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: 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
NF962 Returned - F/O W D Robertson (A/B)
F/O V A Thygessen (P)
Sgt R Finlay (F/Eng)
F/O E C Packham (Nav)
Sgt A Pavlovitch (W/Op)
Sgt A E Howting (MU/AG)
F/O H B Parker (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Stettin (29 Aug 1944 - 30 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Stettin 29 Aug 1944 30 Aug 1944 N Sixteen aircraft with crews were accepted briefed and took off at 21.00hrs to attack STETTIN. One aircraft "C" W/O Ansell and crew are missing from the Operation.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
NF962 Returned Primary 18,000ft at 02.08hrs

Operation/Target: Agenville (31 Aug 1944 - 01 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Agenville 31 Aug 1944 01 Sep 1944 N Twelve aircraft were detailed for a daylight operation at 13.05hrs, a flying bomb sight at AGENVILLE. To add to confusion there was quite a lot of heavy and accurate flak though no other opposition. This attack was considered a great success by the crews that took part. One aircraft "V" with W/Cmdr AFM Sisley and P/O Siddall and crew is missing from this Operation.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
NF962 FTR Missing.

[Squadron CO W/Cdr Sisley pilot]
W/Cdr A F M Sisley (P)
P/O P C Siddall (P)
Sgt R MacLeod (F/Eng)
Sgt H H M Connolly (Nav)
F/Sgt H G Thomas (A/B)
F/Sgt A S Parsons (W/Op)
Sgt D P Gates (R/AG)
Sgt T Hamilton (MU/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
NF962 Returned Primary 7500ft at 09:38hrs

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
NF962 Returned Abandoned on instructions of master bomber F/O G S Devereau (P)
Sgt S H Ward (F/Eng)
Sgt C W Cross (Nav)
Sgt C A P Noble (A/B)
F/Sgt W Horlor (W/Op)
Sgt G E Mills (MU/AG)
Sgt J R McNamara (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
NF962 Returned Primary 9000ft at 19.03hrs F/O G S Devereau (P)
Sgt S H Ward (F/Eng)
Sgt C W Cross (Nav)
Sgt C A P Noble (A/B)
F/Sgt W Horlor (W/Op)
Sgt G E Mills (MU/AG)
Sgt J R McNamara (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 6
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Kiel, 26 Aug 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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