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 (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
LM319 Returned Primary 20,000 ft at 20.07 hrs. Orange glow on cloud. Trip very uneventful. Sgt H F J Woods (P)
Sgt T A Thompson (F/Eng)
F/Sgt J R E Legere (A/B)
Sgt L F Wright (W/Op)
Sgt J C Atherton (MU/AG)
Sgt M Miles (A/B)
Sgt L M Collicutt (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
LM319 Returned Abandoned at 18.05hrs at 20,000 ft. Navigator on wrong course and heading to NORWAY. F/Sgt A Bodill (R/AG)
Sgt A H Bowers (MU/AG)
Sgt W L Bradley (P)
Sgt S J Harrison (F/Eng)
Sgt V J Pickford (Nav)
Sgt R N Aitken (A/B)
Sgt J Hill (W/Op)

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
LM319 Returned Primary 20,000 ft at 03:17 bombed glow of R/G R/P flare through cloud. F/O G B Hoddle (P)
Sgt D P Dingle (F/Eng)
F/O J W Bryan (Nav)
Sgt K M Fairbairn (A/B)
Sgt S G Hubbard (W/Op)
F/Sgt J K Boothroyd (MU/AG)
Sgt T F Quine (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (02 Jan 1944 - 03 Jan 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 02 Jan 1944 03 Jan 1944 N Eleven aircraft were offered for operations, three subsequently being withdrawn owing to unserviceability. The remainder briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Three aircraft returned early, but the remainder successfully bombed the targets and on returing to this country, owing to bad weather conditions were landed at various bases.
Station Summary
550 Squadron again operated from WALTHAM.
9550 Servicing Echelon, C.O. F/L G COOPER having, been formed on 25/11/43, arrived today, complete with Electrical Section.
F/O H G GARDINER, Station Armament Officer, has been on duty for the last few days arranging for equipment to be transferred from WALTHAM. Bomb trolleys arrived today.
S/Ldr E R BARKER Station Intelligence Officer arrived today from Wickenby.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 16,000 ft at 02.54hrs. Diverted to Middleton St. George. Engaged ME.109 at 03.05hrs over BERLIN. M.U.G. opened fire. Aircraft seen hit in engine and burst into flames and go straight down into centre of fire over target. F/O G B Hoddle (P)
Sgt D P Dingle (F/Eng)
F/O J W Bryan (Nav)
Sgt K M Fairbairn (A/B)
Sgt S G Hubbard (W/Op)
F/Sgt J K Boothroyd (MU/AG)
Sgt T F Quine (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
LM319 Returned Primary 22,000 ft at 19.42hrs P/O N S Rogers (P)
Sgt P W Wise (F/Eng)
F/O H T A Evans (Nav)
Sgt N C Jenkins (A/B)
F/Sgt D Salmon (W/Op)
F/Sgt M E Mills (MU/AG)
Sgt J H Marshall (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
LM319 Returned Primary 18,000 ft at 20.34 1/2 hrs F/L W H Waycott (A/G)
F/O G B Hoddle (P)
Sgt D P Dingle (F/Eng)
F/O J W Bryan (Nav)
Sgt K M Fairbairn (A/B)
Sgt S G Hubbard (W/Op)
Sgt T F Quine (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
LM319 Returned Primary 18,000 ft at 03.19 1/2hrs. Unable to climb above 175000 ft until through front on outward journey. Rime and icing. F/L W H Waycott (A/G)
F/O G B Hoddle (P)
Sgt D P Dingle (F/Eng)
F/O J W Bryan (Nav)
Sgt K M Fairbairn (A/B)
Sgt S G Hubbard (W/Op)
Sgt T F Quine (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
LM319 Returned Primary 16,000 ft are 20.28.hrs. Aircraft received late. Insufficient time to complete bombing up. F/O G B Hoddle (P)
Sgt D P Dingle (F/Eng)
F/O J W Bryan (Nav)
Sgt K M Fairbairn (A/B)
Sgt S G Hubbard (W/Op)
F/Sgt J K Boothroyd (MU/AG)
Sgt T F Quine (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (15 Feb 1944 - 16 Feb 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 15 Feb 1944 16 Feb 1944 N Fifteen aircraft with crews were offered for operations and accepted. Crews were briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Two aircraft did not take-off owing to technical trouble. One aircraft failed to return from the operations - no news since take-off. One aircraft successfully bombed the target and returned on three engines, landing at RAF Station LISSETT, YORKSHIRE. The remaining ten aircraft successfully attacked the targets and returned safely to BASE - NORTH KILLINGHOLME. Two of the new aircraft Pilots flew on the operations as second Pilot.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
Following a cancellation for the same target two days ago, a large scale Berlin raid was again laid on for tonight, to take part in the largest air operations so far undertaken by Bomber Command against Germany (878 heavy aircraft detailed by Command). 15 aircraft from 550 Squadron were briefed, 14 took off, and one was missing. 3 aircraft stationed at ELSHAM WOLDS found themselves on this airfield's circuit on return in mistake for their own, a mistake they did not discover until they landed here having gone through the motions of calling up ELSHAM WOLDS and touching down here instead of there.
ORGANIZATION
Weekly wearing of gas respirators was instituted, the established period being 0930 to 1000 hours each Tuesday. Instrument Section took over the responsibility of maintaining oxygen mask adaptor tubes for portable oxygen bottles, under new policy that these be fitted in aircraft at all times instead of being on charge to individual members of aircrew.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 22,000 ft at 21.23hrs. Bombed flares. F/L W H Waycott (A/G)
Sgt D Hughes (Nav)
F/O G B Hoddle (P)
Sgt D P Dingle (F/Eng)
F/O J W Bryan (Nav)
Sgt K M Fairbairn (A/B)
Sgt S G Hubbard (W/Op)
Sgt T F Quine (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Berlin (24 Mar 1944 - 25 Mar 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Berlin 24 Mar 1944 25 Mar 1944 N Seventeen aircraft and crews were offered for operations and were briefed to attack targets in BERLIN. Another snappy take-off was achieved, sixteen aircraft being airbourne within 17 minutes, the seventeenth aircraft being delayed for five minutes while a navigation aid indicator was changed. The route was "hot" but 15 aircraft bombed Berlin. The remaining two were forced to bomb last resort targets - "T" LM455 S/Ldr Graham Captain bombing an aerodrome 50 miles SW of Berlin after overshooting and "G" ND403, Captain P/O Bowen-Bravery who, after having his rear turret rendered u/s, bombed a flak emplacement on the West coast of Denmark. Soon afterwards "G" encountered a single engineed aircraft and the mid-upper gunnner gave it a short burst. A short while later a burning aircraft was seen by three members of the crew to be descending, and burning on the ground. It is claimed as destroyed. Defences over Berlin were moderate, but there were a large number of enemy night-fighters around Berlin. Soon after leaving Berlin "D" ME581 Captain F/L R. W. Picton had a combat with a FW. Condor and both the MU gunner (Can.R.110509 Sgt. Keen, W.M.), and rear gunner (Sgt. Porteous, J.W.) received serious injuries from cannon fire. Fortunately, however, both are recovering. The wireless operator (Sgt. Williams, K.T.C.) who was in the astrodome after warning the pilot continued to give advice and evasive instructions to the pilot. After the action Sgt Williams went to the rear gunner whose oxygen was severed, gave him his own mask and assisted him out of the turret. Subsequently Sgt. Williams sent a W/T message giving details of the casualty so that medical aid was waiting when the aircraft landed. Sgt. Williams prompt action combined with the pilots skilled handling of his aircraft undoubtedly prevented the E/A from making a more effective attack. All the aircraft landed safely at Base, except "F" LL747 (Captin F/O Richard, Can.J.23518) which without brake pressure landed safely at Woodbridge.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
LM319 Returned Primary 21,000 ft at 22.38hrs. P/O W N H Brawn (P)
Sgt R H Paxton (F/Eng)
W/O C A Sowden (Nav)
Sgt P Pindar (A/B)
Sgt F E Dawson (W/Op)
Sgt R A Caley (MU/AG)
Sgt W J Jones (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, 16 Dec 1943)

These details were last updated: 04 June 2024


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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