April 1944

Mepal
1.4.44
Weather  Fog at first, becoming cloudy with rain  later.  Visibility poor, improving in afternoon.
Non-operational Flying  Lancaster crews carried out circuits and landings, fighter affiliation and height and load tests.
Administration  NZ421105 Sgt. Scott, F. and crew proceeded on detachment to No.33 Base, Waterbeach.  The following crews ceased to be detached to No.3 L.F.S. Feltwell:- NZ415820 F/O. Murray, H. and crew, NZ42354 F/S. Armstrong, C. and crew, NZ414591 A/F/L. S. Clarke and crew, NZ403561 A/S/L. J. Climie and crew, 151118 F/L. Warren, D. and crew, NZ422282 F/O. R. Herron and crew, NZ401266 A/S/L. D. Gibb and crew, AUS413157 P/O. A. Humphreys and crew and NZ421105 Sgt. Scott, F. and crew.

2.4.44
Weather  Continuous rain  during morning and afternoon, becoming fair in evening.  Visibility 2,500 to 3,500 yds.
Non-operational Flying  No flying was carried out.  Lectures were given in the morning and aircrew personnel were stood down during the afternoon.
Administration  The following crews were detached to No.3 L.F.S. Feltwell:- NZ41362 F/L. E. Sachtler and crew, NZ417078 P/O. C. McKenzie and crew, NZ422280 [=NZ422780?] F/S. Gray, A. and crew, NZ416519 F/S. Megson, C. and crew, NZ415427 W/O. Stott, F. and crew and NZ417016 P/O. R. [=E?] Burke and crew.

3.4.44
Weather  Fair at first, continuous rain in evening.  Visibility 3,000 yds improving to 3 – 4 miles.
Non-operational Flying  Only air tests were carried out.
Administration  NZ416560 [=414560?] Sgt. Burtt, H. and crew and NZ424446 Sgt. Gibson, D. and crew were posted from No.31 Base.

4.4.44
Weather  Cloudy with occasional light rain.  Visibility 3 – 8 miles
Non-operational Flying  Air tests and height and load tests were carried out.  Night flying was arranged but had to be cancelled.
Administration  NZ401266 A/S/L. D. Gibb (late ‘B’ Flight Commander) was posted to No.190 Squadron.

5.4.44
Weather  Cloudy with occasional showers.  Visibility 2 – 6 miles becoming 2,000 – 3,000 yds towards dusk.
Non-operational Flying  Height and load tests, air tests and cross country flights were carried out.
Operational Flying  Five aircraft successfully laid mines off La Rochelle.  On return they landed at Colerne.

6.4.44
Weather  Fair, mainly cloudy with occasional showers.  Visibility generally 3 – 6 miles falling to 3,500 yards by dusk.
Non-operational Flying  Height and load tests, fighter affiliation and day cross country flights were carried out.  Night flying was arranged, but had to be cancelled.

7.4.44
Weather  Fair but cloudy.  Visibility generally 4 miles.
Non-operational Flying  Air firing, cross country flights and fighter affiliation were carried out.  Night flying was arranged, but cancelled during the afternoon.

8.4.44
Weather  Foggy, becoming fair then cloudy.  Visibility poor at first, improving during day and deteriorating again at dusk.
Non-operational Flying  Height and load tests, air firing and fighter affiliation were carried out.
Administration  The following captains and crews ceased to be detached to No.3 L.F.S. Feltwell: NZ41362 F/L. [E.] Sachtler, NZ417078 P/O. C. A. McKenzie, NZ422280 [=NZ422780?] F/S. Gray, A., NZ416519 F/S. Megson, C., NZ415427 W/O. Stott, F. and NZ417016 P/O. R. [=E?] Burke.

9.4.44
Weather  Cloudy with intermittent rain and drizzle, becoming fair and then foggy at end of day.
Non-operational Flying  Air tests, fighter affiliation and night flying tests were carried out.
Operational Flying  Eleven Lancaster aircraft successfully attacked Villeneuve St. Georges.  Four Stirling aircraft were detailed to attack Lille.  One jettisoned its load on the outward journey, but the remainder successfully attacked the target.
Administration  The following captains and crews were detached to No.3 L.F.S. Feltwell:- NZ421728 F/Sgt. Lammas, M., 1394661 Sgt. Hubbard, F., NZ422098 F/S. Bonisch, L., 1395602 Sgt. Crawford, C. and AUS421308 F/Sgt. Bateman, J.

10.4.44
Weather  Fair becoming cloudy.  Visibility 4 – 6 miles.
Non-operational Flying  Local flying, height and load tests, cross country flights and fighter affiliation were carried out.
Operational Flying  Eight aircraft successfully attacked Laon.  Five Stirlings were detailed for mine laying off La Rochelle, one was withdrawn but the remainder successfully completed their mission.
Administration  NZ421105 Sgt. Scott and crew ceased to be detached to No.33 Base Waterbeach.

11.4.44
Weather  Cloudy at first, becoming fair to fine with fog towards end of day.  Visibility good but deteriorating at dusk.
Non-operational Flying  Air tests, cross country flights and fighter affiliation were carried out.
Administration  1564491 Sgt. McKenzie, A and crew arrived on posting from No.31 Base.  NZ 424963 F/O. I. Bennington and crew were posted to No.7 Squadron.

12.4.44
Weather  Fair with high cloud.  Visibility 15,000 yds to 3,000 yds at first improving during day.
Non-operational Flying  [03.20] One abortive air sea search was carried out by NZ415068 F/L. J.D. Grubb and crew.  Cross country flights, air tests and fighter affiliation were also carried out.

13.4.44
Weather  Fair, visibility 3 – 6 miles becoming 1,500 to 2,000 yds in evening.
Non-operational Flying  Cross country flights and air tests were carried out.
Operational Flying  Four aircraft were detailed to lay mines in the Bayonne area, but the operation was cancelled.

14.4.44
Weather  Fair at first, rain developing in evening.  Visibility 2,500 – 3,000 yds at first becoming 4 – 10 miles later.
Non-operational Flying  Cross country flights and air tests were carried out.  A night exercise was arranged, but cancelled.
Operational Flying  Eight Lancasters were detailed to attack Osnabruck but the operation was cancelled.

15.4.44
Weather  Fair at first, slight intermittent rain in  evening, becoming fair at night.
Non-operational Flying  Fighter affiliation, Cross [country] flights and air tests were carried out.

16.4.44
Weather  Foggy at first becoming fair.  Visibility 200 yds at first, improving to 3 – 5 miles later.
Non-operational Flying  Only air tests were carried out, weather restricting further flying.
Operational Flying  Six Lancasters and six Stirlings were detailed to bomb the marshalling yards at Rouen, but the operation was again cancelled.

17.4.44
Weather  Intermittent drizzle becoming cloudy.  Visibility 1 – 2 miles at first, then 3 – 6 miles.
Non-operational Flying  Local flying and air tests were carried out.
Operational Flying  Five Stirlings  and five Lancasters were detailed to attack Rouen, but the operation was cancelled.

18.4.44
Weather  Fair, visibility 2 – 5 miles.
Non-operational Flying  Cross country flights, air firing and local flying was carried out.
Operational Flying  Seven Stirlings were detailed to lay mines in Kiel Bay, one was withdrawn and one failed to return (Captain NZ415820 F/O. H. Murray).  The remaining five successfully completed their mission.  On return they landed away.  Ten Lancasters were also detailed to bomb the marshalling yards at Rouen, one was withdrawn, but the remaining nine attacked in clear weather with ground haze.

Owing to bombs being dropped on the runway by an enemy intruder only three Lancaster aircraft were able to land at Base, the remainder being diverted to other aerodromes.

19.4.44
Weather  Fair to fine at first becoming cloudy in afternoon with continuous rain after dusk.  Visibility 3 – 4,000 yds in rain, otherwise 3 – 8 miles.
Non-operational Flying  It was only possible to carry out local flying.
Operational Flying  One Stirling and seven Lancasters were detailed to attack the marshalling yards at Lille, but the operation was cancelled owing to meteorological conditions.
Administration  The following captains and crews ceased to be detached from No.3 L.F.S. R.A.F. Feltwell: NZ421728 F/S. Lammas, M, 1394661 Sgt. Hubbard, F, NZ422098 F/S. Bonisch, L, 1395602 Sgt. Crawford, C and AUS421308 F/S. Bateman, J.

20.4.44
Weather  Cloudy at first, becoming fair to fine.  Visibility 6 – 10 miles.
Non-operational Flying  Air tests, cross country flights and night flying tests were carried out.
Operational Flying  Nine Lancaster aircraft were detailed to attack Cologne, of which one failed to take off and one returned early owing to the illness of the wireless operator.  The remainder successfully completed their mission.  In addition four Stirlings were despatched to lay mines in the Brest Estuary.  Three dropped their mines as ordered and the other aircraft jettisoned their load.

21.4.44
Weather  Fair with slight intermittent rain during part of afternoon.  Visibility 4 – 8 miles generally.
Non-operational Flying  Night flying tests, cross country flights and fighter affiliation were carried out.
Operational Flying  Three Stirlings were detailed for mine laying in the St. Nazaire area, but the operation was cancelled.

22.4.44
Weather  Cloudy, visibility 6 – 15 miles.
Non-operational Flying  Night flying tests, practice bombing and airtests were carried out.
Operational Flying  Eight Lancaster aircraft took part in a concentrated attack against Dusseldorf.  In addition five Stirling aircraft were detailed to attack the marshalling yards at Laon and also reported a good concentrated attack.

23.4.44
Weather  Cloudy, visibility 6 – 12 miles.
Non-operational Flying  Only air tests were carried out.
Operational Flying  Five Stirlings were detailed for mine laying in Kiel Bay.  Three of the aircraft successfully dropped twelve mines.  One aircraft returned early and another failed to return (Captain NZ421728 F/S. Lammas, M.)

24.4.44
Weather  Cloudy most of day, breaking after dusk to clear skies.  Visibility 4 – 10 miles.
Non-operational Flying  Air tests and cross country flights were carried out.
Operational Flying  Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack Karlsruhe.  One was withdrawn but the remainder carried out a successful attack with little opposition.
Administration  The following crews [were] detached to No.3 L.F.S. R.A.F. Feltwell:- NZ413043 S/L. L. Drummond and crew, NZ424505 F/S. O’Conner, L and crew, NZ414560 F/S. Burtt, H and crew, NZ424446 F/S. Gibson, D and crew, AUS22776 F/S. Gilmour, H and crew and NZ42710 F/S. Brown, D and crew.

25.4.44
Weather Cloudy, visibility 8 – 15 miles.
Non-operational Flying  Air tests and cross-country flights were carried out.
Operational Flying  Fourteen aircraft were detailed, nine to attack Schweinfurt and five to bomb Villeneuve St. Georges marshalling yards, but both operations were cancelled.

26.4.44
Weather  Fair, visibility 6 – 10 miles at first, becoming 18 – 25 miles later.
Non-operational Flying  Air tests and three engine flying were carried out.
Operational Flying  Fifteen aircraft (Lancasters) were detailed to attack Essen.  Two were withdrawn, but the remaining thirteen took part in a successful and very concentrated attack.  The defences were considered to be moderate and all the aircraft returned safely.

27.4.44
Weather  Fair, visibility 4 – 6 miles.
Non-operational Flying  Air tests and fighter affiliation were carried out.
Operational Flying  Sixteen Lancasters were detailed to attack Friedrichshafen.  Fourteen successfully carried out their mission, one aircraft bombed a decoy in error and another failed to return (Captain NZ42282 F/O. R. Herron).

28.4.44
Weather  Fair, visibility generally 6 – 15 miles.
Non-operational Flying  Air to sea firing and practice bombing were carried out.

29.4.44
Weather  Cloudy and hazy most of the day, visibility 4 – 6 miles.
Non-operational Flying  Air tests, cross country flights and a special navigation exercise were carried out.
Administration  162994 P/O. J. Neal proceeded on Bombing Leaders Course to No.1 A.A.S.

30.4.44
Weather  Fair, visibility 5 – 12 miles.
Non-operational Flying  Practice bombing, cross country flights, air to sea firing and a special navigation exercise were carried out.
Administration  The following captains and crews ceased to be detached to No.3 L.F.S. R.A.F. Feltwell:- NZ413043 S/L. L. Drummond, NZ424505 F/S. O’Conner, L., NZ414560 F/S. Burtt, H., NZ424446 F/S. Gibson, D., AUS22776 F/S. Gilmour, H. and NZ42710 F/Sgt. Brown, D.  NZ424538 F/Sgt. White, W. and crew arrived on posting from No.31 Base.

OUTSTANDING EVENTS

Non-Operational Flying
Lancaster crews have carried out many cross country exercises, navigational exercises and Fighter Affiliation etc.  The weather has been better than of late, generally, thereby presenting more training opportunities.

Operational Flying
The Squadron is at last getting into its usual stride and carrying out more bombing raids now that the re-equipment with Lancaster aircraft is almost complete.

Successful raids have been made against Villeneuve St. Georges, Lille, Laon, Aachen, Rouen, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Karlsruhe, Essen, and Friedrichshafen.  Sea mines have also been laid off La Rochelle, in Kiel Bay and in the Brest Estuary.

Administration
Conversion to Lancaster aircraft
Nearly all crews have passed through No.3 Lancaster Finishing School, R.A.F. Feltwell.  At present the Squadron has 26 Lancasters on charge, the last two Stirlings having left the Unit on 28th April, 1944.

APPENDICES
Copies of Personnel Occurrence Reports issued during April, 1944 ………..No.4

Monthly Totals of Flying Hours:-                       Operational        639.55
Non-Operational        502.50
Operational Sorties:- Cumulative Total from 1.1.44 –                 559
Monthly Total –      125
Cumulative Total of Bombs and Mines dropped:-                 11,948.9 tons.
Monthly Total of mines dropped:-                                                   59.6 tons
Monthly Total of bombs dropped:-                                               462.8 tons

[Signed R. D. Max]

Wing Commander, Commanding,

NO. 75(NZ) SQUADRON, R.A.F.

 

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