Squadron Operations: Summary Information

Overview

There follows below a list of the all of the operations flown by 550 Squadron and the aircraft involved on each. The information used to build this page was taken in the first instance from the lists provided on the original Squadron Association web-site, but has been augmented by new information gathered since that time (squadron operations logs, individual aircrew log books, and other sources).

This information is not yet complete: it has been build from the a number of sources (documentary and people) and compilation of complete lists is an ongoing task that is expected to take quite some time to complete. So please don't shout just yet if you spot an omission - work continues to build a more complete, and accurate, list.
Do however shout if you spot an error! Please email any corrections or information to the contact details in the link at the bottom of the page.

Operation Summary: The column headers should be fairly self-explanatory. The term "aborted" as used here covers a number of possibilities:

Aircraft Deployed: When a link to a particular aircraft is given, this indicates aircraft known to have taken part in this raid (in the records currently available to the web-site author). A record of whether the aircraft returned or failed to return (FTR) is also logged.

Servicemen Deployed: Names of the crew in the operation.

Station Summary: This section is the information from the RAF North Killingholme Station Record Book for the operational date (if available).

Definitions of the abbreviations used are available: here.

Manageable Lists

The amount of data in the database is growing and this is resulting in the "all operations/targets" list getting rapidly bigger and thus slower to generate. There are options to display shorter, more quickly generated, reports if you want to home in on something specific. For example, there are options to generate reports on operations to a single target, or by single aircraft (to all targets) or by single aircraft to a single target. There is, on the database-reports summary page, a short user guide (PDF format) on how to do this.


Operation/Target: Revigny (14 Jul 1944 - 14 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Revigny 14 Jul 1944 14 Jul 1944 N Eleven aircraft and crews only were required for operations. The crews were briefed and took off to bomb REVIGNY Marshalling Yards. As was the case on our last visit to this target two nights previously it was again found impossible to mark the target with sufficient accuracy to ensure the desired results. Our aircraft received instructions to return to Base with their bombs. Opposition from the ground defences was reported as being negligible, there there appears to have been considerable activity by the Luftwaffe. W/O Ansell in "D" was attached unsuccessfully by a rocket firing fighter whose fire was returned, but no strikes were claimed by our gunners. No printable photographs were obtained. Wing Commander Connolly and crew, which included the Gunnery Leader Flight Lieutenant K.W.L. Fuller D.F.C failed to return to base. Wing Commander Connolly, during his comparatively short time with the Squadron proved hmself to be a leader of men, a man of understanding, and was liked by all with whom he came into close contact. The Squadron has lost not only an efficient Commander, but a very gallant Gentleman.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Ordered not to bomb: Landed at Methwold on 3 engines.

Operation/Target: Caen (18 Jul 1944 - 18 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Caen 18 Jul 1944 18 Jul 1944 N The eighteen aircraft warned yesterday were detailed to attack military strong points in the Caen area in support of the military plans to break through. The Squadron's aiming point was the village of SANNERVILLE where the enermy had concentrations of mortars, long range guns, anti-tank guns, A.A. units, Transport and reserve personnel. Our aircraft arrived over the target just before sunrise at 05.45 hours. Conditions were ideal, visibility being excellent. The markers which were easy to identify in the light of dawn were punctual and accurate with the exception of one dropped 100 yards south. Bombing concentrations weer excellent. Flak was negligible at first but on leaving the target, accurate predicated flak was encountered. The only fighters seen were those of the Spitfire cover. All our crews arrived back safely in time for breakfast feeling highly satisfied with their mornings work.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Primary 8,000ft at 05:44hrs.

Operation/Target: Scholven-Buer (19 Jul 1944 - 19 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Scholven-Buer 19 Jul 1944 19 Jul 1944 N The sixteen aircraft which were offered and accepted were briefed to carry out attacks on the largest synthetic oil plant in the Ruhr, situated at SCHOLVEN-BUER near GELSENKIRCHEN. The aircraft took off without incident carrying a nice load of "cookies". Weather over the target was clear, though industrial haze prevented pinpointing. Bomb Aimers were presetned with an accurately and punctually marked target, and most crews spoke of a close concentration round the markers which were clearly seen. Results were immediate and unmistakable, several outsize explosions were seen and black oily smoke is reported to have reached a height of 16,000ft and as was expected good photographs were obtained. Ground opposition was more intense than at recent targets and although there were several sigthings of enemy fighters, none of our crews reported combats. The Wireless Operator of "G" (P/O Hussey) sustained a fractured arm as a result of shapnel received whilst over the target. With the exception of one, "M" (F/O Clark) all the aircraft returned to Base. This aircraft was twice hit by Flak on its bombing run rendering its Port Outer engine unserviceable and after bombing the markers, the Port Inner has to be feathered when it caught fire. On the homeward track whilst over the North Sea the Starboard Inner Engine gave out, leaving only one engine serviceable and this was running hot. The crew decided to try to make for an English airfield, but when the coast had been crossed a lot of height was lost and the Captain ordered the crew to bale out. After holding the aircraft on an even keel to allow the crew to bale out, it is presumed that the aircraft was too low for the Captain to follow and in trying to land the aircraft hit overhead cables and crashed, the Pilot crashing with his aircraft and losing his life. His crew landed near Seething in Norfolk.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Primary 20,000ft at 01.28hrs

Operation/Target: Wizernes (20 Jul 1944 - 20 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Wizernes 20 Jul 1944 20 Jul 1944 N Nineteen aircraft andcrews were offered, accepted and briefed for an early evening attach on a target in WIZENEF [Ed. - assumed incorrect spelling, and Wizernes or Wizemes(?) V-bomb site is intended.]. All the aircraft took off successfully in good style and all reached the target which was bombed with the usual precision. Flak opposition at the target was negligible and the only fighters to be seen were, once again, Spitfires. All out aircraft returned safely to base bringing back good photographs.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Primary 14,000 ft at 21.04 hrs

Operation/Target: Kiel (23 Jul 1944 - 23 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Kiel 23 Jul 1944 23 Jul 1944 N Seventeen aircraft and crews offered, accepted and briefed for operations against the enemy's Naval Base at Kiel. All the aircraft took off in the usual Squadron style and the outward journey was uneventful with mainly cloudy conditions. More cloud was encountered in the target area, but being fairly thin the markers were seen through it. Concentration appeared to be satisfactory, healthy fires were buring and were seen when 120 miles away. Flak was reported as intense over the target and the West Danish Coast was also active, but no serious trouble was encoutneed, "C" (P/O Holdsworth) had a short encounter with a JU88, the firing starting simultaneously; no damage or casualties were sustained by our aircraft, while strikes were observed on the enemy - it is only claimed as probably damaged. All our aircraft returned safely to base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Primary 21,000 feet at 01.06 hours. Fires well concentrated.

Operation/Target: Stuttgart (25 Jul 1944 - 25 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Stuttgart 25 Jul 1944 25 Jul 1944 N Twelve aircraft and crews were offered for operations and briefed to attack STUTTGART once again. This number was later reduced to seven and these took off in the usual manner, unfortunately two aircraft "N" F/O Thygessen and "D" F/O Hussey were compelled to return one with engine trouble and the other hit by flak near the enemy coast. The target was once again covered by cloud and hence a visual identification was impossible but did not prevent the markers being seen. Vivid explosions were reported late in the attack and fires were reported to have been seen 250 miles away. Opposition from flak was once again reported as being only slight. Seven crews carried out ground training in their respective sections.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Primary 18,000ft at 02.02hrs. Scattered fires in target area, much smoke.

Operation/Target: Stuttgart (28 Jul 1944 - 28 Jul 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Stuttgart 28 Jul 1944 28 Jul 1944 N Eighteen aircraft and crews were offered but only seventeen were accepted for operations. The crews were briefed to attack STUTTGART once again and all successfully took off without incident. All the aircraft claim to have bombed the target area and contrary to the previous raids experienced fairly heavy opposition from the ground defences, Two of our aircraft "O" P/O Jones and "T" F/O Roche failed to return from this mission, two other aircraft failed to reach Base and landed at Woodbridge and Bombrook. In the crew of "O" as Navigator was F/O Dinney who has for several weeks been acting as the Squadron Navigation Leader.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Primary 18,000ft at 01.54hrs. Explosions in T/A P/O H S Vaughan (P)
Sgt R W Metcalfe (F/Eng)
P/O L C Davies (Nav)
F/Sgt D Porter (A/B)
Sgt T Elliott (W/Op)
Sgt W J Watson (MU/AG)
Sgt L D Purser (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Le Havre (01 Aug 1944 - 02 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 01 Aug 1944 02 Aug 1944 N Yesterday evening the fourteen aircraft which had been offer an accepted took off at about 18.15hrs to attack the dock installations at LE HAVRE. The compact dock area was unmistakably clear to the Bomb Aimers and pin-pointing was even easier than on the dusk operation six weeks ago. The fighter cover prevented any molestation by the Luftwaffe though ground opposition was spirited at most stages of the attack, and "P" (S/L MacAleavey) was slightly damaged by Flak which varied during the attack from slight to intense. The photographs obtained were some of the best ever achieved and all were easily plottable. One of our crews reports that a "U" boat was seen to received a direct hit causing it to settle at an angle in the water. In addition to the operational sorties one of our new crews carried out a cross country in a "Y" aircraft, having with them as instructors F/L Gardiner.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Primary 14500ft at 19.59hrs F/O G P Fauman (P)
Sgt W J Killick (F/Eng)
F/Sgt A E Stebner (Nav)
F/O M S Merevitz (A/B)
Sgt P E Cooksey (W/Op)
Sgt J A Ringrow (MU/AG)
Sgt W A Drake (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Belle Croix les Bruyers (02 Aug 1944 - 02 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Belle Croix les Bruyers 02 Aug 1944 02 Aug 1944 N Once again an evening attack and fifteen aircraft and crews were offered but only eleven required. The crews were briefed to attack military objectives at BELLE CROIX LES BRUYERS, this the Squadron's second daylight sortie in as many days was very disappointing to the boys, as owning to 10/10 cloud it was not possible to attack with sufficient accuracy and the Master Bomber called the party off. A further fifteen aircraft and crews were required for operations during the afternoon but were informed that it would again be an evening attack.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Abortive 10/10 cloud, mission abandoned on instructions of Master Bomber

Operation/Target: Trossy St Maximim (03 Aug 1944 - 03 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Trossy St Maximim 03 Aug 1944 03 Aug 1944 N Shortly before lunch a striking force of twelve aircraft took off in as a many minutes to attached a Flying Bomb site at TROSSY ST MAXIMIM, the Squadron being led by the Station Commander Group Captain McIntyre D.F.C and all the aircraft carried 15,000 lbs of H.E. which is a new record laod devised by the Armoury. No fighters were seen over the Channel but covering Spitfires were well in evidence on reaching the French Coast. Accurate bursts of Flak were encountered during the trip and "V" (F/O Fauman) came back with a small shrapnel hole in the fuselage. Low cloud persisted over France but there were many large gaps, through which craters would be seen, evidence of previous attacks on other Bomb Sites.
Our 12 aircraft released there 80 tons of bombs within 1 1/2 minutres and most of the photographs confirm that a very large proportion of the bombs landed "plumb on" the target. The particularly fine photograph of "F" (P/O Shaw) was enlarged and forwarded to the C in C and shows the dense profusion of bursts 2 minutes after the attack opened.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Primary 12000ft at 14.17 1/2hrs. Damaged by flak over target.

Operation/Target: Le Havre (03 Aug 1944 - 03 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Le Havre 03 Aug 1944 03 Aug 1944 N The fifteen aircraft took off again without incident to attack targets in the port area of LE HAVRE, as in spite of the previous concentrated bombing the "U" boat seen before seems to have borne a charmed life and had apparantly been towed to another part of the docks and this with other shipping was our target. The fifteen aircraft, after climbing through cloud had a perfect run down over England in blazing sunshine. Weather at Le Havre was clear and with good visiblity and all the Bomb Aimers were able to identify the aiming point visually. Very good bombing was accomplished on this raid and the good photographs brought back confirm this. No enemy fighters were seen and the only fly in the ointment was accurate flak which was not so intense as during the previous raid. A burst uncomfortably near made several sears on "K" (F/O Steele) but the Pin up girl on the aircraft was unmarked.
All our aircraft returned safely and touched down in the neighbourhood of 20.30 hours just in t ime for the crews to receive some well earned refreshment.
When the aircraft had been evacuated by the crews they were taken over by the hard working ground staff who worked far into the night and in some cases all through the night, to service and bomb up once again.
Shortly before lunch a striking force of twelve aircarft took off in as a many minutes to attached a Flying Bomb site at TROSSY ST MAXIMIM, the Squadron being led by the Station Commander Group Captain McIntyre D.F.C and all the aircraft carried 15,000 lbs of H.E. which is a new record laod devised by the Armoury. No fighters were seen over the Channel but covering Spitfires were well in evidence on reaching the French Coast. Accurate bursts of Flak were encountered during the trip and "V" (F/O Fauman) came back with a small shrapnel hole in the fuselage. Low cloud persisted over France but there were many large gaps, through which craters would be seen, evidence of previous attacks on other Bomb Sites.
Our 12 aircraft released there 80 tons of bombs within 1 1/2 minutres and most of the photographs confirm that a very large proportion of the bombs landed "plumb on" the target. The particularly fine photograph of "F" (P/O Shaw was enlarged and forwarded to the C in C and shows the dense profusion of bursts 2 minutes after the attack opened.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Primary 13,500ft at 19.00hrs

Operation/Target: Pauillac (05 Aug 1944 - 05 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Pauillac 05 Aug 1944 05 Aug 1944 N Fourteen aircraft and crews were required, provided and briefed to attack oil depots at PAUILLAC a few miles south of the previous days attack.
All of the aircraft took off successfully with most of the crews in their shirt sleeves. Formation flying which has been practiced by the Squadron stood them in good stead and all the aircraft kept togther as far as the target, with S/L Redmond's section all the way home as well. The weather at the target was cloudy but the markers were accurately placed and all our aircraft planted their bombs on and around the aiming point. A huge fire was soon started and gradually enveloped the whole target with a particularly large explosion occurring at 19.10 hours. Excellent photographs were obtained by our crews and P.R.U. whol following close on their heels reported that severe damage was done in the attack.
The route and target was trouble free from Flak and fighters while our fighter cover was comfortingly noticeable. All our aircraft returned safely though owing to fog conditions at base all landed at Sandtoft, with the exception of "H" which landed at Skellingthorpe.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Primary 8500ft at 19.09hrs F/Sgt J Hough (P)
Sgt H Hindle (F/Eng)
Sgt A W Tucker (Nav)
F/Sgt E Moody (A/B)
F/Sgt J B Lake (W/Op)
Sgt G A Thomson (MU/AG)
Sgt E J Walsh (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Fontenay (08 Aug 1944 - 08 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Fontenay 08 Aug 1944 08 Aug 1944 N The seventeen aircraft took off in the evening to carry our an attack on enemy troop concentrations at FONTENAY in the Caen sector. Haze at the target limited visibility, markers, adied by the ground forces, were generally good, but in the latter stages were obscured by smoke dust and haze. The Master Bomber accordingly felt compelled to order sorties who had not yet bombed to take their bombs home again, five very disappointed crews of this Squadron did this, but the remainder had bombed. Flak was negligable and as no photographs were taken on this trip it was left to P.R.U. to confirm the concentation was amongst the best of the night.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Primary 7000ft at 23.19 1/2hrs

Operation/Target: Duigny (10 Aug 1944 - 10 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Duigny 10 Aug 1944 10 Aug 1944 N Twenty aircraft were offered, accepted and briefed for operations again an oil storage depot at DUIGNY. The target was reached and bombed in clear weather, which was heavily defened by accurate predicted Flak, which scarred several of our aircraft and caused two slight casualties F/O Dubois "H" was hit in the neck by shrapnel and in spite of severe pain and loss of blood safely brought the aircraft back to base. F/S Francis (A/B of "V") also sustained a slight wound in his leg whilst over the target. F/O Shaw "F" when outward bound lost the use of one of his engines and reached the target about 9000ft below the bomber stream. He successfully bombed his target and was escorted home by five Spitfires. "F" attracted the attention of numberous Flak batteries but reached base safely. Photographs were once again of excellent quality.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Primary 16,000ft at 12.01 1/2hrs Sgt G H Town (P)
Sgt G Hope (F/Eng)
F/Sgt D J T Slimming (Nav)
F/Sgt J H Windsor (A/B)
F/Sgt P D Probert (W/Op)
P/O E C Ball (MU/AG)
F/Sgt J Teasdale (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Douai (11 Aug 1944 - 11 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Douai 11 Aug 1944 11 Aug 1944 N Sixteen aircraft and crews were provided and briefed for an attack on DOUAI. Nearing the taget some 6/10-7/10 cloud was encountered and with the markers being a few minutes late the leading aircraft found some difficulty in locating the target with the result that they bombed the marshalling yards at CAMBRAI. Immediately after this the markers were seen to go down over DOUAI and were very accurately placed. Both targets were well and truly bombed as the photographs show. Flak and fighters were once again conspicious by their absence.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Douai 16300ft at 16.24hrs Sgt G H Town (P)
Sgt G Hope (F/Eng)
F/Sgt D J T Slimming (Nav)
F/Sgt J H Windsor (A/B)
F/Sgt P D Probert (W/Op)
P/O E C Ball (MU/AG)
F/Sgt J Teasdale (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Falaise (13 Aug 1944 - 13 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Falaise 13 Aug 1944 13 Aug 1944 N Five aircraft were required for an attack on enemy troop positions at FALAISE. Weather at the target was thin cloud through which markers and bomb bursts could be seen together with two or three excellent orange explosions. Flak at the target was moderate but no enemy fighters were seen and our aircraft reported an uneventful trip.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 Returned Primary 6,400ft at 02.15hrs

Operation/Target: Fontaine le Pain (14 Aug 1944 - 14 Aug 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Fontaine le Pain 14 Aug 1944 14 Aug 1944 N Nineteen aircraft and crews were offered and accepted but the number required was later reduced to fourteen and all took off to attack targets at FONTAINE LE PAIN in support of the Allied armies. Clear weather over the target area was marred by smoke from the battle area which also obscured the markers for some of our crews in spite of the low level attack which was made. Map reading was hampered by the numerous criss crossing of the tracks of the amoured vehicles, but all of our aircraft found and bombed their target. All our aircraft returned with the exception of "V" (F/S Hough) which crashed near Wansford all the members of the crew losing their lives.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD208 FTR Crashed near Wittering at 17.02hrs. All crew killed. F/Sgt J Hough (P)
Sgt H Hindle (F/Eng)
Sgt A W Tucker (Nav)
F/Sgt E Moody (A/B)
F/Sgt J B Lake (W/Op)
Sgt G A Thomson (MU/AG)
Sgt E J Walsh (R/AG)

Summary Statistics

Based on the data in the lists displayed above, and keeping in mind that data is still being updated and thus not yet complete, the following statistics are generated:

Aircraft Deployment Statistics


Aircraft deployments 17
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Revigny, 14 Jul 1944)

These details were last updated: 11 December 2019


Note

this list is still being built and will take some time to complete
what is currently displayed is believed accurate but much more is still to be added

This note describes the options currently available to produce a smaller, more manageable list and also describes planned future enhancements to the reporting facility.


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