September 1944

Mepal
1.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Practice bombing and air tests were carried out.
Operational Flying.  Seventeen aircraft were standing by to attack Dieppe, but this Operation was cancelled when Canadian Troops entered the town.
Administration.  NZ428866 F/O. D. Gawith and NZ427798 F/S. Farr, W., and crews arrived on posting from No. 31 Base.

2.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Practice bombing, Fighter affiliation  and air tests were carried out.
Operational Flying.  Thirteen aircraft were standing [by] to attack the airfield at Volkel, but the operation was cancelled owing to adverse weather conditions.
Administration.  NZ428083 F/O. R. Cummings and crew arrived on posting from No. 31 Base.

3.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Practice bombing, Fighter affiliation  and air tests were carried out.
Operational Flying.  Ten aircraft took off as detailed to attack the airfield at Eindhoven.  All were successful in bombing visually and a good concentration of bombing was achieved.  A.A. opposition was slight, but accurate, and three of our aircraft suffered minor damage.  No fighter opposition was encountered.

4.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Air tests were carried out.

5.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Air tests were carried out.
Operational Flying.  Eighteen aircraft were standing by to attack Dortmund, but this operation was postponed and twenty five aircraft took off to attack Le Havre in favourable weather.  Opposition was negligible and a very successful raid was carried out, without loss.  Most of the bombing was done visually.  Reports indicate that the target was well saturated.

6.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Air tests were carried out.
Operational Flying.  Twenty four aircraft were detailed to attack the German Army Headquarters at Harqueboc, near Le Havre.  All aircraft bombed the target according to the Master Bomber’s instructions and a very accurate raid was reported.  Fires were seen to be still burning from the previous day’s attack on Le Havre.  Once again no opposition was encountered.

7.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
 Air tests were carried out.

8.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Practice bombing, Fighter affiliation, Cross country exercises and Air tests were carried out.
Operational Flying.  Twenty three aircraft took off at dawn to attack enemy defence positions at Doudeneville on the outskirts of Le Havre.  Weather conditions were very unfavourable over the target and crews had great difficulty in seeing the markers.  Only ten dropped their bombs before the Master Bomber gave instructions to abandon the mission.  The remaining thirteen aircraft brought their bombs back to base.  Considerable light A.A. fire and machine gun fire was encountered in the target area.
Administration.  907181 F/S. Osborne, R. and crew arrived on posting from No. 31 Base.

9.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Formation flying, Navigational cross country exercises and air tests were carried out.

10.9.44
Operational Flying.
  Twenty seven aircraft attacked Montivilliers in the Le Havre area, as detailed.  All crews dropped their bombs on the target and a very concentrated raid developed.  No fighters were encountered and only slight opposition was met from ground defences.
Administration.  178068 P/O. C. Spain and crew arrived on posting from No. 31 Base.

11.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Air tests were carried out.
Operational Flying.  Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack Kamen Oil Refinery.  Weather conditions were favourable and some crews were able to bomb visually, under the Master Bomber’s instructions.  Clouds of black smoke rising to 15,000 ft. was reported and a very successful raid ensued.  Opposition from slight but accurate heavy A.A. fire was met from the defences.  No enemy fighters were encountered.

11/12.9.44
Operational Flying.
  Eight aircraft were detailed to lay mines in the Baltic area, and they all dropped their mines as ordered.  No opposition was met on the mining area, but fighters were thought to be active on the homeward route, and one aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88.  Another aircraft (Captain NZ426041 F/O. W. Hadley) failed to return.

12.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Navigational cross country exercises and practice High Level bombing was carried out.
Administration.  NZ411915 F/O. J. McIntosh and 571225 F/S. Tweed, H., and crews arrived on posting from No. 31 Base.

12/13.9.44
Operational Flying.
  Twenty two aircraft were detailed to attack Stuttgart, but during the day the target was changed to Frankfurt.  Two aircraft failed to take off for this operation and of the twenty that took off the majority were able to identify the target, by the river and several made out the railway yards.  Fighters were fairly active and one aircraft claimed to have destroyed an enemy aircraft, the captain was AUS421308 .F/O. J. Bateman.  Another aircraft had an inconclusive encounter.  All aircraft returned to base and reported a good and accurate raid.

13.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Fighter affiliation, practice bombing and air tests were carried out.
Administration.  NZ421484 F/S. McRitchie, N., and crew arrived on posting from No. 31 Base.

14.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Cross country flights, practice high level bombing and air tests were carried out.
Operational Flying.  Ten aircraft attacked Waasenaar in Holland, as detailed without loss.  The operation was carried out in good weather and bombing was accurate.

15.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Practice bombing, local flying and air tests were carried out.

16.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Fighter affiliation and practice high level bombing was carried out.
Operational Flying.  Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack Moerdijk Bridge.  The operation was successfully carried out in good weather.  No opposition was encountered.

17.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Air tests were carried out.
Operational Flying.  We celebrated “Battle of Britain” Sunday by carrying out two operations.  In the morning fourteen aircraft took off to attack Boulogne.  Crews were able to identify landmarks and bombing was accurate, although much smoke hid results.  The aircraft captained by NZ411397 A/S/L. G. Gunn was severely damaged by light flak, but he managed to fly back across the Channel even though both starboard engines were feathered.  On landing at Hawkinge, however, the aircraft overshot the small runway and crashed.  The Captain received injuries and was placed on the Dangerously Ill List, the Navigator 153453 F/O F. Smith was slightly injured, the Air Bomber NZ428249 F/O A Millar was placed on the Seriously Ill List, the Flight Engineer 1566967 Sgt Bruce, J was killed, but the remainder of the crew were uninjured, they were WO/AIR 47714 F/L W Naismith, MU/Gnr NZ411708 F/O C. Robertson and R/Gnr NZ402519 F/O S. Haynes.  All of those injured were admitted to Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury and the body of Sgt Bruce was sent to his next of kin for burial.  In the evening ten aircraft took off and attacked Emmerich.  All of these dropped their bombs as ordered.  Much accurate Light A A Fire was encountered.  All aircraft returned safely to Base.

18.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Navigational Training exercises and local flying were carried out.
Administration.  NZ414577 W/O Baines, J and crew arrived on posting from No 31 Base.

19.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Air tests were carried out.

20.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Air tests and local flying were carried out.
Operational Flying.  Twenty seven aircraft set out as detailed to attack enemy strong points at Calais.  They all successfully bombed the target from a low level and an accurate and concentrated raid was reported.  Opposition was very slight.
Administration.  NZ413956 F/O A/F/L J Rodgers, was granted the acting rank of S/Ldr on assuming the Command of ‘B’ Flight in succession to NZ411397 A/S/L G Gunn.

21.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Local flying was carried out.
Administration.  NZ411397 A/S/L G. Gunn died of wounds received during operations on the 17th September, 1944.

22.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Navigational Cross Country Exercises were carried out.

23.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Navigational Training Exercises were carried out.
Operational Flying.  Twenty six aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Marshalling Yards at Neuss.  The target was obscured by ten tenths cloud with tops of 11,000 ft.  Most crews bombed below cloud, some explosions and flashes were seen, but results were difficult to assess.  One aircraft returned early through the complete failure of the electrical system and a further aircraft bombed the target, but owing to a technical failure, landed at Woodbridge on return.  Moderate but inaccurate A.A. Fire was met over the target.

24.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Local flying was carried out.

25.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Air tests were carried out.
Operational Flying.  Twenty seven aircraft took off as detailed to carry out an early morning attack on Calais.  They all reached the target and found that ten tenths cloud with 2,000 feet tops and less than 1,000 feet base obscured it.  The operation, therefore, had to be abandoned.

26.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Navigational Training Exercises were carried out.
Operational Flying.  Eighteen aircraft took off as detailed to attack a defended locality near Cap Gris Nez.  They all attacked the target from a low level and an accurate and concentrated raid was reported.  Opposition was negligible.
Administration.  1033159 F/Sgt Torbitt, R, 1530086 F/S Billows, C., 1388980 Sgt Powell, R., and 536970 F/Sgt O’Loughlin, V., 5 Under Turret Trained Air Gunners arrived on posting from No 31 Base.

27.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Navigational Training Exercises and Air Tests were carried out.
Operational Flying.  Fourteen aircraft attacked Calais as detailed, taking off in the morning during doubtful weather.  Crews bombed visually under instructions from the Master Bomber and a good concentrated raid was carried out.  Some accurate heavy and light A.A. fire was met over the target.

28.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Fighter Affiliation, Navigational Training Exercises and Air Tests were carried out.
Operational Flying.  Twelve aircraft took off as detailed to make an early morning attack on the defended localities near Calais.  One aircraft landed at Woodbridge owing to a technical failure discovered shortly after take off.  Of the remainder only one aircraft found a break in the clouds through which to bomb the Markers.  Ten aircraft had to abandon their mission after circling the target area for a considerable time.

29.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Air tests were carried out.

29/30.9.44
Operational Flying.
  Fifteen aircraft were standing by to attack Calais, but this operation was cancelled.

Five aircraft were detailed to lay mines in the Kattegat area.  Weather conditions were very bad and the crews had difficulty in pin pointing.  However four were successful, one being abortive.  No enemy opposition was encountered.

30.9.44
Non-Operational Flying.
  Navigational Exercises Fighter Affiliation,  Practice Bombing and Air Tests were carried out.
Administration.  NZ422048 F/S Elmslie, J., and crew arrived on posting from No 31 Base.

Daily Weather Details.

1st September, 1944  Fair at first, becoming cloudy.  Visibility ten to twenty miles generally.
2nd September, 1944  Cloudy with periods of continuous rain.  Visibility 4-10 miles.
3rd September, 1944  Cloudy with intermittent rain.  Visibility 4-10 miles.
4th September, 1944  Slight to moderate rain with cloud.  Visibility 4-10 miles.
5th September, 1944  Cloudy becoming fair. Visibility over 10 miles.
6th September, 1944  Fair at first becoming cloudy with intermittent slight rain.  Visibility generally 15-20 miles.
7th September, 1944  Cloudy with slight continuous rain.  Visibility generally 3  miles.
8th September, 1944  Rain at first, then cloudy.  Visibility over 6 miles, generally 8-10 miles.
9th September, 1944  Fair.  Visibility 8-15 miles.
10th September, 1944    Fair.  Visibility 4-10 miles.
11th September, 1944  Fair with little cloud.  Visibility over 6 miles.
12th September, 1944  Fair to fine.  Visibility 10-20 miles.
13th September, 1944  Fine.  Visibility generally 4-8 miles.
14th September, 1944  Fog at first then cloudy.  Visibility less than 500 yards, improving to 5-8 miles
15th September, 1944  Cloudy with occasional showers.  Visibility 6-10 miles.
16th September, 1944  Fine.  Visibility 10-20 miles.
17th September, 1944  Fair to fine.  Visibility 6-15 miles.
18th September, 1944  Cloudy.  Visibility generally 6-10 miles.
19th September, 1944  Cloudy with slight intermittent rain.  Visibility 2-3 miles.
20th September, 1944  Fair and hazy.  Visibility 2-5 miles generally.
21st September, 1944  Fog, clearing slightly towards dusk.  Visibility 50-1,000 yards, generally.
22nd September, 1944  Fog at first, becoming cloudy later.  Visibility generally 3 miles.
23rd September, 1944  Cloudy with slight rain.  Visibility over 6 miles, deteriorating to 3-6 miles.
24th September, 1944  Cloudy, becoming fair.  Visibility 8-15 miles.
25th September, 1944  Cloudy with intermittent rain.  Visibility generally 10-15 miles.
26th September, 1944  Mainly fair.  Visibility 10-15 miles.
27th September, 1944  Mainly fair.  Visibility 10-15 miles
28th September, 1944  Cloudy most of day.  Visibility 5-10 miles.
29th September, 1944  Cloudy with slight rain.  Visibility 8-15 miles, generally.
30th September, 1944  Fair becoming cloudy.  Visibility 8-15 miles.

SUMMARY OF EVENTS.

Operational Flying.  The majority of this Month’s Operations have been against targets in France and the Low Countries.  Attacks have been made against Eindhoven, Le Havre (twice), Doudeneville, Montivilliers, Kamen, Frankfurt, Waasenaar, Moerdijk, Boulogne, Emmerich, Calais (three times), Neuss, Cap Gris Nez.  In addition mines have also been laid in the Baltic and Kattegat areas.

From these operations,  one aircraft has failed to return and another, owing to damage, crashed on landing resulting in the Flight Engineer being killed and three other members of the crew receiving injuries.  This aircraft was captained by NZ411397 A/S/L G. Gunn and the incident occurred after an attack on Boulogne on 17.9.44.

Non-Operational Flying.  This has been carried out whenever operational commitments and weather conditions have allowed.  Particular attention has been given to Fighter Affiliation, Practice Bombing and Navigational Exercises.

Awards.  The following awards have been granted during this month:-
Distinguished Flying Cross:-         NZ416073    F/O  W. Anderson.
NZ416159    P/O  C.  Pinker.
NZ425860    P/O  T.  Teaika.
NZ404524    W/O R. Andrews.
NZ429967    F/O  R.  Mayhill.
138322         F/O  W. Topping.
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal:-    NZ421549   F/S   D.  Moriarty.
Distinguished Flying Medal:-        1335989      Sgt   K.  Hook.
NZ424504    F/S   E.  O’Callaghan.
539902         F/S   C.  Billington.
1303306       F/S   J.   Murphy.
Military Cross:-                               117664          F/L   E.  Williams.

Monthly Totals of Flying Hours :- Operational:              1,217.50

Non-Operational:                    120.15

Operational Sorties: Cumulative total from 1.1.44   :-   2,250

Monthly total              :-   328

Cumulative Total of Bombs and Mines dropped       :-   19,553 tons

Monthly Total of Bombs dropped                                :-   1,522 tons

Monthly Total of Mines dropped                                  :-    54 tons

 APPENDIX.

 Copies of Personnel Occurrence Reports issued during September, 1944.         No.9

 [Signed R. J. A. Leslie]

Wing Commander, Commanding,

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

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