The memoirs of Jack Wall – Part 9. Operational History 1st Tour

On 75 Sq. L to R, two ground crew, Navigators F/O Ormerod (Gisborne) then Bruce Hosie, Sixth from left is P/O Jack Bailey, Pilot of Waikato. Image supplied by Peter Wheeler.

Bailey crew 1943 1st Tour. L to R, two ground crew, Navigators F/O Ormerod (Gisborne) then Bruce Hosie, Jack Wall, and  Jack Bailey, Pilot of Waikato. Image supplied by Peter Wheeler.

Operations with 75 (N.Z.)  Squadron on Stirlings from Newmarket
Date Target

Duration in hours

Total Bomb Load incl. (No.) of 4lb. incendiaries Remarks
20.11.42 Night Ops Turin
8.00 hours
4320lbs
(1080)
This was the first operation carried out by the Squadron on Stirlings.  4 of us went out but only 2 of us reached the target. The other 2 returned early. Medium amount of Flak over the target.
6.12.48
Night Ops
Mannheim
6.45 hours
7820 lbs
(1080)
Hit by Flak through wing but missed the petrol tank.
9.12.42
Night Ops
Turin
8.30 Hours
4320 lbs
(1080)
More Flak and searchlights over target than on the 20.11.41.
8.1.43 Gardening
4.45 hours
11,400 lbs
Load was 6 mines each 1,900lb
Our 4th operation and nearly our last. We were laying mines in the Baltic and the aircraft was hit by Flak, rendering one engine and all flying instruments unserviceable.  The aircraft went into a very steep diving turn but I managed to jettison the mines quickly which helped the aircraft to become controllable.  How Jack Bailey managed to control the aircraft is almost beyond belief.

This operation is mentioned in the Citation for my DFC.

The aircraft still had a thick coating of ice the next morning.

23.1.43
Night Ops
Lorient
5 hours
7920 lbs
(1980)
Very good op and the aiming point was clearly seen.
3.2.43
Night Ops
Hamburg
3.3 hours
5160 lbs
(540)
Could not maintain height due to weather conditions. Bombed aerodrome in Holland
7.2.43
Night Ops
Lorient
5.3 hours
7920 lbs
(1980)
Heavy Flak and many searchlights on way in and over target.
14.2.43
Night Ops
Cologne
4.1 hours
9320 lbs
(1980)
Saw several fighters but was not attacked.
16.2.43
Night Ops
Lorient
5 hours
7920 lbs
(1980)
Another near one.  Was coned in 15 searchlights for 8 minutes and hit by Flak. Skipper threw the aircraft about as thought it was a fighter.  Pilot skill saved us.
18.2.43
Night Ops
Gardening
6.5 hours
7600 lbs
Load was 4 mines, each 1900 lbs
Nice easy one.
19.2.43
Night Ops
Wilhelmshaven
5.3 hours
 8160 lbs
(540)
Medium amount of Flak over the target.
25.2.43
Night Ops
Nuremberg
5.3 hours
8160 lbs
(540)
Couldn’t maintain height. Aircraft U/S and bombs were jettisoned.
26.2.43
Night Ops
Cologne
4.3 hours
9320 lbs
(1080)
We were to bomb on Path Finder Flares but had to circle target for 20 mins awaiting PFF.
28.2.43
Night Ops
St. Nazaire
5.3 hours
7920 lbs
(1080)
Very many fires in target area.
1.3.43
Night Ops
Berlin
8.3 hours
4500 lbs Attacked by ME110 but not hit.  Many fires in target area.
11.3.43
Night Ops
Stuttgart
6.5 hours
5940 lbs
(360)
Rear turret became U/S on way to target but Skipper decided to carry on.
12.3.43
Night Ops
Essen
3 hours
9320 lbs
(1080)
Rear turret U/S after take off.  Skipper decided not to complete operation. 2 nights with U/S turret pushing our chances.
22.3.43
Night Ops
St. Nazaire
4.15 hours
7920 lbs
(1980)
Heavy concentration of Flak and searchlights around target area
27.3.43
Night Ops
Berlin
7.5 hours
4500 lbs Hit by Flak over Hanover on way to target.
29.3.43
Night Ops
Berlin
8.05 hours
4500 lbs Fair amount of ice on aircraft on return but no problem.
4.4.43
Night Ops
Keil
6.1 hours
5160 lbs
(540)
Plenty of Flak on way in and over target.
8.4.43
Night Ops
Frankfurt
6 hours
5160 lbs
(540)
Fair amount of Flak. BK770 crashed at Bressingham on return – all crew killed.
10.4.43
Night Ops
Stuttgart
6.4 hours
5940 lbs
(360)
Plenty of Flak over target area.
16.4.43
Night Ops
Mannheim
6 hours
5160 lbs
(540)
Heavy Flak but no hits to aircraft as on 6.12.42.
20.4.43
Night Ops
Rostok
8.1 hours
4320 lbs
(1080)
Little Flak
28.4.43 Gardening
7.15 hours
7600 lbs
Load was 4 mines each 1900 lbs
Heavy Flak and many searchlights.
A disaster – the mines were to be dropped in Keil Bay at 800ft. 8 Aircraft from 75 Squadron set out and one returned early.  4 Aircraft failed to return – all 28 Crew were killed – only 3 of us completed the operation. Saw many Aircraft shot down without a chance of survival.   (One line of illegible typescript ends with word searchlights).
4.5.43
Night Ops
Dortmund
5.2 hours
9820 lbs
(1080)
Our last Operation for first tour which was uneventful apart from Flak.  Diverted to another airfield on return.

 

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