December 1943

Mepal
1.12.43
TRAINING
The above consisted of Fighter Affiliation, High Level Bombing and Night Flying Tests.

OPERATIONS MINING OFF THE EAST COAST OF DENMARK
Three aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lb. Two of the aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, but the parachutes were not seen to open owing to ten tenths cloud. Some heavy A.A. Fire was encountered, but caused negligable oposition. Visibility was poor in the mining area. Navigation was very good. On returning the aircraft captained by SGT. F/SGT.G.J.KERR crashed whilst attempting to land at R.A.F. Station ACKLINGTON. The aircraft crashed into a house and all of the crew were killed, except for the Mid Upper Gunner SGT. K.G.HOOK who was seriously injured. In addition to the crew, five children who were in the house were killed and their parents were admitted to Hospital.

2.12.43
TRAINING
The day’s programme consisted of Circuits and Landings, Air Tests and Practise Bombing.

OPERATIONS MINING OFF THE FRISIAN ISLANDS
Two aircraft were required for the above operations which were however cancelled.

3.12.43
TRAINING
Fog and poor visibility made flying impossible, after daily inspections had been completed aircrews were stood down.

OPERATIONS NIL

4.12.43
TRAINING
Height and Load tests, Air tests, and Night Flying tests were carried out.

OPERATIONS MINING OFF THE FRISIAN ISLANDS
Two aircraft were required for the above operations which was, however, cancelled during mod-afternoon.

5.12.43
TRAINING
Once again fog enveloped the aerodrome and prevented flying. Ground training was therefore carried out

OPERATIONS NIL

6.12.43
TRAINING
The continuing adverse weather again prevented flying. In the afternoon organised games  were arranged for aircrew personnel.

OPERATIONS NIL

7.12.43
TRAINING
No flying again. Lectures were given by Specialist Officers to aircrew personnel.

OPERATIONS NIL

8.12.43
TRAINING
The bad weather still persisted. Daily inspections were completed during the morning and in the afternoon aircrew personnel were given physical training. OPERATIONS NIL

9.12.43
TRAINING
The inclement weather continued and no flying was possible. Ground training was, therefore, carried out.

OPERATIONS. NIL

10.12.43
TRAINING
There was a slight improvement in climatic conditions and it was possible to carry out air tests, circuits and landings and night flying tests. Night cross country exercises were arranged but had to be cancelled owing to the weather deteriorating.

OPERATIONS NIL

11.12.43
TRAINING
The above consisted of fighter affiliation, air tests height and load tests and local flying

OPERATIONS DIVERSIONARY ATTACK OVER NORTH SEA
Ten aircraft were required for the above operation which was, however, cancelled.

12.12.43
TRAINING
The weather prevented flying during the morning, but in the afternoon it was possible to carry out circuits and landings and air tests.

OPERATONS NIL

13.12.43
TRAINING
Twelve crews carried out a daylight formation cross-country exercise, from which satisfactory results were obtained.

OPERATIONS NIL

14.12.43
TRAINING
A surface fog prevented flying and ground training was therefore carried out.

OPERATIONS MINING OFF THE FRISIAN ISLANDS
Six aircraft were required for the above operation which was cancelled shortly after briefing

OPERATIONS ATTACK AGAINST A SPECIAL TARGET
Eight aircraft were required for the above operation which was also cancelled.

15.12.43
TRAINING
Two crews carried out an Air Sea Rescue search but nothing was observed.
Formation flying was arranged for the afternoon, but had to be cancelled owing to adverse weathers.

OPERATIONS NIL

16.12.43
TRAINING
Night Flying Tests and Air Tests were carried out in preparations for Operations.

OPERATIONS ATTACK AGAINST A SPECIAL TARGET
Eight aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 500lbs. Two aircraft crashed whilst taking off and one returned early. The remaining aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a good concentrated attack and many large bomb bursts were observed. No opposition of any kind was encountered. The weather on route was good and visibility was clear except for slight ground haze. Navigation was very good.

OPERATIONS MINING OFF THE FRISIAN ISLANDS
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500lbs. One aircraft returned early and one crashed on return. The remaining two aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area, but the parachutes were not seen to open. No opposition was met. The weather was very poor, low cloud and fog impairing visibility. Navigation was good. The aircraft which crashed wa captained by F/SGT.KINROSS C.J. The pilot F/SGT KINROSS C.J, Nav.F/O R.F.JENKIN, A/B. SGT. EMMERSON R.H., WO/AIR SGT. SAVAGE W.A, F/ENG. SGT. ASKEW R. and R.GUNNER SGT. WARNER J.A. were killed. The Mid Upper Gunner SGT. NEWMAN S.T. was slightly injured.

16.12.43
OPERATIONS MINING IN THE BAY OF BISCAY
Three aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1,500lbs., which were successfully dropped in the allotted area, but the parachutes were not seen to open owing to 10/10ths cloud in the mining area. Navigation was very good. On return two aircraft landed at DOWNHAM MARKET.

17.12.43
TRAINING
A fog hung over the aerodrome for the whole day. In the morning a lecture was given by a Naval Commander on “Mines”. Aircrew personnel were stood down in the afternoon.

OPERATIONS NIL

18.12.43
TRAINING
The bad weather still continued and no flying was possible. Instructional films were shown to aircrew personnel during the afternoon.

OPERATIONS NIL

19.12.43
TRAINING
There was a big improvement in the weather and it was possible to carry out Fighter Affiliation, Air Tests and Night Cross Country exercises.

OPERATIONS NIL

20.12.43
TRAINING
The above consisted of formation flying, Air tests and Night flying tests.

OPERATIONS MINING OFF THE FRISIAN ISLANDS
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500lbs, which were all successfully dropped in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. The trip was uneventful, no opposition of any kind being encountered. There was no cloud  but visibility was poor. Navigation was very good.

21.12.43
TRAINING
Two crews carried out an Air sea rescue search, but nothing was seen. Training consisted of Fighter Affiliation and Air tests during the morning, but flying was prevented in the afternoon owing to a strong gale.

OPERATIONS NIL

22.12.43
TRAINING
Night `flying tests and Air tests were carried out. Two crews carried out an Air Sea  Rescue search without success.

OPERATIONS MINING OFF LE HAVRE
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500lbs, which were successfully dropped in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. No opposition was met. There was no cloud and visibility was good. Navigation was excellent.

22.12.43
OPERATIONS ATTACK AGAINST A SPECIAL TARGET
Six aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 500lbs. All of the aircraft successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Bombing was very concentrated and some large explosions were observed. Very little opposition was met and it proved negligible. It was clear over the target except for scattered cloud. Navigation was excellent.

23.12.43
TRAINING
Fighter Affiliation, practice low level bombing and air tests were carried out. Four crews undertook an Air Sea Rescue Search, but nothing was observed.

OPERATIONS NIL

24.12.43
TRAINING
Night Flying tests were carried out in preparation for large scale operations.

OPERATIONS ATTACK AGAINST A SPECIAL TARGET.
Fifteen aircraft were required to carry out the above operation which was cancelled just prior to take-off.

OPERATIONS MINING IN THE BAY OF BISCAY
Five aircraft were required for the above operation, which was also cancelled shortly before take-off.

25.12.43
TRAINING
Adverse weather prevented flying and all personnel were stood down to enjoy the Christmas festivities.

OPERATIONS NIL

26.12.43
TRAINING
The weather continued to be bad and aircrew personnel were stood down at 10.30 hours.

OPERATIONS NIL

27.12.43
TRAINING
The above consisted of formation flying, Fighter affiliation, local flying and air tests.

OPERATIONS NIL

28.12.43
TRAINING
The programme included High Level bombing, air tests and local flying.

OPERATIONS NIL

29.12.43
TRAINING
Air to sea firing, night flying tests and night cross country exercises were carried out.

OPERATIONS MINING IN THE GIRONDE ESTUARY
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500lbs, which were successfully dropped in the allotted area, but the parachutes were not seen to open. Opposition was negligible and the trip was uneventful. There was ten tenths cloud in the mining area and visibility was poor. Navigation was excellent.

OPERATIONS MINING IN THE BAY OF BISCAY
Five aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500lbs. Three returned early owing to navigational failures caused by bad visibility but the remaining two successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area but the parachutes were not seen to open. No opposition of any kind was encountered. There was ten tenths cloud in the mining area and visibility was bad. Navigation was good.

30.12.43
TRAINING
The above consisted of air tests, night flying tests, high level  bombing and local flying.

OPERATIONS MINING IN THE GIRONDE ESTUARY
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500lbs, which were dropped in the allotted area. This trip was uneventful and successful., no opposition being encountered. There was patchy cloud in the mining area, but visibility was good. Navigation was excellent.

30.12.43
OPERATIONS MINING BETWEEN LE HAVRE AND CHERBOURG
One aircraft was detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500lbs, which were successfully dropped in the allotted area. No opposition was met and the trip was uneventful. There was ten tenths cloud in the mining area but visibility was very good. Navigation was excellent.

31.12.43
TRAINING
Night flying tests were carried out in preparation for operations.

OPERATIONS ATTACK AGAINST A SPECIAL TARGET
Seven aircraft were required for the above operation which was cancelled shortly after briefing.

OPERATIONS MINING IN THE GIRONDE ESTUARY
Twelve aircraft were required for the above operation which was cancelled.

OUTSTANDING EVENTS
TRAINING
Formation flying and fighter affiliation has been given prominence, although activities have been considerably restricted owing to climatic conditions. On non-flying days ground training and lectures have been undertaken.

OPERATIONS
Raids have been against special targets. The main feature, however, has been the laying of mines. These have been dropped off the FRISIAN ISLANDS, in the GIRONDE ESTUARY, in the BAY OF BISCAY, off the coast of DENMARK and off LE HAVRE AND CHERBOURG. On the above operations two aircraft crashed whilst returning from sorties, resulting in the loss of twenty lives.

VISITS
31.12.43
The High Commisioner for NEW ZEALAND, the Honourable Mr. W.J. Jordan visited the Squadron.

​CASUALTIES AFFECTING OFFICERS

POSTINGS
P/O G.H.Dodds. NZ421929  (GD) Posted from No.33 Base w.e.f. 19.11.43.(Auth: P/N 3G/3070/43 dated 25.11.43
F/O R.F.Jenkins. NZ416119  (GD) Posted from No.1657 C.U. w.e.f. 29.11.43.(Auth: P/N 3G/3096/43 dated 26.11.43
F/O M.Anderson. NZ15675  (GD) Posted to No.1653 C.U. w.e.f. 29.11.43.(Auth: P/N 3G/3112/43 dated 27.11.43
P/O G.H.Dodds. NZ421929  (GD) Posted to No.1653 C.U. w.e.f. 29.11.43.(Auth: P/N 3G/3112/43 dated 27.11.43
P/O R.Dunford. NZ414910  (GD) Posted to No.1665 C.U. w.e.f. 27.11.43.(Auth: P/N 3G/3066/43 dated 25.11.43
P/O E.Elmslie. NZ417220  (GD) Posted to No.1665 C.U. w.e.f. 27.11.43.(Auth: P/N 3G/3067/43 dated 25.11.43
P/O W.M. McDonald. NZ417219 (GD). Posted to No.1653 C.U. w.e.f. 29.11.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3102/43 dated 26.11.43)
P/O G.S. Philips. NZ416536 (GD). Posted to No.1657 C.U. w.e.f. 27.11.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3065/43 dated 25.11.43)
P/O P. Pullyn. NZ416643 (GD). Posted to No.1651 C.U. w.e.f. 29.11.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3038/43 dated 25.11.43)
P/O B.A. Soundy. NZ425025 (GD). Posted to No.1665 C.U. w.e.f. 27.11.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3066/43 dated 25.11.43)
F/O A.M. Alexander. NZ41712 (GD). Posted to No.1653 C.U. w.e.f. 29.11.43. (Authy: P/N/BC/11333/43 dated 29.11.43)
F/Lt R. Watson. NZ404978 (GD). Posted from No.1651 C.U. w.e.f. 4.12.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3189/43 dated 2.12.43)
F/Lt J.D. Harris. NZ391353 (GD). Posted from Uxbridge w.e.f. 19.11.43. (Authy: P/N/DGP/TTC/18049 dated 4.12.43)
P/O C.R. Baker. NZ42999 (GD). Posted from No.1665 C.U. w.e.f. 8.11.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/2762/43 dated 7.11.43)
P/O H.W. McDonald. NZ417219 (GD). Posted to No.1653 C.U. w.e.f. 29.11.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3102/43 dated 26.11.43)
F/Lt W.J. Sculley. NZ41497 (GD). Posted to No.3 L.F.S. w.e.f. 29.11.43. (Authy: P/N/BC/11867/43 dated 7.12.43)
P/O G.W. Fairhall. NZ416204 (GD). Posted from No.1657 C.U. w.e.f. 17.12.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3518/43 dated 16.12.43)
P/O A.J. Mayfield. NZ416034 (GD). Posted to No.1651 C.U. w.e.f. 14.12.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3394/43 dated 10.12.43)
P/O R. Freeman. NZ422655 (GD). Posted to No.161 Sqdn w.e.f. 19.11.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3552/43 dated 20.12.43)
P/O A.W. Burley. 147201 (GD). Posted to No.1657 C.U. w.e.f. 27.11.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3065/43 dated 25.11.43)
F/O B. Melville-Smith. 128387 (GD). Posted from No.1657 C.U. w.e.f. 29.11.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3097/43 dated 26.11.43)
P/O G. Smith. 156347 (GD) Posted to No.33 Base (NE) w.e.f. 9.11.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3157/43 dated 1.12.43)
P/O S.R. Kurten. 161621 (GD). Posted to No.1653 C.U. w.e.f. 15.12.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3342/43 dated 8.12.43)
P/O P.A. Mosley. 158020 (GD). Posted to No.1651 C.U. w.e.f. 15.12.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3994/43 dated 10.12.43)
P/O V. Farningham. 159541 (GD). Posted to No.3 L.F.S .w.e.f. 15.12.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3395/43 dated 10.12.43)
P/O G.B. Bates. 159429 (GD). Posted to No.3 L.F.S .w.e.f. 15.12.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3395/43 dated 10.12.43)
F/O J.F. Jarmy. 134695 (GD). Posted to No.3 L.F.S .w.e.f. 15.12.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3395/43 dated 10.12.43)
A/F/Lt D.F. Gilsch 126509 (GD). Posted from No.623 Sqdn w.e.f. 3.12.43. (Authy: P/N/BC/12365/43 dated 12.12.43)
P/O R.D. Sommerville. 161049 (GD). Posted to No.3 L.F.S .w.e.f. 15.12.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3398/43 dated 10.12.43)
P/O J.B. Auld. J.24026 Posted to No. 1651 C.U. w.e.f. 5.12.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3229/43 dated 4.12.43)
F/O T.L. Teasdale. J.23404 Posted from No. 1651 C.U. w.e.f. 5.12.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3229/43 dated 4.12.43)
P/O E.D. Taylor. J.18878 Posted to No.3 L.F.S .w.e.f. 15.12.43. (Authy: P/N/3G/3393/43 dated 10.12.43)
P/O S.A. Strong. AUS420607 Posted to No.7 Sqdn w.e.f. 4.12.43. (Authy: P/N/BC/11673/43 dated 4.12.43)

ATTACHMENTS.
A/S/Ldr D.S. Gibb. NZ401226

APPOINTMENTS & PROMOTIONS,
P/O H.L. Burton. NZ415683 (GD) Apptd to comm. as P/O  on prob. w.e.f. 24.11.43. (Authy:A611704/43/S7(e)(3) dd 17.12.43)
P/O C.J. Kinross. NZ417069 (GD) Apptd to comm. as P/O  on prob. w.e.f. 22.11.43. (Authy:A613163/4/S7(e)(3) dd 21.12.43)
P/O R.D. Sommerville. 161049 (GD) Apptd to comm. as P/O  on prob. w.e.f. 20.11.43. (Authy:A606478/43/S7(e)(3) dd 27.11.43)
P/O S.R. Kurton. 161621 (GD) Apptd to comm. as P/O  on prob. w.e.f. 23.12.43. (Authy:A610042/43/S7(e)(4) dd 6.12.43)
F/O E.D. Whybray. 52313 (GD) Promoted to F/O (W/S) w.e.f. 12.10.43. (Authy:3 Group R.O.No.301/303 dated 6.12.43.)

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