From the R.A.F. Harrowbeer Station and Squadron Operation Record Books.
Wing Commander A. C. Stewart remains the Station Commander for R.A.F. Harrowbeer.
The Station Operation Record Book for the month of April was signed by Squadron Leader Keith Martin on his behalf.
Visitors to R.A.F. Harrowbeer included :-
Squadron Leader B. W. Salt - No.10 Group Equipment Officer
Lieutenant J. Hassel DSO, MC - No.10 Group Defence Officer
Group Captain The Right Honourable Viscount Stansgate DSO, DFC -
Brigadier C. R. Britton MC - Command Defence Officer
Squadron Leader A. E. R. Gilligan - Area Welfare Officer
Air Vice Marshal Izcyld - Polish Air Officer Commander in Chief
1st April Heavy rain and cloud all day.
2nd April A fine weather day.
4th April Another fine weather day.
5th April Today started with low cloud which lasted until around mid-morning and cleared to a reasonable day.
7th April Mist and low cloud closed in on the airfield and did not improve all day.
8th April A day of mixed weather, mostly bad with patches of good now and again. A no flying day for the pilots.
9th April A fine weather day today.
10th April Strong winds with clear spells throughout the day.
11th April A fine weather day.
12th April Low cloud in the area all day.
13th April Fog in the morning but clearing in the afternoon.
14th April Heavy rain with strong winds.
16th April Weather fine throughout the day.
17th April A excellent day weather wise.
18th April The weather was perfect today, everything a pilot could wish for.
19th April Another fine day.
20th April Again the weather is very good.
21st - 27th April There are no accounts of the weather conditions noted in any of the O.R.B.'s.
28th April Thunder showers, very heavy at times, there were also a few snow-storms recorded during the morning.
29th April The weather closed in with a small amount of snow falling.
30th April More snow-storms throughout the day.
From the Station O.R.B.
3rd April No.26 Squadron arrived from R.A.F. North Weald.
6th April Squadron Leader B. W. Salt - No.10 Group Equipment Officer visited the Station.
7th April Squadron Leader K. Martin posted from R.A.F. Biggin Hill to R.A.F. Harrowbeer as Senior Medical Officer.
9th April Lieutenant Colonel J. Hassel DSO, MC - No.10 Group Defence Officer visited the Station.
15th April No.691 ( A.A.C. ) Squadron were operating with pilotless gliders which unfortunately finished up in the sea.
16th April Night flying exercises carried out by No.691 ( A.A.C. ) Squadron.
18th April Group Captain The Right Honerable Viscount Stansgate DSO, DFC visited the Station to give a lecture on ' current affairs '. Brigadier C. R. Britton MC - Command Defence Officer visited the Station.
19th April Squadron Leader A. E. R. Gillian - Area Welfare Officer visited the Station.
20th April Flight Lieutenant Atkinson ( No.691 A.A.C. Squadron ) assumed Command of the Station vice Wing Commander A. C. Stewart went on leave.
23rd April Air Vice Marshal Izcyld - Polish Air Officer Commander in Chief arrived by air to visit No.19 Group.
24th April Squadron Leader K. W. Marten visited R.A.F. Bolt Head to arrange the closing down of the Station.
25th April The Satellite Station R.A.F. Bolt Head is reduced to Care and Maintenance status. Squadron Leader Brice ( retired ) arrived at R.A.F. Harrowbeer as a Civilian Accounts Officer.
27th April Flight Lieutenant G. N. Anderson the Station Adjutant was awarded the " Bowler Hat ".
28th April Wing Commander A. C. Stewart returns from leave and re-assumes Command of the Station
From the Squadron O.R.B.'s
No.26 Squadron :-
3rd April Part of No.26 Squadron flew to R.A.F. Harrowbeer from R.A.F. North Weald in two formations of eight aircraft ( Mustang I ). Squadron Leader Roberts and Major East ( ALO ) had left earlier for R.A.F. Harrowbeer in the Squadron Proctor aircraft.
4th April The Squadron spent the day settling into their new dispersals, offices, etc. There was no flying carried out today. The Squadron Medical Officer ( Flying Officer Thornton ) arrived at the airfield by train from R.A.F. North Weald.
5th April There was a detachment of No.26 Squadron at R.A.F. Coltishall which flew to R.A.F. Harrowbeer to join the rest of the Squadron. Two pilots from each Flight carried out R / T tests with ' Dusquesne ' and ' Lorraine ' ( two French ships ) in Plymouth Harbour. The Squadron were told to ' stand by ' for operation " Venerable ". This operation entails co-operation with French ships for Naval bombardment of the Atlantic Pockets.
6th April Sixteen sorties were flown by No.26 Squadron throughout the day on co-operation flights with ' Dousquene ' and ' Lorraine ' carrying out dummy shoots and perfecting R / T procedures. The results were satisfactory, but some R / T difficulties were experienced because reception was often very distorted.
7th April Another day of dummy shoots had been laid on for the Squadron. The leader of the first pair of Mustang I aircraft just after take off disappeared into a cloud at two thousand feet and all other Mustang I aircraft were stopped from taking off. The missing Mustang aircraft was eventually homed to R.A.F. Colerne after a very dicey flight and returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer during the evening once the weather had improved. Squadron Leader Roberts flew to Cognac ( France ) and back to make arrangements for the Squadrons arrival there on operation " Venerable ".
8th April A no flying day due to bad weather.
9th April Eight sorties flown by the Squadron carrying out dummy shoots. A small amount of local flying was also carried out by the Squadron.
10th April An advance party of four personnel flew to Cognac in a Dakota aircraft. At R.A.F. Harrowbeer two pairs of Mustang aircraft carried out dummy shoots with the French ships.
11th April All the aircraft of No.26 Squadron are being worked on so that they are in top condition for the forthcoming " operation ". Only two flights during the day were flown from R.A.F. Harrowbeer which were air tests. At Cognac the day was spent in conference by the advance party.
12th April There was no flying today by the Squadron as the aircraft are being conserved for tomorrows move to France. At Cognac a conference was held between Squadron Leader Roberts, Major East ( ALO ) with General Cornignion-Melier, Commander of the Western French Air Forces.
13th April Twenty pilots flew in formation to Chateau Bernard, the airfield at Cognac, led by Flight Lieutenant Pope. One of the Mustang I aircraft experienced engine trouble and had to land back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer, therefore remaining behind. Flight Lieutenant Griffin and Flying Officer Thornton flew to Chateau Bernard in a Dakota aircraft with No.6026 Servicing Echelon.
14th April At Chateau Bernard the Squadron spent the day settling in at dispersals, billets, etc. The Mustang aircraft that had returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer on the 13th April with engine trouble was taken up on an air test which was not very successful, so it remains unserviceable.
26th April From Chateau Bernard a Dakota aircraft flew to Brest taking Lieutenant Cardale R. N. to visit ships and to deliver some radio equipment. The Dakota then flew to R.A.F. Harrowbeer to pick up mail and supplies before returning via Brest to Chateau Bernard in the evening.
The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of April was signed by :- Squadron Leader J. F. Roberts and Squadron Leader K. Martin.
No.691 ( A.A.C. ) Squadron :-
2nd April A small program was requested and carried out by the Squadron.
3rd April A full program was put on and completed, including D.F.A.'s in the morning and afternoon.
4th April All co-operation requests were carried out. The Squadron's first Vengeance aircraft arrived today and was passed serviceable, being flown by Flight Lieutenant Atkinson.
5th April Flying was delayed due to low cloud early on in the morning. It was around mid-morning that the flying exercises began and were carried out successfully including D.F.A.'s for French ships. Training flights on the Vengeance aircraft began.
6th April Today there was a full flying program laid on for the Squadron which did not include Breakwater Fort as there was fog in the Plymouth Sound area throughout the morning. The first drogue towing exercises were carried out using the Vengeance aircraft at Picklecombe.
7th April Early trips were planned for C.A.T.C. These were attempted but had to be abandoned due to mist and low cloud. The weather failed to improve so the program was cancelled.
8th April The only co-operation requests today were D.F.A.'s on French ships which were carried out successfully in good weather. The pilots and air-gunners of No.691 ( A.A.C. ) Squadron completed their conversion to Vengeance aircraft by carrying out practice target streaming.
9th April Desoite the weather being fine all co-operation was cancelled owing to flying restrictions in Plymouth Sound. The exception was Wembury which remained silent, where exercises were carried out over land.
10th April The program for this morning was again cancelled owing to interference by the Naval activity in the area, however the exercises for the Wembury course were able to be carried out and completed.
11th April Again Naval activity disrupted most of today's flying program. The Squadron busied themselves with compass swinging and dinghy drill.
12th April The weather was not too good today due to low cloud. The Squadron made an attempt to carry out an exercise on Breakwater Fort but was turned back. The afternoon was spent by the pilots carrying out Link Trainer practice.
13th April This morning was totally useless due to fog which fortunately cleared in the afternoon allowing a program to be carried out for Wembury which included T.O.S.
14th April A no flying day due to heavy rain and strong winds. Films were laid on for the air crews in the photographic section.
15th April Only one co-operation trip was requested and carried out. The remainder of the day was spent on practice flying. Flight Lieutenant Atkinson carried out the Squadron's first ' Wing ' target trails. Today the Squadron was operating with a pilotless glider which unfortunately finished up in the sea.
16th April Two Airspeed Oxford aircraft carried out night flying exercises to test the night flying facilities.
17th April One hundred per cent co-operation commitments carried out.
18th April More co-operations carried out by two Hurricane aircraft on night exercises.
20th April A medium scale program laid on which included D.F.A.'s on Breakwater Fort. This weeks work duties reflect great credit on the ground crews and piloted alike whose efforts enabled the first weeks co-operation of one hundred per cent to be completed. Flight Lieutenant Atkinson assumed Command of the Station while Wing Commander A. C. Stewart DFC went off on leave.
21st April A small program of co-operation work was requested and successfully carried out. Squadron Leader J. Stansell paid a visit to Captain ' G ', Captain ' D ' and Commander Fell to say goodbye to them and introduced Flight Lieutenant R. E. Atkinson who was taking over from him.
22nd April Only one request for duties carried out. The Squadron pilots spent the rest of the day flying cross country flights and air tests.
23rd April A full program was laid on and completed except for the last trip which was not required. Night flying duties were carried out by four aircraft without any problems.
24th April Several courses were completed on co-operation programs, including early morning and daytime trips for Bovisand. Two aircraft were detailed to carry out night training exercises/
25th April A morning program of co-operation duties carried out. Vengeance aircraft No.158 became u/s. The exhaust manifold when inspected was found to be broken as well as the rubber mountings being burnt away. The same defect was found on two other Vengeance aircraft. This resulted in the Vengeance aircraft of ' A ' Flight being grounded indefinitely. One of the Squadron aircraft carried out night flying duties.
26th April Due to the grounding of ' A ' Flights aircraft four of it's pilots were loaned to ' B ' Flight to carry out a larger co-operation program. This larger program consisted of D.F.A.'s on Breakwater Fort and the 100th L.C.T. Flotilla which were all successfully carried out.
27th April No.691 ( A.A.C. ) Squadron were reorganised into three Flights :- ' A ' Flight with eleven Vengeance aircraft, ' B ' Flight with ten Hurricane aircraft and ' C ' Flight with five Airspeed Oxford aircraft. One aircraft was up in the late evening for night exercises.
28th April Owing to very heavy thunder showers throughout the day only a small program of work could be carried out.
30th April Due to some very bad weather conditions all flying duties were cancelled.
The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of April was signed by :- Flight Lieutenant R. E. Atkinson.
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