Robert Creamer's Operations and Wartime Memories

BCreamerRMCreamerRMv1.pdf

Title

Robert Creamer's Operations and Wartime Memories

Description

30 operations described in detail. His fellow crew members are listed as are incidents that occurred on the operations.

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16 handwritten sheets

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IBCC Digital Archive

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This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

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BCreamerRMCreamerRMv1

Transcription

[underlined] 1 [/underlined]
DATE.
[underlined] 16-8-1943 E. ED610. P/O WALES, 1662 HCU BLYTON – SEA SEARCH [/underlined]
Search for missing aircraft and crews in the North Sea off the German Coast after mining operation of German shipping lanes. Nothing found.
4.30 HOURS.
[underlined] 22-9-1943 J2 DV 162. W/Cdr McINTYRE, D.F.C. F/LT MAJOR, MID. – HANOVER [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 21-31 hrs from 20,000 feet. Fires seen catching hold. Some of the best red fires yet seen. Photo plotted 5 min. 148o heading East.
26 Aircraft lost.
5.50 HOURS
[underlined] 23-9-1943 J2 DV 162. F/LT MAJOR. M.I.D. – MANNHEIM [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 22.10 hrs from 17,500 feet. Big red fires concentrated on east side of river.
32 Aircraft lost
7.5 HOURS.
[underlined] 27-9-1943 J2 DV 162. F/LT MAJOR. MID – HANOVER [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 22.19 hrs from 19,500 feet. PFF Target Indicators fell south of target. Just after leaving the target I saw a B17 Flying Fortress diving at an angle of about 45o firing at an ME 109 which was firing at the B17. The B17 did not attempt to evade the fighter. Confirmed by the Air Gunners.
39 Aircraft lost.
6.10 HOURS.
[page break]
[underlined] 2 [/underlined]
DATE.
[underlined] 29-9-1943 J2 DV 162 F/LT MAJOR MID – BOCHUM [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 20-57 hrs from 20,000 feet. Fires seen with smoke up to 6,000 feet.
9 Aircraft lost.
5.00 HOURS
[underlined] 1-10-1943 J2 DV 162 F/LT MAJOR MID – HAGEN [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 21-05 hrs from 19,000 feet. Sky marking seemed called for. Quiet trip. No fighters
2 Aircraft lost.
5.45 HOURS
[underlined] 2-10-1943 J2 DV 162. F/LT MAJOR M.I.D. – MUNICH [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 22-37 hrs from 20,000 feet. A good trip. Fires seen to be taking hold and very concentrated. Fires visible up to 100 miles on return journey.
8 Aircraft lost. 7.45 HOURS
[newspaper cutting entitled 25 MINUTES OF HELL] RAID ON [underlined] 2nd OCT. 1943 [/underlined]
[page break]
[underlined] 3 [/underlined]
DATE
[underlined] 4-10-1943 J2 DV 162 F/LT MAJOR. MID. – MANHEIM [underlined] [inserted] + LUDWIGSHAFEN. [/inserted]
[underlined] PRIMARY TARGET – FRANKFURT
DIVERSIONARY TARGET – MANNHEIM [/underlined]
Diversionary target bombed as briefed at 21-33 hrs from 18,500 feet. Very quiet trip. Good fires burning. Photo plotted as Aiming Point. Heading East.
Diversionary target – No Aircraft lost
Primary target – 11 Aircraft lost.
6.10 HOURS
[underlined] 7-10-1943 N DV 306. F/LT MAJOR. MID. – STUTTGART [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 00-15 hrs from 20,000 feet. Left 4 separate fires burning. Double lane of fighter flares on run in to target. Coned by searchlights on bombing run. Fired the colours of the day and escaped by violent evasive action.
4 Aircraft lost.
7.10 HOURS
[underlined] 8-10-1943 N. DV 306 F/LT MAJOR. MID. – HANOVER [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 01-38 hrs from 20,000 feet. Bombed red target indicators to south of main body of fires. Defences difficult between Osnabruck and Munster.
27 Aircraft lost.
4.40 HOURS
[page break]
[underlined] 4 [/underlined]
DATE
[underlined] 20-10-1943 N. DV 306. F/LT MAJOR. MID – LEIPZIG. [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 21.05 hrs from 20,000 feet. Bombed red flare with green stars on ETA. Hit by flak in Mid-Upper gun turret. Returned on 3 engines.
16 Aircraft lost.
6.30 HOURS
[underlined] 22-10-1943 N. DV 306 F/LT MAJOR. MID – KASSEL [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 21-12 hrs from 20,000 feet. Good attack. A shaky return over the North Sea at 53.48 N, 0200 E. Port inner and starboard outer engines cut out together at 4,500 feet causing a vertical dive to 2,300 feet. Returned on 2 engines. IFF used on emergency position. Both engines had iced up together while flying through cloud. The aircraft was flying on Automatic Pilot at the time as the Pilot was standing in the gangway with the Flight Engineer trying to recover from a severe attack of cramp in his thigh. He returned to his seat quickly and pulled the aircraft out of the dive with the assistance of the Flight Engineer.
43 Aircraft lost.
5.50 HOURS
[underlined] 3-11-1943 N. DV 306. F/LT MAJOR. MID. – DUSSELDORF [/underlined]
Bombed primary target at 19-46 hrs from 20,000 feet. Incendiaries taking hold from North to South. Fires seen at the Dutch Coast on the return journey.
18 Aircraft lost.
3.40 HOURS
[page break]
[underlined] 5 [/underlined]
[underlined] JB 604 WAS A BRAND NEW LANCASTER WHICH, WE WERE INFORMED, HAD BEEN PURCHASED BY THE RESIDENTS OF GRIMSBY FOLLOWING A “WINGS FOR VICTORY” APPEAL IN THE TOWN. [/underlined]
DATE
[underlined] 18-11-1943 J. JB 604 F/LT MAJOR. MID. – BERLIN [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 21-12 hrs from 22,000 feet. Bombed on H2S. Large explosion seen at 21-14 hrs. Hit by flak at BOSSUM. Calculated that we were running short of fuel and adjusted throttles and mixture control to give maximum fuel economy. Landed back at Waltham safely. Fuel tanks registered “EMPTY” when dipped.
9 Aircraft lost.
8.30 HOURS
[underlined] 22-11-1943 J JB 604 F/LT MAJOR. MID. – BERLIN [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 20-02 hrs from 21,000 feet. Violent reddish/yellow explosion seen at 20-03 hrs in target area. At 20-08 hrs a column of dense smoke seen rising to 8/10,000 feet. Consider attack to be very satisfactory. Hit by flak which damaged the Bomb-aimer’s panel.
26 Aircraft lost plus 6 aircraft crashed in England.
5.55 HOURS
[underlined] 2-12-1943 J. JB 604 – F/LT MAJOR. MID. – BERLIN [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 20.15 hrs from 29,000 feet. Area of about 4 x 8 miles seemed to be burning well to the east and south of the target. Hit by Flak. Just before we reached Hanover on the return journey a Lancaster flew over us from the Starboard Quarter to the Port Bow. Just after he passed over us the rear gunner fired at us but fortunately the tracer passed just over the top of us. The skipper immediately dived to port and got us out of danger 40 Aircraft lost.
6.55 HOURS
[page break]
[underlined] 6 [/underlined]
DATE
[underlined] 3-12-1943 J JB 604. F/LT MAJOR. MID. – LEIPZIG [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 04-08 hrs from 21,000 feet. Saw vivid red explosion at 04.07 hrs and after leaving the target saw smoke up to 12,000 feet. The fires were visible for 200 miles from the target. Photoflash U/S.
24 Aircraft lost.
7.20 HOURS
[underlined] Aircraft letter changed from “J” to “S”. [/underlined]
[underlined] 16-12-1943 S. JB 604. F/LT MAJOR. MID – BERLIN. [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 20.01 hrs from 21,000 feet. Cloud too thick to observe results. Judging by the large number of photoflashes seen the concentration was excellent. We were the first aircraft to land back at Waltham. 4 Lancasters crashed in collisions in the circuit at Waltham due to very low cloud and poor visibility. As we were taxying to dispersal S/Ldr Bell arrived back, saw the burning wreckage, realised the danger and called up on the R/T to flying control – “”O” Oboe going out to sea” where he remained until everyone else had landed before landing himself.
25 Aircraft lost + 34 Aircraft lost over England.
7.10 HOURS
[underlined] 20-12-1943 S. JB 604. F/LT MAJOR MID. – FRANKFURT [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 19-44 hrs from 20,000 feet. Very few Target Indicators seen. The only TI’s seen were well placed and the attack seemed to be a success.
41 aircraft lost.
5.20 HOURS
[page break]
[underlined] 7 [/underlined]
Date.
[underlined] 23-12-1943 S. JB 604. F/LT MAJOR. MID – BERLIN [/underlined]
A few seconds after taking off at midnight the aircraft shuddered noticeably and icy draughts of air blew round the inside of the aircraft. The Mid-Upper Gunner looked through the inspection panel into the bomb bay and discovered that the 4,000 lb bomb had fallen from its mountings and dropped onto the bomb doors forcing them partially open. At that time we were flying at 300 feet over the centre of Grimsby. The residents were lucky that the bomb doors held; otherwise there would have been considerable damage to the town and many casualties. It would also have blown our aircraft out of the sky. The 4,000 lb bomb was dropped into the North Sea at 53-35 N 00.05 W at 00.15 hrs from 3,500 feet. We then flew round for an hour to lighten the fuel load before landing safely at Waltham.
The bomb doors were damaged in the incident.
16 Aircraft lost.
1.10 HOURS
[underlined] 5-1-1944 S. JB 604. F/LT MAJOR. MID. – STETTIN. [/underlined]
F/O HAMILTON taken as second pilot to give him operational experience. Primary target bombed at 03.48 hrs from 20,000 feet. The defences were really tricked. Fighter flares not seen for 45 mins after our attack. A very good attack. No cloud, visibility very good. Photo plotted 1 3/4 miles 165o heading E. Ground covered by snow. The streets of Stettin were clearly visible. Route Demark, Sweden and the Baltic – return same route.
16 Aircraft lost
8.10 HOURS
[page break]
[underlined] 8 [/underlined]
Date.
[underlined] 14-1-1944 S. JB 604. F/LT MAJOR MID. – BRUNSWICK [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 19-15 hrs from 21,000 feet. Bombing rather scattered. Fighters active and the trip was not as easy as expected.
38 Aircraft lost.
4.50 HOURS
[underlined] 20-1-1944 S. JB 604. F/LT MAJOR MID. – BERLIN [/underlined]
[underlined] 100th OPERATION BY 100 SQUADRON. [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 19-34 hrs from 21,000 feet. PFF marking was accurate. While on our bombing run when a JU 88 appeared directly above us and flying on the same course and speed only 200 – 300 feet above. We completed the bombing run and then dived sideway and downwards rather rapidly.
Believed to be a successful attack.
35 Aircraft lost plus 2 crashed in England.
6.30 HOURS
[underlined] 21-1-1944 S. JB 604. F/LT MAJOR MID. – MAGDEBURG. [/underlined]
Primary target bombed at 23-04 hrs from 20,000 feet. H2S failed just before reaching target area. Camera failed. Route markers on track. Thin low cloud. Visibility above the cloud good. Most quiet and believed successful attack. PFF in the right place.
57 Aircraft lost.
7.05 HOURS
[page break]
[underlined] 9 [/underlined]
DATE.
[underlined] 27-1-1944 S. JB 604. F/LT MAJOR. MID. – BERLIN. [/underlined]
Our crew were Pathfinder Force Supporters on this raid. Our bomb load was high explosive only. Primary target bombed at 20.34 hrs from 20,000 feet. Fires seen 120 miles away on the return journey. Photo-flash hung up on release wire.
33 Aircraft lost.
7.55 HOURS
N.B. The role of PFF Supporters is described on pages 235 and 236 of the book “The Berlin Raids” by Martin Middlebrook
Ref:- ISBN 0-670-80697-8. PENGUIN BOOKS LTD.
I am unable to copy it here as it would be a breach of copyright.
[underlined] 28-1-1944 S. JB 604. F/LT MAJOR. MID. – BERLIN. [/underlined]
Our crew were PFF Supporters. Primary target bombed at 03-18 hr from 20,000 feet. Bombed centre of release point. Release point confirmed by H2S. Biggest explosion yet seen at 03-15 hrs followed by other explosions.
46 Aircraft lost plus 5 crashed in England.
6. 55 HOURS
[page break]
[underlined] 10 [/underlined]
DATE
[underlined] 30-1-1944 S. JB 604. F/LT MAJOR MID. – BERLIN. [/underlined]
Our crew were PFF Supporters. Primary target bombed at 20-21 hrs from 21,000 feet. Route very good. Difficult to assess result due to cloud and the colossal number of fighter flares over the target. Visibility very good at 21,000 feet. Camera unserviceable.
3 x 100 Squadron aircraft lost on this raid.
33 Aircraft lost.
5.55 HOURS
[underlined] 15-2-1944 S JB 604. F/LT MAJOR MID – BERLIN. [/underlined]
Our crew were PFF Supporters. Primary target bombed at 21-11 hrs from 21,000 feet. Red T.I.’s dropped at 21-11 hrs at release point. Release point flares at 21-12 hrs. Yellow T.I’s 21.12 1/2 hrs. H2S U/S. Ground defences appeared to be more accurate and more intense than usual.
43 Aircraft lost plus 5 crashed in England.
On this raid, the rear gunner, Sgt Fred Searle, became unconcious [sic] through lack of oxygen while we were climbing to operational height over the North Sea. I dragged him out of his turret and plugged him in to the oxygen point near the Elsan toilet where he recovered. I discovered that the oxygen economiser on the floor of the rear turret, on the starboard side, was blocked by ice. I by-passed the economiser got the rear gunner back into his turret and we completed the raid successfully. I used all the eight portable oxygen bottles in the aircraft in
[page break]
[underlined] 11 [/underlined]
15-2-1944 Contd. completing this task, which had to be carried out wearing 3 pairs of gloves as the outside temperature was minus 60o at 20,000 feet.
16-2-1944 Recommended for the DPM by Wing Commander Dilworth. Officer Commanding 100 Squadron, Grimsby
17-2-1944 Recommendation approved by Group Captain RAC Carter, Officer Commanding RAF Station Grimsby.
29-2-1944 Recommendation approved by Air Vice Marshall E.A.B. Rice. Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group. RAF.
6.10 HOURS
[underlined] 19-2-1944 S. JB 604. F/LT. MAJOR MID – LEIPZIG [/underlined]
Our crew were PFF Supporters. Primary target bombed at 03.25 hrs from 22,000 feet. Arrived over target early and bombed on H2S. After leaving the target the rear gunner saw red TI’s go down 30 seconds after we had bombed followed by lots of green T.I’s. Reflection of fires seen 40 miles away on return journey.
Reported seeing 3 Lancasters shot down.
W/O W.M. Mitchell replaced P/O I. Levene as Wop/AG on this raid as P/O Levene had completed his tour of ops.
79 aircraft lost.
6.45 HOURS
[page break]
[underlined] 12 [/underlined]
DATE
[underlined] 20-2-1944 S. JB 604. F/LT. K.A. MAJOR MID. – STUTTGART [/underlined]
Our crew were PFF Supporters. Primary target bombed at 03-56 hrs from 23,000 feet. Bombed on H2S. Fire reflections seen 100 miles away on return journey. The intercom was U/S during the whole trip.
9 Aircraft lost.
7.0 HOURS
[underlined] THE END OF OUR TOUR OF OPERATIONS [/underlined]
[underlined] AIRCRAFT FLOWN ON OPERATIONS [/underlined]
“E”. ED 610 – 1 OP – MISSING ON OPS 29-1-1944
“J2” DV 162 – 7 OPS. – REPORTED MISSING ON OPS 4-10-1943. – NOT TRUE AS WE RAIDED MANNHEIM IN HER ON THAT NIGHT.
“N”. DV 306 – 5 OPS – TRANSFERRED TO 550 SQUADRON NOV. 1943. MISSING ON OPS 15-1-1944. 141 HOURS
“J” JB. 604 – 4 OPS.
RELETTERED “S” JB 604 13 OPS – x MISSING ON OPS 24-2-1944.
x INCLUDES ONE EARLY RETURN.
22-2-1944 W/Cdr DILWORTH SIGNED MY LOG BOOK
24-2-1944 W/Cdr DILWORTH KILLED IN A RAID ON SCHWEINFURT
24-2-1944 F/O VLB JONES KILLED IN A RAID ON SCHWEINFURT WHILE FLYING “S”. JB 604.
[page break]
[underlined] 13 [/underlined]
[underlined] CREW MEMBERS [/underlined]
PILOT. F/LT K.A. MAJOR. DFC. MID.
FLIGHT ENGINEER SGT E MAYFIELD DFM.
NAVIGATOR P/O D MEAD. DFC.
BOMB AIMER P/O L PARK DFC.
WIRELESS OP/AG. P/O I LEVENE
MID UPPER GUNNER SGT R.A. CREAMER.
REAR GUNNER. SGT F SEARL.
SPARE W’OP/AG W/O W.M. MITCHELL replaced P/O I. LEVENE ON OUR LAST 2 OPS.
[underlined] The following incidents occurred during our tour of ops but the remaining crew members cannot recall the particular op on which they occurred:- [/underlined]
One day the rear gunner developed a very severe stomach upset but decided to fly on ops that night. Soon after take-off he called the skipper on the intercom to say that he was going to the elsan toilet. Shortly afterwards he called to say that it was too late as he had had an accident. He elected to continue the raid and must have been extremely uncomfortable sitting in his own excrement for many hours.
One night we took an Army Officer on a raid to Berlin, presumably so that he could make a report on the AA defences. His name was not recorded in the Operations Record Book.
[page break]
[underlined] 14 [/underlined]
On another raid we took a civilian whom, we believe, was a newspaper reported for the Daily Express. He did not enjoy the trip and said we must be mad to do it. His presence was not recorded in the Operations Record Book.
One night all the navigational aids in the aircraft became U/S (with the exception of the Pilots compass). The navigator took us to the target and back by taking star shots with the Bubble Sextant.
The rear gunner regularly took empty beer bottles, without stoppers, with him on operations. If searchlights became troublesome en route he would throw them out. Because they made a whistling noise when falling the searchlight crews would think they were bombs and would extinguish the searchlights. If not used before reaching the target they would be thrown out then.
Our Bomb-aimer went on a course at Lindholme to enable him to operate the H2S set which was coupled up to the bomb sight. Thereafter he spent a lot of time with the Navigator operating the set and on several occasions dropped the bombs blind by using the H2S.
[page break]
[underlined] 15 [/underlined]
[underlined] MISCELLANEOUS NON-OPERATIONAL MEMORIES [/underlined]
An unknown pilot hit a steamroller outside flying control while taxying a Lancaster round the perimeter track.
We were doing an air test when the mid upper gunner declared his intention to spend a penny at the elsan toilet. As soon as he descended from his turret the rest of the crew conspired to play a trick on him. When he was in full flow the pilot was told and he then pushed the control column forward gently and then pulled it back suddenly. The gunner became weightless and then fell to the floor still urinating.
At the end of February 1944 a Lancaster ran off the end of the runway, the wheels became bogged down in soft ground and the aircraft came to rest with its nose buried in the ground and the fuselage in the air at an angle of about 40o.
[page break]
[underlined] 16 [/underlined]
Before being posted to RAF Station Grimsby we carried out flying training on Lancasters at RAF Station BLYTON. One night we were practising taking off and landing in the dark when the airfield lights were extinguished suddenly and flying control called on the Radio transmitter to warn us that a German intruder aircraft was in the vicinity and to put out our navigation lights and orbit the airfield beacon. The crew used much bad language in describing the German intruder without realising that it was being overheard by the WAAFS in flying Control as the aircraft transmitter was still on.
The Skipper had to visit flying control to apologise after we landed.
After completing our tour of Operations at RAF Station Grimsby we were posted to RAF Station SANDTOFT as flying instructors on Halifax aircraft in order to train new crews. In the RAF it became known as “PRANGTOFT” because of the large number of aircraft which crashed.
I was fortunate not to lose my life in a crash there. To pass the time between flights the instructors used to play cards, usually Pontoon, in the crew room. On this particular day I was holding the bank at Pontoon when my flight became due so another instructor volunteered to swap flights with me. Just after take-off the aircraft crashed and burst into flames. There were no survivors. Half an hour later, having lost the bank, I took the next flight out and flew over the still burning wreckage.

Citation

RA Creamer, “Robert Creamer's Operations and Wartime Memories,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed September 25, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/26388.

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