Alec Pyle's Operational Flight Records

SPyleJEA175907v10004.pdf

Title

Alec Pyle's Operational Flight Records

Description

The records were extracted from those kept at Kew.

Temporal Coverage

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Format

Five typewritten sheets

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IBCC Digital Archive

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

Contributor

Identifier

SPyleJEA175907v10004

Transcription

ALEC’S OPERATIONAL FLIGHT RECORDS

These operational details were obtained from the Kew Records Office.

Alec was recorded as being on his 29th operation when his Lancaster LM595 was shot down, probably by a German Night Fighter. I have only been able to find records of 26 of the operations, the first 2 of which are when Alec was Co Pilot. Some of the information is of a technical nature and abbreviated but I have tried to write it as seen. The details I have are as follows:-

1st March 1944 Plane Lancaster R5486 Take off 23.20 hrs rtrn 07.05 hrs Target Stuttgart
Pilot P/O Godfrey
Co Pilot F/Sgt J.E.A. Pyle
Crew Stewart
Sewell (NZ)
Chirighin
Gardner (NZ)
Rose
Willis
Bombed centre of skymarkers at 03.05 hrs from 23,000 ft. Heading 070 deg. Markers well concentrated. Big explosion at 03.01 hrs and large one at 03.06 hrs.

15th March 1944 Plane Lancaster LM466 Take off 19.10 hrs rtrn 02.45. hrs. Target Stuttgart
Pilot P/O Derisley
Co Pilot F/Sgt J.E.A. Pyle
Same crew
Bombed centre of red T.Is at 23.24 hrs from 21,000 ft heading 010 deg. Raid scattered but some good fires observed

ALEC NOW PROMOTED TO PILOT

26th March Plane Lancaster LL859 Take off 20.05 hrs. Rtrn 00.55 hrs Target Essen
Pilot F/S J.E.A. Pyle
Same Crew
Centre of green T is bombed at 22.05 hrs from 22,000 ft. Heading 141 deg Reflection of large fires seen on cloud.

30th March 1944 Plane Lancaster ND781 Take off 22.25 hrs. rtrn 00.55 hrs. Target Nuremburg
Pilot F/Sgt J.E.A. Pyle
Crew same
Operation abandoned due to u/s guns in rear turret. Farthest point reached 5105N 0340E At 00.46 hrs. Load Jettisoned.

10th April 1944 Plane Lancaster LL859 Take off 01.20 hrs rtrn. 06.20 hrs. Target Laon Marshelling [sic] Yards
Pilot F/Sgt J.E.A. Pyle
Same crew
Bombed red T Is at 03.49 hrs. from 9000 ft heading 079 deg. Very concentrated bombing in and around markers.

[page break]

18th. April 1944 Plane Lancaster LL859 Take off 22.35 hrs rtrn. 02.40 hrs. Target Rouen
Pilot Flight Sergeant J.E.A. Pyle
Same crew
Bombed markers as directed at 00.51 hrs. From 12000 ft. Heading 024 deg. Marking very good and bombing was accurate.

20th April 1944 Plane Lancaster ND765 Take off 01.20 hrs. rtrn. 04.45 hrs. Target Koln.
Pilot Flight Sergeant J.E.A. Pyle.
Same crew.
Bombed green flares at 02.13 hrs. from 20000 ft. Heading 017 deg. 10/10 Cloud over target but raid seemed concentrated.

24 April 1944. Plane Lancaster LL802 Take off 21.55 hrs. rtrn. 03.40 hrs. Target Karlsrube.
Pilot Flight Sergeant J.E.A. Pyle. Note that there is now a new crew, who stayed together for the remainder of the operational flights.
Crew Flt/Sgt P.A. MacGibbon
Flt/Sgt E. Crowther
Sgt. A.H. Hall
Flt/Sgt. L. Tomlinson
Pilot Officer W.H. Pool (Royal Canadian Airforce)
Sgt. J.L. Spaven
Bombed centre of flares at 0045 hrs at 19,000 ft.

26 April 1944. Plane Lancaster LL802 Take off 22.50 hrs rtrn. 03.05 hrs. Target Essen
Pilot Flight Sergeant J.E.A. Pyle.
Same crew.
Bombed centre of red TI’s at 01.31 hrs. from 20,000 ft. Good concentration of bombing and fires burning well.

1st May 1944. Plane Lancaster LL802 Take off 22.30 hrs rtrn. 02.45 hrs. Target Chambly.
Pilot Flight Sergeant J.E.A. Pyle.
Same crew.
Bombed yellow TI’s at 00.27 hrs from 8,000 ft. Bombing well concentrated and attack appeared successful.

19 May 1944 Plane Lancaster LM 466 Take off 22.05 hrs. rtrn. 02.50 hrs. Target Le Mans Marshaling Yard.
Pilot Flight Sergeant J.E.A. Pyle.
Same crew.
Bombing very concentrated and target visually identified.

21st May 1944 Plane Lancaster LM466 Take off 22.55 hrs. rtrn. 03.00 hrs. Target Duisburg.
Pilot Flight Sergeant J.E.A. Pyle.
Same crew
Bombed Red TI’s at 01.15 hrs from 21,000 ft. No results observed.

[page break]

31st. May 1944 Plane Lancaster LL802 Take off 23.45 hrs. rtrn. 04.45 hrs. Target Trappes.
Pilot Flight Sergeant J.E.A. Pyle
Same Crew
Bombed White TI’s with undershoot at 02.00 hrs from 9,000 ft Saw own bombs go down on White TIs

2nd June 1944. Plane Lancaster LM466. Take off 00.25 hrs. rtrn. 03.20 hrs. Target Wissant.
Pilot Flight Sergeant J.E.A. Pyle.
Same crew.
Bombed Red TI,s from 5,800 ft.

6TH JUNE 1944 ALEC PROMOTED TO PILOT OFFICER J.E.A. PYLE 175907 G.D. PILOT APPOINTED TO COMMISSION.

12th June 1944 Plane Lancaster LL885. Take off 23.00 hrs. rtrn. 03.00 hrs. Target Wissant.
Now Pilot Officer J.E.A. Pyle.
Crew same. Navigator Flt. Sgt P.A. MacGibbon
Wireless Operator Flt. Sgt. E. Crowther.
Flight Engineer. Sgt. A.H. Hall
Bomb Aimer Flt. Sgt. L. Tomlinson
Air Gunner Pilot Officer W.H. Pool. Royal Canadian Air force.
Air Gunner Sgt. J.L. Spaven.
Bombed southerly TI,s from 21,000 ft. Several sticks of bombs observed bursting on TI,s. Many fires with large amount of smoke.

14th June 1944. Plane Lancaster LM595. Take off 23.45 hrs. Rtn. 03.00 hrs. Target Gelsenkirchen.
Pilot Officer J.E.A. Pyle.
Same crew.
Bombed between Green and Red TI,s. From 14,000 ft. Identified Docks and Town bombing accurate.

15th June 1944. Plane Lancaster LM595 Take off 23.20 hrs. rtrn. 01.55 hrs. Target Valenciennes.
Pilot Officer J.E.A. Pyle.
Same Crew.
Bombed Red and Green TI’s at 00.36 hrs. from 7,000 hrs. [sic] Saw Marshaling Yards. Red and Greens on target. Bombing concentrated.

17th June 1944. Plane Lancaster LM 595 Take off 01.00 hrs. rtrn. 05.05 hrs. Target Montdidier.
Pilot Officer J.E.A. Pyle.
Same Crew.
Ordered not to bomb by M/B. Bombs returned.

23rd June 1944. Plane Lancaster LM595. Take off 23.10 hrs. rtrn. 01.45 hrs. Target L,Hey.
Pilot Officer J.E.A. Pyle. Same Crew.
Bombed centre of red glow at 00.18 hrs from 8,000 ft. Low clouds.

[page break]

24th June 1944. Plane Lancaster LM595 Take off 23.20 hrs. rtrn. 02.05 hrs Target Timeux.
Pilot Officer J.E.A. Pyle.
Same Crew.
Bombed Red TI’s at 00.34 hrs. from 8,000 ft. All TI,s very concentrated. Bombing accurate.

26TH JUNE 1944. ALEC GRANTED THE RANK OF FLYING OFFICER.

27th June 1944. Plane Lancaster LM595. Take off 23.40 hrs. rtrn. 03.05 hrs. Target Biennais.
Pilot. Flying Officer J.E.A. Pyle.
Same Crew.
Bombed glow of Red TI’s. At 01.14 hrs. from 13,500 hrs. [sic] No observations.

2nd July 1944. Plane ID IM595. Take off 12.25 hrs. rtrn. 16.15 hrs. Target Beauvior. (Daylight Raid)
Pilot. Flying Officer J.E.A. Pyle.
Same Crew.
Bombed Yellow TI’s from 12,000 ft.

17th July 1944. Plane Lancaster LM595. Take off 10.55 hrs. rtrn. 14.10 hrs. Target Not specified. (Daylight Raid)
Pilot. Flying Officer J.E.A. Pyle.
Same Crew.
Aircraft recalled to base.

18th July 1944. Plane Lancaster LM595. Take off 03.35 hrs. rtrn. 07.40 hrs. Target Caen. (Daylight Raid)
Pilot. Flying Officer J.E.A. Pyle.
Same Crew.
Bombed Red TI’s at 06.06 hrs from 9,500 ft. Bombing concentrated. Much smoke.

18th July 1944. Plane Lancaster LM595. Take off 22.45 hrs. Rtrn. 02.50 hrs. Target Aulnoye.
Pilot Flying Officer J.E.A. Pyle.
Same crew.
Bombed Green TI’s from 9,000 ft. Concentrated raid.

20th July 1944. Plane Lancaster LM595. Take off 23.10 hrs. NOTHING HEARD AFTER TAKE OFF.
Target. Homburg Oil Plant installation in Germany.
Pilot…………………..Flying Officer J.E.A. Pyle. R.A.F. Age 22
Navigator………….Flight Sergeant P.A. Mac Gibbon. R.A.F.
Wireless Operator.. Flight Sergeant E. Crowther. R.A.F. Age 36
Flight Engineer…….. Sergeant A.H. Hall. R.A.F. Age 23
Bomb Aimer………… Flight Sergeant L. Tomlinson. R.A.F. Age 24
Air Gunner…………… Pilot Officer W.H. Pool. (Royal Canadian Air Force). Age 20
Air Gunner…………… Sergeant J.L. Spaven R.A.F. Age 35
Other records reveal that the plane, Lancaster LM595, was shot down, probably by a night fighter, at approximately 01.45 hrs. In or near to Oude Tonge on the island of Overflakee, Netherlands.

[page break]

In view of the time lapse between taking off at 23.10 hrs and the crash time given as 01.45 hrs., and allowing a deduction of 1 hour for time difference, this would give a flying time of 1 hr. 35 min. It would appear that the plane crashed on the outward leg of its flight to bomb the Oil Plant Installation at Homburg, Germany. See records from Ray Allard 1/6/1995, which gives details of bomb load being carried.

The crew were buried initially in graves near to the crash site. Although one report indicates that Flight Sgt Crother [sic] was buried in a separate area. It was presumed that he had bailed out but was too low to survive. After the war the bodies were then reburied where they are now at the Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery, Netherlands. See photographs.

Collection

Citation

“Alec Pyle's Operational Flight Records ,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed January 27, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/33179.

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