Wing Commander J. Butterworth remains the Station Commander for R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer and signed the Operation Record Book for the month of January.
Visitors to R.A.F. Harrowbeer included :-
Wing Commander Milroy-Hayes - Headquarters No.19 Group
Warrant Officer Loftus - Headquarters No.10 Group
Squadron Leader Egerton - R.A.F. Mount Batten
Lieutenant Colonel Miller - No.78 Wing
Air Chief Marshal Sir Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt GBE, KCB, CMG and DSO - Inspector General of the Royal Air Force
Group Captain Scroggs -
Air Vice Marshal Steele - Air Officer Commanding No.10 Group
Squadron Leader Boggis - R.A.F. Station Exeter
Lieutenant Colonel Hassell - Headquarters No.10 Group
Squadron Leader Grant R.C.A.F. - R.A.F. Station Exeter
Flight Lieutenant Downing - Air Ministry
Air Marshal Sir Roderick Hill CB, MC, AFC - Air Officer Commander in Chief, Headquarters A.D.G.B.
Group Captain Guinness - Sector Commander
Flight Lieutenant Cleasby - Liaison Officer
1st January The year opens at R.A.F. Harrowbeer in fairly dull weather. There were occasional rain showers with poor visibility.
2nd January After a fairly bright opening to the morning the weather became ropey with only short bright intervals between intermittent rainstorms. Visibility was fair with 8 / 10ths cloud about.
3rd January A moderate start to the day with fair visibility improving as the day progressed.
4th January The weather seems to be improving, a most promising start to the day. A beautiful day with unlimited visibility.
5th January Another wizard morning with good visibility.
6th January A really good morning again, just right for flying, visibility ranging from fair to good.
7th January Another fairly suitable morning although rather a cold start to the day. Visibility remains fairly good.
8th January A fairly duff day today with haze and intermittent rainstorms although visibility was reasonable.
9th January A hopeless sort of day, thick mist and low cloud with constant rain during the morning. Visibility was less than two miles.
10th January Another poor day with 10 / 10th cloud at two thousand feet. The weather cleared a little about 1200 hours. Visibility was poor.
11th January Harrowbeer weather as we know it ! 10 / 10th cloud at one thousand feet and torrential rain.
12th January The weather remains much the same again but in larger doses and actually became worse as the day progressed. Visibility was down to ten yards, totally u/s for flying.
13th January Still a complete clampdown at Harrowbeer. The weather appeared to improve around 2100 hours and by mid-night had cleared completely. Yet another no flying day at Harrowbeer.
4th January A beautiful clear morning with bags of frost and good visibility.
15th January A fairly good morning, apart from low cloud. The weather remained reasonable for the whole day but today was declared as a no flying day.
16th January A fairly favourable morning. As the day progressed the weather gradually deteriorated becoming u/s resulting in a total clamp-down.
17th January Still fairly hopeless resulting in no flying.
18th January Clampers ho ! Thick fog right down on the deck with rainstorms. No flying today.
19th January A terrible day, disastrous weather with visibility down to thirty yards. This is impossible weather resulting in yet another no flying day.
20th January A wizard day. Although the day started with a spell of fine weather, it became cloudy in the early afternoon.
21st January A good day. The morning begins with clear sunlight.
22nd January The typical Harrowbeer weather is back. The morning was classed as hopeless from the start, gales blowing for most of the day. A complete clamp down n the airfield.
23rd January As dawn broke Harrowbeer was confronted with the worst wind for ages and it continued unabated all day. The weather alternated between heavy showers and hail and rain with occasional fine clear patches.
24th January Another duff day with flying out of the question. It was pouring with rain all day and visibility was less than one mile.
25th January Yet another duff day. There were rain storms all day but the visibility below the clouds was fair to good.
26th January Today consisted of equal parts of thick fog and heavy drizzle. The clouds were right down on the deck. Visibility was down to a quarter of a mile. Another no flying day.
27th January Again yet another ropey day with visibility less than half a mile, so still no flying.
28th January A moderate morning with 9 / 10th cloud at about three thousand feet to start with, clearing to 6 / 10ths cloud with visibility approximately ten miles.
29th January A reasonable morning with good visibility, but becoming u/s later in the day. 10 / 10th cloud.
30th January The morning opens at Harrowbeer again with ropey weather, 10 / 10th cloud clearing later in the day.
31st January The weather remains ropey with cloud down on the deck, visibility about one mile. As the day progressed he weather cleared up slightly.
The month of January has been chiefly notable for bad weather, much rain and high
winds alternating with heavy fog and drizzle with a few hailstorms thrown in.
2nd January Wing Commander E. R. Baker DFC was attached to this Station
( R.A.F. Harrowbeer ) from R.A.F. Colerne for Wing Leader duties ( Typhoon Wing ). Wing Commander Milroy-Hayes from No.19 Group visited the Station today.
6th January Warrant Officer Loftus from Headquarters No.10 Group visited the Station and inspected the W.A.A.F. Section. Like many of our visitors she was unfavourably impressed by our weather. Warrant Officer Loftus was well satisfied with the organisation and running of the W.A.A.F. Section.
8th January Squadron Leader Egerton from R.A.F. Mount Batten visited the Station Engineer's Office.
11th January Lieutenant Colonel Miller from No.78 Wing visited the Local Defence Advisor.
14th January Air Chief Marshal Sir Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt GBE, KGB, CMG and DSO - Inspector General of the Royal Air Force passed through the Station en route to Plymouth. Group Captain Scroggs passed through the Station en route to Headquarters No.19 Group.
15th January Squadron Leader Boggis from R.A.F. Station Exeter and Lieutenant Colonel Hassell from Headquarters No.10 Group visited the Station. Lieutenant Colonel Hassell inspected No.2891 Squadron R.A.F. Regiment.
20th January Squadron Leader Grant R.C.A.F. from R.A.F. Exeter visited the Station.
24th January Flight Lieutenant Downing from the Air Ministry visited today.
26th January The Station was visited by Air Marshal Sir Roderick Hill CB, MC and AFC - Air Officer Commander in Chief, Headquarters for the Air Defence of Great Britain who was accompanied by the Air Officer Commanding No.10 Group - Air Vice Marshal Steele and the Sector Commander - Group Captain Guinness. They were met by the Station Commander - Wing Commander J. Butterworth and taken to the Intelligence Officer, where they met the Squadron Commanders and aircrew personnel. The purpose of the visit was for the Air Officer Commander in Chief to make the acquaintance of personnel of this Station rather than to make a formal inspection of the Station.
29th January A n instructor and twelve A.T.C. Cadets of No.507 Squadron from Kelly College, Tavistock arrived in the afternoon for a twenty four hour visit of R.A.F. Harrowbeer. An instructive programme was arranged for them, including a session in the Dome Trainer which was quite new for them and was greatly appreciated. The Cadets were accompanied by the Liaison Officer - Flight Lieutenant Cleasby.
31st January No.2891 Squadron R.A.F. Regiment moved to Northern Ireland on detachment for training.
Appendix ' A '
Form 540 - Appendix on P. T. and Recreation
P.T. :- An increased amount of P.T. has been done during the past month, mainly due to the operation of compulsory P.T. for aircrew.
Attendances were made up by aircrew equivalent to one hundred and forty six man / hours of training. Ground staff reporting at 0830 hours in classes based on the Station Defence Flights completed two hundred and ninety attendances, equaling one hundred and eighty five man / hours.
Soccer :- The Station XI has played as follows :-
Home = 4 Away = 2 Won = 3 Lost = 2 Drawn = 1
Intersection matches have been curtailed because of the bad light.
Rugby :- No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron team have played three away matches during the month and won one of them. It is hoped to be able to prepare an adequate ground for home matches in the next month.
Badminton :- This continues in popularity with sections and ranks. The court has been newly marked in the Gymnasium and is being well used.
General :- The general standard of physical fitness on the Station is high and will so be maintained if the subject continues to receive the attention given to it at present.
During the month of January there were only three evenings when no form of entertainment whatsoever was provided.
E.N.S.A. and Cinema :- Visits from E.N.S.A. continue fortnightly both for stage shows and cinema. There is also weekly " Station " cinema. Other " live " shows included a visit from an R.A.F. " Gang Show ", from a " Stars in Battledress " party and a play by the " Market Theatre ".
Dances :- Station dances are held fortnightly with two special dances interpolated.
Music :- The music circle has now formed itself into the " Music Group " giving a weekly record programme for which a bulletin of programme notes is prepared and circulated beforehand to all members.
Station Sick Quarters - Form 540
1st January The Strength of the Station including Units at R.A.F. Bolt Head and Units attached for medical administration :- R.A.F. = 1450 W.A.A.F. = 363 Army = 1326
5th January An Australian pilot attached to No10 Squadron, R.A.F. Mount Batten was killed in a flying accident when a Tiger Moth aircraft crashed near Postbridge ( Dartmoor ) - he suffered multiple injuries and extensive burns. Another Australian airman from the same unit and involved in the same flying accident was admitted direct to the Military Hospital, Mortenhampstead - he suffered a fractured left tibia and fibula, a fractured right wrist, burns, cuts and abrasions.
7th January Number of patients admitted to the Station Sick Quarters and Hospital for week-ending today :- R.A.F. = 4 W.A.A.F. = 5 Army = 1
14th January Number of patients admitted to the Station Sick Quarters and Hospital for week-ending today :- R.A.F. = 7 W.A.A.F. = 4
21st January Number of patients admitted to the Station Sick Quarters and Hospital for week-ending today :- R.A.F. = 8 W.A.A.F. = 6 Army = 1
28th January Number of patients admitted to the Station Sick Quarters and Hospital for week-ending today :- R.A.F. = 16 W.A.A.F. = 5 Army = 1
30th January A Radar operative from the Station Headquarters sustained chest injuries - fractured ribs - when in a lorry returning from R.A.F. Bolt Head. The vehicle struck a high wall on the bend of a road, the airman was struck through the canvas cover of the lorry. He was admitted to the Station Sick Quarters at R.A.F. Harrowbeer.
The Form 540 for the month of January was signed by :-
Squadron Leader F. Constable, Senior Medical Officer.
No.193 Squadron :-
1st January Early in the afternoon four Typhoon aircraft went off on an Air Sea Rescue sweep, R.A.F. Harrowbeer - Bolt Head - St. Brieux - St. Malo and back to base. The aircraft took off at 1338 hours and returned to base landing at 1457 hours. The sweep proved uneventful, although one of the Typhoon aircraft had to return earlier than the others owing to hydraulic trouble.
3rd January The new Wing Commander Flying ( Wing Commander E. R. Baker DFC ) arrived at the Officer's Mess and joined whole heartedly into a party of most of the Officers in ' No. 193 Squadron '. In the evening at about 2000 hours they all set course for the ' Skylark ' ( public house ) getting very highly lubricated, then returning to finish off a most enjoyable evening in the Mess. This was a good opportunity to welcome Wing Commander E. R. Baker to R.A.F. Harrowbeer. Unfortunately he missed meeting the Squadron's Commanding Officer ( Squadron Leader Petre ) as he went off on leave earlier on in the day.
4th January Just after mid-day four Typhoon aircraft took off at 1210 hours on Ramrod No.119. The target was identified as Cherbourg which was bombed from north to south. No results were seen although there were some hits in the target area. The section then flew south west out over the coast. There was moderate heavy flak experiences from the direction of Cherbourg. There was no enemy aircraft or shipping seen. All our aircraft landed back at base at 1340 hours.
5th January Seven Typhoon aircraft set off on a second fighter sweep taking off at 1213 hours. The sweep was carried out as planned. A compact formation of thirty to forty Flying Fortress aircraft were seen overhead approaching the coast. Landfall was made at eight thousand feet north of Treguier. The section then flew between seven thousand and eight thousand feet to St. Brieux - Gael - Rennes - Dinard. No enemy aircraft were visible on any of the airfields. Twelve to fifteen balloons were seen flying at five hundred to one thousand feet on the banks of the Trieux Estuary, but there was no sign of any shipping. There was a balloon barrage over St. Malo and two ships( possibly minesweepers ) going west off St. Malo. There was slight heavy flak from the Rennes area. late and behind. Visibility was about eight to ten miles. All aircraft landed back at base at 1420 hours.
6th January The Squadron carried out two Ramrod operations today. One in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The first, Ramrod No.120 was an operation which required No.193 Squadron to take off at 1037 hours and to bomb a specific target. The target was found and bombed but results were difficult to see owing to the amount of smoke created. No individual bursts were seen, but pilots are of the opinion that the bombs fell in the target area. Visibility was good but no enemy aircraft or shipping was spotted. Unfortunately in this first operation the Squadron suffered it's first casualty while on an operation. He was one of the Squadron's most popular pilots. The incident happened when he was shot down while diving down to bomb a ' Noball ' target in Cherbourg by flak. The flak seemed to hit one of his bombs and the Typhoon aircraft burst into flames. There seems to be no hope that he can of got out of the diving aircraft and one probability is that he was killed when his aircraft was hit. We deeply regret the loss of such a promising pilot. The rest of the Squadron returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer landing at 1216 hours. At 1512 hours four Typhoon aircraft were airborne on Ramrod No.121 which was the same target as the operation carried out in the morning. The target was found and identified, then attacked from east to west diving from nine thousand feet down to five thousand feet. Three bomb bursts were seen in the target area. The pilots of the other Typhoon aircraft are confident that their aim was good, but results could not be observed. There was moderate to intense moderate flak, black puffs in the target area, accurate for height but behind. One of the Typhoons had bombs that hung up. A number of bomb craters from previous attacks could be seen in the target area. The coast was re-crossed near Vauville on the way out. No enemy aircraft or shipping was observed. All aircraft landed back at base at 1642 hours.
7th January Another Ramrod operation was laid on this morning, but owing to low cloud over the target area, Maupertus Aerodrome got a plastering. In the afternoon owing to a breakdown in bombing-up equipment only three instead of eight Typhoon aircraft took off on an operation, this was coded as " Blue Section ". Shortly after having started to climb to the French Coast and when about three thousand to four thousand feet up Blue Two and Blue Three flying behind and on either side of Blue One saw a part of Blue One's fin and rudder shot off. This was the last that was seen of Blue One. The Squadron and in particular ' B ' Flight mourn the loss of a most efficient and highly respected Flight Commander, but we hope that he may of had the opportunity to bale out. The position where the two FW190's bounced the three Typhoon bombers was two miles north east of Guernsey. Shortly after the sad news reached the Squadron six Typhoon aircraft with long range fuel tanks took off to search for their Flight Commander. They flew in wide line abreast to north Guernsey, then to five miles off the French Coast, then north between Alderney and Cap de la Hague all at sea level, but nothing was seen.
8th January A projected operation had to be cancelled due to weather conditions. Only practice flying was carried out.
9th January A hopeless sort of day with no flying possible today.
10th January Another duff day. The only flying was a group of five Squadron Typhoon aircraft that were detailed to fly to R.A.F. Predannack to stand by for Air Sea Rescue duties. The weather was so bad that they were unable to return to R.A.F. Harrowbeer.
11th January The typical Harrowbeer weather conditions continue with 10 / 10th cloud at one thousand feet and torrential rain. Despite this ' A ' Flight was put on readiness state, but not needed. There were " bags of synthetics " carried out until the Squadron was released at 1200 hours and a visit to Plymouth was organised.
12th January The weather is still bad but in larger doses ! Won't the boys stranded at R.A.F. Predannack since the 10th be pleased ? The morning was spent on intelligence and aircraft recognition tests. At about 1300 hours the weather got worse, nine pilots and the S.O. took transport and set course for R.A.F. Exeter to visit the Operations Room there, it was a very pleasant and informative visit. On the journey home a visit was made to Torquay where things went with a swing through the medium of the Gibbons Hotel. The Epicure and finally the Imperial Hotel. A most successful outing.
13th January The airfield is still under a complete clamp down. Bags of Link Trainer and intelligence gen. The Squadron released at 1000 hours. Some P.T. and a liberty run to Plymouth was organised.
14th January The weather finally improves with a beautiful clear morning with bags of frost. There is a bit of a flap on early on requiring taking off the long range fuel tanks and re-fitting bomb racks. The five Typhoon aircraft that were stranded at R.A.F. Predannack returned to base today landing about 0945 hours - " brassed off " is the word here. Orders came through that these five Typhoon aircraft had to be fitted with bomb racks as well. Even the clapped out aircraft are being brought into service these days on almost every operation. Five Squadron Typhoon aircraft took off just after 1200 hours to operate in Ramrod No.123, Part I. Their target was found and bombed, the Typhoons diving from ten thousand feet down to five thousand feet. All pilots saw bombs burst in the constructional area among buildings. This proved to be the most successful bombing of a Noball target so far. Flak by now was heavy and accurate. On this part of the operation two Typhoon aircraft received superficial damage, but all managed to return safely landing at 1338 hours. The operation was repeated in the afternoon led by Wing Commander Baker on his first operation from R.A.F. Harrowbeer. At 1530 hours seven Typhoon bomber aircraft took off on Ramrod No.123, Part I I. The formation made landfall just south of Flamanville. The target was then found and attacked at 1600 hours, the Typhoon bombers diving from ten thousand feet to five thousand feet. Many bursts were seen in the target area. There was evidence of considerable damage that had been done during the morning attack. Moderate flak was experienced, but was heavy from the target area. Visibility was excellent. All aircraft landed back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1635 hours.
16th January Lack of serviceable aircraft restricts flying. The weather, although good to start with has deteriorated and both the stand by and readiness sections of No.193 Squadron were scrambled to intercept " bogeys " approximately thirty five miles south west of Start Point. The readiness section were only airborne for three minutes when they were ordered to pancake. One Typhoon aircraft had to make a forced landing at R.A.F. Exeter owing to the clamp over R.A.F. Harrowbeer. It was a mistake scrambling these sections in view of the prevailing weather.
18th January Another ' Harrowbeer ' day, thick fog right down on the deck and rainstorms. Lots more synthetics training today.
21st January Blue Section were scrambled onto an enemy aircraft that dared to leave his own coast at Cherbourg, but he must have regretted it, for he soon turned back again, and our section returned having made no contact. An operational sweep was laid on for the afternoon. At 1415 hours four Typhoon aircraft took off as ' Fabric Squadron ' and a fifth pilot acted as spare man and joined up with No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron. The proposed sweep was - Sat. Brieux, Rennes and Dinard. Two ME109's ( German enemy aircraft ) were spotted in the circuit at Lannion Aerodrome. Our Wing attacked with the result that both enemy aircraft were destroyed - one by No.266 Squadron and the other by our aircraft. The ME109 which was shot down by No.193 Squadron had a vertical white stripe on the tail with short horizontal stripes half way up. All aircraft landed back at base at 1645 hours. While this was happening ' B ' Flight continued the readiness state and ' A ' Flight provided Air Sea Rescue state for news had come through that one of the No.183 Squadron pilots was in the drink. In the evening a party was held in the Mess to celebrate another enemy aircraft to our credit - what a sess !
22nd January Back to the typical Harrowbeer weather, again no flying, only synthetic training.
23rd January Weather still terrible although it did lift sufficiently to allow a little practice flying. In the afternoon an operation was laid on which was a sweep ( Ramrod No.124 ) in two parts to be carried out in north west France. No.193 Squadron and No.266 Squadron set course together for Pleubian at 1430 hours - landfall was made south west of Sillon de Talbert - to sweep Pleubian, Kerlin Bastard and Morlaix. The weather over France was u/s and the Squadron turned some ten miles before Kerlin Bastard. At about this time one pilot reported serious engine trouble so he and his wing-man were forced to fly at reduced speed. Morlaix was swept and it was here that one pilot flying at reduced speed was hit by flak on the port aileron by twenty millimeter flak. Another No.193 Squadron Typhoon aircraft had been obliged to return to base just after crossing the English Coast, so the two lame ducks returned home just under cloud in line abreast and the rest of the section gave them rear cover on the deck. All aircraft returned safely at 1620 hours, thank goodness.
24th January Yet another duff day with no flying.
26th January A visit was made to the Station by Air Marshal Sir Roderick Hill KCB - Commander in Chief of A,D,G,B,, he also visited ' B ' Flight dispersal and was introduced to all the pilots individually - asking questions and speaking generally. There was no flying again today but in the afternoon some American combat films were shown in the Station Photographic Centre.
27th January Still no flying thanks to the poor weather.
28th January Lack of serviceable aircraft is becoming more than just a stumbling block now. Seven Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron took off at 1254 hours on Rodeo No.70, a fighter sweep. This was carried out as planned between one thousand feet and two thousand feet to Dinard - Rennes - Gael - Vannes - Kerlin Bastard - Morlaix within one hundred yards of all airfields except Kerlin Bastard. One enemy aircraft was seen flying around Guernsey, but too far away to attack. Another enemy aircraft was seen on the ground at Kerlin Bastard but nothing was seen at any of the other airfields. There was slight flak from Dinard and Vannes, moderate accurate heavy flak from Rennes with large black bursts and intense heavy flak from Lannion defences. One Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron received Category ' A ' damage. One f our pilots fired a short burst at a large gun position north east of Morlaix. Violent R.D.F. jamming was experienced in the vicinity of Lorient on buttons B,C and D.
29th January Six Typhoon aircraft took off for R.A.F. Beaulieu to operate from there on Rodeo No.73. En route and approximately four and a half miles north east of Bridport owing to the engine of the Typhoon aircraft cutting dead, one of our pilots had to crash land in a field. Apart from bruises and shock he came out of it o.k., but after being brought back to base in a Tiger Moth he was admitted to the Station Sick Quarters s a precautionary measure against after effects of the crash. The Typhoon aircraft was a total loss. Unfortunately owing to three more Typhoon aircraft being u/s on landing at R.A.F. Beaulieu only two Squadron aircraft took part in the operation which proved uneventful.
31st January To finish the month off, today was spent mostly on synthetics with a little practice flying later in the day.
The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of January was signed by :-
Flight Lieutenant P. H. Beake.
No.193 Squadron information from other sources :-
The Archivist - Michael Hayes
6th January The pilot who was killed on this operation ( Ramrod No.120 ) was Flying Officer Robert George McLeod R.A.F.V.R. Service No.148454. Flying Officer R. G. McLeod was twenty years old. His body was recovered and he was buried in the Cherbourg Old Communal Cemetery, France - Plot 6, Row F, Grave 8.
7th January Another tragedy for the Squadron occurred today when ' B ' Flight lost it's Flight Commander Flight Lieutenant John Malcolm Crabb. He was a Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve with Service No.84967. Flight Lieutenant J. M. Crabb was only twenty four years old when he was shot down by a FW190 ( German enemy aircraft ) and was killed just off the northern Guernsey coastline. A search was made by the Squadron but sadly nothing was found of any wreckage or his body. Flight Lieutenant Johnny Crabb is ' Remembered with Honour ' on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, Panel No.202.
Flight Lieutenant J. M. Crabb is dedicated on the " Memorial to the Allied Aircrew who lost their lives in the Baliwick Waters 1940 - 1945 ". Unveiled on the 9th September 2015 outside Guernsey Airport, Channel Islands.
He is also mentioned in a display at the ' German Occupation Museum ' on Guernsey.
' May they rest in Peace '
No.266 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron :-
1st January A dull day with some rain and poor visibility. One scramble took off at 1540 hours which involved Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron. The aircraft returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer landing at 1630 hours.
2nd January Only practice flying carried out today consisting of :- air to sea and air to air firing.
3rd January The Squadron carried out three anti-rhubarb patrols eastwards from Bolt Head to cover a large practice landing exercise taking place at Slapton Sands. These three exercises were carried out between 1033 hours and 1800 hours. The Squadron " hack " which was a Tiger Moth aircraft crash landed at Old Sarum, Salisbury due to engine failure, neither the pilot or the passenger were hurt.
4th January Three anti-rhubarb patrols were carried out in the morning as yesterday. These three patrols were carried out between 0845 hours and 1320 hours. Four Typhoon aircraft took off at 1210 hours with four aircraft of No.193 Squadron to bomb a Noball target. The target was found covered with 7 / 10th cloud. No.266 Squadron think they located the village of Flotteranville five hundred yards south of the target so they bombed just to the north of it. No results were seen. not very satisfactory. Moderate flak was experienced in the area. All aircraft returned to base safely landing at 1340 hours. Wing Commander Baker DFC and Bar arrived to be Wing Commander Flying.
5th January Nine Squadron Typhoon aircraft along with seven Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron took off at 1215 hours and swept at eight thousand feet from Trecuier - St, Brieuc - Gael - Rennes - Dinnard. One of our pilots flew with No.193 Squadron. Landfall was made at Trecuier. There were no enemy aircraft seen on any of these airfields. Between Gael and Rennes, four of our Typhoon aircraft detached to go down to ground level but did not find a target so they returned independently back to base landing at 1420 hours. During this operation about thirty to forty Flying Fortress aircraft were seen flying in formation as we approached the French Coast.
6th January Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron took off at 1105 hours on Ramrod No.120. The formation were detailed to attack a Noball target, at the same time No.193 Squadron and No.183 Squadron were attacking other Noball targets. Our target was obscured by cloud so our leader decided to attack a different target that was visible. We dived from seven thousand feet to three thousand feet and saw bursts in the target area. Later on in the day eight more Typhoon aircraft took off again on Ramrod No.122 to bomb this same target but it could not be definitely recognised as being the right target, though it was a target and there were craters from previous attacks that could be seen in it. The Squadron dived from ten thousand fee down to five thousand feet but were not able to see any results. There were no enemy aircraft seen but fairly heavy flak was experienced from the Cherbourg area.
7th January Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron took off with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron at 0930 hours to bomb two Noball targets, but as both targets were covered by cloud both Squadrons instead attacked and bombed Maupertus Airfield. Many bursts were seen in and near the south west dispersal and two in the centre of the Airfield. No enemy aircraft were seen on the Airfield. Flak was intense over the Airfield. All aircraft landed back at base at 1100 hours. In the afternoon eight more Typhoon aircraft took off at 1500 hours to bomb a particular Noball target, but actually bombed and attacked a different one in the same area diving down from eight thousand feet to four thousand feet. Several bursts were seen in the target area along with old bomb craters. There was no flak from the target area, but much from Cherbourg. Both Squadrons landed back at R.A.F. Harrowbeer at 1620 hours. The Squadron heard later on that No.193 Squadron had lost one of it's pilots on this operation after being jumped on by enemy aircraft.
8th January Eleven Typhoon aircraft carried out low-level bombing practice on R.A.F. Exeter Aerodrome.
9th January A no flying day due to poor weather conditions.
10th January Eight Typhoon aircraft took off to carry out an Air Sea Rescue search in the English Channel, but the cloud base was falling rapidly so the aircraft had to return to base after fifteen minutes.
11th, 12th and 13th January Three days of no flying due to u/s weather.
14th January Eight Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron along with aircraft of No.183 Squadron and No.193 Squadron were airborne at 1210 hours on Ramrod No.123, they were detailed to bomb a particular target. A total of twelve Typhoon aircraft from No.266 Squadron flew in the operation, four of them were detailed to fly with four Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron who were short of aircraft. Our eight Typhoon's followed No.183 Squadron by about two minutes with No.193 Squadron behind us. Nearly all the bombs burst for all three Squadrons and appeared well in the target area, this must have caused a considerable amount of damage. There was no difficulty in finding the target. All aircraft returned safely to base at 1330 hours. Later in the day at 1530 hours six of our Typhoon aircraft following six Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron, led by Wing Commander Baker again attacked the same target and again put the bombs well into it. Dive-bombing took place from ten thousand feet down to five thousand feet. Control reported that twenty ' Bandits ' have been noticed in the area, but none were seen. After the attack the three Squadrons returned to base landing at 1650 hours. Although the three Squadrons have dropped twenty tons of bombs on this target, most appear to have hit it. A most satisfactory effect.
15th January A no flying day again.
16th January Eight Typhoon aircraft led by Wing Commander Baker took off on a small Ramrod operation at 1105 hours. The target was a store, being four large sheds beside a railway at St. Theorionuec, four miles east of Landivisiau. The attack was low level using eleven second delay bombs and was highly successful, at least four bomb bursts were seen in the target shattering parts of the buildings and one burst right on two trains standing in the siding. The bombing height was one hundred and fifty feet, the rest of the trip was carried out at zero feet, no flak was experienced on the operation. All aircraft returned to R.A.F. Harrowbeer landing at 1225 hours.
17th, 18th and 19th January No flying days due to the poor weather conditions.
19th January The Squadron Doctor who had been with the Squadron since January 1942 is being posted away. A pity as he had hoped he would be with us for the invasion. There was a party at the Rock Hotel; before lunch as a farewell to him, this resulted in the Squadron being semi-comatosed all afternoon.
20th January There was a scramble today at 1040 hours, just as the sections were changing over stand by duties. The sirens went off but the enemy aircraft were already miles away. Four Typhoon aircraft took off on a shipping reconnaissance at 1055 hours to sweep the Isles De Batz and round the west of Ushant to Cap Chevre and back to base at 1250 hours. No shipping was seen on the sweep.
21st January Eleven Typhoon aircraft took part in Rodeo No.65 which was a sweep with five Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron. The formation took off at 1415 hours to sweep Dinard - Rennes - Sterieuc - Lannion, while were flying this sweep No.183 Squadron flew it in reverse direction. We met them just as we crossed the French Coast. The formation flew at below two thousand feet which was the cloud base. We encountered some accurate flak from Rennes, the flight then took us past Gael where we turned north. When approaching Lannion we saw two ME109 ( German enemy aircraft ) apparently commencing to land, one with it's undercarriage down. Our leader detailed No.193 Squadron to attack one of the ME109's and he would attack the one with it's wheels down. He fired twenty rounds per cannon from two hundred yards, closing to one hundred yards and saw a lot of strikes, but the enemy aircraft flew in quite straight at an angle of twenty five degrees to the horizontal as though it was going to land but continued and hit the perimeter track and exploded. One ME109 destroyed by our leader, nice shooting. His number two was flying with his finger hovering over the firing button and saw the enemy aircraft explode and realised that his services were not required. He dot quite a lot of flak as he flew over the airfield at zero feet. Meanwhile one of the pilots of No.193 Squadron overtaking the other ME109 too fast had a squirt, but saw no results. He said he could have slowed up and had another squirt but thinking that No.266 Squadron pilots were following him he broke away. Immediately two Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron came in shooting and the ME109 exploded in the air and crashed in flames. The formation formed a defensive circle very smartly and returned to base where they landed at 1645 hours. At 1625 hours two Typhoon aircraft were scrambled and when they were ten miles south of Bolt Head they saw four FW190 enemy aircraft flying at eighteen thousand feet. Unfortunately our section had just turned north at fifteen thousand feet. The section then turned one hundred and eighty degrees and closed at full bore. The enemy aircraft being two thousand yards ahead held their distance by losing the three thousand feet height and after eight to ten minutes were lost sight of in the haze.
22nd January A no flying day, a complete clamp down.
23rd January Eight Typhoon aircraft carried out Ramrod No.124, a fighter sweep. The aircraft were airborne at 1430 hours and flew to St. Brieuc - Gael - Rennes - etc. As part of Ramrod No.124 when flying east for two or three miles south of Gael Airfield one enemy aircraft was seen at three thousand feet north of the airfield, presumably coming into the circuit. The Squadron turned one hundred and eighty degrees to port and attacked. In all six pilots had squirts at the enemy aircraft, a FW190 which kept turning into our attackers. From the cine camera gun films it has been decided to share the FW190's destruction between six pilots, one of which caught the FW190's wing being shot off. This means that three enemy aircraft have been destroyed in three days by this Station.
24th January The Flight Commander of ' A ' Flight is to leave and become a ' test pilot '. He joined No.266 Squadron in August 1941 and has been on every operational flight that he could wangle himself onto. He has bags of guts and a most charming personality. The Squadron will miss him Several pilots attended a party at the W.A.A.F. Officer's Mess, a very hectic party. News has been received today that one of our missing pilots has been identified by the number of his aircraft that had been shot down and been buried at Leftgoet near Lesreven. At the time of the attack the pilot was seen to bale out from his aircraft and the parachute open. It was also witnessed that enemy aircraft flew round the parachute as it descended. The Squadron had thought that the pilot had got away with it, sadly this was not the case.
26th January Visibility is down to one quarter of a mile resulting in no flying today. The pilots were released in the afternoon to go into Plymouth. Air Marshal Sir Roderick Hill visited the Station and was introduced to each pilot at dispersal and chatted with them for a while.
27th January No flying - visibility less than half a mile.
28th January Six Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron took off on Rodeo No.70 ( but two had to return ) at 1255 hours with eight Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron led by Wing Commander Baker. The operation turned out to be a fighter sweep, Dinard - Rennes - Gael - Vannes - Kerlin Bastard - Morlaix, the sweep was completed without any excitement. There was quite a lot of flak from Kerlin Bastard ( Lorient ). Al aircraft returned safely to base landing at 1500 hours.
29th January Eleven Typhoon aircraft including Wing Commander Baker flew to R.A.F. Beaulieu at first light with Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron. One of our pilots crash landed near Hurn due to a petrol blockage, the pilot was unhurt and the aircraft was badly damaged. Nine Typhoon aircraft of No.266 Squadron took off from R.A.F. Beaulieu with one Typhoon aircraft of No.193 Squadron. Wing Commander Baker had to drop out as he burst a tyre on take off. They flew at zero feet climbing to one thousand five hundred feet making landfall north east of Bayeaux. The formation saw Caen Airfield clearly but there were no enemy aircraft on it. As the weather was clear they climbed to four thousand feet near to Chartres then turned and returned leaving the coast near to the point of their entry. There was slight flak at the coast. No enemy aircraft were sighted. One of our Typhoon aircraft and one from No.193 Squadron had to return early as the No.266 Squadron Typhoon was running rough. These two aircraft landed at R.A.F. Harrowbeer, the other aircraft landed at R.A.F. Beaulieu.
30th January At 1425 hours ten Typhoon aircraft including Wing Commander Baker took off from R.A.F. Beaulieu to sweep the Paris area, but on reaching the Needles they were recalled as fifty enemy aircraft were reorted operating and our operation was considered too small. They landed back at R.A.F. Beaulieu at 1445 hours. A Rodeo round Paris was called for in the afternoon starting at 1150 hours. This time sixteen aircraft including No.257 Squadron and No.193 Squadron were to take part, but on the formation making landfall saw that the weather overland was u/s so they returned, landing back at R.A.F. Beaulieu again at 1705 hours.
The Squadron O.R.B. ( Form 540 ) for the month of January was signed by :-
Squadron Leader P. W. Lefevre.
The Squadron O.R.B. ( Form 541 ) for the month of January was signed by :-
Pilot Officer K. M. Rogers.
No.276 Air Sea Rescue Squadron ' B ' Flight :-
2nd January Only practice flying carried out at R.A.F. Harrowbeer.
6th January Two standing patrols were carried out by a section of Spitfire aircraft from R.A.F. Harrowbeer south of Bolt Head while Typhoon aircraft carried out a sweep in the Cherbourg area. The patrols were uneventful.
7th January Standing patrols were carried out by ' B ' Flight from R.A.F. Harrowbeer. During one patrol the section were ordered to intercept two Thunderbolt aircraft and escort them to base. Contact was made with the Thunderbolt aircraft and the escort was carried out.
8th - 14th January No flying days from R.A.F. Harrowbeer for No.276 Air Sea Rescue Squadron.
15th January Standing patrols carried out at all No.276 Air Sea Squadron Flights covering an area south of Bolt Head to the Lizard, Cornwall and Portland, Dorset. A patrols were uneventful.
16th January A no flying day from R.A.F. Harrowbeer. Information has been received today from Headquarters No.10 Group that the Station is being re-equipped with - Warwick I aircraft in place of the Anson aircraft. Thus the aircraft establishment will be :- 4 + 2 Spitfire MKV 4 + 1 Warwick ASRI and 4 + 2 Walrus / Sea Otters.
18th and 19th January No flying from R.A.F. Harrowbeer.
20th January Only practice flying carried out.
21st January A section of Spitfire aircraft from R.A.F. Harrowbeer were on patrol at 1440 hours and were diverted to a position two hundred and twenty degrees to search for a Typhoon aircraft pilot who had given a " MAY DAY ", The area was searched for approximately thirty minutes when the section had to return to base as fuel was running low. This search was continued when a Walrus aircraft from ' B ' Flight was ordered off at 1555 hours to search a position one hundred and ninety degrees ASI ninety knots. On the way out the pilot of the Walrus aircraft gathered from the R/T talk that the pilot in the sea was not being orbited, but the aircraft were searching for him. The Walrus pilot decided to continue south of the position and search east to west towards north. After fifty five minutes he turned west and sighted two fair sized islands to port and land ahead. The islands were probably the French Coast north of west of Lannion. Four Spitfire aircraft then arrived as escort but only remained about fifteen minutes and disappeared. The Walrus aircraft was then ordered to return to base, but owing to increased winds landfall was made about ten miles west of Portland Bill. A homing was obtained from R.A.F. Exeter. Owing to the shortage of fuel the Walrus aircraft landed and re-fueled at R.A.F. Exeter returning to R.A.F. Harrowbeer later in the evening at 2040 hours. It was later learned that the Typhoon pilot had gone straight into the sea.
22nd January No flying from any of the Flights, gales blowing for most of the day.
23rd January A section of Spitfire aircraft patrolled south of Bolt Head today. The patrol was uneventful.
24th to 28th January A section of Spitfire aircraft from ' B ' Flight carried out a practice search in co-operation with High Speed Launches ( H.S.L.'s ). Squadron Leader Brown, Officer Commanding No.277 Air Sea Rescue Squadron arrived today with a Sea Otter aircraft to give the Squadron pilots the' Gen '.
30th January Only practice flying from R.A.F. Harrowbeer today. One of the pilots received some dual control instruction on the Sea Otter aircraft by Squadron Leader Brown before he had to leave later in the day.
General :- There was a total of fifteen non flying days at R.A.F. Harrowbeer for ' B ' Flight of No.276 Air Sea Rescue Squadron this month. Only one rescue search was carried out on the 21st January. The rest of the month was spent on patrols and practice flying including :- Air to ground firing, navigational exercises in the Lundy Island area, cine camera gun work, dual instruction, practice sea landings, air to sea firing, local flying by new pilots and dinghy drop practice ( drop and search ).
The Squadron O.R.B. for the month of January was signed by :-
Squadron Leader J. M. Littler.
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