463 & 467 Squadron Notes on Ops



463 & 467 Squadron Notes on Ops


Extracts from publications giving details of all operations by 467 and 463 Squadrons from 10 September 1944 to 25 April 1945. Details include number of aircraft, target, bombloads and losses. Interspersed are details of operations carried out by Herbert Adam's crew on 467 Squadron between 10 September 1944 and 16 January 1945 which include many extracts from his diary describing operations and daily activities. Included are photographs of aircraft, crew members, air to ground views, targets, cook's tour and a map diagram. Details of 5 Group Squadrons, Extracts from books and a summary of Bache crew's experiences after operation to Dortmund Ems canal.




Seventy eight page handwritten book

Conforms To


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[inserted] (There is some duplication of notes for Ops [symbol] 1 to [symbol] 14 as I wrote something at different times (years apart.)) [/inserted]
[inserted] [symbol] Soon after we feathered that engine over “A” Flight commander flew up on our wing top & feathered 3 engines & kept up with us! He was giving us some assurance that a lightly loaded Lancaster could fly level (for a while) on 1 engine … reassurance for a new crew [/inserted]
My navigation Logs & Charts of our operations with 467 (RAAF) Squadron at Waddington, near Lincoln, from 10.9.44 to 16.1.45, with extracts from a publication giving some details of every operation by 467 & 463 Squadrons from 10.9.44 to 25.4.45.
[circled 1] [underlined] LE HAVRE, 10.9.44 [/underlined] 21 from 467, 20 from 463 as part of 992 bombers on 8 different German strong points outside of Le Havre. The targets were accurately marked and bombed, with no losses from Waddington. We took off at 1522, flew to Syerston (nearby), then did a radius of action on a track of 260oT so as to be back at Syerston at 1604 at 8000’. The winds were about what was forecast, 025/15; we bombed at 1723 at 12100’, bomb load was 11 x 1000 + 4 x 500 lb H.E. Two minutes after we dropped our bombs our Port Outer motor stopped (stray AA – fire?), we feathered the prop & flew home OK on 3 engines, airborne for 3h 55 min.
[symbol] On 11.9.44, 218 bombers from 5 Group attacked the German positions still holding out at Le Havre, with no losses. 2 British divisions were attacking Le Havre & the German garrison surrendered a few hours after the raid. The British wished to capture the port intact, but the German garrison had laid mines, and blown up most of the docks, and so it was several weeks before the port could be used.
DAMSTADT, 11.9.44. 226 Lancasters from 5 Group bombed at night, losing 1 crew (all K.I.A.) from 463 Sqdn. Our pilot, Peter Gray-Buchanan, did his “Second Dickie” on this raid.
[circled 2] [underlined] STUTTGART, 12.9.44. [/underlined] 20 from 467, 14 from 463, of 204 from [underlined] 5 Group [/underlined]. (On the same night 378 Lancasters bombed Frankfurt with success.) Post-war, a German expert – Heinz Bardau – wrote that the northern & western parts of Stuttgart city were erased in this concentrated attack… a [underlined] fire-storm resulted [/underlined], with 1171 people killed, the city’s highest fatality figure for the war.
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467 Sqdn lost 2 crews (F/L D. Brown, 5 KIA, 2 POW, F/O Bright. 5 KIA, 2 POW.)
We took off at 1916 & set course at 1919, staying at 2500’ until 2137 when we began climbing, to 16000’ by 2233. Our last GEE fix was at 2232 and the next (after bombing OK at 2316) at 0022… so nearly 2 hours of Dead Reckoning with some map reading. (The Germans jammed our GEE receiver so that the screen was filled with “Grass”). The actual winds were about as forecast 160/15 at the target. Our bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb “cookie” & 13 J clusters (of incendiaries). Two minutes after bombing our gunners saw a fighter (they think a Do217) at about 400 yards, so we began to “corkscrew”. We continued corkscrewing until 2329, seeing one plane (unidentified) at about 50 yards! and another with a light on (!). We were airborne for 6h 51 min.
[circled 3] [underlined] BOULOGNE. 17.9.44. [/underlined] We took off at 0806 & flew to Syerston, then did a Radius of Action (on track of 260oT) to return to Syerston at 0837 at 6000’, where we did a circuit to port to lose height & get into formation at 3000! We had an uneventual [sic] trip to the target where we bombed at 8100’, dropping 11 x 1000 + 4 x 500 lb. We were airborne for 3h 26 min. 19 Lancs from each of 467 & 463 joined 762 bombers dropping more than 3000 tons of H.E. bombs on German positions around Bologne in preparation for an attack by Allied troops. The German garrison surrendered soon after the raid.
[circled 4] [underlined] BREMERHAVEN 18.9.44. [/underlined] 19 Lancs from each of 467 & 463 were part of a total of [underlined] 206 from 5 Group [/underlined], with no losses from Waddington. The post-war assessors found that this 5-Group attack, with less than 900 tons of bombs, started a [underlined] fire-storm [/underlined] which destroyed 2750 buildings in the main port area, & that [underlined] 30000 [/underlined] people were made homeless & had to live in the open until evacuated several days later.
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Extracts from a publication giving some details of every wartime operation by 467 & 463 Squadrons (loaned by Sam Nelson) RED = Daylight. BLACK = Night BLUE = We weren’t on it.
[circled 1] 10-9-44 LE HAVRE 21 from 467, 20 from 463 as part of 992 bomber raid on 8 different German strongpoints outside Le Havre. The targets were accurately marked and bombed. No losses.
D. 3h 55m. 11 x 1000 + 4 x 500. 12000’ (We lost P.O. engine during bomb-run).
Day 11-9-44. LE HAVRE. 218 bombers from 5 Group attacked German positions still holding out at Le Havre. Two British divisions were now attacking Le Havre and the German garrison surrendered a few hours later. The British wished to capture the port intact as a supply port for the armies, but the German garrison had proved spiteful – they had mined and blown up most of the docks, and it was a number of weeks before the port could be used.
[inserted] Night [/inserted] 11-9-44 DAMSTADT. 226 Lancasters of 5 Group.
Our pilot (Peter Gray-Buchanan) did his “second dickie”. 1 A/C from 463 lost (7 KIA).
[circled 2] 12-9-44 STUTTGART. 20 of 467, 14 of 463, of 204 from 5 Group. (Same night 378 Lancasters on Frankfurt … with success.) Post war, a German expert, Heinz Bardau, wrote that the Northern + Western parts of the city were erased in this concentrated attack, & that a fire-storm resulted … 1171 people killed. Stuttgart’s highest fatality figure for the war. 467 lost 2 crews: F/L D. Brown .. 5 KIA, 2 POW; F/O Bright … 5 KIA, 2 POW.
F 6h 50m 1 x 4000 + 13 J clusters. 15750’
[circled 3] 17-9-44. BOULOGNE. 19 from 467, 19 from 463, of 762 bombers dropping more than 3000 tons of H.E. bombs on German positions around Boulogne in preparation for an attack by Allied troops. The German garrison
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surrendered soon afterwards.
D. 3h 25 m. 11 x 1000 + 4 x 500. 8100’
[circled 4] 18-9-44 BREMERHAVEN. 19 of 467, 19 of 463, of 206 from 5-Group. No losses from Waddington. The post-war assessors found that this 5-Group attack, with less than 900 tons of bombs, started a fire-storm which destroyed 2750 buildings in the main port area, & that 30000 people were made homeless & lived in the open until evacuated several days later.
D 4h 45m. 18 cans (incendiaries – 150 per can). 15250’
[circled 5] [inserted] 19-9-44 [/inserted] RHEYDT/MUNCHEN-GLADBACH. 19 of 467, 16 of 463, of 227 Lancasters of 5-Group bombing the twin towns. German reports state that only between 267 and 271 people were killed. 467 lost one Lanc, crashing on returning (4 KIA, 1 POW, 2 evaded, including pilot, F/O Findlay) Master Bomber was W/C Guy Gibson, VC, DSO, DFC (of Dambusters fame) flying a Mosquito … which crashed in flames near the Dutch coast. He and his navigator (S/L J.N. Warwick, DFC) were killed and buried at Steenbergen-en-Kriesland. (Orbited target for 17mm – marking delay). 11000’
D 5h 5m 1 x 2000 + 12 J clusters.
[circled 6] 23-9-44 DORTMUND-EMS CANAL (Aqueduct). 19 of 467, 17 of 463, of 136 Lancs. from 5-Group mounting a special attack on the aqueduct at Ladbergen on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. The canal was breached, but losses were heavy 10% of the force were lost. 467 lost F/O G.A. Brown and crew. (5 KIA. 2 POW). (Orbited target losing height for 15 min extra there. Meant to bomb 14000’ but 6400’ due to cloud)
C 5h 25m 14 x 1000
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[inserted] On the unused back of one of the logsheets are some sketches (rough) of GEE BOX & the kind of blips, scales etc, displayed [/inserted]
We took off at 1832, orbited base until 1844, when we set course at 2000’. At 1915 we needed to alter course southwards to regain our track as the winds were from about 085oT rather than 060oT (forecast). Our last GEE fix (before jamming) was on track near turning point A, and we’d climbed to 15000’, from which height we bombed at 2103. Our bomb load was 18 cans of incendiaries. The Lancaster bomb-bay, (quite long & wide, under the floor) had 14 ‘hooks’, so to use 18 cans, 3 of the hooks had a framework added to hold 3 cans side by side. The bomb-aimer could select all 14 hooks to release independently, usually at fairly short time intervals to produce a “stick” of bombs usefully spread. Each can of incendiaries released 150 small bombs about 5 cm diameter & about 40 cm long, each capable of starting a fire.
It was an easy trip for navigation, with GEE only jammed for about 1/2 hr before & after the target. We were airborne for 4h 46 min.
[circled 5] [underlined] RHEYDT/MUNCHEN-GLADBACH. 19.9.44 [/underlined] 19 Lancs from 467, & 16 from 463 were part of a total of 227 from 5 Group bombing the twin-towns. German reports state that only between 267 & 271 people were killed. 467 Sqdn lost one Lanc. crashing on returning (4 KIA but pilot, F/O Findlay, & one other evaded, & the 7th was imprisoned). The Master-Bomber was W/C Guy Gibson VC, DSO, DFC, of Dambuster fame, flying a Mosquito which crashed in flames near the Dutch coast. He and his navigator (S/L J.N. Warwick, DFC) were killed and buried at Steenbergen-en-Kriesland. We took off at 1856 and did a Radius-of-Action (track 260oT) to arrive back at Base at 1913, at 2000’. The winds were about as predicted, we kept close to track & time, and arrived at target at 2139 at 11000’, but were told to [underlined] orbit [/underlined] (to port) due to marking problems. At 2148 we were told to [underlined] orbit again, [/underlined] until, at 2151 we we [sic] told to “attack Green spot fires direct”, which we did at 2155, at 11000’.
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[photograph] D-Dog at Waddington, 1944
[photograph] [symbol] Peter at pilots window
[photograph] Our gunners
Left: Ken Nicholls, Rear Gunner
Right: Ray Giles, Mid-Upper Gunner
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At 2159 1/2 I logged “a/c hit ground – explosion – flame & smoke”
At 2201 1/2 I logged “a/c on ground, bears 000o, 2 min (51o23’, 05o51’E).
At 2211 we saw an unidentified fighter so went into the corkscrew routine, at about 51o30’N 05o00’E.
At 2213 1/2 , while in starbord [sic] turn saw unidentified fighter above us, at about 51o31’N 04o53’E, so continued to corkscrew.
At 2221, I logged “possible a/c hit ground 3 mi on port beam, about 51o32 1/2’N 04o19’E. Our bomb-load was 1 x 2000 lb & 12 “J” clusters. We were airborne for 5h 5 min.
[circled 6] [underlined] DORTMUND-EMS CANAL [/underlined]. 23.9.44. 19 from 467 & 17 from 463 of total 136 Lancs from 5 Group mounted a special attack on the aquaduct at Ladbergen. The canal was breached, but losses were heavy … 10% of the force. 467 Sqdn lost F/O G.A. Brown & crew (5 KIA, 2 POW).
We took off at 1906, did the usual Radius-of-Action to be back at Base at 1931 at 2000’. We crossed the Channel at 4000’ then climbed to 6000’, keeping nicely to track until 2047. GEE was being jammed, and the next 2 fixes showed us 10 & 20 mi North of track … they may have been wrong. We continued by dead-reckoning through cloud climbing to 14000’ and arriving at the target on time at 2148. (We were told by Master-Bomber at 2146 “to bomb 150 ft N.W. of Red Target Indicator (flare)” J. But we were in thick cloud, so [underlined] orbited to port [/underlined] losing height … very dangerous in cloud. At 2155 the Master-Bomber said “cloud base is 8000’, come in and bomb”, but we were still in cloud & had to do [underlined] another orbit [/underlined], losing height to 6300’, so that finally we could see the target at bombed at 2203 from 6400’.
At 2205 I logged “a/c hit ground & exploded 8 mi S.E. of [symbol], (at about 51o59’N 07o53’E.”
At 2228 1/2 I logged “crossed river; a/c hit ground, port beam, 3 mi.”
At 2229 “a/c directly under us hit ground, 52o15’N 06o11’E.”
At 2231 1/2 I logged “a/c hit ground ahead about 10 mi” [brackets]
At 2236 1/2 I logged “a/c (same one?) on port beam, 5 mi [brackets] 52o10’N 06o00’E
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After leaving the target area, the winds must have been stronger than predicted from the South.
At 2253 I logged “Strong searchlights ahead … Bomb-Aimer thinks its Rotterdam” (about 10 mi North of desired track). So we immediately turned 40o to port, but copped some flak.
At 2303 we saw searchlights over the OVER FLAKKEE area, and at 2304 got our first GEE fix since our last good one at 2047 putting us about 11 mi north of track.
Our bomb-load was 14 x 1000 lb. We were airborne for 5h 25 min.
[underlined] CALAIS. 24.9.44. [/underlined] 8 from 467, & 7 from 463 of a total 188 from 5 Group. 8 were shot down, including 1 from 467 Sqdn, F/O R.A. Jones (3 KIA & 4 POW).
[circled 7] [underlined] KARLSRUHE 26.9.44 [/underlined]. 17 from 467, 14 from 463 of a total 227 from 5 Group. A short German report states “that there was damage throughout the city & lists several important buildings destroyed”. 467 Sqdn lost F/O K. Miller (1 KIA, 6 POW).
We took off at 0055 & did the usual radius-of-action to be back at base at 0113 at 3000’. The winds were much as predicted and we kept close to track & timing, our last reliable GEE fix was at 0337; we arrived at target at 0408 and Master-Bomber told us to “bomb direct on mixed Red & Green T.1’s” But we had 10/10 cloud below us, so we “went round again” & managed to bomb at 0414 from 11500’. Our first reliable GEE fix on the way home was at 0444, only just over 1 hour of jamming.
Our bomb-load was 18 cans of incendiaries, and we were airborne for 6h 50 mins.
[circled 8] [underlined] KAISERLAUTERN 27.9.44 [/underlined] 16 from 467, 15 from 463 of a total of 217 from 5 Group, did the only major raid of the war by Bomber Command. 909 tons of bombs were dropped causing widespread damage to this medium-sized city. A local German report complained that the town was not a military objective, but went on to list a catalogue of small factories destroyed. We took off at 2205,
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24-9-44. CALAIS. 8 of 467, 7 of 463, of 188 from 5-Group. 8 were shot down. 467 lost F/O R. A. Jones & crew (3 KIA, 4 POW)
[circled 7] 26-9-44 KARLSRUHE. 17 of 467, 14 of 463, of 227 from 5-Group. A short German report states that there was damage throughout the city & lists several important buildings destroyed. 467 lost F/O K. Miller & crew (1 KIA, 6 POW).
J 6h 50m 18 cans incendiaries 11500’
[circled 8] 27-9-44 KAISERLAUTERN. 16 of 467, 15 of 463, of 217 from 5-Group on Kaiserlautern, a medium-sized city, in the only major raid on it by Bomber Command during the war. 909 tons of bombs were dropped a widespread damage was caused. A local German report complains that the town was not a military object, but goes on to list a catalogue of small factories destroyed.
H 6h 20m 18 cans incendiaries 4000’
(Sept. Summary: 467 flew 199 sorties; lost 6 crews (23 KIA, 17 POW, 2 Ev.) 4 tours completed.)
[circled 9] 5-10-44 WILHELMSHAVEN 17 of 467, 16 of 463, of 227 from 5-Group. 10/10 cloud, marking by H2S. The Wilhelmshaven Diary states that only 12 people died and one bomber was shot down. 467 lost 1 crew (they ditched … hadn’t got to the target … at about 11 am. They were finally rescued about 5pm next day. After short leave, they returned to ‘ops, and were all Killed-in-Action on the Harburg raid.
(This was the only ‘trip’ on which we were allowed to use H2S (they thought enemy fighters could use its transmission to find us). We couldn’t see the markers, so bombed by H2S.)
C. 5h 5m. 18 cans incendiaries. 15000’ (We flew to target in formation escorted by long-range Mustangs
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did a Radius of Action to be back at base at 2228 at 3000’. We stayed at 3000’ until 0010, then climbed to 4500’ and stayed at 4500’ until close to target, when told to bomb from 4000’, which we did (1 1/2 min early), dropping 18 cans of incendiaries. We kept close to track all the way and only lost GEE for an hour. We were airborne for 6h 20 min.
[circled 9] [underlined] WILHELMHAVEN. [/underlined] 17 of 467, 16 of 463, of 227 from 5-Group, a daylight raid flying in formation to the target, escorted by long-range Mustang fighters. The met. forcast [sic] was for considerable cloud at the target, and we were given the most unusual priorities for bombing:-
(i) drop them visually if target is clear;
(ii) use H2S if target is obscured; or (!)
(iii) drop when you see another bomber drop its load.
We took off at 0755, did a Radius of Action to be back at base at 0811 to join formation at 1500’. My GEE set was not working, but being in formation I didn’t have to navigate anyway. Ted Pickard, the new assistant Nav. Officer, criticised my lack of effort to have some practice. At 1010 we began to climb to 15000’ at the target where at 1106 there was 10/10 cloud below. Our Bomb Aimer & I operated the H2S and aimed at the NW corner of the town and dropped our bombs at 1110 and noticed two other Lancasters dropped theirs immediately after. We flew home independently, but other Lancs were visible so we followed the stream. At 1212 I took over flying a plane for the first & only time, keeping straight & level without much trouble for half an hour. We did a bit of map-reading for the last 1/2 hour, and landed at 1306, being airborne for 5h 5 min. Our bomb-load was 18 cans of incendiaries. The Wilhelmshaven Diary states that only 12 people died and that 1 bomber was shot down. 467 lost 1 crew … they ditched before the target at about 11 am & were (finally) rescued about 1700 the next day. After short leave they resumed ops., but were all K.I.A. on the HARBURG raid on 11.11.44. Our bomb-load was 15 cans of incendiaries
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[circled 10] [underlined] BREMEN [/underlined] 17 of 467 Sq., 18 of 463 Sq., of 246 from 5 Group, a night raid on 6.10.44, with bomb-load 18 cans of incendiaries dropped from 17250’. Air borne at 1736 & did Return of Action arriving back at base at 1753 at 5000’. A good navigation trip keeping close to desired track, but winds were lighter than expected, so, despite reducing air-speed twice (10 mph each time) we did a 60o – 120o triangle to lose 7 min. This was the last of 32 major Bomber Command raids on Bremen of the war. This raid, based on the 5 Group marking method, was an outstanding success. 1021 tons of bombs were dropped, of which 868 tons were incendiaries. A detailed report (local) is available which was compiled by an official who stated that: “the night was clear, with 3/4 full moon. A huge fire area was started. Classed as destroyed were 4859 houses, 42 factories, 2 shipyards, the Focke-Wulf works & the Siemens-Schubert electrical works. The transport network was seriously disrupted.” This raid, by no more than 1/4 of Bomber Command (& hardly mentioned in the British War History) had finished Bremen … it was not attacked again in the war.
We landed at 2233 after a trip of 4hr 55 min.
[circled 11] [underlined] FLUSHING [/underlined] (WEST DYKE on WALCHEREN ISLAND in the Scheldt Estuary.) 12 of 467, & 11 of 463 of a total of 121 of 5 Group, a daylight raid on 7.10.44. We each did 2 runs dropping a stick of 7 each run (all 1000 lb HE bombs). The sea-wall was breached and virtually all the island was flooded except the rest of the sea-wall, the central tour (Middleburgh) & the town of Flushing. English newspapers had a photo of the flooded island the next day. We had no losses despite plenty of A.A. [inserted] [two indecipherable words] [/inserted]. On the same day 846 of Bomber Command attacked Kleve-Emerich & Kembs Dams. 617 Sqn. used Tallboys (12000 lb bomb) on Kembs to destroy the floodgates to [underlined] prevent [/underlined] the Germans flooding the valley in the face of the American & French advance.
We were airborn for 3h 10 min.
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[circled 10] 6-10-44 BREMEN. 17 of 467, 18 of 463, of 246 from 5-Group. This was the last of 32 major Bomber Command raids on Bremen during the war. The raid, based on the 5-Group marking method, was an outstanding success. 1021 tons of bombs were dropped of which 868 tons were incendiaries. A detailed local report is available which was compiled by an official who stated that the night was clear with 3/4 full moon … A huge fire area was started. Classed as destroyed were 4859 houses, 42 factories, 2 shipyards, the Focke-Wulfe works and the Siemens Schubert electrical works. The transport network was seriously disrupted. This raid, by no more than 1/4 of Bomber Command (and hardly mentioned in British (War) History, had finished Bremen and the city was not attacked again by Bomber Command.
D 4h 55m 18 cans incendiaries 17250’
12 of 467, 11 of 463, of 121 from 5-Group to successfully breach the sea-wall near Flushing. No losses. (The same day 846 of Bomber Command attacked Kleve Emerich & Kembs Dams … 617 Squadron used ‘Tallboy’ bombs on Kembs. (The idea was to destroy the floodgates to [underlined] prevent [/underlined] the Germans flooding the Rhine valley in the face of French & American advances … this was done OK.)
D 3h 10m 2 sticks of 7 x 1000 6100’ Extra 6 min. orbit for 2nd stick.
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DAY 11-10-44 FLUSHING. 14 of 467, 20 of 463, of 115 from 5-Group attacked gun positions on N. bank of Scheldt Estuary near Flushing. No losses from Waddington.
[deleted] NIGHT [/deleted] [inserted] DAY [/inserted] 14-10-44 DUISBURG Bomber command sent 1013 heavy bombers, and 473 fighters, Americans sent 1251 heavy bombers and 749 fighters … the raid was carried out on a directive from Allied H.Q. to show the Germans the power of Bomber Commands.
NIGHT 14-10-44 BRUNSWICK 19 of 467, 20 of 463 to join 233 of 5 Group. The most effective of numerous raids on Brunswick. Using the 5-Group low-level marking method, Brunswick was finally destroyed. A German report simply lists the number of hectares burnt out. 23000 people were rescued from air-raid shelters and only 200 perished. A special train was sent from Bavaria to help feed the 80000 homeless.
DAY 17-10-44 WESTKAPELLE 2 of 467, 9 of 463 of 47 from 5-Group attacking sea-wall at Westkapelle. Bombing appeared to be accurate but no report is available. No losses.
[circled 12] 19-10-44 NUREMBERG (& DUISBURG) 20 of 467, 20 of 463, of 263 from 5-Group with 7 Mosquitoes in a special low-level-marked attack on Nuremberg. The target was completely cloud-covered and low-level marking could not be used. The raid was effective but not the ‘knockout’ as hoped. (There were 103 bombers from another Group on Stuttgart and other targets, losing only 0.9%). 467 lost F/O E. Rodwell & crew (7 KIA)
D 8h 10m 1 x 2000 + 12 J clusters. 17400’
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On 11-10-44, 16 of 467, 20 of 463 of total 115 (all 5 Group) attacked big gun positions on the bank of [underlined] Scheldt Estuary [/underlined], near Flushing. The big guns prevented a sea attack to open the Estuary for Allied supply shipping (a minefield had to be cleared too), and they menaced the Canadian Army who were attacking south of the Estuary, but couldn’t match these big guns for range. I think the weather was bad, poor visibility maybe no great harm done to the guns.
On 14-10-44 there was a big daylight raid on [underlined] Duisberg [/underlined], carried out as a directive from Allied H.Q. to show the Germans the power of Allied Air Power. Bomber Command sent 1013 heavies & 413 fighters, the Americans sent 1251 heavies & 749 fighters.
That night, (14-10-44) 5 Group sent 19 of 467 Sq & 20 of 463 Sq of a total of 233, to [underlined] Brunswick [/underlined], using the 5 Group low-level marking method, Brunswick was finally destroyed. A German report simply lists the number of hectares burnt out. 23000 people were rescued from air-raid shelters & only 200 perished. Special train sent from Bavaria to help feed the 80000 homeless.
On 17-10-44, 2 of 467, & 9 of 463 Sq. of total of 47 of 5 Group attacked the sea-wall again near Westkapelle on Walcheren Island. Bombing appeared to be accurate but no report was available.
[circled 12] [underlined] NUREMBERG [/underlined]. 5 Group sent 20 of 467 Sq. & 20 of 463 Sq of a total of 263 with 7 Mosquitos to do low-level marking. There was total cloud cover which prevented the low-level marking. The raid was effective but not the knock-out hoped for. The rest of Bomber Command raided Stuttgart & other nearby targets, only losing 0.9%. 467 Sq. lost F/O Rodwell & crew (7 KIA). We took off at 1713, did a Radius of Action coming back to base at 1718 at 2000’. We reduced speed to 150 mph but still had to lose 6 min doing 60oL, 120oR, then got to [symbol] OK but had to orbit as directed.
Bombed 15 min late at 17400’ on Red & Green Target [deleted] [indecipherable word] flares [/deleted]
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Our bomb-load was 1 x 2000 lb HE, and 12 ‘J’ clusters (incendiary). After leaving the target we descended to 6000’, & flew on dead-reckoning, south of Stuttgart & Strasbourg for 2 hours until I got the first GEE fix, nearly 20 miles north of our track, but safely over France. Sid discovered that we had one of the ‘J’ bombs “hung-up”. We went to the jettison area in the Channel & tried to release it manually … did 2 orbits as we kept trying, but without success. So we flew on home to base at 4000’, landing after 8hr 9 min airborne, by far our longest flight so far.
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[inserted] [symbol] Don Coults (Engineer went to Ireland to visit his parents there. [/inserted]
After our 11th Op at Flushing we went on the usual 6-day leave, after only about 4 weeks after we started our tour. The crews were put on a roster for leave, usually each 6 weeks, but you could go earlier if a few crews before you on the list went missing.
A few items from a diary I kept then … 7th Oct: On our return from the Flushing op, we “shot-up” the ‘drome (low level) for W/C. Brill who was going home to Australia. Wrote up log book. Went to a dance with Jackie from our Mess.
8th:- Applied for leave passes. Got paid. Packed.
9th:- Collected subsistence money, & petrol coupons for bike, [symbol] got leave passes. Caught train to London, missed by Ken. Booked in at A.C.F. Club for the night. Ken arrived at 10 pm. We booked in for the rest of the leave. Nice room.
10th. Had breakfast at the Boomerang Club. I looked around & spotted Kirk Beddie from Mendooran. I’ll just go back in time to our first couple of operations to relate a coincidence. When our 8 new crews arrived together, our Nav. Leader, F/Lt Arnold Eastman, was still doing Ops himself, yet was responsible for in-service training of the navigators (especially us new ones). So he delegated the checking of log & charts, and giving advice to some of his senior navigators (Who’d lasted, say 10 ops or more). The first one who helped me twice was called Scotty – I didn’t find out his surname, it was strictly teacher & pupil, especially as he looked elderly … moustache & bald patch … (actually he was about 26). I didn’t see him again at Waddington – we had about 300 air-crew Flight sergeants there.
Anyway, at the Boomerang club, I said good-day to Kirk, we told each other what we’d been doing … he was well into a tour as captain of Sunderland crew – doing Atlantic patrols.
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I remarked that it was a coincidence that the only two fliers [sic] from Mendooran should be on leave at the same place & time. He said ‘-“Oh no, there’s another Mendooranite over here, Vernon Gall, who was the teller at the Bank of NSW there.” I replied that I didn’t know him. Kirk said:- “Well you might not have met him as you were at High School at Mudgee when your parents came to Mendooran, then you worked in Sydney, went into the Army, then the Air Force – you rarely were in Mendooran. Well, what do you know – there he is, I’ll bring him over & introduce you.” Kirk came back with Scotty. We laughed about that coincidence! After the war, when I bought the sports depot in Mudgee & transferred my bank a/c to the Bank of NSW there, Scotty was the teller.
[symbol] At the Club I also met Joe Barber & Eric Gentle who’d been with me at Cootamundra. Ken saw 4 chaps he knew at Lichfield, and I met Rupe Brown the Australian ground-crew corporal who looked after the 3 Lancs & ground crews at our dispersal corner. We went to a play, but didn’t enjoy it - - too serious. Back at A.C.F. played table-tennis with Ken & darts with Sid.
11th: Got some free theatre tickets with Sid & the play was quite enjoyable. Cinema after lunch .. Red Skelton in “Bathing Beauty”, very funny. Game of darts at the Club. Met Jack Freer, who played the saxophone on the ship across the Pacific.
12th. Ken & I got tickets for a play … a good comedy. Darts at the club after supper.
13th Got tickets for a show on Monday. Bought a wireless for £12/3/4.
[symbol] After the war, I found that Ray Meers (Rear Gunner) & Lindsay Francis (Wireless-Operator-Gunner, of Mendooran had both done tours with B.C. about the same time as I.
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14th. Bought more Xmas cards. Had lunch with Peter Dunn from Mudgee at the Club. Saw a newsreel, went to the Windmill theatre, a few beers with Ken, Supper, then table-tennis.
15th. Rupe left to return to Waddington (he’d shared our room
Visited Mme Tussauds waxworks Museum .. very good.
Walked through the Zoo. Saw a newsreel.
16th. At Boomerang Club met Ken Vidler’s crew (I think they were killed a bit later.) Walked the Embankment, saw Cleopatra’s Needle, down Whitehall, got a glimpse of 10 Downing St (cordoned off by Police). Saw the show we’d booked “Happy & Glorious”, easily the best show we’d been to. Had a few drinks with 2 girls who sleep in the railway station at Gloucester Road to be safe from air raids – they’d been doing that for years!
17th: Rain all day. Went cinema that featured 3 films … 4 1/4 hours. Had a steak (!) for 5/- then another film; couldn’t find the ‘steak’ cafe again.
18th. Packed, Sid came back from Exeter & Bristol. Played crib on the train with Sid, all the way to Lincoln. Lunch at 3, collected bike & rode back to camp.
19th. Flew at once for high-level-bombing practice … too much low cloud, so we got a fighter & did some affiliation practice. Then lunch & briefing at 1.30 for a “trip” to Nuremberg, the scene of one of B.C.’s worst losses sometime earlier, when about 500 heavies were caught below high cloud, searchlights lit them up & (from memory) nightfighters, mainly, & flak brought down 49 for a loss rate of 9%. This time it was cloud below us and 467 only lost 1 crew, F/O Rodwell’s … all KIA.
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[circled 13] 23-10-44 FLUSHING. 21 of 467, 20 of 463 of 121 from 5-Group attacked gun positions near Flushing. Visibility was bad and the bombing scattered.
D 3h 20m. 14 x 1000. Briefed to bomb at 6500’ but forced to descend (bad visibility). Bombed at 4000’
[circled 14] BERGEN 28-10-44. 20 of 467, 15 of 463, of 237 from 5-Group, to attack U-boat pens at Bergen. Target was cloud-covered and master-bomber called off the attack after only 47 planes had bombed … from below 5000’ (Mountains within 10 miles of track nearly 4500’!)
D 7h 30m. 12 x 1000 Briefed to bomb at 9000’. Orbited once [inserted] extra 6 min there [/inserted] and lost height using GEE to avoid mountains … bombed at 3800’ Diverted to Marston Moor on return (fog over Waddington). Returned next day.
[inserted] (On our final run there was AA fire from [underlined] above [/underlined] us (mountains) as well as below!) [/inserted]
[circled 15] 30-10-44 WALCHEREN ISLAND. 13 of 467, 13 of 463, of 102 from 5-Group attacked gun positions near Walcheren. The attack was successful and the Allied ground forces commenced their attack on 31st. No losses
Briefed to bomb at 6000’. Cloud over target. Two orbits made – 20 min over target area – bombed at 3500’.
D 3h 20m. 14 x 1000.
OCT ’44 SUMMARY: 467 flew 157 sorties, lost 2 crews (7 KIA, 7 Ev): 5 tours completed, incl. (C.O.) W/C. Brill completing his 2nd tour. 1 crew ditched, rescued & returned.
DAY 1-11-44 HOMBERG. 19 of 467, 17 of 463, of 226 from 5-Group attacked the Meerbeck oil plant at Homberg. Marking was scattered + only 159 planes attempted to bomb. No losses from Waddington.
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After nearly 2 hours on the way home we tried to jettison a J-Cluster (incendiary) which had “hung-up”. We turned back to try to realease [sic] it manually, but failed. So we brought it home & it was safely removed. We landed 1/2 hour late, time airborn was 8hr 9 min. Our bomb-load was 1 x 2000 lb HE & 12 ‘J’ clusters dropped from 17400’.
[circled 13] [underlined] FLUSHING [/underlined] 5 Group sent 121 incl. 21 of 467 Sq & 20 of 463, to attack big gun positions near Flushing on Walcheren Island on 23.10.44. Visibility was bad & the bombing was “scattered”. We took off at 1429, did a Radius of Action & got back to base at 1434 at 2000’. Had a good navigation trip but had to descent from 6500’ to 4000’ to see the target. 1 1/2 min before we bombed our gunners reported a Lanc. hit the sea behind us (I plotted it at 56o33’N, 03o27’E). Quite a few planes were lost and a lot of A.A. damage – we had many holes. Our bomb load was 14 of 1000 lb HE, and 1 of them “hung-up”. We tried to jettison it but couldn’t. We were airborn [sic] for 3h. 19 min.
[circled 14] [underlined] BERGEN (NORWAY) [/underlined] 5-Group sent 237 of which 20 from 467 Sq + 15 from 463, on 28-10-44 to attack U-boat pens at night. We took off at 2221 & did a Radius of Action & got back to base at 2250 at 1500’ which we maintained until 0120 (up till then we were over the N. Sea) when we climbed to 9000’ & increased speed to 180 mph as we were 3 min behind time. When we got to the target we were in cloud. The master bomber told us to come down to 5000’ … we had to orbit carefully as there were mountains East of Bergen over 4000’. I used GEE position lines to descend safely away from mountains to 3800’ when we bombed … about 10 min after the planned time. It was nice to have GEE all the way (no jamming like over Germany) & we kept nicely to track all the way. Our bomb load was 12 x 1000 lb HE. There was plenty of flak around Bergen … some from mountain tops nearly level with us! There was a lot of cloud (& maybe smoke-screen) at the target … master bomber cancelled the raid after only 47 of us bombed
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30.10.44. [symbol] 15 WALCHEREN ISLAND (FLUSHING). 13 from 467 Sqdn & 13 from 463 of 102 total (all 5 Group), daylight raid on big gun emplacements on the Southern edge of Walcheren Island. The Germans also held the Southern banks of the Scheldt Estuary. The Allies had always wanted to capture Antwerp (50 miles inland, the biggest port for unloading tanks & other heavy equipment). While ever these big guns covered both sides of the Estuary, the Allies couldn’t go in to clear the minefields. In fact the Canadian army trying to take the South bank was held up by bad weather (flooded terrain), lack of petrol & ammunition (Patton was partly to blame along with Eisenhower) for so long that eventually, [inserted] our [/inserted] [deleted] Armies [/deleted] [inserted] Marines [/inserted] took Antwerp from the East & finally [inserted] 8 NOV [/inserted] captured Walcheren Island by “sailing” through gaps in the sea-wall from the East! It then took [inserted] nearly [/inserted] another month to clear the mines & winter had set in … too late to use Antwerp for the big offensive they may have been able to mount had they cleared Antwerp 3 months earlier.
We took off at 1340, did a R. of A. & got back to base at 1356 at 1500’. The navigation was easy & we stayed on-track & on-time to the target. We’d been told to bomb at 6000’, but found cloud below, so had to orbit [inserted] twice [/inserted] lose height to 3500’, finally bombing 22 min later than planned. Our bomb load was 14 x 1000 lb HE. We had no losses. The attack was successful, and the Canadian army began their attack along the S. bank the next day.
We dropped 14 x 1000 lb HE; the flight took 3h 20 min. For October, 467 Sq. flew 157 sorties, lost 2 crews (7 KIA, 7 Evaded); 5 tours were completed; 1 crew ditched, were rescued & returned.
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Nov 1st. 226 Lancs of 5 Group (19 from 467 & 17 from 463), in daylight, raided the Meerbeck oil plant near Homberg. Weather was bad, the marking was scattered and only 159 attempted to bomb. No losses from Waddington.
2.11.44 [symbol] 16. DUSSELDORF. 5 Group was part of a big raid (992) by Bomber Command, 15 from 467, 15 from 463. Detailed German reports listed 5000 buildings destroyed, many of them industrial & production works. There were other raids that night too … a total of 1131 sorties. We took off at 1651, 15 min. late. We climbed to 17000’ & increased speed to 170 mph to catch up. At 1920 (at 18000’) we were “coned” by searchlights … very dangerous as ‘flak’ then could be fired visually. We shook them off & bombed at 1925, & I noted that an aircraft was hit about 10 mi ahead, our heading 220o.T. On the way home in the next 26 min, I made 12 more log entries of aircraft crashing to the ground with estimates of their bearing & distance from us.
The RAF had set up 2 more GEE “chains” based in Europe. I tried the RUHR chain, but found the readings “wouldn’t plot”.
Our bomb-load was 11 x 1000 lb & 4 x 500 lb HE.
The trip took 5h 20 min.
467 Sqdn lost F/O Langridge & crew (3 KIA, 5 evaded).
Dusseldorf taken (on Cook’s tour 19.6.45
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[circled 16] 2-11-44. DUSSELDORF. 15 of 467, 15 of 463 as part of 992 of Bomber Command. Detailed German reports list 5000 buildings destroyed, many of them industrial & production works. (There were other raids that night too … a total of 1131 sorties.) 467 lost F/O L. Langridge & crew (3 KIA, 5 evaded).
C. 5h 20m. 11 x 1000 + 4 x 500. 18000’
NIGHT 4-11-44 DORTMUND-EMS CANAL. 12 of 467, 12 of 463, of 174 from 5-Group attacked the canal near Munster. The banks of the canal were breached again. A report from Albert Speer to Hitler dated 11.11.44 was captured at the end of the war. Speer stated that the raids on the Dortmund-Ems canal, with attacks on the rail system, produced more serious setbacks to the German war industry at this time than any other type of bombing.
[circled 17] 6-11-44. EMS-WESER CANAL. 19 of 467, 16 of 463, of 235 from 5-Group attacked near the junction of the Ems-Weser and Mittland canals, near Gravenhorst. Markers had considerable difficulty in finding the junction due to ground haze, until a low-flying Mosquito (pilot: F/L L.C. de Vigne, and Aust. navigator, S/L. F. Boyle of 627 Sqdn) found and marked the target with such accuracy that the marker fell into the water and was soon extinguished. Only 31 planes bombed before the Master-Bomber ordered the raid be abandoned. 10 planes lost in the raid, 3 crews from 463 (all KIA). Waddington was fog bound on return & most planes were diverted to Seething. We were perhaps the last to land (in v. poor visibility).
D 5h 25m. 14 x 1000 (but did not bomb). Orbited target once, for extra 10 min. over it.
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4.11.44. 174 Lancs of 5 Group, 12 each from 467 & 463 Sqdns, attacked the Dortmund-Ems Canal, near Munster. The banks of the canal were breached again. A report from Albert Speer to Hitler dated 11.11.44 was captured at the end of the war. Speer stated then:- “that the raids on the Dortmund-Ems Canal, with attacks on the rail system, produced more serious setbacks to the German war industry, at this time, than any other type of bombing.” (In early 1945, the raids on oil targets may have been even more damaging to their war effort.)
6.11.44 [symbol] 17. EMS-WESER CANAL. 235 of 5 Group, 19 from 467, 16 from 463 attacked the Ems-Weser junction with the Mittland Canal, near Gravenhorst. The markers had considerable difficulty finding the junction due to ground haze, until a low-flying Mosquito (pilot: F/Lt L.C. de Vigne, & Australian navigator, S/Ldr F. Boyle of 627 Sqdn) found & marked the target with such accuracy that the marker landed in the canal & was soon extinguished. Only 31 planes bombed before the Master-Bomber abandoned the raid. 10 planes were lost, 3 of them from 463 Sqdn (all KIA).
We were supposed to take off at 1633 but actually took off 28 min late, so once we climbed to 11000’ we boosted our I.A.S. to 180 mph & were on-time by 1915. I logged a Lanc. crashing at 1923 1/2; we had to orbit twice [inserted] (12 min) [/inserted], at the target (due to the marking problem) … very dangerous. Logged 4 more planes crashing [deleted] at [/deleted] in the target area, & another at 1943, after we’d left the target without bombing. I couldn’t get any “joy” on either of the 2 new GEE chains. The trip took 5h. 25 min. We brought back our 14 x 1000 lb H.E. bombs.
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The weather deteriorated on the way back … the bumps were so bad that I had to hold all my navigation gear down to stop them hitting the roof, & brace my knees under the nav. table to avoid joining them there. The visibility at Waddington was bad due to fog, and most of our planes were diverted to Strubby; however, Peter did an abbreviated circuit (so he could actually keep the runway in sight) & then came in as if in a Tiger Moth, almost clipping the caravan stationed near the “funnel” (where they might use a Verey to send-you-round-again), but he landed safely … and then they closed the airfield.
Besides getting the 2 new GEE chains (RHEIMS & RHUR) to help with navigation over Germany, we now had LORAN fitted. It was similar in some ways to GEE, but depened [sic] on the radio signals being reflected from the ionosphere (only at night). The stations were widely separated … I think England, Norway, Italy … and each single reading had to be made & timed, then another [deleted] one [/deleted] tuned-in, read & timed … probably 2 min or more later, & the running -fix method used. On 9.11.44 we did at [sic] Cross-Country, using Loran, over England, ending with some high-level bombing practice … 3 1/4 hrs trip. The trailing aerial had to be used to receive Loran signals.
11.11.44 [symbol] 18. HARBURG. A 5-Group raid of 237 planes, + 8 marker Mosquitos, 19 from 467, 14 from 463 … a night raid on the Rhenania-Ossag oil refinery, near Hamburg. This refinery had been raided several times by American daylight bombers. We took off at 1627, did a R. of A. to be back a [sic] base at 1634 at 3000’.
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We climbed to 15000’ & later to 16000’ to get out of cloud, & kept nicely to track all the way to the target, getting a bit behind time all the way (no worries we were over the sea nearly all the way). We bombed 8 min late from 16000’. Our WOP (Eric) told us the Master Bomber said to bomb the centre of the Red Target Indicators (there were 4), but to ignore outside Indicators which were dummies (set up by the Germans). Half an hour before the target I wanted to use LORAN, but Eric (our WOP) said he’d been ordered not to use the trailing aerial. I relied on Dead-Reckoning from the target and got my first GEE fix 50 min later about 15 mi. N. of track.
Our bomb-load was 1 x 4000 lb “cookie”, 6 x 1000 lb, & 6 x 500 lb H.E. We could still see the plant burning from 100 mi away on our way back. Our squadron lost F/O Fedderson’s crew (7 KIA) & F/O Eyre’s crew (6 KIA, 1 POW) … one of these killed was Geoff (“Bushie”) Goodfellow, their navigator, one of my best friends … we played a lot of cards together & we bunked opposite each other in our room. He came from Tooraweenah (father ran the “Mountain View” hotel there), & he said I was the only person he’d met that had even heard of the place, let alone been there, which I had.
F/L Kynoch’s plane was hit & badly damaged, but he crash-landed it at Manston (an emergency ‘drome on the coast) & he & the crew survived.
The flight lasted 5h. 35 min.
On 13.11.44 we did our “20 SORTIE CHECK”, on a flight of 55 min. We’d only done 18 ops plus the 2 BULLSEYES at Lichfield & Swinderby.
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[circled 18] 11-11-44 HARBURG. 19 of 467, 14 of 463, of 237 from 5-Group, plus 8 Marker Mosquitos attacked the Rhenania-Ossag oil refinery at Harburg (near Hamburg). This had been attacked several times by American (day) bombers. Brunwig’s ‘History of Hamburg & Harburg’ (air-raids), gives the raid a brief mention. (We could still see the plant burning 100 miles away on our way home.)
467 lost F/O. M. Fedderson & crew (7 POW), and F/O. T. Eyre & crew [inserted] (G Goodfellow was the Nav) [/inserted] (6 KIA, 1 POW). F/L Kynoch’s plane was hit and badly damaged – he crash-landed at Manston (an emergency ‘drome on the coast).
D 5h 35m. 1 x 4000 + 6 x 1000 + 6 x 500 16000’
[circled 19] 16-11-44 DUREN. 15 of 467, 15 of 463, as part of 1188 from Bomber Command, attacked Duren, Julich & Heinsburg in support of the American 1st & 9th armies which were about to advance on this area. Raids were made by 1239 American heavy bombers on targets in the same area. (this was the biggest raid we took part in … there were planes to the horizon all the way, heaps of fighter escorts.) 9400 tons of bombs dropped. The result was disappointing. Heavy rain and wet ground prevented much of the tank assault and slowed the supplies of artillery ammunition and the armies’ advance was slow and costly. (For our part, the centre of Duren was reduced to rubble.) G/C. Bonham-Carter, O/C of Waddington led our Group, as ‘second dickie’ to the crew who had bombed the wrong target on a daylight raid on Flushing (23-10-44?), killing some Canadians.
D 5h 25m. 12 x 1000. 10500’
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16.11.44 [symbol] 19. DUREN (daylight). 15 planes from 467, & 15 from 463, were part of a big effort by Bomber Command (1188 planes) attacking Duren, Julich & Heinsburg in support of the 1st & 9th American Armies which were about to advance in this area. Raids were made on other targets in this area by 1239 American heavy bombers. This was by far the biggest raid we took part in … there were planes to the horizon all the way with heaps of fighter escort … [deleted] B [/deleted] 9400 tons of bombs were dropped, but the result was disappointing. Heavy rain & boggy ground prevented most of the tank attack and slowed supplies of artillery ammunition with the result that the advance was slow & costly. For our part, the centre of Duren was reduced to rubble – it may have needed bulldozers to clear a path through it! The base commander at Waddington, Gp/Capt Bonham-Carter, led 5 Group as ‘second dickie’ to one of our crews who had bombed the wrong “target” (a smoke-generator) on an earlier daylight raid near Flushing on 23.10.44, killing some Canadian army men.
The navigation was easy. Our bomb-load was 12 x 1000 lb H.E. dropped from 10500’. Flight time: 5h 25 min.
[two photographs]
Snaps of Duren taken on the “Cook’s Tour” I did on 19.6.45.
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Extracts from Diary –
18.11.44 navigators briefing at 1.30 for a v. long trip. Not enough time for preparation. Our crew just got out to the “kite” when the trip was “scrubbed” …joy! After tea we went down to the local Horse & Jockey (Hotel). Saw a bloke about his car, & bought it for £3 … a little Morris 8 HP Sedan
19.11.44 To navigation section before lunch for another briefing, to the same place as yesterday, more time for preparation & less to do. No lunch … sandwiches at briefing … then it was scrubbed again. Collected car.
20.11.44. Went to briefing for another daylight raid on the Dortmund-Ems canal, but it was scrubbed. Went to town with Ken Nichols & Ken (of ground crew) … wanted to go to the theatre, but all seats were sold, so we went to the cinema & saw “White Cliffs of Dover.”
21.11.44. Briefed again for the same canal raid as yesterday, chart was already done. [symbol] It was scrubbed at the 11th hour & we missed lunch … again had sandwiches in the briefing room.
21.11.44 [symbol] 20 DORMUND-EMS CANAL
We took off at 1726, did a R. of A. & got back to base at 1754 at 2000’. The winds were light & fairly consistently Westerly at first, then N.W. It was easy to keep on track & close on-time. At 2020 I logged “Lanc, crashed & blew-up 15 mi. astern”. We’d been at 10250’ until 2058 when WOP told us to descent to 3-4000’ … we did so, fast, and bombed at 2103. At 2108 I logged: “Aircraft crashed below us 3 mi. past other target.” At 2232 we jettisoned a hang-up bomb in the sea. Landed at base at 2337, time airborne 6h 11 min. Our bomb-load was 13 x 1000 lb H.E.
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21.11.44. [symbol] 20. DORTMUND-EMS CANAL, near LADBERGEN.
15 from 467, 15 from 463 bombed Dortmund-Ems & Mittland Canals; as part of Bomber Command maximum effort of 1345 heavy bombers attacking 6 targets in this general area.
No losses for 5-Group.
We took off at 1726, did a R. of A. getting back to base at 1754 at 2000’. I had a good navigation trip, GEE from England lasted until 2020, then the RUHR chain worked to the target area. I logged a Lanc. blowing-up 15 mi astern at 2020. We were briefed to bomb at 10500’ but, 5 min before out T.O.T our W.O.P. (Eric) got word that we descend to 3 – 4000’ to get below cloud. We descended quickly & bombed 5 min later at 4500’; then began climbing again into the clouds. Tried Loran for fixing without success. We had a bomb hang-up, but jettisonned [sic] it in the sea at 2222.
Our bomb load was 13 x 1000 lb H.E.
The trip took 6h 10 min.
This is an enlargement of the smaller print of the area bombed repeatedly … DORTMUND EMS CANAL.
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[photograph] Open bomb-bay of a Lanc. loaded with 1000 lb H.E. bombs. Bomb-aimer could select each one to drop separately at predetermined intervals (usually close together as a “stick”.)
[photograph] Our Mid-upper gunner Ray Giles, near his turret – 2 Browning .303 machine guns
[photograph] Lanc’s in formation on a daylight raid. Nearest is PO-J
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On a low-level “Cooks Tour” from Wigsley on 19th June, 1945 (after war’s end in Europe), I took some photos with the old box Kodak.
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The Dortmund Ems canal where it was built above a stream, shown clearly in the left photo. The embankments here were bombed repeatedly, 8 times I think. We did 3 of Ops there and one at the nearby Ems-Weser canal.
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Broken bridges over the Rhine at Duisberg – we didn’t bomb there, but 5 Group did.
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The Krupps works at Essen, which was regularly bombed by the RAF during most of the war. Including some 1000 – bomber raids.
[photograph] Wrecked bridges at Cologne, another regular RAF target; somehow the Cathedral survived.
[photograph] The railway marshalling yards at Hamm received plenty of “attention”
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Dusseldorf was regularly bombed … we did our 16th Op. there
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[circled 20] 21-11-44. DORTMUND-EMS CANAL, (near LADBERGEN). 15 of 467, 15 of 463 as part of 1345 Bomber Command heavies attacked 6 targets in this general area. 5-Group targets were the Mitteland and Dortmund-Ems canals … without loss.
D 6h 10m. 13 x 1000. Briefed to bomb at 10250’, got 5 min warning by radio to descend to cloud base … bombed at 4500’.
[circled 21] 23-11-44. TRONDHEIM. 16 of 467, 4 of 463 of 171 from 5-Group, incl. 7 Mosquito Markers, to attack U-boat pens at Trondheim. The target was covered b y a smokescreen and could not be marked. The Master Bomber ordered the raid abandoned. No losses. (The weather was bad; big wind changes. Many jettisoned bombs in North Sea or diverted to North Scotland due to fuel shortage … we were the only one to return to Waddington with bombs still aboard.)
D 10h 55m. 9 x 1000 (brought home).
26-11-44 MUNICH (Our rear gunner, K. Nickols, went on this trip as ‘spare bod’.) 270 Lancs from 5-Group, 467 lost F/O Findlay & crew (crashed – out of fuel … their Nav. vomited and blocked his oxygen supply, went unconscious and they got lost in cloud. But all survived the crash and were flown home by the Americans on 1.12.44.
NOVEMBER SUMMARY 467 did 148 sorties, lost 4 crews (9 KIA, 8 POW, 11 Ev) 8 tours expired. 2 were badly wounded.
NIGHT 4-12-44 HIELBRONN. 282 from 5-Group (Main force attacked Karlsruhe). 467 lost F/O J. Plumridge & crew (6 KIA. 1 POW). F/L Bill Kynock & crew attacked by fighter, rear gunner killed (F/S R. Steele), and plane badly damaged (we think it was ‘D’.), crash landed at Manston (emergency airfield).
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23.11.44 [symbol] 21. TRONDHEIM (Norway). 5-Group sent 171 planes (including 7 Mosquito markers) to attack the U-boat facilities there. This was a very long trip mostly over the North Sea at low-level (1000’) in bad weather, rain & severe wind-changes. Tankers topped us up with petrol at the end of the runway before we took off at 1609, 12 min late. GEE ran out at 1848 … over 2 hours before we’d reach the target. We were unable to identify where we crossed the coast, so we continued on northwards and at 2050 saw the target lit up by flares to our left. A wind velocity to use for bombing was received by radio, and at 2055 we saw yellow Target Indicators about 10 mi to Port. We turned to a Westerly course. At 2102 we were told to abandon the raid as a smoke-screen obscured the target. We continued by Dead Reckoning & B.A. (Sid) identified a pin-point at 2112. We descended from 9000’ to 1000’, and at about 2130 discovered that the earlier pin-point was wrong, giving a new one near Smolen Island. At 2248 I got my first GEE fix (after 1 1/2 hr since the target) … about 50 mi NW of where we thought we’d be … big wind change. Pilot (Peter) & I decided to aim to land at LEUCHARS (Nth Scotland) as we had a head-wind. Then, at 0024 I got a good fix & found the wind had eased & changed to NE, and by 2130 was from the NW & getting faster. Pilot & Engineer consulted with me & we decided to try for Waddington, cutting our speed back from 190 to 170 mph. The wind held about NW & increased to about 45 mph, so we reached base OK & landed at 0302, with only about 80 gallons left. Most of our planes jettisonned [sic] bombs in the North Sea, or landed at Leuchars. We were the sole plane to bring our bombs home to Waddington. Trip-time 10h 53 min.
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26.11.44. 5-Group sent 270 heavies to MUNICH. Our rear-gunner, Ken Nicholls went as a “spare-bod” in place of a sick crewman. One of the 467 crews crashed, out of fuel. Their navigator had vomited and blocked his oxygen supply, he went unconscious, and they were lost in cloud. They all survived the crash-landing and were flown back by the Americans on 1.12.44.
November summary for 467 Sqdn: 148 sorties, 4 crews lost (9 KIA, 8 POW, 11 Evaded); 8 tours expired. 2 men were badly wounded.
4.12.44 (night). HEILBRONN was attacked by 282 from 5 Group, while the main force of Bomber Command attacked Karlsruhe. 467 Sqdn lost F/O Plumridge & crew (6 KIA, 1 POW). F/Lt Bill Kynoch’s plane was attacked by a fighter, his rear-gunner killed (F/Sgt R. Steele) & the plane badly damaged … we think it was our favourite “D”. They crash landed at the emergency ‘drome, Manston, & we heard that “D” was a write-off.
6.12.44. GIESSEN (night) attacked by 255 of 5-Group (19 from each of 467 & 463 sqdns) while the rest of Bomber Command bombed Osnabruck & Leuna (oil plant).
8.12.44 URFT DAM [symbol] 1. 205 of 5-Group (10 of 467, 15 of 463). 9/10 cloud over target, no result observed. No loss.
10.12.44 URFT DAM [symbol] 2. 5-Group (15 [inserted] each [/inserted] of 467 & 463). All were recalled before the target due to bad weather & visibility.
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More extracts from Diary.
23.11.44. No operations on. Went to Lincoln with Peter & Don in my car to see about getting Peter’s car fixed. Went to the pictures.
Feeling very crook … terrible cough.
24.11.44. Went on sick parade. The Dr. reckoned I was OK for flying … I didn’t. had heard there was to be a long trip that night & saw the Dr. again .. he put me into Sick Quarters & I slept!!! about 20 hours a day. Our crew wasn’t listed for the operation that night, but our rear-gunner, Ken Nichols, opted to go with Bill Kynock’s crew … but the trip was scrubbed anyway. Ken visited me.
25.11.44. Still in sick-quarters. No ops. Ken, Don & Rupe came to see me, then they went to an ENSA concert on the base.
26.11.44. Out of sick-quarters. Ken went with Kynoch’s crew to MUNICH in crook weather. It was OK at the target, quiet & a good ‘prang’. Went over to [deleted] 3 Sqdn [/deleted] SICK QUARTERS to see Ted Pickerd who’d been our Navigation analysis ‘joker’ for some months. Played pontoon, won 10/- Kynoch’s crew were diverted to Langham.
27.11.44. Went to Swinderby & got 3 gal of petrol in the car. Ken & Kynocks crew came back from Langham.
28.11.44. No ops. Made up a list of comments on ops that had to be done … big job. Flew to Thornaby [deleted] to bring [/deleted] & back in ‘D’ [deleted] back [/deleted] with a ferry crew for their plane.
Navigators party on tonight … too bad Ted Pickerd is still in sickquarters. Des Sands (o i/c A flight … Sqn Ldr, DFM on 2nd or 3rd tour) Lionel Hart & I took others in cars, the rest used bikes. Wionderful show. Bags of beer & fun.
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NIGHT 6-12-44 GIESSEN 19 of 467, 19 of 463, of 255 from 5-Group. (Main force attacked Osnabruck & Leuna).
DAY 8-12-44. URFT DAM [symbol] 1. 10 of 467, 15 of 463 of 205 from 5-Group. 9/10 cloud over target and no result observed. No loss.
DAY 10-12-44 URFT DAM [symbol] 2. 15 of 467, 15 of 463 … 5-Group. All recalled before reaching target due to bad weather and visibility.
[circled 22] 11-12-44 URFT DAM [symbol] 3. 15 of 467, 15 of 463, of 233 from 5-Group, with Mosquito Markers. Hits observed but no breach seen. (We brought our bombs home, despite doing an orbit … (hoping for gap in clouds) … against orders … extra 7 min. in target area. Very accurate radar-directed flak; we lost P.O. motor.).
F 6h 5m. 14 x 1000 (brought home) (9750’)
[circled 23] 17-12-44 MUNICH. 22 of 467, 19 of 463 of 280 from 5-Group, with 8 Mosquito Markers. (Main force attacked Duisburg, Ulm and Munster … a total of 1310 heavies, 1.1% loss.) Reconnaissance showed severe damage. 467 lost F/O T. Evans & crew (all 7 Ev) … they collided after bombing with an engine on fire.
M 9h 45m 1 x 4000 + 9 cans + 1 MONROE 11750’
[circled 24] 18-12-44 GDYNIA. 19 of 467, 15 of 463 of 236 from 5-Group. 2 crews from each flight attacked 2 pocket Battleships anchored near the port (which was the main target) … we hit “Lutzow” with 3 of our bombs (& 1 v. close in water) nicely near funnel area. Considerable damage to port area.
M 9h 45m. 10 x 1000 S.A.P.
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29.11.44. No ops. Went into Lincoln to try to register car … no joy; had to go to Sleaford, but no time. Tore around garages [inserted] for [/inserted] a battery & brake adjusters, but no joy. Finished off the navigation comments from yesterday. Decided to sell my autocycle & got a buyer. Played pontoon, won 3/-.
30.11.44. No ops. Went to Sleaford, got car registered & oil changed. Got coupons for petrol to go on leave, packed up, got leave pass, laundry & shoes. Went into Lincoln with Ken & got petrol & a new battery. Saw about trains for Ray & Eric for tomorrow.
1.12.44. Went out to our dispersal where mechanics helped get new battery in & working after a lot of trouble … bludged a couple of gallons of petrol from Ken (ground crew). Left at 10.10, had lunch at Nottingham & then went on to Birmingham, getting to where Don was staying at 3.30. had tea there, played solo until 1.30 am, went down to “Old Farm” at [inserted] ? Wesley [/inserted] Westly Castle for the night.
2.12.44. Duck eggs for breakfast! Lunch at Police Station (don had been a policeman in Birmingham before he enlisted for air crew.) Then tea at Mrs Benlays (friend of Don). Met Ken & Mrs Smith & Margaret from next door. Played solo. Went to Police Club for drinks. More solo ‘till 2 am. Slept next door at Smiths.
3.12.44. Breakfasts on both at Smiths & Benlays. Called at jewellers for Ken’s watch, but no luck. Set off for Swindon. Lunch at Swan’s Nest in Stratford. Looked over Shakespeare’s birthplace, got postcards & saw Home Guard parade. Went on to “Stow-in-the-Wold” & stayed the night in a nice little pub. Played darts, crib & drank beer.
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[photograph] Engineer Don Coutts & Mid Upper Gunner Ray Giles, Birmingham
[photograph] Rear Gunner, Ken Nichols, & Ray Giles at Benlay’s place at Birmingham where we stayed on leave 1/2 Dec ’44.
[photograph] Ray Giles, at Benlays’ place, Birmingham
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More from the Diary.
4.12.44. Rachel Swindon for dinner. Found our way out to Clyffe-Pyhard & saw Bunty Duff & got back just before dark. Had tea at fish & chip shop & went to pictures – saw Jon Hall & Maria Montez in ‘Cobra Woman’.
5.12.44 After breakfast towed an Engineers car to get it started. Bought side-lamp for car. Reached Slough via Reading for lunch & called [deleted] on [/deleted] at Margaret Vyner’s place … she was in London meeting Hugh Marlowe, home from France on 72-hours leave. Saw Mrs Vyner & Hugo, had afternoon tea & went to Slough, booked in at Salthill Hotel & had tea. At pub, picked up 2 girls & took them home but got lost on the way back. Turned in at 12.30.
6.12.44. Looked around a lot of shops in Slough & finally got some bulbs for dash-lights. Met an old Aussie-Scot, Macintosh for yarn & drinks; he showed us his home at 26 Windsor Rd. Slough. Drove to Windsor & looked over Eton College on Founders Day, … going for 504 years. Saw Windsor Castle & had tea there. Played cards with Ken, before & after tea.
7.12.44. After breakfast caught train to London & booked in at A.C.F. Club. Met Scottie Gall & Kirk Beddie again; had steak (!) & mushrooms at Athens Cafe; went to pictures & saw “Casanova Brown”. More steak with onions then a variety show at the Empire in Finsbury Park. Went back tp pub at Gloucester Rd & saw girls we knew from last leave in London. Also ran into Syd & Peter.
8.12.44. Arranged to meet Peter on the way to Cambridge. Got car at Slough & was 1 hr late in meeting Peter. Had lunch at Cambridge Arms. Saw a good picture “Love Story”. Met a navigator I knew at Brighton … Cameron, who’d done 35 ops in Mosquitos. More steak & onions for supper.
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9.12.44. Looked at some of Cambridge University … not much to see. Had lunch at roadside pub and got to Lincoln about 4.30. collected photos, had drinks at the Saracens head & went to a show at the Royal Theatre. Peter’s car had a flat tyre. Got battle-dress from cleaners & put overcoat in. A good leave
10.12.44. Welcomed back to nav. section. No ‘war’ today. had an interview for commission with Group-Captain Bonham-Carter. W/Cdr Bill Brill had told us not to apply for a commission until we’d done about 20 “trips”. But after he left, in October, the new C.O. W/Cdr J.K. Douglas invited anyone interested in a commission to apply, regardless of the number of ops. I did, but didn’t impress him with my answers (especially when I said “probably not” to his question “would I be more use to the air force with a commission?”. He didn’t recommend me. But Bonham-Carter said something like this: “I have 2 W’ Cdrs here, at 467 & 463; one C.O. recommends virtually all applicants after they’ve done 20 trips; the other (Douglas) likes to interview them at depth & knocks a few back. I have to make the final decision. You seem to be doing well. I’ll look at you again next month.” (He saw me in Mid-January with only one Op (Brux) to go, and recommended me without any further questioning.)
11.12.44. Took laundry & boots down but didn’t have time to check them in … there’s “war” on. Went to briefing room & sorted out Gee charts. The briefing was hurried; the plane we got, (F), was slow, climbed poorly, and we were late getting to the target.
(con’t on next page)
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11.12.44 [symbol] 22. URFT DAM No 3. Daylight raid by 233 from 5-Group (15 each from 467 & 463 Sqdns), with Mosquitos doing the marking. Hits were observed but no breach seen. We brought our bombs back despite doing an orbit (against orders) hoping for a gap in the clouds … we spent 7 minutes extra over the target, and experienced very accurate radar-directed flak just after leaving. We lost our Port-Outer motor.
We took off at 1205, did a R. of A. returning to base at 1219, at 6000’. We climbed to 12000’ & “cruised” at 170 mph, but gradually got behind time (5 min late at 1350) but only 3 min. late at the target. This plane, F, would not go any faster with our bomb-load of 14 x 1000 lb. H.E. Pilot feathered our Port Outer motor at 1554 (maybe some flak damage). Jettisonned [sic] 2 bombs at 1645 which took extra time … ending up 47 min. late home. Flight time 6h 5 min.
17.12.44 [symbol] 23. Night-raid on MUNICH by 280 from 5-Group, (22 from 467, 19 from 463), with 8 Mosquito markers. The rest of Bomber Command attacked Duisberg, Ulm & Munster, a total of 1310 ‘heavies’, for a 1.1% loss rate. Reconnaissance showed severe damage. 467 lost F/O T. Evans & crew (all 7 Evaded) … they collided after bombing with an engine on fire; they baled out before the plane crashed.
We took off at 1636, 3 min late, and immediately began climbing on course, south for Reading, then into France near Le Havre, mostly at 4000’, very bumpy, tried 5000’ to get out of cloud, then down to 3000’ & back to 4000’. As we neared the SW corner of Switzerland we climbed to 15000’ & skirted its southern border, seeing lights on in some villages.
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We had a good navigation trip to the target, keeping close to track & timing OK. We used GEE until 2026, then some LORAN fixes (some inaccurate) but sighted target at 2152, descended to 12000’ to bomb at 2211.
At 2214 I logged “air-to-air firing up – qr. to beam”
At 2215 1/2 “ “ “aircraft went in 40 mi ahead”.
We began descending in steps to 5500’ & continued to use LORAN until 2350 when GEE came good.
I got very airsick about 2250 (first time since Cootamundra!), and at about 2310 saw flak coming up from Mulhouse, so we turned to Port to avoid it. At 0110, the GEE box went unserviceable (U/S), and we read PUNDITS back to base where we landed at 0220. Flight time was 9h 45 min, bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb “cookie” & 9 cans of incendiaries & 1 Monroe.
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18.11.44. [symbol] 24. GYDNIA (“A” Target: Pocket Battleship LUTZOW).
A 5-Group raid, 236 planes, 19 of 467 & 15 of 463 Sqdn, on the Naval base. Considerable damage to the port area was reported. Two crews from each flight of both squadrons were to arrive at their targets … two pocket battleships, 9 min before the rest of the Group were to start bombing; the markers & the accompanying flare-force (they dropped lots of long-burning flares to light up the area for the Markers) arrived then too. We were supposed to see the battleships in the light of the flares & do our bombing between 2151 & 2156. Our bomb-load was 10 x 1000 S.A.P (Semi-Armour Piercing) bombs … unlikely to be really damaging, although the decks of the pocket-battleships were much thinner than on “real” battleships (although they had 16” guns, the same.)
We took off at 1712, already 10 min later than planned, & flew at about 3 – 4000’ at 180 mph until 2000, when we climbed to 11500’. GEE had given out at 1850, but LORAN was OK & I got good signals at 1920, but we hadn’t been given Loran charts that covered beyond 56oN. So it was dead-reckoning & the hope of a pin-point later. Then, at 2055 1/2, I got a Loran fix, on track, just below the 56oN latitude, which could be plotted. I got another dubious fix at 2105 1/2, about 5 mi Sth of track, then another good one at 2122 1/2, on track again. I got another good Loran fix at 2133 which allowed me to estimate the wind velocity at 190/23. We turned on dead-reckoning 3 min late at point E, & arrived at point F, on dead-reckoning 2 min late, and steered visually for our target. At 2150, Syd, our Bomb-Aimer, reported a smoke screen starting over the battleships area. The flares went down at 2150 1/2, but didn’t penetrate the smokescreen. At 2153 our Pilot, Peter, decided to “go-round” again. As we turned Syd saw the Lutzow, [indecipherable word] behind us now. We flew North East
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for a while, did a timed run, using his stop-watch, to be back over our target at 2158. But again, the smoke-screen obscured our target. We turned Northwards & repeated the timed run. All this time we experienced a lot of radar-predicted flak, close enough to keep rocking our plane. While we were doing this 3rd orbit, Peter said: “If we can’t bomb this time, we’ll go round again and lose height to bomb at low-level.” Syd said: “Geez, that would be bloody dangerous.” At 2206, the target was clear & we bombed accurately. On the photograph which we saw back at base the next day, 3 of our bombs hit the deck amidships, one very close to the funnel, and a 4th bomb right alongside in the water. We’d actually bombed from 11750’ at 150 mph (I.A.S.), heading 260oT. At 2208 I logged: “Lanc. crashed Stb. Bow, 20 mi.” We crossed the coast at 2216 and got a Loran fix at 2222 1/2, only 3 mi. S. of track. The rest of the trip home was uneventful, we kept close to track and landed at 0303, flight-time 9h 51 min.
[drawing of area map]
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I did some research about the Lutzow & Admiral von Sheer. They were both damaged and the Lutzow was towed to Swinemunde, the Admiral von Sheer to Keil, where, on the night of 9/10 April ’45, a raid using 591 planes, sank the von Sheer, and so severely damaged the light cruised Emden & the heavy cruiser Hippo, that their crews then scuttled them … they were unable to put to sea. Then on the night of 16/17 April, 617 Squadron attacked Swinemunde, & effectively disposed of Germany’s last pocket battleship, Lutzow, although I read that its crew also finally scuttled it, as it was beyond repair
[symbol] [underlined] 25 [/underlined]. 27-12-44. 5-Group sent 200 planes (15 of 467 & 12 of 463) to bomb [underlined] RHEYT [/underlined] (our [symbol] 25 trip), the railway yards there, part of Munchen-Gladbach, where we’d done our 5th trip. We took off at 1204, did a R. of A. to be back at base at 1220 at 6000’. We were supposed to fly in formation but there was a lot of confusion … we finally flew individually until 1309 when we joined the formation. Near the target, the other planes began turning towards the target long before reaching the GEE lattice line we were told to follow. We did as we’d been told, and bombed at 1505 1/2 from 17200’. The trip home was uneventful, the navigation easy, as we had GEE all the way, using the RHUR chain over Germany. We had some flak going close just after the target at 1512 1/2. We landed at 1705, flight-time was 5h., bomb-load was 14 x 1000 lb. H.E.
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[deleted] [circled [indecipherable number]] [/deleted] NIGHT 21-12-44. POLITZ. 17 of 467, 17 of 463, of 207 from 5-Group attacked synthetic oil plant. 3 Lancs lost over Europe, but 5 crashed in England on return … 90% of airfields were fogbound … most were diverted to Scotland, but some were so short on fuel they had to try to land in fog. (F.L. Kynoch crashed ‘M’ at Waddington, but no injuries.)
[circled 25] 27-12-44 RHEYDT. 15 of 467, 12 of 463, of 200 from 5-Group, attacked railway yards at Rheydt. No loss
C 5h 0m. 14 x 1000. 17200’
DAY 28-12-44 MOSS SHIPPING (OSLO FIORD). 4 of 467, 6 of 463 of 67 from 5-Group attacked a large naval unit off Oslo Fiord. No direct hits claimed.
30-12-44 HOUFFALIZE. 12 of 467, 12 of 463 of 166 from 5-Group attacked the German supply bottleneck at Houffalize. Cloud obscured target. (Main force of 500 heavies attacked Kalh-Nord railway yards near Cologne … results obscured by cloud.)
DEC ’44 SUMMARY. December ended in a long spell of cold, fog & snow which restricted operations and serviceability. 467 flew 172 sorties, losing 2 crews + 1 gunner. (7 KIA, 1 POW, 7 Ev) 8 crews finished tours. 1 crew crashlanded [sic] and were rescued.
(The 2 Lanc. Squadrons (467 & 463) had learnt that the 5-Group method of marking was the most cost-effective way of striking heavy flows to the enemy. From 17.8.44 (when Bomber Command returned to attacks on Germany proper, after the many short trips for 2nd Front, a total of 72881 sorties from which 696 aircraft were lost (… about 1%). In this period of 137 days [deleted] 467 & 463 [/deleted] [inserted] Bomber Command [/inserted] made 530 sorties per day (av.) & lost 5.1 planes per day (av.) … 265708 tons of bombs were dropped.
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[circled 26] 1-1-45. DORTMUND-EMS CANAL 18 of 467, 5 of 463 of 102 from 5-Group, breached the canal near Ladbergen, (the Germans had repaired the canal again.) They were using an enormous number of slave labourers (‘Todt’ workers … 40000 we heard) to repair these vital links in their transport system. (And so when the barges began to run again they ‘knew’ the Lancs would soon come, and they were ready with AA & fighters … it was a hot spot.)
(On this trip F/O Merv Bache got an immediate DSO … their B/A. was Sam Nelson (WaggaWagga) … onfire, [sic] crashed just inside Allied lines … they’d all baled out in time. F/S Thompson of 9 Sqdn. got a posthumous VC also.)
B 6h 40m. 11 x 1000 + 4 x 500. 10900’
Landed at STRUBBY on return, due to fog.
NIGHT 1.1.45 MITTELLAND CANAL (GRAVENHORST). 4 of 467, 6 of 463, of 152 from 5-Group with 5 Mosquitos. No loss. During all this period, Waddington, and most of England, was deep in snow. Aircraft were buried in snow, and runways could not be kept open for them. Landing on icy runways was difficult. (On 1.1.45, Bomber Command flew 598 sorties day & night, and 5 planes crashed trying to land.)
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More about the DORTMUND-EMS on 1/1/45.
Many years after the war I got to know Sam Nelson, (also a golfer), who was the Bomb Aimer in Merv Bache’s crew. He told me that his navigator was in the process of writing a small book covering their ‘troubles’ that day. I mentioned that I still had my logs & charts, including for that day, so I posted them to him, with the result that parts of my log & chart were photocopied (reduced size) and included in his book … and I received a copy; later a few more pages were sent about what happened to their crew members thereafter. Several of their crew had a reunion in Canberra just at the time when they refurbished the Lancaster display in the War Museum. They told the staff of their “trouble” on 1/1/45, and were given the privilege of going inside the Lanc, even though it was not then open to the public.
I’ve made a “pocket” at the back of this folder for that book.
On pages 33/4 of that book is some details about a major German air attack on Allied aircraft & airfields on the same morning as our daylight raid on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. It may have been fortunate for us that most of their fighters were otherwise-occupied that morning.
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[circled 27] 4.1.45. ROYAN (S. France).
8 of 467, 16 of 463, of 344 Lancs & 7 Mosquitoes. F/O R. Eggins (467) had a mid-air collision with another Lanc., they baled out & were rescued.
Stubborn German garrison holding out at Royan prevented Allies from using Bordeaux as a port. (the Americans had kept a big force in that area, hoping to capture Bordeaux much earlier.) Bomber Command was ordered to bomb the town. It appears that the order was cancelled, but that order not received by the Squadrons concerned. But the French people there were told of the cancellation. As a result 700 French people were killed & soured relations with Britain.
We took off at [deleted] 0122 [/deleted] 0104, did the usual Radius of Action to be back at base at 0140 at 2000’. We flew southwards crossing the coast near Portsmouth. We had GEE all the way 7 so kept nicely on-track; the winds mainly from NNE varied between 35 & 60 mph.
When just short of the target we got a message at 0359 1/2 “do not bomb for 2 min.” We were due there in about 1 min. I wrote “Have to orbit I think.” Then at 0400 1/2 we were told “Come in & bomb”, which we did at 0401 without having to orbit, at 6250’.
We had an easy trip home, airborne for 6h. 30m. Our bomb load was 1 x 4000 (“Cookie”), & 16 x 500 lb HE.
On the back of my chart are several diagrams showing what the displays looked like on the GEE-BOX, and an indication of the curves on our GEE Charts.
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NIGHT. 5-1-45 HOUFFALIZE. 10 of 467, 8 of 463, of 131 from 5 Group, with 9 Mosquitos attacked supply bottleneck at Houffalize in the Ardennes. Target was hit with great accuracy. No loss. (Main force of 664 attacked Hannover, losing [underlined] 4.7%. [/underlined])
[circled 28] 7-1-45 MUNICH. 11 of 467, 16 of 463, of 645 Lancs. and 9 Mosquitos. This was the last major raid on Munich by Bomber Command; the industrial area was severely damaged. 467 lost F/O W. McNamee & crew (all KIA) … Severe icing caused high fuel consumption … they ran out of fuel and baled out over the sea 5 mi. from Eye, but were not found.
V 8h 45m. 1 x 4000 + 6 J clusters.
(The winds on this trip were forecast at about 80 mph from NW, so the route to the target was direct across Germany, then home south of Switzerland. (Usually, on Munich trips, we’d go out south of Switzerland, hiding from radar behind the mountains – maybe – then come home, faster across Germany.) The winds, in places, exceeded 100 mph. We were forced to ‘waste time’ on the way to the target (dangerous over Germany!). We took 3 hours to reach Munich loaded, then 6 hours to come home empty!)
[inserted] I haven’t got my log & chart for this trip – mislaid when I was teaching ATC cadets at Forest Hills [/inserted]
NIGHT 13-1-45 POLITZ. 17 of 467, 14 of 463, of 218 Lancs & 7 Mosquitos from 5-Group, attacked the oil plant near Stettin. Intended to be [inserted] a [/inserted] blind H2S attack, but the target was clear and the 5-Group low-level-marking was used in an accurate attack. Photo-reconnaissance stated that the oil plant was reduced to rubble. No loss from Waddington.
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NIGHT 14-1-45 MERSBERG-LEUNA. 14 of 467, 14 of 463 of 573 Lancs & 14 Mosquitos attacked the synthetic oil plant at Leuna. Albert Speer wrote … “this was the most damaging raid on the synthetic oil industry”. (The remainder of Bomber Command raided Grevenbroich & Dulmen … a total of 1214 sorties.)
[circled 29] 16-1-45 BRUX. 16 of 467, 12 of 463 of 231 Lancs & 6 Mosquitos of 5-Group, attacked the synthetic oil plant in western Czecho-slovakia [sic] (the plant had P.O.W. camps quite close by). The raid was a complete success. Speer also mentions this raid “as a particularly severe setback to oil production”. (Bomber Command attacked 4 other targets this night with a total of 1238 bombers. All were successful … the loss rate was 2.4% (about 30). No loss from Waddington.
D 10h. 0m. 1 x 4000 + 12 x 500 (Not dropped – bomb circuit U.S.) 14250’
(The bombing circuit was faulty – we made 3 orbits of the target, taking 20 mins, but could not remedy the trouble. We set out for home with bombs aboard and flew home at fairly low altitude – varying between 4500’ & 8500’, our airspeed 15 – 20 mph slower than the rest of the force. Then we had to make a diversion into the North Sea jettison area to manually release one bomb fitted with anti-handling fuse. The result was that we were last home, nearly an hour late. As this was our last trip we were ‘expected’ to come home faster than usual & be ‘first home’ … many thought we were unlucky enough to ‘get the chop’ on our last trip. The aircraft had severe problems (besides the bomb circuit and resulted in a tragic crash on 2.2.45, killing all but one of the crew … included were T. Paine & W. Robinson from Mudgee.)
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I met Chris Jarret at a University conference in the 60’s and heard from him what happened to them in ‘D’ on the night of 2-2-45.
He was lucky to survive, although it was easy for the Bomb-Aimer to be first out when told to “Bale-Out”. The next man out would have been Tom Paine, the Rear Gunner, & he told me that he was the only other one to get out & open his ‘chute in time to avoid death, but that Tom landed over the crest of a hill & was killed by the plane crashing & bombs exploding near him, while Chris had landed on the other side of the hill.
Tom Paine was in my classes at Mudgee High right from 1st year in 1936.
Bill Robinson must have started in 1935 as he was a year ahead of us; but I can remember him as the school was rather small (about 400) compared to the 1000+ when I taught there in the ‘60s.
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NIGHT 22-1-45. GELSENKIRCHEN. 0 from 467, 1 from 463. (photographic)
JANUARY SUMMARY. The month ended with heavy snow and bad visibility. 467 did 90 sorties losing 3 crews (7 KIA, 14 Ev.) 4 crews ‘tour-expired’.
NIGHT 1-2-45 SIEGEN (Railway Yards) 21 of 467, 19 of 463 of 271 from 5-Group. 467 lost one crew – the navigator was our A-flight commander, Des Sands DFM, an Australian in the RAF on his second tour … he survived, parachuted, captured.
NIGHT 2-2-45 KARLSRUHE. 19 of 467, 16 of 463, of 250 from 5-Group. 467 lost 2 crews (14 KIA (incl. a ‘second dickie’ pilot) 1 POW. ‘D’ was one of the two. F/O A. Robinson [inserted] (pilot) [/inserted] and Rear Gunner – Tom Paine – went to school with me at Mudgee High – Tom was in the same class. (See extract from ‘The Bulletin’ for story by Bomb-Aimer survivor, whom I met accindentally [sic] at an external studies school at UNE (Armidale) in the ‘60’s.)
13 from 467. 467 lost c.o. W/C J. K. Douglas & crew (+ second dickie Bomb-aimer) … 3 KIA, 4 POW, 1 Ev.
NIGHT. 8-2-45 POLITZ. 15 of 467, 16 of 463 of 163 total (5-Group was 1st ‘Wave’, other groups followed and put this important oil plant out of action for the remainder of the war. 1020 bombers attacked other targets including Krefeld.
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13-2-45 DRESDEN. 17 of 467, 19 of 463 of 144 Lancs and 9 Mosquitos from 5-Group attacked Dresden as the 1st wave of a 2-part attack, dropping 800 tons. The second wave, 3 hours later, dropped 1800 tons, mostly incendiaries, causing a devastating fire-storm. German report says that more than 50000 people died.
14-2-45 ROSITZ. 16 of 467, 16 of 463 of 224 Lancs + 8 Mosquitos from 5-Group, attacked the oil refinery near Leipzig. The rest of Bomber Command attacked 4 other targets – a total of 1316 ‘heavies’, loss rate 1.7%.
19-2-45 BOHLEN. 19 of 467, 16 of 463 of 254 Lancs and 6 Mosquitos from 5-Group. Raid was unsuccessful. The Master Bomber, W/C E.A. Benjamin DFF + Bar, was shot down by flak & killed. Only superficial damage was caused.
20-2-45 MITTLELAND CANAL near GRAVENHORST. 10 of 467, 10 of 463, of 154 Lancs & 11 Mosquitos of 5-Group … raids on the canal by now were called “the milk run”. A comment (in the Waddington report) … “5-Group had bombed the canal so often that the Germans could leave their guns aimed ready for the next raid”. The Master Bomber abandoned this raid when it could not be marked properly due to heavy low cloud. (The Main Force – of B.C. – did 4 raids using H2S. Total of 1283 sorties, loss rate 1.7%)
21-2-45 MITTLELAND CANAL (again). 10 of 467, 10 of 463 of 165 Lancs & 12 Mosquitos from 5-Group. Weather was clear, and the canal was breached.
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The Main Force raided 4 other targets, 1110 sorties; losses 3.1%. 463 Sq. lost their C.O. W/C Forbes on his last trip of 2nd Tour … shot down by German nightfighter ace, Major H.W. Schnaufer.
NIGHT 23-2-45. PFORZHEIM. 1 of 463 (Photo) 367 Lancs of 1, 6 & 8 groups. 1825 tons of bombs dropped … “The 3rd most effective raid of the war … killed 17000, and 83% of the town destroyed by a fire-storm.
DAY 24-2-45 DORTMUND-EMS CANAL. 18 of 467, 11 of 463, of 166 Lancs & 4 Mosquitos from 5-Group … The target was obscured by cloud and the raid abandoned. No Loss.
FEBRUARY SUMMARY. The weather was often bad. 467 did 158 sorties, lost 5 crews + 3 who baled out + 3 “2nd dickies”. (25 KIA, 15 POW, 1 Ev.) 3 tours expired. 1 Crew crashed in training.
NIGHT 3-3-45. DORTMUND-EMS CANAL. 15 of 467, 15 of 463, of 212 Lancs + 10 Mosquitos of 5-Group breached the aqueduct near Ladbergen in 2 places, putting it out of action until after the war’s end. 467 lost F/O R.T. Ward and crew (7 KIA); F/O R.B. Eggins & crew (6 KIA, 1 POW), and the C.O. W/C E. Langlois & crew (5 KIA, 2 POW) … he had only become C.O. on 9th Feb. 8 Lancs lost over Ger. 20 over U.K.[inserted] loss [/inserted] 3.6%
(This night the Luftwaffe mounted “Operation Gisela” sending 200 night fighters to follow various bomber forces into England (& so not being detected). They took the British defences by surprise and they shot down 20 bombers over England (some were Lancaster training planes … a couple at Wigsley, where I was Duty Navigator in the control tower!) The bomb dump at Waddington was attacked but wasn’t blown up. 3 German fighters crashed flying too low.
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NIGHT 5-3-45 BOHLEN 15 of 467, 15 of 463 of 248 from 5-Group, attacked synthetic oil refinery. Target was cloudy but some damage. Bomber Command made 1223 sorties for 31 lost over Germany and 10 crashed in England … “visibility had detiorated [sic] for returning aircraft”. (Percy Jobson, of Wagga Wagga, a friend of hockey years, was shot down, parachuted, on this trip … a big write up given.)
NIGHT 6-3-45. SASSNITZ - - a port on the Baltic Sea.
NIGHT 7-3-45 HARBURG. oil refinery (5-Group). Bomber Command total (on various targets): 1276, loss 41 (3.2%)
DAY 11-3-45 ESSEN by 1079 bombers … the largest day raid by B.C. … “paralysed Essen until the Americans entered. 467 lost 1 crew (all KIA) on collision with a Hurricane near base in F.A. training.
DAY 12-3-45 Dortmund. 1108 planes, record tonnage 4851 tons … with fighter escorts, over 2000 planes … “put the city out of the war”.
NIGHT 14-3-45 LUTZKENDORF. 5-Group attack on oil refinery, losing 18 (7.4%). Main Force of 568 attacked Zweibrucken & Homburg & other minor targets … 2.8% loss
NIGHT 16-3-45 WURZBURG. 5-Group, 225 Lancs & 11 Mosquitos, dropped 1207 tons with great accuracy in 17 minutes … 89% of industrial part of city destroyed. 467 lost F/O Thomas & crew (6 KIA, 1 POW). Main force attacked NUREMBERG with 480 planes, losing 28 (4.2%), due to night-fighters joining the bomber stream before the target
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DAY 19-3-45 ARNSBERG RAILWAY VIADUCT. 37 Lancs of 617 and 9 Sqdns (and 1 photo Lanc. from 463) dropped 6 ‘Grand Slam’ 10-ton bombs … the ‘earthquake-effect’ collapsed the viaduct … the film was spectacular.
NIGHT. 20-3-45 BOHLEN. 5-Group. The main force was on Hemingstedt with 675 planes, loss rate 1.9%.
DAY 22-3-45 BREMEN. 5-Group. Rail bridge.
NIGHT. 23-3-45 WESEL. 5-Group. 1000 tons in 9 minutes from 9000’ … as close army support … “British Army crossed the river before the bombers had left the area”, and Wesel was in British hands before midnight (the bombing ended at 2239). Wesel claims it was the most heavily bombed town in Germany … 97% of buildings destroyed in main town area; population reduced from 250000 at outbreak of war, to 1900 in May ’45.
DAY 27-3-45 FARGE Oil Storage, 5-Group plus 2 of 617 attacking U-Boat shelters with 23’-thick concrete roof. 2 of the Grand-Slam bombs penetrated the roof and brought down thousands of tons of concrete and rubble, rendering the shelter ineffective.
MARCH SUMMARY 467 flew 185 sorties, lost 4 crews (24 KIA, 4 POW), 4 crews completed tours.
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DAY 4-4-45 NORDHAUSEN. 5-Group … Military barracks Many ‘forced labourers killed’.
DAY 6-4-45 IJMUIDEN … on ships … raid abandoned due to bad weather.
NIGHT 7-4-45 MOLBIS. Benzol plant … “all production ceased”.
NIGHT 8-4-45 LUTZKENDORF. 5-Group. Oil refinery. ‘Put out of action until end of war’. Main force was on Hamburg 440 planes, & other targets, total of 918 planes … 1.3% loss.
DAY 9-4-45 HAMBURG .. oil storage (5-Group) and 617 Sq attacked U-Boat shelters with Grand Slam bombs, and Tallboy bombs. Both raids successful. On this raid German ME 152 & 153 jet fighters attacked the Lancs for the first time.
NIGHT 16-4-45 PILSEN 5-Group. Rail Yards.
NIGHT 18-4-45 KOMOTAU 5-Group.
DAY 23-4-45 FLENSBURG Railway yards. (Abandoned – cloud)
NIGHT 25-4-45 TONSBERG Oil Refinery & U Boat pens (Norway)
463 Sq. lost the last Lancaster of the war (crew survived)
3300 Lancasters lost in the whole war.
467 Sq from Nov ’42 to 26 Apr ’45 – flew 4188 sorties, used 214 Lancs. lost 110 by enemy action, 4 damaged – crashlandings but recovered. 590 KIA. 117 POW. 8E Ev. 5 DSO, 146 DFC. 2 CGM. 36 DFM
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[underlined] 467 SQUADRON – R.A.A.F. [/underlined]
467 Squadron was formed at SCAMPTON, LINCOLNSHIRE 7-11-42.
Moved to BOTTESFORD by 30-11-1942. Moved to WADDINGTON 11-11-1943.
Bottesford Station Commanding Officers: G/C. SWAIN, F.R.O: OBE: DFC.
From 3.3.43. – G/C. McKECKNIE, W.N: DFC.
[underlined] 467 SQAUDRON moved to WADDINGTON 12.11.43 [/underlined]
Waddington Station Commanding Officers:
31.3.44. G/C. D.W. BONHAM-CARTER, CB, DFC.
14.4.45. G/C. E.D. McK. NELSON, CB.
1.8.45 G/C. D.D. CHRISTIE, AFC.
24.8.45. G/C. A.E. TAYLOR.
7.11.42. W/C. C.L. COMM, DSO, DFC. _ _ _ KIA 16.8.43.
19.8.43. W/C. J.R. BALMER, DFC, OBE. _ _ _ KIA 11.5.44.
12.5.44. W/C. W.L. BRILL, DSO, DFC & Bar _ _ _ Died 1964.
12.10.44. W/C. J.K. DOUGLAS, DFC, AFC. _ _ KIA 8.2.45.
9.2.45. W/C. E. le P. LANGLOIS _ _ KIA 3.4.45.
4.3.45. W/C. I.H. HAY, DFC. _ _ To disbandment.
F/L. A.D. McDONALD (A18121): F/L. J.M.W. LOVE.
467 SQUADRON moved to RAF METHERINGHAM 16.6.45 and were disbanded there October, 1945.
First Operational Sortie – 2/3.1.1943 – To FURZE _ Minelaying.
Last Operational Sortie – 26/26.4.45 – to TONSBURG.
[underlined] OPERATIONAL SORTIES ATTEMPTED [/underlined]:
No. of a/c actually took off on operations: 3977
No. of Operational sorties completed: 3795
No. of Operational sorties failed: 182
[underlined] REASON FOR FAILURE OF SORTIE [/underlined]:
a/c failed to return – listed missing 105
a/c early return due to Engine Failure: 28
a/c early return due to Electrical Failure: 10
a/c “ “ “ to Armament Failure: 9
a/c “ “ “ to Oxygen Failure: 9
a/c “ “ “ to Instruments, radio, intercom failure: 12
a/c “ “ “ to Ice in flight & ice damage: 6
a/c “ “ “ to Navigational Error: [underlined] 3 [/underlined]
[underlined] 182 [/underlined]
No. of Sorties completed in a/c damaged by Enemy Action: 230
No. of Aircrew listed in Operational Record Books as flown on ops from 467 Sqdn, RAAF: (inc. RAF, RNZAF, RCAF): 1814
No. of Aircrew listed in ORB’s as War Casualty from 467 Sq: (includes) RAAF, RAF, RNZAF, RCAF): 760
No. of whole crews posted to 467 Sq. for Ops: 258
No. of whole crews finished tour of ops – 30 or more: 74
No. of whole crews lost on Ops: 115
No. of whole crews still operating when hostilities ceased 8.5.45. and not tour expired: 31
No. of whole crews posted to other Squadrons during tour: 34
No. of whole crews with no Ops. before hostilities ceased: 4
No. of crews from 53 Base who flew on ops from 467 Sqdn and not listed as posted to 467 Sqdn. 6
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[inserted] Extract of “WAR” List for an Operation … late 1944. [/inserted]
F/S J.W. Singer (Can) – Sgt A. Carson – [missing name]
PB. 193 ‘W’ – F/O R.J. Harris – P/O J.T. Adair – Sgt T. Andrews – Sgt R. Walker
P/O H.F.C. Parsons – F/L R.W. Cook – Sgt S. Saunders
EE.136 – F/O A.L. Keely – F/S W. Chorny (Can) – Sgt A.E. Wotherspoon – Sgt C.H. Connwell
F/S L.W. Tanner – Sgt S.D. Chambers – Sgt J.E. Johnson
LM.713 – F/O C. Newton (Can) – Sgt P. Grant – Sgt W. Gregory – Sgt E.H. Cooper (Can)
Sgt R. Flynn (Can) – Sgt L.G. Kelly – Sgt R.S. Stevens (Can)
LM.715 ‘O’ – F/O R.W. Ayrton (Aus) – Sgt M.J. Herkes – Sgt H.K. Huddlestone – Sgt D.K. Chalcraft
F/S N. Bardsley – Sgt W. Scott – Sgt J.A.W. Davies
ME.809 – F/O R.C. Lake – P.O J.A. Peterson (Can) – Sgt R.W. Baird – Sgt R.A. Morton
W/O G.B. Watts (Can) – F/S G.E. Parkinson – P/O R.D. Kerr (Can)
No. 467 Squadron, Second Wave
NF.908 ‘C’ – F/L J.K. Livingstone – F/L D.O. Sands – F/O E.G. Parsons – F/O R.N. Browne
P/O W.D. McMahon (Aus) – F/O J. Pendergast – F/O T.C. Taylor
PB306 – F/O R.J. Mayes (Aus) – F/O L.J. Hart (Aus) – Sgt D.H. Hamilton – F/S J. Manning
F/S A.R. Edgar (Aus) – F/S J.G. Muir (Aus) – F/S K.W. Cary (Aus)
LM.100 ‘D’ – F/O P.R. Gray-Buchanan (Aus) – F.S. H.G. Adams (Aus) – Sgt D.M. Coutts – F/S J.R. Giles (Aus)
F/S B.J. Payne (Aus) – F/S E.J. Taylor (Aus) – F/S K. Nichols (Aus)
PD.215 ‘F’ – F/O L. Landridge (Aus) – F/S D.G. Beverley (Aus) – Sgt J. Halstead – Sgt D.J. Allen
F/S K.C. Woollam (Aus) – F/S W.C. Denny (Aus) – Sgt B.A. Davies
LM.542 ‘K’ – F/O T.A. Gummersall (Aus) – F/S L.C.C. Chalcraft (Aus) – Sgt J. Clemons – F/S E.R. Baldwin (Aus)
F/O F.A. York (Aus) – F/S S.J. Anders (Aus) – F/S W.H. Bradbury (Aus)
LM.233 ‘M’ – F/O J.J. Sheridan (Aus) – F.S G.W. Gould (Aus) – Sgt B.J. Ambrose – Sgt J. Hodgson
F/S A. Raymond (Aus) – F/S W. Branagh (Aus) – Sgt R. Ward
LM.677 – F/O J.J.J. Cross (Aus) – F/S D.F. Edwards (Aus) – Sgt K.M. Pope – F.S W.K. Perry (Aus)
F/O V.L. Drouyn (Aus) – F/S W.V. Maurer (Aus) – F/S M.D. Wilkie (Aus)
NF.910 – F/O G.H. Stewart (Aus) – F/O R. Faulks (Aus) – Sgt G. Hopwood – F/S D.J. Morland (Aus)
F/S R. Galov (Aus) – F/S M.J.H. West (Aus) – F/S F.H. Skuthorpe (Aus)
NF.917 ‘Q’ – F/O R.S. Forge (Aus) – F/O H.M. Bissell (Aus) – Sgt W.C. Bradley – Sgt H. R. Harvey
F/O R.H. Darwin (Aus) – F/S E.J. O’Kearney (Aus) – Sgt R. Haire
ND.473 – F/O R.H. Mellville (Aus) – F/S J.L. Klye (Aus) – Sgt R.J. Brady – F/S D.D. Suter (Aus)
F/S J.F. Tongue (Aus) – F/S B.T. Hoskin (Aus) – F/S R.C.M. Newling (Aus)
NF.908 – F/O L.R. Pedersen (Aus) – F/S J.S. Hodgson (Aus) – Sgt D.R. Ba.dry [sic] – Sgt E.W. Durrant
F/S P.K. Garvey (AUS) – F/S V.J.M. McCarthy (AUS) – Sgt A.E. Dearns
NN.714 – F/O E.B. Rowell (Aus – F/S R.L. Morris (Aus) – Sgt A.J. Halls – Sgt. A Thomson
F/S D.J. Taylor (Aus) – F/S A.S. Smith (Aus) – Sgt A. Thomson
F/S D.J. Taylor (Aus) – F/S A.S. Smith (Aus) – Sgt J. Hodge
No. 463 Squadron, Third Wave
ND.133 ‘X’ – W/C W.A. Forbes (Aus) – F/O J.A. Costello – P/O W.A. Martin – F/S A.J. Norman
F/O W.J. Grime – P/O W. McLeod – P/O K.L. Worden
PD.311 ‘O’ – F/O P.J. Bowell (Aus) – F/S E.A. Petersen (Aus) – Sgt W. Forster – F/S W.H.J. Butcher (Aus)
F/S W. Plumb (Aus) – W/O J.R. Williams (Aus) – F/S I.D. Dutfiield [sic] (Aus)
LM.130 ‘N’ – F/O A.G. Stutter (Aus) – F/S P.L. Wilkinson (Aus) – Sgt H. Walsh – F/S M.F. Woodgate (Aus)
F/S P. O’Loughlin (Aus) – F/S D.J. Browning (Aus) – F/S H.R. Holmes (Aus)
PD.337 ‘L’ – F/O F.H. Smith (Aus) – Sgt E. Moss – ?
F/S B.A. Donaghue (Aus) – F/S R.T. Simonson (Aus) – F/S E.R. Cameron (Aus)
ND.977 – F/O G.T. White (Aus) – F/S G.D. Smith (Aus) – Sgt C. Jackson – Sgt V.G. Dunn
F/S H. Robinson (Aus) – F/S J.J.B. Middleton (Aus) – Sgt W. S. Bayne
PD.330 ‘F’ – F/O K.P. Brady (Aus) – F/S E.D. Rees – Sgt C.R. Levy – F/S G. Berglund (Aus)
F/S G.W. Boyes – F/S J.D. Stevens (Aus) – F/S J.E. Cox (Aus)
MD.332 – F/O B. Ward-Smith (Aus) – F/O R.W. Markham (Aus) – Sgt E. Taylor – F/S A.J. Tyson (Aus)
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[underlined] 5 Group, [/underlined] the biggest of 6 in Bomber Command.
Our 467 squadron was one of 18 Lancaster squadrons the Group. They were:-
9 at Bardney
227 at Balderton
[missing number] 4 (Rhod.) “ Spilsby
[underlined] 463 & 467 “ Waddington [/underlined]
49 “ Fulbeck
619 at Strubby
50 & 61 “ Skellingthorpe
630 “ East Kirkby
57 “ East Kirkby
617, 627 “ Woodhall Spa [symbol] Mosquitos
83 & 97 (Pathfinders) Coningsby
106 Metheringham
189 Fulbeck
207 Spilsby
[underlined] Some notable raids [/underlined]:
1944 Sept. 12/13. First operational use of [underlined] Loran [/underlined].
“ 23/4. Dortmund-Ems canal breached by [underlined] Tallboy [/underlined] (12000 lb bomb, designed by Barnes Wallis).
Oct. 3 Sea wall at Westkapelle (Walcheren Is) breached.
“ 14/5 Biggest night ops by Bomber Command of the war.
“ 23/4. Part of 1055 plane raid on Essen.
“ 25 “ “ 771 “ “ “ “, finishes it.
Nov. 2/3 “ “ 992 “ “ “ Dusseldorf.
“ 4/5. 174 Lancs breach Dortmund-Ems canal again.
“ 12 Tirpitz sank at Tromso by 9 & 617 Sqdns.
1945 Jan 1/2. 157 Lancs breach Mittleand canal.
“ 4/5. raid on Royan kills many French civilians.
“ 7/8. Part of 654 a/c; last raid on Munich.
Mar 14. Bielefeld aquaduct [sic] broken using Barnes Wallis’s new 22000 lb Grand Slam bomb. by 617 Sqdn.
“ 27. U-boat shelter at Farge blown up using the Grand Slam bomb, by 617 Sqdn.
Feb. 20/21 First of 36 consecutive night raids on Berlin by Mosquitos of 627 Sqdn.
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[circled 8]
[underlined] 5 Group [/underlined] Sqdns. As at 22.3.45.
Lanc I, III
9 Bardney
44 (Rhod.) Spilsby
49 Fulbeck.
50 Skellingthorpe
57 East Kirkby
61 Skellingthorpe
106 Metheringham
189 Fulbeck.
207 Spilsby
227 Balderton
463 [brackets] RAAF Waddington
407 RAAF Waddington [/brackets]
619 Strubby
630 East Kirkby
[symbol] 617 Woodhall Spa.
[brackets] 83 PFF Coningsby
97 PFF Coningsby [/brackets]
627 Woodhall Spa. Mosquito IV, XX, 25.
(83, 97 & 627 on loan from 8 Group.)
[inserted] [underlined] 1944. [/underlined] [/inserted]
Sept 12/13 First operational use of LORAN.
“ 23/4. Dortmund Ems canal breached by Tallboy (12000 lb).
Oct 3. Sea wall at Westkapelle (Walcheren Is) breached.
14/15 BC. biggest night ops of war.
23/24. 1055 raid on Essen. 25th 771 on Essen finishes it.
Nov 2/3. 992 on Dusseldorf.
4/5. 174 breach Dortmund Ems canal again.
12. Tirpitz sank at Tromas by 9 & 617 Sq.
Jan 1/2. 157 breach Mittleand Canal.
[inserted] 1945
Jan 4/5 Royan – many French casualties.
7/8 Last raid on Munich 654 a/c
Mar 14. Bielefeld aqueduct broken … Grand Slam 22000 lb.
27 U boat shelter at Farge successful using “ “ “
Feb. 20/21 first of 36 consecutive night raids on Berlin by mosquitos. [/inserted]
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Extracts from “The Hardest Victory – RAF Bomber Command in WW II by Dennis Richards. (Hodder & Stoughton, 1944.)
1944. March to June. The Transportation Plan, preparatory to OVERLORD … the invasion in Normandy. As part of the plan to convince the Germans that the landing would be in the Pas de Calais, far more bridges and railway workshops and marshalling yards were attacked North of the Seine than South of it. In this phase Bomber Command dealt with 37 of the railway centres, 8th American Air Force heavies 26, & AEAF (fighters, fighter-bombers, light & medium bombers, & recon. aircraft, a mixture of RAF & USAAF squadrons) 20. Bomber command dropped nearly 45000 tons on these centres, twice the tonnage of the other 2 put together. Harris in “Bomber Command” wrote:- “Bomber Command’s night bombing proved to be rather more accurate, much heavier in weight & more concentrated than the American daylight attacks, a fact which was afterwards clearly recognised by SHAEF when the time came (later) for the bombing of German troop concentrations within a mile or so of our own troops.”
In this phase, Bomber Command made 69 attacks, 9000 sorties & lost 198 planes (1.8%). They did enormous damage. In the end about 2/3 of the 37 centres were classed as completely out of action for a month or more, and the remainder as needing only some further “attention” from fighter-bombers.
Unhappily, the toll of friendly civilian lives was sometimes more than the “prescribed” limit of 100 – 150 per raid … (Coutrai 252, Lille 456, Ghent 482), but overall the total was much less than the 10000 “limit”.
The attacks on rail centres by all 3 air forces proved catastrophic for the Germans. Only about 12% of rolling stock was fit for use. A division from Poland took 3 days to get to West Germany, then 4 weeks to the Normandy battlefront!
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[circled 2]
A particularly important raid, both in technique & results, was that on 5/6 Apr. (’43) on the Gnome et Rhône aero-works at Toulouse. 144 Lancs from 5 Group, with Leonard Cheshire of 617 SQN doing the initial marking at low level from a Mosquito. 2 Lancs of 617 reinforced the marking with great accuracy & this led to a raid which completely destroyed the factory. Thenceforth, Harris normally entrusted 5 Group (the largest in the Command) with its own marking, independent of the Pathfinder Force.
Bomber Command’s biggest task just before the invasion was to help silence the enemy’s coastal batteries … most nights since 24/25 May, & for deception purposes many of them outside the intended invasion area. But as D-Day neared, so the assault stepped up. On 2/3 June, 271 bombers attacked 4 batteries in the Pas de Calais (where the Germans most expected the invasion). On 3/4 June, 135 bombers attacked batteries at Calais & Winereux. On 4/5 June, 257 a/c attacked … this time in the invasion area. On 5/6 June (when invasion fleet was under way) Bomber Command put on max. effort … 1136 a/c (1047 attacked) [inserted] 5000 + tons of bombs. [/inserted] against [deleted] the [/deleted] 10 of the main batteries on the invasion coast. Other air formations & naval bombardment also attacked there & between them 9 of the 10 batteries were made incapable of sustained fire against the invasion forces.
In the week after D-Day, B.C. flew 3500 sorties to prevent reinforcements getting to the front. In the most skilful attack, 8/9 June. Lancs of 83 Sqn lit up railway tunnel at Saumur, then marked by Mosquitos, then 25 Lancs of 617 Sqn. dropped new 12000 lb “Tallboys” [inserted] [symbol] designed by Barnes Wallis. [/inserted] blocked the tunnel & delayed the Panzers.
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[circled 3]
During the struggle in Normandy, B.C. operated in strength close to battlefield. 14/15 Jun, 337 vs troops & vehicles at Aunay & Evrecy (near Caen). 30 Jun first B.C. daylight there … 266 Lancs & Halis & a few Mosquitos & Spitfire escort bombed a road junction at Villers-Bocage from 4000’ & frustrated a panzer attack. Of B.C.’s 5 other attacks in close support the biggest was 18 Jul .. GOODWOOD (max effort) … 1056 from B.C., 863 of AEAF & 8th A.F. to help the push SE of Caen towards Falaise …. but had bad weather & unsubdued anti-tank guns stopped the offensive (only 6 miles max.). But it impressed the Germans … Von Kluge who’d just replaced Rommel, wrote to Hitler on 21 Jul:- “There is no way by which, in the face of the enemy air forces’ complete command of the air, we can discover a form of strategy which will counterbalance the annihilating effects [underlined] unless we withdraw [/underlined] from the battlefield. Whole armoured formations allotted to counter-attack were caught beneath bomb carpets of the greatest intensity so that they could be got out of the torn-up ground only by prolonged effort … The psychological effect of such a mass of bombs coming down with all the power of elemental nature on the fighting forces, especially the infantry, is a factor which has to be taken into very serious consideration. It is immaterial whether such a carpet catches good troops or bad. They are more or less annihilated, and above all their equipment is shattered ...”
(He suicided a month later when Hitler wouldn’t allow a withdrawal)
On 7/8 Aug. 1019 a/c of B.C. raided 5 points in advance of Allied troops … helping Canadian 1st Army to open the way to Falaise.
Allies had 14000 a/c against German 1000 in those weeks.
25 Aug. Paris was free. 3 Sept. Brit 2nd Army in Brussels.
Resumption of oil targets delayed by V-1 threat.
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[circled 4] Jan (1944)
Hitler had hoped to begin V-1s vs London as ‘New Year present’ but damage to ‘ski” sites, & Fiesler works at Kassel & their own trouble with getting the bomb to operate reasonably – caused set-backs. Allied bombing of railways held up delivery of launchers & bomb components.
12/13 Jun first V-1 attacks. 7 of 55 sites managed to fire total of 10 … of which 3 reached England. But they improved. Bet. 15/16 & 16/17 Jun. 144 crossed Kentish coast & 73 reached London.
Operation CROSSBOW … B.C. + AEAF + 8th A.F. attacked V-1 sites from mid June to mid-August … using 40% of B.C. strength Targets were the modified launch sites, supply depots, & ‘large sites’ (V-2 rockets [deleted] maybe [indecipherable word] [/deleted]. B.C. attacked these day & night. B.C. flew 16000 sorties, 59000 tons vs the V-1 targets only losing 131 a/c ([symbol] 1%).
By mid-Aug, less need [symbol] defences (AA & fighters redeployed & more effect … + proximity fuses [symbol] [symbol] 20% reaching target; + balloons + finally our armies overrunning the launching sites.
Every day but one from 5 to 11 Sept Harris sent out 300 or more a/c to bomb [deleted] h [/deleted] [underlined] Le Havre [/underlined] area. (We did our [underlined] first trip [/underlined] on 10 [deleted] 8 [/deleted] Sept. 11 x 1000 + 4 x 500 lb.) that day 992 sorties. Total for the week 2500 sorties, 9750 tons … the ground attack after the last air raid on 11 Sept. succeeded & only c. 50 fatalaties [sic]. [inserted] (our 3rd) [/inserted] [underlined] Boulogne [/underlined] [inserted] we dropped 11 x 1000 + 4 x 500 lb. [/inserted] had become the next objective. We were in big raid on 17 Sept. by 762 a/c, opening the way for attack by Canadian army, … garrison gave in on 22 Sept, in diary of captured German officer: “Sometimes one could despair of everything if one is at the mery [sic] of the RAF without any protection. It seems as if all fighting is useless & all sacrifices in vain.”
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[circled 5]
Germans still held Dunkirk & Ostend … it became clear that key to faster supply to our armies was Antwerp, 40 miles up R. Scheldt. Allies captured Antwerp on 4 Sept. but Germans still held river banks, South Beveland & [underlined] Walcheren Is. [/underlined] dominating its approach from the sea. Allies tried, MARKET GARDEN, airborne troops to capture bridges over Maas, Wasl & lower Rhine … a disaster, losing 1st Airborne Div’n. [symbol] Try to open the Sheldt Estuary. B.C. began attacks on Walcheren Is. in 3rd week of Sept. Hitting batteries proved difficult. Canadian army told to capture Is. … their C.O. suggested bombing might breach its sea-walls & flood some low-lying batteries. Oct 2nd .. leaflets & broadcast to locals. Oct 3. .. Pathfinder Mosquitos in waves of 30 created a big gap in wall 60’ thick at top & 204’ at base. (617 Sqn with Tallboys not needed … took ‘em home!)
Many parts of Is. now flooded, but no surrender. Further attacks on walls on Oct 7, 11 & 17. We did our [underlined] 11th op [/underlined] [inserted] on 7 OCT. [/inserted] on [underlined] Flushing dyke [/underlined] walls, 2 sticks of 7 x 1000 lb, 2 runs at fairly low alt. & achieved a good breach.
We also bombed gun batteries on [underlined] Walcheren [/underlined] Is again on Oct. 23 (14 x 1000 lb) and Oct 30 (14 x 1000 lb) … [underlined] our 13th op [/underlined].
The plan was to take Wal. Is by amphibious assault & to ‘soften it up’, B.C. raided c 277 on Oct 28; then on Oct 29 with 358 a/c, then on [underlined] Oct 30 with 110 a/c [/underlined]. [inserted] [underlined] our 15th [/underlined] [/inserted] (us). On 1 Nov. Canadian & Scottish troops began a week of hard fighting … Royal marines sailed landing craft through the gaps in the sea-walls. B.C. flew 2000+ sorties in 14 raids there, 9000 tons of bombs … only lost 11 a/c ([symbol] 0.4%).
Antwerp not used for another 19 days … time taken to clear the estuary of mines.
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B.C. continued to attack towns in Germany & coastal targets in the autumn & winter of 1944.
On [inserted] 12th [/inserted] Sept. we did our [underlined] 2nd trip [/underlined] on [underlined] Stuttgart [/underlined] (1 x 4000 lb + 13 J clusters). (Our skipper had been [deleted] there [/deleted] [inserted] to [underlined] Danstadt [/underlined] [/inserted] the previous night as “2nd-dickie”). Then our [underlined] 4th [/underlined] on Bremerhaven on 18 Sept. (18 cans). & 5th on Munchen-Gladbach the next night 19 Sept (1 x 2000 lb + 12 J clusters) on which Guy Gibson as master bomber went missing (KIA). Our [underlined] 6th on [/underlined] 23 Sept. was our first of 4 raids on [underlined] Dortmund [/underlined] Ems canal “the vital link between the Ruhr & North Sea”. (14 x 1000 lb). B.C. did about 10 raids on the canal, “each time draining the canal for several miles & leaving scores of barges stranded. And this was not simply a one-off piece of temporary damage. As soon as, by the effort of 4000 (Todt) labourers, the canal was once more fully working, B.C. breached it again - & went on doing so as required until the end of the war.” (It was a fairly “dicey” target – they [underlined] knew [/underlined] we’d be coming & [underlined] where [/underlined] (where the aqueduct was above ground level.)
Sept 26. Op [symbol] 7 on Karlsruhe (18 cans)
“ 27 [symbol] 8 “ Kauserlauten (18 cans).
Oct 6 [symbol] 10. Bremen (18 cans)
Oct 5. Daylight formation (!) on Wilhelmshaven (18 cans). - - cloud obscured target & we (& others) bombed by H2S … the only time we used it on ops … mostly we were denied its use because they reckoned German fighter &/or flak could pick us up from its transmission.
Oct. 19. Op [symbol] 12. Nuremburg (1 x 2000 lb + 12 J clusters).
Oct 28 op 14 Bergen (Norway) U-boat pens … but brought bombs back due to smokescreen over target. Had to descend to near mountain tops to clear cloud – did so safely using GEE.
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“In the last quarter of 1944, nearly half the tonnage dropped by B.C. was aimed at Urban areas in general rather than on more specific targets. … eg. Stuttgart, Nuremburg; [underlined] Dusseldorf (our 16th [/underlined] on Nov 2nd, 11 x 1000 + 4 x 500) Munich our [underlined] 23rd [/underlined] on Dec. 17 (1 x 4000 + 9 cans + 1 monroe). & [underlined] Munich [/underlined] again our 28th on Jan 7th (1 x 4000 + 6 J clusters).
Our [underlined] 18th [/underlined] on 11 Nov. on Harburg oil refinery (near Hamburg) caused huge fire visible 100 miles on way home (1 x 4000+ 6 x 1000 + 6 x 500 lb).
16 Nov, Our 19th a daylight on [underlined] Duren [/underlined], part of a huge effort to react to battle of bulge destroyed the town to rubble. (12 x 1000 lb).
Our 24th Gdynic .. Dec 18, on Pocket Battleship ‘Lutzow’ (also there the P.B. Admiral Von Sheer) … may have caused enough damage to have Latzow towed (?) to Swinemunde where 617 Sqn finished it off on 16/17 April ’45 (10 x 1000 SA.P.).
5 Group. HQ Grantham, then Moreton Hall, near Swinderby.
[underlined] AOC’s [/underlined] Harris 11.9.39. Bottomley 22.11.40.
Slessor 12-5-41. Coryton 25.5.42. Cochrane 28.2.43
Constantine 16.1.45.
A/C. Hampdens, Manchesters, Lancasters, Mosquitos.
[underlined] B.C. casualties, Aircrew [/underlined] Operational K. 47120
Died as POW 138
Missing now safe. 2868
POW “ “ 9784
Wounded. 4200
[underlined] Non-operational [/underlined]
K. 8090
Wounded 4200
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A brief summary of the Bache crew’s experiences after the Operation to the Dortmund-Ems Canal on 1st January 1945.
A number of entries in the 160 pages that I wrote during 1945 in the second of my three war diaries refer to events connected with, or as a result of, the Bache crew’s experiences on 1st January of that year. (The three diaries contain a total of some 420 pages which cover only some sections of my overseas service in the RAAF, mainly while travelling to and while in Canada doing my navigator training, the Operation on 1st January 1945, that period which is summarised below and my trip back home from England. Unfortunately they do not cover any of the crew’s other Operational Sorties in detail but an amount of information on these is available from other sources in my possession)
The following very short summary makes use of extracts from some of the entries in my second diary, (other than from the 17 pages which contributed to my chronicle of events directly associated with our 16th Operation on 1st January 1945). It then goes on to refer to information that I have received since from various members of our crew covering their individual moves after the crew broke up in May 1945, plus each one’s post war status.
However, for the sake of brevity, this summary does not include any detailed references to those of our Operational Sorties which we flew between 19th February and 18th April 1945 – and some other of the events in which the crew were involved between January and May of that year – but which were not as a direct consequence of the Operation on 1-1-45 These matters may (possibly?) be covered at some future date.
So, picking up this account from a point part way through January 1945 –
My additional navigational duties during 1945.
During the period early in 1945 when our crew was non-operational, while we waited for Ernie and Cec to recover from their injuries received on 1st January, I was employed in the squadron’s navigation section in various ways. Some of these duties continued after we returned to Ops – particularly on the occasions where our crew was not flying on that Op.
Amongst other things, I had been requested by the squadron navigation leader to assist him by looking after the navigation Order Book, which covered matters such as changes in navigational procedures as these came through from No 5 Group Headquarters, as well as setting up an improved system for bringing this information to the notice of the navigators on the squadron. I was also asked to devise ways of drawing attention to cases or areas in which we should take steps to improve navigational performance.
I “dreamed up” a cartoon type character of a navigator who I named “Ayling-Rouse” (who was something like a mixture of the infamous idiotic pilot character, P/O Prune and the well known ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius) to assist with this and it seemed to be quite successful in getting the guys’ attention! – the style being recommended for use elsewhere in the Group.
I was also shown by the section’s navigation assessment officer how to assess the squadron navigator’s Operational flying log sheets and plotting charts – and learned how to get the navigators away on “cross-country” training flights etc.
I was then introduced by the squadron navigation leader to Operational navigation briefing procedures and other of his duties – and taken to some of the pre-Operation navigational planning conferences, which were held via a Group telephone hook up between
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the various squadrons just prior to our squadron Navigators Briefing for the Op. concerned.
As an upshot of all this, I was made deputy navigation leader and eventually stood in for the squadron navigation leader on occasions – including the conducting of the Navigators Briefing and the navigation specialist officer’s briefing contribution at the Main Briefing which followed, for those of No. 467 Squadron’s crews who were to participate in the daylight Bomber Command attack on “Hitler’s Hideout” at Berchtesgaden, in April 1945.
As it turned out – like so many other planned attacks – this Operation had to be “scrubbed” (ie cancelled) at the last minute because of bad weather in the target area – but was carried out a day or so later by 359 Lancasters – of which some were from other squadrons in No 5 Group and some from Nos. 1 and 8 Groups. However it so happened that Nos. 463 and 467 Squadrons were not available to go there with them on that day due to our station’s involvement in an attack on Tonsberg in Norway which required take-off later in the same afternoon.
(As a result of the additional navigation section work which I had carried out while our crew was “off Ops” waiting for the return of Cec and Ernie and also after we returned to Ops, the squadron navigation leader, when he was informed by the squadron commander early in May that the Bache crew had been selected as one of several crews for a voluntary posting from No. 467 Squadron to Transport Command, tried to convince me not to go with them. He indicated that I was being recommended for a navigation leader’s training course – and would then probably go with the squadron on its intended transfer to the Far East theatre of War.
However, because of the close crew bonds developed during our earlier Operations – and particularly as a result of the events on 1st January 1945, I decided to stick with Merv, Sam and Cec in their transfer to Transport Command.)
Ernie returns to the crew and we return to Operations.
As events turned out, Ernie was declared fit for flying after several weeks and we resumed Ops with him back with us on 19th February, as by this time we were starting to “champ upon the bit” again. However we had to make use of the substitute wireless operators – Cec still being out of action.
Merv’s promotion and his new role on the squadron.
By then Merv had been promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant and on occasions had acted as O/C of our “A” Flight, then as O/C “B” Flight, to which our crew was transferred some time in March.
Cec returns to the crew for our trip in “S Sugar”
According to my diary, Cec – who had been recovering from his ankle injury in the RAF hospital at Wroughton, near Crewe, (as was Ernie after they were both transferred from the hospital in Holland) – was flown back to the squadron by Merv and I when he has discharged from there on 22nd February.
However he did not stay, but went to a convalescence place near Liverpool and remained unfit for flying for the remainder of our Operational Sorties – rejoining the crew just in time for our flight to Jouvincourt in France in PO-S on 6th May to bring a planeload of ex-prisoners of war back to England.
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End of the war in Europe and its effects on No. 467 Squadron.
Hostilities in Europe ceased on 7th May 1945 and No. 467 Squadron was one of the Bomber Command squadrons selected for transfer to the Far East theatre of War.
Part of the Bache crew transfer to Transport Command.
Cec then joined Merv, Sam (who had been commissioned in February) and I, in our transfer on 11th May from No 467 Squadron of Bomber Command to Transport Command – to which we were posted as one of five “part-crews” from Waddington.
(These crews were taken from those who were apparently classified as “nominally tour expired” – ie those who had carried out 28, but in our case 25, Operations).
We went to the recently transferred RAAF No. 466, ex No. 4 Group Bomber Command Halifax squadron at Driffield for Transport Command flying training.
Sam’s Departure from Driffield.
We thought that the bomb-aimers who were transferred with us to No. 466 Squadron would have been trained as load masters for Transport Command flying crew “cargo supervision etc”, but were informed shortly after arrival on No. 466 Squadron that it had been decided they were now not required.
So Sam was to leave us! However the blow was softened considerably when he received notification that, because of his long period of service in the RAAF (including time served as a medical orderly in ground staff in the New Guinea theatre of war), he was to be repatriated back to Australia where he would be eligible for discharge from the Service.
He was first of all transferred to the Australian Aircrew Holding Centre at Brighton, on the south coast of England – to await a draft back home aboard a troopship.
Merv, Cec and I continue Transport Command training on No. 466 Squadron.
Merv, Cec and I continued on with No. 466 Squadron at Driffield – where we picked up an Australian Second Pilot (Merv becoming Senior Pilot) – and then converted to and flew in their Halifax bombers.
We then went with the squadron when it relocated to RAF Bassingbourn in September.
From Halifaxes to Liberators.
At Bassingbourne the squadron converted from Halifaxes to 4 engine Liberator bomber type aircraft – American designed and built – and a somewhat different aircraft from the 4 engine British designed and built heavy bombers in which we had previously flown. (It was not long before I christened the Liberator “the Flying Brick” after comparing its flying characteristics with those of our beloved Lancasters).
After we had completed a number of familiarisation exercises in the UK we were scheduled to undertake training flights and later, service transport operations, between UK and India.
The end of World War II in the Far East and the disbanding of 466 Squadron.
We were about to carry out our first training flight to India when the war in the Pacific area suddenly ended – resulting in the squadron being disbanded on 26th October 1945.
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So the four of us, including the Australian Second Pilot, were transferred to Brighton for repatriation back home and discharge from the RAAF.
Our return to Australia.
As things turned out, all the Australian members of our crew, except for Sam, who had left England much earlier – finished up finally going back to Australia together on the same ship – the Athlone Castle.
Our return by sea to Australia is another story – including us becoming involved in a Mutiny aboard the first ship, the Orion, on which we were embarked – and from which we were later disembarked again, back in England, after it broke down in the Bay of Biscay!
Return Home and Post War
Sam, who received his promotion to Flying Officer in August, returned to Sydney in NSW for discharge from the RAAF. He and his wife, Valda, now live in Wagga, N.S.W.
Merv returned to Adelaide in South Australia for discharge as a Flight Lieutenant. He and his wife, Ethel, continued to live there until he died in 1974.
Cec returned to Brisbane in Queensland, for discharge, by which time he had been promoted to the rank of Flying Officer. He married Dawn there and they continued to live in Brisbane, but later moved northwards to Caloundra, on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland – where he died from a war related complaint in 1997.
Les, Jim and Ernie remained at Waddington – Les transferring to No 463 Squadron to join Jack Blair’s crew (also ex 467 Squadron, on which they had done 24 Ops prior to the end of the war in Europe). They subsequently moved with the squadron to RAF Skellingthorpe in July. Here he remained until the war in the Pacific concluded, after which No. 463 Squadron was disbanded on 25th September 1945 and all of its RAAF personnel were repatriated back to Australia. He had the rank of Pilot Officer when he was discharged.
Les married and he and his wife, Norma, now live at Seymour, Victoria.
Jim remained on No. 467 Squadron at Waddington after Merv, Sam, Cec and I left for Transport Command – and while there joined F/O C F Stewart’s crew (which had done 6 Ops on 467 Squadron prior to the end of hostilities in Europe) – as mid upper gunner.
They were posted to No. 463 Squadron, which was also located at Waddington, on 4th June – and went with this squadron when it was relocated to RAF Skellingthorpe on 3rd July.
They remained with No. 463 Squadron until it was disbanded on 25th September 1945 – after which Jim was transferred to Brighton along with all its other Australian members and then returned to Australia for discharge from the RAAF. He was promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer sometime during this period.
Jim married and he and his wife, June, live in Sydney, N.S.W.
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Australian War Memorial
Page 1 of [missing number]
No. 467 Squadron
No. 467 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force was formed at Scampton in the United Kingdom on 7 November 1942. Although intended as an Australian squadron under Article XV of the Empire Air Training Scheme, the majority of its personnel were originally British. The replacement of these men with Australians was a gradual process and it was only towards the end of the war that the squadron gained a dominant Australian character.
The squadron relocated to Bottesford on 23 November 1942 and commenced operations on 2 January 1943. A year later it moved to Waddington, which remained the squadron’s home until the end of the war. Equipped with Avro Lancaster heavy bombers, and forming part of 5 Group, RAF Bomber Command, the squadron’s operational focus for much of the war was the strategic bombing offensive against Germany. Bombing almost entirely by night, it participated in all of the major campaigns of the offensive including the battles of the Ruhr, Berlin and Hamburg. In addition to Germany, the squadron also attacked targets in France, Italy, Norway and Czechoslovakia. On 20 June 1943, 467 was the first Bomber Command squadron to participate in the “shuttle service” where aircraft would leave the United Kingdom, bomb a European target, and then fly on to an airfield in North Africa. There they would refuel and rearm and then bomb another target on their return flight to Britain. The German port of Friederichshafen was the outbound target, and the Italian port of Spezia the inbound one.
In addition to the strategic bombing offensive, 467 Squadron was also employed in support of ground operations prior to, and during the D-Day landing, during the drive out of the Normandy beachhead in mid-1944, and during the crossing of the Rhine in March 1945. The squadron also participated in the offensive to remove the threat posed by Germany’s terror weapons and participated in raids on the weapons research facility at Peenemende, and on V1 flying bomb and V2 rocket assembly and launch sites in France.
467 Squadron’s last bombing raid of the war was an attack on the oil refinery and tankerage at Vallo in Norway. Even before the cessation of hostilities, the squadron was employed to ferry liberated Allied prisoners of war from Europe to Britain and it continued in this role after VE Day. The squadron was one of several identified to form “Tiger Force”, Bomber Command’s contribution to the strategic bombing campaign against Japan. It relocated to Metheringham to prepare for this role, but the war against Japan ended before “Tiger Force” was deployed. 467 Squadron disbanded on 30 September 1945.
Between January 1942 and April 1945, 467 Squadron flew 3,833 sorties and dropped 17,578 tons of bombs. It suffered heavily in the course of its operations – 760 personnel were killed, of whom 284 were Australian, and 11 [missing number] aircraft were lost.
References AWM 64, RAAF formation and unit rolls [2 symbols] ORMF 0118, Roll 95 [2 symbols] 1/426 December 1942 – December 1943 [2 symbols] 1/427 January – December 1944 [2 symbols] 1/428 January – October 1945 [2 symbols] 1/435A December 1942 – March 1945; Units of the Royal Australian Air Force; a concise history. Volume 3, bomber units, (Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1995).; H.M. Blundell, They flew from Waddington! 463 – 467 Lancaster Squadrons, Royal Australian Air Force, (Sydney: W. Homer, 1975).
Category Unit



H G Adams, “463 & 467 Squadron Notes on Ops,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 10, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/27209.

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