Monthly Archives: November 2013

Flying Summary for November 1943





26/xi/43 – Patrol, and another ME.410 success for the Squadron

26th November 01:00
DH Mosquito XIII HK368 (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: P/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
PATROL – Trimley & Foreness
Transferred to Foreness for calibration, then back to Trimley. Vectored after two bogies & called off both – already identified as friendly. Chased third bogey doing very violent evasive action, including tight orbits. Fleeting visuals at 4000ft. Eventually called off as Control insisted friendly. (Later claimed to be Sandwich fighter on patrol)
[1 ME.410 destroyed by F/O P.F.L.Hall & P/O R.D Marriott]

Hall and Marriott were also on patrol under Trimley GCI. After being vectored onto the enemy aircraft and visual contact made, at which point it was identified as a ME.410, Hall opened fire from a range of 200 yards with a ½ second burst of cannon. At this point, strikes were seen on the fuselage followed by a large yellow explosion. A further ½ second burst missed, and the ME410 dived into cloud. Hall could not continue the chase as he was close to the French border. Initially the crew claimed 1 ME.410 Damaged, but after an admission on German radio the following day that they had lost an aircraft, a successful application was made to upgrade the claim to Destroyed.

25/xi/43 – Loss of S/Ldr Hobbis & P/O Hills

On 25/xi/43, S/Ldr Dudley Hobbis, the Commander of “A” Flight and his Navigator P/O Oliver Hills were killed when after their Port engine caught fire during a Patrol. Hobbis ordered Hills to bail out, and tried to nurse the damaged aircraft back to base. Unfortunately the Starboard engine also failed. The last radio message to control was from Hobbis who said he was also bailing out. Despite an Air Sea Rescue search, neither man was found, and were therefore presumed killed.

The body of P/O Hills was found some eight months later, and he was laid to rest in Epsom Cemetery. The body of S/Ldr Hobbis was never recovered, and his name is recorded on the Runnymede Memorial.

Their names are duly recorded in the Roll of Honour

25/xi/43 – Chasing an enemy fighter back to France

25th November 14:05
DH Mosquito XIII HK365 (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: P/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT, Cine-Gun & AI Practice
Fortresses and Marauder for targets

PATROL – Trimley
Chase with contact well above (fighter at 24,000 ft.) Unable to chase owing to loss of range. Contact lost in peel-off. Regained with GCI help, diving away. Overshot trying to get down & called off at French Coast – Boost control cut-out pulled for 10 mins. Moving fast!

At this stage in the war, with France still occupied by the Germans, the Mosquitos of 488(NZ) Squadron which were equipped with the top secret AI radar were under orders not to chase enemy aircraft over France. This was to ensure that the Germans could not capture a Mosquito and gain vital intelligence on the Allies use of Radar.

24/xi/43 – GCI Practice whilst on patrol

24th November 13:40
DH Mosquito XIII HK368 (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: W/Cdr Hamley AFC
Navigator (R): Self
NFT & AI Practice
U/C indicator still U/S

PATROL & GCI Practice – Trimley
1 run: 1contact: 1 visual: 1 murder – Cold Target
                                              – Foreness
1 run: 1contact: 1 visual: 1 murder – Cold Target

The night flight saw Hamley and Broody carry out GCI practice under 2 GCI stations, Trimley Heath and Foreness. During these runs, the GCI station would vector the Night Fighters onto a “friendly” target. The Night Fighters would then use the Mk.VIII Airbourne Interception radar to find the target and simulate a “hunt and destroy”. The “Murders” represent an exercise success – not the shooting of an allied aircraft!

22/xi/43 – Aircraft abandoned after cockpit fire

22nd November 16:25
DH Mosquito XIII HK368 (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: W/Cdr Hamley AFC
Navigator (R): Self
Poor landing first time – offensive remarks by Navigator resulted in another take-off. Second time red light for Starboard wheel showed all the time, so came in with light on & horn blowing – holding selectors down. Landed OK & stopped engines to put in ground u/c locks. Starboard engine refused to restart on aircraft acco. Plugged in trolley-acc & IIIG  IFF Control panel caught fire on “Contact”
A/C abandoned!

Today Broody was back flying with W/Cdr Hamley, the CO of the Squadron; and his old pilot from OTU days. I am not sure what this episode tells us about the relationship between Broody and the CO, but I am sure that in normal circles, verbally abusing the CO was definitely not acceptable! This story could easily have had a nasty ending, though. The second take-off leading an eventful landing with undercarriage failure and ultimately a fire in the cockpit from the IFF panel!!

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them

At 11:00 on 11th November, people across the world stop what they are doing and fall silent for 2 minutes to remember those who gave their lives in conflict so that we may live in freedom.

Hundreds of thousands of British, Commonwealth and Empire service personnel were killed during the second world war. Making up this number were 36 men of 488(NZ) Squadron.

Today, as we remember the sacrifices made, let us take a minute to specifically remember the British and New Zealand men of this Squadron who gave their lives for our tomorrow.

The Roll of Honour records the names of the members of the Squadron who had already given their lives between the start of Broody’s tour in September and Armistace Day 1943

Lancaster poppy drop

Lancaster poppy drop (© The Telegraph)

09/xi/43 – Return from Colerne, training flight and 2 patrols

9th November 11:05
DH Mosquito XIII HK227 (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: P/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
Formation round North London with W/Cdr Hamley & F/O Speed

DH Mosquito XIII HK365 (A/I Mk.VIII)
N.F.T, Ciné Gun & A/I Practice
Various USAAF Targets – Thunderbolts, Marauders, Fortresses, plus a stray Hurricane & Mosquito

PATROL -Trimley
Uneventful stooge

PATROL -Sandwich
Again uneventful – N.Foreland – Dover – Dungeness & back

patrol 091143

Waypoints for the second patrol of the night
(Created on Google Earth)

08/xi/43 – First Scramble of the tour

8th November 14:15
DH Mosquito XII HK227 (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: P/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT & Ciné-Gun

R/T Test
R/T still U/S

SCRAMBLE – Sandwich
Down Channel & vectored over Kent to S.E London, thence chasing Hun back to French Coast near Gris Nez, but no contacts. Hun was below icing cloud at about 10,000 ft – we at 22,000 ft. Weather bad at base, so diverted to Colerne via Ford
[1 ME410 destroyed by F/O G.Reed & P/O R.Bricker]

Graeme Reed & Ralph Bricker were known as the “Train Busting” experts of the squadron, but their success as recorded by Broody above was the Squadron’s first ME 410. The Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows Reed and Bricker taking off at 21:50 and returning at 00:25. The accompanying text reads:

“Scrambled by Trimley, contact obtained on enemy aircraft speed 320 m.p.h, visual at 3,500 feet range, identified as ME.410. Opened fire from 250 yards, 2 second and 3 second bursts, starboard engine ccaught fore, port wing buckled and enemy aircraft disintegrated in flames, 15 miles north of Manston.”

Approximate position of Reed & Bricker's ME.410 success

Approximate position of Reed & Bricker’s ME.410 success
(Produced on Google Earth)

F/O Reed described the contact in his own words:

“I was scrambled for incoming raids and whilst at 25,000 feet was vectored on to a possible enemy aircraft at 17,000 feet, distance 6 miles. I put my nose down increasing speed to 320 m.p.h. and my navigator obtained a contact at 1¾ miles range, crossing port–starboard at 10,000 feet. I turned hard to starboard and although the contact was lost it was later regained. Closed to 4,000 feet, target well above. I had a vague visual and closed into 800 feet when target went into light cloud, exhausts being visible. As both aircraft came out of cloud I identified the enemy aircraft as a Me410. I opened fire with two second burst of cannon from 250 yards from slightly above and to starboard and the enemy’s starboard engine caught fire but it then appeared to fly straight on with no evasive action or return fire. I gave a further three seconds burst from 250 yards, above and to starboard, and the enemy aircraft rolled over to port diving vertically. My navigator saw the port wing buckle under and the aircraft disintegrate in flames in cloud.”
(Source, “New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force (Vol. II)” by Wing Commander H.L. Thompson (1956))

Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse

Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse
(Image from Wikipedia)

05/xi/43 – NFT and Patrol

5th November 14:05
DH Mosquito XIII HK234 (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: P/O Scott
Navigator: Self
R/T Power-pack failure

R/T Test

1 run: 1 contact: 1 visual: 1 murder. Cold Target