Tag Archives: Aéroport de Cherbourg

07/viii/44 – 48 hour pass and a trip to France

7th August 15:35
Airspeed Oxford II T1018
Pilot: F/O Scott
2nd Pilot: F/O Cook
Navigator: Self
Passenger: F/Lt Carcasson
Tyre burst on landing as a start to a 48 / “liaison” visit. Dinner at 21 Base Defence Sector HQ at Tocqueville Chateau, an evening in St Pierre Eglise & then to GCI 15072 (Robust) near Barfleur. Slept on the floor of the library & next morning to the airfield to check on the A/C, then into Cherbourg.

As A Flight came off the state and handed over to B Flight, Broody, Jack Scott, Bill Cook and George Carcasson went on a 48 hour period of leave, and flew to France on a visit. ALG A-15 was an Advanced Landing Ground, a temporary airfield use to support the invasion of mainland Europe. A-15 was located in Maupertus-sur-Mer, some 7 miles ENE of Cherbourg. Today it is Cherbourg Airport (Aéroport de Cherbourg – Maupertus).

Broody has pasted a couple of postcards into his journal that are worth sharing.

The church door - St Pierre-Eglise

The church door – St Pierre-Eglise

Tocqueville chateau - 21 Base Defence Sector HQ

Tocqueville chateau – 21 Base Defence Sector HQ

A bridge in St Pierre Eglise

A bridge in St Pierre Eglise

Also of note on the night of 06&07/viii/44 were further successes for the Squadron. The Jameson & Crookes crew claimed one JU88 destroyed and one damaged. Vlotman and Wood had an unsuccessful chase; but the most interesting combats of the night came from F/Lt Allen Browne and his navigator, W/O Tom Taylor. they were credited with the destruction of one Ju188 and two further unidentified enemy aircraft who both crashed into the ground during the chases. Browne’s personal Combat Report makes for interesting reading:

“At 0234 hours I was told to investigate a bogey at Angels 13 on a course of 280 degs. I climbed to Angels 12 an after being given several vectors contact was obtained 3 ½ miles above and to port. The target appeared to be weaving as many alterations of course were given me by my navigator.

I closed in and a visual was obtained at about 1500ft. slightly above and about 5 degs to port. The target was taking violent evasive action and while attempting to identify I overshot by reason of such evasive action. I pulled hard to port and lost a little height and contact was reobtained on turning back starboard. We closed in and I obtained another visual at 1000ft range above and dead ahead. I identified bogey as a JU188 and this was confirmed by my navigator using Ross night glasses.

The E/A continued violent evasive action. I closed to 250 yards range when the E/A momentarily ceased evasive action, and I opened fire with a 2 or 3 second burst. Strikes were observed in the port engine which burst into flames. E/A broke away to port. I followed him and closed in again giving him another burst of about the same duration. The E/A caught well alight peeled away to port and went down slowly at first and then with increasing speed hitting the ground in a mass of flames and with a violent explosion. I was then at Angels 5 and I called control and gave a fix.

Almost immediately Control took us over and asked us to investigate another bogey. After several vectors were obtained contact range 3 miles well above and dead ahead. I opened to full throttle and climbed to 10,000’ which was approx. bogey’s height. I saw a reddish amber light at a range of 4,000ft moving from port to starboard. I followed visual and pulled in at full throttle dead behind it. The light then commenced to dive and I followed at 350 ASI but failed to close range. The light was going down very steeply and at a constant angle, which I estimated to be 45 degs.

AI contact was maintained throughout but I followed without difficulty by sight. I could not identify as I saw no silhouette, but was satisfied in the dive that it was a very large singular circular light. The light hit the ground and exploded and a volume of fire was seen. The colour of the flame was reddish. I thought at first the object had navigation lights. This explosion is believed to have occurred roughly west of Rennes. No fix could be obtained though Tailcoat control was asked for one. An endeavour was made to obtain a fix from AI beacons but this was unsuccessful. I pulled out of the dive at 500ft and orbited the burning wreckage.

I then climbed to 5000ft and Tailcoat gave me a northerly vector and a little later asked us to investigate another bogey at about 12,000ft. I opened to full throttle. Contact was obtained range 3 miles 20 degs port at angels 12. Closed range very slowly though I was at full throttle. Visual, 1500 range dead ahead on an A/C taking exceptionally violent evasive action which was held by both visual and AI means. Visual having been lost by evasive action.

I could not identify as I could not close range and the bogey peeled off to starboard. I followed and experienced a long burst of fire from dorsal turret of aircraft, which burst went above my starboard mainplane. I turned to port still diving and lost visual. Contact was picked up again at 1 mile range, slightly below and 30 degs to starboard when we were at 3000’. I levelled out and closed in when visual was obtained at range 1000’ slightly below.

The A/C opened fire again with a very erratic burst and missed. The A/C was still continuing severe evasive action and half rolled to port, then going down vertically. This caused me to overshoot as I was not prepared to duplicate the aircraft’s manoeuvres at that low altitude. I did a hard turn to port at the same time losing height. At that juncture while in the hard turn my navigator and I saw a violent explosion on the ground with large volumes of flame over to port which would have been the aircraft’s approx. position.

By reason of the evasive action and the speed of events I was not able at any time throughout the chase to identify the aircraft, which was always below. I endeavoured throughout to position myself but was unsuccessful through the flying skill of the other pilot. I would add that I have never experienced such violent evasive action. The aircraft crashed at 0331 hours approx. SW of Rennes.

I claim 1 JU188 and 2 unidentified E/A destroyed.”