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Thread: Op by 3 Group, morning of 30/7/1944?

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    Default Op by 3 Group, morning of 30/7/1944?

    Evening, folks! One here maybe for Steve Smith? (Hi Steve!)

    38 unidentified 4-engined aircraft from '33 Base' (which I believe was Waterbeach, Mepal and Witchford) were weather-diverted and landed at Woodbridge between approx 9.30 and 10.30 on the morning of 30/7/1944.

    I'm trying to get a pointer as to which Sqn(s) they were from so I can follow up the details in those sqn ORB's sometime.

    Can anyone assist please? Maybe info from a Raid Report would say which 3 Gp sqns were on ops that morning and where they'd been to?

    As always, any assistance much appreciated.

    Thanks

    Ian

    ps - Steve - If you do see this, did you get my PM from the other week? I never heard back from you. Cheers.

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    Default

    Hi Ian
    The only slight clues I can find are from Middleton and Everitt's Bomber Command War Diaries and there were only minor ops on 29/30 July '44 involving Mosquitos.The activity on 30/7/44 was in daylight in the Normandy Battle Area in support of American attacks in the Villers-Bocage/Caumont area.From Steve Smith and Chris Ward's 3 Group Bomber Command there is only a mention of the loss of Sgt Thompson and crew when 115 Sqn PB130 crashed in France attacking Amaye.There is no other identification of 3 Gp Units but the total number of a/c involved was almost 700 which suggests further 3 Gp involvement. Both books mention that the raids were hampered by cloud but there is no mention of diversions.A ground attack would be likely to take place in early AM and this may support the timings that you quoted.3 Gp a/c were involved in attacks in the Foret de Nieppe against V1 siteson 29/7/44.16 Stirlings were involved which might suggest 75 Sqn but there is no telling if they went again on the 30th or were stood down.
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 31st January 2011 at 19:53.

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    Default 3 Gp, 30/7/1944

    Thanks for that Dick.

    Back home now so looked in Chorley and it offers the following Sqns from those bases:

    Waterbeach - 514 Sqn
    Mepal - 75 Sqn
    Witchford - 115 Sqn

    So maybe I'll follow-up those ones.

    Any other more definitive info still appreciated.

    Thanks

    Ian

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    Hi Ian,

    75 (NZ) Squadron ORB.

    Attack near Amaye-Sur-Seulles. Seventeen aircraft were detailed to take part in an early morning attack on enemy troops and armoured concentrations near Amaye-Sur-Seulles. All crews successfully attacked from low level and reports indicate that the bombing was well concentrated and ably controlled with a gradual advance southwards as ordered. No results other than clouds of smoke were seen. One aircraft, Captain NZ42117 F/S C. Nairne failed to return.

    Regards,
    Wayne.

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    Ian,
    One aircraft each from 75, 115 and 514 Squadrons failed to return from this raid. 75 and 115 went to Amaye whilst 514 went to Caen.
    33 Base was indeed comprised of Waterbeach,(514), Witchford,(!!5) and Mepal,(75).
    Nos. 4,5 and 6 Groups were also involved.
    Bill.

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    Default 3 Gp Op, 30/7/1944

    Thanks chaps

    For the purposes of my research I'm looking to find the identities of [all?] a/c which landed at Woodbridge. The op details are an additional bit of info to fill out 'where they'd all been and what might have happened to them individually'.

    I've been finding various instances where the Squadron ORB's don't in fact say that their a/c 'landed away' but the Woodbridge ORB clearly shows that they did. So I'll look at these three, 75, 115 and 514 when I get a chance, and see what they say. Those Sqn ORB's might clarify where these 38 unidentified a/c were from. 16 of them from 75 Sqn looks a definite possibility.

    Cheers

    Ian

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    Some comments on the raid from the 105 Squadron ORB who did the Oboe marking along with 109 Squadron.
    " 30.7.44 -Day In the morning Bomber Command was once again called upon in strength to help our troops in the BATTLE AREA. There were six aiming points and all groups were represented. All target were sucessfully marked, our "copes" were 11/13 with 2 reserves not called. There was 10/10ths cloud at 1,500 feet over most of the area. the Master Bomber and the heavies from all Groups, except 4 and 5 went below the cloud to bomb. The Master Bomber successfully directed the attacks and so avoided any danger to our troops."
    109 Squadron sent out 8 Mosquitos as well for Oboe marking. One landed at Waterbeach due to bad visiblity at Little Staughton and the S.B.A. being u/s (I believe that was the beam approach landing system). Two others landed at RAF Bourn for the same reason.
    The Master Bomber was W/C Peter Cribb of 582 Squadron in PB.149 coded 60-D, Deputy Master Bomber was W/C B.W. McMillan also of 582 Squadron in PB.184 coded 60-N. The order was given at 07:57.30 to abandon the mission.
    I have 405, 550, 9, 630, 97, 156 & 77 Squadrons as among those involved in this op.
    Regards
    Dave Wallace
    Last edited by David Wallace; 1st February 2011 at 14:52.

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    Hi Ian,

    You are right when you say not all orb's note that aircraft landed away.
    The 75 squadron orb has no mention of landing away, but it is mentioned in the book Bombs on Target.
    "Due to weather over Base, we were diverted back to Woodbridge".
    I hope this helps.

    Regards, Wayne.

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    Default 3 Gp Op, 30/7/1944

    Thanks again guys for those bits of info.

    I now know that I need to look at the 75 Sqn ORB next time I get the chance. That should at least give me the identities and some details about some of the 38 a/c I've been trying to identify. (16 there? Only the other 22 to find now).

    I found this recently with 9 Sqn's ORB (my recent separate post referred) where 18 of their a/c were diverted to Woodbridge due to the weather, but it wasn't mentioned in their ORB. I also discovered that they'd aborted an attack on a railway viaduct target so they all brought home and landed with 12,000 lb Tallboy bombs aboard. A few clenched buttocks there when landing, I should imagine, and huge sighs of relief afterwards! :-)

    Cheers

    Ian

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