Day In History
of Events for No.
439 (CAN) Squadron
compiled by C20089
F/L M. Harrison
in the 439 Squadron Operations Record Book Form
Little scattered cloud
early in the morning. A message was received in the wee hours of
the morning that the Daks are to arrive at 0700 hours and will
take off at 08:30 hours. However they were late in getting in and
this delayed departure until about 10:00 hours. All Echelon airmen
were aboard excepting two who were in Sick Quarters. Once over the
French coast we ran into quite a bit of low lying cumulus, heavy
at times. We touched down at B118 at about 14:15 hours, which is a
short distance south of Celle, Germany. From there we were taken
to B150 by transport. Again we are in tents, with the exception of
the officers mess which is in a large old house.
There are numerous pranged
aircraft on this field which have been stripped of souvenirs.
We learn that "A" party was strafed the first day it
arrived , by a Jerry kite, but apparently no casualties sustained.
The farm lands of Germany are quite pretty and the farm houses are
quite a distance apart and seem to be quite large and well kept,
denoting that the agriculturists are quite well to do.
The disreputable Belsen
Camp is about 15 kilometres from here and has been visited
by numerous lads of our Airfield and they claim that the horrors
are even worse than expressed in the newspapers.
This is the first day that
the Squadron has operated since leaving B100 for Warmwell. Only
two operations were carried out, and other flying consisted of F/O
Johnny Bullock's return from Warmwell via Typhoon which would not
function properly yesterday.
One pilot failed to return
from operations today, he is J16210 F/l J.H. McCullough. His kite
was hit by flak causing it to smoke badly so that he forced landed
in Germany. His operational record is; 18 sorties on his second
tour, 140:00 operational hours on his first tour and 17:05 hours
on his second, making a total of 157:05 operational hours and
giving him a grand total of 821:55 flying hours.
After totaling up the
sorties carried out at 14 A.P.C., Warmwell, we did 261 on high
dive-bombing, 80 on low level bombing, 29 on air to air firing and
42 on air to ground firing, which makes a total of 412 sorties.
out of our 18 aircraft, one was unserviceable today, the 19th
being lost on ops.
of Work Carried Out by
compiled by J23040
F/L V.H. LeGear, J37015 F/O A.W. Saunders, and C200589
F/L M. Harrison
in the 439 Squadron Operations Record Book
Type & Number
W/O Horrocks L.J.
F/O Hallford F.M.
F/L Marlatt S.D.
F/O McGibbon D.S.
F/O Harrison J.L.
F/L Breck A.W.
of Sortie or Flight
trip, the first Op since the Squadron returned from
England, was an Armed Weather Recce of the
Wedel-Lauenburg area, and was lead by S/L Jim Beatty.
Seven aircraft took off at 15:30 hours, crossed the
Elbe at Wedel at 5000 feet; cloud was 9/10ths with
patches reducing the ceiling from 7000 to 3000 feet.
Light flak was observed near Pinberg, and heavy flak
as they passed Wedel. making a wide orbit of Hamburg,
they found 15 barges west of Molln which they strafed,
damaging six. The only activity seen in the area was
ambulances conspicuously marked, but were unmolested.
The Squadron returned to base and all landed safely at
Barges, 7 damaged.
Type & Number
F/O Brock J.S.
F/O Kubicki W.
F/L McCully A.W.
F/O Saunders A.W.
F/L McCullough J.H.
F/O Derouin A.E.
F/O Johnson D.E.
of Sortie or Flight
This show led by F/L Vic LeGear, was an
Armed Recce of the Ratzeburg-Gadebusch area, by eight
aircraft. They took off at 17:50 hours, crossed the Elbe
at 6000 feet east of Lauenburg. There was a lot of
trouble with the R/T, as the sets had been tuned in
England whilst at 14 A.P.C., Warmwell by the RAF
wireless bashers, and this complicated the attacks, as
no one knew what was going on.
Vic LeGear and his Section found some
MET on the west shore of Ratzeburgen Lake, and this was
strafed by Red Section and by Blue-1 and Blue-2, while
Blue-3 and 4 attacked MET farther north along the road,
and a loco on the track at S9681. The results were one
MET destroyed, three MET damaged and one loco damaged.
Then a drome with Ju88's on it was spotted and attacked
by Blue-3 and 4. They poured ammunition into two of
them, but unfortunately they turned out to be dummies.,
which explained the absence of flak.
Two trains were seen in marshalling
yards near Ratzeburg, but before they could be attacked,
intense accurate light flak started coming from the
yards, so the aircraft broke away. F/L Johnny McCullough
was hit, and crash landed about six miles south-east of
Ratzeburg at T1153. He called up from the ground to say
that he was O.K. The remaining aircraft formed up and
returned to base. F/O Johnny Johnson was hit in the
tail-plane while passing near Ratzeburg, but all landed
safely at 18:50 hours.
Claims: MET - 1 destroyed, 3 damaged.
Locos - 1 damaged.
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