Category Archives: Scramble

28/iv/44 – Operational flights at either end of the day

28th April 04:00
DH Mosquito XIII HK534 (A/I Mk.VIII
L)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
SCRAMBLE – Searchlights
After intruders, but none our way.
2:10

14:20
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIIIL)
NFT, A/I EXERCISE V & FORMATION
Following a “dirty dive” & formation with F/L P.F.L.Hall, to Cryalls (Kent) & return – Via Gravesend & W.Malling
1:00

23:15
PATROL & GCI PRACTICE – Trimley
1 run: 1 contact: 1 visual: 1 murder
2:45

Almost 5 Operational hours flown in one day, starting at 04:00 in the morning, with the final landing 22 hours later. You can only imagine the levels of fatigue as a result of such a long day – the adrenalin, concentration and stress that the crews must have been subject to.

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26/iv/44 – Scramble under Trimley GCI

26th April 00:15
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII
L)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
SCRAMBLE & GCI PRACTICE – Trimley
The usual lack of joy
3 runs: 4 contacts: 3 visuals: 3 murders
2:50


25/iv/44 – Scramble & NFT

25th April 04:00
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII
L)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
SCRAMBLE – Foreness & Searchlights
Foreness completely clueless – two vectors on a bogey & no information. Otherwise no joy.
1:45

14:50
NFT, CINE-GUN & VHF B/A
B/A
[Beam Approach] U/S again owing to excessive interference.
1:00


21/iv/44 – Early Morning Scramble & Formation Exercise “London”

21st April 04:45
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
SCRAMBLE – Trimley: VHF B/A
Early morning scramble from bed for a Hun hurrying home from reconnaissance over Newcastle – no joy. Back home at dawn for a few beam runs.
1:25

14:55
EXERCISE ”LONDON” & NFT

1 W/C R.C.HAINE F/L A.P.BOWMAN ME-M
2 F/L P.F.L.HALL F/O R.d’A.MARRIOTT ME-D
3 F/L W.R.COOK F/O L.W.WARNER ME-L
4 F/O J.H.SCOTT F/O A.J.BROODBANK ME-E
5 S/L R.G.WATTS F/O J.L.HUNT ME-F

Exercise for aerodrome A.A defences (see over)
[IMAGE REPRODUCED BELOW]
Followed by normal NFT
Formation take-off – 4 A/C on runway together
1:35

21:55
PATROL & GCI PRACTICE – Trimley
2 runs: 2 contacts: 2 visuals: 2 murders
Bad weather – not at all a pleasant trip
2:40

Extract from A.J Broodbank's journal, showing details of Exercise "London" - 21/iv/44

Extract from A.J Broodbank’s journal, showing details of Exercise “London” – 21/iv/44

Another busy day for Broody, which started with a Scramble from bed. After almost an hour and a half on operations, he and Jack had 9 hours off before taking off again as one of 5 aircraft flying in formation for Exercise London. The information about this exercise provides fantastic detail, and is one of the very few references to aircraft tail codes. Also interesting is that the 5th aircraft in the formation, flown by Ron Watts had Leslie Hunt the Squadron’s Intelligence Officer in the Navigator’s seat, not Roger Folley who was Ron’s regular Navigator.

In total, Broody flew 5 hours and 45 minutes today – 4:10 of these were Operational!


27/iii/44 – NFT and Scramble

27th March 14:15
DH Mosquito XII HK227 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT & A/I Exercise II
Mild evasive action in all planes by target
0:50

22:45
SCRAMBLE – Searchlights
Round & round various orbits – with the usual amount of success.
2:00

In his journal, Broody has made a note of the various A/I exercises, a great point of reference to understand what “Exercise II” entailed.

 

A/I Exercises, as recorded by Broody in his journal

A/I Exercises, as recorded by Broody in his journal

Broody & Jack few another 2 Operational hours under the control of the Searchlight team. The ORB records no joy for any of the Squadron’s crews tonight, as all the enemy activity was “… unfortunately, outside our area.”


15/iii/44 – 3 Aircraft in a day

15th March 11:00
DH Mosquito XII HK227 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT
Quick check & a spot of formation.
0:20

19:35
DH Mosquito XII HK137 ME-O (A/I Mk.VIII)
Another effort without a target. A/I & A/C U/S
0:25

20:40
DH Mosquito XII HK381 ME-W (A/I Mk.VIII)
SCRAMBLE – Searchlights
Scramble in name only, on the third A/C for the day. On orbit near IAZ & chasing a contact out west. Long chase & finally identified Halifax III climbing at 120 mph @ 15,000ft. No hostile joy.
1:30

Below is a photo of HK137 (ME-O), the second aircraft used by Broody & Jack today. This photo has been reproduced in several books with the aircraft  incorrectly identified as HK197 (ME-F). Unfortunately, this has now been accepted as fact – leading historians and researchers astray with duff information. This is the second incorrectly identified aircraft I have uncovered during my research, which has lead me to try and double check all the serial number / tail code combinations I have stumbled across. Sometime this has been easy, and other times less so unless I get lucky. See The Mystery of HK365 for another example of poor sourcing and research!

HK137

HK137 (ME-O) – A Mk.XII DH Mosquito of 488(NZ) Squadron. Used by Broody and Jack on 14/iii/43

HK137_Crop

Close-up of the serial number of the aircraft, clearly identifying it as HK137.

Nevertheless, it is fantastic to have such a good copy photograph of an aircraft that Broody flew in.


12/iii/44 – 1 Patrol & 1 Scramble

12th March 01:45
DH Mosquito XII HK227 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
PATROL – Searchlights
Rapid take-off in the hope of Huns, but (of course) no joy, so co-op run over 10/10 alto-stratus.
1 run: 1 contact: 1 visual: 1 murder
1:35

18:00
NFT & VHF B/A
0:45

21:25
SCRAMBLE – Searchlights & GCI PRACTICE – Trimley
Fairly leisurely effort. On orbit for a while & Huns pushed off, so on to Trimley for practice with failing A/I.
1 run: 1 contact: 1 visual: 1 murder. Cold target
2:05


08/iii/44 – Scramble under Searchlight control

8th March 14:20
DH Mosquito XIII MM439 (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT, CINE-GUN, A/I PRACTICE & VHF BA
1:00

21:10
SCRAMBLE – Searchlights
Quite quick, but all the trade in the South, so round for an orbit for a bit & then back home again
2:15


29/ii/44 – Fast Scramble

29th February 14:00
DH Mosquito XII HK227 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT & CINE-GUN
0:15

21:00
SCRAMBLE – Trimley
Very fast scramble! A/C flown by Navigator up to 13,000ft. At 15,000ft 10 mins after the telephone rang. After which no Huns in our part of the world!
1:20

I am not sure if the narrative above does actually mean that Broody was flying the aircraft, or if this refers to directions given by Broody to Jack ensuring the aircraft was flying in the right direction to vector on to the reported enemy aircraft. What does stand out is the ability to get to the operational height in such a short space of time – many decades before the rapid communications we take for granted nowadays such as satellite, internet and mobile phones. We can only imagine the heightened state of readiness these crew must have been at to be able to react so quickly.


25/ii/44 – Busy day with 2 Scrambles

25th February 02:05
DH Mosquito XII HK227 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
SCRAMBLE – Trimley
2 bogies – called off both. Otherwise no joy. Completed a patrol & went home.
[1 Ju188 destroyed & 1 Do217 probably destroyed by F/L PFL Hall & F/O RD Marriott]
0:45

14:10
NFT, CINE-GUN & A/I PRACTICE
Spot of practice in finding the way home from above 10/10 cloud @ 2,000ft
1:00

22:40
SCRAMBLE & GCI Practice – Trimley
Very rapid scramble after hypothetical Huns. Absolutely no joy, so carried on with practice.
1 run: 1 visual: 1 murder
2:35

A long day for Broody & Jack. A first scramble in the early hours of the morning, followed by the regular afternoon NFT and a second scramble just before 23:00 that evening. Today saw Broody fly a total of 3 hours & 20 minutes.

The combats for Peter Hall and Dick Marriott took place during a scramble in aircraft HK228 (ME-C) at 22:00 on 24/ii/44, but apparently recorded by Broody on his return from the first scramble of the night. Hall’s combat report for the scramble was later annotated to show one HE177 and one DO217 as destroyed. Hall’s narrative on the combat report states:

I was scrambled by North Weald at 2200 hours and ordered over to Biggin Hill control for freelance patrol at 18,000 feet. I chased several intersections in a southerly direction and, coming down to 14,000 feet followed an intersection in which I identified a Dornier 217 traveling S/W at about 300mph. I opened fire from 200 yards allowing 1½ ring deflection and observed strikes on the port engine and along the fuselage. Smoke began to pour out, and the e/a dived down toward the ground. As I came in for a second attack from starboard, the e/a disappeared below our port wing as we overshot. I made an orbit to port and went down after it to observe, but its contact could not be regained. We requested fix and the position is given as Q.8331, near Plumton Race Course, though the e/a may have crashed-some distance from this position.  I claim 1 DO217 Probably Destroyed with the request that this be stepped up in the light of available evidence and the report from the Ack Ack in this district that a plane came down at 2225 hours.

Continuing patrol in a Northeasterly direction I observed an intersection slightly below at about 13,000 feet and, chasing this, found the e/a approaching head-on; coming in from astern I identified the aircraft as a Ju188 and plainly saw the black crosses on the wings. The searchlights doused but I was able to follow visually after my first attack from 200 yards, practically dead astern. No strikes seen but as I gave him 3 further short bursts the port engine caught fire and the e/a went into a steep dive with pieces falling off. I followed him down to 7000 feet and the e/a was then observed to dive even more steeply and hit the ground, an explosion being seen quite plainly. The position of this crash was fixed by control as R.1555 – east of Wadhurst. I therefore claim a Ju188 destroyed.

(Source – The National Archives, Catalogue Reference: AIR/50/161)

I know that Peter Hall was reluctant to talk about his wartime experience in later years. The combat report above is reproduced not to glorify the success of the crew of ME-C at the expense of the German aircrew who died, but to serve as a historical reminder of the reality of war. I hope that you, like me, will read it well and take a moment to think about the skill and ability of the brave airmen or the RAF and other allied air-forces as they fought to keep the Empire safe from attack.