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: Le Havre (14 Jun 1944 - 15 Jun 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 14 Jun 1944 15 Jun 1944 N 16 aircraft were called for to attack the dock area of the French port of Le Havre one hour after sunset, which necessitated a daylight take-off, much to the delight of all the crews. Weather conditions at the target were ideal for the operation. All the aircraft and crews returned safely and are looking forward eagerly to some more daylight raids - referred to as the bomb aimers paradise. One aircraft failed to take off owing to a tyre bursting on the perimeter track and only 15 aircraft participated.

[Ed: the summary sheet says 16 aircraft called for op. But the detail in the battle order records only 15 aircraft.]
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
EE193 Returned Primary 20,000 ft at 23.34 hrs P/O N D Holdsworth (P)
Sgt H Mimmack (F/Eng)
Sgt V Kirby (Nav)
Sgt C S Venables (A/B)
Sgt J A C Steer (W/Op)
Sgt W Johnston (MU/AG)
W/O H Granger (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Le Havre (01 Aug 1944 - 02 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 01 Aug 1944 02 Aug 1944 N Yesterday evening the fourteen aircraft which had been offer an accepted took off at about 18.15hrs to attack the dock installations at LE HAVRE. The compact dock area was unmistakably clear to the Bomb Aimers and pin-pointing was even easier than on the dusk operation six weeks ago. The fighter cover prevented any molestation by the Luftwaffe though ground opposition was spirited at most stages of the attack, and "P" (S/L MacAleavey) was slightly damaged by Flak which varied during the attack from slight to intense. The photographs obtained were some of the best ever achieved and all were easily plottable. One of our crews reports that a "U" boat was seen to received a direct hit causing it to settle at an angle in the water. In addition to the operational sorties one of our new crews carried out a cross country in a "Y" aircraft, having with them as instructors F/L Gardiner.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
EE193 Returned Primary 13,500 ft at 19.59 1/2 hrs P/O N D Holdsworth (P)
F/Sgt J Hough (P)
Sgt H Mimmack (F/Eng)
Sgt V Kirby (Nav)
Sgt C S Venables (A/B)
Sgt J A C Steer (W/Op)
Sgt W Johnston (MU/AG)
W/O H Granger (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Le Havre (03 Aug 1944 - 03 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 03 Aug 1944 03 Aug 1944 N The fifteen aircraft took off again without incident to attack targets in the port area of LE HAVRE, as in spite of the previous concentrated bombing the "U" boat seen before seems to have borne a charmed life and had apparantly been towed to another part of the docks and this with other shipping was our target. The fifteen aircraft, after climbing through cloud had a perfect run down over England in blazing sunshine. Weather at Le Havre was clear and with good visiblity and all the Bomb Aimers were able to identify the aiming point visually. Very good bombing was accomplished on this raid and the good photographs brought back confirm this. No enemy fighters were seen and the only fly in the ointment was accurate flak which was not so intense as during the previous raid. A burst uncomfortably near made several sears on "K" (F/O Steele) but the Pin up girl on the aircraft was unmarked.
All our aircraft returned safely and touched down in the neighbourhood of 20.30 hours just in t ime for the crews to receive some well earned refreshment.
When the aircraft had been evacuated by the crews they were taken over by the hard working ground staff who worked far into the night and in some cases all through the night, to service and bomb up once again.

Shortly before lunch a striking force of twelve aircraft took off in as a many minutes to attached a Flying Bomb site at TROSSY ST MAXIMIM, the Squadron being led by the Station Commander Group Captain McIntyre D.F.C and all the aircraft carried 15,000 lbs of H.E. which is a new record load devised by the Armoury. No fighters were seen over the Channel but covering Spitfires were well in evidence on reaching the French Coast. Accurate bursts of Flak were encountered during the trip and "V" (F/O Fauman) came back with a small shrapnel hole in the fuselage. Low cloud persisted over France but there were many large gaps, through which craters would be seen, evidence of previous attacks on other Bomb Sites.
Our 12 aircraft released there 80 tons of bombs within 1 1/2 minutres and most of the photographs confirm that a very large proportion of the bombs landed "plumb on" the target. The particularly fine photograph of "F" (P/O Shaw was enlarged and forwarded to the C in C and shows the dense profusion of bursts 2 minutes after the attack opened.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
EE193 Returned Primary 14,000 ft at 19.04 hrs P/O N D Holdsworth (P)
Sgt H Mimmack (F/Eng)
Sgt V Kirby (Nav)
Sgt C S Venables (A/B)
Sgt J A C Steer (W/Op)
Sgt W Johnston (MU/AG)
W/O H Granger (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
EE193 Returned Primary 11,000 feet at 18.41 1/2 hrs.

[Ed: assumed an error in the ORB, because EE193 "C" was lost with all crew 29/30 Aug 44 on Stettin raid.]

Operation/Target: Le Havre (06 Sep 1944 - 07 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 06 Sep 1944 07 Sep 1944 N 15 aircraft and crews were detailed once again to attack troop concentrations to the north east of the town of LE HAVRE where Hun suicide regiments were still holding out and who had not felt the weight of our bombs the evening before. The aircraft took off to time in usual 550 Squadron style. "J" F/O Rose returned early owing to RAE compressor being unserviceable. The weather enroute was fairly good with 10/10 thin cloud at the target, this did not however prevent our bomb aimers from clearly identifying the aiming point.
Station Summary
OPERATIONS
Once agan No. 550 Squadron took part in a daylight attack on LE HAVRE. Fifteen aircraft took off as part of a Command force of 290. 1 abandoned its mission due to a U/S bombsite. All returned safely to Base.
ORGANISATION
M.T. Fitters sent on 2 weeks tyre course.
Snow plough collected in readiness for coming Winter.
GENERAL
Lecture given by S/Ldr Cameron [Ed: of the R.A.F. Regiment] on "Prisoners of War" proved of great interest, being well attended by both the WAAF and Airmen.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
EE193 Returned Primary 7000 ft at 09:29 hrs

[Ed: assumed an error in the ORB, because EE193 was lost with all crew 29/30 Aug 44 on Stettin raid]

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 2000 ft 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
EE193 Returned Abandoned on instructions of master bomber

[Ed: assumed an error in the ORB, because EE193 was lost with all crew 29/30 Aug 44 on Stettin raid]
P/O R J Moran (Nav)
F/O H Dodds (P)
P/O A R Brown (F/Eng)
F/O L O Browning (A/B)
Sgt A Laidlaw (MU/AG)
Sgt H Lewis (R/AG)
F/Sgt C W Beckingham (W/Op)

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 6
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Le Havre, 14 Jun 1944)

These details were last updated: 14 January 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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