Squadron Operations: Summary Information

Overview

Listed below is the information available for operations to this target flown by 550 Squadron.

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: Berlin (26 Nov 1943 - 27 Nov 1943)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 26 Nov 1943 27 Nov 1943 N Eight aircraft took off to attack targets in Berlin, of which 7 were successfull and dropped ca. 29 tons of HE and incendiaries. They returned and landed safely Base, Grimsby. No news received from LM379 after take-off and F/L Prangley and crew considered missing.

[Ed: The Prangley crew therefore were the first crew the squadron lost after it commenced operations.]
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
EE139 Returned Primary 2125hrs. 20,000 feet. Bombed green TIs P/O V J Bouchard (P)
W/O D H Knight (Nav)
Sgt J H Knox (A/B)
Sgt R Binney (F/Eng)
Sgt E J Baker (W/Op)
Sgt C A Rann (MU/AG)
Sgt J J M Calvin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (02 Dec 1943 - 03 Dec 1943)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 02 Dec 1943 03 Dec 1943 N Twelve aircraft and crews were offered and accepted for operations. Crews were briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Three aircraft abandoned their mission, one aircraft is missing with all of the crew, and eight aircraft successfully bombed the targets.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
EE139 Returned Primary 20,000 feet. At 20.31hrs bombed centre of Green TIs burning on ground. P/O V J Bouchard (P)
W/O D H Knight (Nav)
Sgt J H Knox (A/B)
Sgt R Binney (F/Eng)
Sgt E J Baker (W/Op)
Sgt C A Rann (MU/AG)
Sgt J J M Calvin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (16 Dec 1943 - 17 Dec 1943)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 16 Dec 1943 17 Dec 1943 N Fifteen crews were offered for operations and with aircraft loaned from No.100 Squadron. They briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Two of the sorties were abortive but the remaining aircraft bombed the targets and returned safely to BASE.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
EE139 Returned Primary 21,500 ft at 20.04hrs. Marking seemed fairly concentrated. Some glow reflected on cloud and from fires. Quiet trip except for conditions at BASE on return. P/O V J Bouchard (P)
W/O D H Knight (Nav)
Sgt J H Knox (A/B)
Sgt R Binney (F/Eng)
Sgt E J Baker (W/Op)
Sgt C A Rann (MU/AG)
Sgt J J M Calvin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (23 Dec 1943 - 24 Dec 1943)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 23 Dec 1943 24 Dec 1943 N With aircraft loaned from 100 Sqdn, seventeen aircraft and crews were briefed for operations and to attack targets in BERLIN. Two aircraft cancelled at the last moment owing to unserviceability. Shortly after take-off two aircraft collided in mid-air, crashed and were burnt out, the crews of both being killed. One aircraft did not return - no news after take off. Two aircraft returned early, the remainder successfully attacked the targets and in spite of very bad weather conditions over BASE - GRIMSBY landed safely.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
EE139 Returned Primary 20500 ft at 04.09hrs. Bombed green TI markers. Only two glows of red fires seen through clouds. Large explosion at 04.10hrs P/O V J Bouchard (P)
W/O D H Knight (Nav)
Sgt J H Knox (A/B)
Sgt R Binney (F/Eng)
Sgt E J Baker (W/Op)
Sgt C A Rann (MU/AG)
Sgt J J M Calvin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (29 Dec 1943 - 30 Dec 1943)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 29 Dec 1943 30 Dec 1943 N Fourteen aircraft with crews were offered and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Five aircraft returned early but the remained successfully attached their targets and returned safely to BASE. Orders were received that the Sqdn should remove to RAF Station, NORTH KILLINGHOLME, LINCOLNSHIRE by 3rd January 1944.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
EE139 Returned Primary 20,000 ft at 20.17hrs. Glow of fires seen for 125 miles. Frequent explosions were of good size. Weather favourable. Defences more intense and spread out. Flak most of the way on last leg to target. P/O V J Bouchard (P)
W/O D H Knight (Nav)
Sgt J H Knox (A/B)
Sgt R Binney (F/Eng)
Sgt E J Baker (W/Op)
Sgt C A Rann (MU/AG)
Sgt J J M Calvin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (01 Jan 1944 - 01 Jan 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 01 Jan 1944 01 Jan 1944 N Twelve aircraft with crew were offered for operations and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Two aircraft returned early, one aircraft failed to return to BASE (no news since take-off) and one aircraft on returning, crashed and was burnt out at Whapole Drive, Lincs all the crew being killed. RAF Station SUTTON BRIDGE signalled details of the crash. The remaining aircraft bombed the targets and returned safely, landing base - GRIMSBY.
Station Summary
This date had been tentatively arranged for arrival of 550 Squadron. The Squadron however, operated from WALTHAM on 1/2 Jan and no squadron personnel arrived ay North Killingholme.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
EE139 Returned Primary 20,000 ft. Bombed reflection of green TI on ETA. P/O V J Bouchard (P)
W/O D H Knight (Nav)
Sgt J H Knox (A/B)
Sgt R Binney (F/Eng)
Sgt E J Baker (W/Op)
Sgt C A Rann (MU/AG)
Sgt J J M Calvin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (20 Jan 1944 - 21 Jan 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 20 Jan 1944 21 Jan 1944 N Eleven aircraft with crews were offered for operations and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. One aircraft did not take off owing to unserviceability and one aircraft returned early with engine trouble. Nine aircraft successfully bombed their targets and returned safely to BASE.
Station Summary
11 aircraft of 550 Squadron detailed for major attack on Berlin. 1 was cancelled because of u/s rear turret. Of the remaining ten sorties, 9 claim to have attacked Berlin, while 1 was abortive. In spite of even shorter notice of this operation than the last, preparations were adequate for the eary take-off called for, and bombing-up was completed.
The A.O.C. 1 Group, air Vice Marshal Rice, accompanied by the acting Base Commander, 13 Base Group Captain Dickens, arrived after briefing and remained to watch take-off. The S.I.O. of 1 Group, S/Ldr Foster, accompanied by the S.I.O 13 Base, S/Ldr Dale, also by F/Lt Gould (Intelligence 1 Group Headquarters) also visited us. F/Lt Gibson, S.I.O. ELSHAM WOLDS, paid a short visit to the Station during interrogation.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
EE139 Returned Primary 21,000 ft at 19.37hrs P/O V J Bouchard (P)
W/O D H Knight (Nav)
Sgt J H Knox (A/B)
Sgt R Binney (F/Eng)
Sgt E J Baker (W/Op)
Sgt C A Rann (MU/AG)
Sgt J J M Calvin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (27 Jan 1944 - 28 Jan 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 27 Jan 1944 28 Jan 1944 N Fourteen aircraft with crews were offered and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Four aircraft returned early, but the remaining ten successfully bombed the target and returned safely to BASE.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
Berlin operation again laid on. 14 aircraft of 550 Squadron were detailed. 10 claimed to atack Berlin. Remaining 4 were abortive sorties.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
EE139 Returned Primary 21,000 ft at 20.35hrs P/O V J Bouchard (P)
W/O D H Knight (Nav)
Sgt J H Knox (A/B)
Sgt R Binney (F/Eng)
Sgt E J Baker (W/Op)
Sgt C A Rann (MU/AG)
Sgt J J M Calvin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (28 Jan 1944 - 29 Jan 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 28 Jan 1944 29 Jan 1944 N Thirteen aircraft with crews were offered and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Two aircraft returned early, but the remaining eleven dropped their bombs on the target returned safely to BASE.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
Again Berlin. of 13 aircraft of 550 Squadron detailed, 2 were abortive and 11 claim to have attacked the target.
ORGANIZATION
A Station Post Office was opened on a Class A basis.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
EE139 Returned Primary 21,000 ft at 03.18hrs. Starboard outer engine unserviceable from 06.20hrs P/O V J Bouchard (P)
W/O D H Knight (Nav)
Sgt J H Knox (A/B)
Sgt R Binney (F/Eng)
Sgt E J Baker (W/Op)
Sgt C A Rann (MU/AG)
Sgt J J M Calvin (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (30 Jan 1944 - 31 Jan 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 30 Jan 1944 31 Jan 1944 N Thirteen aircraft with crews were offered for operations and briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. One aircraft did not take off due to unserviceability, one aircraft returned early, and one aircraft did not return - no news since take off. Ten aircraft successfully bombed the target. F/O G.A. Morrison in DV305 was attacked by enemy fighter over BERLIN and the two gunners killed instantaneously. The B/A (F/O Warren) through a misunderstood order, baled out. In spite of severe damage to the aircraft and with no navigational aids, apart from the Moon and Stars, returned safely, landed WOODBRIDGE.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
12 of the 13 aircraft of 550 Squadron detailed to take part in yet another large assault on BERLIN took off, 1 being cancelled due to hydraulic leak. 10 claim to have atacked the target, 1 sortie was abortive and 1 aircraft is missing. A feature of the raid was the outstanding performance of the crew of O/550. Their story is told in the Station's narrative report No. 1 dated 1/2/44, a copy of which is attached hereto as Appendix 1. As a result of this mission, the captain of O/550, F/O G.A. MORRISON, was awarded an immediate D.S.O. He thus becomes the only present holder of this award on the Station, as well as the first recipient of a decoration of any kind for work done from this Station.
GENERAL
From the Stirling aircraft which crashed yesterday and is now above water 5 bodies have been recovered. Our Medical Officer F/Lt Cunningham and our R & I Engineer F/O Stevens, intervening. Three were identified as Sergeants SPENCE, WALKER and HELSBY.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
EE139 Returned Primary 21,000 ft are 20.25.hrs P/O V J Bouchard (P)
W/O D H Knight (Nav)
Sgt J H Knox (A/B)
Sgt R Binney (F/Eng)
Sgt E J Baker (W/Op)
Sgt C A Rann (MU/AG)
Sgt J J M Calvin (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 10
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Berlin, 26 Nov 1943)

These details were last updated: 08 August 2022


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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