February 1944

Mepal
1.2.44
TRAINING.
The weather was unfit for flying.  Daily inspections were carried out during the morning followed by a lecture on “Special Equipment”.  Physical Training was given to aircrew personnel in the afternoon.
OPERATIONS.  NIL.

2.2.44
TRAINING.
Air tests, air firing and night flying tests were carried out.  In the afternoon a lecture was given by Mr. Bernard NEWMAN on “THE BALKANS”.
OPERATIONS.  NIL.

3.2.44
TRAINING.

Fighter affiliation and air tests were carried out.
OPERATIONS.  MINING OFF CHERBOURG.
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs, both of which successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area.  No opposition was encountered.  One aircraft had its starboard inner catch fire ten minutes before reaching the area and this had to be feathered.  The weather was squally but otherwise the operation was uneventful.
OPERATIONS.  MINING IN ST. MALO BAY.
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs which were successfully dropped in the allotted area.  No opposition was met and the operation was uneventful, except for squally weather.
OPERATIONS.  MINING OFF MORLAIX.
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs, but only one aircraft was able to get a fix sufficiently close to allow the operation to be accomplished, and the other aircraft brought its mines back.  No opposition was met and this operation was also uneventful.

4.2.44
TRAINING.
Air tests, air to sea firing and night flying tests were carried out.  In the afternoon three crews went to CAMBRIDGE for wet Dinghy Drill, it proved highly instructive and was well organised.
OPERATIONS.  MINING IN THE MOUTH OF THE GIRONDE RIVER.
Six aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs.  All of the aircraft took off and dropped their mines in the allotted area.  The weather as forecast was expected to be bad with heavy showers and severe icing, but apart from low cloud no trouble was experienced, the weather being better than forecast.  An uneventful operation.

5.2.44
TRAINING.
Adverse weather restricted flying.  It was possible however to carry out low level bombing, oil consumption tests and local flying.
OPERATIONS.  NIL.

6.2.44
TRAINING.
Eleven crews carried out a daylight cross country exercise, which was interesting and instructive.
OPERATIONS.  NIL.

7.2.44
TRAINING.
Ten crews carried out a night cross country exercise.
OPERATIONS.  NIL.

8.2.44
TRAINING.
No flying was possible during the morning and lectures were therefore given.  In the afternoon, height and low tests, local flying and practice bombing were carried out
OPERATIONS.  NIL.

9.2.44
TRAINING.

This consisted of practice high level bombing, air to sea firing and local flying.
OPERATIONS.  NIL.

10.2.44
TRAINING.
Cross Country exercises and night flying tests were carried out.  A discussion group was arranged in the afternoon.
OPERATIONS.  MINING OFF LA ROCHELLE.
Four aircraft were detailed to lay mines of 1500 lbs off LA ROCHELLE.  All completed their task apart from two mines brought back owing to mechanical failures.  There was some opposition from heavy and light A.A. Fire and one aircraft had an inconclusive combat.  Photographs were taken and one taken by F/Lt. J.D. GRUBB showed a sunken merchant vessel.

11.2.44
TRAINING.
Air tests and night flying tests were carried out.
OPERATIONS.  MINING OFF MORLAIX.
Two aircraft laid mines of 1500 lbs in the channels leading to MORLAIX, this operation was successful and uneventful.
OPERATIONS.  MINING IN ST. MALO BAY.
One aircraft was detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs which were successfully dropped in the allotted area.  This was an entirely uneventful sortie.
OPERATIONS.  MINING IN THE RIVER ADOUR.
Three aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with mines of 1500 lbs.  Only one aircraft (F/Lt. D. WARREN) out of the three aircraft detailed to drop their mines in the river, reported that they had done so, but the photograph taken at the time shows that the river at BOUCAN was the one mined.  The other two aircraft found cloud over the area and brought their mines back.
OPERATIONS.  MINING OFF MOUTH OF RIVER ADOUR.
Of the nine aircraft which were laying mines of 1500 lbs off the mouth of the river ADOUR, all but one did so though it meant flying down through very bad icing cloud and in these conditions one jettisoned to lighten the load.

12.2.44
TRAINING.
The weather was unsuitable for flying and aircrew personnel were stood down after daily inspections had been completed.
OPERATIONS.  NIL.

13.2.44
TRAINING.
Daily cross country flights were arranged but had to be cancelled owing to the weather being unsuitable for this type of training.  Air tests and fighter affiliation were, however, carried out.
OPERATIONS.  NIL.

14.2.44
TRAINING.
Air tests were carried out in preparation for operations.  Night cross country flights were also arranged, but had to be cancelled.
OPERATIONS.  MINING IN THE MOUTH OF RIVER ADOUR.
Six aircraft were required for the above operation which was, however, cancelled.
OPERATIONS.  MINING IN ST. JEAN DE LUZ.
Two aircraft were required for the above operation which was also cancelled.

15.2.44
TRAINING.
It was only possible to carry out night flying tests and fighter affiliation.  Physical training and organised games were arranged for aircrew in the afternoon.
OPERATIONS.  MINING IN KIEL BAY.
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to lay mines in Kiel Bay.  Fourteen aircraft dropped 42 mines in 10 minutes.  One aircraft returned early with a starboard engine failure.  A very successful operation.
OPERATIONS.  MINING IN THE MOUTH OF RIVER ADOUR.
Six aircraft dropped mines of 1500 lbs in the mouth of the river Adour.  The visibility was excellent and all crews reported a successful operation.  Photographs taken show the aiming point in three cases, and the factory is covered in two more.  Unfortunately the sixth aircraft did not carry a photo-flash bomb.  The Bomb Development Unit have, however, got the evidence from which to calculate where the mines dropped.

16.2.44
TRAINING.
Bad weather prevented flying.  In the morning a lecture was given by the Squadron Commander, Wing Commander R.D. Max, D.F.C.  Organised games and discussion groups were carried out by each flight during the afternoon.
OPERATIONS.  NIL.

17.2.44
TRAINING.
The adverse weather still continued.  The only flying consisted of two abortive Air Sea Rescue searches.  Aircrew personnel were stood down during the afternoon.
OPERATIONS.  NIL.

18.2.44
TRAINING.
Owing to bad weather it was only possible to carry out air tests.
OPERATIONS.  MINING IN KIEL BAY.
Ten aircraft were required for this operation which was, however, cancelled.

19.2.44
TRAINING.
This consisted of air and night flying tests in preparation for operations.
OPERATIONS.  MINING IN KIEL BAY.
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to lay mines of 1500 lbs from a high level, but two aircraft failed to take off owing to engine trouble.  The remaining thirteen aircraft completed their operation without incident, and the pathfinder markers were dropped accurately for the final run, being identified by all.

20.2.44
TRAINING.
Air tests were carried out in preparation for operations.
OPERATIONS.  MINING OFF MORLAIX.
Two aircraft were detailed to lay mines of 1,500 lbs in the channels leading to Morlaix.  They both completed their tasks without incident.
OPERATIONS.  MINING OFF ST. MALO.
Two aircraft successfully laid mines of 1,500 lbs in the channels of St. Malo.  The operation was uneventful.
OPERATIONS.  MINING OFF CHERBOURG.
Two aircraft successfully laid mines of 1,500 lbs off Cherbourg Harbour.
OPERATIONS.  MINING OFF FRISIAN ISLANDS.
Four aircraft were detailed to lay mines of 1,500 lbs off the island of Borkum in the Frisian Islands.  They all successfully completed their sorties without incident.

21.2.44
TRAINING.
This consisted of twelve daylight low level cross-country flights, and night flying tests.
OPERATIONS.  MINING OFF THE FRISIAN ISLANDS.
Four aircraft were detailed for mine laying off the Frisian Islands (North of Borkum).  One aircraft failed to take off, but the other three dropped eighteen mines successfully and without incident.  The weather, though slightly better than forecast, was rather bumpy.

22.2.44
TRAINING.
Weather restricted flying to night flying tests and air tests.
OPERATIONS.  MINING IN KIEL BAY.
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to lay mines of 1,500 lbs in Kiel Bay.  After being airborne for one hour all of the aircraft were recalled owing to unsuitable weather conditions.

23.2.44
TRAINING.
One aircraft carried out fighter affiliation and other crews were sent to No.33 Base to see the film “Battle of Britain”.
OPERATIONS.  NIL.

24.2.44
TRAINING.
Two aircraft carried out fighter affiliation and a few air tests were flown.
OPERATIONS.  MINING IN KIEL BAY.
Fifteen aircraft were detailed with a large force to lay mines of 1500 lbs in Kiel Bay, and fourteen returned after completing their mission successfully.  One aircraft (Captain NZ42367 F/S. Bruhns H.) is missing, and no news was heard after take-off.

25.2.44
TRAINING.
Only air tests were carried out.
OPERATIONS.  MINING IN BALTIC SEA.
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to lay mines of 1500 lbs, south of Zealand, an island in the Baltic Sea.  Thirteen aircraft completed their mission successfully.  The weather was good with excellent visibility.  One aircraft (Captain NZ421803 F/Sgt. Willis W.) encountered six JU.88s, four of which fired short bursts, our rear gunner and mid-upper gunner returning fire.  Our aircraft was not damaged and no claims were made on the enemy aircraft.  Two aircraft returned early with engine trouble.

26.2.44
TRAINING.
Adverse weather prevented flying and there was a general stand down during the afternoon.
OPERATIONS.  NIL.

27.2.44
TRAINING.
No flying again.  Lectures were given on “Engine handling” and “Low level map reading”.
OPERATIONS.  NIL.

28.2.44
TRAINING.
A large programme was carried out which included fighter affiliation, cross country flights, low level flying and air tests.
OPERATIONS.  MINING IN THE BALTIC SEA.
Ten aircraft were required for the above operation, which was, however, cancelled.

29.2.44
TRAINING.
This consisted of air tests, low flying and circuits and landings.
OPERATIONS.  SPECIAL DETAIL.
Six aircraft were required for the above operation which was, however, cancelled.

OUTSTANDING EVENTS
TRAINING.
This has been considerably restricted owing to adverse weather, but whenever possible has been carried out diligently, special attention being paid to Fighter Affiliation Cross-Country Exercises, Practice Bombing and Ground Training.

OPERATIONS.
This month the Squadron’s Operations have consisted entirely of Mine Laying.  One hundred and twenty sorties were flown and of these one aircraft has failed to return.  Mines have been laid off Cherbourg, off Morlaix, in the Gironde Estuary, off La Rochelle, in St. Malo Bay, in the River Adour, in Kiel Bay, off the Frisian Islands and in the Baltic Sea.

[Signed R. D. Max]

Wing Commander, Commanding,

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

Personnel Occurrence Reports —————————————————–No.1.

MONTHLY TOTAL OF FLYING HOURS:- Operational 727.05.  Non-operational 242.15.

OPERATIONAL SORTIES:- Cumulative total, since 1/1/44, 258.  Monthly total, 123.  Monthly total Mines dropped: 260.4 Tons.  Bombs-Nil.

Personnel Strength.
Ground Personnel.    Officers   Senior N.C.O.s    O/Rs
R.A.F.                                3                   26                305
R.N.Z.A.F.                         –                      3                  13
R.C.A.F.                             –                      1                   8

Personnel Strength.
Aircrew Personnel.   Officers   Senior N.C.O.s    O/Rs
R.A.F.                              26                    62                 –
R.N.Z.A.F.                       33                    50                 –
R.C.A.F.                             1                    11                 –

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