Tag Archives: Defence until Dawn

The Broodbank Collection – Catalogue now available!

At long last, I have catalogued the various items in my grandfather’s collection. You can see a complete list of all archive material by following this link.

This is still a bit of a work in progress, as there are currently no links to images etc, but in time this page should allow researchers to view the material in my collection.

As ever, if you want to get in contact about this or any other page on the site, please use the Contact page.

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Summary for January 1944

SUMMARY for JANUARY

TOTAL MOSQUITO DAY 10H45M
TOTAL MOSQUITO NIGHT 6H30M
TOTAL NIGHT OPERATIONS 6H25M
TOTAL DAY OPERATIONS     35 M

January 1944 was a quiet month for Broody with only 7 hours of operational flying. The ORB records a generally quiet month for the whole squadron, but there are a few points of note.

On 2/1/44, W/Cdr R C Haine DFC took over command of the Squadron after W/Cdr Hamley left following a promotion to take command of 62 OTU.

On the same day, F/O Bergman & F/O Bishop intercepted and destroyed a Me 410. Bergman ended up having to land his aircraft (HK461) at Marston after several more chases following engine failure due to enemy action.

On 21/1/44, F/Lt Johnny Hall and his Navigator F/O Jock Cairns, flying aircraft HK380, scored the Squadron’s first “double” when they destroyed a Do 217 and a Ju88 on the same Patrol. As a result of this, they were ordered by “the Air Mashall Commanding Air Defence of Great Britain” to “proceed to the Air Ministry for Public Relations purposes“, where they were interviewed by the BBC and newspaper journalists.

Much to their embarrassment, the duo were photographed and described in a Sunday newspaper as “The Flying Tigers”. Leslie Hunt recalls in his book that much ribbing ensued, including being served plates of raw meat in the mess! Both men took this banter in good humour, with Jock “growling ferociously as he took our leg-pulling in good part.”

Johnny Cairns was broadcast on the nine o’clock news talking about night-fighting, which lead to more ribbing. Hunt recalls Hall’s retorts (which only served to increase the ferocity of the banter) which included “We don’t listen to the news – we make it!” and “Actually we could have got more than 2 Huns, but we knew our suppers were getting cold”


15/ix/43 – Loss of F/Lt Gunn & F/O Affleck

15th September 15:50
Bristo Beaufighter VIII MM868 (A/I Mk VIIIA)
Pilot: F/O Hall
Navigator (R): Self
Navigator (R): F/Sgt Riley
A/I Practice
0:40
Mk VIII Practice – Weapon Bent

Sadly 15/ix/43 saw the first casualties of Broody’s tour. Jimmy Gunn and Jock Affleck were killed during an exchange of fire with a Heinkel bomber. Leslie Hunt recalls in his history of 488 Squadron “Defence until Dawn” that Gunn and Affleck’s hunt for the enemy aircraft was being monitored on the radio in dispersal. There was enthusiasm all round as Gunn first engaged the target. The Heinkel’s loss was witnessed by airmen at a coastal Radar station, and the news passed back to 488’s dispersal to great excitement. Sadly, nothing further was heard from Gunn, and it soon became aparent that they would not return.

All casualties of 488 Squadron during Broody’s tour appear in the Roll of Honour