Squadron Operations: Summary Information

Overview

There follows below a list of the all of the operations flown by 550 Squadron and the aircraft involved on each. The information used to build this page was taken in the first instance from the lists provided on the original Squadron Association web-site, but has been augmented by new information gathered since that time (squadron operations logs, individual aircrew log books, and other sources).

This information is not yet complete: it has been build from the a number of sources (documentary and people) and compilation of complete lists is an ongoing task that is expected to take quite some time to complete. So please don't shout just yet if you spot an omission - work continues to build a more complete, and accurate, list.
Do however shout if you spot an error! Please email any corrections or information to the contact details in the link at the bottom of the page.

Operation Summary: The column headers should be fairly self-explanatory. The term "aborted" as used here covers a number of possibilities:

Aircraft Deployed: When a link to a particular aircraft is given, this indicates aircraft known to have taken part in this raid (in the records currently available to the web-site author). A record of whether the aircraft returned or failed to return (FTR) is also logged.

Servicemen Deployed: Names of the crew in the operation.

Station Summary: This section is the information from the RAF North Killingholme Station Record Book for the operational date (if available).

Definitions of the abbreviations used are available: here.

Manageable Lists

The amount of data in the database is growing and this is resulting in the "all operations/targets" list getting rapidly bigger and thus slower to generate. There are options to display shorter, more quickly generated, reports if you want to home in on something specific. For example, there are options to generate reports on operations to a single target, or by single aircraft (to all targets) or by single aircraft to a single target. There is, on the database-reports summary page, a short user guide (PDF format) on how to do this.


Operation/Target: Le Havre (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
PB532 Returned Primary 11300ft at 18.422 1/2hrs

[Ed. The ORB says DB532 "N", but is probably a typo and PB532 meant]
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: 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
PB532 Returned Abandoned on instructions of master bomber

[Ed. The ORB says DB532 "N", but is probably a typo and PB532 meant]
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: 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
PB532 Returned Primary 9300ft at 18.54 1/2hrs

[Ed. The ORB says DB532 "N", but is probably a typo and PB532 meant]
F/L J Harris (P)
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: 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
PB532 Returned Primary 17500ft at 23.01hrs P/O R Hopman (P)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/AG)

Operation/Target: Steenwijk (16 Sep 1944 - 17 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Steenwijk 16 Sep 1944 17 Sep 1944 N 20 aircraft and crews, briefed and took off without incident to attack STEENWIJK airfield. The entire absence of opposition of any kind at the target and the darkness of the night was described by some of the crews as being eerie. From reports so far gathered the attack was reasonsably successful. All aircraft retruned safely to Base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PB532 Returned Primary 13500ft at 23.47hrs

Operation/Target: Sandgatte (20 Sep 1944 - 20 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Sandgatte 20 Sep 1944 20 Sep 1944 N 14 aircraft and crews were briefed and took off to attack enemy defences at SANDGATTE. The operation is considered as having been successfuly and with this operation the Squadron scored its first century of operations. In just over eight months 550 has completed its hundredth operation from North Killingholme. Coming as a fledging from Waltham where it was hatched, the Squadron began to lay on 14th January, when 8 sorties dropped 38 tons of NE on Brunswik. Stettin and Berlin had been visited from Waltham.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PB532 Returned Primary 4000ft at 17.03hrs P/O R Hopman (P)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/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
PB532 Returned Primary 17500ft at 21.22hrs P/O R Hopman (P)
F/Sgt J K Sharpe (Nav)
F/Sgt G R Martin (A/B)
F/Sgt F G Ferguson (W/Op)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/AG)
F/Sgt R E McKenzie (R/AG)
Sgt J Kenny (F/Eng)

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
PB532 Returned Abandoned on instructions of Master Bomber

Operation/Target: Calais (26 Sep 1944 - 26 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Calais 26 Sep 1944 26 Sep 1944 N 24 aircraft and crews again detailed, briefed and took off to blast the Hun who are still holding out of Calais. This time the weather was good enough to permit precision bombing which was successfully applied.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PB532 Returned Primary 3000 at 12.233 3/4hrs.

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
PB532 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
PB532 Returned -

Operation/Target: Saarbrucken (05 Oct 1944 - 06 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Saarbrucken 05 Oct 1944 06 Oct 1944 N 27 aircraft with crew were briefed and took-off at 18.22hrs to attack military objectives in SAARBRUCKEN. "F" (F/Lt Shaw) and "A" (S/Ldr Misselbrock) returned early, the former owing to "Gee" being unserviceable and the latter with the Captain sick. The remainder of the force, after flying through some rather dirty weather over England, found the target area almost clear with only ground base or thin cloud to prevent excellent visibility. The marking was punctual and well placed. In addition to a large and apparently concentrated mass of incendiaries with fires taking a good hold, the chief show piece of the evening was a truely tremendous explosion, so great that every crew unanimously noted the time as 22.46 hours, with a sheet of orange flame many hundreas of feet in the air, and smoke rising to 8000 to 10,000ft. It would appear that the Hun will have several rounds less to fire at our Allies of the 3rd American Army. Flak was described as being moderate. Enemy night fighters were conspicuous by their absence. Photos taken show a mass of incendiary and fire traps, but unfortunately no ground detail. Visibility deteriorated rapdily at base and the aircraft, all of which returned safely, were diverted to Norfolk. A good flying training programme was also carried out.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PB532 Returned Primary 16,400ft at 22.32 3/4 hours

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
PB532 Returned Abandoned. F/O J Harris (P)
Sgt G H Simpkins (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J W Eppel (Nav)
W/O J C Conway (A/B)
F/Sgt R G Bickford (W/Op)
Sgt W P Waddell (MU/AG)
Sgt B S P Barby (R/AG)

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Fort Frederick Hendrick 12 Oct 1944 12 Oct 1944 N 28 aircraft and crews were offered for operations but only 12, 11 plus one reserve and one crew detailed to act as the Base reserve aircraft. The crews were briefed to carry out yet another attack on FORT FREDERICK HENDRICK, which despite yesterdays attack was still holding out. All our eleven aircraft returned safely to base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PB532 Returned Primary 10,000ft at 08.18 1/2hrs F/O J Harris (P)
Sgt G H Simpkins (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J W Eppel (Nav)
W/O J C Conway (A/B)
F/Sgt R G Bickford (W/Op)
Sgt W P Waddell (MU/AG)
Sgt B S P Barby (R/AG)

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
PB532 Returned Primary 20,000ft at 01.27 1/2hrs

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Duisburg 14 Oct 1944 14 Oct 1944 N 25 aircraft and crews were briefed to attack the large steelworks of August Thysson at Duisburg, the world largest inland port. 24 aircraft took off without incident at approx 06.30hrs to make their way through layer cloud which broke before the Rhiner but closed in again over the target and only the crew of "H" (F/O Bond) claim to have bombed the ground markers. "N" (F/S Hopman), "A2" (S/L Gainsford) and "E2" (F/O Stevenson) claim to have bombed their objectives on Navigational aids, the others endeavoured to obey the Master Bombers instruction to bomb any built up area they could see in the vicinity of the target. Several crews reported that the Thyssen works were identified and in flames and one crew reported having observed the demolition of a Rhine bridge. At least one good photograph was obtained by "C2" (F/O John) showing a carpet of bomb bursts on the Steelworks which has been enlarged and forwarded to the C in C for his inspection.
F/O Abrams and F/O Dodds and their crews failed to return from this daylight raid in which approximately 1000 heavy aircraft with fighter cover took part.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PB532 Returned Primary 17,000ft at 08.45hrs

[Ed: ORB is very blurred, it looks like it is probably PB532]
P/O R Hopman (P)
F/O C Stocks (A/B)
F/L E S Allen (P)
F/Sgt J K Sharpe (Nav)
F/Sgt F G Ferguson (W/Op)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/AG)
F/Sgt R E McKenzie (R/AG)
Sgt J Kenny (F/Eng)

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
PB532 Returned F/O G W Bell (P)
Sgt R J McElroy (F/Eng)
F/O D C R Hills (Nav)
F/O B H Lowen (A/B)
Sgt J F Noonan (W/Op)
Sgt D E Hookham (MU/AG)
Sgt R West (R/AG)

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
PB532 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
PB532 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
PB532 Returned Primary 20,000ft at 15.59hrs P/O R Hopman (P)
F/O C Stocks (A/B)
F/Sgt J K Sharpe (Nav)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/AG)
F/Sgt R E McKenzie (R/AG)
Sgt J Kenny (F/Eng)
Sgt H Wood (W/Op)

Operation/Target: Cologne (30 Oct 1944 - 30 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Cologne 30 Oct 1944 30 Oct 1944 N Twenty-six aircraft and crews were offered for operations, but only twenty three were required and these took off at approximately 17.30hrs to attack military objectives in COLOGNE. All but one bombed their primary targets, "Q" (F/O Allen) having to return early with his port outer engine unserviceable. The attack is considered by all crews to have been most successful.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PB532 Returned Primary at 18,000ft at 21.03hrs P/O R Hopman (P)
F/O C Stocks (A/B)
F/Sgt J K Sharpe (Nav)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/AG)
F/Sgt R E McKenzie (R/AG)
Sgt J Kenny (F/Eng)
Sgt H Wood (W/Op)

Operation/Target: Cologne (31 Oct 1944 - 31 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Cologne 31 Oct 1944 31 Oct 1944 N Twenty-four aircraft and crews were accepted and briefed to attack military objectives and communications at COLOGNE once again. Opposition was reported to be very moderate and the weather reasonably good. Once again crews participating considered this to have been a highly successful attack.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PB532 Returned Primary at 17,000ft at 21.07 1/2hrs P/O R Hopman (P)
F/O C Stocks (A/B)
F/Sgt J K Sharpe (Nav)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/AG)
F/Sgt R E McKenzie (R/AG)
Sgt J Kenny (F/Eng)
Sgt H Wood (W/Op)

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
PB532 Returned ... P/O R Hopman (P)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/AG)

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
PB532 Returned Primary at 19000ft at 14.00hrs

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Wanne-Eikel 09 Nov 1944 09 Nov 1944 N 23 aircraft and crews from 550 Squadron together with one aircraft from each of 166 and 103 Sqdns took off at approximately 07.20hrs to attack the synthetic oil plant at WANNE-EIKEL 2.5 miles NW of Bochum one of the lesser known towns of the Ruhr but nevertheless important since it forms part of the general Ruhr network of railway and marshalling yards. The take-off was good as was the weather up to the French coast after which the crews encountered cloud banks and when the target area was reached there was thick cumulous at 20,000ft with layer cloud below. Only one aircraft E2 (F/O Stevenson) had a fleeting glimpse of the target, and but for navigational aids the raid would have dissolved itself into a veritable blind mans buff. With such conditions existing it is impossible to assess the success or otherwise of the operation. Flak was scattered and erratic, and the fighter cover of Spitfires and Mustangs kept enemy fighters out of harms way. All our aircraft returned safely and the boys enjoyed a late lunch.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
At first light 25 aircraft took off from NORTH KILLINGHOLME (comprising 23 of 550 Squadron and 1 of 166 Squadron and 1 of 103 Squadron, the latter having landed here from training) to attack WANNE-EICKEL, as part of a No. 1 Group force of 233 aircraft. All out aircraft returned safely having claimed to have bombed the target.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PB532 Returned Primary, at 17000ft at 10.44 P/O R Hopman (P)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/AG)

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
PB532 Returned Primary, at 17400ft at 19.01 P/O R Hopman (P)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/AG)

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
PB532 Returned Primary, at 10000ft at 15.33 F/L D R Parsons (P)
P/O R Hopman (P)
F/Sgt J K Sharpe (Nav)
F/Sgt F G Ferguson (W/Op)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/AG)
F/Sgt R E McKenzie (R/AG)
Sgt J Kenny (F/Eng)

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
PB532 Returned Primary, at 17700ft at 19.00 P/O R Hopman (P)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/AG)

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
PB532 Returned Primary at 12000ft at 19.25 P/O R Hopman (P)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/AG)

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
PB532 Returned Primary 13,000ft at 20.05

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
PB532 Returned Primary at 20000ft at 15.01hrs

Operation/Target: Urff Dam (03 Dec 1944 - 03 Dec 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Urff Dam 03 Dec 1944 03 Dec 1944 Y 14 aircraft and crew detailed to carry out an attack on URST DAM and took off at approximately 07.30hrs without incident. The weather en-route was bad and over the target visibility was so poor and the weather so bad that the crews returned without dropping their bombs. Flying training programme was also carried out totalling 33.06hrs.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PB532 Returned Abandoned on instructions of Master Bomber

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
PB532 Returned -

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 33
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Le Havre, 05 Sep 1944)

These details were last updated: 10 October 2018


Note

this list is still being built and will take some time to complete
what is currently displayed is believed accurate but much more is still to be added

This note describes the options currently available to produce a smaller, more manageable list and also describes planned future enhancements to the reporting facility.


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