This Day In History

Summary of Events for  No. 439 (CAN) Squadron 

as recorded in the  439 Squadron Operations Record Book

for

05 December 1944

 B-78 Holland

Heavy scattered cloud, scattered showers at times. F/O J.H. Stitt left for England today, on posting following completion of his second tour of operations. C.22655 F/L R.G. Crosby was promoted to Acting squadron leader effective yesterday and takes command of the squadron vice S/Ldr K.J. Fiset, DFC. F/L J.A. Cote has been reposted in the F/L post and taken command of "B" Flight. Dutch children were entertained in the Central mess (Airmen's) this afternoon, a day before St Nicolas Day. Santa Claus was there in full splendor and handed out gifts to them, thus confirming their belief in old St. Nick.

Of our 16 aircraft only one was unserviceable due to flak damage. Two operations were carried out today as well as a sector recce, the latter was for familiarization of new pilots which arrived this morning. They are J.28164 F/O J.L. Harrison of Fort Qu'Appelle, Sask. J.37029 F/O A.H. Fraser of Westmount, Que., and J.23864 F/O D.G. Cleghorn of York Co., N.B. This makes our pilot strength 23 now.

F/O I.W. Smith, the last of the original of 439 Squadron and who had been with 123 Squadron before it moved to the United Kingdom, is screened from further operations on having completed his first tour of operations with 95 sorties, 94:45 operational hours and giving him a grand total of 629:25 flying hours. he has had a rough time, and met with three accidents during his tour. The first was when  he ran into a bomb dropped by his Wing leader on landing; the second on landing from operations with a flat tire that almost caused his Typhie to overturn, the third was the worst, he was making a forced landing on returning from operations and his aircraft slid into a forest knocking off both wings. In view of his age and the strain of flying Typhoons, he is recommended for doing his second tour on twins.

 

Detail of Work Carried Out by  No. 439 RCAF Squadron 

as compiled by in the  439 Squadron Operations Record Book Form 541

A/C Type & Number Crew Duty Up Down
MN144

MN665

PD459

PD478

RB204

MN691

PD492

MN482

PD608

PD554

F/L J. Carr

F/O V.H.J. LeGear

F/O A.C. McBride

P/O B.E. Bell

F/O R.H. Laurence

W/O S.A. Church

F/O W.G. Davis

F/O W. Anderson

F/O J.D. Sweeney

P/O S. Angelini

 

Dive Bombing

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Fighter Cover

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09:25 10:45

10:40

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10:45

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Details of Sortie or Flight

F/L Carr led the Squadron led the Squadron into a cloudy and windy sky to bomb the railroad, running north from Coesfeld to Ahaus, Germany, at a point midway between map reference A.5582. They carried 500 lb bombs (.025 tail fused) for the show. The Squadron climbed to 8000 feet over base to get above  cloud which extended over the railway to be bombed. The Squadron found a pinpoint east of it and then turned about going beneath cloud which had a base of 6500 feet. A hole in the lower layer of cloud was discovered and they went down on the track in a shallow dive. Red one scored a hit at A.579779 but due to obstructed visibility, no other strikes could be observed. On climbing above cloud Red two (F/O LeGear) was seen streaming gas, he promptly returned to base escorted by Red 3; on landing he found a .5mm shell through his port nose tank making his aircraft a Cat AC. On the way home, Blue 1 (F/O Laurence) led the flight down on a train running north about 6 miles south of Coesfeld, leaving the engine damaged, but refrained from shooting the coaches which bore Red Crosses. All aircraft returned safely.

A/C Type & Number Crew Duty Up Down
MP151

RB198

MN482

PD554

PD459

PD478

MP145

PD461

MN144

RB204

F/L R.G. Crosby

F/O W. Kubicki

P/O W. Anderson

P/O S. Angelini

F/O J.D. Sweeney

P/O A.E. Derouin

F/O J. Roberts

F/O L.C. Shaver

F/L J. Carr

F/L K.F. Sage

Dive Bombing

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Fighter Cover

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12:45 14:05
Details of Sortie or Flight

F/L Crosby led the squadron, armed with 500 lb bombs (.025 tail fused) to cut the railway running south from Munster, Germany at A.6266. They formed up and set course, climbing above cloud. Over the target area they found a heavy layer of cloud and were unable to find the target. On the return, the railway south of Coesfeld was distinguishable beneath a thin layer of stratus. They went down in a steep, but due to the angle at which they crossed the line, their bombing was not very accurate and only one possible hit A.623662 was observed. They reformed and returned to base.

 

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