac 04 Aug 1944 04 Aug 1944 N Twelve aircraft were offered and accepted and briefed to attack oil stores at PAUILLAC near Bordeaux where lies stores of oil for the enemy's "U" and "E" boats, the Squadron this time being lead by the Squadron Commander, Wing Commander Sisley. One aircraft "R" returned early due to engine trouble, and the remaining eleven completed one of the most delectable pieces of cake which has ever come the way of our maids of all work. Provided with fighter cover, our crews found no opposition in their long journey. The weather over the target was clear with some ground haze and the markers which most crews bombed visually went down puntually and on the bullseye. The pinpointing was somewhat hampered in the latter stages by a pall of oily smoke which rose to over 8,000ft and the Master Bomber raised the bombing height for later arrivals to avoid the smoke.
News was received that F/O Taylor has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his trip on the 7th July when his aircraft was hit by bombs over Caen.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary 8000ft at 18.06 /12hrs F/O H G Manley (P)
Sgt D R Hughes (F/Eng)
F/O R G George (Nav)
F/Sgt R Hill (A/B)
F/O G T Brown (W/Op)
Sgt G B Ward (MU/AG)
P/O J K McDonald (R/AG)

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
ND972 Returned Primary 8000ft at 19.05hrs

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
ND972 Returned Primary 15500ft at 12.00 1/2hrs

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
ND972 Returned Cambrai 16500ft at 16.23hrs

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
ND972 Returned Primary 2500ft at 15.33hrs

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
ND972 Returned - F/O H G Manley (P)
Sgt D R Hughes (F/Eng)
F/O R G George (Nav)
F/Sgt R Hill (A/B)
F/O G T Brown (W/Op)
Sgt G B Ward (MU/AG)
P/O J K McDonald (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
ND972 Returned - F/O H G Manley (P)
Sgt D R Hughes (F/Eng)
F/O R G George (Nav)
F/Sgt R Hill (A/B)
F/O G T Brown (W/Op)
Sgt G B Ward (MU/AG)
P/O J K McDonald (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
ND972 Returned Primary 11,000 feet at 00.08 1/2 hours

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
ND972 Returned Primary 16,000ft at 01.08 1/2hrs F/O A Abrams (P)
Sgt K W Nettleton (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J W Brown (Nav)
F/Sgt R F Veness (A/B)
Sgt P L Brooker (W/Op)
Sgt A P Soper (MU/AG)
F/Sgt K R Salton (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
ND972 Returned -

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

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

[Ed: in fact S/L MacAleavey survived the crash to become a POW. See below under PA991.]
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned -

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
ND972 Returned Primary 12000ft at 02.00 1/2hrs F/O H G Manley (P)
Sgt D R Hughes (F/Eng)
F/O R G George (Nav)
F/Sgt R Hill (A/B)
F/O G T Brown (W/Op)
Sgt G B Ward (MU/AG)
P/O J K McDonald (R/AG)

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 05 Sep 1944 06 Sep 1944 N 16 Aircraft and crews were detailed and briefed to attack the enemy who are still holding out at Le Havre. In addition one aircraft with crew who were also briefed stood by as the Base Reserve but was not called upon. The operation was spread over several hours in two attacks in all 300 aircraft took part. Although the weather forecast had been reported as "sticky", it was better than anticipated. Very careful preparations for bombing this small area of approximately 1000yards square had been made; luckily there was no cloud over the target and the master bomber had ordered the main force to orbit once to obtain a good view of the target area, a very concentrated attack took place.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
Sixteen aircraft of No. 550 Squadron took part in a daylight attack on the German garrison holding out in LE HAVRE. All claim to have bombed the primary target and returned safely to base.
GENERAL
A team consisting of 2 Officers and 8 O.R's competed for Headquarters No. 1 Group Rifle Competition. Score 684 points out of a possible 850.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned ... F/O H G Manley (P)
Sgt D R Hughes (F/Eng)
F/O R G George (Nav)
F/Sgt R Hill (A/B)
F/O G T Brown (W/Op)
Sgt G B Ward (MU/AG)
P/O J K McDonald (R/AG)

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 06 Sep 1944 07 Sep 1944 N 15 aircraft and crews were detailed once again to attack troop concentrations to the north east of the town of LE HAVRE where Hun suicide regiments were still holding out and who had not felt the weight of our bombs the evening before. The aircraft took off to time in usual 550 Squadron style. "J" F/O Rose returned early owing to RAE compressor being unserviceable. The weather enroute was fairly good with 10/10 thin cloud at the target, this did not however prevent our bomb aimers from clearly identifying the aiming point.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
Once agan No. 550 Squadron took part in a daylight attack on LE HAVRE. Fifteen aircraft took off as part of a Command force of 290. 1 abandoned its mission due to a U/S bombsite. All returned safely to Base.
ORGANISATION
M.T. Fitters sent on 2 weeks tyre course.
Snow plough collected in readiness for coming Winter.
GENERAL
Lecture given by S/Ldr Cameron [Ed: of the R.A.F. Regiment] on "Prisoners of War" proved of great interest, being well attended by both the WAAF and Airmen.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary 6000ft at 09:23 1/2hrs F/O H G Manley (P)
Sgt D R Hughes (F/Eng)
F/O R G George (Nav)
F/Sgt R Hill (A/B)
F/O G T Brown (W/Op)
Sgt G B Ward (MU/AG)
P/O J K McDonald (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Le Havre (08 Sep 1944 - 08 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 08 Sep 1944 08 Sep 1944 N 15 aircraft were detailed to attack the Huns who were still holding out on the Northern outskirts of LE HAVRE. Unfortunately had visibility over the prevented the bombing being carried out. Owing to the close proximity of our own troops precision bombing was essential and rather than strafe our own troops the Master Bomber called off the attack. "K" F/Lt Steele who had been orbiting the area for 15 minutes pressed down regardless and from 2000ft released his bombs on the target, the bursting bombs rocked the aircraft considerably, the remaining aircraft brought their bombs back. "A"/ F/O Purvis returned early owing to the bombsight being unserviceable. A spectacular and skilfull landing was made by "V" F/O Devereau on one wheel, the other wheel puncturing on landing. The pilot managed to keep the aircraft on an even keel until speed was reduced. The "V" swung to starboard and slewed round blocking the runway. The Flare Path personnel quickly changed the runway which was soon in action, but not for long. "C" F/O Dodds, on landing overshot and in consequence "E" F/O McCarthy had to be sent to Elsham Wolds to land.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
The early morning operation was once again on the German garrison at LE HAVRE. Fifteen aircraft took off about 0700 hours and apart from 1 aircraft which lost height and bombed on clear visual identification, all brought their bombs back on the instructions of the Master Bomber, who called off the attack due to cloud.
ORGANISATION
Flying Control had proved the asset of having three runways today. On return from OPERATIONS one aircraft burst a tyre on landing necessitating the diversion of other aircraft to No. 2 runway. A second aircraft overshot on this runway and became bogged, so the third runway had to be brought into use to land the remainder of the aircraft.
GENERAL
Crash Crew called out to Mustang from GOXHILL which crashed at WOOTEN but were not called upon to operate on arrival.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Abandoned on instructions of master bomber F/O H G Manley (P)
Sgt D R Hughes (F/Eng)
F/O R G George (Nav)
F/Sgt R Hill (A/B)
F/O G T Brown (W/Op)
Sgt G B Ward (MU/AG)
P/O J K McDonald (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
ND972 Returned Primary 10,000ft at 18.56hrs

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
ND972 Returned Primary 17500ft at 23.03 1/2hrs F/O G G Kennedy (P)
Sgt G W Soundy (F/Eng)
Sgt H Luxton (Nav)
Sgt H H Powell (A/B)
Sgt R T Wesley (W/Op)
Sgt A Frame (MU/AG)
Sgt J Hogg (A/G)

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
ND972 Returned Primary 13500ft at 23.45 1/2hrs

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
ND972 Returned Primary 11000ft at 18.17hrs F/Lt R Thomas (P)
Sgt S F Beardmore (F/Eng)
Sgt V R Farmer (Nav)
F/Sgt A C H Stack (A/B)
Sgt E J Wilkins (W/Op)
Sgt J J Curtis (MU/AG)
Sgt C R Cronk (R/AG)

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Neuss 23 Sep 1944 23 Sep 1944 N At 10.55hrs the Squadron was informed that no operations would take place today, but the aircraft were to be bombed up ready for an early morning mission. As 12.20hrs information was received that the Squadron may be called upon tonight. At 13.30hrs informed that the Squadron would definitely operate tonight. 21 aircraft and crew were detailed, briefed and took off to attack Military objectives at NEUSS approximately 4 miles SW of Dusseldorf. 20 aircraft bombed the primary target, F/O Lord returned early owning to "GEE" being unserviceable. 10/10ths cloud over the target the results of the bombing could not be observed. All returned safely to Base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary 18200ft at 21.24hrs P/O R J Moran (Nav)
F/O H Dodds (P)
P/O A R Brown (F/Eng)
F/O L O Browning (A/B)
Sgt A Laidlaw (MU/AG)
Sgt H Lewis (R/AG)
F/Sgt C W Beckingham (W/Op)

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
ND972 Returned Abandoned on instructions of Master Bomber P/O R J Moran (Nav)
F/O H Dodds (P)
P/O A R Brown (F/Eng)
F/O L O Browning (A/B)
Sgt A Laidlaw (MU/AG)
Sgt H Lewis (R/AG)
F/Sgt W Horlor (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
ND972 Returned Primary 5000 at 10.13 1/2hrs

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Walcheren 03 Oct 1944 03 Oct 1944 N 17 aircraft and crews detailed to attack and destroy a sea walll which prevent the sea innundating the low lying areas on the island of Walcheren. The weather was bad, 6/10 cloud over the route and 9/10 cloud over the target. The Master Bomber brought the attack down to 4000ft to bomb and all aircraft were able to identify visual details of the coastline, many aircraft made several runs to ensure accurate bombing. As our portion of the attack developed the wall was breached and gave way in several places and the water crashing rhough, flooding far and wide across the fields and we hope drowned the enemy defences. Good photographs were obtained. In addition to operational flying, a training programme was carried out which included five "Y" cross country exercises. The final summing up of the operations can be made with the quotation from two communiques - (1) A report brought back by two specially reporting Mosquio aircraft shows that the flooding was extensive. (2) The aircraft carrying the 12000lbs "blockbusters" and scheduled to finished off the job at the end of the attack, all brought them back undropped - they were not needed as the job had already been completed.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned - P/O R J Moran (Nav)
F/O H Dodds (P)
P/O A R Brown (F/Eng)
F/O L O Browning (A/B)
Sgt A Laidlaw (MU/AG)
Sgt H Lewis (R/AG)
F/Sgt W Horlor (W/Op)

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Emmerich 07 Oct 1944 07 Oct 1944 N Twenty five aircraft and crews were detailed and briefed, 24 took off at noon to attack Military objectives at EMMERICH in close support of the Allied Ground Forces. "F" (F/L Shaw) returned early owing to engine trouble. "C2" (F/O Hussey) failed to take off owing to compressor trouble. Emmerich, a small compact town on the North bank of the Rhine just inside Germany, serving as an important Railway Centre and a rendevous for troops and material was easily identified. The weather over the sea was cloudy, but clear with good visibility over the target. Markers were accurate and the town was soon covered by clouds of smoke, rising to a height of approximately 12,000ft, from excellent fires at their base. Very good photographs were obtained showing a vivid picture of the attack. There is no doubt that much weaving was necessary over the target as the Flak was vicious and accurately predicted and more than one aircraft brought back evidence of this in the shape of Flak holes. The return journey was uneventful, except of a grandstand view of Cleves [Ed: Kleve. A town in the Lower Rhine region of northwestern Germany near the Dutch border and the River Rhine] which had also been attacked and was burning well. At the Base the weather had deteriorated with cloud down to the "deck" and for the second time running the aircraft were diverted, this time to Faldingworth and Blyton.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary 14500ft at 14.19 1/2hrs P/O W P F Daniels (P)
Sgt J G Woodhall (F/Eng)
Sgt R G Roberts (Nav)
Sgt R Wright (A/B)
F/Sgt F R Easton (W/Op)
Sgt A E Baker (MU/AG)
Sgt W F Baker (R/AG)

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Fort Frederick Hendrick 11 Oct 1944 12 Oct 1944 N 27 aircraft and crews were offered for operations but only 18 were accepted. These were briefed and took off ay 14.30hrs without incident to attack military targets at FORT FREDERICK HENDRICK, where the Hun is making a stand despite the fact that he is entirely encircled by the Allied Army. An ultimatium to surrender within 24hrs to prevent unnecessary bloodshed was handed to the Garrison Commander, but no reply having been received this was the cause of the operation, which was to blast the Hun from his own doorstep. It was rather disappointing to the boys that only 18 aircraft were called for as all the Squadron wanted to participate. In addition to the operational sorties a useful training programme was laid on consisting of "Y" cross country, figther affiliation, air to air and air to sea firing exercises and bombing practice.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Abandoned.

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
ND972 Returned Primary 20,000ft at 01.32hrs

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Stuttgart 19 Oct 1944 20 Oct 1944 N Twenty six aircraft with crews were offered and twenty five were accepted, plus one aircraft to act as stand-by in the Base. The crews were briefed and took off at 16.50hrs at attack STUTTGART. Twenty took off at this time and the remaining five at 21.30hrs to attack Stuttgart, in two waves. One aircraft was cancelled at the last moment and one aircraft returned early with engine trouble, so in all only 24 aircraft proceeded to the target, one of which, it is regretted, failed to return. F/L Thomas and crew, who had only been with the Squadron a short time and were on their first operational sortie. Moderately cloudy conditions were encountered en route, but over the target 9/10 thick cloud was present and sky marking had to be resorted to. Six crews found momentary gaps to bomb ground markers. Very few results could be seen, only a vague incendiary and fire glow being visible under the cloud. Flak was reported as slight to moderate with some ineffective searchlights. "A" (F/O young) received some unpleasant attention and was well peppered by flak receiving damage in the tail plane, fuselage, flaps punctured, hydraulics and bomb container. "K" (F/O Daniels) also found Karlsruhe defences awake and received damage to the port wing, fuselage and a punctured tyre. Both aircraft landed safely at Base without casualty. All photographs show cloud and damage cannot be assessed. In additions to operational flying a training programme consisting of Air to Air firing, Air to Sea firing, practice bombing, Fighter affiliation and "Y" Night cross country exercises were carried out.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary 15,000 feet at 20.33 1/2 hours

[Ed: the ORB lists the standard Adams crew flying this op; but Sgt Costigan log book records him as flying as MU/AG on this op.]

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Essen 23 Oct 1944 23 Oct 1944 N 26 aircraft with crews were offered for operations and were briefed at 14.15hrs, with one crew acting as Squadron stand-by. Twenty-five aircraft took off at 16.15hrs to form part of a 1000 aircraft attack on ESSEN. Twenty-four succeeded in bombing the primary target and one aircraft returned early. Opposition encountered was considered moderate and the weather was reasonably good, all aircraft returned safely to Base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned

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
ND972 Returned

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
ND972 Returned Primary 16500ft at 16.02hrs

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
ND972 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
ND972 Returned Primary at 17500ft at 19.42hrs

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Gelsenkirchen 06 Nov 1944 06 Nov 1944 N Twenty three aircraft with crews took off at approximately 11.00hrs to attack GELSINKIRCHEN 7 miles NE of Essen. The object of this attack was to dislocate the Huns transport facilities by bombing the very large marshalling yards. The weather at the target was 6/10 - 8/10 cloud with a convenient gap for the early arrivals who were able to identify the target area visually, as well as see a few TI markers, marking the A/P. The attack opened a few minutes early, but the later aircraft found the cloud rather too much for accurate bombing and with the M/C giving them instructions to seek their own A/Ps the end of the attack became somewhat scattered. However a good concentration of early bombs were dropped around the A/P and much smoke and later incendiaries with the large fires burning were seen. Flak was moderate to intense throughout the route through the Ruhr, from Duisburg onwards, although it varied greatly as to different aircraft: "E" (F/O Whynacht) receiving flak damage in the fuselage, bomb doors and two radiators. No enemy aircraft were seen, so the figher cover appeared to be adequate. "H" (F/O Bond) found he had no brake pressure on retun so landed without trouble at Carnaby. "M" (F/O McCarthy) did not return and no news was received from him after take off.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary, at 19500ft. at 13.59

Operation/Target: Dortmund (11 Nov 1944 - 11 Nov 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Dortmund 11 Nov 1944 11 Nov 1944 N The Squardon dispatched 21 aircraft and crews to attack the north eastern part of the city of DORTMUND where synthetic oil plants, steelworks, coke ovens and a by-products plant with the usual marshalling yards were situated. The take-off was as usual good and once again the crews ran into 10/10 cloud when nearing the target. However with the exceptions, ground markers were vaguely seen reflected on the underside of the clouds and were systematically bombed. Assessments of results are difficult but several reports were made of large explosions in the target area and it is hoped good results were achieved. Flak was generally described as slight to moderate "G" (F/O Young had the fuselage holed rendering the rear turret u/s fortunately there were no casualties.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary are 18800ft at 19.03hrs

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Duren 16 Nov 1944 16 Nov 1944 N 26 aircraft and crews took off in the usual Squadron style at approximately 12.30hrs to attack DUREN in close support of the advancing American armies. The weather was hazy over Duren but not unkind to our bomb aimers, who thanks to magnificient marking were able to confirm their visual observations and follow the precise instructions of the Master Bomber. The railway complex at this small town, where the line east of Aachen forks to Dusseldorf and Cologne was the aiming point for our aircraft who contribured to the moderate force. Their bombing photographs and visual reports both point to the exceptionally successfull effort which appears to have been repeated on the Command's simultaneous targets at Julich and Heinsberg. Handicapped by the lack of warning, enemy fighters were again absent. Moderate Flak at the target gave an unlucky break to "M2" (F/O George) which was unable to release its bombs due to damage, which amongst other things severed electrical connections. One of the other things was a punctured tyre, in spite of which the pilot landed his aircraft safely at Base on return with a full bomb load. From a gratifying selection of good bombing prints that of "A2" (F/O Shenker) has been chosen for the C in C's enlargement. Plottings are generally well on the mark.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary, at 10000ft at 15.30

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
ND972 Returned Primary, at 19000ft at 19.06

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
ND972 Returned Primary at 14000ft at 19.20

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Freiburg 27 Nov 1944 27 Nov 1944 N 31 aircraft and crew were dispatched to attack the town of FREIBURG with its associated rail facilities at approximately 15.45hrs. The target was a small one, only approximately 2 miles by 1 and 1/2 miles, and the attack was entrusted to No. 1 Group to accomplish. With every Squadron putting out it's largest numbers, a new record was accomplished with over 300 aircraft and of these all successfully attacked the primary target, except one which was abortive. 550 Squadron accomplised their best performance to date with 31 aircraft off, 31 attacking the target and 31 aircraft returning to Base. After a smooth take-off and an uneventful journey across Allied held France, our crews found that the P.F.F. had prepared a "bang on" show for them. In spite of considerable thick stratus cloud and base well below, markers were being dropped punctually, and in great profusion while the Master Bomber had his finger "well out" and was giving clear and concise directions with machine gun rapidity. Nearly all our crews bombed on ground markers seen through the haze, although two of them took advantage of sky markers which were also dropped. The cloud base prevented the results from being reported as spectacular as they almost certainly were underneath, but the bombing appeared to be concentrated and a satisfactory fire glow soon developed by the light of which later crews were able to see a large church and streets outlined as the looked obliquely under the large pall of black smoke that soon arose. Flak was light and spasmotic, with no searchlights and none of our aircraft was hit. In fact, what "hit" most of them, was the sight of the lights of the Swiss Town of Basle "Like Piccadilly used to be, I suppose" as one Australian Navigator said, and the misty splendour of the misty Alps in the moonlight.
Postscript message from A.O.C. No. 1 Group: "Last night we operated, in all, 312 aircraft with only one abortive sortie and one aircraft missing. Please give my congratulations to all ranks for this magnificent record, which has never before been approached by any Group. It was a splendid achievement by both air and ground crews. All attacks were highly successful".
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary 12400ft at 20.10

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Dortmund 29 Nov 1944 29 Nov 1944 N 30 aircraft and crew were dispatched to attack DORTMUND. All successfully took off at approximately 11.20hrs, but the weather conditions over the target left much to be desired. Crew reports agree that after a precessional approach through the flak-strewn corridor to the target area, leading sorties arrived somewhat early to find that cloud and haze barred all but a fleeting glimpse of the built-up area and precluded effective pinpointing. The markers appeared to have been widely scatted and the Master Bomber's guidance could hardly have beeen described as inspiring. In the circumstances our sorties endeavoured to bash the bashful marker while others set off in search of built up areas. "C (F/L Maclachlan) and "L2" (F/O Williams) both claim to have bomber red markers. Pressing on, our "E2" (F/O Dale) found himself well past the target area without sighting a worthwhile objective, plain or coloured. Nothing daunted he attacked the centre of Munster and brought back a photograph to prove it. Meanwhile "W" (F/O Adams) losing height on three engines had barely reached the Rhine when prudence counselled an alternative target which he chose at the village of [STEMMELN], where a train on the main line appears in his photo to have had a clean shave. Both these lone wolves brough mementoes of flak opposition at and around their target. All out sorties returned safely, including "P" (F/O Summons) which after colliding with another aircraft en-route to the target, was coaxed on its two port engines alone through a gauntlet of flak towards Dusseldorf. Good airmanship and richly deserved good luck (which unhappily deserted the other victim - an aircraft from a sister Squadron) brought the unfortunate episode to a safe finish for F/O Summons and his crew. Losing height and weaving as much as it dared "P" presented a sitting and solitary target for Jerry's guns. A run was made on a built up area, where in far from ideal conditions the bomb-aimer declared his entire load - minus one bomb-tail - well and truly laid ... a truely remarkable performance, as was disclosed on subsequent inspection of the mangled bomb-bay. Thereafter, losing height on a "Home James!" course, and escorted on the finishing straight by a Spitfire, "P" touched down at Mansten with a dignity that belied its crumpled propellers and disembarked its crew entirely unscathed.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Secondary target (Stemmeln) at 15000ft at 14.49hrs. Starboard inner feathered due to low oil pressure. Trouble with remaining three engines, Lost height and speed. H/F holes in part main plane and fuselage.

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Merseburg 06 Dec 1944 07 Dec 1944 N 30 crews briefed and took their aircraft off at 16.35hrs without incident to attack the synthetic oil plaint at MERSEBERG. The target was the LEUNA chemical works, one of he largest plants in Germnay, covering an area of 1 1/4 sq miles, and employing some 50000 workers in the manufacture of ammonia, fertilisers, chemicals, synthetic oil and other products. Truely a "chemical hot bed". The customary 10/10 cloud again persisted and bombing was carried out on flares. The glow of fires was visible for some distance on the return journey and several explosions were reported. Owing to the density of the cloud photographs proved useless and the report of our P.R.U colleagues are awaited with interest. Flak was reported as being moderate to intense. Little training was carried out owing to the lack of aircraft. From this operation F/L Morris and crew failed to return.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned -

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
ND972 Returned - F/L D R Parsons (P)
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)
Sgt J Cooper (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
ND972 Returned - F/L D R Parsons (P)
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)
Sgt J Cooper (R/AG)

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 700degrees[???] 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
ND972 Returned -

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Munich 07 Jan 1945 08 Jan 1945 N 27 aircraft and crews, which included 2 base reserves, were required on operations and the crews were briefed to attack MUNICH. Owing to three aircraft going unserviceable at the last moment, only 24 aircraft took off at approximately 18.00 hours. Nil to 6/10 cloud tops at 10,000ft was encountered over this country and the English Channel. A front was positioned just inside the French coast and cloud was 10/10 with tops up to 20,000ft to approx 5 degress E; from there to 7 degress E, the cloud was thin and a certain amount of icing was experienced, but after crossing the Rhine the cloud once again became 10/10 and the target was completely obscured by fairly thick cloud with tops 10/12000ft. Owing to stronger winds than forecast the main force arrived early in the target area and many orbited or dog-legged while waiting for markers. Aircraft from No. 5 Group had preceded our attack by several hours and what appeared to be the glow of fires and searchlights illuminating the cloud base could be seen for approximately 40 miles on appreoach to the target. The 5 group attackers experienced more favourable conditions and a concentrated and accuruate bombing appeared to have taken place. For our attack, the markers were sparse. The target indicators rapidly disappeared into the cloud and it was not until 22.33 hours that any degree of concentration of sky marking was achieved; many crews had bombed before this. The concentration of marking was not maintained and the attack can only be regarded as somewhat scattered. No detailed results were observed. Ground defences in the target area consisted only of slight to moderate heavy flak. Stuttgart defenders were active and several combats with night-fighters were reported. All photographs show cloud, therefore no assessment of the attack could be made although from the H.2.S. fixes there can be no doubt that the attack was correctly centered more or less on the centre of the city. F/O Ansell and crew completed a very successful tour with this trip. F/O Clarke ("P") and crew failed to return, nothing having been heard from them after take-off.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary at 17000 ft at 22.30

[Squadron CO W/Cmdr B Bell as 1st Pilot]

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
ND972 Returned -

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
ND972 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
ND972 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
ND972 Returned Primary at 17500ft at 19.38

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
ND972 Returned -

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
ND972 Returned -

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
ND972 Returned Primary at 17,000ft at 00.37 1/2hrs

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
ND972 Returned Primary at 17,000ft at 01.13hrs.

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
ND972 Returned Primary at 20,000ft at 23.15hrs

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
ND972 Returned Primary at 7000ft at 20.07 F/O M D Hayes (P)
F/Sgt E H Hagyard (Nav)
F/Sgt M V Fuller (A/B)
W/O A T Gill (W/Op)
Sgt R S Smith (MU/AG)
Sgt D Gunn (R/AG)
P/O H L Davies (F/Eng)

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
ND972 Returned Recalled

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
ND972 Returned Primary at 17500 ft at 21.54hrs
[Ed: ORB states ND972 "W". Can only find ND972 "X" from other records.
P/O J Lukies (P)
Sgt W K Oldham (F/Eng)
F/Sgt L W Pfitzner (Nav)
F/Sgt R W Caples (A/B)
F/Sgt J W Foran (W/Op)
P/O H K Johnson (MU/AG)
Sgt J M Craine (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
ND972 Returned Primary at 15000 ft at 22.08hrs F/O M D Hayes (P)
F/Sgt E H Hagyard (Nav)
F/Sgt M V Fuller (A/B)
W/O A T Gill (W/Op)
Sgt R S Smith (MU/AG)
Sgt D Gunn (R/AG)
Sgt S Lipfriend (F/Eng)

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
ND972 Returned Primary at 21000 ft at 21.33 1/2hrs

Operation/Target: Essen (11 Mar 1945 - 11 Mar 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Essen 11 Mar 1945 11 Mar 1945 N 20 aircraft and crews detailed and took off without incident at approximately 11.40hrs on a daylight sortie to Essen, now only some 14 miles ahead of our troops. A total of over 1000 aricraft took part in the attack delivering over 4500 tons of bombs. There was a level carpet of 10/10 cloud all the way out, over the target and back. Crews bombed on coloured smoke puffs assisted by verbal instructions form the Master Bomber. It was considered that the bombing was quite concentrated and very soon a protuberance in the shape of mushrooming fire smoke appeared, agitating the top layers of the cloud - evidently someting was burning down under. Flak was not very troublesome, being variouly described as "nil", "very slight" and "slight to moderate". The Luftwaffe was absent. All the aircraft returned safely to base. 7 aircraft and crews carried out flying training to the extent of 24 3/4hrs flying. Day and night practice bombing, fighter affiliations and Y cross countries.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary at 17000 ft at 15.04hrs

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
ND972 Returned Primary, at 17500 ft at 21.17 F/O M D Hayes (P)
Sgt H Hartley (F/Eng)
F/Sgt E H Hagyard (Nav)
F/Sgt M V Fuller (A/B)
W/O A T Gill (W/Op)
Sgt R S Smith (MU/AG)
Sgt D Gunn (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Nuremberg (16 Mar 1945 - 17 Mar 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Nuremberg 16 Mar 1945 17 Mar 1945 N Squadron put 19 aircraft for operations. 18 aircraft took off; F/O Luder aircraft stayed on the ground with an unserviceable rear turret. The target was NURENBURG. Up to 10/10 cloud was experienced en route but this broke up to 4-6/10 in the targe area, over which there was a large gap giving a clear view of the ground markers, which were punctual and concentrated. The Master Bomber's instructions came through clearly. Fires got going quickly outlining the street patterns, finally merging into one large conflagration, the glow from which could be seen for 150 miles on the return journey. Flak defences were only slight to moderate with 15-20 ineffective searchlights which were doused early in the attack. On the other hand, enemy fighter activity was intense from the Stuttgart area to the target and beyond. Many combats were reported. "L" (F/S Wilson) claimed to have damaged a JU.88. "K" (/O Findlay) saw stikes on another. "D" (F/S Jamieson) landed at Manston with the rear gunner, Sgt, Klementoski, wounded so seriously that he has since died. "B" (F/O Liefooghe) failed to return, no news being received after take-off. S/L Caldow AFC, DFC and F/O Cowper completed their tours of operations. The latter came home on three engines. Six aircraft and crews carried out day and night flying training.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary at 17500 ft at 21.31 1/2

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
ND972 Returned Primary at 10500 ft at 04.31

Operation/Target: Bremen (21 Mar 1945 - 21 Mar 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Bremen 21 Mar 1945 21 Mar 1945 N 15 aircraft from the Squadron were detailed for operations. All of them took off safely without incident at approx 08.00. The target was the Deutsche Oil Refinery on the North West outskirts of BREMEN. The route was direct across North Holland, ideal weather conditions were experienced and no flak appeared. Marking was vary accurate and the Master Bomber had a firm and clear control of the attack. Very quickly a pall of smoke, of varying shades, enveloped the target. Along the bombing run the aircraft had to fly through a lane of hot, quite accurate, heavy flak and several aircraft were hit, but none vitally. "K" (P/O Screen) was hit in the port outer engine and limped back to base on three engines. All of the Squadron aircraft landed safely at base. 3 aircraft and crew flew 10 hours flying training.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary at 16000 ft at 10.01 1/2hrs F/Sgt C L Cochrane (P)
Sgt J Potts (F/Eng)
F/Sgt - Moore (Nav)
F/Sgt D G Mather (A/B)
Sgt D G Hammersley (W/Op)
Sgt R H Keevil (MU/AG)
F/Sgt R G Miles (R/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
ND972 Returned Primary at 16500ft at 17.32hrs 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: 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
ND972 Returned Primary at 14,000ft at 16.19hrs F/L A W Browne (P)
F/Sgt W J Broom (F/Eng)
F/O E G Smith (Nav)
F/Sgt W B Reid (A/B)
F/O C G Hetherington (W/Op)
Sgt J Regan (MU/AG)
Sgt S Sorsby (R/AG)

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
ND972 Returned Primary 19000 ft at 22.52hrs P/O R H Digby (P)
Sgt J H Walker (F/Eng)
F/O A E Lewis (Nav)
Sgt A E McLeod (A/B)
Sgt D Crabtree (W/Op)
Sgt J L Perrigo (MU/AG)
Sgt R D Hager (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
ND972 Returned Primary at 19000 ft at 12.50hrs

Operation/Target: Bremen (22 Apr 1945 - 22 Apr 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Bremen 22 Apr 1945 22 Apr 1945 N It was a formidable force that Bomber Command detailed, with four separate aiming points - enemy strong points on the east side of Bremen, within a few miles of our troops. No. 1 Group had the honour of opening the attack, and 550 Squadron contributed 27 aircraft to this spearhead. All 27 took off at 18:00, but "G" (F/O Johnston) had an engine out on take-off and was saved the consequent "cross country". The remainder completed the course and the majority returned as full of eggs as when they departed. They had the chagrin of seeing most of Bremen clear of cloud but the target area itself covered by a thick patch and because our troops were so near the Master Bomber had no choice but to call the party off. Our crews held out the hope that conditions might improve for later waves, but it transpired that only our force fitted with special equipment could bomb. That, at any rate, was a gesture to our troops, who we hope realised, when they saw the bombers overhead that the promised assistance was only withheld so that they should not be imperialed. Return was more or less devoid of incident except for "M" (F/O Handley) which after touching down took off again for a flight, which, unfortunately cannot be counted as squadron training hours.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Mission abandoned

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. 23 aircraft were detailed from the Squadron, and after the chilly greyness of the early (very early) morning briefing, all of them took off as dawn was breaking. With the exception of occasional patches of cirrus above 20000ft. thje route was entirely free from cloud, and as the sun rose, the French countryside became visible as the crew flew southeastward. It appeared deserted and peaceful, in contrast to its turmoil and battling activity of recent months. Ther appeared more activity in the air than on the ground, with the Allied Air Focres, Tactial and Heavy, all busily dominating the skies; one gunner, however, asserts that a white figure (feminine) gave him a warm and personal wave. Soon the Alps loomed up on the starboard, and the crews had to make a great effort not to become quite lyrical over their appearance, gleaming in the sunshine. In the target area, the weather was perfect with no cloud and excellent visibility except for a few patches of ground mist in the valleys; this was fortunate as the target was not easy to find among the maze of mountains, valleys and partly snow-covered and partly tree-covered slopes. When the leading formation arrived on time at the last turning point before the target, the leader, who had tuned in to the Master Bomber, realised that difficulty was being experienced by the latter and his deputy in marking the target. In order to avoid losing the Main Force over the target before marking had commenced, he therefore overshot the last turing point by 2-and-a-half minutes before making a wide orbit to get back on track. This, however, had the effect of splitting up the formation and as a result aircraft were approaching the target on many different headings - in fact "coming round the mountain when she comes" seems best to sum up the situtaiton, which for the first few minutes of the attack was somewhat hectic. The Master Bomber at last instructed the crews (who were orbitting violently in all directions) to bomb visually if they were able; a minute later, however, a single Red Target Indicator was dropped accurately on the Aiming Point. The Master Bombers order were throughout the attack, given in relation to the smoke which was clearly seen by all crews. The early arrivals had no difficulty in identifying the target visually, and before smoke had covered the aiming point a good concentration of bombs was reported to have fallen across the S.S. Barracks. An excellent concentration was achieved with some tendency to overshoot to the norther and spread to the east. In the main, however, bombing was confined to the immediate vicinity of the aiming point, and it is thought that satisfactory results should have been achieved. In the words of the popular Press (yes, we did hit the headlines) "the barracks were seen to be taking severe punishment, and the whole area was soon covered with a pall of black smoke, rising to 10000ft. with bomb flashes leaping through it. Many aircraft circled the area several times to make sure of hitting the target". The report from the P.R.U. photographs that were taken immediately after the smoke had cleared, says that the Chalet (Wachenfeld) has received 2 or 3 direct hits and blask damage; the N.E. building of the S.S. Barracks has been demolished, the S.W. one severly damaged and the N.W. one severly damaged in its northern half; the Main Control Building has been a quarter demolished; the Air Raid Control and Administrative H.Q. was still on fire; the Garage, Hospital and Guest Houses have all received blast damage, and Herr Spann's house has been severly damaged/ . That 550 Squadron contributed materially to these results is shown by our photographs of which 22 out of the 23 show the aiming point somewhat in their bombing point. This was the greatest number achieved in the Base. Defences at the target consisted of moderate but accurately predicted H/F with omse L/F, while there was some H/F from Salzburg, and one venturesome flak gun that "popped off" from an isolated valley as our bomber stream passed over on the way to the target. "M" (Sgt Locke) was unable to bomb the primary target due to a sticking distributor arm, although making an orbit and a second run. However, they used their bombs usefully by dropping them on a bridge and railway line at Ruhpolding, about 26 miles homeward from the target. All things considered, an extremely successful raid; we think that Francis Drake that expert in singeing the facial protuberances of Continental dictators would have been pleased.

CONGRATULATIONS: Congraulations 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
ND972 Returned Primary at 17500 ft at 09.58 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
ND972 Returned 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
ND972 Returned Primary at 500 ft at 14.11hrs. 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.

[Ed: The log book of Sgt E Ashley records him flying as W/Op for the P/O J S Percival crew on this MANNA op (to Rotterdam). However, the ORB does not record P/O Percival crew flying this op. It is not possible to determine if the Percival crew was missed off the ORB in error, or if there is an error with a crew identified, in the ORB, as flying but which was not in fact flying. Both the Squadron and Station ORBs record 27 aircraft took off on this op; and 27 aircraft are listed below. The Percival crew is identifed as flying both 2nd and 5th May.]
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
ND972 Returned Primary at 600 ft at 13.25 1/2hrs. MANNA mission.

Operation/Target: Rotterdam/MANNA (05 May 1945 - 05 May 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Rotterdam/MANNA 05 May 1945 05 May 1945 N 26 aircraft delivered groceries to the Dutch.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS: The postponed "MANNA" dropping operation took place and 26 aircraft dropped 58.214 tons of food on the outskirts of Rotterdam, and all returned without incident.
Sport: Cricket. Two matches Station XI v Grimsby Town and a Station XI v Humber Graving Dock, both in Grimsby, were abandoned owing to rain.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
ND972 Returned Primary at 500 ft at 08.15hrs. MANNA Mission P/O R H Digby (P)
Sgt J H Walker (F/Eng)
F/O A E Lewis (Nav)
Sgt A E McLeod (A/B)
Sgt D Crabtree (W/Op)
Sgt J L Perrigo (MU/AG)
Sgt R D Hager (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 82
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Scholven-Buer, 19 Jul 1944)

These details were last updated: 11 December 2019


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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