Monthly Archives: May 2014

Summary for May 1944

SUMMARY for MAY

TOTAL MAGISTER DAY 1H05M
TOTAL MOSQUITO DAY 10H10M
TOTAL OXFORD DAY 4H00M
TOTAL DAY FLYING 15H15M
TOTAL MOSQUITO NIGHT 11H05M
TOTAL NIGHT OPERATIONS 7H40M

 

May 1944 was quiet for Broody and the Squadron as a whole, probably due in part to the 2 airfield moves undertaken during the month.

As we now know, this was the calm before the storm.

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29/v/44 – Shot at by a Beaufighter

29th May 02:30
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
PATROL & GCI PRACTICE ~ Exminster & Hope Cove (Type 16)
During a flap – 1 run: 1 contact: 1 visual: 1 murder, then on to Hope Cove Type 16 after a bogey – Wellington at 2000ft with lights on. Back on Exminster after another bogey – which proved to be a Mosquito of 604 Squadron, shot down by another type who then had a go at us. Having got rid of him, another quiet practice run. Then home!
2:50

The Mosquito of 604 Squadron, MM503 was shot down in error by a Beaufighter MM920 (WM-Y) of 68 Squadron off Lyme Bay.

The pilot, F/Lt C.L. HARRIS survived, but sadly the Navigator, Sgt E.B HOPKINSON was killed.

In 2 days, the crews of 488 Squadron were on both sides of Friendly Fire incidents. We are now only a week away from D-Day and the invasion of German occupied France – One can only imagine the pressure these men must have been under at the time.


28/v/44 – Type 16 GCI Practice

28th May 15:10
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
TYPE 16 PRACTICE – Ventnor
2 runs at 1000ft: 1 run at 200ft: 1 run at 0ft – Over the sea off the isle of Wight – Excellent runs.
2:05

Sadly, later in the evening of 28/v/44, one of 488 Squadron’s aircraft shot down in error 2 Wellingtons, under the firm belief that they were enemy aircraft. To add to the confusion, it had been reported that Luftwaffe aircraft were coming in with Allied bombers.


27/v/44 – Fighter Direction Tender Exercise

27th May 14:00
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Robinson
Navigator (R): Self
FIGHTER DIRECTION TENDER EXERCISE – FDT 217
Three fair runs off the Devon & Dorset coast. Out over AFV
[Armoured Fighting Vehicles] School, Bovington. A Hun turned up right down on the deck but we were NOT allowed to go for it.
2:15


Fighter Direction Tenders were, in effect, floating command and control centres. They were the eyes and ears for the large scale invasion forces off the beaches of Normandy in June of 1944. There were 3 Fighter Direction Tenders designated FDT 13, 216 & 217.

Amongst the equipment on board was CGI radar, and these ships would have controlled the aircraft of 488(NZ) Squadron in a similar way to the land based GCI Stations we have already come across.

During the D Day Invasion, FDT217 was located off the British beaches (Sword, Juno and Gold) in the Eastern half of the assault area for the control of those British and American fighters detailed to operate in this sector.

You can read more about these craft at the Combined Operations Command website.

FDT216-IWM

Fighter Direction Tender (FDT216) © IWM (A 21922)


25/v/44 – Return from the Air Ministry

25th May 14:00
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NORTHOLT ~ BASE & NFT
Return from interview. NFT on the way home on Tigers! No headset, so all done by hand signals.
0:30


24/v/44 – Interview at the Air Ministry

24th May 14:25
Airspeed Oxford II X7293
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator: Self
Passenger: A/C Phillips
BASE ~ CROYDON
Transport for an interview at the Air Ministry
0:40

There is no record of the interview that Broody attended, but I suspect it was in relation to his subsequent posting to No.2 Radio School.


23/v/44 – Trip to Colerne for Stores

23rd May 11:20
Airspeed Oxford II X7293
Pilot: F/L Hall
Navigator: Self
Passenger: F/L Styles
BASE ~ COLERNE
For maps & stores. Navigator driving.
0:20

12:30
COLERNE ~ BASE
Navigator instrument-flying.
0:20


22/v/44 – A/I Test with F/L Cook (RNZAF)

22nd May 14:55
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/L Cook
Navigator (R): Self
A/I TEST & CINE-GUN
A/I Excellent. Cine on Dakotas towing Waco gliders
0:35

The WACO Glider was a USAF aircraft that could carry either: up to 13 troops, a 1⁄4 ton truck, a 75 mm howitzer, or a 1⁄4 ton trailer, which were loaded through the hinged nose section. The tow line was 350ft long – a potential hazard for other aircraft in the area if they weren’t paying attention!

USAF Waco Glider (Image Source - Wikipedia)

USAF Waco Glider
(Image Source – Wikipedia)

 


21/v/44 – Patrol and Canopy Exercise.

21/v/44
21st May 15:00
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT, CINE-GUN & A/I PRACTICE
Landed at Colerne to collect Squash balls.
0:40

16:10
COLERNE ~ BASE
0:20

22:25
PATROL – Exminster. CANOPY EXERCISE – Portland
Stooge patrol – one run as target.
13 runs over canopy – quite efficient once awake.
Generator & Lucero U/S on the way home
3:00

Also on this day, it was announced that Sqn Ldr Edward Bunting and Flt Lt Phil Reed had been awarded a Bar to their DFCs; and that Flt Lt Johnny Hall and Plt Off Jock Cairns had been awarded a DFC.


20/v/44 – The Squadron receives its Crest from AVM Cole-Hamilton

20th May 14:10
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT & A/I PRACTICE
0:55

On 20/v/44, at a whole Squadron parade, the Squadron was presented with its crest by AVM Cole-Hamilton CB CBE, the AOC of 85 Group. The AOC also spoke to the Squadron personnel about the forthcoming Invasion and gave an overview of the allied forces available.

488 crest