Abbreviations

A/C

A/G

B/A

F/Eng

LZ

Nav

W/OP

Aircraft

Air Gunner

Bomb Aimer

Flight Engineer

Landing Zone

Navigator

Wireless Operator

 

 

Month and year: March 1945

 

23rd March 1945

Place: Rivenhall

 

1334846 F/S SKINNER (WOP) posted from the unit.  No flying carried out.  Briefings for Operation "VARSITY".

 

24th March 1945

Place: Rivenhall

 

Operation "VARSITY" carried out, a heavy glider tow across Europe to L.Z. across the RHINE.  Weather was excellent throughout the whole trip, though visibility restricted near the battle zones by artificial fog.  Crews taking part, successfully W/C ANGELL, S/L JOHNSON, F/LT R. SCOTT, F/L M. SCOTT, F/O BOWMAN, F/O SLOAN, P/O BELLINGER, F/O FINLAY, F/O SESSIONS, F/O STUTCHBURY, W/O DRAPER, F/S KNOTT, F/S CURRAH, F/L STARLING, W/O DAX, S/L STEWART, F/L JONES, F/L PEARSON, F/L CHURCHILL, F/O HELLYAR, F/O HENTON, P/O TAYLOR, W/O SYMMONS, F/S DYSON, F/S HALL, F/S STORER, F/S SABOURINE, F/L WATSON.  F/O SMITH'S glider cast-off at base, after form-up, due to defective rope.  F/O WEBSTER's glider cast off 40 miles from base during form up.  Flak light and medium was moderate but accurate across the Rhine.  Several aircraft were hit, but no casualties sustained.  One aircraft lost 8E.J W/O SYMMONS, seen to crash, though five of the crew successfully seen to bale out.  All crew returned to base 26.3.45 except W/O SYMMONS, killed whilst baling out.

 

Thirty Horsa - Stirling combinations took-off in early light, carrying part of the 6th Airborne Division to landing Zones east of the Rhine in Germany.  Take off was successful and speedy.  On 'Form Up' one Horsa became separated from its tug, captained by F/O B.F. WEBSTER, owing to a rope break.  F/O SMITH'S glider cast off at base because of fraying of tow rope but this glider was quickly Airborne again, towed by F/S SABOURINE.  Combinations flew in loose pairs, stepped up.  The weather throughout the tow was perfect, visibility 10-20 miles, and cloud nil.  Near the Rhine, where the 2nd Army was crossing on a broad front, visibility decreased, due to artificial smoke and ground haze.  All 29 combinations successfully reached the release point, though flak medium and light was moderate and fairly accurate.  Several a/c were hit:- S/L STEWART, F/S DYSON, P/O STUTCHBURY, P/O BELLINGER, F/S KNOTT, F/O FINLAY.  One aircraft was destroyed, captained by F/O SYMMONS (see below), but all others returned safely to base.  Throughout the whole trip no enemy air activity was encountered.  Operation VARSITY proved to be an extremely successful tow.  Once again, this Squadron had the privilege of leading all 38 Group Squadrons.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 249.  Crew:  39050 W/C H.E. ANGELL (Pilot), 103741 F/L E.B. FISKE (Nav), J.23741 F/L E.A. WILKINS (B/A), 1287234 W/O MALES A.G. (W/Op), 172557 F/O P.B. NANCHOLAS (A/G), 1514527 F/S MOORE A. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.00.  Time Down:  12.00.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 346.  Crew:  112750 S/L H.F. JOHNSON (Pilot), J.16050 F/L D.R. PARSONS (Nav), 147126 F/O L.R. SCOTT (B/A), 186212 P/O P.J. STIMPSON (W/Op), 158009 F/O J. KITCHENER (A/G), 539793 SGT HUTCHINSON W.R. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.05.  Time Down:  12.05.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 129.  Crew:  628920 F/L A.M. SCOTT (Pilot), 1800783 F/S BALDOCK P.H. (Nav), 153496 F/O F. TURNER (B/A), 158621 F/O A.R. GRAVES (W/Op), 160184 F/O R.B. TERRY (A/G), 1016592 SGT JACKSON G. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.00.  Time Down:  12.10.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 951.  Crew:  137283 F/L R. SCOTT (Pilot), 151427 F/O D.H. DURLING (Nav), 1417529 F/S DURSTON R. (B/A), 1239604 F/S RUSHFORTH J. (W/Op), 1824368 F/S ESSLEMONT J. (A/G), 1396428 F/S MILLS R.G. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.20.  Time Down:  12.25.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 288.  Crew:  150292 F/O R.W. BOWMAN (Pilot), 144585 F/O F.P. CATTLE (Nav), 1389853 F/S FINN M.E. (B/A), 1578372 F/S HREW A.J.E. (W/Op), 901556 W/O FISHER C.E. (A/G), 1544653 F/S HIGGIN J.R. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.20.  Time Down:  12.25.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 132.  Crew:  150382 F/O R.A. SLOAN (Pilot), 144593 F/O J.W. KIRKLAND (Nav), 54991 F/O J. CORBET (B/A), R.95501 W/O MYLES D. (W/Op), 1868322 F/S WINCOTT W.R. (A/G), 1162209 SGT MITCHELL D.K. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.15.  Time Down:  12.20.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 543.  Crew:  188648 P/O L.G. BERRINGER (Pilot), 141581 F/O J. McBAIN (Nav), 1577297 F/S GARINER L.J. (B/A), NZ.415989 W/O BURNS M.R. (W/Op), 1882214 F/S EWEN A. (A/G), 1836458 F/S PRITCHARD J.H. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.10.  Time Down:  12.30.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 513.  Crew:  152391 F/O E.V. FINLAY (Pilot), 123619 F/L A.T. WEBSTER (Nav), 147123 F/O S.J. HUNT (B/A), 1396892 F/S GRACE J. (W/Op), 1677314 F/S BROWN C.W. (A/G), 1893776 F/S JOHNSON K.H. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.10.  Time Down:  12.10.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 576.  Crew:  151952 F/O T.M.B. SESSIONS (Pilot), 152295 F/O J.M.S. VAUX (Nav), 1317962 F/S WALTERS C.W. (B/A), 945345 W/O HEMMING A. (W/Op), 156597 P/O R.B. JONES (A/G), 1869999 SGY BRYANT A.J. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.00.  Time Down:  12.10.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 495.  Crew:  185138 P/O H.B. STUTCHBURY (Pilot), 1395571 W/O MAGUIRE A.D. (Nav), 188730 P/O S.J. BECKETT (B/A), 933964 W/O WILCOX R. (W/Op), 418079 W/O ENRIGHT H.F.G. (A/G), 1636515 SGT MANN P.J. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.05.  Time Down:  12.25.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 226.  Crew:  575048 W/O DRAPER D. (Pilot), 119820 F/L R.J. TOTHILL (Nav), 1139605 F/S GASCOYNE N. (B/A), 1366045 W/O STUART J. (W/Op), 1796269 F/S BOWERS D. (A/G), 52746 F/L D.W. MEPHAM (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.10.  Time Down:  12.30.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 922.  Crew:  1335264 F/S KNOTT A.W.G. (Pilot), 152317 F/O K.B. WITTEY (Nav), 153474 F/O C.W. CARRAGHER (B/A), NZ.798743 F/S COLES F.J. (W/Op), 1723166 F/S PHILLIPS R.L. (A/G), 1869325 SGT SCULLARD R.N. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.00.  Time Down:  12.20.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 122.  Crew:  1494298 F/S CURRAH A.G. (Pilot), 1337959 W/O COLE R. (Nav), 1397592 F/S LARCOMBE P.D. (B/A), 2209222 SGT NUTTALL A.E. (W/Op), 164649 F/O H.G. METHLEY (A/G), 1806545 SGT O'GRADY N.G. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.00.  Time Down:  12.15.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 575.  Crew:  131057 F/L F.E. STARLING (Pilot), 1239304 F/S TAYLOR R.J. (Nav), 1335937 F/S GARLAND R.S. (B/A), 1498347 SGT FURLONG J. (W/Op), 2225206 SGT MERRALL W.F. (A/G), 1897735 SGT HATFIELD T.K. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.10.  Time Down:  12.35

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 951.  Crew:  1338874 W/O DAX E.A. (Pilot), 1489924 F/S JONES T. (Nav), 1396826 F/S AYRES J. (B/A), 1615863 F/S FULLER F.W. (W/Op), 1614527 F/S TATE E. (A/G), 1894829 SGT DAY R.F. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.22.  Time Down:  12.22.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 558.  Crew:  125583 S/L STEWART W.M. (Pilot), 142337 P/O P.L. AVERY (Nav), 1324014 F/S EMERSON R.J.W. (B/A), 1232620 F/S SAWERS A.W. (W/Op), 182559 F/S CHARTERIS D. (A/G), 2211930 F/S FIDLER J.T. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.00.  Time Down:  12.15.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 290.  Crew:  123946 F/L J.C. JONES (Pilot), 117414 F/L S. HOSKING (Nav), 152638 F/O K.G. MORRIS (B/A), 175886 F/O S. FINN (W/Op), 1602015 F/S LONGMAN K.G. (A/G), 1819721 SGT DANTON C.F. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.10.  Time Down:  12.10.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 136.  Crew:  126574 F/L E.W. PEARSON (Pilot), 1398482 F/S KNOWLES E.B. (Nav), Aus.418215 W/O WALLACE M.G. (B/A), Aus.419436 W/O NOLAN K. (W/Op), 1542116 W/O BROCKLEBANK J.D. (A/G), 1529361 F/S RUSHMER D.P. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.05.  Time Down:  12.15.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 652.  Crew:  K.23054 F/L R.E. CHURCHILL (Pilot), J.89216 F/O D.C. SINGLAIR (Nav), J.28212 F/O D.A. STEPHENS (B/A), 1530447 F/S DALTON A.D. (W/Op), J.86528 F/O G.J. WHELAN (A/G), 1394568 SGT DENNIS G.E. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.00.  Time Down:  12.05.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 929.  Crew:  NZ.415210 F/O P.G. HILLYER (Pilot), 1384828 W/O JARVIS J.J. (Nav), 1054858 W/O APPLETON W.E. (B/A), 1540680 F/S WILKINSON S. (W/Op), 991056 W/O PATERSON A.A. (A/G), 1429215 SGT KIDD A. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.10.  Time Down:  12.30.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 355.  Crew:  175868 F/O K.W. NEWTON (Pilot), 187465 P/O R. FIELDER (Nav), 187567 P/O R.M.F. GILES (B/A), 190013 P/O R.W. INGRAM (W/Op), 1821842 F/S ROSE R. (A/G), 1592408 F/S FIRTH F.B. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.00.  Time Down:  12.10.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 120.  Crew:  159577 F/O T.L. TAYLOR (Pilot), Aus.420666 P/O H.B. HARVEY (Nav), 141674 F/L H. CAIRNS (B/A), 1187613 F/S HILLS E.A.V.R. (W/Op), R.181617 W/O PERRY F.R. (A/G), 81972 F/S CROXTON P.C.L. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.10.  Time Down:  12.10.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 950.  Crew:  171753 F/O R.C. SKIPTON (Pilot), Aus.433142 F/S VINES M. (Nav), 154669 F/O E.A. WOODGER (B/A), 1068304 W/O McLELAN (W/Op), 2221280 SGT HILL E. (A/G), 2221181 SGT WILLIAMS B.K. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.10.  Time Down:  12.15.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 446.  Crew:  988305 F/S DYSON R. (Pilot), 1520479 W/O TAYLOR J. (Nav), 1582990 F/S BRYAN R.H. (B/A), 1822818 SGT NICOLL W. (W/Op), 612564 F/S CARLETON J.D.H. (A/G), 2210648 SGT ROBINSON K.H. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.15.  Time Down:  12.40.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 976.  Crew:  955704 F/S HALL C. (Pilot), 1601580 W/O HARVEY E. (Nav), 154581 F/O G.I.R. PEARCE (B/A), 1147700 W/O DUMOND C.G. (W/Op), R.156290 W/O SEARCH S.R. (A/G), 1356482 SGT BATES P. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.15.  Time Down:  12.35.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 144.  Crew:  1396569 F/S STORER A.A.H. (Pilot), 1581382 W/O HEDGES D.C. (Nav), 174900 F/O A.L. JACKSON (B/A), 1076558 W/O DAVIES C.G. (W/Op), 648660 W/O GIBSON C. (A/G), 1669384 SGT CLARKE E.G. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.15.  Time Down:  12.15.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 351.  Crew:  1339436 F/S SABOURIN J.V. (Pilot), R.114675 W/O SMITH W.R. (Nav), 1282287 F/S HURSLOW L.G. (B/A), 1572118 F/S TAIT J.H. (W/Op), 1376864 W/O SPRINGALL L.A. (A/G), 2219234 SGT HUGHES R.S.G. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  08.55.  Time Down:  13.05.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 553.  Crew:  127933 F/L G.A. WATSON (Pilot), 1457269 W/O HEPTONSTALL A.E. (Nav), 153467 F/O TAYLOR W. (B/A), 1580960 F/S BARRINGTON C.J. (W/Op), 1595830 F/S HARPER R. (A/G), 1897562 SGT WILLS R.H. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.10.  TimeDown:  12.20.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 287.  Crew:  J.25651 F/O A.G. SMITH (Pilot), 184457 P/O D.J. UPTON (Nav), 145382 F/O N.L. SADDLER (B/A), J.84260 F/O A.W. SAVAGE (W/Op), J.81299 F/O J.M. CLARKE (A/G), 190088 P/O L.S. BURCOMBE (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.10.  Time Down:  18.10 [Note: As the glider towed by this aircraft suffered a broken tow rope shortly after take-off, the time should probably read 08.10].

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 890.  Crew:  150644 F/O B.F. WEBSTER (Pilot), 16236 F/O E. WARD (Nav), 163843 F/O E.R. GREAVES (B/A), 1684049 SGT FERNS A. (W/Op), 1615907 F/S THURGOOD R.W. (A/G), 1594998 SGT DELDERFIELD J.F. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.10.  Time Down:  08.15.

 

Aircraft Type & Number:  Stirling 136.  Crew:  1319783 W/O SYMMONS H.G. (Pilot), 464256 W/O MANTON J. (Nav), 145389 F/O R. JOY (B/A), USA.10601573 T/S WATERMAN P.D. (W/Op), 1333852 W/O SALLIS B.G. (A/G), 1624147 SGT ELLIS J.H. (F/ENG).  Time Up:  07.00.  Time Down:  10.33 (Approx).  This aircraft was badly hit by flak in the Rhine area.  Port inner was set on fire, though the pilot held this aircraft whilst the crew baled out.  Several chutes were seen to open safely.  The aircraft crashed in flames.

 

25th March 1945

Place: Rivenhall

 

Briefings for re-supply.  Crews standing by, but no sorties flown.