75 Years Ago from the Archives.

75 Years ago from the Operation Record Books for
R.A.F. Station  Harrowbeer

 

December  1943

Wing Commander J. Butterworth remains the Station Commander for R.A.F. Harrowbeer, but the O.R.B. for December was signed by Squadron Leader J. M. Littler.

 

Visitors to R.A.F. Harrowbeer included :-

          Wing Commander Hatcher  _  Headquarters A.D.G.B. ( Air Defence of Great Britain )

          Squadron Leader Jones  -  Headquarters Maintenance Command

          Flight Lieutenant Harris  -  Headquarters No.10 Group

          Squadron Leader Modley  -  Officer Commanding R.A.F. Station Bolt Head

          Group Captain Alexander  -  R.A.F. Mount Batten

          Group Captain Hobb  -  Dartmouth

          Wing Commander Milroy-Hayes  -  Headquarters No.19 Group

          Flight Lieutenant Mount  -  D.A.P.M.'s Department

          Squadron Leader Bradley  -  R.A.F. Station Davidstow

          Flight Lieutenant Maniston  -  Command Catering Officer, Headquarters A.D.G.B.

          Flying Officer Daniel  -  Command Salvage Officer, Headquarters A.D.G.B.

          Wing Commander Sissmore  -  Headquarters No.19 Group

          Various un-named Army Officers  -  British and American

 

Weather

          1st December     The weather today was reasonable with 5/10 cloud and visibility fair to good.

          2nd December     The weather is duffing up a bit - 10/10 cloud and rain showers but visibility still holding at fair to good.

          3rd December     Bad today with rain and 8/10 cloud.

          4th December     Quite a reasonable day for this part of the country although very cold and windy. 10/10 cloud about but with good visibility.

          5th December     The weather remains much the same although the wind has increased, the temperature is freezing but visibility fair. Any aircraft taking off for flights is finding the landing of the aircraft quite hazardous.

          6th December     Today is pretty bad and generally uninviting being very cold with low clouds, strong winds and rain showers.

          7th December     The weather seems to be improving with quite a reasonable morning. 3/10 cloud, cold and clear.

          8th December     A grim day.     No flying.     Heavy rain and visibility less than one mile.

          9th December     The weather was bad this morning, clearing in the afternoon in the Harrowbeer area.

          10th December     Today the weather remained bad for the whole of the day, 10/10 low cloud down on the hills. The " OCC " in with a vengeance.     No flying.

          11th December     " OCC " still in, though lifting in the afternoon but not enough to permit any flying, remaining cold with good visibility.

          12th December     The weather is still bad. There were a few flights in the morning but nothing again in the afternoon.

          13th December     The morning started hazy and freezing, 8/10 cloud, clearing in the afternoon eventually.

          14th December     The " OCC " tried very hard today but only managed to get as far as ' Spooner's Feature '. Thick haze from the south, east and south west but remained reasonably cold and clear around the aerodrome.

          15th December     Not at all pleasant today, 7/10 clouds at two thousand five hundred feet and cold with thick fog beneath.

          16th December     The " OCC " in with a vengeance, practically no visibility, 10/10 low cloud and therefore no flying.

          17th December     The " OCC " is still with us. Wet and cold, still no flying today.

          18th December     The weather is starting to clear a little, 5/10 cloud with visibility fair to good.

          19th December     Back to another grim day, 10/10 cloud. Visibility at times less than two miles.

          20th December     Starting to clear up again, fine with good visibility

          21st December     Today started pretty poorly, rain all morning, but is improving as the day progresses.

          22nd December     Quite a reasonable day for a change. 5/10 cloud with visibility fair to good.

          23rd December     A moderate kind of a day, but becoming duff as the day continues. 10/10 low cloud down to the hills all morning, clearing for a short spell in the afternoon.

          24th December     Not a very satisfactory day so far as the weather is concerned, frosty, but there were a few bright intervals, however the weather clamped down eventually towards evening.

          25th December     Yet another duff day. Weather totally unfit for flying.

          26th December     Another miserable day with the usual thick fog and intermittent rain storms making flying impossible.

          27th December     The usual mist prevails with visibility down to one thousand yards. 10/10 low cloud, weather u/s for flying for most of the day.

          28th December     Today is much better at last. 10/10 cloud.

          29th December     Another reasonable day but no good for flying.

          30th December     Today was pretty average, 6/10 cloud with visibility fair to good.

          31st December     The weather today is fairly good although there are patches of haze about, 7/10 cloud with good visibility.

 

From the Station O.R.B.

          1st December     Wing Commander Hatcher from Headquarters A.D.G.B. ( Air Defence of Great Britain ) visited the Station in connection with armament matters.

          6th December     Squadron Leader Jones from Headquarters Maintenance Command visited No.276 Air Sea Rescue Squadron.

          7th December     Flight Lieutenant Harris from Headquarters No.10 Group visited the Station in connection with equipment matters.

          11th December     A ' Station Gas Defence Exercise ' took place on the Station to which the reaction of all personnel was entirely satisfactory.          Squadron Leader Modley - the Officer Commanding R.A.F. Station Bolt Head visited the Station.

          12th December     A ' Station Defence Exercise ( Eros ) ' was held on the Station. The exercise was attended by a number of Army Officers, both British and American as well as Group Captain Alexander of R.A.F. Mount Batten, Group Captain Hobb from Dartmouth and Wing Commander Milroy-Hayes from Headquarters No.19 Group.

          13th December     Flight Lieutenant Mount of D.A.P.M.'s Department visited the Station as well as Squadron Leader Bradley from R.A.F. Station Davidstow.

          15th December     Flight Lieutenant Maniston - Command Catering Officer from Headquarters A.D.G.B. and Flying Officer Daniel - Command Salvage Officer ( H.Q.A.D.G.B. ) visited the Station in connection with their respective departments.          The road and rail parties of No.279 Air Sea Rescue Squadron left R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer, the Squadron having been posted to R.A.F. Bircham Newton. Their departure is generally regretted and the Station will always be pleased to see them whenever they are in this part of the world.

          18th December     The Air party of No.279 Air Sea Rescue Squadron took off for R.A.F. Bircham Newton.

          25th December     Christmas Day.     The day was kept as a holiday as far as the exigencies of the service would permit, and the usual Christmas procedure was observed. The Sergeant's Mess was invited to the Officer's Mess at 1100 hours, a goodly number of gallons of beer disappeared, and a pleasant time was had by all. After this the Officers and Sergeants adjourned to the Airmen's Mess and carried out the time honoured custom of serving the Airmen and Airwomen Christmas dinner. The latter including :- turkey, pork, a notable variety of vegetables and trimmings, plum pudding, jellies, cheese and biscuits, beer and ten cigarettes per head - not to mention Father Christmas carrying the Christmas pudding ( in flames ) round the hall. From reports received it can be stated without fear of contradiction that no one went away empty. After this the Officers were entertained in the Sergeant's Mess and in the afternoon there was a first class E.N.S.A. show which was much appreciated. This was followed by a terrific tea and in the evening when there was a Station dance. Everything went well and a great credit is due to all who were responsible for organising the festivities. It should also be recorded that, contrary to the usual practice, the Officers had their Christmas dinner followed by a dance on Christmas Eve, this making it possible for Mess staff to join in the general celebrations of Christmas Day.

          30th December     Wing Commander J. Butterworth ( the Station Commander ) departed for Scotland for a fourteen day course on Combined Operations. Squadron Leader J. M. Littler ( Officer Commanding No.276 ( ASR ) Squadron ) assumed the duties of the Station Commander.          Wing Commander Sissmore from Headquarters No.19 Group visited the Station.

 

Appendix  " A "

 Station Defence Exercise ' Eros '

This exercise took place on Sunday morning 12th December 1943 and was designed to test the defence of Yelverton sub-sector and in particular R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer.

One Battalion of an American combat team was the ' enemy ' and it's job was to overwhelm the strongpoint for the defence of R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer, vis :- Spooner's Feature and then consolidate. The counter attack by another complete American combat team was to be put in.

The defence of Spooner's Feature were in the hands of four Flights of the Station personnel - Lion, Tiger, Leopard and Puma, and two platoons of the Home Guard. In addition - Panther Flight was to originally concentrate near the Station Small Arms Stores where there were other Home Guard and a few R.A., C.M.P. and Pioneers in the vicinity.

The opening of the attack for both sides was supposed to be signalled by the dropping of one hundred and fifty Airborne troops. Action was not to start before 0900 hours, but unfortunately owing to the weather this part of the scheme was delayed and eventually abandoned. This caused confusion and while the defences were told to wait, the enemy started to move in. This was made worse by some deliberate cheating, ' B ' Company of the enemy moved in at about 0800 hours and had over-run one strong Home Guard area and the Small Arms Store before the exercise was due to start. At 0919 hours defensive news of the start of the exercise was given and the R.A.F. defences were immediately manned. The enemy who started early, unfortunately over-ran some positions on Spooner's Feature by 0930 hours before the defences arrived and R.A.F. personnel were never properly organised, because as each man arrived he was hurled into battle. The ground crew of Squadrons and Echelons were unable to take part, as they were engaged on local protection of the airfield, although nearly thirty members of No.276 ( A.S.R. ) Squadron arrived to give valuable help.

Aircraft of No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron took off immediately at 0919 hours and sent back valuable information of the enemies movements and ground strafed the enemy troops. In theory all aircraft were to take off as rapidly as possible, attack enemy aircraft and troops on the ground, send back information and when ammunition was exhausted they were to fly to R.A.F. Exeter or another safe airfield. It was estimated that seventy five per cent of the aircraft would have got off in this manner. This side of the ' battle ' was run by the Commanding Officer from Flying Control.

The main attack developed on the east and south of Spooner's Feature and the R.A.F. and Home Guard were slowly pushed back. Tiger Flight suffered heavy casualties and were reinforced by Puma Flight ( the reserve on the Feature ) being sent to help them.

As soon as the extent of the threat was known, orders were sent out for other troops outside to concentrate on Spooner's Feature. The remnants of Panther Flight, Home Guard, R.A. and C.M.P.'s from areas which had been over-run arrived to help. In particular about one hundred men of ' E ' Company Home Guard from Bere Alston arrived from the west. There they contacted detachments of Lion Flight and the Home Guard and joined up with them.

At 1055 hours the Controllers decided that the resistance on Spooner's Feature must cease so that the remainder of the exercise could be continued. At that time there was still R.A.F. and Home Guard sniping, about fifteen men of Lion Flight were undiscovered apart from the ' E ' Company and R.A.F. of about one hundred and thirty men referred to above who now counter attacked the Feature from the west. They were making excellent progress, but unfortunately the umpire had to rule them out at about 1115 hours in order that the enemy be given proper opportunity to consolidate. The Battle Headquarters was never found by the enemy.

The enemy consolidated and were counter attacked by one Battalion of Infantry and one Regimental Artillery of the supporting combat team which had been considerably delayed by road mining, etc. The counter attack was ruled successful by 1300 hours and the exercise concluded.

While the umpires had many criticisms to make - some of them were caused by their being unfamiliar with R.A.F. conditions and were unjustified. An example being the lack of field telephones in all A.A. Posts, the distribution of arms and ammunition, the necessity for the Station to remain on an operational basis - however both they and the enemy praised the fire discipline of the R.A.F. The R.A.F. reached Spooner's Feature in excellent time and in spite of delay in the issue of field telephones and Browning machine guns caused by the Control staff the positions that had not been over-run were manned in a maximum of thirty minutes. As Spooner's Feature is two miles from the Communal and Technical Sites this was a fine performance.

In spite of the unfair advantage taken by the enemy at the start, their greater numbers and the necessity for a ' scramble ' by the R.A.F. it must be recorded that the official verdict was that the defence of Spooner's Feature was held.

 

Signed by :-  H. Moorland    Major  L.D.A. Harrowbeer

 

Appendix  ' B '

Physical Fitness and Entertainment for Form 540     December  1943

December has seen a reorganisation in P.T. on the Station, Echelons and Dispersal Points being visited by P.T.I.'s.     Air crew ( in accordance with the recently circulated command letter ) are now scheduled to a minimum of eight hours P.T. per month in the Station Gymnasium.

Sport

Soccer :-    A Station XI played in the Plymouth Combination League weekly and occasionally friendly games as arranged with nearby units for section teams, in many case leading to social functions. An inter-section league has great support for most sections.

Rugby :-     Matches have been played when operations permit by No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron who are extremely keen on the game.

Badminton :-     One of the few indoor sports available continues to increase in popularity.

Squash :-     Air crew make full use of all facilities for this game on the Station, there is some shortage however of racquets.

Entertainment

The following is a brief summary of entertainment on the Station

Cinema :-     E.N.S.A.                                 3 shows

                    Station                                   4 shows

                   Cinema in the Officer's Mess     4 shows

Stage :-        E.N.S.A.                                 3 shows

                    Dances                                   3

                    Whist Drives                           4

                    Gramophone Concerts            4

                    Padre's Social Hour                 Weekly

Wall Newspaper :-     This feature ' The Typhoon ' has been extremely popular and contributions are greater than the space available.

 

Station Sick Quarters - Form 540

          1st December     The strength of the Station including Unit R.A.F. Bolt Head and Units attached for medical administration :-  R.A.F.  =  1599     W.A.A.F.  =  414     Army  =  135

          3rd December     Number of patients admitted to the Station Sick Quarters and Hospital for week-ending today :-  R.A.F.  =  20     W.A.A.F.  =  11     Army  =  3

          3rd December     A Sapper on leave at Horrabridge from No.2 Posting Depot B.N.R.E. Halifax was admitted to Mount Gould Orthopaedic Hospital, Plymouth with a ' bullet wound to his right foot ' caused when his rifle ' went off ' when he was cleaning it.

          3rd December     A Liberator aircraft crashed at Steeperton Tor - an ambulance from No.115 Station Hospital co-operated and all casualties were admitted to the Station Hospital.

          10th December     Number of patients admitted to the Station Sick Quarters and Hospital for week-ending today :-   R.A.F.  =  7     W.A.A.F.  =  9     Army  =  2

          17th December     Number of patients admitted to the Station Sick Quarters and Hospital for week-ending today :-  R.A.F.  =  12     W.A.A.F.  =  0     Army  =  2

          21st December     A Typhoon aircraft crashed at Colcharton Farm. The pilot was admitted to the Station Sick Quarters suffering from bruises and shock.

          24th December     Number of patients admitted to the Station Sick Quarters and Hospital for week-ending today :-  R.A.F.  =  9     W.A.A.F.  =  2     Army  =  1

          25th December     A Flying Fortress aircraft crashed at Shelstone Tor. The casualties were admitted directly to No.115 Station Hospital.

          27th December     A Liberator aircraft crashed at Hamel Down. The casualties were admitted direct to the U.S. Army Hospital, Stover.

          28th December     A Liberator aircraft crashed near Black Tor. The casualties were admitted direct to No115 Station Hospital, U.S. Army.

          28th December     A Typhoon aircraft had engine trouble whilst at R.A.F. Harrowbeer. It turned over and caught fire. The pilot was removed by personnel in the vicinity and was treated for burns to his face, he was then admitted to the Royal Naval Hospital, Plymouth.

The Form 540 for the month of December was signed by :- Squadron Leader F. Constable, Senior Medical Officer.

 

From the Squadron O.R.B.'s

 

No.193 Squadron :-

          1st December     Four Typhoon aircraft of ' B ' Flight flew to R.A.F. Predannack at 1045 hours and later took off from there to act as anti-flak cover for two Mosquito bomber aircraft being escorted by eight Typhoon aircraft of No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron Typhoon aircraft attacking a ship near the Ile de Groix. Only one of the Mosquito bombers took off. No.193 Squadron acted as anti-flak at the northern end of the Isle. Two aircraft attacked a minesweeper and observed good results. The Mosquito bomber attacked and scored a near miss and later flew into the sea. On the return journey one of the pilots saw a JU88 ( German Aircraft ) which was attacked and destroyed. One of the No.193 Squadron pilots was forced to bale out into the sea thirty miles south of Land's End, Cornwall and was rescued by a H.S.L. ( high speed launch ) after about one and a half hours. This is No.193 Squadron's first enemy aircraft. The remaining three No.193 Squadron aircraft landed back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1315 hours.

          2nd December     Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron represented our share of the ' Harrowbeer Wing ' and escorted twenty four Boston Bomber aircraft to a target south of Cherbourg. One of the Boston aircraft had one engine put out of action by flak, but managed to return safely.

          3rd December     Eight Typhoon aircraft indulged in a fighter sweep in the Rennes area.

          4th December     Four Typhoon aircraft of ' A ' Flight were airborne with No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron on a sweep in the Rennes area. Bad weather on the other side of the Channel forced the aircraft to keep low.

          5th December     The ' Harrowbeer Wing ' is airborne to cover the withdrawal of two hundred Liberator aircraft from a mission in the Lorient area.

          6th December     Eight Typhoon aircraft were airborne and flew to R.A.F. Predannack in the late morning on stand by duties.

          7th December     The eight Typhoon aircraft returned from R.A.F. Predannack.

          9th December     Bad weather in the morning, clearing in the afternoon when flying practice could be carried out including a small amount of bombing practice off Dawlish.

          10th and 11th December     Two days of no flying due to the bad weather conditions.

          12th December     Two Typhoon aircraft were scrambled after a ' bogey ' ( enemy aircraft ) which turned out to be friendly.

          13th December     ' A ' Flight took over the state of readiness early in the afternoon to allow No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron to do a Squadron " Balbo ".

          16th December     Another no flying day.

          17th December     A Roadstead with torpedo Beaufighter aircraft was laid on, but at dawn this was cancelled because of the weather conditions.

          18th December     Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron and eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron were airborne at 1100 hours as withdrawal cover to torpedo Beaufighter aircraft being escorted by aircraft of No.183 Squadron. The target being a ship - the ' Pietro Orecle ' of four thousand seven hundred tons laying off Concarneau. The weather over France prevented the ' Wing ' from flying at twelve thousand to seven thousand feet. Landfall was made at Ile de Batz and from there to Concardeau, the ' Wing ' flew at deck level and returned via Penmarche Point, Seine Isles and Ushant. Rain, low cloud and low visibility being encountered all the way from Concerdeau. Control vectored the ' Wing ' to R.A.F. Predannack where a landing under very adverse conditions was made. There was great disappointment by all concerned as the party and house warming at Whistley ( the Squadron Mess ) was missed.

          19th December     The eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron that were at R.A.F. Predannack returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer and the party and house warming took place in the evening to the satisfaction of everyone.

          20th December     Ten Dakota aircraft dropped paratroopers near Yelverton in the morning and then landed on the aerodrome.          ' B ' Flight on state have two scrambles, but see nothing.          Seven Typhoon aircraft took off at 1455 hours to fly to R.A.F. Predannack in the early afternoon and later carried out a sweep with No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron from Raz Point to Rennes. The aircraft flew to within six miles west of Ushant, climbing to twelve thousand feet in a gentle turn. Diving they crossed the French Coast at Raz Point and then flew at deck level near to Rennes and then turned north returning to R.A.F. Harrowbeer, landing at 1640 hours.

          22nd December     Quite a reasonable day with two operations. Both operations required No.193 Squadron and No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron to escort Typhoon bomber aircraft of No.183 Squadron who would attack the installations at Martinvast near Cherbourg.          The first trip in the late morning gave very good bombing conditions with moderate flak experienced, the bombs were not seen to explode.          The second trip in the middle of the afternoon gave bad bombing conditions, the bombers diving through a small gap in the clouds and all the bombs were seen to explode.

          23rd December     Local practice flying including air tests, camera gun work and formation flying.

          24th December     Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron went off to escort six Bomphoons ( Typhoon bomber aircraft ) of No.183 Squadron. This Ramrod operation was carried out from R.A.F. Predannack and went according to plan. No enemy aircraft were seen.

          25th December     Christmas Day ( on the moors ) heralds another duff day, no flying.

          26th December     Yet another miserable day making flying impossible.          This evening and on a moderate scale, a very happy party continued, celebrations in the Officer's Mess, before sojourning to ' Whistley ' for the usual discussions and commentaries.

          27th December     The Squadron is on state this morning, but heavens knows why! The usual mist prevails with visibility one thousand yards.

          28th December     Another day of practice flying, which was marred by a terrible aircraft accident. Unfortunately on just getting airborne, three quarters of the way along the runway one of the pilots had his engine cut out on his Typhoon aircraft. He had not the time to get both undercarriage wheels up and attempt a belly landing, with the result that he came a nasty cropper just beyond the end of the runway. The port undercart which had stayed down when he hit the ground caused the aircraft to turn over onto it's back. One of the Typhoon's long range fuel tanks immediately burst into flames and soon the greatest part of the aircraft was ablaze. As the cabin hood had not caved in it looked a bad show for the pilot, however to the amazement of most and with a little assistance the pilot was out and smiling through his burns and bruises in a matter of seconds. It is expected that the pilot will make a full recovery quite soon. The Commanding Officer and one or two of the other pilots paid him a visit during the evening and found him enjoying the atmosphere of the Plymouth Royal Naval Hospital, the nurses having proved most attentive and efficient.

         29th December     Today marks the first anniversary of the history of ' No.193 Squadron '. The Squadron was formed at this Station ( Harrowbeer ) a year ago today and looking back over the previous twelve months there is quite a lot to be proud of. The only disappointment has been the atrocious bad luck of the Squadron pilots in not meeting enemy aircraft. The total of half of a JU88 is not an imposing record, so far as enemy aircraft destroyed is concerned, but there are a dozen ships that have been damaged during sweeps.

The Squadron started with no aircraft and most of the pilots came from O.T.U.'s ( Operational Training Units ). These pilots have been trained and despite postings are operational on Typhoons.

A very happy celebration was held tonight, starting at the ' Skylark ' around 2000 hours, pilots and all ground staff of ' No.193 Squadron ' had a highly satisfactory time. After the ' lubricating ' period at the ' Skylark ' all congregated at ' Whistley ' - the Squadron Mess and continued until well after midnight.          The Commanding Officer took the opportunity of dishing out cigarettes, cigars and various South American foods - including a special type of cheese!!  To all concerned these ' dainties ' had kindly been sent by our Brazilian God-Parents from the Embassy in London.

          30th December     In the afternoon eight Squadron Typhoon aircraft carried out a Rodeo at zero feet. No enemy aircraft were seen. Two Squadron aircraft were hit by flak. One had a terrific hole just behind the cockpit, the port wing bearing several holes and the steel cable rudder controls cut. The aircraft is classified as Category ' B '. The second aircraft managed to complete the sweep with a badly damaged starboard wing.          Today saw the arrival of  new Typhoon aircraft incorporating the latest type of sliding hood. This is the first of it's kind to reach the Squadron. Much favourable comments made and it is to be hoped that more will be arriving in the very near future.

          31st December     This is the last day of 1943.          At 0938 hours eight No.193 Squadron Typhoon aircraft took part in Ramrod No.118. The operation was carried out as planned, making landfall north of Morlaix at eight thousand feet. They swept above the cloud to south west of Morlaix to Guipavas, re-crossing the coast at Pontuval. No enemy aircraft or shipping were sighted. There was moderate heavy flak experienced from the Guipavas area. All aircraft landed back at base at 1104 hours.          At 1554 hours four Typhoon aircraft were sent off on an Air Sea Rescue search twenty miles, east to west out from the English Coast to Guernsey. No trace could be found of a dinghy. Two barrage balloons were seen and there was light flak from the north east corner of Guernsey, otherwise the search was uneventful. The sweeping search was carried out at different heights between zero and five hundred feet. All four Typhoon s landed back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1709 hours.

So it's " good-bye " 1943 and here's to 1944.

A special tribute is paid to two members of No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron ground crew who by their quick action and disregard of possible injury enabled the pilot of the Typhoon aircraft that overturned and was burning on the 28th December 1943 to be rescued.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of December was signed by :-  Flight Lieutenant P. H. Beake.

 

No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron :-

          1st December     Eight Typhoon aircraft took off from R.A.F. Predannack with four Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron and one Mosquito aircraft on a Roadstead to attack a motor vessel of four thousand tons near Groix Island. The formation flew at zero feet and when approaching Groix Island saw the large merchant ship and several armed trawlers or minesweepers. No.193 Squadron acted as anti-flak cover and attacked the ships, but the Mosquito aircraft dropped it's bombs a bit short then hit the sea itself and went in. At this moment Red Section ( four aircraft ) saw a JU52 ( German enemy aircraft ) ( Raus I ) fitted with a mine detecting ring flying at three hundred feet. Two of the pilots of No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron attacked the enemy aircraft which was seen to hit the sea, they are claiming one JU52 destroyed ( shared ). Red Section then continued flying east round the Island coming out to the south and getting a lot of flak from ships and the Island. Blue Section of No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron went to the south of the Island and attacked two minesweepers the turned about for home. As they approached Cap Chevre with two Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron they saw two JU88 ( German enemy aircraft ), one of them escaped into the cloud and the other was attacked by a pilot of No.193 Squadron setting it's starboard motor on fire. Two of the No.266 Squadron pilots each fired at the JU88 and sent it into the sea. The enemy aircraft is claimed as destroyed and shared as one half to No.193 Squadron and one half to No.266 Squadron. As this combat was taking place a section of No.266 Squadron aircraft flying near Glenan Islands saw another JU88, one of the pilots attacked pressing his attack home at very short range. The other pilot saw strikes on the enemy aircraft and the attacker broke away, this was the last time that this No.266 Squadron pilot was seen. It is assumed that he was hit by the JU88 rear gunner. The enemy aircraft was further attacked by the three remaining No.266 Squadron Typhoons which was hit several times and eventually crashed into the sea. The aircraft is claimed as one JU88 destroyed by four pilots ( one quarter each ).

          2nd December     Four Typhoon aircraft flew to Ushant and Raz Point searching for the downed No.266 Squadron pilot from the 1st December 1943, but nothing was found.          Seven Typhoon aircraft took off on Ramrod 111 at 1140 hours from R.A.F. Harrowbeer to escort twenty four Boston Bomber aircraft with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron to bomb a special target, ( Martinvast ) south of Cherbourg. The formation made a rendezvous with the twenty four Boston bombers over Portland Bill. They then escorted the Boston bombers to the target area where they saw the target as a large brown patch among green fields. The bombing looked good. There was moderate to intense heavy flak directed at the bombers. The bombers were escorted over the target and then back to base where all aircraft returned safely landing at 1335 hours.

          3rd December     Eight Typhoon aircraft took off at 1425 hours to sweep to the north of the Gael - Rennes district, but at ten thousand feet there was too much cloud to see anything. There were no enemy aircraft seen and no flak experienced. There were no incidents of any kind. All aircraft returned safely landing at 1620 hours.          Back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer an attempt was made by six Typhoon aircraft to carry out air to air firing but the drogue was shot away.

          4th December     Four No.266 Typhoon aircraft took off from R.A.F. Predannack along with four Typhoons of No.193 Squadron to sweep Gael - Rennes - St. Malo area. They flew at zero feet making landfall west of Ushant. The operation went without incident and one hour later four Typhoon aircraft with four Bomphoon aircraft of No.183 Squadron carried out an armed shipping reconnaissance at zero feet into Douarnenez Bay and flew out between Ushant and the mainland. There was no sign of enemy aircraft or shipping.

          5th December     Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron ( of which two returned early ) flew with six Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron and eight aircraft of No.257 Squadron to a point on the south coast of the Brest Peninsular ( Moklan-Sur-Mere ) at twelve thousand feet. They were to rendezvous with two hundred and forty Flying Fortress aircraft and together with various Spitfire Wings escort them safely home. A few minutes before rendezvous a large unescorted formation of sixty to eighty Liberator aircraft were seen at the same height, twelve thousand feet, as the Flying Fortresses were going to be. They were escorted back home to Portland. No Flying Fortresses were seen. No enemy aircraft were seen and no flak.

          6th December     Seven Typhoon aircraft flew to R.A.F. Predannack in bad weather conditions to take part in an operation, but it was cancelled. These seven Typhoon aircraft were unable to return to R.A.F. Harrowbeer due to the bad weather.

          7th December     The seven Typhoon aircraft stranded at R.A.F. Predannack yesterday returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer today.          The Squadron were released in the afternoon and most of the pilots played rugger, some went into Plymouth.

          8th December     No flying today due to the poor weather conditions.         There was a party at the Rock Hotel in the evening.

          9th December     Only limited practice flying carried out, again due to the terrible weather conditions.

          10th December     Again no flying today owing to the bad weather, there were low clouds down on the hills.

          11th December     No operational flying, but practice flying was carried out including :- battle formation, air to sea firing, air to ground firing at the Bolt Head ranges and a practice attack on a Sunderland Flying Boat.

          12th December     The airfield was attacked by ground troops and mock attacks were carried out on them by two Typhoon aircraft. The ground personnel formed pockets of resistance around the drome until being wiped out. A practice scramble was also undertaken. ( See Appendix ' A ' )

          15the December     Two Typhoon aircraft were scrambled at 1250 hours and flew to Bolt Head. They were then instructed to orbit and finally told that the enemy aircraft had returned to their base. The two Typhoons were re-called to R.A.F. Harrowbeer, landing at 1320 hours.

          16th December     The weather for the past four days has been terrible with only a limited amount of practice flying taking place.          The afternoon today was taken up by clearing up the ground around our dispersal areas, we all got very wet and dirty. As it was " Dingaars Day " most of the Squadron went to the ' London Inn' at Horrabridge and had a wild party.

          17th December     Again no flying today.          It was a big day on aircraft recognition for the Squadron.

          18th December     Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron along with Typhoons from No.193 Squadron took off at 1115 hours and were to make rendezvous with six torpedo carrying Beaufighter aircraft. They made landfall at Isle de Batz at ten thousand feet, they then flew overland to Concarmeau Harbour at five thousand feet and saw the target ship off Jument Point along with several small boats. The Beaufighter aircraft were to attack the M24 ( the Piettro Orsealo ) a four hundred and fifty foot long motor vessel. No.266 and No.193 Squadrons were dead on time for arrival at the rendezvous with the ship which was seen, but the Beaufighters were twenty minutes late. We swept over the area and returned by the sea route round Ushant landing at R.A.F. Predannack at 1320 hours via the Brest Penninsulr. There were no enemy aircraft and no flak. We later heard that the Beaufighters scored two torpedo hits, but the boat is still afloat. The eight No.266 Squadron pilots got weather-bound at R.A.F. Predannack and had to spend the night there, much to their annoyance as there was to have been a party at R.A.F. Harrowbeer.

          19th December     The eight Typhoon aircraft flew back from R.A.F. Predannack today landing in very poor conditions.

          20th December     Eleven Squadron Typhoon aircraft took off at 1450 hours from R.A.F. Predannack and crossed the French Coast at Raz Point at ten thousand feet. They swept east losing height in bad weather to near Gael Airfield and then at zero feet over St. Brieuc Airfield crossing out at Minnard Point and so home. There was no shipping and no enemy aircraft seen throughout the operation. Very little flak was experienced.

          21st December     No operational flying today, only practice flights consisting of flight formation and cine camera gun work.          One of the pilots had his engine cut out when at three thousand feet, but he brought off a successful crash landing near Tavistock. The Typhoon aircraft was smashed but the pilot unhurt. The cause was lack of petrol to the engine, the reason has not yet been discovered. If this is a failure on behalf of the aircraft it is the first for a long time.

          22nd December     Twelve of the Squadron's Typhoon aircraft along with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron took part in an operation where they were to act as escort in two attacks by No.183 Squadron Bomphoon aircraft on a special target at Martinvast.           On the first attack the aircraft took off at 1050 hours and rendezvoused over base before flying to the target area, which they managed to identify. The Bomphoons were seen making their bombing run but it was not possible to see any of the bomb bursts. There was slight medium flak from the target area. No. enemy aircraft were seen. Two Typhoon aircraft had to return early landing at 1110 hours as one of the aircraft had developed engine trouble. The other ten aircraft landed at 1220 hours.          The second operation involved nine Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron which took of at 1455 hours from R.A.F. Harrowbeer with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron to escort eleven Bomphoon aircraft of No.183 Squadron to bomb a special target at Martinvast. 8/10 cloud was found over the Cherbourg Penninsular. The bombers were able to dive through a gap in the clouds and carry out their bombing run. The escort did not see anything of the target or any of the bomb bursts due to the cloud. There was very little flak and no sign of any enemy aircraft. All aircraft landed back at base at 1615 hours.

          24th December    Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron took off at 1220 hours from R.A.F. Predannack escorting six Bomphoon aircraft of No.183 Squadron on Ramrod No.116 to bomb Guipavas Airfield. The aircraft rendezvoused over base before crossing the French Coast near Pontsuval and swept over Guipavas from east to west on a bombing run. The results of the bombing appeared to be very good, bomb bursts were seen among the Station buildings, Dispersal area and landing ground. Hits were observed on the buildings and Hangars, but no enemy aircraft were seen on the ground or in the air. Moderate inaccurate flak was experienced. All aircraft landed back at base at 1345 hours.          There was a large scale party in the Officer's Mess to which ladies were invited. There was dancing and much singing - a very good party.

          25th December     Christmas Day     Weather unfit for flying and all the Squadron were released.          The Sergeants were invited to the Officer's Mess and then the Officers served dinner in the Airmen's Mess. An extremely good dinner too. This was followed by a party in the Sergeant's Mess and then gentle parties for the rest of the day. A good time was had by all.

          26th December     The weather u/s again.          A visit to the Moorland Links Hotel before lunch and then continued a very amusing session in the Mess until a late lunch.           Five pilots of ' B ' Flight are ill with very bad colds, but they are still bearing up.

          27th December     Still no flying due to the weather conditions.          The Squadron was released again in the afternoon when nearly all of them attended a dance at the Moorland Links Hotel.

          28th December     A pilot of No.193 Squadron crashed his Typhoon aircraft at the end of one of the runways. One of his long range fuel tanks came off and exploded causing a large fire. His aircraft went on a few yards further thus getting out of the worst of the fire, but it was burning slightly upside down with the pilot trapped inside. Two ground crew from No.266 Squadron were first at the scene and somehow got the jammed door open and they pulled the pilot out, not too badly hurt. A good effort by those two lads.

          29th December     Another no flying day, most of the pilots spent most of the day shooting at the small firing range.

          30th December     Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron took off at 1320 hours from R.A.F. Predannack and flew west of Ushant round Dankmarch Point towards Kerlin Bastard, when ten miles west of Ile de Croix a JU52 German aircraft with a minesweeping ring was seen flying west at zero feet. Two pilots attacked the JU52 and it fell in flames into the sea. The other six No.266 Squadron aircraft were lined up behind waiting to take their turn in the attack. The Squadron are claiming one JU52 destroyed. The formation then dived over Kerlin Bastard meeting intense flak and returned at three hundred feet overland to R.A.F. Predannack where one of the pilots had to make a wheels up landing as his hydraulics had been damaged by being hit by a piece of debris from the JU52. We heard later that had the Squadron returned by the sea route they would have met several FW190 German aircraft off Brest. A pity, but still a JU52 is something to be going on with.

          31st December     Seven Typhoon aircraft took part in a big operation as fighter sweep. The intention was to fly to Kerlin Bastard, but the operation was abandoned when twenty miles inland of France as the leader's radio transmitter could neither send or receive.          A second sweep was carried out at 1410 hours ( Ramrod No.118 ) by six Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron to Guipavas and St. Brieuc. They flew at zero feet until about ten miles from the French Coast where they started to climb. They found 10/10 cloud over France at three thousand feet and carried on climbing up to ten thousand feet. The formation then swept south over Lannilis to Brest, they then turned north east to Guipavas and out by St. Brieuc Bay where the formation dived down to sea level and then headed back to base. Flying Fortress aircraft were seen at twenty thousand feet over Morlaix and Guipavas with one straggler being escorted by Spitfire aircraft. There were no enemy aircraft seen and no flak experienced. The Typhoon aircraft landed back at base at 1550 hours.          A number of pilots went off to the Moorland Links Hotel and had an excellent evening where they saw the " New Year " in, in great form.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of December was signed by :- Flight Lieutenant J. D. Wright.

 

No.276 Air Sea Rescue Squadron     ' B ' Flight :-

          1st December     ' B ' Flight from R.A.F. Harrowbeer carried out a standing patrol twenty miles south of Bolt Head.

          16th December     Air crew carried out a liaison visit to the Air Sea Rescue launches at Salcombe.

          31st December     From 1030 hours this morning Spitfire aircraft from ' B ' Flight flew continuous patrols south of Bolt Head until 1745 hours.          The section on patrol from 1525 hours sighted a red star light about thirty miles south of Bolt Head and on investigating found two dinghies tied together containing four occupants. Spitfire No.2 dropped a flame float while No.1 climbed to give a ' fix ' and then flew off to locate the H.S.L. ( high speed launch ) which had been contacted and given a course to the dinghies. A further section was then ordered off to relieve the section and reached the position just as they were leaving. The dinghies were again marked by flame float and after ascertaining that the H.S.L. was on it's correct course they returned to base as the weather was closing in. The occupants of the dinghies were picked up at 1800 hours.

There were seven definite no flying days from R.A.F. Harrowbeer during the month, and a further four days when only practice flying could take place. The majority of the rest of the month of December was spent on practice flying which consisted of :- cine camera gun practice, air to air firing, air to ground firing, sector reconnaissance, circuits and landings, sea landing practice and local cross country flights.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of December was signed by :- Squadron Leader J. M. Littler.

 

No.279 Air Sea Rescue Squadron :-

There are no records of rescue sorties or details of work carried out on Forms 540 or 541 for No.279 Air Sea Rescue Squadron for the month of December.

In the summary noted at the end of December 1943 it states :-

Movements :-  The Squadron detachment ceases on the 14th December 1943 and except for a few left behind for servicing purposes the personnel re-joined the parent unit of R.A.F. Bircham Newton.

The net movements in air crew personnel were :- six Pilots, four Navigators, thirteen Wireless Operators ( air ), five Gunners and two F.M.A. ( A.G. ) posted out.

This summary was signed by :- Wing Commander B. G. Corry  DFC.

 

 

~    ~    ~    ~

 

November  1943

Wing Commander J. Butterworth is the Commanding Officer for R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer. The Station Operation Record Book for November was signed by Squadron J. M. Littler.

 

Visitors to R.A.F. Harrowbeer included :-

          Lieutenant Colonel Hassel  -  Group Defence Officer for No.23 Group

          Flight Lieutenant Cleasby  -  Liaison Officer

          Wing Commander R. H. Haworth-Booth DFC  -  President for District Court Martial

          Squadron Leader L. J. L. Pullar MC  -  Member for District Court Martial

         Flight Lieutenant H. J. Holland  -  Member for District Court Martial

          Squadron Leader B. H. Bowring  -  Member for District Court Martial

          Flight Lieutenant C. P. Barrett  -  Waiting Member for District Court Martial

          Squadron Leader W. M. Andrew  -  Judge Advocate for District Court Martial

          Air Commodore Russell  -  Air Officer Commanding No.70 Group

          The Hon. Herman Hodge  -  Colonial Office

          Squadron Leader Fenwick  -  No.73 Maintenance Unit

          Lieutenant Colonel Ronaldo-Carvalho  -  Brazilian Mission Member

          Captain Hamlet Estelle  -  Brazilian Mission Member

          Captain Henrique Perra  -  Brazilian Mission Member

          Captain Alphonse Arujcosta  -  Brazilian Mission Member

          Flight Lieutenant Dickinson  -  Public Relation Officer for the Air Ministry

          Pilot Officer Prettyman  -  Air Ministry ( Interpreter )

          Dr. Kipping  -  Command Chemical Warfare Advisor

          Wing Commander Godfrey  -  Air Ministry

          Squadron Leader Johnston  -  R.A.F. Station Exeter

 

Weather

          1st November     A poor start to the day. Bad weather resulting in no flying from the Station. Rain for most of the day with low cloud.

          2nd November     Another miserable day. Weather u/s all morning, by 1400 hours the weather had clamped down completely but started to clear in the late P.M.

          3rd November     Yet another " Harrowbeer " day, weather u/s all day. Bags of rain and much low cloud, with a haze at night right down on the deck. Although the rain eventually stopped for a period in the afternoon the weather remained u/s for flying until after dusk when it gradually cleared for a spell.

          4th November     A fairly good morning with good visibility.

          5th November     The day opens with poor weather again, 10/10 low cloud.

          6th November     Today the weather was much better with fairly bright patches.

          7th November     A fairly good day, although there was a lot of cloud about at two thousand feet and intermittent rain showers, visibility was moderate.

          8th November     A filthy day with rain and thick fog right down on the deck with visibility thirty to forty yards, sometimes even less than that.     Even the sturdy moorland ponies " gave up "the main road round the Aerodrome today with a view no doubt to finding somewhere they could at least see the grass they were standing on. To stay around ' Harrowbeer ' on a day such as this a keen sense of smell is of more importance than good eyesight to anyone. In the late afternoon the weather began to clear gradually, although u/s for flying until well after last light.

          9th November     Quite satisfactory start to the day, fair periods throughout with 6/10 cloud.

          10th November     Another favourable morning. Visibility was fair with 8/10 cloud most of the day.

          11th November     A beautiful morning with scattered high cloud and good visibility.

          12th November     A hopeless morning, bags of haze, 10/10 cloud and rain. As the day progressed the weather remained duff, apart from one short bright interval followed by another clamp down.

          13th November     More heavy rain, high winds and thick cloud. The weather was cold and remained duff making flying impossible.

          14th November     A fairly cold bright start to the morning followed by heavy rainstorms from 0930 hours until 1000 hours. Gales were blowing from time to time throughout the day.

          15th November     Another cold but fairly good morning with occasional showers, 5/10 cloud and rather bumpy in the air.

          16th November     A typical cold November morning, clear with much frost. Visibility was good.

          17th November     A favourable morning today with good visibility again.

          18th November     Another reasonable day with the weather. Visibility rated as fair to good.

          19th November     A moderate day. Visibility was fair improving to good as the day progressed.

          20th November     Today was back to the duff weather again. Lots of rain showers and low cloud, visibility was poor but improving throughout the day.

          21st November     Yet another ropey day. Heavy rain later in the day with poor visibility, deteriorating as the day progressed.

          22nd November     Today was a bit better, a fairly good day although there was considerable scattered 10/10 cloud about at times with a spot of rain. Visibility was fair to good.

          23rd November     Another fairly reasonable morning, but still a lot of cloud coming down to the hills with occasional showers.

          24th November     A moderate start to the day with lots of low cloud but gradually closing in. By 1300 hours the weather had clamped down entirely and heavy rainstorms were experienced from then on.

          25th November     A most pleasant change with practically no cloud and excellent visibility.

          26th November      A favourable day, fair with cloud increasing to 8/10.

          27th November     The weather is back to being duff again, cold with 10/10 cloud and bad visibility.

          28th November     A hopeless day again 10/10 cloud and heavy rain. The weather remains duff until last light, lots of heavy mist about.

          29th November     Today was a much better morning, although a very strong wind was blowing over the Aerodrome. There was 8/10 cloud but visibility was poor.

          30th November     Another fairly good morning although there was a considerable haze in broken patches, again 8/10 cloud with fair to good visibility.

 

From the Station O.R.B.

November has been an uneventful month with little of interest from the Station point of view.

          1st November     Flying Officer Craven-Ellis reported for duty today on posting. She assumes command of the W.A.A.F. Section.

          4th November     Lieutenant Colonel Hassell - the Group Defence Officer of No.23 Group visited the Station for a conference with the Local Defence Advisor.

          6th November     Thirty two Air Training Cadets and two Officers of No.1322 Squadron visited the Station on a night visit accompanied by Flight Lieutenant Cleaseby - Liaison Officer. The Sector Commander also paid a visit.

          7th November     Thirty Air Training Cadets and one Officer of No.507 Squadron spent the day at the Station. Luckily the weather was fair and it was found possible to give all members of both Squadrons ' air experience '.

          9th November     The trial by District Court Martial of an airman at R.A.F. Harrowbeer on five different charges commenced today. The composition of the Court was as follows :-

                      President :- Wing Commander R. H. Haworth-Booth DFC

                                Members :- Squadron Leader L. J. L. Pullar M.C.

                                                  Flight Lieutenant H. J. Holland

                                                  Squadron Leader B. H. Bowring

                      Waiting Member :- Flight Lieutenant C. P. Barrett

                      Judge Advocate :- Squadron Leader W. M. Andrew

          10th November     The District Court Martial concluded.

          11th November     Armistice Day Anniversary - no special parades or celebrations.

          17th November     The Hon. Herman Hodge of the Colonial Office visited the Station and was entertained by No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron.

          22nd November     Squadron Leader Fenwick from No.73 Maintenance Unit visited the Station.     A Brazillian Mission visited the Station and were suitably entertained by the Station Commander and the Commanding Officer and members of No.193 ( Bellows of Brazil ) Squadron. The Mission consisted of the following Officers :-

                    Lieutenant Colonel Renaldo-Carvalho

                    Captain Hamlet Estelle

                    Captain Henrique Perra

                    Captain Alphonse Arjucosta

They were escorted by Flight Lieutenant Dickinson - ( Public Relations Officer for the Air Ministry ) and Pilot Officer Prettyman - ( attached to the Air Ministry ), the latter acting as interpreter to the party.     No.193 ( Bellows of Brazil ) Squadron laid on a very interesting programme for the visitors, including some spectacular aerobatics by the Squadron Commander, and a fly-past of the whole Squadron as well as social entertainment in the Mess and elsewhere.

          23rd November    The Brazilian Mission departed well pleased with the arrangements made for their edification.

          24th November     No.2891 Squadron R.A.F. Regiment left for Filey on training duties.

          25th November     A " live " Gas Practice ( decontaminating an aircraft ) using a mustard gas bomb took place on the airfield and was attended by Dr. Kipping ( Command Chemical Warfare Advisor ) and a number of local A.R.P. Authorities and others. No casualties were sustained.

          30th November     Squadron Leader Johnston from R.A.F. Exeter visited the Station Armament Officer.

 

Appendix  ' A '

 

Court Martial of a R.A.F. Harrowbeer Airman

 

The airman was tried by District Court Martial at R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer on Tuesday and Wednesday the 9th and 10th November 1943 on five charges :-

1st Charge     Section 41 Air Force Act

In that he at R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer fraudulently converted to his own use and benefit certain property, that is to say, the sum of £6.2.5 ( six pounds and twelve and a half pence ) received by him for and on account of the Officer in Charge of the Commanding Officer's Benevolent Fund.

2nd Charge     ( Alternative to 1st Charge ) Section 40 Air Force Act.

In that he at R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer having received the sum of £6.2.5 for and on account of the Officer in charge of the Commanding Officer's Benevolent Fund neglected as it was his duty to pay the said Officer the sum of money before leaving the said Station on posting.

3rd Charge     Section 41 Air Force Act

In that he at R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer fraudulently converted to his own use and benefits certain property, that is to say the sum of £5.13.3 ( five pounds and sixty seven pence ) received by him for and on account of the Officer in Charge of The Commanding Officer's Benevolent Fund.

4th Charge     Section 41 Air Force Act

In that he at R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer fraudulently converted to his own use and benefit, that is to say, the sum of £2.2.0 ( two pounds and ten pence ) entrusted to him by another airman in order that he, the accused might apply the same towards purchasing a parting present for an airman.

5th Charge     Section 40 Air Force Act

In that he at R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer improperly caused subscriptions to be collected from R.A.F. Personnel at the said Station for the purpose of purchasing a parting present for an airman.

          The Court found the accused Not Guilty on the 2nd charge, but Guilty of the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th charges. He was sentenced to be ( 1 ) reduced to the ranks and ( 2 ) to undergo detention for 112 days.

~     ~     ~     ~     ~

 

Appendix  ' B '

R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer Physical Fitness and Entertainment  -  November 1943

 

This month has been busy on the sorts side, though P.T. has been rather erratic owing to operational commitments of flying personnel. Badminton is increasing in popularity, but mixed hockey had to be abandoned owing to lack of co-operation from the W.A.A.F.'s.

Physical Training Summary :-     An average of twenty two persons from the following units :-     R.A.F. Regiment, No.279 Air Sea Rescue Squadron, No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron and Station Headquarters ( Tabloid Defence Course ).

Work Done :-     Basic purposeful table, Parachute synthetic training, Agility and endurance work and minor games.

Sport :-     Soccer     Two types of matches were played by the Station Team - friendly and league ( Plymouth Combination ). This month has seen an astonishing improvement in the Station Team.

League Matches

               V     R.A.F. Anthony                         won     5  -  3

               V     Spartan                                    won   12  -  1

Friendly

               V     Practice Camp Okehampton     draw     2  -  2

               V     French Ship ' Paris '                  draw     1  -  1

               V     Royal Engineering College          won     8  -  1

 

A live and interested entertainments committee has been formed.

Wall Newspaper :-     Mention should be made of the Station Wall Newspaper  " The Typhoon ". This has achieved it's second edition and expresses the Station opinions as well as providing a little entertainment.

 

Station Sick Quarters  -  Form 540

               The Form 540 for November was signed by Squadron Leader F. Constable, Senior Medical Officer.

          1st November    Strength of Station including units from R.A.F. Bolt Head and units attached to medical administration :-     R.A.F.  =  1582     W.A.A.F.  =  432     Army  =  138

          4th November     A Corporal Fitter from No.3013 Echelon was struck by a propeller when working on a machine sustaining injury to his head, right shoulder and forearm and right thigh - he was admitted direct to the Royal Naval Hospital, Plymouth.

          5th November     Patients admitted to the Sick Quarters and Hospital for week ending today :-     R.A.F.  =  12     W.A.A.F.  =  64     Army  =  Nil

          12th November     Patients admitted to the Sick Quarters and Hospital for week ending today :-     R.A.F.  =  16     W.A.A.F.  =  4    Army  =  1

          17th November     Flight Lieutenant Chapman, the Medical Officer for No.193 Squadron was attached to the R.A.F. Institute of Pathology and Tropical Medicine, Halton.

          19th November     Patients admitted to the Sick Quarters and Hospital for week ending today :-     R.A.F.  =  17     W.A.A.F.  =  8     Army  =  1     A.T.S.  =  2

          23rd November    A Sergeant of the R.A.M.C. ( attached to the Quartering Commandant, Tavistock for Sanitary Duties ) was involved in an accident on Crapstone Road, Horrabridge when his motorcycle he was riding crashed head on into an on-coming R.A.F. lorry, sustaining a compound fracture to the right tibia and fibula, concussion and cuts to his face. First Aid was rendered in the Medical Centre and the patient was then transferred to Mount Gould Orthopaedic Hospital, Plymouth.

          26th November     Patients admitted to the Sick Quarters and Hospital for week ending today :-     R.A.F.  =  22     W.A.A.F.  =  9     Army  =  5

 

From the Squadron O.R.B.'s

 

No.193 Squadron :-

          1st November     A poor start to the month as far as the weather is concerned. No flying, synthetics where possible.

          2nd November     Another miserable day.     At 1400 hours the Squadron was released as the weather had clamped down completely.

          3rd November     Another  " HARROWBEER "  day, bags of rain and low cloud. There was no flying until after dusk. The morning was spent on synthetics.

          4th November     A better day with the Squadron on state from 0700 hours. Some air-testing took place early on followed by Wing practice with No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron. There was much practice flying in the afternoon including dog-fights, air to sea firing, air to air firing and aerobatics.

          5th November     The morning was spent on intelligence work and the afternoon on synthetics.

          6th November     In the early afternoon four of the Squadron aircraft took part in the Squadron's first ' Ranger ' operation which was, however, rendered abortive owing to u/s weather over the French coast area.     The day finished with a night flying exercise.

          8th November     The weather today was terrible again, a no flying day - a projected shipping reconnaissance had to be abandoned.

          9th November     A ' Ranger ' operation was again postponed, just as the four Typhoon aircraft taking part had become airborne at 0945 hours, with the result that the Typhoons had taken off and landed over a period of ten minutes.     After ninety minutes the operation was " on " again. Four Typhoon aircraft took off at 1125 hours on Ranger No.100 and crossed the coast at zero feet to Cap D'enquay, they then turned left and attacked their target ( Dinard Aerodrome ) from south to north. Hits were seen on dispersals, hangars and the watch office as bursts were fired by all four pilots, but no damage has been claimed. There was accurate flak from around the airfield, particularly the north west area. All aircraft returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer landing at 1246 hours. No enemy aircraft were seen on the airfield. No enemy shipping was sighted. Still the general feeling seems to be that any moment now a FW190, JU88, ME10 or some of the other enemy targets are going to " catch a packet " if these " Ranger and Rhubarb " operations continue to be authorised.

          10th November     A bit of a flap as operations came through with revised instructions. First of all in accordance with instructions received yesterday, bomb racks were being fitted to some of the Typhoon aircraft and while in the middle of this job, and after initial arrangements had been made to carry out a convoy escort, word came through that we were expected to escort eight Bomphoon aircraft of No.183 Squadron on an attack of some minesweepers. Everything was cancelled in favour of the attack of the minesweeper operation which was carried out successfully. Eight Typhoon aircraft took off at 1310 hours on escort duty for Roadstead No.79. The aircraft flew at zero feet to Treglar Point then in a south west direction over Le Trieux and out at Minaid Point climbing to five thousand feet. When ten miles clear of the French Coast on the way back to base they saw eight ships in an estuary, thought to be two or three ' M ' class minesweepers and four to five escort vessels. On looking back a few seconds later they saw thick black smoke pouring from two or three of the ships in that position. There was intense light flak and black bursts at seven to ten thousand feet. No enemy aircraft were seen. Visibility over the target was excellent. All aircraft landed back at base at 1436 hours.

          11th November     Two sections were at stand-by and another at readiness, from 1300 hours.     Several pilots had their ' Bombing Baptism ' practice today when the Squadron's first bombing practice was carried out.

          15th November     After three days of bad weather bombing practice continued and the Squadron was on state from first light to last light.

          16th November     Seven of No.193 Squadron's Typhoon aircraft left for R.A.F. Predannack in the early morning with four of them carrying out an operation from there. The operation was to be Circus No.66. The four Typhoon aircraft took off from R.A.F. Predannack at 1201 hours and crossed the French Coast at Ile De Vierge, they found the target covered in 9/10 cloud with a top at one thousand feet. It was decided that the aircraft should return to base jettisoning their bombs on the way. There was intense, heavy flak at Brest. The Typhoon aircraft landed back at R.A.F. Predannack at 1304 hours.     Practice flying was carried out at R.A.F. Harrowbeer by the rest of the Squadron.

          17th November     An armed shipping reconnaissance was carried out just after first light by four Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron. The aircraft were fitted with ' long range fuel tanks ' and ordered off on an offensive reconnaissance at 0604 hours along with four Typhoon aircraft of No.266( Rhodesia ) Squadron. The aircraft flew at sea level from Bolt Head to Sillon De Talbert, nothing was seen on the way out. One Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron developed engine trouble half way across the Channel and returned to base with his No.2. The rest of the formation flew on parallel to the Lezardrieux Estuary where the leader saw a small ship in the estuary, he turned left and attacked it. The ship was a small armed trawler, many strikes were seen but results could not be checked due to the speed of the aircraft. One of the pilots from No.193 Squadron attacked a flak position on the way in and also fired a short burst at a motor launch in the estuary. The flak position was on the end of a jetty consisting of two times twenty millimeter guns, it is considered that the crew could not have survived. There was intense light flak from the shore positions and one pilot saw gunfire from the trawler. A few bursts of heavy flak was experienced near the estuary mouth. After the attack the Typhoon aircraft carried out reconnaissance in the Ile De Batz area, nothing was seen. The formation landed back at base at 0934 hours.     Immediately after this operation the Commanding Officer left for London to attend a luncheon at the Brazillian Embassy.

          18th November     A fighter sweep and a shipping reconnaissance was carried out today by the Squadron. At 0817 hours eight Typhoon aircraft took off on Rodeo No.47 with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron. The formation was to sweep Rennes and Gael at two thousand feet. They then turned on a course to Mont St. Michael, but shortly found the weather 10/10, a bank of cumulus cloud at twenty thousand feet, so they turned west and found a clear patch north of Pontivy. The Typhoon aircraft swept the area then flew out over Lezardrieux at ten thousand feet. Nothing was seen in the harbour. The weather was 10/10 at two thousand feet over the Channel. All aircraft landed back at base at 1011 hours.     A shipping reconnaissance was carried out at 1628 hours in the Sept Isles - Ile Vierge area. There was no enemy aircraft or shipping seen. The weather was 5/10 cloud at two thousand feet with visibility at fifteen miles. The aircraft landed back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1751 hours.     Practice flying was undertaken by the remainder of the flying personnel at base.

          22nd November     A special rehearsal was made today in preparation for the visit by the Brazillian Air Mission. An excellent air demonstration was given by the Squadron when sixteen Squadron Typhoon aircraft took to the air together. This was followed by a most thrilling display of aerobatics by the Commanding Officer of No.193 Squadron. After being introduced to all the pilots the Brazillian Mission adjourned to the Squadron Mess at Whistley, where a few drinks were consumed in vey congenial surroundings and much discussion, technical and otherwise was made.

The Brazillian Mission headed by :- Lieutenant Colonel Renaldo Carvelho

                              consisted of :- Captain Hamlet Estella

                                                    Captain Henique Penna

                                                    Captain Alfonso Arjcosta

Flight Lieutenant Dickenson and Pilot Officer Prettyman acted as guides and comforters, the latter acting as interpreter.

          23rd November     After the discussion in the Squadron Mess the previous evening on the diverse merits of the 20mm cannon and the .5 machine gun, our guests were taken to the stop butts this morning and each in turn fired the four cannon in a Typhoon aircraft and we think rather impressed.     An even more spectacular flying demonstration was given by the Squadron today for the benefit of our Brazillian friends. After a hearty lunch the Mission took their departure singing the praises of the Typhoon aircraft and No.193 Squadron pilots in general. Altogether a most successful and interesting outing for everyone.

          24th November     Despite the inclement weather an armed shipping and weather reconnaissance flight took off at 1005 hours comprising four Typhoon aircraft. Landfall was north of Ploubien at three thousand feet. On sighting some shipping the aircraft turned left and dived down. White very light was then seen from the east side of the mouth of the estuary. Four ' M ' class minesweepers were found lying stationary about one mile inside the mouth of the estuary. The ships were found lying fairly close together about one ships length apart in a box, bows towards the sea. Concentrated light and medium flak, red tracer and self destroying white flashes at one thousand to fifteen thousand feet and black bursts at one thousand feet came up from ships and shore. The leader did not get into position to fire but the other three pilots all fired five to seven bursts seeing many strikes all over each ship. The Typhoon aircraft continued flying north out to sea and along the coast to Morlaix Estuary. No shipping was seen so the aircraft returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer landing at 1117 hours.

          25th November     A ' Station Gas Exercise ' took place this morning which included the ' contaminating ' of the No.193 Squadron Hurricane aircraft.     Most of the day was spent on practice flying including dog-fights, cine camera gun attacks and formation drill.

          26th November     Seven Typhoon aircraft with ' ling range fuel tanks ' were ordered off at 0936 hours to escort Boston bomber aircraft on a bomber operation. A perfect rendezvous was made at St. Catherine Point at eleven hundred feet with eighteen Boston bomber aircraft flying in three boxes of six. Also six Spitfire aircraft flew with the formation. Landfall was at Barfleur where the ' long range fuel tanks ' were jettisoned. There was 8/10 cloud over the target. No bombing results were seen. Control reported that there were enemy aircraft at twenty thousand feet, but non were seen. There was considerable heavy flak on the way from the target to the coast. The bombers were escorted by the Typhoon aircraft to Portland and then they flew back to base arriving at 1117 hours.          Four Typhoon aircraft took part in Ramrod No.110 in the afternoon along with Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron. They took off at 1440 hours making landfall at Flananville at fourteen thousand feet, they then swept over the target area and west in five legs at thirteen thousand feet The bomber aircraft were seen on the run-in, but no results of the bombing were seen except clouds of smoke from the target area. A course was then set for home after the bombers had left. There was intense and accurate flak from the target area throughout the sweep. Two red flashes were seen among the bombers which was thought to be marker flak. While on the operation the R.A.F. Church Stanton Wing were seen along with various other formations of fighter aircraft. No enemy aircraft were seen. The weather in the Channel was 4/10 at five thousand feet. The target area was 5/10 cloud with thin stratus cloud at sixteen thousand feet. Visibility was good. No.193 Squadron landed back at base at 1542 hours.

          28th November     The weather is still very unsettled causing much loss of flying time. Most of the pilots spent the morning on ' Intelligence Gen ' and the Squadron was later released from 1300 hours.

          29th November     Better weather today allowing plenty of practice flying to take place :- formation flying, tail-chasing, cine camera gun work, etc.

          30th November     A very interesting lecture was given by a Flying Officer who had evaded capture from the hands of the enemy. The lecture lasted about one hour from 0930 hours in ' B ' Flight Dispersal and was greatly appreciated.          Four Typhoon aircraft were detailed to R.A.F. Predannack and then sent off on a shipping reconnaissance from there at 1630 hours. The formation flew at sea level on a course of two hundred degrees for twenty three and a half minutes. D.R position was given as ten miles west of Ouessant, but no land was sighted, so leader turned on a second course of one hundred and thirty six degrees and held this for seven to eight minutes. With no coast-line in view, the section turned to starboard and flew south for a further five minutes and then east eventually making landfall just north of St. Guenote. Turning to port the coast-line was reconnoitred as far as Ile Vierge, but no shipping was sighted so the aircraft returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer landing at 1830 hours.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of November was signed by :- Flight Lieutenant P. H. Beake.

 

No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron :-

          1st November     No flying today owing to the bad weather.     No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron carried out some synthetic deflection training.     Thirty of the Squadron played rugger, a very enjoyable game.

          2nd November     One patrol of four Typhoon aircraft flew fifty miles out from south east of Start Point, there were no incidents to report.

          3rd November     Pilots went into Plymouth on a Liberty bus, most of the men went to the pictures ( cinema ), then fed and danced a bit, but the evening was not a great success.

          4th November     Twelve Typhoon aircraft took part in a practice Wing with Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron but it had to be abandoned on account of the visibility, so, the Squadron carried out Squadron formation practice, formation and cine camera gun work.          There was a small party in the " Skylark " ( public house ) in the evening.

          5th November     The Squadron carried out synthetic deflection training and aircraft recognition on account of the bad weather.

          6th November     Four Typhoon aircraft took off on a Rhubarb at the same time as four Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron to beat up Gael Airfield. They made landfall at Cap D'erquy dropping their ' long range fuel tanks ' at Jugen and turned on account of heavy low cloud passing over St. Brieuc Airfield and then home. There was some A.A. fire from St. Brieuc but no other excitement apart from one pilot a firing short burst at a water tower.          The only other flying today by the Squadron was air to sea firing, battle formation, cine camera gun practice and low flying cross country exercises.

          7th November     Eleven Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron took off as a Squadron and were bounced by two other aircraft - ( no further details ).

          9th November     Four Typhoon aircraft carried out a Rhubarb operation intending to attack Gael Airfield, but there was insufficient cloud cover so it developed into an attack on railway engines. Two pilots shot up some trucks and fired bursts at an engine shed into which an engine had just gone. This was thought to be Combourg on the Rennes - St. Malo railway.          Non-operational flying consisted of air to ground firing practice carried out by twelve pilots at the Bolt Head range. This is a gun-carrier and it is the first time that this Squadron had done air to ground firing practice.

          10th November     Eight Typhoon aircraft acted as an anti flak Squadron to eight Typhoon aircraft of No.183 Squadron to bomb some ' M ' class minesweepers previously reported in the Lezardrieux Estuary. No.193 Squadron were to act as escort to the formation. No.266 Squadron led and saw the ships straight in front of them, most of the pilots fired at the ships and then No.183 Squadron came in and dropped their bombs. We obviously took the ships by surprise. No.183 Squadron claim one escort vessel Cat. III and one ' M ' class minesweeper Cat. IV.

          11th November     Four Typhoon aircraft went off on a Rhubarb operation to a railway east of Granville, they beat up two locomotives and a freight train and then continued eastwards, but as cloud was down on the deck they turned about and attacked the same target a second time. One pilot was hit in his port ' long range fuel tank ' which was knocked off. As he was returning on this tank his engine immediately cut out, not knowing the cause he jettisoned his hood and doors to bale out, but just before doing so he tried switching over to the main tanks, the engine picked up and all was well. The Squadron are claiming two locomotives damaged, one German Anti Aircraft gunman killed and one light Anti Aircraft gun-post damaged.          Fifteen pilots did dive bombing practice off Dawlish, this is the first practice we have had doing dive bombing.          Flight Lieutenant Collcult ( the Squadron Adjutant since March 1941 ) is to be posted to No.44 Squadron ( a Rhodesian bomber Squadron ). In future the Squadron's Adjutant work is to be done by one of the pilots.

          15th November     Six Typhoon aircraft went off on a shipping reconnaissance to Lezardrieux, but no ships were seen and no other excitement.          A farewell party was held in the Officer's Mess as a farewell to Flight Lieutenant Collcult.

          16th November     Four Typhoon aircraft were loaded with bombs, this being the first occasion that bombs have been carried on an operation by this Squadron. The operation was to bomb Poulmic Airfield but the weather over the target was u/s so the bombs were jettisoned and the operation abandoned.

          17th November     Four Typhoon aircraft went out on an early shipping reconnaissance in the area of Lezardrieux Estuary. The pilots saw and attacked a small armed trawler, seeing many strikes.      There was a second reconnaissance to the same place later in the day when they saw but did not attack the same boat in the same position.

          18th November     Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron along with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron took off from R.A.F. Harrowbeer intending to sweep from Rennes to Gael, but soon after passing over Mont St. Michel at twenty thousand feet they met solid 10/10 cloud. The formation then turned and found a clean patch north west of Pontivy so they swept this area and then cut over Lezardrieux at ten thousand feet. There was no shipping or enemy aircraft sighted and no flak was experienced.

          19th November     Eight Typhoon aircraft carried out a shipping reconnaissance at zero feet over the area of Morlaix Estuary - Brehat - Abervrach. No shipping was seen and there was no flak.     There was also one scramble carried out today which was uneventful.

          20th November     One scramble today which was very unsatisfactory as the section could get no instructions from Control for fifteen minutes.

          26th November     For the past six days there was no operational flying carried out due to the bad weather conditions. There was a limited amount of practice flying when the weather permitted.          Seven Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron along with seven Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron escorted eighteen Boston bomber aircraft from St. Catherine's Point over Barfleur to a special target south of Cherbourg and then back to base. There was considerable flak over the peninsular. Bombing could not be seen as there was 8/10 cloud over the target area. No enemy aircraft were sighted.         In the afternoon eight Typhoon aircraft ( two returning early ) with six Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron took part in a Ramrod operation making five runs east to west over the target area of a special target at thirteen thousand feet. The bombers were seen making their run and smoke was seen from the bombing in the target area. There was intense accurate heavy flak throughout the operation. Many other friendly fighters were also seen.          A patrol was carried out from the Lizard to Dodman Point, Cornwall. A cruiser type ship which was passed several times on the patrol suddenly started firing at one of the Typhoons, otherwise there were no incidents.

          27th November     Today was another no flying day.     The Squadron were released in the afternoon, many of the pilots went to Plymouth and then to the Moorland Links Hotel in the evening for quite a hectic party.

          30th November     Three more days of non operational flying, again due to bad weather.          Eight Typhoon aircraft flew to R.A.F. Predannack to take part in an attack on a motor vessel, but it was cancelled and the aircraft returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of November was signed by :-  Squadron Leader P. W. Lefevre.

 

No.276  Air Sea Rescue Squadron     ' B ' Flight

          1st November     No flying at the Flights owing to adverse weather conditions.

          4th November     ' B ' Flight ordered on stand-by at 1530 hours while a Typhoon aircraft sweep was in progress.

          6th November     A large air to ground firing exercise was carried out on the new Bolt Head firing range.

          7th November     An Anson aircraft was made available to carry out ' air experience flights ' for A.T.C. cadets on the airfield.

          10th November     The Squadron was ordered to stand by on three separate occasions today. The last was while Typhoon bombers carried out a shipping reconnaissance in the English Channel.

          11th November     Four Spitfire aircraft were ordered to R.A.F. Warmwell this morning on stand-by while a fighter patrol was carried out.

          17th November     A section of Spitfire aircraft carried out patrols south of Bolt Head while Typhoon aircraft carried out a shipping reconnaissance in the English Channel. The patrols were uneventful.

          18th November     Standing patrols were carried out south of Bolt Head.

          25th November     Two Spitfire aircraft were detailed to carry out a practice search. The section was scrambled at 1530 hours to search for a dinghy that had been dropped in the English Channel earlier by a previous Spitfire aircraft. The dinghy was located and one Spitfire orbited while the other located Air Sea Rescue launches and directed them to the dinghy. The section landed back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1635 hours.

          26th November     Two patrols south of Bolt Head carried out by sections of Spitfire aircraft from R.A.F. Harrowbeer to await the return of Typhoon aircraft. The patrols were uneventful.

There was a total of six ' no flying ' days during November due to bad weather.

There were no Air Sea Rescue sorties made during the month of November by No.279 Air Sea Rescue Squadron ' B ' Flight from R.A.F. Harrowbeer. Apart from seven patrols the month was spent on practice flying consisting of :- low level flying, dual instruction flights, practice cine camera gun attacks, ground firing attacks at the Bolt Head range, dinghy drop practice, stand-by duties at R.A.F. Warmwell, aerobatics, circuits and landings and experience on type flying.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of November was signed by :- Squadron Leader J. M. Littler.

 

No.279  Air Sea Rescue Squadron :-

          16th November     One Hudson aircraft N/279 took off at 0935 hours on an Air Sea Rescue search one hundred and fifty miles west south west from Land's End, Cornwall. The aircraft landed back at base at 1450 hours.

          18th November     At 1510 hours two Hudson aircraft N/279 and W/279 went out on a search off Land's End, Cornwall. They flew in a line for ten miles and then on a reciprocal for four miles to the west. Nothing was sighted and both aircraft returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer landing at 1750 hours.

          19th November     Hudson aircraft O/279 was airborne at 0830 hours on a search seventy five miles south west of Land's End, Cornwall. Nothing was sighted so the aircraft returned to base landing at 1455 hours.

          23rd November     Two Hudson aircraft N/279 and W/279 from R.A.F. Harrowbeer were ordered off at 0945 hours on a search off Southern Ireland. The weather and visibility was bad, contact between the two aircraft had been lost so the aircraft had to search separately. Nothing was seen by either aircraft so they returned to base landing at 1420 hours.

          24th November     One Hudson aircraft O/279 was sent out at 1013 hours to search north west off Land's End, Cornwall. At 1208  hours a message was received from base giving a new position north of Land's End. At 1308 hours a Warwick aircraft was seen circling so a new course was set. At 1312 hours five men were seen paddling in a dinghy to an airborne lifeboat which had been dropped by the Warwick aircraft. The lifeboat was tilted on one side and the after buoyancy chamber had not inflated, the men were seen on board the lifeboat and the dinghy break adrift. At 1315 hours a message was sent to base and a first class fix obtained. At 1355 hours the lifeboat was seen to be in a sinking condition and it was decided to drop a Lindholme, but the lifeboat could not be located again. A Wellington aircraft and a Warwick aircraft were also searching but the lifeboat had not been re-located by the time we reached the area. A course for base was set, landing at 1605 hours.

          26th November     Two Hudson aircraft 0/279 and N/279 went off at 0940 hours to search for traces of an airborne lifeboat dropped by No.280 Squadron on the 24th November 1943, but nothing was found apart from a submarine smoke candle. The two Hudson aircraft returned to base landing at 1530 hours.

          29th November     Two Hudson aircraft 0/279 and W/279 took off at 0945 hours on a search north of the Scillies, but nothing was seen. Both aircraft returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer landing at 1550 hours.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of November was signed by :- Wing Commander B. G. Corry DFC.

 

~    ~    ~    ~
 

October  1943 

Wing Commander J. Butterworth is the Commanding Officer for R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer and signed the Operation Record Book for October.

 

Visitors to R.A.F. Harrowbeer included :-

          Major C. Collins  -  No.46 Search Light Unit

          Flight Lieutenant Pearce  -  No.10 Group Headquarters

          Squadron Leader Allcott  -  No.10 Group

          His Excellency the Brazillian Ambassador and Ambassadoress

          Lord Sherwood  -  The Under Secretary of State

          Lord Wimborne  -  Parliamentary Private Secretary

          Lady Astor  -

          Air Vice Marshal Steele  -  Air Officer Commanding No.10 Group

          Group Captain Guinness  - 

          Flight Lieutenant Teeling  -  Air Ministry

          B.B.C. Representatives  -  Recording Unit

          Paramount News Representatives  -  Recording Unit

          Squadron Leader Callander  -  Officer Commanding No.2891 Squadron R.A.F. Regiment

          Flight Lieutenant Heal  -  No.1 Signals Department

          Squadron Leader Gilligan  -  Air Ministry

          Wing Commander  Rattraylow R.C.A.F.  -  Welfare of Canadian Personnel

          Squadron Leader Graham R.C.A.F.  -  Welfare of Canadian Personnel

          Flight Lieutenant Alghte R.C.A.F.  -  Welfare of Canadian Personnel

          Flight Lieutenant Ninter R.C.A.F.  -  Welfare of Canadian Personnel

          Squadron Leader Holmes  -  R.A.F. Station Exeter

          Flight Lieutenant Simpkins  -  Air Ministry ( Equipment )

          Lieutenant Colonel Conrad  -  Commander 15th Battalion Home Guard

          Pilot Officer Corrigan  -  D.A.P.M.

          Flight Lieutenant Manison  -  Headquarters Fighter Command ( Catering )

          Group Captain Stannard  -  Headquarters Fighter Command

 

Weather

          1st October     A miserable start to the month. Haze right down to the deck with low cloud and intermittent showers.

          2nd October     A better day, allowing a considerable amount of flying to take place. A beautiful day with plenty of sunshine.

          3rd October     A fairly good day again. Cloudy later on in the day.

          4th October     Not a very promising morning. After 1100 hours the weather clamped down completely. Lots of low cloud and poor visibility.

          5th October     Another miserable morning, low cloud and poor visibility. Real Harrowbeer weather.

          6th October     Same again, low cloud and poor visibility - impossible weather.

          7th October     A much better morning, sunshine and great visibility about fifteen to twenty miles.

          8th October     A fairly good morning although there were large patches of haze north and north west of the aerodrome. Visibility was fair with 5/10th cloud.

          9th October     The weather was reasonable for most of the day with bags of flying going on. The day finished with the weather deteriorating with a 10/10 low cloud.

          10th October     A beautiful day at Harrowbeer. Visibility was good.

          11th October     There was a moderate start to the day, much low 10/10 cloud down to hill tops and a thick haze about, gradually clearing later. By 1600 hours the weather had cleared completely.

          12th October     A poor start to the day with thick haze closing in. Later in the day the weather clamped down completely. There was 10/10 cloud with visibility ranging from fair to poor resulting in a no flying day.

          13th October     Yet another typical Harrowbeer day. In the morning heavy rain and thick fog right down on the deck, a complete clamp down. By 1300 hours however the weather cleared nicely.

          14th October     Today commenced with a beautiful morning.

          15th October     Another favourable, brilliant day.

          16th October     Typical Harrowbeer weather again, torrential rain and low cloud. A no flying day. The torrential rain and strong howling wind persisted all day.

          17th October     A moderate morning today with good visibility.

          18th October     Yet another ropey day, although there were short bright intervals. Visibility was fair to good.

          19th October     A poor start to the day again. Later on in the day the weather clamped down completely making flying impossible. Appalling weather, sheets of rain, high winds. Visibility was under two hundred yards in the rain.

          20th October     The morning started miserably, heavy rain and high winds. Visibility at times was less than four hundred yards with low clouds on the hills. In spite of the bad start to the day by 1200 hours the weather had cleared somewhat.

          21st October     The day opened with dull weather again, there was 8/10 cloud with no wind. More bad weather arrived in the afternoon.

          22nd October     Bad weather throughout the day - there was a 6/10 cloud ceiling at eight thousand feet, no wind.

          23rd October     The weather was bad again first thing this morning. The aerodrome was in cloud until around 1000 hours clearing rapidly in the afternoon.

          24th October     The day commenced showery, turning fine later on with good visibility.

          25th October     A remarkable day, it broke perfectly for a change, no cloud and no wind.

          26th October     Another fine, beautiful day.

          27th October     The bad weather returns, overcast but warm with no wind. The day still became a no operational flying day.

          28th October     The day started poorly with low cloud early on which cleared as the day progressed.

          29th October     A somewhat hazy start today clearing up later to become a beautiful day.

          30th October     The day commenced badly with 10/10 low cloud and bad visibility, however it did manage to clear in the afternoon.

          31st October     Yet more bad weather, 10/10 cloud and continuous rain.

 

From the Station O.R.B.

 

          2nd October     Two Officers and six cadets of No.339 Paignton Squadron Air Training Corps arrived on the Station for a seven day instructional visit.

          6th October     No.2738 Squadron R.A.F. Regiment left R.A.F. Harrowbeer for training at Filey, their place being taken by ' A ' Flight of No.2593 Squadron who remained until the end of the month.

          9th October     Major C. Collins of No.46 Search Light Regiment visited the Station for a conference with the Local Defence Advisor..

          15th October     Squadron Leader Allcott of Headquarters No.10 Group visited the Station in connection with arrangements for the forthcoming ceremony of the adoption of No.193 Squadron by Brazil.

          16th October     The Station had the honour of receiving His Excellency the Brazillian Ambassador, accompanied by the Ambassadoresss in a distinguished company of visitors. The Occasion was to mark the official adoption of No.193 Squadron by Brazil through the agency of the Fellowship of the Bellows, who subscribed sufficient money to buy a Squadron of Typhoon aircraft. The main part of the ceremony was conducted on the runway where No.193 Squadron were on parade with their machines. The weather conditions were anything but favourable and torrential rain and high wind prevailed throughout the proceedings. The arrangements were to include a fly-past but owing to the weather there was a taxi-past of aircraft and speeches of the excellencies in Portuguese. The entire party then went to the Officer's Mess for luncheon. In spite of the adverse weather conditions the proceedings throughout were carried out without a hitch and their excellencies graciously expressed their appreciation of the arrangements made for their reception and entertainment.

          20th October     Flight Lieutenant Heal from No.1 Signals Department visited the Station Signals Office.

          22nd October     Wing Commander Rattraylow, Squadron Leader Graham, Flight Lieutenant Alghte and Flight Lieutenant Ninter, all R.C.A.F. visited the Station in connection with the Welfare of Canadian Personnel.

          25th October     Group Captain Stannard, Headquarters Fighter Command visited the Station Commander.

          26th October     Squadron Leader Holmes from R.A.F. Exeter visited the Station.

          27th October     Lieutenant Colonel Conrads, Commanding 15th Battalion Home Guards visited the Local Defence Advisor.

          31st October     No.2891 Squadron R.A.F. Regiment moved in, in place of No.2738 Squadron R.A.F. Regiment.

 

Appendix  ' A '

 

Physical Fitness and Entertainment for  -  October 1943

 

Physical Fitness :-     An average of thirty personnel per day take part in fitness activities, just less than one third of these are flying personnel.     Flying personnel, mainly from No.279 Air Sea Rescue Squadron take physical training and recreational games, using the gymnasium and boxing.     W.A.A.F. physical training has stopped at the request of the W.A.A.F. Warrant Officer.

Soccer :-     The Station IX has members of the Plymouth Combination League and have played the following matches :-

     2 - 10 - 43     V     N.F.S. League                                        lost     7 - 1

     9 - 10 - 43     V     Princetown Prison Warders ( friendly )  won     2 - 1

   23 - 10 - 43     V     Okehampton M.U. ( friendly )                won     6 - 2

    30 - 1 - 43     V     E. M. Department ( league )                    lost     6 - 0

Inter Section Competition :-     This competition is now well under way. Eight teams are involved and to date eleven matches have been played.

Badminton :-     Played regularly by a small group of enthusiasts and some coaching has been going on.

' Dispersal ' games :-    A tenequoit court has been marked outside the gymnasium and Dispersals are also provided with " a purpose " nets for use in Dispersal activities.

Boxing :-     Three men from this Station entered a competition at R.A.F. Mount Batten and all three won their bouts.

Hockey :-     A mixed match with R.A.F. Collaton is due early next month. Hockey is greatly hampered on this Station owing to the inability to find a suitable pitch and consequent lack of practice.

Entertainments :-     Brain Trust sessions have been started. A play reading circle which is hoped may grow into a dramatic society is meeting regularly and a hobbies club is in formation.

The first edition of a Station ' Wall-Newspaper ' has been ' published ' and the second is now being made up.

Cinema :-     E.N.S.A. shows are every other Monday. Station shows are every Wednesday ( admission free alternate weeks ).

E.N.S.A. Shows :-     Fortnightly E.N.S.A. shows have taken place in all cases of variety.

Music :-     A visit to the ' Fighter Command Military Band ' took place on 12/10/1943. Vocal and piano recitals by Mary Crook, Norah Veal and Flying Officer A. R. Williams was on 2/10/1943.     There is a weekly meeting of a record music circle called " Harmony Hour ".

Brains Trust :-     Two meetings have taken place and proved very popular and stimulating.

Dances :-     Three Station Dances this month which were very well supported.

" Housie " :-     A " Housie " evening took place in the N.A.A.F.I. on 15/10/1943 and was very successful.

 

Station Sick Quarters  -  Form 540 

          The S.S.Q. Form 540 for October was signed by Squadron Leader F. Constable, Senior Medical Officer.

          1st October     Strength of Station including units from R.A.F. Bolt Head and units attached for medical admissions :-     R.A.F.  =  1646     W.A.A.F.  =  438     Army  =  88

          1st October     Patients admitted to the Sick Quarters and Hospital for week ending today :-     R.A.F.  =  10     W.A.A.F.  =  6

          8th October     Patients admitted to the Sick Quarters and Hospital for week ending today :-     R.A.F.  =  14     W.A.A.F.  =  3

          8th October     An LAC from No.3013 Echelon was involved in an accident at R.A.F. Harrowbeer on 4th October 1943 when he was crushed between a lorry and a petrol bowser, resulting in a ' fractured pelvis '. He was admitted direct from the Medical Centre at R.A.F. Harrowbeer to the Royal Naval Hospital, Plymouth.

          15th October     Patients admitted to the Sick Quarters and Hospital for week ending today :-     R.A.F.  =  8     W.A.A.F.  =  5

          22nd October     Patients admitted to the Sick Quarters and Hospital for week ending today :-     R.A.F.  =  13     W.A.A.F.  =  7

          23rd October     A Nursing Orderly from No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron was knocked off his bicycle on the Plymouth to Tavistock road by a motorcycle, stated to have been driven by a U.S. Dispatch Rider. He was admitted to the Station Sick Quarters with ' incised wound to left forearm '.

          29th October     Patients admitted to the Sick Quarters and Hospital for week ending today :-     R.A.F.  =  18     W.A.A.F.  =  7

 

From the Squadron O.R.B.'s

 

No.193 Squadron :-

          1st October     A miserable start to the month.     No flying as the weather clamped down eventually today.     Synthetics were carried out where possible.

          2nd October     A considerable amount of flying undertaken as the weather has improved, including a ' Balbo ' exercise, aerobatics and camera-gun work.

          3rd October     Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron along with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron formed up as second forward cover on ' Ramrod No.90 '. The eight Typhoon aircraft from No.193 Squadron set course from R.A.F. Harrowbeer and crossed the French Coast climbing to five thousand feet. At a point later realized to be ten miles west of Sillon De Talbert Islands off the coast were mistaken for Islands named Le Grand Pourier, a course was therefore altered starboard and height reduced to two thousand feet as cloud base was three thousand four hundred feet. Soon we flew around the airfield which was recognized as Lannion and our position was realized. We re-crossed the coast at Tradnezand set course for home. Lannion Airfield was deserted. There was no enemy aircraft or flak.     No bombers were seen and no shipping sighted. The formation were fired on by Naval vessels believed to be destroyers, near Eddystone. After returning to base it was discovered that the Wing Leader's compass ( the Commanding Officer of No.266 Squadron ) was wrong by six degrees, this accounted for the wrong landfall being made by the second cover this afternoon.

          5th October     Another miserable morning.     Synthetics where possible.     Those who had not already done so, took the " Ranger Estimation Test ". The whole Squadron has now passed the test satisfactorily.

          6th October     More Link Trainer synthetics and intelligence work.

          7th October     As the weather has improved there was a lot more practice flying carried out including - battle formation, tail chasing, air to air firing, etc.      At 1400 hours the stand-by section were scrambled to intersect a " bogey ". They were vectored onto a Mosquito aircraft which fired colours of the day, otherwise it was uneventful and the section were ordered to pancake at 1430 hours.

          8th October     Eight of the Squadron's Typhoon aircraft took part in ' Ramrod No.91 ' from R.A.F. Predannack. At 1504 hours they were airborne and set course for the Lizard, Cornwall. From there they flew a course crossing the French Coast at Porapoder at two thousand feet. Next they flew on to the target area at Lanumeau and out at Morlaix. The aircraft arrived before the beehive and left after the bombs were seen on buildings near the airfield. The bombers and escort left at Plouescat in good order. Visibility was good with a slight haze. The eight Typhoons landed back at base at 1612 hours.

          9th October     Nine of the Squadron Typhoon aircraft, operating from base this time took part in ' Ramrod No.92 ' acting with No.266 Squadron as first target support wing.

          10th October     Again the weather allowed plenty of practice flying to take place. however the day was marked by an accident in the afternoon. On taking off in the afternoon a pilot had the misfortune to loose a tyre of the port landing wheel, the tyre came clean away from the wheel and carried on for about forty tards along the runway. As a result the pilot had to make a belly landing and although a beautiful landing was made, the aircraft was rendered category A/C. Unfortunately an unavoidable accident but bad luck after the Squadron's fine record.

          11th October     Another day of practice flying.     At 1930 hours a special meeting of aircrew was held at Intelligence, when much to the satisfaction of the troops a representative from the Air Ministry, after making a special trip through R.A.F. Harrowbeer conveyed the news that No.193 Squadron had been adopted by Brazil. An official ceremony will take place in order to initiate the Squadron into the Brazilian Fellowship of the Bellows. The Ambassadoress of Brazil is we believe to be the Squadron's Godmother as from that date.     Good show.

          12th October     At the Officer's Mess meeting - the first for some considerable time - the Commanding Officer was elected as P.M.C. without of course being present to defend himself. What with being recalled early from leave in order to attend Saturday's ceremony and finding himself elected as in this case, he may well consider whether or not it would be advisable to arrange to spend the next leave within a radius of ten miles from base.

          13th October     Another typical Harrowbeer day with the weather, heavy rain and thick fog fight down on the deck.     ' B ' Flight were able to carry out a night flying exercise, the last aircraft making the final pancake at 2315 hours.

          14th October     Eight Typhoon aircraft took part in ' Circus No.56 ' from R.A.F. Predannack which was rendered abortive owing to the u/s weather.

          15th October     A great improvement in the weather today.    The Commanding Officer arrived back from leave early this morning in preparation for tomorrow's show.     The Commanding Officer led nine Typhoon aircraft on an exercise today.     If only the weather holds!

          16th October     This is a notable day in the history of No.193 Squadron.     But what a morning, typical Harrowbeer weather. Torrential rain and low cloud. It is clear that no flying will take place today.          The outdoor part of the ceremony will have to be cut short owing to the unpleasant circumstances. The nine Typhoon aircraft which represented the number of aircraft which Brazil through the Fellowship of the Bellows had gifted to the Squadron are lined up on the runway with the Brazilian flag draped from the Commanding Officer's aircraft.Everybody looked clean and smart at the outset, but unfortunately, the rain soon changed that. The Brazilian Ambassador gave a most impressive address. This was followed by a message from the Ambassadoress in which she offered to be Godmother to the Squadron. Squadron Leader G. W. Petre, No.193 Squadron Commanding Officer gave a reply in which he expressed our gratitude and pleasure in accepting the Ambassadoress offer. The torrential rain and strong wind continued throughout the ceremony, leaving everyone present soaked through to their underwear. A taxi-pass by the nine Typhoon aircraft completed the outdoor part of the official ceremony. This was followed by a hurried change into dry clothing and return to the Officer's Mess where an exchange of gifts was made, followed by lunch. Before making their departure, our newly formed friends expressed their deep appreciation for the kindness shown to them. A link has been formed in the Fellowship of the Bellows and we are indeed proud to have received this honour today. ' Ordum E Progresso ' - so blow to it, for the bellows will not cease blowing until the axis airforce has been blasted out of the skies. A special Squadron celebration will take place later.

          17th October     Nine Typhoon aircraft flew to R.A.F. Predannack, up at 0745 hours.          Two operations were carried out from there.     One - the first was by aircraft which were airborne at 1001 hours on ' Rodeo No.43 ' and set course for the Lizard, Cornwall then on to the French Coast. When the formation were off St. Matthieu they turned back as there was 7/10 cloud at sixteen hundred feet and rain showers. One section of the Squadron did manage to prang an enemy trawler, while another section swept the decks of a cargo vessel with cannon fire. Both ships were armed, hits were seen on them and the ships were left smoking.     A second operation ' Roadstead No.45 ' an anti shipping strike was organised from R.A.F. Predannack taking off at 1235 hours. Again No.193 Squadron set course for the Lizard, Cornwall followed by aircraft from No.266 Squadron and were to act as escort to four Typhoon bombers of No.183 Squadron with whom they had made rendezvous with over base. The formation flew at zero feet to St. Matthieu where a large orbit was made into the bay south o St. Matthieu searching for ships damaged in the earlier sortie. No shipping was seen, so the formation returned on a reciprocal course. In view of the fact that the vessels were damaged just at the entrance to Brest Harbour, the possibility is that they were salvaged. No enemy aircraft were sighted. Visibility was fifteen miles. There were scattered rainstorms which were avoided. No.193 and No.266 Squadrons returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1415 hours.

          18th October     The Officer's " mucked in " removing from the old billets of No.5 and No.6 dispersed sites to " Whistley ". This time all being billeted in one building and nearer dispersals.

          20th October     Problems relating to the new billets discussed. Things look a bit cramped there in many ways.

          22nd October     In the afternoon, two sections of ' B ' Flight were airborne on Rhubarb operations. The first was along the railway line from Landemeau to Morlaix and the other from Morlaix to Plouaret. Both sorties were spoilt by bad weather and rain on the French side of the English Channel.

          23rd October     Five Typhoon aircraft from ' A ' Flight and six Typhoon aircraft from ' B ' Flight flew to R.A.F. Bolt Head in the early afternoon. Eight of these Typhoons were airborne at 1555 hours to act as rear support in an operation with No.183 Squadron Bomphoons, also to be escorted by No.266 Squadron. They set course from R.A.F. Bolt Head and after five minutes the bombers and escorts climbed to twelve thousand feet and dive bombed five destroyers in St. Malo Harbour. Good bombing results were sighted. All aircraft then returned to their respective bases, No.193 Squadron landing at R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1725 hours.

          24th October     There was a scramble in the afternoon where various vectors were given but cumulus cloud at the ' bandits ' height prevented a visual being obtained.     During the morning four Typhoon aircraft patrolled St. Malo on a shipping reconnaissance using ' long range fuel tanks '.

          25th October     Eight Typhoon aircraft provided rear cover to twenty four Mitchel bomber aircraft who were to bomb Poulmic. One was seen to be shot down by flak over the target area.

          26th October     Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron plus aircraft from No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron  were to provide rear cover to No.183 Squadron bombing Ploumic.

          28th October     Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron were airborne at 1400 hours to act as top cover with No.266 Squadron to Mitchel bomber aircraft, Whirlwind bomber aircraft and Typhoon bomber aircraft operating against Cherbourg Harbour. They encountered heavy flak over the Cherbourg Peninsular during the operation. No.193 Squadron's Typhoons landed back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1540 hours.

          29th October     At 1040 hours eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron with Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron swept the Brest area, passing south of the town at twenty thousand feet while No.183 Squadron bombed Guipavas and observed good results. Ships were observed in the harbour and at Rade De Brest. There was flak to the south of the town, long range fuel tanks that were used were dropped at Landemeau. Visibility was moderate. The Squadron landed back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1215 hours.

          30th October     The stand-by section were scrambled and were closing on the ' bandits ' when the pilots lost them near the Channel Islands.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of October was signed by :-  Squadron Leader G. W. Petre.

 

No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron :-

          1st October     No operational flying today.     When the Squadron was released they went into Plymouth in the " bus ". They had a terrific high tea and then some went to the pictures, others round to the docks and several hotels were visited before returning to base.

          2nd October     No operational flying.     Practice flying consisted of a formation of ten Typhoon aircraft and a practice wing of eleven aircraft with No.193 Squadron. Three aircraft practiced battle formations.

          3rd October     Eight Typhoon aircraft along with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron were detailed to sweep from Yffiniac to St. Alban but the Commanding Officer's compass was wrong despite the fact that it was a new aircraft and had it's deviation card made out ten days before by the Maintenance Unit and landfall was actually made at a point ten miles west of Sillon De Talbert. This point was mistaken for one east of St. Alban, so the formation turned west to do a sweep in the reverse direction but flew over Lannion and saw no enemy aircraft. Had we gone to the right place we might have seen the enemy aircraft which No.183 Squadron met.

          4th October     Three Typhoon aircraft went off on a sea patrol west of Ushant and landed back at R.A.F. Predannack. These three aircraft were unable to return to R.A.F. Harrowbeer as the weather had closed completely.

          6th October     Four Typhoon aircraft on a formation practice flight had to land after fifteen minutes owing to bad weather conditions.

          7th October     The three Typhoon aircraft that landed at R.A.F. Predannack on the 4th October returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer today.     Ten Typhoon aircraft carried out a square formation flight, others did sector reconnaissance flights and some pilots did aircraft recognition tests.

          8th October     Nine No.266 Squadron Typhoon aircraft took off from R.A.F. Predannack with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron to act as target support in a large operation in which eighteen Boston aircraft were to be escorted by several Squadrons of fighters. The Boston aircraft were to bomb Poulmic Aerodrome. We arrived as arranged over the target area before the ' beehive ', we saw the bombs fall amongst buildings near the airfield but did not see any enemy aircraft.

          9th October    Seven Typhoon aircraft took part in a sweep with No.193 Squadron to Guipavas. No enemy aircraft were seen but heavy flak was experienced. The weather over the target area was 10/10 cloud and on their return the Squadron became separated. Two aircraft of No.266 Squadron found themselves above 10/10 low cloud with practically no petrol left. They came down through a hole in the clouds and saw St. Meryn Aerodrome and had to land immediately. This ' drome is under repair and partially obstructed. They landed on any runway and just managed to pull up in time without hitting anything. A very shaky do! !

          11th October     One Typhoon aircraft on local flying.          The Squadron was released from 1600 hours and fifteen pilots went into Plymouth on a Liberty run.

          12th October     The weather is so bad today that it has been declared a no flying day. Range estimation and aircraft recognition was the order of the day.

          13th October     Another bad day with the weather. Aircraft recognition exams for ten pilots and clay pigeon shooting.

          14th October     Brilliant weather today.     Eight Typhoon aircraft with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron took off for R.A.F. Predannack, the intention was to sweep over Brest, Guipavas area but when the formation reached Ushant the leader decided the weather was u/s. The formation turned, swept along the north coast to Aber Vrach where there was a clear patch they turned south and penetrated some 'ailes until the weather was again u/s and they returned for home.

          15th October     Two Typhoon aircraft were scrambled from stand-by for two FW190's which had made landfall over Brixham. The section was vectored south to the south of Bolt Head and when at eight thousand feet saw two enemy aircraft diving down to one thousand feet heading south. The section dived after them overtaking very easily. One of he FW190's was selected by one of the pilots and had a bit of a turning match with it, but then it very obligingly straightened out and the pilot was able to get in several good bursts from dead astern. The enemy aircraft's starboard undercart dropped and after another burst the pilot baled out. His parachute was seen to open. Meanwhile the other No.266 Squadron pilot took on the other FW 190 which after turning a bit flew straight and the pilot fired a number of bursts at it seeing strikes and smoke. The enemy aircraft started turning again and after some deflection shots the No.266 Squadron pilot ran out of ammunition. He radioed to his companion who chased after the enemy aircraft and gave it a short burst, the FW190 blew up and crashed into the sea. The cine camera gun films of both aircraft were very good. A fix was transmitted for the German pilot who had baled out of his aircraft.

          17th October     Nine Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron took off from R.A.F. Predannack and swept over the Brest area. No.193 Squadron saw and attacked two ships.     Later eight Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron escorted four Bomphoons of No.183 Squadron, with No.193 Squadron as anti flak cover. They flew down to Point St. Mattieu to attack the ships seen earlier. No shipping was seen so all aircraft returned to their respective bases.

          18th October     The Squadron received ' long range fuel tanks ' today, ( each tank contained forty five gallons of aviation fuel ) most of the aircraft are to be fitted and tested with these tanks.

          19th and 20th October     Bad weather conditions today resulted in very little practice flying by the pilots.

          21st October     Test flights carried out with the long range fuel tanks. The newest Typhoon aircraft coming along do 260 miles per hour with the long range fuel tanks fitted; ie. they are just as fast as the older aircraft without the tanks.

          22nd October     Six Typhoon aircraft took off from R.A.F. Predannack and flew to a point about twenty five miles west of Ushant and then patrolled north and south for about an  hour. This is the first time the Squadron have used the long range fuel tanks on an operational flight. The tanks were not jettisoned and brought back to base.

         23rd October     Six Typhoon aircraft took off from R.A.F. Bolt Head with eight Bomphoon aircraft of No.183 Squadron and flew to the St. Malo estuary. Diving from ten thousand feet the Bomphoons bombed three destroyers and several other smaller ships in the St. Malo estuary mouth. We saw one certain and one possible hit on the destroyers and many near misses. No enemy aircraft were seen and slight inaccurate flak was experienced. All aircraft landed back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer.

          24th October     Eight Typhoon aircraft took off from R.A.F. Harrowbeer to sweep over Lezardrieux Estuary to see if there were any ships there. Landfall was made far to the west and the Squadron were very near to Lannion Airfield ( which looked deserted ). The section then flew southwards to the railway and turned west to Morlaix near to Morlaix Airfield ( which also looked deserted ) so they flew northwards heading for home. All this was carried out at two thousand feet, yet no flak was experienced and no enemy aircraft seen. Lezardrieux was thus not adequately covered and on landing we offered to do the trip again.     In the afternoon four Typhoon aircraft flew to Cherbourg Harbour to spot the damage done to a large merchant-ship which had been bombed a few minutes earlier by aircraft of No.263 Squadron. All our pilots saw was that the ship was well on fire. Considerable light and heavy flak was encountered but none really near to our aircraft. All the aircraft landed at R.A.F. Warmwell, Dorset on their return.     Non operational aircraft made a long low cross country flight lasting two hours twenty minutes testing their long range fuel tanks for fuel consumption.

          25th October     Eight Typhoon aircraft acted as top cover with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron to Mitchel bomber aircraft who were to bomb Landveoc Airfield. Bursts were seen on the south side of the airfield. The Commanding Officer had to return early with engine trouble. Two other aircraft also returned early due to one of them having a long range fuel tank that would not jettison. A large merchant vessel was seen steaming east towards Brest. One of the Mitchel bomber aircraft was seen shot down by flak.     In the evening a very rowdy party started in the Mess, then at the Rock Hotel which continued again on returning to the Mess which finished off by shaving moustaches off in the billets, some were a complete write off, others were repairable.

          26th October     Six Typhoon aircraft along with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron were to sweep Lanveoc Airfield, two minutes after Bomphoon aircraft of No.183 Squadron had bombed it. As we appeared to be late, the formation crossed the coast near Abervrach and swept over Guipavas Airfield to Landerneau where the long range fuel tanks were jettisoned. Four of the aircraft had hang-ups with their tanks, so Squadron Leader Lefevre decided that the whole formation would return to base instead of in sections. As they turned north for home they saw aircraft from No.610 Squadron.

          27th October     Four Typhoon aircraft carried out an anti-rhubarb patrol between Guernsey and Alderney at one thousand feet, but saw nothing.     Non operational flying included cloud flying, formation flying, an affiliation exercise with a Sunderland flying boat, aerobatics at eight thousand feet and cine camera work.

          28th October     Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron went out on an operation making landfall at Cap Plamanville at two thousand feet and swept four times across the peninsular before returning back to base. There was heavy flak from Cherbourg very near to us. Bombs were seen to burst in the Cherbourg area.

          29th October     Eight Typhoon aircraft with long range fuel tanks took off with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron and swept over Abervrach at eighteen thousand feet. They then flew straight on over Landerneau to Creaxch Gurnnou then turned west to St. Mattieu and home. They saw flak over Guipavas in the distance as No.183 Squadron bombed Guipavas Airfield. There was some flak seen from Poulmic and several ships were spotted in the Brest Estuary.     A Station Dance was held in the evening, a very good party. Five W.A.A.F. Officers came over from R.A.F. Exeter - a good time was had by all.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of October was signed by :- Flight Lieutenant Collcult.

 

No.276  Air Sea Rescue Squadron     ' B ' Flight :-

          2nd October    A section of Spitfire aircraft were scrambled on a practice search. The dinghy was located and one Spitfire aircraft orbited while the other located the Air Sea Rescue boats. The Air Sea Rescue boats were not located so another boat that was in the area was contacted and the dinghy picked up.

          7th October     A Spitfire aircraft carrying out a practice search was airborne at 1440 hours. The Spitfire aircraft was scrambled and after various vectors found the dinghy. A smoke float was dropped and the Spitfire went off in search for rescue boats, these were not located so the Spitfire returned and located the dinghy again which it orbited until relieved by another Spitfire, it then returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer landing at 1645 hours.

          10th October     Local flying was carried out with the Air Training Corps cadets in the afternoon.

          15th October     Two Spitfire aircraft were scrambled on a practice search and after several vectors from the Controlling Station reached the centre of the search area where they commenced to search for the dinghy. The dinghy was located south of the position given and rescue boats were contacted to pick the dinghy up, which they did. The two Spitfire aircraft then carried out air to air firing practice before returning to base.

          20th October     A section of Spitfire aircraft were ordered off from R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1130 hours to search three to four miles south of Bolt Head for a single engined aircraft which had been reported in the sea by a local Gun Site. The position was searched up to six miles out but nothing was seen. The section were recalled back to base by the Controller and they landed at 1215 hours.

          24th October     Flight Lieutenant Renvoize arrived at Squadron Headquarters from ' A ' Flight to assume command of the Squadron vice Squadron Littler on leave.

          25th October     An Anson aircraft was ordered off to search ten miles west of St. Agnes for lights reported during the night. A piece of red fabric thought at first to be a dinghy sail was sighted but this was probably an A.A. drogue.     A Walrus aircraft was ordered to R.A.F. Predannack for stand-by duties. At 1635 hours it was scrambled to search a position fifty miles, one hundred and ninety degrees from the Lizard, Cornwall with an escort of four Spitfire aircraft. An Anson aircraft from ' C ' Flight, R.A.F. Portreath was engaged on the same search and was spotted by the Walrus, but there were no signs of a dinghy in the sea or of an oil patch on the water. The Walrus landed back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1845 hours.

          29th October     Today instructions were received from Headquarters No.10 Group that the Spitfire aircraft from ' A ' Flight, R.A.F. Warmwell are to move to R.A.F. Portreath and the Anson aircraft are to move from R.A.F. Portreath to R.A.F. Harrowbeer and R.A.F. Warmwell. The move is to be carried out on 30/10/1943.

Thus the disposition of the Squadron's aircraft will be :-

                    R.A.F. Portreath  =  six Spitfires, two Walrus and two Ansons.

                    R.A.F. Harrowbeer  =  six Spitfires, two Walrus and two Ansons.

                    R.A.F. Warmwell  =  two Ansons and two Walrus.

          30th October     Aircraft and personnel from ' A ' Flight and ' C ' Flight today moved to R.A.F. Portreath and R.A.F. Warmwell respectively.

          31st October     Vey little operational flying this month and much of the practice flying has been directed at completing the Gunnery Syllabus, particular attention having been paid to cine camera exercises and air firing.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of October was signed by :- Squadron Leader J. M. Littler.

 

No.279  Air Sea Rescue Squadron :-

          2nd October     Hudson aircraft Y/279 was detailed to R.A.F. Predannack at 0940 hours on a search, but nothing was sighted so the aircraft returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer landing at 1450 hours.

          3rd October     A search by Hudson aircraft Y/279 was airborne at 0715 hours. At 1015 hours four unidentified twin engined aircraft were sighted two or three miles on the starboard beam. Nothing further was sighted so the Hudson aircraft returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer and landed at 1215 hours.     Hudson aircraft Y/279 was airborne again at 1748 hours on a search, but again nothing was sighted. On the return track the Hudson aircraft investigated an object which proved to be a smoke float. There was no radar bleep from it. Hudson aircraft Y/279 then landed at R.A.F. Predannack at 2255 hours.

          4th October     Two Hudson aircraft E/ 279 and N/279 were airborne at 1355 hours to carry out a search. At 1435 hours the Airborne Lifeboat fell from the bottom of Hudson aircraft N/279 - cause unknown, but it is under investigation. Fortunately a surface vessel was able to pick up the Airborne Lifeboat. Hudson aircraft E/279 and N/279 both returned safely to base at 1540 hours.

          7th October     Hudson aircraft N/279 was airborne at 1248 hours to carry out a search, but nothing was seen. The Hudson aircraft landed back at base at 1750 hours.          Hudson aircraft Y/279 took off at 1249 hours for an Air Sea Rescue search, nothing was sighted so the aircraft returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer landing at 1755 hours.

          19th October     A search was commenced at 0910 hours by a Hudson aircraft, but then had to be abandoned at 0955 hours due to bad weather. The Hudson aircraft landed back at base at 1045 hours.

          20th October     At 1305 hours Hudson Y/279 took off to carry out a search, nothing was sighted so the aircraft returned to base landing at 1812 hours.

          26th October     There was one rescue sortie today where Hudson aircraft Y/279 took off at 0810 hours to search in the vicinity of Skomer Island for an upturned ' J ' type dinghy and a dead body which had been sighted. A High Speed Launch was homed to pick these up. Numerous pieces of wreckage was sighted at St. Brides Bay. The Hudson aircraft returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer landing at 1300 hours.

          27th October     A rescue sortie was detailed at 0646 hours when Hudson aircraft Y/279 was detailed to search an area fifty miles west of Land's End, Cornwall. Nothing was seen and the aircraft landed back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1225 hours.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of October was signed by :- Flight Lieutenant W. Longdon.

 

No.453 Squadron :-

          9th October     At 1125 hours the Squadron moved from R.A.F. Perranporth to R.A.F. Bolt Head.     Nine Squadron Spitfire aircraft, plus one other aircraft were airborne from R.A.F. Bolt Head at 1440 hours in the role of escort cover to twenty four Mitchell bomber aircraft. They made rendezvous with the twenty four Mitchell bombers at Start Point. The formation crossed the coast west of Isle De Batz at 1529 hours and were over the target at 1532 hours. They then flew out at 1534 hours. Bombing by the Mitchell bombers took place through 9/10 cloud and instead of Guipavas Airfield they bombed Morlaix. The weather began to worsen as the formation headed for home. Owing to the weather worsening two pilots landed back at base, two others at R.A.F. Exeter and the remainder landing at R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1640 hours where they had to stay the night.

          10th October     The boys who landed at R.A.F. Harrowbeer yesterday afternoon managed to return to base at 1530 hours having waited for the weather to improve, which even then was not too good.

The Squadron O.R.B. Form 540 for the month of October was signed by :- Flight Lieutenant E. A. R. Esau.

The Squadron O.R.B. Form 541 for the month of October was signed by :- Squadron Leader D. G. Andrews DFC.

 

~    ~    ~    ~

 

September  1943

Wing Commander J. Butterworth assumed command of R.A.F. Harrowbeer while the Hon. E. F. Ward left to go on leave preparatory to assuming his new duties at Headquarters Fighter Command.          Wing Commander E. F. Ward had been in command of R.A.F. Harrowbeer for two years.          The Station O.R.B. for September was signed by Wing Commander J. Butterworth.

 

Visitors to R.A.F. Harrowbeer included :- 

          Lord Sherwood  -  The Under Secretary of State

          Lord Wimborne  -  Parliamentary Private Secretary

          Group Captain Guest  -

          Brigadier C. R. Britten  -  Command Defence Officer

          Lieutenant Colonel A. Hargreaves  -  Group Defence Officer

          Sergeant McCartney  -  Group Sanitary Assistant

 

Weather 

          1st September     The weather today was completely non-operational. Very low cloud, rain and mist for most of the day.

          12th September     Today the weather was very stormy with high winds expected in the afternoon.

          17th September     Fine weather with good visibility.

          18th September     Typical Harrowbeer weather - rain, rain and still more rain. The rain started early on in the day with brighter periods later although visibility remained poor.

          19th September     No operational flying today on account of the poor weather conditions.

          20th September     A poor start to the day with much low cloud and from 1030 hours heavy rain continued to fall until 1515 hours.

          21st September     A fairly cool day. There was an 8/10th cloud ceiling at two thousand feet.

          22nd September     Quite a satisfactory morning apart from a thick haze which cleared later in the day resulting in good visibility.

          23rd September     Another good day at Harrowbeer !  A fine sunny day with unlimited visibility.

          24th September     Yet another good day.

          25th September     A moderate, cool day with much low cloud, gradually breaking up. There were a few bright periods and 5/10th cloud.

          26th September     A filthy morning, quite up to Harrowbeer's usual - heavy rain and thick patches of haze. As the day progressed the weather improved but the day remained cool with bright sunny periods allowing good visibility.

          27th September     A fairly good morning although there were patches of haze.

          28th September     Another filthy morning as far as the weather is concerned. Heavy rain for most of the day and 8/10th cloud. Visibility was fair but today was classed as a no flying day.

          29th September     The weather is again very poor and despite the unfavourable conditions only four of the aircraft that went to R.A.F. Predannack at first light were able to return to R.A.F. Harrowbeer. There was 8/10th cloud early on in the day and was later closing in as the day progressed.

          30th September     The month closes with bad weather. Yet another miserable day with no flying, 10/10th low cloud covering the hill tops.

 

From the Station O.R.B.

 

          7th September     Wing Commander J. Butterworth posted to this Station to take over command from Wing Commander the Hon E. F. Ward.

          9th September     Squadron Leader R. F. de Read posted to this Station for duty as Station Administration Officer vice Squadron Leader C. M. T. Hogg DSO.

          10th September     Wing Commander J. Butterworth reports for duty.         The Under Secretary of State ( Lord Sherwood ) accompanied by the Parliamentary Private Secretary ( Lord Wimborne ) and Group Captain Guest landed on the airfield on route to Headquarters No.19 Group. They returned at 1700 hours and went up to the Officer's Mess before returning to R.A.F. Hendon.

          15th September     ' Battle of Britain Colour Hoisting Parade ' attended by all ranks except those on essential operational duties. The Station Commander gave a short and inspired address.

          18th September     No.193 ( Typhoon ) Squadron, with No.3013 Echelon returned to this Station from R.A.F. Gravesend.

          21st September     No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron ( Typhoon ) with No.3043 Echelon moved to this Station from R.A.F. Station Exeter.          Brigadier C. R. Britten - Command Defence Officer visited the Station with Lieutenant Colonel A. Hargreaves - Group Defence Officer and inspected the Flight of No.2738 R.A.F. Regiment.

          26th September     ' Battle of Britain Sunday ', a wet morning spoilt a one hundred per cent Church Parade, but inspite of this, the church was full and even the Padre was satisfied.

 

Physical Fitness and Entertainment for September 1943.

          This month has seen the beginning of the Winter sports season. Already great strides have been made in soccer and a good Station team is in progress of formation. There are numerous section matches being played and the running of the ' Jolliffe Cup ' competition as a league event has consolidated these.          Matches during September are as follows :-

Station Team :-     Played  -  3     Won  -  1     Lost  -  1     Drawn  -  1

Section Team :-     Four separate teams played five matches.

Rugby :-     This Station is combining with R.A.F. Mount Batten to form a joint rugby football team and the arrangement is working successfully.

Hockey :-     Practices are beginning soon and a fairly good fixtures list has been arranged.

Physical Training :-     P.T. Parades of the Tabloid Defence Course at present running on this Station has been successful, for example, men have volunteered to follow up their half hour compulsory P.T. by continuing the P.T. period with the next course, voluntarily. Men taking this course which runs from 0830 hours to 0910 hours state that they wish they could be allowed this P.T. per day. No.279 Air Sea Rescue Squadron continue to put in a full two and a half hours per week of P.T., but no other Squadron has made an organised effort to lay on P.T. for flying personnel.

( Average daily attendance - twenty.     Average hours / days spent in P.T. is two and a half hours ).

( Flying personnel attending - sixteen,     two and a half hours per week - No.279 Squadron ).

Boxing :-     The arrival of No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron has brought two new boxers to the Station.  Three men are representing this Station at the R.A.F. meeting at R.A.F. Mount Batten on October 5th and it is hoped to stage an ATC show in October.

Entertainment :-     During September the following have taken place :-

E.N.S.A. Variety  -  2     E.N.S.A.  Plays  -  1     R.A.F. Symphony Orchestra  -  1 performance     Pioneer Corps Orchestra  -  1 performance     Recorded music programme  -  1     Dances  -  3

Note :-     The plays by E.N.S.A. companies are proving increasingly popular. This production in September " The Naughty Wife " was well received by a large audience.

Music :-     There is a steady interest in all forms of serious musical activity. Civilians were invited to attend the R.A.F Symphony Orchestra's concert, two hundred and fifty people were present.

 

Station Sick Quarters - Form 540

          The Form 540 for September was signed by Squadron Leader F. Constable, Senior Medical Officer.

          1st September     Strength of the Station :-  R.A.F.  =  1399     W.A.A.F.  = 396     Army  =  205     ATS  =  17          These strengths include Satellite Stations and Units ie :- R.A.F. Bolt Head, R.A.F. Hope Cove, No.2891 A.A. Squadron Dartmouth, also R.A.F. and W.A.A.F personnel of R.A.F. Station Bolt Tail which is being looked after re-medical treatment by the Medical Officer from R.A.F. Bolt Head.

          3rd September     Station personnel admitted to the Sick Quarters and Hospital week ending today :-  R.A.F.  =  5     W.A.A.F.  =  8     Army  =  0     ATS  =  0

          5th September     One Nursing Orderly was attached to R.A.F. Hendon on an Air Ambulance Course.          A cook ( Corporal ) from R.A.F. Harrowbeer was admitted to Swilly Isolation Hospital, Plymouth diagnosed with " Rubella ". All contact supervised and inspected daily.

          6th September     One Nursing Orderly attached to R.A.F. Halton on a Water Course.

          7th September     An ACW  Cook from the Airmen's Mess was admitted to the Station Sick Quarters and transferred to the Swilly Isolation Hospital, Plymouth, diagnosis " Diptheria ". A number of W.A.A.F. personnel were admitted to the Station Sick Quarters for week ending 10/9/1943, eight of these were remote contacts with " Diptheria " and detained for observation and exclusion.

          8th September     The Medical Officer of No.610 Squadron from R.A.F. Bolt Head detached for a Tropical Course to R.A.F. Halton.

          10th September     Strength of Station :-  R.A.F.  =  1209     W.A.A.F.  =  380     Army  =  ?     ATS  =  16

          Station personnel admitted to the Sick Quarters and Hospital week ending today :-  R.A.F.  =  14     W.A.A.F.  =  25     Army  =  0     ATS  =  0

          17th September     Strength of Station :- R.A.F.  =  1115     W.A.A.F.  =  378     Army  =  94     ATS  =  Nil

          Station personnel admitted to the Sick Quarters and Hospital week ending today :-  R.A.F.  =  6     W.A.A.F.  =  19     Army  =  1

          An LACW Cook was admitted to Swilly Isolation Hospital, Plymouth on 13/9/1943, diagnosis " Diptheria ".          Thirteen of the W.A.A.F. cases admitted for week ending 17/9/1943 were " remote contacts Diptheria " and all had developed Pyrexia before admission.

          18th September     The Group Sanitary Assistant ( Sergeant McCartney ) completed a three day inspection of R.A.F. Harrowbeer and R.A.F. Bolt Head.

          24th September     Strength of Station :-  R.A.F.  =  1621     W.A.A.F.  =  454     Army  =  105

          Station personnel admitted to the Sick Quarters and Hospital week ending today :-  R.A.F.  =  11     W.A.A.F.  =  8     Army  =  0

 

From the Squadron O.R.B.'s

 

No.193 Squadron :-

          16th September     While the Squadron was at R.A.F. Gravesend they received news that on the 16th September the Squadron was to return to R.A.F. Harrowbeer on Saturday. The news was received with that " sinking " feeling throughout the Squadron. It was hoped that any change would be to another Station in No.11 Group, or at least a fresh Station in No.10 Group.

          17th September     The Advance Party leave R.A.F. Gravesend for R.A.F. Harrowbeer.

          18th September     The Squadron reaches R.A.F. Harrowbeer to the typical old " Harrowbeer " weather, rain, rain and still more rain.          There was a great welcome from the Station Headquarters personnel and in particular from the new Station Commander to No.193 Squadron. This of course was greatly appreciated by all the troops.          Fourteen Typhoon aircraft had been flown to R.A.F. Harrowbeer from R.A.F. Gravesend.

          19th September     Not a very encouraging day.          Much activity everywhere, getting the " house " in order.

          20th September     Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron took off for R.A.F. Predannack to take part in an operation from there, unfortunately it was aborted.

          22nd September     A fighter sweep was carried out today over the Brest area by eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron in conjunction with Typhoon IB aircraft of No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron operating from R.A.F. Predannack. The aircraft took off at 1558 hours from R.A.F. Predannack on ' Ramrod 83 ', the target time was 1636 hours. All the aircraft set course for the Lizard, Cornwall passing there at 1604 hours and reaching Ushant at seventeen thousand feet at approximately 1631 hours. The aircraft then continued climbing reaching the target at seventeen thousand feet. The pilots saw other Typhoons, Spitfires and Mitchell bomber aircraft in the area. No.193 Squadron saw the Mitchell bombers making their bombing run, but saw no bomb bursts. The Squadron then crossed out at 1641 hours at Ile De Batz at fifteen to sixteen thousand feet. No ships or enemy aircraft were seen. There was an ineffective smoke screen and moderate flak over Brest which was too low to cause any damage. All aircraft landed back at base at 1715 hours.

          23rd September     Eight of our aircraft operating from R.A.F. Predannack again took part in two Ramrod operations with No.183 Squadron and No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron. They were to act as escort on ' Ramrod 84 ' to No.183 Squadron's Bomphoons ( Typhoon aircraft loaded with bombs ). At 0830 hours, our Typhoon aircraft escorting the Bomphoons set course for the Lizard, Cornwall. They then passed Ushant, crossing the French coast at fifteen thousand feet. All bombs from the Bomphoons were dropped in the target area, four twin-engined aircraft are thought to have been destroyed by bombs on the ground. Dispersal and Hangars were seen to have been hit. There was a considerable amount of accurate flak. Weather :- no cloud. Visibility :- good, hazy over the sea. One Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron went into the sea, trouble not known. One Bomphoon of No.183 Squadron was damaged by flak. No.193 Squadron Typhoons landed back at R.A.F. Predannack at 1005 hours.          A second operation was airborne at 1125 hours from R.A.F. Predannack consisting of eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron and eight Bomphoons of No.183 Squadron on ' Ramrod 85 '. The aircraft set course for the Lizard, Cornwall, then onto Ushant crossing the French coast at Casserret. Again considerable flak was experienced damaging four Bomphoons of No.183 Squadron. After the attack the aircraft returned on a reciprocal course. Weather :- no cloud. Visibility :- good, very hazy in mid-channel up to three to five thousand feet. All aircraft returned to R.A.F. Predannack at 1305 hours.          A third operation ( Ramrod 86 ) had been airborne at 1510 hours to escort Mitchell bomber aircraft to a target in France but they were recalled as the operation was cancelled. The aircraft landed back at base at 1530 hours.

          24th September     All serviceable aircraft left for R.A.F. Predannack taking part in another two Ramrods.          Eight Ttyhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron took off at 1710 hours from R.A.F. Predannack to take part in ' Ramrod 88 '. A course was set for the Lizard, Cornwall and then on a heading to the east of Ushant. The Typhoons then turned east passing north of Casseret and again turned north and patrolled the target area for approximately eight minutes at twenty thousand feet. The weather over the target area was 10/10th cloud, top at twelve thousand feet. There was much R/T chatter by another formation of aircraft. Bandits were reported near when No.193 Squadron was in the vicinity of Brest, but nothing was seen. There was no flak experienced and the Squadron crossed out over the coast at Vierge. The weather over the channel was 8/10th cloud at three thousand feet and the sea was calm. All No.193 Squadron Typhoon's landed back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer - six at 1835 hours, one at 1745 hours and one at 1750 hours.

          25th September     Most of the day was spent on synthetics.          Two Typhoon aircraft were scrambled at 1705 hours from stand by to intercept ' bogeys ' which proved to be Spitfire aircraft. They were then ordered to pancake almost immediately and the section returned to their previous state. Their landing time was 1715 hours.          Nine Typhoon aircraft too off just after 1900 hours for R.A.F. Predannack to again operate from there. They took off with the weather closing in rapidly. Just after their departure the weather clamped down completely.

          26th September     Eight of the nine Typhoon aircraft which had flown to R.A.F. Predannack on the 25th landed back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1132 hours. The other Typhoon aircraft remained behind to have two new wheels fitted, having had a little ' puncture ' trouble. This aircraft then took off and landed back at base at 1516 hours.          During the afternoon some air to air firing practice took place.

          27th September Today is the first opportunity the pilots have had since coming back to R.A.F. Harrowbeer to go on the " Link Trainer " as there are other Squadrons on the airfield all wasithing to make use of the " trainer ". The chances are that " No.193 Squadron " are to have little chance of spending much time there - worse still ! the Instructor arrives only to find the " Link Trainer " is u/s. So much for that !          The Commanding Officer and one other pilot flew over to R.A.F. Langley to have another inspection of the Tempest aircraft. As their inspection, through no fault of their own, finished up with a ' ground ' examination only, the next best thing was to fly ' something ' new. So, after talking to the pilot of a new modified Spitfire XII aircraft they each had a go in it. The ' Spitfire XII ' responded well in the air, and created a very favourable impression indeed.

          29th September     Eight Typhoon aircraft left at first light for R.A.F. Predannack, but owing to u/s weather the operation they were to take part in was aborted. In the afternoon, four of the Typhoons returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer. The other four Typhoons were detained at R.A.F. Predannack as the weather had clamped down entirely.

          30th September     More synthetics today as the weather was fairly miserable, this included ' range examination ' tests.          The month closes with bad weather.          The four Typhoon aircraft that remained at R.A.F. Predannack on the 29th are still there owing to the bad weather situation.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of September was signed by :- Squadron Leader G. W. Pete.

 

No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron :-

          17th September     The Squadron is operating from R.A.F. Exeter at the present time and have just heard that No.266 Squadron and Echelon are to move to R.A.F. Harrowbeer. The move is to take place on Tuesday 21st September.

          18th September     Thirteen Typhoon aircraft took off to fly to R.A.F. Harrowbeer to take part from there in an offensive operation. Half way to R.A.F. Harrowbeer the flight was recalled as the operation had been cancelled.

          21st September     The road and rail parties left for R.A.F. Harrowbeer, but fourteen Typhoon aircraft had to fly to R.A.F. Predannack instead as they had to take part in an operation from there. The operation was cancelled so the Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron flew to R.A.F. Harrowbeer.          The Squadron started settling down at R.A.F. Harrowbeer.          The weather seems a bit colder here and the billets will not be as warm as R.A.F. Exeter's.

          22nd September     Eight Typhoon aircraft along with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron took part in a large operation today. Twelve Mitchell bomber aircraft, bombed Guipavas Aerodrome and our two Squadrons acted as ' fighter - sweep ' over the target five minutes after the bombers and their escorts to shoot down any Huns seen. We were flying at fifteen to twenty thousand feet, but saw no enemy aircraft although we were warned by Control that there were fifteen enemy aircraft in the area. There was slight / heavy flax experienced and one pilot on landing found his tail-plane had been slightly dented.          The Squadron continued unpacking and settling in.

          23rd September     No.266 Squadron took part in ' Ramrod 84 and 85 ' operating from R.A.F. Predannack on both occasions. Eight of our Typhoon aircraft along with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron and eight Bomphoon aircraft of No.183 Squadron flew from R.A.F. Predannack and crossed the French coast at twelve thousand feet at Camaret after skirting Ushant. The Bomphoons bombed the target Poulmic successfully, probably destroying four twin-engined aircraft on the ground. No enemy aircraft were airborne. Moderate flak was experienced in the area. Flying Officer Lucas noticed his engine running rough on leaving the French coast possibly due to flak damage and had to bale out when thirty three miles off the Lizard, Cornwall. Everything worked perfectly, he judged his height from the water when coming down in ' chute ' by dropping a boot. Flying Officer Lucas was picked up by a Walrus aircraft and landed at R.A.F. Portreath. He returned back to base after tea none the worse for his wetting.

          24th September     Five Typhoon aircraft flew down to R.A.F. Predannack, on the way they were vectored after an ' X ' raid of five enemy aircraft over the sea south of Plymouth. Nothing was seen and the vector was soon cancelled.          Four Typhoon aircraft took part in a sweep over Guipavas without incident at twenty thousand feet.          Later four Typhoon aircraft with six Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron took part on a sweep over Brest at fifteen thousand feet, and although they turned to find some enemy aircraft which Control had warned them about they did not see anything and returned without incident to R.A.F. Harrowbeer.

          25th - 30th September     No operational flying during this period.          Practice flying was undertaken which consisted of formation flights, cine-camera gun practice, air to sea firing, tail chase and sector reconnaissance flights.          During the last three days of the month the weather was poor resulting in very little flying activity.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of September was signed by :- Squadron Leader P. W. Lefevre.

 

No.276  Air Sea Rescue Squadron     ' B ' Flight :-

          2nd September     A Walrus aircraft was ordered off from R.A.F. Exeter at 0710 hours to continue the search for a Mustang aircraft pilot who had baled out on the 30th August 1943. The Walrus aircraft flew on a vector of two hundred degrees from Bolt Head for forty two and a half minutes and reached the centre of the search area some sixty four miles from the coast. A number of aircraft were circling a dinghy. The Walrus landed on the sea and picked up the occupant of the dinghy who was the Flight Commander of No.16 Squadron. He did not appear to have suffered greatly from his three days in the dinghy, but was exceedingly glad to see the Walrus. The rescued pilot was flown by the Walrus to R.A.F. Exeter. The Walrus had no escort on the way out to the search position, but Spitfires, Mustangs, Typhoons and Beaufighters were in attendance during the journey back. Altogether one hundred and seventy seven aircraft were engaged on this search, three of which were shot down, two from No.616 Squadron and one from ' B ' Flight, while two FW190's were destroyed and one damaged by No.616 Squadron.

          3rd September     Squadron Leader R. F. Hamlyn AFC, DFM posted today to Headquarters No.10 Group pending disposal.

          4th September     Squadron Leader J. M. Littler posted to command from No.616 Squadron.

          5th September     Squadron Leader J. M. Littler reported for duty as Squadron Commander.

          6th September     A section of Spitfire aircraft were ordered off from R.A.F. Harrowbeer to search ten miles east of Budleigh Salterton for an aircraft reported in the sea. The section were recalled as the information is believed to be very doubtful. Nothing was seen in the area of the search.

          7th September     At 0630 hours two Spitfire aircraft were ordered off to search an area two hundred and eighty degrees off Portland Bill and seventeen miles out. Flashing lights had been reported by Coastguards. The area was searched thoroughly but nothing sighted. A section of Spitfire aircraft were ordered off to search a position off Berry Head, one hundred and ten degrees, twenty one miles out. Nothing was seen in the area and the section was recalled by operations.

          11th September     Wing Commander J. Butterworth, the new Station Commander visited No.276 A.S.R. Squadron Headquarters today.          Two replacement aircraft arrived today, but both aircraft have to be modified before they can be flown operationally in the Squadron.

          16th September     One Spitfire aircraft was ordered off from R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1720 hours to search off Prawle Point for a ditched Flying Fortress aircraft - a search was carried out in the area, nothing was seen. The Spitfire aircraft was later vectored to a position at Bolt Tail and arrived as the crew of a Flying Fortress were being transferred to a High Speed Launch. This aircraft landed back at base at 1840 hours. A Spitfire aircraft was ordered off at 1800 hours to search a position two miles north of Bolt Head. The aircraft was believed to be a Flying Fortress aircraft which was about to ditch into the sea. The Spitfire aircraft located the Flying Fortress aircraft and remained in the vicinity. The Spitfire aircraft was then sent off on various vectors to search for further aircraft that were believed to be in the sea, but nothing was seen. The Spitfire aircraft landed at R.A.F. Bolt Head at 1930 hours.          At 1805 hours Squadron Leader J. M. Littler was ordered off in a Spitfire aircraft on a continuation of the above sortie. He located the Flying Fortress aircraft and returned to base at 1825 hours.

          17th September     A section of Spitfire aircraft were ordered off from R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1445 hours to search a position two hundred degrees from the Lizard, Cornwall and twenty five minutes out. A search was carried out in the area without success.

          18th September     Two Spitfire aircraft while engaged on a practice dinghy drop and search saw the wing of an aircraft sticking out of the water approximately fifteen miles from Looe Island. One Spitfire aircraft orbited the wreckage while the other made an unsuccessful attempt to contact a rescue launch. The Spitfire aircraft returned and continued to orbit until relieved by a Fighter section of aircraft. The relieving section was able to contact the boats and guide them to the spot where the wreckage proved to be a twin engined aircraft. This rescue operation commenced at 1625 hours and ended with all aircraft back at base by 1930 hours.

          21st September     A Walrus aircraft practicing landings swung off the runway after it's first landing and then a wheel struck a ditch causing the aircraft to topple over.

          22nd September     A section of Spitfire aircraft were ordered off from R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 0700 hours to search a position two hundred degrees and two minutes out from Start Point. A thorough search was made in the area without success. A section was again ordered off at 1050 hours and another search  was carried out, but again nothing was sighted.

          23rd September     A section of Spitfire aircraft were ordered off from R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1335 hours to search one hundred and ninety degrees off Start Point and twelve minutes out. The area was searched thoroughly without success. Another section of Spitfire aircraft were ordered off to continue the above search, but again nothing was seen. This section landed at 1700 hours. A further section of Spitfire aircraft were airborne at 1715 hours on the same search, but without success.

          A large amount of the time during the month of September was spent on practice duties which included :- air tests, night flying, formation flying, dinghy drops and searches, sea landings, navigation exercises and air to air firing.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of September was signed by :- Squadron Leader J. M. Littler

 

No.279 Air Sea Rescue Squadron :- 

          2nd September     A Hudson aircraft took off at 0755 hours on a search from R.A.F. Harrowbeer with a Typhoon aircraft as escort. Nothing was sighted and the Hudson landed back at base at 0945 hours.

          4th September     Flight Lieutenant Stevens and crew left R.A.F. Bircham Newton in Hudson N/279 for R.A.F. Harrowbeer with a new airborne lifeboat.

          9th September     Two Hudson aircraft were airborne at 0635 hours on a search. One hour was  spent searching in the given area but nothing was sighted. The Hudsons returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer landing at 1216 hours.

          18th September     Two Hudson aircraft were ordered off at 0705 hours on a C.L.A. search south of Fasnet Rock, west of Land's End, Cornwall. Nothing was sighted and the aircraft returned to base landing at 1235 hours.

          23rd September     A Hudson aircraft took off at 0635 hours on a search west of the Scillies from the Squadron Headquarters detachment. Apart from an oil patch, nothing of interest was sighted. The aircraft returned to base at 1210 hours.

          24th September Two Hudson aircraft were airborne at 0652 hours to continue the search west of the Scillies today. Only oil streaks and patches were seen in the area. A negative report was made to two High Speed Launches before setting course for base landing at 1245 hours. This search was led by a American pilot, First Lieutenant Coale.

          27th September     A Hudson aircraft was airborne from R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 0745 hours for a search off the Iles De Bas, but just before reaching the area an unidentified plane was seen ahead and a course was set for base. In a few minutes however their escort of eight Typhoon aircraft was sighted and a course re-set for position forty nine degrees and nine minutes north and four degrees and twelve minutes west. A Walrus aircraft was sighted on the water by a dinghy with fighter aircraft circling overhead.  After seeing the Walrus aircraft an airborne course was set for R.A.F. Harrowbeer, landing at 0945 hours.          A Hudson aircraft took off from R.A.F. Harrowbeer with an airborne lifeboat attached on a search, but had to force land at R.A.F. Predannack thirty minutes later owing to a u/s turret. Headquarters No.19 Group gave instructions to the pilot to return to base. This was done.

          28th September     Two Hudson aircraft were ordered off on a search. Hudson N/279 carrying an airborne lifeboat. Nothing was sighted.

The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of September was signed by :- Wing Commander B. G. Corry DFC.       

 

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Copies of the Station and Squadron Operation Record Books are kept at ' Knightstone House ' -  R.A.F. Harrowbeer Archives ' and are available to view at ' Abigail's at Knightstone ' or by appointment ( Telephone :- 01822 853679     Archivist :- Michael Hayes ).

 
This page is updated each month and only shows the four most current months.


 
Please contact me if you have or want to find out more information regarding the O.R.B.'s and R.A.F. Harrowbeer.
                                                     Thank you     Michael Hayes