Ian Henderson's diary 1944



Ian Henderson's diary 1944


Gives accounts of operations including target, opposition, anti-aircraft fire, success of bombing, day or night, weather conditions. From September 1944 through to April 1945. Last page has list of losses.




Fifteen page handwritten document


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{inserted] [arrow] See back page for 1s [sic] operation [/inserted] 27-9-44

Ian’s Diary 194 [deleted] 5 [/deleted] [inserted] 4 [/inserted]

[deleted] [underlined]Sunday Jan 14 [/underlined] [/deleted] (2nd Op)

Sept 25 [underlined] Calais [/underlined] Abortive Daylight Cloud base 800. Turned back at French Coast.

Sept 26 Calais. Daylight. No opposition. Plastered Flak sites. Flew over France for a while then came [deleted] back [/deleted] home.

Sept 27. Reserve crew for Calais. Hoping that someone would develope [sic] engine trouble So that we could go but no luck

[missing word] 28. Calais. Abortive Daylight cloud base 700 Flew right over. No opposition

[missing word] Oct. [missing word] Op) Saarbrucken (Rhur) First night op. Target mass of flames. large explosion. Flak accurate. Predicted close on S. Side. Diverted on the way into Saarbrucken. We almost collided with another Lancaster but a sudden dive cleared us by about 20 feet. Everything suspended in mid air

[page break]

7 Oct Emmerich (Rhur) [sic] Good trip. Flak moderate. Two bursts shook “Peter”. Saw some shutes [sic] go down. Fallard shot down. Flak at Hague on way in but not near us. saw Brussels on way back and Dunkirk beaches. large areas of Holland flooded.

14 Oct. Duisburg. Daylight 1000 bombers Blasted town. Flak heavy & accurate. One burst so close we could smell the cordite. Fighter escort

19 Oct. Stuttgart. Night. new aids u/s used D.R. Attacked by ME110 on target run did violent corkscrew & rear gunner fired burst & ME left us. Flak heavy & predicted. Fired at in

[page break]

Saarbrucken & Karlsruer [sic] - Strasburg areas. 7 hours. Glad to get back.

25 Oct. Daylight. first wave. Flak barrage & heavy. Hit four times P.O. & P.I. engines & 2 holes in B/Rs Compartment. “Peter” OK however Terrific explosion as we made our bombing run.

Cologne 28 Oct. Temp 36C. Flak just moderate & slight over Rhine on way out. Halifax right over us & his bombs just missed our port wing.

30 Oct. Cologne. Night cloud from French coast to target. Flak moderate but accurate. Fighter planes dropped close to R/C. Saw kite go down in flames. Fog at base on return & we just avoided a collision

[page break]

with another Lanc. by inches. Equipment thrown all over the place and fuel jettison tank broke lose [sic] Legg (Pilot) landed on Dunholm Lodge by mistake.

Nov 1. Leave 6 days.

Jan 28, [underlined] 1945 [/underlined] Jack McNamass’ name in [inserted] daily [/inserted] papers. when told to bail out from blazing plane (L.Love) told his skipper to wait a moment & remained to shoot down Jerry Pilot fighter before he jumped.

Nov 11. Daylight in formation. Weather poor 10/10 cloud over target. Wanne-Eikel. [sic] Flak slight & more concerned with bombers up above dropping bombs on us. Temp 46

[page break]

16 Nov 1944 Duren. Daylight Hazy over target so ordered down to 1000ft by Master Bomber. In first wave flak light but predicted & accurate. Master Bomber congratulated bombing results over R/T. Jerry was firing scarecrows to panic us. Saw kite with one engine in flames leave for home 2.30 & base thought we had done abortive & returned early.

18 Nov. Wanne-Eikel. Night target Big oil tanks. Flak barrage over target & predicted on way [inserted] in & [/inserted] out. Searchlights galore but cloud over good. Target blazing when we left. On way home saw V1 coned by searchlights N. of us & being bashed by flak. Landed at Yankee dome as weather bad over base.

[page break]

Had good time there. Bags of eggs & fruit & left following afternoon.

29 Nov. Dortmund. Daylight Flight Stream with fighter escort on way in target. Saw trail of V2 Rocket just launched. Seemed strange that it would arrive in England in a few minutes. Flak all the way on route & heavy over target. Wherever you looked there was flak. Raced Johnny White back at 300 IAS at one time Xray missing. Saw fellow bale out [indecipherable word] Dam.

3 Dec Just over German border had overspending prop. SC1 Feathering no good and oil started to pour out. Fire broke out which was extinguished

[page break]

by Graves. Jettisoned fuel off Holland and returned to Brussels. Fire broke out twice more but blew itself out. Spent night in Brussels & flew back in a Dakota on Monday. [deleted] “Peter’ bombed & destroyed ground [/deleted]

28 Dec Bonn - (Rhur) [sic] Night No searchlights Flak moderate to slight. 9/10s cloud but could see glow on clouds from fires. Scarecrow burst alongside (our) kite in target area.

[underlined] Dec 25 [/underlined] Jerry fighters shot up Brussels drone & burnt to “P” Peter.

Jan 5, 1945 Royan. Night. Helping F.F.I. by bombing Jerry who were rustling French Cattle for food. Bombed from 1000ft only 1 gun firing & someone flattened that with a bomb.

[page break]

7 hours (2am - 9am) Half asleep on way back.

Jan 28 Stuttgart. Night. 7 1/2hrs. Weather good & full moon. Tem 48c Flak only moderate but good few fighters & about 30 combats. Could see Jerry fighters weaving vapour trails above us. Jones missing. Shot down.

3 Feb 45 Bottrop (Rhur) [sic] Night & weather good. Hundreds of searchlights over target, so many that we wondered how we would ever get through. Flak moderate but great many fighter flashes on route. Freeborne missing.

4 Feb. 1945. Heligoland Bight. Night mine laying about 10 miles off coast near

[page break]

Keel Canal. S Sugar shot up badly by ME 410.

8 Feb. Politz near Stettin. 9 hours & nearly 2000. Light flak over Denmark & flak over target. Very heavy barrage. Hit by flak on port u/c. Saw fighters over target. Crossed Sweden on way home & they fired but nowhere near us (22 Flight)

13 Feb Dresden. Night. over 2000 miles to help Stalin. Flak over target moderate H.F. Town ablaze from end to end & could see flames 100 miles away on homeward journey. Saw battle raging on both Eastern & Western fronts. Flew over Czecho.slovakia [sic] & Switzerland on way home & arrived at base with very little petrol left. (23 trip)

14 Feb. Chemitz. [sic] Night SW of Berlin. Predicted by flak before we reached target. Heard it burst & we were hit in port tail plane. Slaw [sic] glow of fires on cloud. Airborne 9 1/4hrs Hit 5 times.

[deleted] 24 [/deleted] [inserted] 21 Feb. [/inserted] Duisburg. (24 trip). Night. Took 2nd pilot with us. Searchlights over target & flak moderate. Fighters active. Saw FIVE aircraft go down in flames one so close that flames lit up our aircraft. Good bombing.

Mach [sic] 1 (25 trip) Mannheim. Daylight 400 aircraft & fighter escort. Cloud over target. Flak slight. Heavy flak barrage one aircraft got S wing blown off & no one baled out.

[page break]

On way home we formatted with some Yanks then tore past them. “U Uncle blew up over Wash on way home (Rhodes)

5 March [underlined] 26 Raid [/underlined] Chemitz. Night route near Leipsig [sic] Bags of flak. Then fighters active & we saw about 4 aircraft going down in flames one presumably a Pathfinder kite as, when it exploded, it dropped scores of flares. Saw fighters following blazing Lancs. Weather bad with static electricity

15 March 45 [underlined] 27 raid [/underlined] [indecipherable word] Hanover. Attempted oil plants. Arrived over target early & orbited through searchlights Good [indecipherable word] & we got a direct hit on the tanks. Flames rose to about 6000ft. & there were clouds of black smoke. Flak moderate

[page break]

a lot of searchlights were coned for a few minutes. Narrowly missed colliding with other Lancs. Airborne 7.40 Bags of fighter flares. Took 2nd pilot with us

21 March. 28 trip Bremen. Daylight. 100 Lancs with fighter escort. Good [indecipherable word] & bags of fires & smoke, Flak over target moderate but very accurate. Hit 3 times Port tail planes, [indecipherable word] & stbd wing. Saw bags fighter trails but there were no attacks. A lot of kites returned on 3 engines. 4 1/2 hours

24 Mar 29 trip Langendreer (Between Dortmund & Bochum. Daylight 80 kites & no fighters. saw smoke screen on way in & had grand view of Cologne & Dusseldorf. Flak v. accurate all

[page break]

way in & slight over target. Pelted all the way back to the Rhine. Hit 4 times & had peculiar looking piece of flak in S wing. saw V2 trail in Holland 5 1/2hrs

27 March [underlined] 30 raid [/underlined] Paderborne. [sic] Daylight. 200 Lancs with cover of Mustangs & Tunderbolts. [sic] 10/10 cloud over target. Bombed on instruments & markers. Only a few bursts of flak. Stream was well concentrated & we narrowly missed collisions. 4th back home.

4 April Leipsig [sic] [indecipherable word] 8hrs airborne Had 2nd Pilot with us. 250 Lancs. Saw big fires burning at Nordhausen on way in. Target oil tanks. We could see them in light of flares. First wave but when we left the fires were well under way. Missed collision with other Lancs by inches. First home. Flak holes

[page break]

(Sept 27 1944 1st op reserve crew for Calais. Hoping that someone would develope [sic] engine trouble so we could go but no luck)

[underlined] Sept 25 [/underlined] (First op) Calais. abortive Daylight cloud base 800. Turned back at French Coast

[underlined] Sept 26. [/underlined] 1st op. Daylight. No opposition. Plastered Flak sites. Flew over France for a while then came home

[page break]

[list] Schopp - 3 members bailed out. P/O Read - Collision. F/O [indecipherable name] - All bailed out. F/) Holman POW F/O Rhodes - Blew up over Wash. F/O [indecipherable name] - Blew up. F/O Ayres. F/O Parker - Collision



I Henderson, “Ian Henderson's diary 1944,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 20, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/30739.

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