The weather was hopeless for flying today, snow storms over most of the country being encountered. Two lectures were given by Flight Lieutenant Parish in regard to Escaping and Beam Approach. In the afternoon the pilots were given a Navigation Lecture and the remainder of the crews were split up between the “Gee” section and Link trainer.
The weather was a great deal better today and the following formation flying and Fighter Affiliation was carried out.
Flight Lieutenant Parish carried out formation flying and fighter affiliation in Stirling I BK602
Flight Sergeant Bailey and Sergeant Cross carried out formation flying and fighter affiliation in Stirling
Sergeant Lord carried out formation flying.
Sergeant Buck carried out formation flying in Striling I BK619.
Flight Sergeant Rothschild carried out fighter affiliation and formation flying in Stirling I BK602
Flight Lieutenant Parish carried out formation flying.
Flight Sergeant Jackson started out to do formation flying and bombing practice, but had to turn back owing to bad weather, only having dropped 3 bombs.
Flying Officer Trott carried out formation flying and bombing practice in Stirling I R9248.
Sergeant Willaims carried out fighter affiliation and formation flying in Stirling I BK602.
Flying Officer Trott carried out fighter affiliation and formation flying in Stirling I BK617
All crews attended a lecture given by a fighter pilot on evasive tactics, this proved very helpful. The weather proved to be fine and formation flying combined with fighter affiliation went ahead with a rush. The following training was carried out.
Pilot Officer Bettles carried out formation flying in Stirling I BK619.
Squadron Leader Swales carried out fighter affiliation in Stirling I BK602.
Flight Lieutenant Parish carried out formation flying.
Flight Sergeant Bailey carried out formation fling in Stirling I BK619.
Flight Sergeant Jackson carried out formation flying in Stirling I BK617.
Sergeant Lord carried out fighter affiliation.
Sergeant Williams carried out fighter affiliation and formation practice in Stirling I BK602.
Flight Sergeant Jackson carried out formation practice.
Flying Officer Trott carried out formation practice in Stirling I BK617.
During the morning the weather was bad, a heavy mist was prevailing. All crews therefore were given a lecture on Air Sea Rescue by an A.S.R. Officer. Towards the afternoon the weather cleared up considerably and the following formation flying and bombing was carried out.
Flight Sergeant Rothschild, formation flying in Stirling I BK602.
Pilot Officer Bettles, formation flying in Stirling I BK619.
Flight Lieutenant Parish, formation flying.
Sergeant Buck, formation flying and bombing in Stirling I BK619.
Sergeant Buck, formation flying in Stirling I BK619.
Sergeant Jackson, formation flying in Stirling I BK619.
Heavy ground haze persisted during the morning but visibility was considerably better in the afternoon. The following flying was carried out.
Sergeant Buck in Stirling BK619.
Flight Sergeant Jackson in Stirling I BK617.
No flying today owing to bad weather. Air bombers and wireless operators had “Gee” training from their navigators and other air bombers had link instruction. From 11. To 12.30, Flight Lieutenant Westerman, the Navigation Officer, gave a lecture to all crews. In the afternoon Flight Sergeant Bailey briefed all crews on a trip to FRANKFURT, this was followed by a heated discussion on the tactics suggested, running into a general debate about operational tactics.
TRAINING. Bad weather again, so more “Gee” and link training. Engineers discussed their work with other members of the crews and especially taught them how to work out petrol consumption from graphs ect., A talk was also given by the Squadron Commander in the morning. Some lectures were given which included talks by R.A.F. Regiment on rifle and sten gun.
TRAINING. The weather was considerably better today and operations were laid on for the evening, N.F.T’s and air tests were carried out.
OPERATIONS. Gardening on Nectarines, off the North Sea of DENMARK.
Three aircrafts were detailed to carry out the above operations with vegetables of 1500 lbs.Two of the aircraft successfully planted their vegetables in the allotted area, the other aircraft captured by F/Sgt. Bailey, was forced to abandon the operation, as his port inner engine failed over the North Sea and he lost height. This put him in heavy icing cloud and forced him to jettison his bombs, all Sperry instruments went u/s. He eventually got “Gee” fix near English coast and arrive safely back at base. No A.A fire, searchlights, or enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was fairly good, as was also visibility, navigation was by D.R and T.R.
3.30 – Sergeant Daizell carried out formation flying and cross country.
Ground training, grills ect; and discussions on tactics were carried out during the morning.
OPERATIONS Gardening North of TERSCHELLING.
Three aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with 1500 lb. vegetables but one aircraft failed to take off owing to engine trouble, the remaining two aircraft successfully dropped their vegetables in the allotted area and all of the parachutes were seen to open. No A.A. fire, searchlights, or enemy aircraft were seen. Visibility was excellent and the operation was carried out without incident.
TRAINING. Bad weather again. There were lectures during the morning on link, “Gee” and various talks by specialist officers, including talks by the Intelligence officer, Met. Officer and the Medical officer. At 14.00 hours the Squadron stood down.
TRAINING. A small operation, Gardening on Deodan’s the Gironde estuary was laid on, but the weather throughout the day was bad and the night forecast was unpromising.
1.00 A test flight was carried out by F/Sgt. Bailey in Stirling 1 R9250 in preparation for the night operations, N.F.T’s were also carried out but just before take-off time the operation was cancelled owing to bad weather.
OPERATIONS NIL .
VISIT of Wing Commander Grant-Dalton D.S.O., D.F.C.
By arrangement with Headquarters No.3 Group the above named officer who is the South Western Regional Air Liaison officer visited the Squadron to view the operations and functions of an operational Unit.
TRAINING. The weather was still bad during the morning, so ground training was carried out.
OPERATIONS Gardening in the GIRONDE ESTUARY.
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with 1500lb vegetables. All aircraft successfully planted their vegetables and the majority of the parachutes were seen to open. Some A.A. fire and searchlights were encountered on the way to the target, the flak being very accurate although none of the aircraft were holed. The weather on route both ways was poor but reasonable conditions in the gardening area itself.
TRAINING. The Squadron was stood down from operations today. A talk was given by a Flight Lieutenant who had escaped from enemy territory, this proved very interesting.
The following load test and bombing details were flown.
1.35 Flight Lieutenant Parish and crew in Stirling 1 R9243 put up a very creditable bombing practice performance.
2.00 Sergeant Buck carried out bombing practice in Stirling 1 BF398.
2.30 Flight Sergeant Jackson carried out load test in Stirling 1 BF397.
TRAINING. The weather was bad again today so all crews were given a talk of tactics and other lectures.
.40 Flight Sergeant Rothschild in Stirling 1 BF398 took ferry crews to Stradishall to collect three aircraft but we were unexpectedly detailed for night operations and they had to be recalled.
4.20 F/O Donnelly carried out cross country in Stirling 1 R9243.
The Aircraft was recalled and landed at Bourne because weather at base was not very good.
3.30 Seargeant Bennett carried out cross country in Stirling 1 BF397.
OPERATIONS. Attack against targets at LORIENT.
Three aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bomb loads of 1,000lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. This attack was very successful, crews bombing from 10,000 feet from large gaps in the cloud. All bombs were seen to explode in the target area and fires were seen to start. Some light and heavy A.A. fire was encountered, which was inaccurate, a few searchlights were also operating. No enemy aircraft were encountered . The weather was very good, with little cloud. Navigation was excellent and was mainly visual.
Another very bad day, crews were sent out to Stradishall literally at crack of dawn by M.T. and ferried back the new aircraft. These turned out to be far from new and all sections worked their hearts out trying to get them serviceable for the night, as a further attack on Lorient was detailed
F/O Donnelly ferried Stirling I R9243 from Bourne.
F/Sgt. Jackson ferried Stirling I N3685 from Stradishall.
F/O McCullough ferried Stirling I BK604 from Stradishall.
P/O Bettles ferried Stirling I N6123 from Stradishall.
OPERATIONS . Attack against targets at LORIENT.
Owing to the unservicability of the new aircraft only three aircraft took off for the raid carrying bombs of 1,000 lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries, unfortunately on returned early owing to engine trouble. The two successful aircraft both dropped their bombs in the target area. There was a fair amount of both heavy and light flak although few searchlights were seen. There was a great deal of cloud in the target area, which prevented bomb bursts being observed although many large fires were seen. This appears to be a very good effort and bombing was concentrated and accurate.
There was no flying today and the maintenance had another try at servicing our new aircraft. In the morning a talk was given by a Squadron Leader from Fighter Development Unit on fighter tactics and counter measures. Films were shown to illustrate his points. An operation was laid on and crews got fully briefed and prepared but at the last minute it was cancelled because Lancasters of 5 and 1 Groups might want to divert to Newmarket, In actual fact these visitors did not arrive.
Little training was carried out today as we were preparing for night operations but N.F.T’s and tests were flown, but unfortunately at the last moment it was again cancelled.
F/lt. Sendeman carried out air tests in Stirling I BK624.
Two aircraft were detailed for operations tonight and the usual tests were carried out. During the morning the following trainng was carried out. All other crews with the exception of the two crews detailed for night operations were stood down in the afternoon.
F/Sgt. Jackson carried out an air test in Stirling I BK617.
Sergt. Kidd carried out a load height test in Stirling I N3683.
F/Lt. Sandeman carried out a load height test in Stirling I BK624.
F/Sgt. Rothschild flew Stradishall.
OPERATIONS Gardening in GIRONDE ESTUARY.
Two aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with 1500lb. vegetables. Stirling I BK624 captained by Sergt. Bennett had a very hot reception, too hot in fact, as this was his first trip. He had combat with three fighters in bright moonlight. The crew behaved exceedingly well and by good defensive tactics managed to avoid the fighters, although the aircraft was found to be holed on return. He reached the gardening area and successfully dropped his vegetables. The other aircraft was forced to abandoned the sortie as the inter-com went u/s over the North sea and the aircraft also had engine trouble. He jettisoned his bombs and returned. The weather was very good with clear visibility and bright moon. Navigation was good by D.R., T.R., and visual.
Operations were ordered for tonight, a Gardening trip. The weather was none too brilliant, visibility being restricted to 3,000 yards all day. No flying took place and operations were cancelled at 1300hrs. The Squadron was then stood down for the remainder of the day.
A Gardening trip was detailed for tonight but in spite this a good deal of training was carried out. Late in the afternoon operations were scrubbed.
F/Lt. Sandeman in Stirling I BK624, carried out fighter affiliation with a Spitfire from Sutton Bridge.
Sergt. Davey carried out an air test in Stirling I BF397.
Sergt. Dalzell carried out an air test in Stirling I R9248.
Sergt. Kidd carried out fighter affiliation in stirling I R9243.
Sergt. Buck carried out a N.F.T. and “Gee’ experience in Stirling I BK619.
2.00 Sergt. Lord carried out “Gee” and fighter affiliation in Stirling I N6123.
The Squadron was stood down today and accordingly we reverted to training on a full scale. The following being carried out.
Sergt. Buck carried out fighter affiliation.
P/O Blincoe carried out fighter affiliation.
1.40 F/Lt. sandeman did a loop swing and carried out airfiring at Wells on Sea, in Stirling I BK624.
F/Sergt. Jackson carried out high level bombing incorporating D.R. runs in Stirling I BK617.
Sergt. Dalzell carried out high level bombing incorporating D.R. runs in Stirling I N3683.
Sergt. Davey carried out high level bombing and fighter affiliation.
Sergt. Bennett carried out D.R. runs in Stirling I N3683.
The Squadron continued with training again today, having been stood down and obtaining the services of several fighters concentrated on fighter affiliation during the morning and afternoon, although the programme had to be severely curtailed because of poor serviceability.
F/Sgt. Jackson carried out fighter affiliation and D.R. runs in Stirling I BK617.
Sergt. Dalzell carried out D.R. runs.
S/Ldr. Allcock carried out fighter affiliation and D.R. runs.
F/Sgt. Bailey carried out fighter affiliation and D.R. runs in Stirling I BF398
F/O Trott carried out fighter affiliation and D.R. runs in Stirling I BK604
Sergt. Thompson carried out fighter affiliation and D.R. runs in Stirling I N6123.
F/Sergt. Rothschild carried out fighter affiliation and D.R. runs in Stirling I BK602.
Sergt. Thompson carried out fighter affiliation in Stirling I BF398.
Sergt. Buck carried out D.R. runs in Stirling I BK604.
The Squadron was on operations tonight and accordingly training was limited to the morning, when the usual N.F.T’s and tests were carried out.
OPERATIONS Attack against targets at LORIENT.
Nine aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000 lb. 500 lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. This was a very successful and concentrated attack. All aircraft reported that their bombs were seen to fall in the target area. Large fires were seen to be lighting up the whole area. A fair amount of heavy, medium and light flak was encountered, only a few searchlights were seen. A few enemy aircraft were seen, but no combats took place. The weather was very clear at the target and good visibility. Navigation was by D.R., T.R., pinpoints and visual. Stirling I R9248 captained by Sergt. R.M.Kidd failed to return.
The weather was overcast again today but operations were detailed for tonight, for which the usual N.F.T.’s and tests were carried out. At the last moment operations were scrubbed owing to the weather.
The weather was still bad again today but we were detailed for operations. The usual N.F.T’s and tests were carried out, but again there was a last minute cancellation.
The weather today was little or no improvement on yesterday. Information came through that we were on operations for the night. The usual N.F.T.’s and tests were carried out but the weather steadily began to get worse during the day. In the afternoon operations were scrubbed.
Sergt. Dalzell carried out D.R. runs in Stirling BK617.
The weather cleared up considerably and as there were no crews operation fighter affiliation and bombing went according to plan. At mid-day news arrived that two aircraft were required for operations that night, so no tests were carried out.
OPERATIONS Gardening off TERSCHELLING.
Two aircraft were detailed to carry out this operation with 1500 lb. vegetables, both of whom reported that their vegetables were planted in the allotted area and the parachutes were seen to open. No A.A. fire or search lights were encountered. One enemy aircraft was seen but no combat took place. The weather was not very good, being cloudy and hazy with poor visibility. Navigation was very good.
The day dawned fine and no operations were laid on for the night, so fighter affiliation was the order of the day.
Sergt. Thompson carried out fighter affiliation in Stirling I N6123.
Sergt. Scott carried out fighter affiliation in Stirling I N6123.
Sergt. Dalzell carried out fighter affiliation in Stirling I R9243.
S/Ldr. Allcock carried out fighter affiliation in Stirling I R9243.
The weather was overcast again today and after D.I’s had been completed it was learnt that we were on operations again tonight. The usual N.F.T.’s and tests were carried out. The weather, however, was again u/s and the operation was scrubbed shortly before take-off.
Sergt. Dalzell carried out fighter affiliation in Stirling I BK617.
F/Lt. Sandeman carried out air firing in Stirling I BK624.
The weather was overcast with frequent showers and during the morning we were informed there would be no operations. The following training was therefore carried out.
F/Lt. Trott in Stirling I R9243 – air to Sea firing.
F/Sgt. Bailey in Stirling I BF398 – fighter affiliation.
Sergt. Scott in Stirling I BK619 – fighter affiliation and bombing.
Sergt. Thompson and W/O Burke in Stirling R9250 – height and load test.
P/O Blincoe in Stirling I BK619 – bombing and air ro sea firing.
P/O McCullough and P/O Henderson in Stirling I BK604 – bombing.
S/Ldr. Allcock in Stirling I R9243 – air firing and D.R. runs.
Serg. Williams in Stirling I R9316 – air tests
It was blowing a gale this morning with heavy overcast skies and many showers. The weather did not improve so there was no flying. Various lectures were given to aircrews during the morning. In the afternoon the crews were taken over to Mildenhall to see the effect of raids on Italy and Holland, in a film of the raids on EINDHOVEN and TURIN.
They have been considerably curtailed this month owing to unfavourable weather conditions. We have only operated on seven nights, although operations were laid on for many other occasions and cancelled, owing to bad weather. Of the seven operations carried out, they were, on the whole successful, except for a few turn backs. From these operations on aircraft failed to return.
Wing Commander Grant-Dalton D.S.O., D.F.C., the South Western Regional Air Liaison Officer, visited the Squadron to view operations and the functions of an operational unit.
Professor Finch from the Research and Experiments Department of the Ministry of Home Security, visited the Squadron to discuss with air crews a new type of incendiary. The object mainly to find their views and pro’s and cons, regarding incendiaries generally. He stayed with us until the 19th January.
Ten factory workers from E.R.Watts & Son makers of Bomb Sights, accompanied by a Ministry of Aircraft Production official visited us. The objective being to give the workers an opportunity of meeting R.A.F. personnel and seeing activities. They arrived at 11.00 hours and stayed during the afternoon. The visit was enjoyed by both workers and Squadron personnel.
F/O L.G. Trott NZ412743 G.D. Appointed to the rank of A/F/Lt. w.e.f. 19.1.43 authy. 3 GRP. Pgram. 3G/8937/5/8/P2 dtd.23.1.43.
F/O G.R.L. Heywood NZ40622 G.D. Appointed to the rank of A/F/Lt. w.e.f. 10.1.43 authy. 3 GRP. Pgram. 3G/8937/5/8/P2 dtd.23.1.43.
A/F/L F.J. Chunn NZ40733 G.D. Posted to No. 2 P.D.C.(pending posting Overseas) w.e.f. 10.1.43 authy. A.M.Sig. P/6652 dtd. 1.1.43.
F/L R.B. Walker 63736 MED. Posted to No.1 P.D.C.)pending posting Overseas) w.e.f. 11.1.43 authy. A.M. Sig.O/1445 dtd. 2.1.43.
A/W/Cdr. G.A. Lane 39595 G.D. Posted to this unit w.e.f. 1.1.43 authy. H.Q.B.C. Pgram BC/41082/1/P dtd. 29.12.42
F/O G.R.L. Heywood NZ40622 G.D. Reposted to this unit w.e.f. 10.1.43 (F/Lt post) authy. 3Group pgram. 3G/6601/P4 dtd. 14.1.43.
F/L C.W. Parish 81927 G.D. Posted to No. 7 Sqdn., w.e.f. 18.1.43 authy. 3Grp.Sig.P638 dtd. 16.1.43.
A/S/Ldr G.M. Allcock 36215 G.D. Posted to this Unit w.e.f. 18.1.43 authy. 3Grp.Sig.P621 dtd. 14.1.43.
P/O D.A. Stuart-White 105152 G.D. Posted to non-effective strength of R.A.F. Station Mildenhall w.e.f. 21.1.43 authy. 3Grp. Pgram. 3G/6601/P4 dated 23.1.43.
F/O L.G Trott NZ412743 G.D. Reposted to this Unit (F/Lt. post) w.e.f. 19.1.43 authy. 3Grp. Pgram 3G/6601/P4 dtd. 23.1.43
P/O R.W. Henderson NZ411894 G.D. Posted to this Unit w.e.f. 29.1.43 aithy. 3Grp.Sig.P697 dtd. 27.1.43.
F/O G.R.L. Heywood NZ40622 G.D. Ceased to detached to No.7 A.G.S. w.e.f. 1.1.43 authy. O.C. Unit.
P/O E.G. Redman G.D Detached to 1657 C.U. w.e.f. 7.1.43 authy. 3Grp.Sig.P563 dated 4.1.43
F/L W.E.Coutts MED. Attached to this Unit from R.A.F. Great Ashfield w.e.f. 9.1.43 authy. 3Grp.Sig.P.319 dtd 8.1.43.
A/W/Cdr. G.A.Lane 39595 G.D. Detached to 1657 C.U. w.e.f.1.1.43 authy.H.Q.B.C.Pgram BC/41082/1/P dtd.29.12.42.
A/F/L Westerman J6650 G.D Detached to R.A.F. Station Mildenhall w.e.f. 13.12.42 Authy. 3 Grp.letter 3G/7000/11/DEF dtd.26.11.42.
A/F/L C.F.Westerman J6650 G.D Ceased to be detached to R.A.F. Station Mildenhall, w.e.f. 19.12.42 authy O.C. Mildenhall.
F/O R.S. Pearce 46840 G.D. Detached to R.A.F. Station Mildenhall w.e.f. 28.12.42 authy. 3Grp. Letter 3G/7000/11/DF dated 26.11.42. Ceased to be detached w.e.f. 2.1.43. Authy. O.C. Mildenhall.
“G” APPOINTMENTS & PROMOTIONS
P/O R.A. Hull Ji5403 G.D. Promoted to the rank of T/F/O w.e.f. 1.11.42. authy. 3Grp.letter 3G/8937/1/P2 dtd.3.1.43
P/O J.H. Symons J16507 G.D. Appointed to a commission as P/O on probation on 5.11.42. Authy. A.M letter A47678/1/42/S7 (f) 1(b) dated 9.1.43.
P/O H.R. Hamerton NZ412918 G.D. Appointed to a commission as P/O on probation on 5.12.42. authy. A.M.letter A481439/42/S7(f) 1(b) dated 19.1.43.
P/O R. Bennett NZ415282 G.D. Appointed to a commission as P/O on probation on 20.12.42, Authy.A.M.Sig.P6869 dated 21.1.43.
MENTIONS IN DISPATCHES.
A/F/L C.F. Westerman J6650 G.D Mentioned in dispatches on 1.1.43 Authy. Extract London Gazette Ser.No.35841 and Group Routine Order Ser.No.1 dated 1.1.43.
ARRIVALS AND DESPATCHES OF AIRCRAFT.
Stirling 1. BK615 despatched to C.R.D. R.A.F. Farnborough. Authority 41G9130 dated 17.1.43.
Stirlings MK.1 BK624, N3683, N6123 and BK604 received BK624 from 1651 Con.Uni on Form W S496 dated 14.1.43. The remainder from 1657 Con.Unit on Form W S497 dated 14.1.43.
Stirling 1 R9316 received from No.10 M.U. authority 41G/9201 dated 21.1.43.
Stirling 1 EF327 received from Short Bros., Swindon authority 41G/9303 dated 25.1.43.
Stirling 1 R9290 received from Short Bros., Swindon authority 41G/9261 dated 25.1.43.
Stirling 1 W7469 received from 149 Squadron authority form W503 dated 31.1.43.
Stirling 1 BF437 received from Short and Harlands Belfast authority 41G/9173 dated 19.1.43.
Stirling 1 BF337 received from Short Bros., Swindon authority 41G/9282 dated 26.1.43.
Continue these records – February 1943