June 1944

Mepal
1.6.44
Weather  Cloudy.  Visibility 4 – 6 miles, improving to 8 – 10 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests and one cross country flight were flown.

1/2.6.44
Operational Flying  Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack a target at Maisy, N. France, but the operation was cancelled.

2.6.44
Weather  Cloudy.  Visibility 10 – 25 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Fighter affiliation, height and load tests and one cross country flight were carried out.

2/3.6.44
Operational Flying  Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack a target at Wissant, N. France.  Owing to thick cloud over the target, twelve aircraft were unable to identify the markers and brought their bombs back.  No opposition was encountered.

3.6.44
Weather  Fair at first, intermittent slight rain in morning and evening.  Visibility 8 – 10 miles.
Non-Operational Flying   Air tests and one cross country flight were carried out.
Administration  NZ415392 F/O. C. Washer and NZ421495 F/S. Betley, R. and crews arrived on posting from No.31 Base.

3/4.6.44
Operational Flying  Ten aircraft were detailed to attack Calais, and all crews were successful in contributing to a good concentrated raid in clear weather.  Defences were slight to moderate and no enemy fighters were seen.

4.6.44
Weather  Cloudy.  Visibility 8 – 15 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests, cross country flights and formation flying were carried out.

4/5.6.44
Operational Flying  Ten aircraft were detailed to attack a target at Cap Gris Nez, but the operation was cancelled owing to adverse weather.

Three aircraft were detailed for mine laying, one off Calais, one off the Belgian coast, and the third off the Hook of Holland.  All aircraft successfully dropped their mines in the allotted areas without incident.

5.6.44
Weather  Cloudy.  Visibility 10 -20 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests were carried out.

5/6.6.44
Operational Flying  The target for No.3 Group was the coastal battery at Ouistreham in N. France.  This target, and others in the same area were attacked by strong forces of Bomber Command aircraft immediately prior to the Anglo-American Invasion of the Continent.  Twenty six aircraft from this Squadron participated and all were successful in bombing their target with the aid of markers.  Opposition was very slight.

6.6.44
Weather  Cloudy with an interval of rain in between.  Visibility 6 – 15 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Only air tests were carried out.

6/7.6.44
Operational Flying  Twenty four aircraft took off, as detailed, to attack a target at Lisieux, in support of the invading forces which were establishing a bridge head in Normandy.  All aircraft successfully bombed the target and an accurate attack was reported.  Only slight opposition was encountered.

7.6.44
Weather  Cloudy, intermittent rain during afternoon.  Visibility 6 – 12 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests and one night cross country exercise were flown.
Administration  NZ424504 F/S. O’Callaghan, E.,  R159775 Sgt. Kluczny, E. and NZ421488 F/O. J. Aitken and crews arrived on posting from No.31 Base.  NZ421808 F/S. Adolph, V. arrived on posting from No.31 Base.

7/8.6.44
Operational Flying  Six aircraft were detailed to attack a target at Massy Palaiseau near Paris.  Five aircraft bombed successfully, one returning early with instrument trouble.  The aircraft captained by AUS421504 F/S. Perfrement, J. had a brief encounter with a ME.210, claiming hits on the enemy aircraft.

8.6.44
Weather  Cloudy and overcast, with intermittent rain.  Visibility 4 – 8 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests only were carried out.

8/9.6.44
Operational Flying  Twenty aircraft took off as detailed to attack Fougeres in N. France.  Nineteen aircraft bombed successfully, one bringing its bombs back owing to the Bomb sight being unserviceable when over the target area.  Two aircraft had inconclusive combats with enemy aircraft, but the remainder carried out their mission without incident, there being no opposition in the target area.

9.6.44
Weather  Cloudy with intermittent rain and drizzle.  Visibility 4 – 10 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air and night flying tests were carried out.

9/10.6.44
Operational Flying  Twenty two aircraft were standing by to attack a tactical target in support of our invading forces.  The effort was cancelled later, however, owing to adverse weather at Base.

10.6.44
Weather  Cloudy with occasional intermittent rain.  Visibility 4 – 10 miles deteriorating to 3 miles after dusk.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests were flown.

10/11.6.44
Operational Flying  Of the twenty four aircraft detailed to bomb Dreux, twenty two successfully attacked in good weather, the marshalling yards being visually identified until they were obscured by smoke.  One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88.  The aircrafts captained by NZ422098 P/O. L. Bonisch and NZ422267 F/S. Donaghy, T. failed to return.

11.6.44
Weather  Cloudy with intermittent rain.  Visibility over 6 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests were completed.

11/12.6.44
Operational Flying  Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack a military target at Nantes.  All aircraft successfully bombing the target.  Large fires and explosions were reported.  Intense light A.A. Fire was encountered in the target area.  the aircraft captained by NZ421072 P/O. C. McCardle, shortly after leaving the target area, was damaged by what is now thought to have been a light A.A. Shell exploding in the cockpit.  The Captain received severe injuries and the Flight Engineer Sgt. Benfold, R., superficial injuries.  The Air Bomber, AUS410489 W/O. Hurse, A. took over the controls, and with the assistance of the Navigator NZ4310159 F/O. A. Zillwood, brought the aircraft safely back to this country, where a perfect landing was executed.

12.6.44
Weather  Fair becoming cloudy with intermittent rain.  Visibility 10 – 20 miles, deteriorating to 2 – 3 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air and night flying tests were flown.
Administration  NZ42488 F/S. Whittington, H.,NZ421459 F/S. Moriarty, D., NZ416968 F/S. Meyer, A., and NZ422332 F/O. Fleming, J. and crews arrived on posting from No.31 Base.

12/13.6.44
Operational Flying  Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack Gelsenkirchen and all took part in a very concentrated raid, A.A. Fire not being so intense as expected.  Although enemy fighters were active, no combats took place with our aircraft.

13.6.44
Weather  Fair with considerable cloud.  Visibility 6 – 8 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests and one cross country flight were flown.

14.6.44
Weather  Fair with occasional showers.  Visibility 15 – 20 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests and one cross country flight were carried out.

14/15.6.44
Operational Flying  Twenty six aircraft were detailed to attack shipping in the port area of Le Havre.  Twenty five aircraft attacked and a very concentrated and accurate raid resulted.  Fires from an earlier attack were still burning when our aircraft were over the target.  One aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble.  Opposition was slight.

15.6.44
Weather  Cloudy, with occasional showers.  Visibility 10 – 15 miles.

15/16.6.44
Operational Flying  Twenty four aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Marshalling Yards at Valenciennes.  Twenty three aircraft attacked the primary target with the aid of markers.  A.A. Fire was very slight, but fighters were active, two of our aircraft having combats with enemy aircraft.  The aircraft captained by 175311 P/O. C. Crawford claimed hits on an enemy fighter, but sustained serious damage itself, the pilot, however, was able to land safely at Manstone.  The aircraft captained by NZ421495 F/S. Betley, R. failed to return.

16.6.44
Weather  Fair with occasional showers.  Visibility 15 – 20 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Only air tests were carried out, as it was necessary for aircraft to be thoroughly ground tested.

16/17.6.44
Operational Flying  Four aircraft were detailed to stand by in readiness to attack a tactical target in Northern France, but the operation was later cancelled.

17.6.44
Weather  Cloudy at first improving to fair.  Visibility 15 – 25 miles.

17/18.6.44
Operational Flying  Fourteen aircraft were detailed to attack a military target at Montdidier.  All aircraft reached the target area where it was found that cloud conditions prevented accurate bombing.  The master bomber accordingly gave instructions for crews to abandon their mission, all aircraft except one bringing their bombs back to Base.  The exception was the aircraft captained by NZ42488 F/S. Whittington, H. who jettisoned his bombs “safe” in the Channel owing to having a combat with a F.W.190.  Our pilot claimed the enemy aircraft to be possibly destroyed.

18.6.44
Weather  Cloudy at first becoming fair.  Visibility 15 – 30 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests were carried out.
Administration  NZ421544 F/S. Timms, F. and crew arrived on posting from No.31 Base.  R159775 Sgt. Kluczny, E. and crew proceeded on posting to No.90 Squadron.

18/19.6.44
Operational Flying  The target for twenty two aircraft was a constructional works at Autheux, but the operation was cancelled at a late hour owing to climatic conditions.

19.6.44
Weather  Cloudy at first, becoming fair.  Visibility 10 – 20 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests, fighter affiliation and cross country flights were flown.

19/20.6.44
Operational Flying  Eight aircraft were detailed to attack a constructional works at Marquise Mimoyecques, but the operation was cancelled owing to weather conditions.

20.6.44
Weather  Cloudy with drizzle during night.  Visibility over 6 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Cross country flights, fighter affiliation, air firing and local flying were carried out.
Administration  NZ413219 F/S. Roche, G. arrived on posting from No.31 Base.
Operational Flying  Twenty eight aircraft were detailed for a special daylight operation, which was cancelled.

21.6.44
Weather  Cloudy.  Visibility 8 – 10 miles at first, improving to 20 -25 miles later.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests, fighter affiliation and air to sea firing were carried out.
Operational Flying  Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the constructional works at Domleger during daylight.  Two aircraft failed to take off and the remainder were unable [to] locate the target, the markers not being visible owing to 10/10th cloud.  they were instructed by the master bomber to abandon their mission, and apart from some aircraft which jettisoned their load, bombs were brought back.  Opposition was very slight.

22.6.44
Weather  Cloudy at first, becoming fair to fine at noon.  Visibility 15 – 25 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests, cross country flights were flown.  Fighter affiliation arranged but cancelled owing to weather.

23.6.44
Weather  Cloudy at first, becoming fine at mid-day.  Visibility 10 – 30 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests were carried out.
Administration  NZ421343 P/O. V. Andrew and NZ421850 F/S. Moore, G. and crews arrived on posting from No.31 Base.

23/24.6.44
Operational Flying  Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack the constructional works at L’Hey.  All crews bombed on instructions from the Master bomber, and the glow of fires seen through clouds indicated a concentrated raid.  Opposition was very slight, although one aircraft had an inconclusive combat with two enemy fighters.

24.6.44
Weather  Fine.  Visibility 6 – 10 miles, becoming over 15 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests and night flying tests were flown.

24/25.6.44
Operational Flying  Twenty five aircraft took off as detailed to attack the constructional works at Rimeux.  Twenty four crews bombed successfully with the aid of markers, and an accurate raid was reported.   There were numerous searchlights in action, but the A.A. opposition was not serious.  The aircraft captained by NZ424788 F/S. Bateson, B. failed to return.

25.6.44
Weather  Cloudy with intermittent rain.  Visibility over 6 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Fighter affiliation, air to sea firing and air tests were carried out.
Administration  NZ416975 F/O. N. Bright and crew arrived on posting from No.31 Base.

25/26.6.44
Operational Flying  Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack the constructional works at Zudausques, but this operation was postponed owing to weather.

26.6.44
Weather  Fair, with clouds and intermittent rain.  Visibility 8 – 12 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Fighter affiliation and air tests were carried out.
Administration  NZ411397 F/L. Gunn, G. and crew arrived on posting from No.31 Base.
Operational Flying  Fifteen aircraft were standing by to attack the constructional works at Zudausques in daylight, but this operation was postponed indefinitely owing to weather conditions.

27.6.44
Weather  Fair, with thundery outbreaks, and showers.  Visibility 10 – 20 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Fighter affiliation and air tests were carried out.

27/28.6.44
Operational Flying  Fifteen aircraft took off to attack the constructional works supply site at Biennais.  All aircraft bombed through ten-tenths cloud with the aid of markers and no opposition from the ground was encountered.  One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with an enemy aircraft.

28.6.44
Weather  Fair at first, intermittent [?rain for rest] of morning and continuing throughout the day.  Visibility generally 8 – 16 miles.
Non-Operational Flying  Cross country flights and air tests were carried out.
Administration  NZ422057 F/S. Davidson, N. and crew arrived on posting from No.31 Base.

28/29.6.44
Operational Flying  Twenty aircraft were standing by to attack a tactical target in Northern France, but the operation was cancelled owing to weather conditions being unsuitable.

29.6.44
Weather  Cloudy, with intermittent rain.  Visibility 8 – 12 miles.
Operational Flying  Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack the constructional works at Biennais in daylight, but the operation was again cancelled owing to the weather.

29/30.6.44
Operational Flying  Twenty eight aircraft were detailed to attack the Marshalling Yard at Vaires near Paris, but once again poor weather necessitated a cancellation.

30.6.44
Weather  Cloudy with slight rain in early morning and during afternoon and evening.  Visibility 6 – 10 miles generally.
Non-Operational Flying  Air tests were carried out.
Operational Flying  Twenty four aircraft in daylight were detailed to attack enemy concentrations at Villers Bocage, in support of the British and Canadian Armies advance in Northern France.  Two aircraft were withdrawn, owing to technical faults, but the remaining twenty two aircraft all bombed their target successfully, and reported a very concentrated raid.  Moderate, but heavy A.A. Fire was encountered over the target, but there was no fighter opposition.  On return one aircraft landed at Woodbridge and another put down on one of our landing strips in Normandy (the Flight Engineer 1586862 Sgt. McDevitt, P.W. being slightly injured).  A unique incident for the Squadron.  Another aircraft was damaged by A.A. Fire, but reached Base and made a successful landing.

Aircraft Explosion  At 04.20 hours an aircraft whilst standing at a dispersal bombed up exploded causing damage to other aircraft standing near.  It is suspected that a long delay bomb in the aircraft detonated, causing the aircraft to be completely disintegrated.  Fortunately there were no personnel in the near vicinity of the aircraft and no casualties resulted there-from, although some civilian houses nearby were damaged.

OUTSTANDING EVENTS

Operational Flying
This has been a record month operationally for the Squadron.  Attacks have been mainly against targets in Northern France in support of the Invading Armies and against pilotless plane installations.

On the night 5/6th June, twenty six of our aircraft bombed Ouistreham immediately prior to the Anglo American invasion of the Continent, and since that date we have continued to support them in their excellent achievements.

In all four aircraft have failed to return during this month.

On the night 11/12th June, shortly after leaving the target area during an attack against Nantes, the aircraft captained by NZ421072 P/O. C. McCardle, was damaged by what is thought to have been an A.A. Shell exploding in the cockpit.  The Captain received severe injuries and the Flight Engineer Sgt. Benfold, R. superficial injuries.  The A/B. AUS410489 W/O. Hurse, A. took over the controls, and with the assistance of the Nav. NZ4310159 F/O. A. Zillwood, brought the damaged aircraft safely back to this country where a perfect landing was made.  In recognition of this outstanding achievement, W/O. Hurse was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal and F/O. Zillwood the Distinguished Flying Cross.

On the 30th June, during a daylight attack against Villers Bocage the aircraft captained by S/Ldr. N. Williamson (NZ411488), landed on one of our landing strips in Normandy (the Flight Engineer 1586862 Sgt. McDevitt, P.W., being slightly wounded).  This was an entirely unique experience in the history of the Squadron.

Non-Operational Flying
All types of training have been carried out whenever possible, although heavy operational commitments have restricted us from carrying out our usual programme.

Awards – Immediate
The Conspicuous Gallantry Medal to AUS410489 W/O. Hurse, A.  The Distinguished Flying Cross to NZ4310159 F/O. A. Zillwood, AUS413338 F/O. T. Bradley, AUS415355 P/O. R. Potts, and the Distinguished Flying Medal to 1438903 F/S. Hill, A.

Awards – Non-Immediate
The Distinguished Service Order to 36149 A/W/C. R.D. Max, D.F.C. and the Distinguished Flying Cross to NZ42999 F/O. C. Baker.  170664 P/O. T. Buckley was mentioned in Despatches.

Monthly Totals of Flying Hours:-         Operational –            1,171.35
Non-Operational  –              160.30
Operational Sorties:- Cumulative total from 1.1.44 –          1,173
Monthly total –               360
Cumulative total of Bombs and Mines dropped:-             14,592.1 tons.
Monthly total of Bombs dropped:-             1,288.7 tons
Monthly total of Mines dropped:-                  12.5 tons

APPENDIX
Copies of Personnel Occurrence Reports issued during June, 1944………..No. 6

[Signed L. J. Drummond S/L. for R. J. A. Leslie]

Wing Commander, Commanding,

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

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