December 1944

Mepal
1.12.44
Weather.
  Cloudy.  Visibility 2 – 4 miles at first, improving to 6 – 12 miles.
Operational Flying.  Eighteen aircraft were detailed to attack the Schwammenauel Dam but the operation was cancelled.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.

2.12.44
Weather.
  Cloudy, becoming fair after slight intermittent rain.  Visibility 6 – 10 miles.
Operational Flying.  Seventeen aircraft took off to make a daylight attack on the Coking Plant at Dortmund.  All crews were successful in attacking the target which was covered by 10/10 cloud, tops being about 12,000 ft. and the raid was thought to be successful, though the Bomber stream was not as concentrated as usual.  Flak was moderate, but very erratic, and none of our aircraft suffered damage.  Bombs carried on this attack were 4,000 lb H.C., 1,000 lb. M.C. and 1,000 lb ANM.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.
Administration.  NZ426235 F/S Wood J.H.T and NZ427262 F/S Davies, G.S. and crews arrived on posting from No 31 Base.

3.12.44
Weather. 
Cloudy with slight intermittent rain.  Visibility 8 – 10 miles.
Operational Flying.  Nil.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests and G. H. Training were carried out.
Administration.  NZ425314 F/S Zinzan, V.J. and crew arrived on posting from No. 1668 C.U.

4.12.44
Weather.
  Fair or fine.  Visibility 6 – 10 miles.
Operational Flying.  Twenty aircraft took off as detailed to attack an Oil target at Oberhausen, carrying 1 x 12,000 lb, 8,000 lb, 4,000 H.C., 1,000 ANM, 500 G.P., 500 M.C. and 4 lb I.B. bombs.  Nineteen aircraft attacked the target using navigational aids and the raid was reported as well concentrated though results were unobserved owing to 10/10 cloud with tops 10,000 ft covering the target.  One aircraft bombed Gelsenkirchen, having been damaged by flak.
Non-Operational Flying.  G. H. Training and air tests were carried out.

5.12.44
Weather.
  Fair or fine.  Visibility 6 – 10 miles, deteriorating after dusk to 3,000 ft.
Operational Flying.  Twenty one aircraft set out as detailed to attack the Railway Marshalling Yards at Hamm during daylight, carrying 8,000 lb H.C., 4,000 H.C., 500 G.P., 500 G.P. (LD.), 500 M.C., 4 lb I.B. bombs and Munroe bomb.  Twenty aircraft attacked the target area through 10/10 cloud but a break in the cloud a little later disclosed bomb bursts to be rather scattered.  One aircraft was led astray by the leader, and bombed a last resort target at Heintrop.
Non-Operational Flying.  G. H. Training and air tests and were carried out.
Administration.  185301 P/O E. Parsons and crew arrived on posting from No. 1668 C.U.

6.12.44
Weather.
  Fair, with slight rain around 17.00 hours.  Keen frost early morning.  Visibility 3,000 yds at first, becoming 3 – 6 miles.
Operational Flying.  Nil.
Non-Operational Flying.  Fighter affiliation, G. H. Training and air tests were carried out.
Administration.  NZ414376 F/O T.D. Blewett, NZ427270 F/S Flamank, R.C. and crews arrived on posting from No 31 Base.

6/7.12.44
Operational Flying.
  Twelve aircraft took off as detailed to participate in a night attack o the Merseburg Leuna Oil Refinery, carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 H.C., 500 G.P., 500 G.P.(LD) bombs.  The target was covered with 10/10 cloud, tops about 14,000 ft and all aircraft were successful in bombing the target with navigational aids.  The attack was considered to be concentrated, though bombing results could not be seen, apart from the glow of fires seen beneath the cloud.  Flak was intense in the target area and a few enemy fighters were seen en route but no attacks were reported.  One aircraft, AA “R” captained by 1585981 F/O D. Atkin, had engine trouble after leaving the target, the starboard inner catching fire, and it was with great difficulty that the crew managed to keep the fire under control.  When approaching this country the starboard inner engine went u/s and after jettisoning all equipment and with the aircraft losing height at 100 feet per minute, the Captain made a very good ditching in the River Orwell.  None of the crew were hurt.

7.12.44
Weather. 
Cloudy.  Visibility 4 – 8 miles.
Operational Flying.  Nil.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests and G. H. Training were carried out.
Administration.  NZ39575 F/S Pearson, R.J. and crew arrived on posting from No 31 Base.

8.12.44
Weather.
  Fair, becoming cloudy with slight intermittent rain, sleet or drizzle; becoming fair during early night.  Visibility 3 miles, falling to 2500 – 3,500 yds by midday.
Operational Flying.  Twenty one aircraft took off to make a daylight attack on Duisburg Marshalling Yards carrying 1,000 M.C., 1,000 A.N.M. and Munro Bombs.  All aircraft successfully attacked the target and a very concentrated attack was reported, but apart from one report of smoke coming through the tops of the cloud at 15,000 ft., no results were observed.  One aircraft “D” captain F/S Wood, J., landed at Woodbridge on return.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests and G. H. Training were carried out.
Administration.  NZ40111 F/O H.W. Hooper and crew arrived on posting from No. 1668 C.U.

9.12.44
Weather.
  Fair, becoming fine.  Visibility 3,000 – 3,900 yds.
Operational Flying.  Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Merseburg, but the operation was cancelled.
Non-Operational Flying.  G. H. Training and air tests were carried out.

10.12.44
Weather.
  Fair becoming cloudy with continuous rain ceasing soon after dusk.  At first 2,500 – 3500 yds becoming 3 – 4 miles but in precipitation only 3,900 yds.
Operational Flying.  Nil.
Non-Operational Flying.  G. H. Training and air tests were carried out.

11.12.44
Weather.
  Fair becoming cloudy with a short period of rain during early night.  Visibility ¾ mls.
Operational Flying.  Seventeen aircraft attacked Osterfeld carrying 4,000 H.C., 1,000 ANM., 500 G.P., 500 G.P. (L.D.), 500 M.C. and Munro Bombs.  No results were seen owing to 10/10 cloud over the target.  Slight flak was the only opposition encountered.
Operational Flying.  Two aircraft were detailed for sea mining, but the operation was cancelled before briefing had taken place.
Non-Operational Flying.  G. H. Training and air tests were carried out.
Administration.  NZ40984 A/W/Cdr R.J. Newton arrived on posting from Stradishall.

12.12.44
Weather.
  Slight intermittent rain at first, becoming cloudy.  Vis. generally 2-3,900 yds, occasionally 3 miles.

Operational Flying.  Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack Witten in daylight carrying 1 x 12,000 lb H.C., 8,000 H.C., 4,000 H.C., 500 ANM, 500 M.C., 500 G.P.., 500 cluster 4 lb and Munro T 238 Bombs.  They again found their target obscured by 10/10 cloud.  Moderate flak was encountered and enemy fighters were seen attacking the first wave of aircraft ahead.  No results were observed owing to cloud.  The aircraft captained by F/L L. Hannan (NZ42397) collided with another aircraft just before reaching the target.  The starboard outer was badly damaged, but the pilot succeeded in bombing his target and reaching Base safely.  The aircraft captained by F/S Zinzan, V. (NZ425314) was damaged in landing and the Air Bomber, F/O K. Mesure, sustained a broken left leg.

Non-Operational Flying.  G. H. Training and air tests were carried out.

 

13.12.44 

Weather.  Fair, becoming foggy.  Visibility 15 – 2,000 yds, deteriorating to less than 80 yds in morning and remaining through the rest of the period.

Operational Flying.  Four aircraft were detailed for mining in the Kattegat.  The Operation was cancelled before briefing was over owing to adverse weather.

Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.

 

14.12.44 

Weather.  Thick fog, becoming and remaining cloudy.  Vis. 80 yds improving to 3 mls, but deteriorating to 3,000 yds.

Operational Flying.  Fourteen aircraft were detailed for a night attack on Hanover, but the operation was cancelled.

Four aircraft took off in the afternoon to lay mines in the Kattegat area.  All were successful and returned safely to Lossiemouth.

Non-Operational Flying.  G. H. Bombing and air tests were carried out.

 

15.12.44 

Weather.  Cloudy.  Visibility 2,500 – 3,000 yds.

Operational Flying.  Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack Siegen, but were recalled after take off, the fighter cover being unable to take off owing to bad visibility.

The four aircraft which were diverted to Lossiemouth from mining the previous evening returned to base early afternoon.

Non-Operational Flying.  G. H. Training and air tests were carried out.

Administration.  NZ421746 P/O H.S. Miles and crew arrived on posting from No. 1654 C.U.  NZ41613 F/L D.W. Thomson arrived on posting from No. 1657 C.U.

 

16.12.44 

Weather.  Cloudy with slight rain becoming fair.  Visibility 2 – 3,000 yds.

Operational Flying.  Eighteen aircraft took off to attack Siegen in rather poor weather conditions, carrying 1 x 12,000 H.C., 8,000 H.C., 4,000 H.C., 1,000 H.C., 500 cluster 4 lb and 4 lb I.B. Bombs.  Three returned early with icing trouble.  The main body experienced dense cloud and were unable to formate until they reached 30K.  All crews bombed the target, several being able to see a built up area through occasional gaps in the dense cloud cover.  It is concluded that the attack was successful.  Some fighter and flak opposition was noticed en route, but our aircraft experienced no difficulty.

Four aircraft were detailed for mining in the Baltic, but the operation was cancelled shortly before take-off.

Non-Operational Flying.  G. H., Photo training and air tests were carried out.

 

17.12.44 

Weather.  Continuous slight rain at first, clearing then cloudy again by midnight.  Vis. 2,500 yds at first, then improving to 5 – 7 mls. but deteriorating to 3 miles.

Operational Flying.  Four aircraft stood by for possible mining.  These were not required as no operations were ordered for the Squadron for day or night.

Non-Operational Flying.  G. H. Training and air tests were carried out.

 

18.12.44 

Weather.  Fair.  Visibility 4 – 8 miles, deteriorating to 2 – 3 miles after dusk.

Operational Flying.  Two alternative targets were laid on for an offer of 20 aircraft but both targets were cancelled before briefing.  The Squadron stood by for further instructions but nothing was ordered.

Non-Operational Flying.  Cross country flights, G. H. Training and Photo Training Fighter Affiliation exercises were carried out.

 

19.12.44 

Weather.  Foggy for most of day, just improving to cloudy for short period during afternoon.  Visibility 60 – 200 yds.

Operational Flying.  Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack Trier in support of the army but the operation was cancelled owing to weather conditions at base, for take off.

Four aircraft were detailed for mining in the Baltic by special equipment.  These were able to take off, but owing to poor visibility at Base, these aircraft were diverted to Lossiemouth while on their return journey.  All planted their mines successfully.

Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.

Administration.  NZ429998 F/S Egglestone, V.R. and crew arrived on posting from No 31 Base.  F/O A.J. Rhodes (NZ42340) arrived on posting from No. 1651 C.U.

 

20.12.44 

Weather.  Thick fog.  Visibility 40 – 100 yds.

Operational Flying.  Twenty aircraft were detailed for the same target as the 19th December, but were unable to take off owing to inclement weather at Base.

Non-Operational Flying.  Nil.

 

21.12.44 

Weather.  Thick fog at first, becoming cloudy with rain, with fog again in evening and light drizzle.  Visibility 50 yds at first, improving to 2,000 yds, but deteriorating to 1,000 yds.

Operational Flying.  Twenty aircraft were again detailed to attack Trier and all took off carrying 4,000 H.C., 500 ANM., 500 M.C., 250 G.P. and Munro Bombs.  Fourteen aircraft attacked the target, the rest being obliged to jettison part of their loads on the return journey as the leader of their formation was unable to release his bombs over the target.  Those crews attacking reported a good concentration with smoke rising above the cloud tops at the close of the attack.  Slight H/F was experienced.  One aircraft of No. 15 Squadron (“L” P/O Bithell) landed without any specific reason.

Three of the aircraft diverted to Lossiemouth from their mining effort on the 19th December returned to Base.

Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.

Administration.  NZ427551 P/O R.B. Crawford and crew arrived on posting from No. 31 Base.

 

22.12.44 

Weather.  Foggy, with rain and drizzle.  Visibility 100 – 1,200 yds.

Operational Flying.  Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Trier.  Eighteen of these were cancelled and the 3 special equipment aircraft stood by but were also cancelled before take off owing to fog.  The Squadron was not stood down, but were to be prepared for a take-off as soon as the weather improved.

Non-Operational Flying.  Nil.

 

23.12.44 

Weather.  Mainly cloudy with moderate fog early in morning.  Vis. 1,000 to 2,000 yds.

Operational Flying.  The twenty one aircraft detailed on the 22nd December took off to attack Trier in improved weather conditions, carrying 4,000 H.C., 500 G.P., 500 M.C., 500 ANM., 250 G.P. bombs.  The target could be identified visually and T.Is were aimed at by most crews.  The attack was reported as being good with very few scattered bombs.  Several explosions were seen as our aircraft left the target.

The fourth aircraft diverted to Lossiemouth on the 19th returned to Base.        Non-Operational Flying.  G.H. Training and air tests were carried out.

 

24.12.44 

Weather.  Thick fog, but clear skies, becoming obscured later.  Vis. 100 – 1,200 yds.

Operational Flying.  Twenty one aircraft were required for an attack on an aerodrome near Bonn.  Although other squadrons took off, 75(NZ) was once again unable to do so, even after a postponement, owing to local fog conditions.

A military support target was also laid on to take place during the night or for the day of 25th.  This target was cancelled before mid-night and a further target laid on.

Non-Operational Flying.  Nil.

 

25.12.44 

Weather.  Thick fog persisting all day with keen frost.  Visibility 80 – 100 yds.

Operational Flying.  The target laid on during the night of the 24th December, was cancelled during briefing.  The Squadron was given a stand-down for the rest of the day and for the night.

 

26.12.44 

Weather.  Thick fog and hard frost.  Visibility 60 – 200 yds.

Operational Flying.  The target as in Form B 738 (Military support) was again laid on for twenty one aircraft.  Owing to fog the squadron was once again unable to take off and the target was cancelled.

Non-Operational Flying.  Nil.

 

27.12.44 

Weather.  Thick fog and keen frost.  Visibility, generally less than 1,000 yards.

Operational Flying.  As many crews as possible were required for an attack on Cologne.  The target was cancelled and an attack on Rheydt was substituted.  Inexperienced and special equipment leaders not being required the offer of 26 was reduced to 20.  Aircraft took off carrying 1,000 ANM., 500 ANM., 500 M.C. and 250 G.P. Bombs.  Visibility over the target was excellent and crews were able to identify the target, the flares being accurately placed.  Clouds of smoke were seen to rise from the target.  One aircraft AA”Q” captained by NZ421746 F/O H. Miles failed to return.  This aircraft was seen to be hit by bombs and to spiral down.

Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.

Administration.  NZ429286 P/O R.J. Aitchison and crew arrived on posting from No. 1656 C.U.

 

28.12.44 

Weather.  Foggy at first, becoming fair then fine with keen frost thawing slightly, but reforming.  Vis. 600 yds becoming 2,500 yds at dawn.  Deteriorating around midnight to 1,600 yds.

Operational Flying.  Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Gremberg Marshalling yard at Cologne carrying 4,000 H.C., 1,000 ANM., 500 ANM., 500 M.C., and 250 G.P. Bombs.  Nineteen aircraft bombed the target and one bombed short due to technical failure.  One aircraft AA”S” captained by NZ425292 F/O D. Sadgrove returned early owing to engine trouble.  Crews were satisfied that the attack was successful, many reporting smoke rising well above the cloud tops.  Slight H/F was experienced, but no fighter opposition.

Non-Operational Flying.  Fighter affiliation, G.H. training and air tests were carried out.

 

29.12.44 

Weather.  Fair, but keen frost.  Visibility 700 – 1,800 yds.

Operational Flying.  Nine aircraft were detailed for an attack on the Coblenz Marshalling Yard carrying 4,000 H.C., 1,000 ANM., 1,000 M.C., 500 ANM., 250 G.P. bombs.  All attacked the target in good visibility and a fair concentration on the Marshalling Yard was reported.  There was considerable scatter, probably due to special equipment trouble.

Non-Operational Flying.  G.H. and H2S training was carried out.

 

30.12.44 

Weather.  Cloudy and frosty.  Visibility 1,000 to 2,000 yds.

Operational Flying.  No bombing operations were laid on but four aircraft were required for mining by special equipment in the Heligoland Bight area.  All were successful and planted mines as ordered.  There was some enemy air activity, three of our aircraft reporting fighters of E/A.  One of these, AA”J” captained by F/O E. Parsons, was in combat in which E/A was claimed as damaged.

Non-Operational Flying.  G.H. Training and air tests were carried out.

Administration.  1393306 F/S Murphy, J.H. arrived on posting from No. 3 L.F.S.  NZ428168 F/S Thorpe, N.H. and crew arrived on posting from No. 1651 C.U. (31.12.44)

 

31.12.44 

Weather.  Cloudy and frosty, with occasional wintry showers, cloud tending to disperse.  Visibility 2 – 4 miles.

Operational Flying.  Seventeen aircraft carrying 4,000 H.C., 500 ANM., and Munro Bombs were detailed to attack Vohwinkel in daylight.  Moderate accurate heavy flak was met over the target, but all aircraft returned safely.  A scattered raid was reported.

Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.

Administration.  NZ37220 F/S Russell, R.W. and crew arrived on posting from No. 1651 C.U.

 

MONTHLY SUMMARY OF EVENTS

 

Operational Flying.  During this month the Squadron was able to carry out 262 sorties against the enemy, the principal targets being Marshalling Yards and Oil Refineries.  In addition mines were laid in the Kattegat, Baltic and Heligoland Bight areas.

 

From these operations one aircraft failed to return.

 

Non-Operational Flying.  During this month, whenever possible, non-operational flying was carried out.  Apart from innumerable air tests, a good deal of time was devoted to G.H. exercises, from which much experience and benefit was gained.

 

Awards.  The following awards have been granted during this month:-

Distinguished Flying Cross:-

F/L      C.G. Washer (NZ425392)

A/F/L  R.W. Brumwell (127140)

F/O      J.K. Aitken (NZ421488)

A/F/O  A.D.H. Meyer (NZ416968)

W/O   L. Howells (1417802)

 

Appointments to Commissions:-

The under-mentioned were commissioned during the month with effect from dates stated against their names:-

 

NZ426024      F/S Williams, D.J.       6.11.44

NZ426895      F/S Meehan, J.            16.10.44

NZ422970      F/S Jones, K.J.                        19.11.44

AUS424579    F/S Bergman, L.P.       13.11.44

NZ427270      F/S Flamank, R.          7.11.44

NZ39575        F/S Pearson, R.J.         9.11.44

1492881          F/S Kemp, R.V.          18.11.44

NZ422399      F/S Harrold, A.C.J.     5.10.44

1811623          Sgt Kelsey, E.J.           10.11.44

NZ427262      F/S Davies, G.S.          9.11.44

1417802          W/O Howells, L.         2.11.44

NZ4211046    F/S James, L.C.           13.11.44

1897139          Sgt Watkins, L.A.       18.11.44

NZ425314      F/S Zinzan, V.J.          24.11.44

 

Flying Hours                         Operational:-    1,302.50

Non-Operational:-        175.35

 

Operational Sorties:-                                        262

 

Monthly total of bombs dropped:                1,195 tons

 

Cumulative total of bombs dropped:-        24,361 tons

 

Strength as at 31st December, 1944:-         Officers:-                   123

W.Os and N.C.Os:-    266

 

Appendices:-

 

Forms 541           –  A1  –  44

 

Combat Reports  –  B.1 only

 

P.O.Rs  Officers  –  C.1 – 17

 

P.O.Rs  Airmen   –  D.1 – 13

                    Officers         Airmen

R.A.F.         C.1  –  6          D.1  –  5

R.A.A.F.     C.7  –  9          D.6  – 8

R.C.A.F.     C.10  only       D.9 only

R.N.Z.A.F.  C.11  –  17.     D.10  –  13.

 

 

                                                                                           [Signed J R Rodgers*]

                                                                                                          Commanding,

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

 

*Presumably on behalf of Wing Commander R. Newton, Officer Commanding No. 75 Squadron, who succeeded W/C Leslie in December 1944.

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