Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Minelaying on the night of 21/22 May 1944.

Bomber Command ORB

Minelaying:

Operation INVICTA

Group 4. 15 aircrafts.

Group 5. 70 aircrafts.

Group 6. 23 aircrafts.

Routing:

4 Group Base – 5500N 0400 – 5550N 0810E – 5600 1100N – 5600N 0810E – 5500N 0400E – Base.

5 Group Base – 5500N 0400E – 5525N 0825E – 5520N 0952E – Minelaying – 5435N 1030E – 5543N 1000E – 5600N 0810E – 5500N 0400E – Base.

6. Group Frisland Islands 2 Base – 5500N 0400E – 5427N 0729E – Minelaying – 5500N 0400E – Base.

Timing: All aircrafts are to pass 0700E between 0010 and 0015 hrs. Aircraft to be spread evenly over this time.

Time over target: 00:16 – 01:24

4. Group 00:47 to 01:05

5. Group 00:52 to 01:24.

6. Group 00:16 to 00:46

------------------------

and 510 Lancasters of 1.-3. -5. and 8. Group bombed Duisburg on the same night.

 

Map via Steve Smith

 

-------------------------

4 Group ORB

Gardening

Gardening Silverthorns 13 and 15. 7 aircrafts of No.76 Squadron, Breighton and 8 aircrafts of No. 102 Squadron Pocklington were detailed. 12 aircrafts successfully planted their vegetables, 2 aircrafts were abortive O.E.T. and 1 aircraft did not start.

RESULTS: One enemy aircraft seen. Small amount of flak from ships and from Esbjerg area - not troublesome.

 

78 Sqn. ORB, Breighton.

21th May: 7 aircraft detailed for operations, Gardening. 6 aircraft dropped vegetables in allotted areas from a height of 14000 ft. 1 aircraft did not take off due to H2S failure. All aircrafts returned safely.

Gardening (Silverthorn)

Halifax LV796 F/L Bennett. Up 22:10 down 03:19. Vegetables were laid in position 56.05N 11.08E at 00:47 hrs from a height of 14000 ft. Parachutes were seen to open.

Halifax LV910 F/L McGregor. Up 22:08 down 03:35. Vegetables laid I position 55.58N 11.07E at 01:05 hrs from a height of 14000 ft. Parachutes were seen to open.

Halifax LV874 F/L Murre. Up 22:12 down 23:21 ?? (Likely 03:21). Vegetables were laid in position 55.59N 11.02E at 00:47 hrs from a height of 14000 ft. Parachutes were seen to open.

Halifax LV876 F/S Carter. Up 22:07 down 03:29. Vegetables were laid in position 55.59N 11.02E at 00:47 hrs from a height of 14000 ft. Parachutes were seen to open.

Halifax LV868 F/L Davies. Up 22:05 down 03:32. Vegetables were laid in position 56.59N 11.02 E at 00:51 hrs from a height of 14000 ft. No parachutes were seen to open.

Halifax LV905 F/L Broadhurst. Up 22:15 down 03:24. Vegetables were laid in position 55:59N 11:02E at 00:48 hrs from a height of 14000 ft. No parachutes were seen to open.

 

102 Sqn ORB, Pocklington.

21th May: 8 aircrafts set out for Gardening operation. “Q” (P/O Rogers) and “J” (F/L Askins) returned early with H2S equipment u/s bringing back their vegetables. The remainder planted theirs successfully reporting a quiet trip. A small amount of flak was experienced from flak ships off the West Danish coast but there was no opposition in the dropping area.

Gardening (Silverthorn)

Halifax LW160 F/L Hazlehurst. Up 22:10 down 03:40. Veg. Released at 5655N 1108½E H2S check from 5608½N 1042E 102 degree 17 miles. 14000 ft heading 078 T 226 TAS. Clear with good visibility. 4 veg. Mk IV.

Halifax MZ290 P/O Champion. Up 22:16 down 03:32. Veg released at 56.55N 11.08½E H2S check from 5608½N 1042E 102 degree 17 miles. 14000 ft heading 080T 200TAS. Clear with good visibility. 4 Veg. Mk. IV.

Halifax MZ292 F/L Moore. Up 22:06 down 03:28. Veg released at 5505N 1106E 17 miles 102 degrees from 5608½N 1042E. 14000 ft heading 120T 235 GS. No cloud, good visibility. 4 veg Mk IV.

Halifax LW134 P/O Graham. Up 22:24 down 03:34. 3 veg released at 56.08N 11.16E heading 100T 1 veg released at 56.08N 11.16E 340 T 22 miles from 5608½N 1042E and 8 ¾ miles from 5601N 1117E. 14000 ft heading 100 T 240 GS and 340T 185 GS. Nil cloud visibility good. 4 veg Mk IV.

Halifax LW140 F/L Phillips. Up 22:05 down 03:42. Veg released at 5607½N 1115E 091 T 22 miles from 5607½N 1043E. 14000 ft heading 076T 213 GS. No cloud. 4 veg Mk IV.

Halifax LW142 P/O Wood. Up 22:02 down 03:37. Veg planted at 5608N 1116½E H2S check from 5601N 1118½E 350 T. 9 miles. 14000 feet heading 093T 299 TAS clear with good visibility. 4 veg Mk IV.

Halifax LW159 P/O Rogers. Up 22:11 down 03:07. Abortive O.E.T. Veg brought back owing to H2S u/s. 4 veg Mk IV.

Halifax MZ289 F/L Askins. t/o 22:15 land 02:16. Abortive O.E.T. Returned early from 55.45N 0835E. Veg brought back. H2S u/s. 2 veg Mk IV.

 

 

5 Group

5 Group Operation order No 76.

The sustained mining offensive in the Baltis has completely dislocated the enemy´s seaborne traffic and has thoroughly disorganized the training of his U-boats and other naval units.

No 4 and 6 Groups will also be taking part in this operation, No 4 Group operating 15 Halifaxes in the Kattegat and No 6 Group 25 Halifaxes in West Denmark and East Frisians waters.

Forces to be employed: The exact numbers of aircraft requited per Squadron, all of which are to be fitted with H2S will depend on the number of trained H2S crews available. The approximate numbers required will be:

(a)  52 Base (44 and 49 Squadrons) – 23 aircraft

(b)  55 Base (57, 630 and 207 Squadron) – 35 aircraft

(c)  54 Base (106 Squadron) – 12 aircraft

Routes will be detailed by this Headquaters on the day of operation.

All aircrafts are to be timed to cross the Danish coast on the outward journey at the same time. This time will be decided by this Headquaters on the day.

Mine loads: Each aircraft is to carry six Mark VI mines, which have been designed specially for this operation (six mines Mark VI, weight 11,100 pounds). If circumstances necessitate a reduction of load, the last mine ordered is to be omitted. Detailed loads will be passed by the Naval Staff Officer on the day of the operation.

Mine positions: The Garden for all 5 Group aircraft is “FORGET-ME-NOT (Admiralty Chart No 2117). This Garden in divided into 8 sections, details of which are given at Appendix “A”, with:

(a)  Positions for centres of sticks of mines, spacing between mines in sticks and direction of lay.

(b)  Suggested pinpoints and the most suitable method of laying.

The allocation of particular Squadrons to particular mining positions “Appendix “A”) will be passed by the “Naval Staff Officer” on the day of operation.

Heights and speeds for mine release: All mine assemblies may be released from heights up to 15000 feet at true airspeeds not above 200 mph.

Laying Technique: Unless exceptionally favourable weather permits visual pinpointing from high altitude, all aircraft are to lay their mines by the aid of H2S provided that the training of crews and serviceability of the sets permits this to be done accurately.

Any aircraft unable to carry out an accurate run owing to unfavourable weather or unserviceable H2S is to:

(a)  Bring back as many mines as possible.

(b)  Jettison any mine which it cannot bring back, safe and in deep water, fixing the positions nearly as possible.

Countermeasures: Windows is to be discharged in accordance with No 5 Group Operation Instruction No 33.

Efforts will be made to provide full scale “Serrate” support for the operation.

 

 

TOP SECRET

Appendix ”A” TO 5 GROUP OPERATION ORDER NE. 76 DATED 16th MAY 1944.

DETAILED POSITIONS

1.    Section 16 aircraft.

(a)

Aircraft No

Datum

Position

Spacing

Direction of lay

1

E

179

500 yds

065 – 100 degree

2

E

204

750 yds

065 – 100 degree

3

E

204/30

500 yds

065 – 100 degree

4

E

230/225

500 yds

065 – 100 degree

5

E

255

500 yds

065 – 100 degree

6

E

256

500 yds

065 – 100 degree

 

(b) BOCKNIS ECK   Method 3(a).  (See note below).

 

2.  Section 210 aircraft

(a)

1

E

281

750 yds

100 – 120 degree

2

E

306

250 yds

100 – 120 degree

3

E

281/307

500 yds

100 – 120 degree

4

E

306/307

500 yds

100 – 120 degree

5

E

306/307

500 yds

100 – 120 degree

6

E

331

250 yds

100 – 120 degree

7

E

307/308

500 yds

100 – 120 degree

8

E

332

750 yds

100 – 120 degree

9

E

308/333

500 yds

100 – 120 degree

10

E

308/333

500 yds

100 – 120 degree

 

(b) BOCKNIS ECK   Method 3(a).    (See note below)

 

3.  Section 310 aircraft.

(a)

1

E

309

500 yds

Approximately S.E.

2

E

309/310

500 yds

Approximately S.E.

3

E

285/310

750 yds

Approximately S.E.

4

E

310

500 yds

Approximately S.E.

5

E

310

500 yds

Approximately S.E.

6

E

310/335

250 yds

Approximately S.E.

7

E

310/311

500 yds

Approximately S.E.

8

E

310/311

500 yds

Approximately S.E.

9

E

286/312

750 yds

Approximately S.E.

10

E

287/288

500 yds

Approximately S.E.

 

(b) BULK Pt.  Method 3(b).  laying from predetermined bearing and distance from point. (See note below)

 

4. Section 410 aircraft.

(a)

1

E

264/265

750 yds

180 – 210 degree

2

E

240/266

500 yds

180 – 210 degree

3

E

265/266

500 yds

180 – 210 degree

4

E

265/266

500 yds

180 – 210 degree

5

E

241/266

500 yds

180 – 210 degree

6

E

242/267

500 yds

180 – 210 degree

7

E

243

250 yds

180 – 210 degree

8

E

243

250 yds

180 – 210 degree

9

E

219/244

500 yds

180 – 210 degree

10

E

219/244

500 yds

180 – 210 degree

 

(b) DOVNS KLINT (LANGELAND). Method 3(a). (See note below).

 

5. Section 510 aircraft.

(a)

1

F

204/229

750 yds

140-180 degree

2

F

205

500 yds

140-180 degree

3

F

180/206

250 yds

140-180 degree

4

F

156

500 yds

140-180 degree

5

F

181

250 yds

140-180 degree

6

F

206

500 yds

140-180 degree

7

F

206

500 yds

140-180 degree

8

F

181/207

500 yds

140-180 degree

9

F

182/184

750 yds

140-180 degree

10

F

183/184

500 yds

140-180 degree

 

(b) DOVNS KLINT (LANGELAND). Method 3 (a). (See note below).

 

6. Section 610 aircraft.

(a)

1

F

5/31

250 yds

For (b) 1 below: -

2

F

30/55

500 yds

300 – 350 degree

3

F

54/55

500 yds

 

4

F

55

500 yds

For (b) 2 below: -

5

F

55

500 yds

110 – 140 degree

6

F

80

500 yds

 

7

F

105

500 yds

 

8

F

81/106

500 yds

 

9

F

105/131

500 yds

 

10

F

131

250 yds

 

 

(b)

1. If visual means are possible, method detailed in 5G/247/10/Trg of 9th March, 1944 is to be used on   DOVNS KLINT (LANGELAND).

See note below.

2. Otherwise method 3 (a) on VEINES KLINT. N.B. A different RELEASE POINT must be plotted for each method.

7. Section 710 aircraft.

(a)

1

F

184/185

750 yds

290 – 330 degree

2

F

160

500 yds

290 – 330 degree

3

F

185/210

500 yds

290 – 330 degree

4

F

160/185

500 yds

290 – 330 degree

5

F

160/185

500 yds

290 – 330 degree

6

F

161/186

500 yds

290 – 330 degree

7

F

161/187

250 yds

290 – 330 degree

8

F

186/187

250 yds

290 – 330 degree

9

F

162/187

500 yds

290 – 330 degree

10

F

163/188

750 yds

290 – 330 degree

 

(b) MARKELSDORFER HUK   Method 3 (a). (See note below)

 

8. Section 8 -4 aircraft.

(a)

1

F

407

500 yds

210 – 240 degree

2

F

408

750 yds

210 – 240 degree

3

F

409

500 yds

210 – 240 degree

4

F

410/435

500 yds

210 – 240 degree

 

(b) MARKELSDORFER HUK.  Method 3 (a). (see note below).

Note: See 5G/247/10/Trg. Dated 15th February, 1944, APPENDIX “C”. The PROCEDURE for calculating Release Point and using the bombsight is set out therein. The ACTUAL FORMULE to be used will be different for the Mark VI MINE and WILL be promulgated as soon as Ballistic trials now being carried out, are completed.

___________________________________________

 

5 Group ORB

Gardening

70 aircrafts detailed and took off, 64 were successful, 3 failed and 3 are missing.

CASUALTIES: 57 Sqdn. P/O Richards. -  630 Sqdn. P/O Bailey. -  207 Sqdn. F/O Walsh.

RESULTS: A large scale gardening operation was carried out in the Baltic in conditions of 4/10ths strata cu. Cloud and excellent visibility. There was considerable fighter activity off the Danish coast, but most of the aircraft were successful and a total of 382 vegetables were planted in their allotted positions.

 

44 Squadron ORB, Dunholme Lodge.

21/5-1944: Operations: 11 aircraft were detailed to carry out a gardening sortie at Forget-Me-Not (P/O Baxten, F/Lt Hildred, F/S Binien, P/O Davey, P/O Aiken, F/O Merrick, P/O Taylor, P/O Ibbertson, F/Lt Stephenson, P/O Young & F/O Smith). All mines were successful laid and all aircraft returned to base safely.

Lancaster ND973 A P/O Baxter. Up 22:04 down 04:26. Vegetable planted at 5435N 1041E at 00:57 from 14750 ft, 190 degreesT, IAS 199; H2S run from 5444N 1041½E. Northern lights seen. 2/10ths stratus vis good. Small hole in bomb door from defenses at 5555N 0810E. Mines laid according to instructions without any snags.

Lancaster ND869 M F/Lt Hildred. Up 21:56 down 04:35. Vegetables planted from 5426N 1050E to 5425N 1068E at 01:11 hrs from 14000 ft, 248 degree, IAS 150; quite light, no cloud, vis good horizontally and vertically. Pilots summary: route good, met forecast weather better than anticipated but winds considerably heavier than forecast. Excellent trip, effort should be good.

Lancaster ND791 K F/S Binien. Up 22:06 down 04:42. Vegetable planted at 5432N 1014E at 01:02 hrs from 14000 ft 100degree M, IAS 225; identified by datum point 5433N 1002E and H2S run. Faint northern lights, 2/40ths cloud str. Good vis. Pilots remarks: Mines laid satis. According to instructions.

Lancaster ME694 L P/O Davey. Up 22:08 down 04:22. Gardening Forget Me Not. Vegetables planted at 00:59 hrs / 12 hrs from 14000 ft, 194degs T, IAS 191 at 182 degs T 9,3 miles from 5444N 1042E. Target identified by 5444N 1042E; fairly light, nil cloud, slight hazes; Pilot remarks: Route was good. Met forecast was rather pessimistic and weather encountered was better than we expected. We obtained a good fix easily on H2S and dropped our mines on H2S. It should be a very successful trip.

Lancaster ND751 J P/O Aiken. Up 21:48 down 03:59. Gardening Forget Me Not. Vegetables planted at 01:02 hrs from 14000 ft 112degs T IAS 234; Posn 5430N 102038E. Target identified by 5433N 1002E, fairly light sky. Nil cloud, slight haze. Pilot remarks: route was very good. Met forecast was correct apart from the forecast on base conditions on return. We had no trouble of picking our fox on H2S and laid our mines on a bearing distance fix on H2S. It was a quiet trip and should be very successful.

Lancaster NE743 G F/O Merrick. Up 22:05 down 04:40.  Gardening Forget Me Not. Vegetables planted at 00:55½ hrs from 14250 ft, 166 dgs T, IAS 230, Posn 5436½N 1048E; Target identified by 5442½N 1040E and H2S. 3-5/10 cloud 6000 st. cu. Good vis. Pilot remarks: Slight flak on coast in and out; slight flak from pin-point and also in Kiel harbor. Vis good and H2S good all this way. Good trip.

Lancaster LL 965 C P/O Taylor. Up 21:49 down 04:03. Gardening Forget Me Not. Vegetables planted at 01:01 hrs from 15000 ft 234 dgs T IAS 180. Pos: 5426N 1052E to 5524N 1049E. Target identified by 5426N 1052E on H2S. Light quite good, cloud very little, vis good horizontally and vertically, Pilots remarks: Route excellent, met. Forecast wind was about 20 mph out. Lighter than actual. Cloud condition rather better than anticipated. Mines laid as ordered. Navigation was excellent.

Lancaster ND519 E P/O Ibbatson. Up 22:03 down 04:04. Gardening Forget Me Not. Vegetables planted at 01:01 hrs from 15000 ft 100 dgs T, IAS 230; Pos 5438N 1825E target identified by 5435N 1002E on H2S. No cloud, visibility good. Pilot remarks: Route good, Target identified visually and by H2S. Fair amount of light flak from enemy coast to target area and back. Fair amount of flak from Kiel harbor.

Lancaster ME654 P F/Lt Stephanson. Up 22:07 down 04:13. Gardening Forget Me Not. Vegetables planted at 01:05 hrs from 14750 ft 157 dgs T IAS 238. Posn: 5436½N 1050 E. Target identified by time and distance run from 5443N 1042E and on H2S all the way. Northers lights giving effect of moon. No cloud, good vis; Pilots comments Good route and ideal conditions for mining.

Lancaster ME699 T P/O Young. Up 22:01 down 04:14. Gardening Forget Me Not. Vegetables planted at 01:24 hrs from 14000 ft 086 dgs T, IAS 238, posn 5432½N 1012E; H2S. Successfully.  Target identified at 5412N 1082E; Northern lights, 2/10ths cloud, vis good, Pilots remarks: Mines laid successfully under ideal conditions.

Lancaster ND552 X F/O Smith. Up 22:09 down 04:39. Gardening Forget Me Not. Vegetables planted at 01:07,49 hrs from 14500 ft, 083 dgs T, IAS 208, Posn 5432.30N 1012E, Identified by 5433N 1002E, Fairly light, 5/10ths str. Cu. Good visibility. Pilots remarks: Route was good, but we were given a bad pin-point as the coast at that point was heavily defended; H2S worked well and we dropped our mines on H2S. It was a very successful trip.

 

49 Squadron ORB, Fiskerton.

12 aircraft detailed to mine in Kiel Bay (Forget- Me- Not).

Lancaster LL976 P/O Edgar. Up 21:53 down 03:36. Becknis Eck 01:02 hrs. 4/10ths cloud. Mined at 14000 ft. Navigator and A/B co-operated extremely well. Route very good. No incidents.

Lancaster ND787 F/O Edwards. Up 21:46 down 04:02. 00:56 hrs. 14.200 ft. 3/10ths cloud scattered. Hazy. H2S worked perfectly. Believed mines laid in correct position. Crew were very alert- gunners especially.

Lancaster NE125 P/O Graves-Hook. Up 21:42 down 03:55. Dovns Klint on H2S. 00:54 hrs. 14300 ft. 4/10th cloud. Tops 4000 ft. Vis good. Satisfactory uneventful trip.

Lancaster ND533 F/Lt Powel. Up 21:54 down 04:52. Dovns Klint 01:01 hrs. 14400 ft. No cloud. Good vis. A successful operation. Opposition slight. H2S serviceability excellent. Mines laid in correct position.

Lancaster LL900 F/O Matheson. Up 21:47 down 03:44. Dovns Klint 00:52 hrs. 14500 ft. 6/10 cloud. Tops 9000 ft. Vis. Moderate. Trip seemed very successful. Mines were laid by H2S and confirmed in place by visual means. Defenses not very heavy.

Lancaster ME675 F/O Bell. Up 21:49 down 04:21. Dovns Klint 01:00 hrs. 14600 ft. No cloud, good vis. Kiel Bay obscured by cloud allowing visual pinpointing and the correct placing of mines. Defenses very ineffective.

Lancaster ND382 P/O Lacey. Up 21:51 down 03:59. H2S fix at time of laying mines. A quiet trip throughout. Searchlights appeared to be coning aircraft over Kiel. Only weak heavy flak where briefed.

Lancaster LM541 P/O Ball. Up 21:45 down 04:01. Mines laid as briefed. Good route. 01:01 14300 ft. Defenses only weak. Winds stronger than forecast.

Lancaster JB473 P/O Cornish. Up 21:50 down 03:48. Mines laid 00:59 hrs 15000 ft. Vis good. Cloud 2/10ths. No moon. Crew behavior excellent. No difficulties.

Lancaster ND473 P/O Jones. Up 21:38 down 03:58. Mines laid with very little opposition 00:55 hrs, 15000 ft. Northern lights brilliant. Vis good. Route very good. Little enemy activity. Quiet trip.

Lancaster JB178 P/O Green. Up 21:44 down 04:07. Mines laid 00:58 hrs, 15000 ft, 6/10th thin cloud. Vis good. Searchlights at Kiel and Esbjerg groped for us but doused when large amounts of windows were used. All went to schedule.

Lancaster ND684 P/O Appleyard. Up 21:52 down 04:22. Mines laid 01:08 hrs. 15000 ft. H2S showed the garden extremely well. Everything pointed to a very successful trip.

 

 

57 Squadron ORB, East Kirkby.

21/5-1944: 12 aircrafts were detailed for gardening- Kiel Bay. 1 aircraft jettisoned all mines and returned following combat with 3 enemy fighters, and 1 aircraft failed to return. The remainder laid manes in their allotted positions and returned safely to base.

Mining Operation night 21st/22nd May 1944. Target – Forget-me-not (Kiel Bay)

12 aircrafts were detailed for this operation and all took off. Mines were laid without difficulty in their allotted positions. Ground defences were active in the gardening area and several crews report being engaged by flak and s/l at the start of their mining run. Fighter activity was on a considerable scale over Denmark outward and inward and over Kiel Bay. 1 aircraft is missing and 1 landed at Oulton badly shot up. The remainder returned safely.

Lancaster ND471 P/O Nicklin. up 22:12 down 04:35. Sortie completed. Bomb Load 6 x Mk. VI mines.

Lancaster LM517 Sgt Wardle. Up 22:06 down 04:34. Sortie completed. Bomb load 6 x Mk VI mines.

Lancaster JB486 P/O Weightman. Up 21:53 down 04:25. Sortie completer. Bomb load – as above.

Lancaster ND 879 P/O Marland. Up 21:54 down 04:38. Sortie completed. Bomb load - as above.

 

Combat report 21/5-44 Target Kiel Bay. 57 Sqn A/C letter H: Type: Lancaster ND879.

Time 01:34 height 15000 ft heading 360T. Position 5140N ?? 1057E. Fishpond u/s. 2/10 cloud at approx. 7000 ft. No moon. Visibility good. No searchlight, fighter flares, flak prior to attack. Attacked from 500 yards starboard quarter. M/U first visual. Enemy aircraft type ME 110. Attacked from starboard quarter up. Direction of breakaway: Port quarter down range 450 yards. Fighter did not fire. M/U gunner fired 199 rounds from 450 yards. Stoppage at RH. No 1.  No hits observed. Lost 1000 ft during encounter.

--------------------------------

Lancaster ND960 Pilot F/L Richards. F/Eng Sgt Bugden,Nav F/O Woodall, A/B F/O Ferguson, Wop Sgt Edwards, M/U Sgt Griffiths, R/G Sgt Woodmas. Up 21:57 down -. Missing- nothing heard after take- off. Bomb load – as above.      

http://www.flensted.eu.com/1944076.shtml

Lancaster LM580 P/O Guy. Up 22:00 down 04:27. Sortie completed. Bomb load – as above.

Lancaster LL967 F/L Bayley. Up 21:59 down 04:22. Sortie completed. Bomb load – as above.

Lancaster JB318 P/O Henley. Up 22:04 down 04:31. Sortie completed. Bomb load – as above.

Lancaster ND977 F/L Beaumont. Up 22:05 down 03:54. Sortie completed. Bomb load – as above.

Combat report 21/5-44 Target Kiel Bay. 57 Sqn. A/C Letter R. Type: Lancaster serial ND977

Time 00:38 hright 15000 ft heading 160 T. Fishpond u/s. Position: 5520N 0942E. 2/10 cloud at approx. 7000 ft. No moon. Visibility good. Prior to attack no searchlights, no fighters-flares-no flak. Visual contact. Rear gunner first visual. Attacked by Ju 88 from 600 yards port quarter up. Breakaway port beam down distance 3000 yards. Corkscrew port range 300 yards. The enemy did not fire. Rear gunner fired 300 rounds from 6000 yards; M/U gunner 100 rounds from 600 yards.

Combat report 21/5-44 Target Kiel Bay. 57 Sqn A/C letter R. Type Lancaster Serial ND977.

Time 00:45 height 15000 ft heading 160T. Fishpond u/s. Position 5509N 0958E. 2/10 cloud at approx. 7000 ft. No Moon. Vis. Good. No searchlights, No fighter flares, no flak. Visual contact. Attack from 700 yards astern level. Rear gunner first visual. Unidentified aircraft. Corkscrew starboard 700 yards. Rear gunner fired 100 rounds from 700 yards. No hits seen.

__________________

Lancaster LL940 S/L Wyness. Up 22:02 down 04:11. Sortie completed. Bomb load – as above.

Lancaster ND954 P/O Spencer. Up 22:05 down 04:30. Sortie completed. Bomb load- 6 x Mk VI mines.

Lancaster ND504. Pilot F/S Lumsden J., F/Eng Sgt Thomas R. , Nav. W/O Walters S.W. , A/B F/S Preskett D. , Wop Sgt Odgers R. , M/U F/S Gauweloose J. , R/G Sgt Thorne W.J..  Up 22:07 down 03:37. Sortie not completed. Attacked by 3 enemy aircraft off the Danish coast- 1 destroyed and 1 damaged. Jettisoned mines at 54.52N 05.46E. Pilot and Wop wounded. Aircraft landed at Oulton. Bomb load – as above.

29th May 1944. From Officer Commanding RAF station Oulton to Officer commanding RAF East Kirkby.

Lanc No ND405 of 57 Squadron. Night operations 21/22.5.44. Attached is a brief report obtained from the pilot of Lanc. 57/T ND405 which aircraft landed at this station on the night of 21/22nd May 1944 after a abortive mine laying sortie to Kiel Bay. 2) The pilot of this aircraft displayed a very high degree of courage and determination in bringing back his badly damaged aircraft to a home base. 3) When this aircraft landed the ambulance took the severely injured Wireless Operator to sick quarters and the remainder of the crew proceeded to interrogation. It was found after arrival at the Interrogation Block that the captain was suffering from a head wound and concussion and one other member of the crew was injured. Both these two would have proceeded straight to Sick quarters had their condition been known when the aircraft was led to dispersal. 4) It was a particular good landing under the most difficult conditions and with the starboard elevator severely damaged. The attached are in the nature of an interim report for your information pending the return of the pilot to your station.

Lanc. III 0f 57 Squadron East Kirby. 5 Group 21/22.5.44.

57/T.ND/405, having got slightly off course arrived over the Danish coast at Esbjerg 2-3 mins. Behind schedule at 14/15000 ft. They were coned by 6 searchlights for a few seconds: searchlights were evaded and fighter flares appeared ahead at the same height. Lanc. Was attacked by 2 fighters one of which was identified as a JU 88. Three attacks were made on our A/C, strikes being sustained on the tail and along the fuselage; the starboard trimming tabs were shot away , an explosive shell entered the astro hatch and seriously wounded W/Op A.G. Sgt Odgers (Who has since died), a cannon shell  shattered the pilot`s cockpit hood and a splinter entered the pilot`s head at the base of the skull. The pilot F/Sgt Lumsden blacked out temporarily and on landing was found to be suffering from concussion. The Navigator W/O Waters had splinters in the right arm and the GEE was u/s. The A/C could not be kept in level flight; the nose was repeatedly dropping and the pilot aided by the bomb aimer, who had tied a piece of rope to the stick, had to pull the nose up from time to time as best he could. In this way the English coast was reached in cloud at 4/5000 feet. They broke cloud and turned east to try to identify their position and they recrossed the coast flashing nav. Lights on and off and showing broad I.F.F. Searchlights gave the honing signal to Oulton and the A/C was landed on 3 engines and a flat tail wheel.

The mines were jettisoned in the sea, live, at 01:26 hrs at position within 15 miles radius of 5452N 0546E. While crossing the sea homeward the pilot found his boost gauge registering zero and as the F/E reported overheating on the port outer motor, he feathered.

The Pilot, W/Op and Navigator were admitted to S.S.Q. and the W/OP immediately transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich General Hospital.

From RAF Oulten. To HQ No 5 Group = 52 Base East Kirkby = 100 Group.

A)   5 Group 21/22 May 1944 Mines GEE MONICA H2S.

B)   57/T Oulton RE9 ND405 F/S Lumsden.

C)   1 aircraft coned by 6 S/L for half minute. Attacked by 3 E/A followed one identified as JU 88. A/C was badly shot up and crew sustained casualties. No detailed interrogation held as crew was sent to S.S.Q. as soon as possible,

9 (A) mines jettisoned live at 0126 within 15 miles radius of 545N 0546E.

Medical officers report:

1314770 Sgt Odgers. W/Op serious injuries. Perforating wound of cranium with cerebral compression. Transferred to Norfolk and Norwich General Hospital. Next of kin not informed but M.O. of unit has been instructed to place him on D.I. List.

1323093 F/S Lumsden, Pilot. Injuries not serious. Admitted to S.S.Q. RAF OULTON. Mild concussion and small superficial splinter wounds.

1180172 W/O Walters. Navigator. Superficial injuries. Not admitted to S.S.C.

Signed F.G.Sewell / BT 220615B.

--------------------------------------------

106 Sqn ORB, Metheringham.

Twelve aircraft were sent mining in Kiel Bay (Forget-me-not Area) and had a fruitful evening. Eleven aircraft, each carrying sex mines located the primary area and dropped their load from 15000 ft. One aircraft unable to locate the area, brought the mines back to base. No opposition was encountered on this operation and all aircraft returned safely. Mines dropped: 65.

Lancaster ME789 S/Ldr de Belleroche. Up 22:05 down 04:30. Area located by means of H2S fix. Mines released from 15000 ft at 01:02 hrs in area 5430N 1739E. 101730E. No opposition. Task successfully accomplished. Load 6 mines.

Lancaster LL974 F/Sgt Fox. Up 22:05. Down 04:50. 2/10ths cloud, visibility good. Area located by means of DR run of 2 minutes 50 seconds from Dovnis Klint. Mines dropped from 15000 ft at 01:50 hrs in position 5436N 1046E. Trip successful. Load 6 mines.

Lancaster ND331 F/Lt Houlden. Up 22:05 down 04:10. No cloud good visibility. Target area located by means of H2S run from Bocknis Eck. Mines laid 01:03 hrs from 15000 ft. No opposition, trip uneventful. Load 6 mines.

Lancaster LL975 F/O Taylor. Up 22:00 down 04:00. No cloud. Good visibility. Made timed run of 2 minutes from Bocknis Eck. Released mines from 15000 ft at 00:36 hrs. Task successfully accomplished. Load 6 mines.

Lancaster ME668 F/O Marchant. Up 22:00 down 04:10. 3/10ths cloud. Visibility good. Mining area located by DR run of 2½ minutes from Markalsdorfer Huk. Dropped mines from 14500 ft at 01:13 hrs in position 5436N 1054E. Trip without incident. Load 6 mines.

Lancaster ME790 P/O Durrant. Up 22:50 down 03:50. 5/10ths cloud, visibility 4 miles. Area located by means of a DR run of 2 minutes 24 seconds from Dovnis Klint. Menes released from 15000 feet at 99:58 hrs in allotted position 5435N 1046E. Load: 6 mines.

Lancaster LL948 S/Ldr Spawson. Up 22:10 down 03:55. 4/10ths cloud visibility good. Target area located by means of running fixes on H2S. Mines dropped from 15000 ft at 01:04 hrs in allotted position 5430N 1027E. Trip successful and uneventful. Load 6 mines.

Lancaster ME778 F/Lt Williams. Up 22:05 down 04:35. No cloud, good visibility. Target area located by means of DR run of 2 minutes 34 seconds. Mines dropped from 15000 ft at 01:14 hrs in allotted position 5426N 1054E. No opposition, trip successful. Load 6 mines.

Lancaster LM549 P/O Monaghan. Up 22:05 down 04:35. No cloud visibility good. Mining area located by IR run from Markelsdorfer Huk. Mines released from 15000 ft at 01:26 hrs in allotted position 5436N 1056E. No opposition, mission successfully accomplished. Load 6 mines.

Lancaster JB593 P/O Thompson. Up 22:00 down 04:15. 3/10ths cloud, visibility good. Made DR run from Markalsdorfer Huk and released mines from 14900 ft 01:10 hrs in allotted position 5436N 1057E. Trip successful. Load 6 mines.

Lancaster JB641 F/Lt Clement. Up 22:05 down 04:00. No cloud, good visibility. Target located by means of running fixes on H2S. Mines released from 15000 ft at 00:59 hrs in allotted position 5431N 1027E. No opposition, task successfully completed. Load 6 mines.

Lancaster LM570 F/O Bellingham. Up 22:05 down 04:30. No cloud but very dark. Target could not be found owing to H2S being unserviceable and no pin-point could be obtained. Made long search for target area but mission was finally abandoned and mines were brought back to base.

 

207 Sqn ORB, Spilsby.

21/5-1944: 9 aircraft detailed for mining operation. 9 aircraft laid mines in Kiel Harbour, one aircraft failed to return (F/O Walshe).

21/5-44 Gardening Forget Me Not.

Lancaster ME683 P/O Glann. Up 22:07½ down 03:37. Load D.406, F.624/14, C.302, C.302, C.302, D.406, dropped at %¤.30N 10.17E at 00:55 hrs at intervals of 5 secs from 12.400 ft heading 110T. Visibility good with 3/19ths cloud. Aircraft held in S/L during minelaying, shaken off as soon as minelaying completed. Sortie completed.

Lancaster LM578 F/O Smart. Up 22:11 down 04:06. Load C.302, C.714, C.302, C.302, D.406, C.700. Dropped at 5425N 1054 ¾ E from 14500 ft heading 231 degree, IAS 172 mph. Nothing to report. Sortie completed.

Lancaster ME681 S/Ldr Blome-Jones. Up 22:03 down 03:40. Load D.406, C.302, D.406, C.302, C.302, F.624/14, Dropped 5433½ N 1034E at 00:53.44 height 14.680 feet heading 202 degree T IAS 195 mph. 3/10ths cloud, visibility excellent. Sortie completed.

Lancaster ND866 / G F/O Giddens. Up 22:12 down 03:47. Load D.406, C.302, D.406, F624/14, C.302, C.302. Dropped 5436N 1047½E. At 00:56, 05 hrs, height 14.350 ft heading 135½ degree IAS 217 mph. No comment. Sortie completed.

Lancaster ME667 F/Lt Millichap. Up 22:09 down 04:29. Load C.302, D.406, F624/14, C.302, D.406½, C.302. Dropped 5432 ¾ N 1034 ¾ E. at 0012,36 hrs height 14700 ft heading 200 degreeT IAS 193 mph, 4/10ths thin cloud good visibility. Satisfactory sortie in favorable weather conditions. Sortie completed.

Lancaster ND522 Pilot F/O Walshe. P.E. Sgt Freemann L.A., F/O Larby A.J., Sgt Campell. R.G., Sgt Simpson. M.J., F/Sgt Mattocks. B.G. Sgt Watts. E.L. Up 22:10 down -. Load C.302, D.406, C.302, F.624/14, C.302, D.406. Aircraft missing.          

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Lancaster ND555 P/O Owen. Up 22:04½ down 03:55. Load G.700, C.302, D.406, F624/14, C.302, C.302. Dropped at 5431½N, 1022E, time 00:58`02 height 14.150 ft heading 135 T, IAS 184 mph. Visibility good. A very successful trip. Sortie completed.

Lancaster ND567 P/O Cullis. Up 22:05½ down 03:45. Load F624/14. D.406, D.406, C.708, C.302, C.302. Dropped at 5430½N 1018E at 00:55`18 hrs, height 14.650 feet heading 114T IAS 236 mph, visibility good, cloud 3-4/10ths. Sortie completed.

Lancaster ME678 F/O Briggs. Up 22:06½ down 04:01. Load D.4061, C.3021, F624/14, C.302, C.302. Mines dropped at 00:52 hrs from 14.900 feet heading 135T H.2.S. Fix obtained 54.30N 10.24E 20 sec before first mine dropped. Weather conditions 4/5ths cloud, visibility good. Photograph showed cloud, sea, and a faint ground detail. Sortie completed.

 

630 Sqn ORB, East Kirkby.

21/22 May 1944: The other attack of the night was mining in “Forget Me Not” area and was more successful. One aircraft is missing without trace. LL950 Captain Bailey. All aircraft carried H2S, Fishpond and APE. The load was sea mines 5 Mark VI. The weather over base was good and over the mining area and bombing target was 4/10ths a/c about 9.000 feet.

 

Lancaster ND527 P/O Hawker. Up 22:39 down 03:40.  Night mine laying in Forget-Me-Not Gardens.

Lancaster LL966 F/L Probert. Up 22:01 down 04:02. Night mine laying in Forget-Me-Not Gardens.

Lancaster ND684 P/O Wilson. Up 21:49 down 03:36. Night mine laying in Forget-Me-Not Gardens.

Lancaster ND688 S/L Calvert. Up 22:24 down 03:32.  Night mine laying in Forget-Me-Not Gardens.

Lancaster LL972 P/O Mallinson. Up 22:25 down 04:14. Night mine laying in Forget-Me-Not Gardens.

Lancaster ND797 F/L Jodlin. Up 22:33 down 03:43. Night mine laying in Forget-Me-Not Gardens.

Lancaster LM537 P/O Lennon. Up 22:08 down 04:19. Night mine laying in Forget-Me-Not Gardens.

Lancaster LL950 Pilot P/O R.Baily, F/Eng P/O J. Whiting, Nav F/S C. Richardson, A/B F/S H. Henderson, Wop P/O A. Truesdale, Mug Sgt J. Lindsay, Rear gun Sgt M. Murton. Up 22:18 Missing without trace.  Night mine laying in Forget-Me-Not Gardens.

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Lancaster ND949 P/O Hooper. Up 22:10 down 04:23. Night mine laying in Forget-Me-Not Gardens.

Lancaster ME639 F/L Rodgers. Up 22:03 down 03:46. Night mine laying in Forget-Me-Not Gardens.

Lancaster LL949 Sgt Mitchell. Up 21:56 down 03:50. Night mine laying in Forget-Me-Not Gardens.

Lancaster ND551 P/O Rogers. Up 21:47 down 03:44. Night mine laying in Forget-Me-Not Gardens.

Lancaster ME795 F/L Weiler. Up 21:53 down 03:26. Night mine laying in Forget-Me-Not Gardens.

Lancaster JB290 P/O Champness. Up 22:13 down 04:06. Night mine laying in Forget-Me-Not Gardens.

 

6 Group ORB

Gardening.

This Group was required to provide 25 aircrafts for minelaying in ROSEMARY and NECTARINES II. The following were detailed: No.428 (RCAF) Squadron 15 Halifax aircraft. No.433 (RCAF) Squadron 10 Halifax aircraft. 21 aircraft completed the operation, two failed to take off and two returned early.

RESULTS and weather: This mission was successfully completed in favorable weather with 5/10ths to 8/10ths cloud. Some heavy flak was encountered over HELIGOLAND, SCHARNHORN, and WANGEROOG. One aircraft was hit by flak and the pilot slightly wounded in the head but he was able to carry on. 29.5 tons of mines were laid. There were no casualties.

 

428 (RCAF) Squadron ORB, Middleton St. George.

21/5-1944: Operations for to-day and fifteen crews detailed and briefed for mining operations on Heligoland carrying four mines each. Two were none starter`s, one due to H2S failure and one engine failure. Thirteen went to target, mined successfully and returned safely. Numerous snags were encountered in bombing up with four mines and our armament section had to request the aid of some 418 armourers to get the job done in time. This co-operation was much appreciated.

Bomb load: All aircraft carried 4 x 1000 lbs mines.

Gardening Rosemary

Halifax JP132 F/L Edwards. Up 2200 down 0311. 1. 5401½N 0814½E. 2. 5402N 0813E. 3(a) 0043.07hrs (b) 15000 (c) 167 (d) 239. 4. 6-8/10th to 4/5 ft. Parachutes not seen to open.

Halifax JP191 F/L Biden. Up 3139 down 0247. 1. 54011/4N 0807½E. 2. 5401.18N 0807.10E. 3. (a) 0028.20 (b) 15000 (c) track 174 deg, course 182 degs. (d) 160. 4. 8/10 strata Cu at 5000 ft. Clear above. No moon. Four parachutes seen. 5. An uneventful trip. Gee up to 07 degs and then on H2S. Everything easy.

Halifax JP198 P/O Sinclair. Up 2148 down 0253.  1. 5401½N 0814½E. 2. 5402N 0813.49E. 3. (a) 0036.47 (b) 15000 (c) 166 degs course, 165 degs track. (d) 150. 4. 7-7/10ths stratu Cu with tops 4/5000. All four parachutes seen. 8. No trouble. On take-off. Winds backed a bit more than briefed on the run down to the garden. A good trip and successful.

Halifax JN971 F/O Gonyou. Up 2136 down 0306. 1. 5401½N 0814½E. 2. 5402N 0813.49E 3.(a) 0036.45 hrs. (b) 15000 ft (c) 165 degs. (d) IAS 220. 4. 6-8/10ths to 4/5000 ft. 5. Brought back 1 x K1002 owing to hang-up. 8. Parachutes not seen.

Halifax HR925 F/S Smith. Up 2145 down 0316. 1. 5401½N 0814½E. 2. 5402N 0813.49E on H2S. 3. (a) 0045.50 (b) 15000 ft. (c) 165 (d) 213. 4. 6/10 low cloud, good vis. 7. 6 miles SW Heligoland 0053 hrs at 15000 ft heavy flak, pilots cockpit Perspex broken. 8. Caught in concentration flak 6 miles SW of Heligoland 0053 hrs at 15000 ft for about 1 to 2 min. A piece of flak broke pilots cockpit Perspex and cut pilot on forehead but he flew the aircraft back.

Halifax HR857 P/O Carter. Up 2159 down 0235. 1. 5435N 0712E. 0020 Hrs. 12000 ft. 5C (a) 1 x D410 1 x K1008 1xG706 1xK1002 H2S u/s. 6. H2S and Fishpond. 8. H2S became u/s at 0700E continued for 12 minutes and checked leads could not repair so returned to base.

Halifax JP124 P/O Pattinson. Up 2153 down 0256. 1.5400½N 0807½E. 2. 540118N 080710E. 3. (a) 0033.23 (b) 14000 ft. (c) 177 (d) 150. 4. 5-8/10 to 4/5000 ft 8. Parachutes not seen.

Halifax JN963 P/O Side. Up 2158 down 0246. 1. 5600½N 0800E. 2. 5401N 0759336E on H2S. 3. (a) 003121 (b) 1500 (c) 182 (d) 198. ¤. 8/10th cloud tops 5000 good vis. Parachutes seen. 8. Uneventful.

Halifax JP201 F/L Anderson. Up 2142 down 0252. 1. 5400½N 0807½E. 1. 540118N 080710E on H2S. 3. (a) 003516 (b) 15300 (c) 174 (d) 215. 4. 8/10 about 4000 good vis. 8. Uneventful.

Halifax JN127 P/O Vallee. Up 2159 down 0302. 1. 5400½N 0800E. 2. 5401N 075936E on H2S. 3 (a) 004650 (b) 15000 (c) 186 (d) 220 4. 9-110/10 tops 6000 good visibility. Parachutes seen. 8. Uneventful made a dummy run before dropping.

Halifax JP203 P/O Hawthorn. Up 2140 down 0258. 5400½N 0800E. 5401N 075936E on H2S 002710 hrs. 15000 ft 183 deg. 203 mph. 8/10th cloud about 6000 ft Good visibility. Parachutes seen. Uneventful.

Halifax JN969 W/O Forsberg. Up 2138 down 0319. 54001/4N 0800E. 5401N 07.5936E 003315 hrs. 11500 ft. 183 degree. 155 IAS Strarta Cu 6/10ths tops 7000ft. Parachutes not seen. Starboard failed to get boost. Starboard inner faulty, could not get boost and therefore could not climb. Returned on three engines as port outer failed. Winds backed more than briefed on the run in.

Halifax JN967 F/L Brown. Up 2151 down 0229. 1 5400½N 0800E. 2. 5401N 0759`36E. 002402 hrs. 15000 ft. 182 degree 150 IAS 7-8/10th cloud to 4-5000 ft. Parachutes not seen to open.

 

433 (RCAF) Squadron ORB, Skipton-on-Swale.

21/5-1944: Ten crews detailed for gardening around the “Frisians”. This detail was carried out and mines dropped in their allotted positions- no difficulties encountered and all returned safely.

Gardening Frisian-Area. Ten a/c were detailed to mine in “Frisian Area” and all dropped their mines in their allotted positions except a/c “Q” LV-972 who brought load back to base. Visibility was fair and very few of the parachutes were seen to open due to limited visibility. Crews reported successful trip with no difficulties. Aircrafts with their respective crews are listed below.

Gardening Frisians Area, (Nectarines II)

Halifax LV967 B W/O Hall. Up 22:00 down 02:41½. Mine load: 1 x G.706.VI, 1 x K.1002VI. 1 x K.1008VI and 1 x B.230VI.

Halifax LV842 D P/O Smith. Up 21:54 down 02:34. Mine load 1 x G.706VI, 1x K.1002VI, 1 x 1006VI and 1 x B.230VI.

Halifax LW122 F W/O Mitchell. Up 21:55 down 02:30. Mine load: 1 x K1002VI, 1 x K1008VI, 1 x D.412VI and 1 x K.1002VI.

Halifax LV911 I S/L McNeil. Up 21:58 down 02:17. Mine load: 1 x K.1002VI, 1 x D.419VI and 1 D.410VI.

Halifax ”J” F/S Devine. Up 21:59 down 02:15. Mine load: 1 x K1002VI, 1 x K1008VI and 2 x D.410VI.

Halifax LV992 N  F/S Ellison. Up 21:57 down 02:35. Mine load: 1 x K.1002VI, 1 X K1008VI and 2 x D.410VI.

Halifax LV972 Q P/O Rainelt. Up 21:56 down 02:32. Mine load: 1 x G.706VI, 1 x K.1002VI, 1 x K.1008VI and 1 x B.230VI. These mines were brought back to base.

Halifax HX275 S P/O James. Up 21:52 down 02:44. Mine load: 1 x K1002VI, 1 x K.108VI, 1 x D.412VI and 1 x K.1002VI.

Halifax LW115 U F/S Porter. Up 22:33 down 02:28. Mine load: 1 x K.1002VI, 1 x D.410VI, 1 x D.410VI and 1 x D.410VI.

Halifax HI290 V F/O Linklater. Up 21:53 down 02:45. Mine load: 1 x K.1002VI, 1 x K.1008VI and 2 x D.410VI.

 

 

Bomber Command Summary of operation.

12/14 Halifaxes of 4 Group, 64/70 Lancasters of 5 Group and 21/23 Halifaxes of 6 Group laid mines in the allotted areas. 3 a/c are missing from this operation.

4 Group Halifax 14 disp. 12 Success. Abortive 2. Dropped 36 8000 H.C. mines dropped.

5 Group Lancaster 70 disp. 64 success. Missing 3. Abortive 3. Dropped 382 800 H.C. mines dropped.

6 Group Halifax 23 disp. 21 success. Abortive 2. Dropped 83 mines.

Total: 84 aircrafts disp. 76 Success. 3 missing. 5 Abortive. 418 8000 H.C. mines dropped.

Casualties: 5. Group. 3 Lancasters. 1/57, 1/207, 1/630 Sqdns.

  

      

Weather:

Minelaying : 7-10/ths St.Cu, base 2000 ft, tops 4-6000 ft. Cloud broke over Denmark to small amounts.

Bases: Much cloud with local drizzle south of the wash at dusk, clearing for return.

Enemy fighter reaction:

The approach of the 100 minelayers towards N.W.Germany and Denmark when the 500 Lancasters were making for Duisburg, via Texel, had two major effects. Fighters of NJG 3 were not allowed to take off until Duisburg force crossed the coast about 00:10 hrs, and they were therefore too late to carry out any interception of the bombers in the Twente Enschede area, or indeed before target was reached. Secondly this NJG had to split so that IV NJG 3, from Westerland, had to deal with the minelayers, while the rest of the Geschwader was used against the Duisburg raid. The IV Gruppe was sent at 00:13 to Pellworm and all the evidence suggests the they carried out interception of the 5 Group minelayers on their way across Jutland. Congratulations were heard at 02:13 hrs and traffic did not cease until much later.

Combats and enemy aircrafts encountered:

The 5 Group minelayers, taking the more southerly route across Denmark, were met after making landfall by some JU 88`s, and both Me 110`s and JU 88`s were seen near Kiel Bay. One JU 88 was claimed destroyed. NOTE: Attacks at 55.25N. 08.54E (outward) and Skegness (homeward) were reported after the attached map was completed.

 

Bombers passed over by Night figthers

  

 

Ground defences:

Minelaying: Esbjerg and other defended points were active.

Appreciation:

The minelaying Groups operated along separate routes and the only one involving casualties was that of 5 Group. They seem to have lost one a/c at the north of Funen and another just before leaving Jutland – both on the northerly return route, and possibly one off Langeland. The reports are rather indeterminate, but in view of the position of a/c seen falling and the intercepter congratulations to fighters it may be assumed that 2 a/c were lost to fighters and one must be left as uncertain.

Routes and timing ordered:

Minelaying: (i) Baltic – T.O.T. 01:00 – 01:10 hrs. Over Denmark 00:27 – 01:55 hrs. (ii) North Sea: T.O.T. (i) 00:24 hrs. (ii) 00:31 hrs.

 

 

        

Reports by Statens Civile Luftværn (Danish Civil Air Defence)

 

SCL reports of flights on 22/5-1944:

00:12 - 00:17: Allied aircrafts approaching (Denmark) on a broad front in southern part of Mid Jutland heading east.

00:35: Allied aircrafts on a broad front between Aabenraa and Horsens heading East.

00:38: Large formations from Jutland heading east.

00:40 – 00:42: The first aircrafts in the formation have reached Fyn. Further aircrafts approaching from West heading East.

01:08: Several aircrafts over Southern Sjælland, as well as aircrafts in southern Kattegat and north of Møn, heading east.

00:15 – 00:17: Return flight started over Fyn. Heading west.

01:24: Still large formations heading for Sjælland and Lolland. Heading east.

01:27 – 01:35: Return flight towards west have started.

02:04: Aircraft from south towards Northern Jylland. Heading north.

02:16: Approx. 3 – 4 aircrafts over Great Belt and Fyn. All heading North.

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Assens reports 22/5-1944 01:30 hrs: An aircraft has crashed by Tanderup in Hjorte approx.. 11 km north of Assens.

Fanø island reports 22/5-1944 01:45 hrs: An burning aircraft that was seen over Sønderho heading SE has crashed near Manø island. Two airmen who bailed out was seen drifting in easterly direction.

Vejle reports 22/5-1944 02:32 hrs: An aircraft has crashed near Vesterlund approx.. 5 km east of Thyregod. The aircraft is on fire.

Middelfart reports 22/5-1944 12:37 hrs: In Runæs forrest near Gamborg approx.. 8 km southeast of Middelfart have been found 6 magnetic mines. The German Sprengkommando have exploded one mine. The explosive expert from the Civil Air Defense in on site. Fluko Odense have been informed.

(It should be noted that all returning minelayers successfully gardening “Forget-me-Not” reports had their mines accounted for. Therefore these mines must have been dropped by Lancaster ND522 that crashed near Mandø or Lancaster LL950 that crashed by Vesterlund.)

Middelfart reports 23/5-1944 19:40 hrs: Those mines found at Runæs have now all been de-activated.

Rudkøbing reports 22/5-1944 10:23 hrs: Today, by Kjeldsnor Lighthouse on the southern tip of Langeland, have been found two magnetic mines of which one is laying in the water. The Lighthouse and a farm with 6 persons have been evacuated. Fluko Odense have been informed.

Rudkøbing reports 23/5-44 15:15 hrs: The mines that was found laying on land near Kjeldsnor Lighthouse have today been deactivated and removed. The barrier and the evacuation have been canselled. Fluko Odense have been informed.

 

Reports by The Danish Police

Assens police reports 22/5 1944 01:30 hrs: An English four engine aircraft has crashed by Nakke approx.. 9 km north of Assens.

Vejle Police reports 22/5-1944: At 02:10 hrs an English four engine aircraft crashed at the railroad line between Vester and Thyregod.

 

German flight crew log books.

Oblt Walter Briegleb fiendberürung: 22/5 ein Lancaster abgeschossen am Insel Fünen.

Flugbuch Walter Braünlich, member of Ltn. Briegleb crew operating Bf 110 D5+BV: Night of 21/22-5 1944: Take off 23:50 – Land 02:24. Abschüss ein Halifax. Attacked the aircraft at 4300 meter at 0:44 hrs. Crashed at square PU 6/8.

 

German accepted claims in Danish area from BA-MA films.

22.05.44 Ltn. Walter Briegleb   10./NJG 3  4-mot. Flzg. Plq 05 Ost N/PU 6.8: 4.300 m. 00.44.  Film  C. 2027/II Anerk: Nr.24

22.05.44 Hptm. Franz Buschmann   Stab IV./NJG 3  4-mot. Flzg. Plq PS 4 See: 3.200 m. 01.39  Film C. 2027/II Anerk: Nr.7

22.05.44 Uffz. Heinz Koppe   10./NJG 3  4-mot. Flzg. Plq NT 1-6: 4.700 m.  02.00                 Film C. 2027/II Anerk: Nr.25

 

Kriegstagesbuch des Seekommandanten Südjütland.

22/5 1944 00:12 – 02:38 : Flak und Fliegeralarm bef.v.Ugruko: Ein und ausflüge von ca. 80 feindmaschinen, wahrscheinlich Minenleger. Zielhöhe 4200-5400 m. Ziele von schwerer Marine und Luftwaffenflak unter Feuer genommen. In 30 und in 160 (Entfernung ca 15 km) je ein abschuss- wahrscheinlich durch Nachtjäger.

Munitioneverbrauch: 2./204 73 Schuss 10.5 cm. 3./204 91 Schuss 10.5 cm. 4./204 86 Schuss 10.5 cm. 1./263 124 Schuss 10.5 cm.

 

Kriegstagesbuch des Marineoberkommando Nordsee. 21.5-22.5 1944

23.10 bis 00.01 Uhr durch etwa 50 Flugzeuge uber Geletwegen von Schiermonnikoog bis Elbmündung und Wangerooge bis Helgoland, Minenabwurfverdacht. 03.45 Uhr Einfahrt Helgoland gesperrt. In der Nacht drei Minen an Fallschirmen bei Tettenserhörn ( Butjadingen nördlich Nordenham) and Aussen und Innendeich nidergegangen. Aufschlagstellen durch Sperrwaffenkommando eingeleitet. Ein Räumerfolg auf Geleitwegen vor Elbe.

 

Kriegstagesbuch Küstenbefehlshaber Deutsche Bucht. 21.5 – 22.5 1944.

Eine anzahl Feindflugzeuge, die ab 23.10 Uhr in die Deutsche Bucht einfliegt, kurvt über der Jade-Münding und im Raum südl. Und ostwärts Helgoland. Abflug nach W. Letzte Meldung 1.00 Uhr (22.5.44). Abwehr durch Vernichtungs- und Störfeuer der S.Flak Wilhelmshafen, H`Land, W`münde und Wangerooge. Zielhöhen 3400 – 6000 m. Wegen Minenverdachts wird das Auslaufen aus Helgoland gesperrt.

 

Kriegstagesbuch Befehlshabers der Sicherung der Ostsee 21.5-22.5 1944.

Ort: Kopenhagen. Ab 00.20 Uhr Einflug eines Stärkeren feindlichen Flugzeugverbandes in Breiter Front von Western her. Beflogener Raum: Westliche Ostsee, Fehmarnbelt, Teile der Mecklenburger-Bucht. Verminungsverdacht besteht für die gesamte westliche Ostsee bis Fehmarn-Belt. Auch für die nördlich anscheiessenden Gebeite der 8. Sich, - Div. besteht Verminungsverdacht.

03.50 Uhr. Im B.S.O.-Bereich wurden gesperrt:

1) Weg 1, Ziffer 1 bis 11.

2) Weg 3, Ziffer 1 bis 5.

3) Weg 4, Ziffer 1 bis 2.

4) Weg 6, Ziffer 1 bis 7.

5) Weg 7, Ziffer 1 bis 5 A.

6) Weg 8, Ziffer 1 bis 8.

7) Weg 9, Ziffer 1 bis 3.

8) Weg 25, Ziffer 1 bis 2.

9) Weg 28, Ziffer 1 bis 3.

Es sind sämtliche verfügenbaren Räumstretkräfte eingesetz worden. Im Einzelnen:

A ) Im bereicht der 1. Sich.-Fl.: 23 Boote, 4 M.S.-Flug-Zeuge.

B ) Im Bereich der 2. Sich.-Fl.: 17 Boote.

C ) Im bereich der 3. Sich.-Fl.: 16 Boote.

Geräumt wurden ingesamt 63 Minen. Davon im Bereicht der 3. Sich.-Fl.: 3 Minen (Danziger Bucht)

 

Kriegstagesbuch Marineoberkommando Ostsee. Führungsstab.

22/5-1944 02:00

Luftlage: Ab 00.20 Uhr Einflug eines stärkeren Feindverbandes (ca 80 Flugzeuge) in breiter Nord-Süd-Front zum Minenflug in S Kattegat. Dän. Belte, Kieler Bucht, Lübecker Bucht bis Darsser Ort. Minenverdacht für Zwangswege Westliche Ostsee bis Lübecher Bucht, Langeland Belt, Gewässer O.Falster, Möen und Südzeeland, Grosser Belt, Noirdspitze Langeland bis N Sprogö, Südwestlich Gewasser Kattegat. Je 1 Abschuss O Veile und W Mandö in See, 2 Abschüsse Raum Hadersleben.

07.00: Admiral Skagerak meldet:

1 ) Infolge Mineneinfluges folgende Wegesperrungen:

Weg 34 Ziffer 1-3

Weg 36 Ziffer 1-4

Weg 28 Ziffer 3-20

Weg 28 D

Weg 32 Ziffer 5-8

Weg 27

Weg 25 Ziffer 2-21

Weg 28 B

Ankerplätze Fritz, Anton, Bruno, Cäsar, Emil, Toni, Paula.

 

Kriegstagesbuch Admiral Dänemark.

22.05.1944 00.20 – 02.47 :  Einflug von etwa 60 – 80 feindlichen Flugzeugen in breiter front über Mittel – und Südjütland in Raum der dän. Gewässer.

Rückflug auf Gegenkurs. Beurteilung: Minenflug.

Minenverdacht: Kattegat, Gr. Belt, Langeland – Belt, Gewässer um Falster, Mön und Südseeland, Fährweg Nyborg-Korsör.

 

 

 

 

Marine-Flugmeldeabteilung westliche Ostsee (Flugwachkommando Kiel)

German map from end 1944 showing mined areas in 1944. Digits indicating time closed.

 

 

Sources: NAA Kew: Squadron ORB`s AIR 27, AIR 14/7976/3491/3376, AIR 24/273, AIR 25/94/110/122/130, KTB`s via Hanstholm Museum, Danish National Archive: Police report B404, Assens police 652/44, SCL reports. KTB Admiral Dänemark via Flemming Hansen, KTB Maraneoberkommando Ostsee. Führungsstab via Wolfgang Müller. Marine-Flugmeldeabteilung westliche Ostsee (Flugwachkommando Kiel) via Nils Hempel.

 

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