Squadron Operations: Summary Information


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: Dessau (07 Mar 1945 - 08 Mar 1945)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Dessau 07 Mar 1945 08 Mar 1945 N 27 aircraft took off at approximately 17.00hrs on operations, but not without incident. "E2" (W/O Lukies) proved most fractious. The starboard outer engine cut on take-off. The aircraft swung dangerously but the pilot by masterly handling avoided a hanger and other obstacles, proceeded to the jettison area and returned safely. The other aircraft set course on the long route to DESSAU. Cloud amounts variable. Opposition was lively, both from flak and night fighters, but the former was not so strong over the target. Some crews bombed ground markers through 3/10 cloud with a clear view of the town and River Elbe; others had to rely on sky markers owing to 10/10 cloud. General opinion was that the attack was well concentrated and that the target was set, well and truely, ablaze. "M" (S/L Pickles) had it's "Gee" unserviceable from Southern England outwards, but the crew pressed on and after some meandering found themselves near to the target. They bombed in solitary state, a healthy concentration of fires left by their comrades. Two crews reported inconclusive combats with night fighters. Three aircraft "V" (F/O Jones), "O" (F/O Harris) and "R" (P/O Nielson) failed to return and it was with deepest regret that they were reported missing. Nothing was heard from any of them after take-off. Three aircraft and crews carried out flying in training involving over 7 hrs flying.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
NG336 Returned Primary at 15,000 ft at 22.05 hrs
RA503 Returned Primary at 15,500 ft at 22.11 1/2 hrs
RA547 Returned Primary at 14,000 ft at 22.09 hrs
ME519 Returned Primary at 14,000 ft at 22.05 hrs
NG221 Returned Primary at 14,500 ft at 22.06 hrs
PD320 Returned Primary at 14,000 ft at 22.02 hrs F/Sgt C L Cochrane (P)
Sgt J Potts (F/Eng)
F/Sgt - Moore (Nav)
F/Sgt D G Mather (A/B)
Sgt D G Hammersley (W/Op)
Sgt R H Keevil (MU/AG)
F/Sgt R G Miles (R/AG)
NG390 Returned Primary at 14,500 ft at 22.00 1/2 hrs
PD382 Returned Primary at 14,000 ft at 22.00 hrs
PD321 Returned Primary at 14,700 ft at 22.09 hrs F/O H A Findlay (P)
F/Sgt W A Swan (P/F/Eng)
Sgt J B Carter (Nav)
F/O R Melia (A/B)
Sgt E Barton (W/Op)
Sgt I Daly (MU/AG)
Sgt W Towle (R/AG)
NG250 Returned Primary at 11,000 ft at 22.40 hrs
RF135 Returned Primary at 15,000 ft at 21.59 hrs F/O D W Summons (P)
Sgt C C Jerman (F/Eng)
F/L G S Nankivell (Nav)
F/O A Benger (A/B)
F/Sgt J W Arnold (W/Op)
W/O J J Boland (MU/AG)
Sgt J F O'Halloran (R/AG)
NG287 Returned Primary at 15,200 ft at 22.01 hrs F/L C A Rhude (P)
Sgt P D Fitzgerald (Nav)
F/O C D Goughnour (A/B)
Sgt D A Blyth (W/Op)
Sgt C G Falliur (R/AG)
W/O R E Vietheer (MU/AG)
Sgt W M Kennedy (F/Eng)
ND972 Returned Primary at 15,000 ft at 22.08 hrs F/O M D Hayes (P)
F/Sgt E H Hagyard (Nav)
F/Sgt M V Fuller (A/B)
W/O A T Gill (W/Op)
Sgt R S Smith (MU/AG)
Sgt D Gunn (R/AG)
Sgt S Lipfriend (F/Eng)
ME301 Returned Primary at 14,000 ft at 22.05 hrs P/O K A Smith (P)
Sgt C Symington (F/Eng)
Sgt G Duce (Nav)
Sgt S Martin (A/B)
Sgt R E G Williams (W/Op)
Sgt C J Marshall (MU/AG)
Sgt H F Longworth (R/AG)
ME428 FTR Missing - no news after take-off.

[Ed. ORB lists this as ME248, whereas ME428 is listed elsewhere. The error is assumed to be a typo in the ORB, because the crash investigation records (1946-1949, RCAF archives, Ottawa) all record ME428. See F/O R D Harris crew web-page for details.]
F/O R D Harris (P)
Sgt K J B Smith (F/Eng)
F/Sgt D J Yemen (Nav)
F/O G J Nicol (A/B)
Sgt G P Kelleher (W/Op)
Sgt D J Hicks (R/AG)
Sgt E R Robinson (MU/AG)
ME503 FTR Missing - no news after take-off. P/O S W Nielson (P)
Sgt A Finnigan (F/Eng)
F/Sgt B M Trowbridge (Nav)
Sgt R Kerr (A/B)
Sgt J H Stuart-Ritson (W/Op)
Sgt R F Stevens (R/AG)
Sgt C A DeLaveleye (MU/AG)
NG120 Returned Primary at 12,000 ft at 22.05 hrs
ME776 Returned Primary at 15,000 ft at 22.07 hrs F/O G E Mearns (P)
Sgt F Norris (F/Eng)
F/Sgt W G Kelly (Nav)
Sgt J F McKeen (A/B)
Sgt D O'Neil (W/Op)
Sgt A Colin (R/AG)
PB707 Returned Primary at 14,000 ft at 22.04 hrs
PA995 FTR Missing - no news after take.

[This was the 101st sortie for this aircraft.]
F/O C J Jones (P)
Sgt S J Webb (F/Eng)
P/O J Buckmaster (Nav)
F/Sgt L W Harvey (A/B)
Sgt F M Main (W/Op)
Sgt M B Smith (MU/AG)
Sgt S Pelham (R/AG)
LM182 Returned Primary at 13,500 ft at 22.03 hrs
RF136 Returned Primary at 15,000 ft at 22.00 hrs F/O L G Michie (P)
P/O R J Moran (Nav)
F/Sgt J Rodgers (F/Eng)
F/O H R Whitney (A/B)
F/Sgt T E Hewitt (W/Op)
F/Sgt H L Alleyne (MU/AG)
F/Sgt S W Brown (R/AG)
NG132 Returned Abortive - starboard outer u/s. P/O J Lukies (P)
Sgt W K Oldham (F/Eng)
F/Sgt L W Pfitzner (Nav)
F/Sgt R W Caples (A/B)
F/Sgt J W Foran (W/Op)
P/O H K Johnson (MU/AG)
Sgt J M Craine (R/AG)
NG243 Returned Primary at 14,000 ft at 22.01 1/2 hrs
PB514 Returned Primary at 13,000 ft at 22.10 hrs F/O J A Beale (P)
Sgt Matthews (F/Eng)
F/O A F Geen (Nav)
F/O G C Glover (A/B)
F/Sgt R A Spearing (W/Op)
Sgt MacKenzie (MU/AG)
F/Sgt J L McKeown (R/AG)
NF931 Returned Primary at 13,000 ft at 22.02 1/2 hrs
ME390 Returned Primary at 15,000 ft at 22.08 hrs F/O G G H Cowper (P)
Sgt R H Whitehead (F/Eng)
F/O R M Mills (Nav)
F/Sgt C H Baldwin (A/B)
F/Sgt S E Willis (W/Op)
Sgt S E Morrison (MU/AG)
Sgt H R Graham (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 27
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
(Dessau, 07 Mar 1945)

These details were last updated: 09 June 2022


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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