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: Sandgatte (20 Sep 1944 - 20 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Sandgatte 20 Sep 1944 20 Sep 1944 N 14 aircraft and crews were briefed and took off to attack enemy defences at SANDGATTE. The operation is considered as having been successfuly and with this operation the Squadron scored its first century of operations. In just over eight months 550 has completed its hundredth operation from North Killingholme. Coming as a fledging from Waltham where it was hatched, the Squadron began to lay on 14th January, when 8 sorties dropped 38 tons of NE on Brunswik. Stettin and Berlin had been visited from Waltham.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD319 Returned Primary 7000ft at 16.58hrs F/L J C Lord (P)
Sgt K W C Down (F/Eng)
F/Sgt R Sebaski (Nav)
Sgt A A A Vass (A/B)
P/O J Elliott (W/Op)
Sgt A J Schomberg (MU/AG)
Sgt P J Sculley (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Neuss (23 Sep 1944 - 23 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Neuss 23 Sep 1944 23 Sep 1944 N At 10.55hrs the Squadron was informed that no operations would take place today, but the aircraft were to be bombed up ready for an early morning mission. As 12.20hrs information was received that the Squadron may be called upon tonight. At 13.30hrs informed that the Squadron would definitely operate tonight. 21 aircraft and crew were detailed, briefed and took off to attack Military objectives at NEUSS approximately 4 miles SW of Dusseldorf. 20 aircraft bombed the primary target, F/O Lord returned early owning to "GEE" being unserviceable. 10/10ths cloud over the target the results of the bombing could not be observed. All returned safely to Base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD319 Returned Abortive. Gee u/s and D.R. Compass Faulty F/L J C Lord (P)
Sgt K W C Down (F/Eng)
F/Sgt R Sebaski (Nav)
Sgt A A A Vass (A/B)
P/O J Elliott (W/Op)
Sgt A J Schomberg (MU/AG)
Sgt P J Sculley (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Calais (25 Sep 1944 - 25 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Calais 25 Sep 1944 25 Sep 1944 N 25 aircraft and crews detailed, briefed and took off to blast the Hun out of Calais, precision bombing was called for owning to the close proximity of Allied troops The weather conditions were bad over the target and the Master Bomber ordered all aircraft to return to base with their bombs.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD319 Returned Abandoned on instructions of Master Bomber F/L J C Lord (P)
Sgt K W C Down (F/Eng)
F/Sgt R Sebaski (Nav)
Sgt A A A Vass (A/B)
P/O J Elliott (W/Op)
Sgt A J Schomberg (MU/AG)
Sgt P J Sculley (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Calais (27 Sep 1944 - 27 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Calais 27 Sep 1944 27 Sep 1944 N 17 aircraft and crews took off for Calais early this morning once again to bomb the Hun into submission. The weather was good and the bombing results were excellent.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD319 Returned Primary 4500 at 10.14hrs F/L G T Pyke (P)
Sgt H D Iddles-White (F/Eng)
Sgt D Hellings (Nav)
Sgt D Peters (A/B)
Sgt L Adams (W/Op)
Sgt D S Eldred (MU/AG)
Sgt A T Ellement (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Calais (28 Sep 1944 - 28 Sep 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Calais 28 Sep 1944 28 Sep 1944 N 12 aircraft and crews took once off for Calais this morning the target area being very small now owing to pressure by Allied forces precision bombing was called for; the weather over the target area was bad and the Master Bomber ordered all A/C to return to base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD319 Returned Abandoned P/O R J Moran (Nav)
F/O H Dodds (P)
P/O A R Brown (F/Eng)
F/O L O Browning (A/B)
Sgt A Laidlaw (MU/AG)
Sgt H Lewis (R/AG)
F/Sgt W Horlor (W/Op)

Operation/Target: Saarbrucken (05 Oct 1944 - 06 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Saarbrucken 05 Oct 1944 06 Oct 1944 N 27 aircraft with crew were briefed and took-off at 18.22hrs to attack military objectives in SAARBRUCKEN. "F" (F/Lt Shaw) and "A" (S/Ldr Misselbrock) returned early, the former owing to "Gee" being unserviceable and the latter with the Captain sick. The remainder of the force, after flying through some rather dirty weather over England, found the target area almost clear with only ground base or thin cloud to prevent excellent visibility. The marking was punctual and well placed. In addition to a large and apparently concentrated mass of incendiaries with fires taking a good hold, the chief show piece of the evening was a truely tremendous explosion, so great that every crew unanimously noted the time as 22.46 hours, with a sheet of orange flame many hundreas of feet in the air, and smoke rising to 8000 to 10,000ft. It would appear that the Hun will have several rounds less to fire at our Allies of the 3rd American Army. Flak was described as being moderate. Enemy night fighters were conspicuous by their absence. Photos taken show a mass of incendiary and fire traps, but unfortunately no ground detail. Visibility deteriorated rapdily at base and the aircraft, all of which returned safely, were diverted to Norfolk. A good flying training programme was also carried out.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD319 Returned -

Operation/Target: Emmerich (07 Oct 1944 - 07 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Emmerich 07 Oct 1944 07 Oct 1944 N Twenty five aircraft and crews were detailed and briefed, 24 took off at noon to attack Military objectives at EMMERICH in close support of the Allied Ground Forces. "F" (F/L Shaw) returned early owing to engine trouble. "C2" (F/O Hussey) failed to take off owing to compressor trouble. Emmerich, a small compact town on the North bank of the Rhine just inside Germany, serving as an important Railway Centre and a rendevous for troops and material was easily identified. The weather over the sea was cloudy, but clear with good visibility over the target. Markers were accurate and the town was soon covered by clouds of smoke, rising to a height of approximately 12,000ft, from excellent fires at their base. Very good photographs were obtained showing a vivid picture of the attack. There is no doubt that much weaving was necessary over the target as the Flak was vicious and accurately predicted and more than one aircraft brought back evidence of this in the shape of Flak holes. The return journey was uneventful, except of a grandstand view of Cleves [Ed: Kleve. A town in the Lower Rhine region of northwestern Germany near the Dutch border and the River Rhine] which had also been attacked and was burning well. At the Base the weather had deteriorated with cloud down to the "deck" and for the second time running the aircraft were diverted, this time to Faldingworth and Blyton.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD319 Returned Primary 11000ft at 14.22 hrs

Operation/Target: Fort Frederick Hendrick (11 Oct 1944 - 12 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Fort Frederick Hendrick 11 Oct 1944 12 Oct 1944 N 27 aircraft and crews were offered for operations but only 18 were accepted. These were briefed and took off ay 14.30hrs without incident to attack military targets at FORT FREDERICK HENDRICK, where the Hun is making a stand despite the fact that he is entirely encircled by the Allied Army. An ultimatium to surrender within 24hrs to prevent unnecessary bloodshed was handed to the Garrison Commander, but no reply having been received this was the cause of the operation, which was to blast the Hun from his own doorstep. It was rather disappointing to the boys that only 18 aircraft were called for as all the Squadron wanted to participate. In addition to the operational sorties a useful training programme was laid on consisting of "Y" cross country, figther affiliation, air to air and air to sea firing exercises and bombing practice.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD319 Returned Abandoned. P/O W P F Daniels (P)
Sgt J G Woodhall (F/Eng)
Sgt R G Roberts (Nav)
Sgt R Wright (A/B)
F/Sgt F R Easton (W/Op)
Sgt A E Baker (MU/AG)
Sgt W F Baker (R/AG)

Operation/Target: Fort Frederick Hendrick (12 Oct 1944 - 12 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Fort Frederick Hendrick 12 Oct 1944 12 Oct 1944 N 28 aircraft and crews were offered for operations but only 12, 11 plus one reserve and one crew detailed to act as the Base reserve aircraft. The crews were briefed to carry out yet another attack on FORT FREDERICK HENDRICK, which despite yesterdays attack was still holding out. All our eleven aircraft returned safely to base.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD319 Returned Primary 9500ft at 08.15hrs F/O J J W Dawson (P)
Sgt E W C Edmunds (F/Eng)
F/Sgt F W Willmer (Nav)
Sgt J M Palmer (W/Op)
Sgt J Earnshaw (MU/AG)
F/Sgt W H Harkness (R/AG)
F/Sgt R H Whitticar (A/B)

Operation/Target: Duisburg (14 Oct 1944 - 14 Oct 1944)

Operation Summary
Target Out Back Aborted
(Y / N)
Comments
Duisburg 14 Oct 1944 14 Oct 1944 N 25 aircraft and crews were briefed to attack the large steelworks of August Thysson at Duisburg, the world largest inland port. 24 aircraft took off without incident at approx 06.30hrs to make their way through layer cloud which broke before the Rhiner but closed in again over the target and only the crew of "H" (F/O Bond) claim to have bombed the ground markers. "N" (F/S Hopman), "A2" (S/L Gainsford) and "E2" (F/O Stevenson) claim to have bombed their objectives on Navigational aids, the others endeavoured to obey the Master Bombers instruction to bomb any built up area they could see in the vicinity of the target. Several crews reported that the Thyssen works were identified and in flames and one crew reported having observed the demolition of a Rhine bridge. At least one good photograph was obtained by "C2" (F/O John) showing a carpet of bomb bursts on the Steelworks which has been enlarged and forwarded to the C in C for his inspection.
F/O Abrams and F/O Dodds and their crews failed to return from this daylight raid in which approximately 1000 heavy aircraft with fighter cover took part.
Aircraft Deployed Servicemen Deployed
Aircraft Service Number Returned
or FTR
Comments Crew Details
PD319 FTR Missing - no news after take-off. F/O H Dodds (P)
P/O A R Brown (F/Eng)
Sgt A Laidlaw (MU/AG)
Sgt H Lewis (R/AG)
F/Sgt C W Beckingham (W/Op)
F/O D J K White (Nav)
F/O H Black (A/B)

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 10
MAX Aircraft deployed
in single operation
1
(Sandgatte, 20 Sep 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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