February 1944


William Uyen is on Leave


823 aircraft - 561 Lancasters, 255 Halifaxes, 7 Mosquitos. 78 aircraft -
44 Lancasters and 34 Halifaxes - lost

This was an unhappy raid for Bomber Command. The German controllers only sent part of their force of fighters to the Kiel minelaying diversion. When the main bomber force crossed the Dutch coast, they were met by a further part of the German fighter force and those German fighters which had been sent north to Kiel hurriedly returned. The bomber stream was thus under attack all the way to the target. There were further difficulties at the target because winds were not as forecast and many aircraft reached the Leipzig area too early and had to orbit and await the Pathfinders. 4 aircraft were lost by collision and approximately 20 were shot down by flak. Leipzig was cloud-covered and the Pathfinders had to use skymarking. The raid appeared to be concentrated in its early stages but scattered later.
45 Stirlings and 4 Pathfinder Halifaxes minelaying in Kiel Bay, 16 Oboe Mosquitos bombing night-fighter airfields in Holland, 15 Mosquitos on a diversion raid to Berlin, 12 Serrate patrols. 1 Mosquito lost from the Berlin raid. 3 Mosquitos attacked Aachen and 3 more bombed flying-bomb sites in France without loss.



Squadron 78

23 aircraft detailed for operations, Target Leipzig.
February 19 1944 7 aircraft did not airborne ,
7 aircraft reached and attacked the target.

The ground crew had his hands full preparing the LW465, LV814, HX355 (with Sgt. LeBlanc as Rear Gunner), LV820, LV799, LK763, LW367, LV795, LV816, HX241, LW547, LW507, LW509, LW511 and LK762, filling them up with fuel and bombing them up.
The pre-briefing was called for 11:00 hours, but when the pilots and navigators had gathered for it to begin, a call was received by the squadron commander telling him the Briefing had been put back to 17:00 hours.
At midnight the bombers began taking off to rendezvous with the rest of the force for there raid on Leipzig.

February 1944, 19th




Returned early


take off at 00:16 hours but returned early about 100km out the coast of England due the port outer engine was overheating at 54.00N/01.44E. Bombs jettisoned safe.
GEE was also unserviceable. So the LW465 Landed at Elsham on return.

Returned early


returned early mid North-Sea due oil pressure drop port outer engine Mid North-sea at 54.09N/03.06E.
Bombs jettisoned safe.

Returned early


returned early about a 100km before reaching the Denmark coast due starboard Inner engine unserviceable.
Bombs jettisoned safe
Furthest point reached just above the Dutch /German border at 54.21N/0007E.

Returned early


returned early mid North-Sea owing to starboard outer engine unserviceable due to excessive oil temperature and low oil pressure. Very heavy icing made aircraft sluggish, also captain was taken ill. Furthest point reached at 54.00N/03.35E.

Returned early

LW511 EY-Z

returned early owing to starboard inner engine being u/s flying north of the estimated route 160km east of newcastle at 55.58N/01.33E.


Lost in Action

LK763 EY-K

Airborne 00.11 hour on 20 February '44 from Breighton.
Lost without trace. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Sgt J.Smith KIA Sgt G.Beal KIA F/S E.M.Coulter RCAF KIA F/O I.R.M.Douglas-Pulleyne KIA Sgt G.F.Rynolds KIA Sgt L.E.Mears KIA Sgt R.G.O'Neill RAAF KIA

Lost in Action

LW367 EY-L

Airborne 00.11 hour on 20 February '44 from Breighton. Suffered heavy damage from flak on there way
to Leipzig Crashed near Kallenkote (Overijssel), 5km east
-north-east of Steenwijk, Holland. Probably shot down by
Hans-Heinz Augenstein head of the 7./NJG All killed.
Funeral services for six of the crew were held 23Feb44 at Steenwijkerwold (Kallenkote) General Cemetery, while Sgt Hemmings was brought here 12 March '44, following the discovery of his body two days previously, still in the wreckage. P/O T.H.Smith KIA Sgt W.J.Webb KIA P/O I.G.Bunn KIA P/O D.A.Riach RCAF KIA F/S A.C.Hamilton RNZAF KIA Sgt H.Hemmings KIA Sgt R.J.Chaplin KIA.

Lost in Action

LV816 EY-N

Airborne 0013 20Feb44 from Breighton.
Shot down in flames from 22,000 feet by a night-fighter near Stendal.
The Halifax went into a very steep dive before breaking
up at around 5,000 feet,thus enabling the two survivors to fall clear. Those killed were originally buried at Stendal. Their graves are now located in the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. F/L B.Denman KIA F/S W.A.Lea PoW Sgt E.H.Glibbery KIA F/O E.M.Wells PoW F/O W.S.Wilson RCAF KIA P/O R.G.Messer KIA F/S H.F.Kelter RCAF KIA WO2 E.F.McAneeley RCAF KIA F/S W.A.Lea was interned in Camps L6/357, PoW No.1624. F/O E.M.Wells in Camp L3, PoW No.3517.

In Combat

LV795 EY-H

returned at target area due oxygen and icing problems

For as Combat report: Target not identified,
attack believed 40miles south east of target area.
Rear gunner Sgt. Hayward first saw M.E.110 port quarter down at 500 yards on a hight of 23.000 feet at 03.00 hour east of Hannover on 52.40N /10.00E, heading not known, navigators log damaged.
Rear gunner gave order to corkscrew to port. Eneny aircraft
opened fire with a short burst at 400 yards closing to
150 yards and broke away to starboard quarter up.
Gunners could not open fire as guns were frozen up.
The same enemy aircraft was again seen at 600 yards port quarter down by rear gunner who again gave order to corkscrew to port. Enemy aircraft opened fire with a short
burst at 500 yards closing to 250 yards and broke away to starboard quarter down and went out of sight.
Gunners again could not fire as guns were still frozen.
And again on 23.000 feet at 03.10 hour this time a J.U.88
closed in on 52.40N / 10.10E .
Rear gunner first sighted J.U.88 at 600 yards at port quarter
up and gave order to corkscrew to port.
Enemy aircraft opened fire with a short burst at 600n yards.
Closing to 200 yards and breaking away starboard quarter down. Gunners could not open fire as guns were frozen.

First indication of third enemy aircraft 30 km North of Erfurth at 51.30N/11.00E was on 04:30 hour on 23.000ft flying 165 I.A.S
when he opened fire at 700 yards dead astern, seen by rear gunner. And as enemy aircraft closed to 400 yards sighted by rear gunner but not identified.
Rear gunner gave order to corkscrew and owing to the violence of the maneuver enemy aircraft was lost sight of and direction of breakaway was not observed.
Enemy aircraft fired short bursts, but both gunners
Sgt. Hayward and F/O Raby could not return fire as guns were frozen.
On 04.37 hour again a unidentified enemy aircraft was first seen by pilot F/O Crawford on starboard bow at 800 yards range. Pilot did a dive to starboard and enemy aircraft was lost sight of in turn. Enemy aircraft opened fire at 800 yards range
with a short burst closing to 300 yards when enemy aircraft was lost sight of.
Gunners did not see enemy aircraft owing to type of attack
but guns would not fire any way as they were frozen up.



In Combat

LW509 EY-T

airborne February 20, at 00.08 hour from breighton.
Target attacked and bombed at a hight of 17,500 feet
on 04.24 hour, contacted two hours earlier a twin engine enemy fighter.

As for combat report: On February 20, at 02.30 hour on a hight of 23.000 feet heading 016
with a speed of 160 I.A.S. The mid upper Sgt. Wideman observed an
unidentified twin engine fighter coming in dead ahead at approximately 400 yards.
The Pilot F/O Molin, upon seeing enemy aircraft at the same time, dived the aircraft under the German fighter.
As enemy aircraft passed overhead, the mid upper gunner Sgt. Wideman gave a short burst, but his gun jammed. Icing was immediately suspected.
The enemy aircraft did not opened fire during this attack, but broke away to starboard and was lost. The rear gunner Sgt. Airey did not see where the enemy plane was so was unable to fire, or identify.
Meanwhile the bomber had done a slight corkscrew to starboard, and then resumed course.
No damage was sustained by the crew or own aircraft. No claims or damage to enemy aircraft was reported by the mid upper gunner.