Donald Cochrane's operations



Donald Cochrane's operations


A handwritten list of Don Cochrane's first tour. It comprises a short paragraph for each of the 29 operations he undertook. Included are four maps with bombs indicating his targets.




Four handwritten sheets and four annotated printed maps.


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1st operation to Schweinfurt with F/O Leggitt and crew, on their 4th operation. Very good trip huge explosions and fires in the target area. 1 JU 88 seen, but were not attacked. 32 missing

2nd operation to Stuttgart with own crew. Good prang, no fighters seen. 40 missing

3rd operation to Frankfurt with own crew. Quiet trip except for target area, where there was a lot of flak, and a few fighters, but none attacked us. 23 missing

4th operation to Frankfurt with own crew, nothing seen until [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted] about 70 miles from target. Then without anyone seeing the fighter we were raked stem to stern, with cannon and machine gun fire, the pilot on seeing tracers [inserted] pass [/inserted] under the port wing immediately went into a cork screw. Midd [sic] upper baled out, rear gunner badly wounded (see notes) 29 miss

5th operation to Essen with own crew. Lot of cloud over the target, so could not see the results of the attack. Just as we were leaving the target, another Lancaster came out of the clouds and missed us by a few feet. 9 aircraft lost

6th operation to Nurnburg with own crew. Still very shaky from when we were shot up. There was a lot of activity all across the continent, the whole way across it was lit up with all kinds of lights on the ground, and there seemed to be a lot of fighters around, as fighter flares were going down all over the place. The target was covered with cloud and there was quite a bit of flak, but the boys made a good job of it. We lost 96 aircraft.

7th operation to Cologne with own crew. Another trip slap happy valley or flak happy valley, as they call it on this squadron. Very quiet [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted] trip and again target was covered with cloud, but results were very good. 31 missing

8th operation to Dusseldorf with own crew. Flak happy valley again. No cloud at all at the target, and there seemed to be thousands of searchlights and fighter flares, with quite a bit of [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted] flak going up. The target was pranged very well. Lost 29 aircraft

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9th operation to Karlsruhe with own crew. Very quiet trip indeed saw nothing worth mentioning the whole way there and back, good prang on target. 30 aircraft lost

10th operation to Essen with own crew. This time no cloud over target, bombing was very concentrated, but P.F.F. had dropped their flares slightly off the aiming point and the prang was not as good as it could have been. Halifax was running up to bomb the same T.I. as we were and there was nearly a collision. 29 missing

11th operation to Friedrichafen [sic] with own crew. Longest trip of my tour as far as I have gone, took 8 hours 50 minutes, a whole days [sic] work in an aircraft. Came up on a lot of cloud just after the French coast, in which there was some very bad electrical storms, while we were in [deleted] it [/deleted] the cloud a Halifax came up from [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted] under our nose, and nearly took it away with its tail plane. No cloud over the target and it was a very good prang, indeed the whole town was wiped out. We were lost all the way to the target and only found it with a bit of luck, and after leaving we were lost again until [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted] back in Gee range. That night we were first home. Lost 36 aircraft

12th operation to Maintenon with own crew. Ammunition dump in [deleted] f [/deleted] France, a marvellous prang, wiped the whole thing out, there were still explosions going off there a week later, it burnt for 10 days. Saw some wizard explosions while [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted] over the target area, and could still see it after crossing the English coast coming back. Lost 9 aircraft

13th operation to Lyons [sic] with own crew. Target was two factories [deleted] at [/deleted] on the south east side of Lyons. [sic] Was not a very good prang P.F.F. were out and most of the bombs hit the railway junction close by the factories.

14th operation to Mailly with own crew. An army barracks east of Paris. Quiet trip until we reached the target. Saw the most flak there I have ever seen, they were putting up all kinds of stuff, the tracer consisted of all the colours [deleted] under [/deleted] [inserted] in [/inserted] the rainbow. Saw about 12 aircraft shot down by fighters and flak. 49 aircraft were lost

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[inserted] 9 drawn bomb symbols and 9 target names [/inserted]

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[inserted] 17 drawn bomb symbols, 1 drawn parachute mine symbol, 16 target names and drawn circle showing base in England [/inserted]

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15th operation to Rennes with own crew. Target was the marshalling yards [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted] in the town there, bombing was very concentrated, and it was a good prang. First home again.

16th operation to Hasselt with own crew. Target was again marshalling yards. P.F.F. could not find the target so we were told to go home with our bombs, but the crew did not like the idea, so we went over to another target, and asked if we could bomb that, we were told we could, so [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted] in we went [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted] and got a photo of the aiming point. The crew was congratulated by the Group Captain for a very good show.

17th operation [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted] to Heligoland Bight mine laying with own crew. Was just like a cross country, sew nothing at all. Droped [sic] our mines first in the right spot.

18th operation to LE CLIPTON with own crew. A gun battery on the French coast just by Dunkirk, our bombs were the only ones that dropped on the target. Very quiet trip.

19th operation to Eu with own crew. Gun battery on the French coast south of Calais. Very good prang site wiped out. Very little flak or searchlight. [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted] Poor show on the part of P.F.F., markers were very poor. Was just sheer luck that they nearly all hit the target

20th operation to TERGNIER with own crew. Took off with the rain pouring down, thunder rolling and lightning flashing, was expecting to be recalled at any moment, but [deleted] it [/deleted] we did not get it. Carried on to target which was north of [deleted] f [/deleted] Paris, railway marshalling yards, arrived early and had to do a dummy run over the target, our bombs fell on the target after a split second run up, fairly good prang. Was caught in Electrical storms again after leaving Reading on the way back to base.

21st operation to Dieppe with own crew. Very easy trip P.F.F. markers were down when we got there and were bang on, bombing very concentrated, right in amongst the flares, very good prang. Last trip for our midd-upper [sic] gunner. First home again.

22nd operation St Martin with own crew. Another gun site on the coast of France, quiet trip saw some flak coming up from the channel islands, but no where [sic] near

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us. Thick cloud over the target so could not see results of attack. The second front started about [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted] [inserted] 7 mins [/inserted] after we bombed.

23rd operation to Vire with own crew. Took off in very bad weather, cloud down to about 1000 feet. Slight flak [deleted] at [/deleted] over target, 3 aircraft seen shot down, photo flashes were causing more trouble than flak. We were on the Western target. On the way back to base cloud was down to 800 feet, and at base [deleted] , [/deleted] at 200 feet we were still in cloud, but managed to land quite safely.

24th operation to Caen with own crew. Target a road junction and ammunition dump, just behind the front line of the second front. We were the only crew to get anywhere near the target,[deleted] on the [/deleted] [inserted] from our [/inserted] squadron, our photo was 500 yds away and our bombs straddled the target. First home again.

25th operation to Paris with own crew. Target a railway junction, fairly good prang but PFF markers were nearly out when we got there. One of the first home.

26th operation to EVREUX with own crew. Target a railway junction, about 40 miles west of Paris. Very good prang, had to break cloud to bomb and bombed at 2000 feet, saw our bombs go right along the railway track. First home again.

27th operation to Gelsenkirchen with own crew. Target, synthetic oil plant 5 miles north of Essen. Flak happy valley. There was thousands of searchlights, and quite a lot of heavy flak. Rather shook the new crews that are only used to French targets. Home second. Bob White on his last trip, was home first.

28th operation to LE HAVRE with own crew. The harbours were very well pranged. Daylight operation, could pick out every detail in the docks, really enjoyed the trip. Bit of flak over target, but nothing to worry about.

29th operation to BOULOGNE with own crew. Again the harbours. Not such a good prang as the last, the target [inserted] was [/inserted] covered with cloud, so could not see results but should have been fairly good. First home again, Last trip of first tour.
[underlined] B. G. SHOW [/underlined]
[underlined] END OF FIRST TOUR [/underlined]

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[inserted] 1 drawn bomb symbol and 1 target name [/inserted]

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[inserted] 1 drawn bomb symbol and 1 target name [/inserted]


Donald Cochrane, “Donald Cochrane's operations,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 22, 2024,

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