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: 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
PD225 Returned Primary 2500ft at 15.31hrs

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
PD225 Returned -

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
PD225 Returned - P/O R Hopman (P)
F/Sgt R E Sloan (MU/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
PD225 Returned -

Operation/Target: Russelheim (25 Aug 1944 - 26 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Russelheim 25 Aug 1944 26 Aug 1944 N Sixteen aircraft and crews were offered and accepted for operations but were warned to stand by for a night attack. All the aircraft originally detailed took off to attack targets in RUSSELHEIM, the sixteenth being cancelled owing to the starboard outer engine being unserviceable on W5005 "N". No fewer than five new Captains were on this trip as second pilots. News was also received late in the day of the awards of the DFC to P/O Purvis for his part in the raid on 12 Aug 1944 and to F/O Dubois for his trip on the 10th Aug.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD225 Returned Primary 18,000ft at 01.06 1/2hrs

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
PD225 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
PD225 Returned Primary 19,000ft at 02.04hrs

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
PD225 Returned Primary 9500ft at 15.26 1/2hrs

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

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Gilze-Rijen 02 Sep 1944 03 Sep 1944 N Thirteen aircraft and crews were detailed for a daylight operation on the aerodrome of GILZEREGEN. They all took off successfully, though "A" piloted by F/O R.Purvis aborted with the ASI unserviceable. Take off time was at 15.50hrs. It started to rain at Base just before take off and the weather was generally bad. The height to fly at was 12000ft but there cloud at this height which consisted mainly of 10/10th strata cumulus. Some crews flew above this cloud and others below as there was pretty severe icing in it. Over the target itself the cloud broke to 4/10ths str. cum. with tops about 6000ft. There was very little opposition of any sort, no fighter and slight flak. The PFF dropped their markers "bang on" and the bombing was well concentrated. From the bombing photographs the aerodrome and runways seem very hard hit. On the return journey aircraft ran into cloud about 60 miles from the English coast which cleared for about 100 miles and the closed in again. Most of the crews seem to have flown back from Nottingham at about 1000ft to avoid low cloud. The weather back at Base was very bad indeed with rain and bad visibility combined with low cloud. "J" piloted by P/O McCarthy came back with the starboard inner engine feathered; this was was to save the engine which was running very badly. All aircraft landed back at Base safely.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
Two days of preparation bore fruit with the despatch of 13 aircraft (part of a Group force of 30) to raid the GILZE-RIJEN airfield in Holland. 1 aircraft abandoned its mission due to technical trouble. The remainded returned to base claiming to have attacked the primary target. Before they took off at about 1600 hours news had been received that there would be no further targets for today and tonight.
GENERAL
A United Voluntary Service for the National Day of Prayer was held in the Station Church, Padre Croft of R.A.F. Station Elsham Wolds taking the service. It was well attended by Station Personnal, considering there was an operaitonal take off at the same time.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD225 Returned Primary 11,000 feet at 17.33 hrs. 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 (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
PD225 Returned Primary 11000ft at 18.26hrs

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
PD225 Returned Primary 20,000ft at 23.02hrs

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
PD225 Returned Primary 13,000ft at 23.49 1/2hrs

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 12
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Fontaine le Pain, 14 Aug 1944)

These details were last updated: 24 October 2017


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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