November 1944

Mepal
1.11.44
Weather.
  Cloudy with fair periods late in evening.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.

2.11.44
Operational Flying.
  Twenty aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery at Homberg, carrying 7 x 8,000 lb, 13 x 4,000, 99 x 1,000 and 132 x 500 lb Bombs.  All aircraft were successful in bombing the target in clear weather, and a concentrated raid developed.  A large pall of black smoke was soon burning in the target area, and many crews saw their bombs burst in the smoke, through which parts of the factory were observed.  Flak opposition was moderate to intense and eight aircraft suffered minor damage, but one aircraft captained by NZ421343 F/L V.J. Andrew, was hit by heavy flak when over the target and the starboard engine caught fire which the crew only managed to extinguish with great difficulty.
Non-Operational Flying.  Nil.
Weather.  Partly cloudy, becoming cloudy in early morning.  Visibility 3 to 6 miles, improving early afternoon.

3.11.44
Weather.
  Cloudy at first, becoming foggy with slight rain and drizzle, improving around mid-day, but still remaining cloudy.  Cloud breaking at end of period.  Visibility 2 miles at first, falling to below 500 yards in fog, gradually improving to 2 to 4 miles.
Operational Flying.  Twenty aircraft were detailed for a daylight attack on Solingen, but the operation was cancelled on account of the weather.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests and Navigational Exercises were carried out.

4.11.44
Weather.
  Mainly cloudy.  Visibility 8 – 12 miles all day.
Operational Flying.  Twenty one aircraft took off to attack Solingen in daylight, carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 4 lb incendiaries and No.17 Clusters.  All crews dropped their bombs in the target area, but the raid appeared to be scattered.  Flak opposition was moderate.  One aircraft captained by NZ428797 F/O J. Scott, failed to return.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.

5.11.44
Weather.
  Cloudy at first with continuous heavy rain at midday with passing of frost; then intermittent slight rain most of afternoon.  Becoming fair to fine.  Visibility 6 to 10 miles, becoming 3 – 4 miles in continuous rain towards dawn.
Operational Flying.  Eighteen aircraft detailed to make a second attack in daylight on Solingen carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 4 lb inc. No.17 Clusters.  All crews were successful in bombing in formation and reports indicate that bombing was more concentrated than in the previous raid.
Non-Operational Flying.  Nil.

6.11.44
Weather.
  Fair at first becoming cloudy with intermittent slight rain in evening.  Visibility 6 – 10 miles.
Operational Flying.  Sixteen aircraft were detailed for a night attack against Coblenz carrying 8,000 lb; 4,000 lb; No.14 clusters; No.17 clusters; 4lb inc.  Fifteen aircraft were successful.  The aircraft captained by F/O T. Winter (152351) returned early on account of engine trouble.  Crews were able to identify the target visually in clear weather and a good concentrated raid developed, with smoke rising to 10,000 feet.  NZ421919 F/O Kilpatrick, M had a short inconclusive encounter with a JU.88.  Flak was moderate to slight.
Non-Operational Flying.  Fighter affiliation  and air tests were carried out.

7.11.44
Weather.
  Fair, cloudy in afternoon.  Visibility 6 – 12 miles.
Operational Flying.  Nil.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests, navigational exercises and fighter affiliation were carried out.
Administration.  NZ422970 F/S. Jones, K; NZ414647 F/O J. McDonald & crews and 528241 W/O Dunn, J arrived on posting from No. 31 Base.

8.11.44
Weather.
  Fair.  Visibility over 6 miles.
Operational Flying.  Twelve aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery at Homberg in daylight carrying 8,000 lb., 4,000 lb., 1,000 lb., 500 lb., and No 14 Clusters.  All crews report identifying the target visually through breaks in the clouds, and bombing was fairly concentrated, much smoke and many explosions were seen around the target.  Flak defences were moderate, but no fighter opposition was encountered.
Non-Operational Flying.  Fighter affiliation and air tests were carried out.

9.11.44
Weather.
  Cloudy, then fair.  Visibility over 10 miles generally.
Operational Flying.  Nil.
Non-Operational Flying.  Cross country flights, H. 2 Exercises and practice bombing exercises were carried out, the ranges being Rushford, Gooderstone, Elmdon and Clayworth.

10.11.44
Weather.
  Cloudy.  Visibility 5 – 6 miles, but 3,000 yards in evening.
Operational Flying.  Twenty aircraft were detailed for a daylight attack on Castrop Rauxel, but this was cancelled owing to bad weather.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests and cross country flights were carried out.

11.11.44
Weather.
  Cloudy, becoming fair in evening.  Visibility 2 – 3,000 yds at first, improving to 4 – 6 miles, deteriorating again to 2 – 3,000 yds after dusk.
Operational Flying.  Twenty five aircraft were detailed to make an early morning attack on Heinsberg in support of the American Army, but this was postponed and 6 aircraft were detailed for an attack on Castrop Rauxel.  All aircraft reached the target area and dropped their bombs, but the results seemed unsatisfactory.  Weather was ten tenths cloud with tops 8/9,000 ft and aircraft were seen to drop their bombs on many divergent headings.  Flak was very slight and no fighters were seen.  The bombs carried were 4,000 lb and 500 lb.
Non-Operational Flying.  Nil.

11/12.11.44
Operational Flying.
  Five aircraft were detailed for minelaying off Horten in the Oslo Fjord.  Four aircraft took off and planted their  mines successfully in their allotted position but on return the aircraft were diverted to Tain, owing to doubtful weather at base.

12.11.44
Weather.
  Cloudy with some rain and drizzle in evening.  Visibility 1500 – 2500 yds generally.
Operational Flying.  Nil.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests and Navigational exercises were carried out.

13.11.44
Weather.
  Foggy at first, becoming fair.  Rain commencing about 23.00 hrs.  Visibility 800 – 1200 yds, improving to 2 – 3,000 yds.
Operational Flying.  Twenty four aircraft were detailed for an attack on the Oil Refinery at Wanne Eickel, but this operation was cancelled.
Non-Operational Flying.  Nil.

14.11.44
Weather.
  Overcast with intermittent rain in evening.
Operational Flying.  Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the Railway Marshalling Yards at Soest, with an alternative target as the Wanne Eickel Oil Refinery.  The same aircraft were also standing by to attack Heinsberg if required.  However, all operations were cancelled on account of the weather.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests and navigational exercises were carried out.

15.11.44
Weather.
  Slight intermittent rain at first becoming fair then fine.  Visibility 2 – 6 miles, falling to 2,000 yds late in period.
Operational Flying.  Twenty five aircraft were detailed for an attack an the Soest Marshalling Yards, but this operation was cancelled and the same aircraft took off to attack an Oil Refinery at Dortmund in daylight, carrying 4,000 lbs and 500 lbs bombs.  All aircraft were successful in bombing in formation through ten tenths cloud with tops 10,000 ft. and a concentrated raid was reported.  Flak was reported as being fairly accurate by the leading aircraft, but none of our aircraft were hit.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.

16.11.44
Weather.
  Fog most of the day, except for a four hour break in the afternoon.  Visibility 1,000 yds to 1,500 yds but decreased to 6 – 900 yds in early morning and evening.
Operational Flying.  Twenty five aircraft were detailed to attack an Oil Refinery target at Sterkrade but this operation was cancelled, and the 25 aircraft later took off to attack Heinsberg in support of the advancing American Army, carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb and 500 lb bombs.  All crews were successful in bombing the town which was identified visually.  On leaving, the whole town appeared to be covered in a thick pall of smoke.  Flak was fairly intense but only two of our aircraft received minor damage.
Non-Operational Flying.  Nil.

17.11.44
Weather.
  Cloudy, intermittent slight rain becoming continuous in afternoon and evening.  Visibility 1,500 – 2,500 yds at first improving 2 – 4 miles.
Operational Flying.  Twenty five aircraft were detailed for a daylight attack on Duren in support of the American Armies advance, but the operation was cancelled owing to the weather.
Non-Operational Flying.  Nil.

18.11.44
Weather.
  Continuous slight rain or drizzle most of the day.  Visibility generally 2 – 4 miles occasionally falling to 1,000 yds – 2,000 yds in precipitation.
Operational Flying.  Nil.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.

19.11.44
Weather
.  Fair, becoming cloudy with slight rain or drizzle, at times moderate until midday.  Intermittent slight rain from dusk onwards, otherwise cloudy.  Visibility 3 – 5 miles during early morning and evening but 10 miles during afternoon.
Operational Flying.  Nil.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests and navigational exercises were carried out.

20.11.44
Weather.
  Cloudy, intermittent slight drizzle at first, with intermittent slight rain during morning and afternoon, becoming fair.  Visibility 4 – 8 miles.
Operational Flying.  Twenty eight aircraft took off to attack the Oil Refinery Plant at Homberg.  Twenty two aircraft in daylight attacked the target in ten tenths cloud with tops at 23,000 ft. which made formation flying very difficult.  They carried 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs.  Results of bombing could not be observed, but it is considered that the raid was unsatisfactory.  One aircraft AA/J returned early owing to icing trouble and two aircraft bombed last resort targets at Duisburg and Hamborn.  Three aircraft failed to return.  These were captained by 185116 F/O R. Gordon, AUS419328 F/O P. McCartin and 152402 F/O H. Rees.
Administration.  NZ428061 F/O Abraham, E and crew arrived on posting from 1668 C.U.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.

21.11.44
Weather.
  Fair to fine at first becoming cloudy towards 24.00 hrs, with considerable rain later.  Visibility over 6 miles at first falling to 2 – 3 miles and later in rain to 1 – 2,000 yds.
Operational Flying.  Twenty one aircraft took off to make another daylight attack on the Oil Refinery plant at Homberg, carrying 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs.  On this occasion weather over the target was clear, and crews reported the bombing to be quite good, both the target and town being identified visually.  Several good explosions were observed in the target area.  Flak opposition was moderate.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.

21/22.11.44
Operational Flying.
  Three aircraft took off to lay mines in the Oslo Fjord.  Two aircraft planted their mines in good visibility and without opposition.  One aircraft captained by NZ417082 A/F/L L. Martyn, failed to return.

22.11.44
Weather.
  Continuous rain at beginning of period becoming cloudy then slight intermittent drizzle around dusk.  Visibility generally 25 – 3,500 yds in precipitation improving to 4 – 6 miles.
Operational Flying.  Nil.

23.11.44
Weather.
  Cloudy with intermittent slight rain during early morning, becoming fair and fine after dusk.  Visibility 3 miles improving to 10 miles by midday, deteriorating after dusk to 5 – 6  miles.
Operational Flying.  Twenty five aircraft took off as detailed to attack Nordstern Oil Refinery Plant at Gelsenkirchen carrying 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs.  All aircraft attacked in formation bombing on navigational aids as the cloud was 10/10 with tops at 8000 ft.  The attack was thought to be well concentrated, though it was impossible to observe the results.  Flak opposition was moderate, but no fighter opposition was encountered.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.

24.11.44
Weather.
  Cloudy, intermittent rain and drizzle in early morning, becoming foggy after 20.00 hrs.  Visibility 4 – 8 miles, deteriorating to 500 yds or less after 20.00 hrs.

24/25.11.44
Operational Flying.
  Four aircraft were detailed for minelaying in the Kattegat, but the operation was cancelled owing to weather.

25.11.44
Weather.
  Continuous slight rain at first with some fog patches, becoming fair.  Slight continuous rain developing again in the afternoon, becoming fair then fine.  Visibility 1,000 – 1,500 yds in precipitation becoming 3 – 6 miles.
Operational Flying.  Nil.
Non-Operational Flying.  H.2.S. and cross country exercises were carried out.

26.11.44
Weather.
  Fair at first, becoming cloudy with drizzle and rain commencing after midday until 21.00 hrs. Visibility 2,500 – 3,500 yds at first improving to 6 miles, deteriorating to 1,800 yds after dusk.
Operational Flying.  Nil.
Non-Operational Flying.  Six aircraft took part in a daylight exercise for the purpose of giving heavy bombers practice in defence against jet propelled fighters.

27.11.44
Weather.
  Cloudy with slight rain around dawn; fair at mid-day but becoming cloudy again with slight fog around dusk; fog dispersing and rain commencing before midnight.  Visibility 2,000 yds at first improving to 4 miles by dawn, but deteriorating slowly to 800 yds by 21.00 hrs, improving slightly to 1,800 yds before midnight.
Operational Flying.  Twenty three aircraft carried out a successful attack on Cologne Marshalling Yard with 4,000 lb and 500 lb bombs.  Flak over the target was moderate but accurate.  One aircraft captained by F/O D.P. Leadley landed away at Manston.  The crew were unhurt, but the aircraft was damaged.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.
Administration.  NZ428276 F/S O’Malley J and NZ403980 F/O McMillan, K and crews arrived on posting from No. 31 Base.

28.11.44
Weather.
  Cloudy with slight rain or drizzle to midday.  Cloud breaking up and becoming fine by late evening. Visibility [2?],000 yds at first improving to 6 – 8 miles but deteriorating to 4 – 6 miles by midnight.
Operational Flying.  Nil.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.
Administration.  NZ405781 F/L J Wright, NZ421679 F/O Clement, D and NZ42397 F/O L. Hannan and crews arrived on posting from No. 31 Base.

28/29.11.44
Operational Flying.
  Twenty one aircraft took off as detailed to participate in a night attack on Neuss, carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb and Incendiary bombs, together with one 12,000 lb bomb.  Twenty aircraft were successful in dropping their bombs using navigational aids and a good concentration of fires was reported.  Flak was very slight, the enemy defences appearing to be completely foxed.  One aircraft captained by W/C R.J.A. Leslie, D.S.O., A.F.C. carrying the 12,000 lb bomb got in the wrong stream of bombers and bombed Essen.

29.11.44
Weather.
  Fine, becoming cloudy after midday.  Visibility 3 – 6 miles for whole of period.
Operational Flying.  Nil.
Non-Operational Flying.  Air tests were carried out.

30.11.44
Weather.
  Fair or cloudy.  Visibility 3 – 6 miles most of period, deteriorating to 3,000 yards around midnight.
Operational Flying.  Eighteen aircraft took off as detailed carrying 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb, and Incendiary bombs to attack the coking plant at Osterfeld.  Seventeen aircraft attacked the target successfully through ten tenths cloud with tops 10,000 feet, and the raid was reported as being well concentrated.  One aircraft captained by NZ411915 F/O J.A. McIntosh is missing and the aircraft is believed to have had its tail shot away.
Non-Operational Flying.  Nil.

SUMMARY OF EVENTS.

Operational Flying.  During this month a total of 286 sorties have been flown.  The majority of the targets attacked have been against industrial areas of Germany.  In addition mines were laid in Oslo Fjord on two occasions.

From these operations six aircraft did not return.

Non-Operational Flying.  Bad weather this month has restricted non-operational flying, but advantage has been taken during fair periods and all types of training have been carried out, including an exercise to give the aircraft practice in defence against jet propelled fighters, which proved a great success ad much benefit was gained.

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

Distinguished Service Order:-
36255              S/Ldr. (A/W/C) R.J.A. Leslie

Distinguished Flying Cross:-
138322            F/O W.D. Topping
NZ40762        F/O F.C.   Fox
AUS421584    F/O J.D.   Perfrement
NZ424585      F/O L.M. O’Connor
Distinguished Flying Medal:-
1223786          F/S  A.     Kirkham

Appointments to Commissions:-
The undermentioned were commissioned during the month with effect from dates stated against their names:
NZ427062      F/S Leadley, D.P.                14.10.44
NZ425480      F/S White, C.M.                     2.10.44
NZ415241      F/S Higgins, S.J.                     4.10.44
AUS426258    F/S Matthew, P.W.               21.9.44
NZ404624      W/O Cocks, S.G.                 10.10.44
1880380          Sgt Haig-Brown, S.C.        10.10.44
571225            F/S Tweed, H.                    22.10.44
1542839          Sgt Whittaker, D.R.W.        5.10.44
NZ413925      W/O Woodhouse, R.H.       4.11.44
NZ428261      F/S Sinclair, E.J.                    2.10.44
NZ424824      F/S Sage, D.F.                       2.10.44
NZ429025      F/S Morris, W.R.                  9.10.44
NZ4210046    F/S Thurston, R.J.                3.11.44
NZ4210874    F/S Lawton, E.                     2.10.44
AUS418070    F/S Clements, J.K.               25.9.44
NZ427798      F/S Farr, W.J.                        15.9.44
1653732          Sgt. Jones, D.G.W.H.          21.9.44
1602607          F/S Sampson, L.D.           12.10.44
1098818          F/S Swetland, R.I.              9.10.44
1583883          F/S Taylor, A.A.C.          16.10.44
NZ425585      F/S Kereama W.L.            12.10.44
NZ425631      W/O Harkness, A.              8.10.44
NZ416826      F/S Smith, V.J.                     1.10.44
NZ4213321    F/S Scott, J.G.                     6.11.44
NZ425469      F/S Tibby, F.R.                    8.11.44

Flying Hours:-                        Operational            :       1,276.10
Non-Operational   :       78.25

Operational Sorties:-                                        286
Monthly total of bombs dropped:-               1,530   tons
Cumulative total of bombs dropped:-         23,166    tons
Strength as at 30th November 1944:-         Officers:-  127   W.Os and N.C.Os:-  211

Appendices
Forms 541                –  A.  1  –  28
Combat Reports      –  B.1.  only.
P.O.Rs.  Officers      –  C.1  –  15.
Airmen                      –  D.1  –  13.

Officers.         Airmen.
R.A.F.             C.1  –  5.          D.1  –  6
R.A.A.F.         C.6  &  7         D.7  only
R.C.A.F.         C.8  only         D.8 & 9
R.N.Z.A.F.     C.9  –  15         D.10  –  13

Copy of Form 765A for each day of Month.

[Signed R. J. A. Leslie]

Wing Commander, Commanding,

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

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