Abbreviations

AC

Divn

Nav

Sqdn

W/Op

Aircraft

Division

Navigator

Squadron

Wireless Operator

 

 

Month and year: June 1944

 

3rd June 1944

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

At 1400 hrs RAF Station, Blakehill Farm was completely sealed and no person was allowed in or out of the camp unless on official business and with the permission of the Commanding Officer.  Guards were posted at all roadways leading in and out of the camp and no one allowed to pass outside of limits laid down as the boundary line.

 

4th June 1944

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

The Commanding Officer received orders from Group to commence briefing of the 30 Crews to take part in the operation TONGA.  Major-General Browning, Air Commodore Fiddamint, Air Vice Marshal Collier and Air Vice Marshal Edmonds attended.

 

5th June 1944

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

In continuance of thorough briefing, crews met the paratroopers of the 6th Airborne Divn., checked the loading of the a/c with them and accompanied them to their camp briefing headquarters to ascertain their duty once they were landed in France.  All crews memorised details of the D.Z., made sure they understood every minute part of the route and orders for the operation.  Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh Mallory accompanied by Air Commodore Fiddmint visited, and spoke briefly to squadron aircrew, stressing the fact that the squadron record throughout the short period of conversion and training had surpassed even hopeful expectations.  As a result, he pointed out, 233 Squadron had been given the envious choice of D.Z. "K" - the furthest inland.  The squadron was to drop paratroops whose mission of grave importance depended entirely on their being dropped on that D.Z. at the correct time.  We must and would not fail the confidence of the Airborne Forces.

 

2000 - Final briefing for operation TONGA; preparations complete and checked, crews assembled at aircraft which had been marshalled that morning.  Gliders were hooked up and paratroopers emplaned.

 

2250 - First of the six glider-towing a/c captained by W/C Morrison, AFC, airborne at 2250, followed in quick succession by remaining five.  The 24 a/c carrying paratroops led by S/Ldr Miller airborne at 2311 hrs in five minutes.  The route followed was - base, Chedworth, Littlehampton, sea position, TRV on coast, D.Z., base.

 

At dawn on June 6th the British Second Army made an assault on the French coast between Aanelles and Ouistreham.  To protect the left flank, and to carry out demolitions of bridges roads etc., units of the 6th Airborne Division were to be dropped in the early hours of the 6th June on selected dropping zones in the areas between the rivers Orne and Dives.  Six aircraft were ordered to tow gliders and twenty four to carry paratroops, to be dropped in a zone North West of Toufreville.  The gliders carried between them 6 Jeeps, 6 Trailers, eight Motor Cycles, twelve Cycles and some T.N.T.  The paratroop aircraft carried 406 paratroops, 89 containers and 109 Kitbags.  The route followed was: Base - Chidworth - Littlehampton - Sea positions 49 degs. 59' 45"N 00 degs. 03' 00"W.  French coast crossed at Le Home sur Mer - Toufreville (dropping zone) - 49 degs. 14'N 00 degs. 00' Long - 49 degs. 29' 30"N 30 degs. E - Ypreville Bivelle - Eletot - Littlehampton - Base.  Much light flak was seen along the coast of France especially in the Fecamp, Le Havre and Cabourg areas, and inland in the Caen area.  Aircraft KG 430, Capt. F/L Mackie was held in searchlights for 15 seconds near Fecamp and several bursts of light flak 50 yards to port were experienced, and aircraft FZ.688 Capt F/O Vines RCAF was slightly damaged by flak over the dropping zone.  On approaching the French coast most of the crews saw an enemy coastal battery at Merville being bombed and later, an attack being carried out on a power factory at Caen.  The crew of KG.448 Capt F/L Cody saw what appeared to be two aircraft going down in flames off the French coast near Le How sur Mer.  Two aircraft failed to return KG 356 Captain F/O Jones RCAF, and KG 429 W/O McCannell, nothing being heard from either since leaving base.  Two members of F/O Jones crew, F/Sgt Daldorph and F/O Williams have since returned to this country.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 424.  Crew:  W/C N.E. Morrison, AFC (Captain), F/L A. Johnstone (2nd Pilot), F/O B. Cowie NZ.417029 (Nav), F/O E.J. Sharpe (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  22.50B.  Time Down:  02.30B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 341.  Crew:  W/O G.P. Bailey (Captain), F/S E.G. Warrington (2nd Pilot), W/O N.S. Beckett (Nav), Sgt E.C. Fitt (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  22.51B.  Time Down:  02.35B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 329.  Crew:  F/O E.E. Wood (Captain), F/S A.W. Illingworth (2nd Pilot), P/O D.W.B. Carr (Nav), Sgt L. Thomas (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  22.52B.  Time Down:  02.46B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ 678.  Crew:  F/L H.J. Barley (Captain), F/O W.L. Greenwood (2nd Pilot), F/O G.N. Taylor (Nav), F/L C. Ingleby (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  22.53B.  Time Down:  02.40B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 315.  Crew:  F/O J.H. Fram J.14439 (Captain), F/O N.C. Trigg (2nd Pilot), W/O J.C. Palmer R.116495 (Nav), W/O R.G. Johnston R.123585 (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  22.54B.  Time Down:  02.50B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 415.  Crew:  F/O J.F. Haldimand J.14094 (Captain), F/O K.F. Munro J.14115 (2nd Pilot), F/Sgt B.H. Wallington (Nav), W/O H.P.C. Welch (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  22.55B.  Time Down:  03.01B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 313.  Crew:  S/L B.A. Miller (Captain), F/O F.R. Priestley (2nd Pilot), F/L G.N. Taylor (Nav), Sgt D.G. Morris (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.11B.  Time Down:  02.45B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 403.  Crew:  F/O R.R.C. Hyne A.420201 (Captain), W/O R.W. Evered (2nd Pilot), F/O J.L. Knapp A.420962 (Nav), W/O G.B. Fotheringham A.410047 (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.11B.  Time Down:  02.40B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 410.  Crew:  F/O P.I. Burden (Captain), F/O F.R. Merricks (2nd Pilot), F/O M.K. Fitzpatrick J.18715 (Nav), W/O O.D. Moore R.129654 (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.11B.  Time Down:  03.20B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ 685.  Crew:  F/L A.B.S. Holdsworth (Captain), F/S K. Cooper A.425126 (2nd Pilot), F/O E.S. Smith (Nav), W/O V.O.M. Roberts A.408738 (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.11B.  Time Down:  02.50B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 427.  Crew:  F/O C.D. Hamilton A.409695 (Captain), F/O W. Menzies (2nd Pilot), W/O F.B. Knight (Nav), F/S L.J. Firth A.414923 (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.11B.  Time Down:  03.17B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 399.  Crew:  F/O A.C. MacAuley J.12891 (Captain), F/O A.C. Lord (2nd Pilot), F/O J. Slater (Nav), W/O W.J. Watt (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.12B.  Time Down:  02.43B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 440.  Crew:  S/L G.D. Lane (Captain), W/O M.W. Lee (2nd Pilot), F/O A.H. Wallace (Nav), F/O J.F. Sweeney (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.12B.  Time Down:  02.37B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ 686.  Crew:  W/O R.F. Holliday (Captain), F/S E.J.E. James (2nd Pilot), W/O W.G.A. Cosens (Nav), F/S H.J. Richardson (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.13B.  Time Down:  02.53B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 400.  Crew:  W/O R. Chesney NZ.414247 (Captain), F/S P. Johnson (2nd Pilot), F/O G.A. Coppel J.16842 (Nav), Sgt R.E. Simmons (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.13B.  Time Down:  02.34B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 430.  Crew:  F/L A.C. Mackie DFC (Captain), F/O W.C. Hunter (2nd Pilot), P/O J.W. Procter (Nav), Sgt J.L. Anderson (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.12B.  Time Down:  02.56B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 433.  Crew:  W/O R.D. Saunders (Captain), F/S O.D. Lock (2nd Pilot), W/O F.A. Mackey R.115867 (Nav), W/O N.H.F. Conrad R.124744 (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.13B.  Time Down:  03.10B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ 679.  Crew:  F/O R.S. Down J.13594 (Captain), F/S W.R. Neal (2nd Pilot), W/O C.H.F. Cousins (Nav), W/O N.M. Elliston R.119282 (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.18B.  Time Down:  03.13B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 356.  Crew:  F/O H.E. Jones J.12866 (Captain), F/S J.A. Doldorph (2nd Pilot), F/O L.N. Williams (Nav), W/O C. Engleberg (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.17B.  Time Down:  -.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 429.  Crew:  W/O M.M. McCannell (Captain), F/S A.R. Porter (2nd Pilot), F/S A.T. Downing (Nav), W/O N.L. Berger R.117662 (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.16B.  Time Down:  -.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 455.  Crew:  W/O G.S. Wright (Captain), F/S L. Cooper (2nd Pilot), W/O P.F. White (Nav), Sgt F.B. Lewis (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.14B.  Time Down:  03.10B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ 672.  Crew:  S/L C.J. Mackenzie DFC (Captain), F/O D.G. Harcus (2nd Pilot), W/O L.V. Whitehouse (Nav), W/O J.L. Dods R.82386 (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.14B.  Time Down:  02.48B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 437.  Crew:  F/O J.A. Stewart J.12808 (Captain), F/O D.A. Todd (2nd Pilot), F/O R.S.J. Phillips (Nav), F/O W.C. Bradley R.13836 (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.14B.  Time Down:  02.54B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ 688.  Crew:  F/O F.W. Vines J.14327 (Captain), F/O G.B. Wood (2nd Pilot), F/O J.K.M. Eadie J.20867 (Nav), W/O F. Henry R.132355 (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.15B.  Time Down:  02.30B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 448.  Crew:  F/L A. Cody DFC DFM (Captain), F/L M.R. Sisley NZ.40989 (2nd Pilot), F/O A.C. Hollingworth (Nav), Sgt G.P.W. Goodfellow (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.15B.  Time Down:  02.49B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ 681.  Crew:  F/S A.W. Coventon (Captain), F/S R.L. Beighton (2nd Pilot), F/S J.A. Edwards (Nav), F/S G.N. Mirfin (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.15B.  Time Down:  02.49B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 412.  Crew:  W/O N. Mills (Captain), Sgt R. Woodgate (2nd Pilot), W/O J. Buckton (Nav), Sgt G.G. Sparkes (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.15B.  Time Down:  03.05B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 447.  Crew:  F/O F. Norton (Captain), F/S S.A. Gillings (2nd Pilot), F/O C.G. Woodruff (Nav), Sgt J.B. Wilson (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.16B.  Time Down:  03.20B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ 692.  Crew:  W/O J.P.R. McRae R.122020 (Captain), F/S S. Delarmere (2nd Pilot), W/O W.A. Milne (Nav), W/O S.C. Davidson (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.16B.  Time Down:  03.24B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 420.  Crew:  F/L R. McIlraith NZ.41244 (Captain), F/S P.M. Diamond (2nd Pilot), F/S A.J. Phillips (Nav), F/O G. Smee (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation "Tonga".  Time Up:  23.17B.  Time Down:  03.115B.

 

6th June 1944

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

0050 - The six gliders were dropped over area between 0050 and 0053 hrs and between 0054 and 0058 hrs 407 paratroops complete with kit bags and containers had been dropped in area north-west of Toufreville.  Much light flak was seen along the coast of France, especially in the Fecamp, Le Havre and Cabourg areas and inland in Caen area.  Two aircraft were slightly damaged by flak and two aircraft containing crews of F/O Jones and W/O McCannell failed to return to base (see section IV of this summary re 'Squadron losses.')

 

0230 - Remaining a/c landed at base between 0230 hrs and 0315 hrs 6/6/44.  For further particulars see Form 541 6/6/44.  Weather: Visibility 6-8 miles, cloud - medium 8/10 to 10/10 over area, local showers on return to base.  Air Marshal Sir Frederick Bowhill visited and congratulated the aircrews on the success of operation TONGA.  Special order of the Day issued (see appx No.8) ser.no.48 SRO of 6/6/44).  Deputy AOC-in-C HQTC accompanied by SMO Transport Command and SMO 46 Group visited.  Air Officer 38 Group sent his warmest congratulations to maintenance personnel thanking them for their untiring efforts in maintaining a high standard of serviceability on all aircraft engaged on Operation TONGA.

 

1400 - Commencement of briefing of 21 crews to be led by S/Ldr Wright, AFC, on Operation ROB ROY ONE.  Operation a re-supply mission for forces of the 6th Airborne Division east of River Orne to be dropped on D.Z. "N".  Route was base, Bognor, Coast of France north of D.Z., D.Z., sea position, Bognor, base.

 

2220 - 21 a/c airborne with 214 panniers containing food, ammunition, petrol, radio sets, explosives and medical supplies.  371 panniers were dropped between 2351 hrs and 0001 hrs.  Four a/c were damaged by flak which was intense before crossing coast.  Two a/c (S/L Wright AFC and crew and F/O E.E. Wood and crew) failed to return (See sect.VI of this summary on Sqdn. losses).  One aircraft, due to damage on run-in, was unable to drop panniers, returning them to base.

 

The dropping zone was an area east of Ranville north of Le Mariguet and South West of Amfreville.  Supplies contained in 371 pannier's included food, ammunition, petrol, radio sets and explosives, together with 88 bundles of bedding, medical supplies, stretchers etc.  The route was:- Base - Bognor Regis - sea position 49 degs. 59' 15" N. 00 degs. 03' 00" W - French coast at Franceville Plage - dropping zone - Liva Bella - sea positions 49 degs. 59'N. 00 degs. 00' Long. - Littlehampton - Base.  Intense light AA fire was encountered (believed to be from friendly vessels which had just been subjected to air attack) approximately 1-2 miles from French coast on the inward route.  The crew of aircraft KG 341 Captain W/O Bailey, reported seeing the first and second aircraft of the leading Vic hit, KG 424 S/L Wright, seen to turn starboard and go down in a controlled dive with smoke coming from the engines, and KG 329 F/O Wood seen to burst into flames.  Aircraft KG 441 F/L Lestang had electrical system rendered unserviceable and after attempting a second time to reach the dropping zone returned to base.  The following aircraft also received slight damage:- KG 433 Captain W/O Saunders (petrol tanks main plane starboard wing) FZ 688 Captain F/O Vines RCAF (trimming tab control) and FZ 672 Captain S/L Mackenzie.  Enemy flak was seen in Ouistreham Le Havre and Cherbourg areas.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 424.  Crew:  S/L C. Wright (Captain), F/O E.Q. Semple J.14331 (2nd Pilot), F/O B. Cowie NZ.417029 (Nav), F/O C.J. Williams (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.00B.  Time Down:  -.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 341.  Crew:  W/O G.P. Bailey (Captain), F/S E.G. Warrington (2nd Pilot), W/O N.S. Beckett (Nav), Sgt E.C. Fitt (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.21B.  Time Down:  01.22B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 329.  Crew:  F/O E.E. Wood (Captain), F/S A.W. Illingworth (2nd Pilot), P/O D.W.B. Carr (Nav), Sgt L. Thomas (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.20B.  Time Down:  -.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 441.  Crew:  F/L R.N. Lestang (Captain), P/O J.G. Dijkstra (2nd Pilot), W/O A.R. Williamson (Nav), P/O A.F. Payne (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.20B.  Time Down:  01.25B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ 666.  Crew:  F/O W.F. Chambers (Captain), Sgt F.J. Cronk (2nd Pilot), W/O F.H. Hill (Nav), Sgt J. Stott (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.21B.  Time Down:  01.26B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ 692.  Crew:  F/O K.M. Dober (Captain), Sgt R.G. Barlow (2nd Pilot), F/S T.F. Barlett (Nav), F/S A.A.K. Tyrell (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.21B.  Time Down:  01.30B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 455.  Crew:  W/O G.S. Wright (Captain), F/S L. Cooper (2nd Pilot), W/O P.F. White (Nav), Sgt F.B. Lewis (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.23B.  Time Down:  01.45B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 448.  Crew:  F/L A. Cody DFC DFM (Captain), F/L M.R. Sisley NZ.40989 (2nd Pilot), F/O A.C. Hollingworth (Nav), Sgt O.P.W. Goodfellow (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.23B.  Time Down:  01.40B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 412.  Crew:  W/O N. Mills (Captain), Sgt R. Woodgate (2nd Pilot), W/O J. Buckton (Nav), Sgt G.G. Sparkes (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.23B.  Time Down:  01.45B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ 681.  Crew:  F/S A.W. Coventon (Captain), F/S R.L. Beighton (2nd Pilot), F/S J.A. Edwards (Nav), F/S G.N. Mirfin (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.23B.  Time Down:  01.55B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 566.  Crew:  S/L C.J. Mackenzie DFC (Captain), F/O D.G. Harcus (2nd Pilot), W/O L.V. Whitehouse (Nav), W/O J.L. Dods (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.25B.  Time Down:  01.33B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 437.  Crew:  F/O J.A. Stewart J.12808 (Captain), F/O D.A. Todd (2nd Pilot), F/O R.S.J. Phillips (Nav), F/O W.C. Bradley (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.24B.  Time Down:  01.37B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ 688.  Crew:  F/O F.W. Vines J.14327 (Captain), F/O E.E. Wood (2nd Pilot), F/O J.K.M. Eadie J.20867 (Nav), W/O F. Henry R.132355 (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.25B.  Time Down:  01.36B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ 669.  Crew:  F/O N.W. Gustafson J.24105 (Captain), F/O G.R. Tozer (2nd Pilot), F/O S. Allen (Nav), F/S J. Hickay (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.25B.  Time Down:  01.53B.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  FZ 680.  Crew:  F/L O.L. Broadley (Captain), F/S W.F. Farquharson (2nd Pilot), F/S A.G. Bishop (Nav), F/S H.C. Plank (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.25B.  Time Down:  [01.45B?]

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  DAKOTA III.  KG 315.  Crew:  F/S P.R. Russell (Captain), F/S F.H. Jones (2nd Pilot), F/S D.O. Schofield (Nav), W/O A.S. Burgess (W/Op).  Duty:  Operation ROBROY ONE.  Time Up:  22.25B.  Time Down:  01.40B.

 

[Note: Six crews are missing from this list]

 

7th June 1944

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

0125 - Remaining a/c landed at base between 0125 and 0200 hrs.  Weather: visibility 8-12 miles, 6/10 to 8/10 medium cloud, local showers en route.  (For further particulars see F.541 for 6-7/6/44).  AOC-in-C Transport Command received the following message from Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh Mallory, AOC-in-C A.E.A.F.:- "Will you please convey my heartiest congratulations to 46 Group on their magnificent performance in carrying over the 6th Airborne Division in the initial operation.  The fact that so successful and difficult an operation has been carried out with such complete success in so short a time after the formation of the squadrons reflects highest credit on all concerned."  AOC-in-C Transport Command added his own heartiest congratulations.

 

8th to 12th June 1944

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

All crews standing by at state of readiness.  Flying limited to local formation, air tests, etc.  The station became unsealed and confinement to camp was lifted as from 9/6/44.  Daily, the crews would be released by operations room on permission of 46 Group.  On the night of 12/6/44, 42 Press war correspondents arrived to witness events of the following day.

 

13th June 1944

Place: Blakehill Farm

 

Two a/c proceeded from base via Selsey Bill under escort to landing strip B.2 in France.  They carried four tons of screw pickets and evacuated 20 casualties (14 stretcher, 6 walking) to base.  On returning to base were met and interviewed by 42 Press War Correspondents.  Thus two records had been set up by the squadron in one day.  See Section II of this month's report.

 

 

Appendix

Section II.

 

        On the night of 5-6/6/44 on Operation TONGA, 406 paratroopers of the 6th Airborne Division and six gliders were successfully dropped within the area and at the correct time.  So successful was the drop that the paratroopers captured all of their objectives, some of them intact, and remained in the area for 48 hours longer than was originally laid down for the operation.  This was due to difficulties delaying the seaborne forces from linking up with them at the time that had been previously planned.

        On the night of 6-7/6/44 on Operation ROB ROY ONE, 371 panniers were dropped in the area laid down at the time stated.  This drop was made under extreme difficulties and intense light flak was encountered by many of the aircraft participating.  The success of this drop pay tribute to the successful training of all crews.

        On June 13th two a/c from the Squadron were the first transport a/c of Transport Command to land on a landing strip in France.  They unloaded four tons of screw pickets and brought back 20 casualties.  Thus the Squadron, besides having the first transport a/c from Transport Command to land in France, were also the first to evacuate the wounded by air.  An Air Ambulance orderly was carried in each a/c and on landing at base the crews were met by 42 Press correspondents representing many British, Canadian and American newspapers.  Glowing articles of the present and future work of the Squadron were to be found in the newspapers on the following day.  Since then, on the re-supply mission and evacuating of the wounded the squadron has carried more supplies to landing bases in France than any other squadron and to date have evacuated one half of the total number of wounded taken out by air.

 

 

Section III.

Summary of Actual Work Done by Squadron from 1st to 30th June, 1944.

 

        Paratroops - 406, kit-bags 109, containers 89.

        Gliders - 31,000 lbs, 6 in number, containing 6 jeeps, 8 motorcycles, 12 cycles & T.N.T.

        Panniers - 116,000 lbs, 371 in number, containing food, ammunition, petrol, radio sets, explosives, 88 bundles of bedding and medical supplies.

        Bombs - 282,000 lbs, plus detonators and tail units.

        Screw pickets - 18,000 lbs

        Sundry supplies - 186,200 lbs, including a/c spares, supplies and kit of 83 Wing, 144 Wing, Fighter Wing, and 93 Forward Staging Post.

        Personnel - 412, including 8 V.I.Ps.

        Evacuated wounded - Stretcher cases: 1092

                                           Sitting cases :      567

                                           Total:                1559

        Total number of sorties for month - 168 Sorties.

 

 

Section IV.

Summary of Operational Flying for Period 1st to 30th June, 1944.

 

 

 

Paratrooping

Glider towing

Supply dropping

Transport & casualty evacuation

Sundry

Hours Flown

Day

Nil

Nil

Nil

384.15

Nil

384.15

 

Night

83.10

23.00

61.55

Nil

Nil

168.05

No. of Sorties Flown

Day

Nil

Nil

Nil

119

Nil

119

 

Night

24

6

19

Nil

Nil

49

 

Training & Non-operational Flying.

 

 

Paratrooping

Glider towing

Supply dropping

Transport & casualty evacuation

Sundry

Total

Hrs. Day

Nil

32.05

Nil

01.25

96.10

129.40

Hrs. Night

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

1.25

1.25

 

Link Trainer.

 

Glider pilots

Squadron

Sundry maintenance etc

Total

62.25

39.40

56.35

181.40

 

 

Section V.

Ration strength as at 30th June, 1944.

 

Officers ground

Officers aircrew

Snr. NCOs ground

Snr. NCOs aircrew

Corporals and A.Cs

7

80

30

92

402

611

 

For further reference re promotions, postings, etc. see Personnel occurrence Reports numbered as appx. No.9.

 

 

Section VI.

 

        Omission was made in April's record of the award of the D.F.C. to F/Lt A. Cody, DFM.  The award was made for carrying paratroops and supplies while engaged in air operations over COS with 216 Squadron.

        On June 9th S/Ldr. G.D. Lane, received the A.F.C. for meritorious service while engaged in transporting supplies to Middle East while on 511 Squadron.

        With reference to Section I of this record two crews were reported missing from operations TONGA on 5-6/6/44.

                Pilot - F/O H.E. Jones (J.12866) - RCAF

                2nd Pilot - F/S Daldorph, J.A. (1258816) - RAF

                Navigator - F/O L.N. Williams (130553) - R.A.F.

                W/Operator - W/O Engleberg, C. (R.108281) - RCAF

 

                Pilot - W/O McCannell, M.M. (1344274) - RAF

                2nd Pilot - F/S Porter, A.R. (1557993) - RAF

                Navigator - F/S Downing, A.T. (1235092) - RAF

                W/Operator - W/O Berger, N.L. (R.117662) - RCAF

        On the first crew F/S Daldorph and F/O Williams returned to the Squadron on 12/6/44, having successfully baled out of their burning aircraft and remaining with the paratroopers, linked up with our seaborne forces.  W/O Engleberg was received from the crashed aircraft and returned to a hospital in England on 12/6/44.  F/O Jones was buried in France.  Having heroically refused his parachute he remained with his aircraft and sacrificed his own life for that of his crew and his load of paratroopers.  The aircraft was set on fire when crossing the coast but he carried on over the D.Z. and gave orders for his crew to jump with the paratroopers.  The W/Op. was unable to get out in time.  F/O Jones stayed with the aircraft attempting to land, but was killed.

        The crew of W/O McCannell, at the time of this printing, are still reported missing.  On 6-7/6/44 two crews were reported missing from Operation ROB ROY ONE.

               

                Pilot - S/L C. Wright, AFC (43081) - RAF

                2nd Pilot - F/O E.Q. Semple (J.14331) - RCAF

                Navigator - F/O B. Cowie (NZ.417029) - RNZAF

                W/Operator - F/O C.J. Williams (158991) - RAF

 

                Pilot - F/O E.E. Wood (152481) - RAF

                2nd Pilot - F/S Illingworth, A.W. (904903) - RAF

                Navigator - P/O D.W.B. Carr (154878) - RAF

                W/Operator - Sgt Thomas, L. (1682665) - RAF