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Thread: Ramrod 622, 198 Sqn, 4 March 1944

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    Default Ramrod 622, 198 Sqn, 4 March 1944

    I have two queries on this Ramrod, which, according to the 11 Grp ORB Appendix, foresaw three attacks on Malines Marshalling Yards by a total of 270 Marauders, and a fourth of 18 Bostons on Bernay, escorted by 17 fighter squadrons.

    I cannot find the location 'Malines' in France. Does anyone have an ORB for one of the participating squadrons that gives a better idea? The fighter squadrons involved were:

    Hornchurch: 350, 485 & 504 Sqns
    North Weald: 66, 331 & 332 Sqns
    Manston: 1, 3, 198 & 609 Sqns
    125 Airfield: 118 & 453 Sqns
    127 Airfield: 403 & 416 Sqns

    Secondly, the 11 Grp ORB Appendix also states that one pilot of 198 Sqn crash-landed at Dungeness NDEA. Likely for that reason, I find no mention of it in Franks FCL. Can anyone identify this pilot, the circumstances, and his fate, please?

    Thanks
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Steve,

    Re the No.198 Sqn loss on 4-3-1944. From, 2nd Tactical Air Force Vol. One p.78:

    4 March 1944

    Time: 1045
    Sqn.: 198
    Type: Typhoon IB
    Ident: MM987
    Pilot/Crew: 125157 F/O Richard ARMSTRONG RAFVR
    Cause/Location: Engine failure, Forced landed N Lydd. Cat. B

    On 18-6-1944, Armstrong, still with No.198 Sqn., was shot by flak S of Caen in Typhoon IB MN314 'Z', and became a PoW (L3/80836).

    See: FCL3/54 and 2ndTAF1/169.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 3rd February 2011 at 10:01.

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    Thanks Col!
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Steve

    Re Malines

    see

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechelen

    dg

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    Thaks for the pointer dg

    It seems some distance from the attack's other target, Bernay-St. Martin Airfîeld - a few hundred miles - so I'm not sure if it was indeed the target, but I currently have no better option, so you may well be right.

    Thanks
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Hi Steve,
    What about Moulineaux? There are two railways near it and it is cca 5 miles SW of Rouen.
    Regards
    Mojmir

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    Default Ramrod 622 - 125 Airfield ORB entry

    Hi Steve

    Detling 4 March 1944

    0939 - 1031

    118 and 453 Squadron flew over to Manston, from where an operation was planned, the Spitfires acting as close escort to 108 Marauders to bomb Z B 918. Extra range is afforded by the move to the coast. The formation turned back at Dunkirk, however, the bombers having been recalled.

    Further reports of escort duty that day were to 1st and 2nd Combat wings "of the heavy 'Yanks' returning from a bombing expedition to Germany".

    Problems with the R.S. 5/5 sparking plugs, needing a change to R.C. 5/3 and a gap reset to 0.020" - and further problems with drop tanks failing to drop!!!

    I have a copy of the January to June '44 453 Squadron ORB on another PC which I can check, but it seems that these two squadrons, and 108 Marauders, didn't make Z B 918, also the 350 (Belgian) Squadron ORB, but Serge might like to comment on that one.

    Hope it helps - can discuss off board if you like?

    Allan
    Last edited by allan125; 4th February 2011 at 20:42.
    Allan Hillman

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    Hi Mojmir, thanks for that, but I don't think this is the right location. I appreciate your response, though.

    Hi Allan, thanks for these entries. All the bombers were recalled that day due to 10/10ths cloud, and no-one bombed, but I was hoping someone's ORB would at least name the destination!

    Your mention of 453 Sqn's ORB reminded me that they're online on the NAA website, so I just checked and found an entry for 4 March 1944 that states they "acted as escort ot 108 Marauders (N. of Brussels). They were recalled after crossing the French coast..."

    This would suggest that dg's suggestion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechelen) appears to be the correct location, as Mechelen (Malines) lies to the north of Brussels. The wikipedia entry also states, "Mechelen lies on the major urban and industrial axis Brussels-Antwerp, about 25 km from each city", which makes sense in as far as the marshalling yards being a logical target is concerned.

    Thanks guys!

    Regards
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Hello,

    The ZB code name of the target implies this target was in Belgium, hence Malines / Mechelen. It is also consistent with a crossing at Dunkirk.

    No. 198 Squadron ORB states that when the bombers were recalled, the Squadron then flew inland to Lille and then recrossed at Le Touquet. R/O R. ARMSTRONG crash landed at Dungeness owing to engine trouble but sustained no injury.

    Form 541 doesn't give serial numbers, but gives the force-landing position at Greatstone-on-Sea. Richard ARMSTRONG was also the Squadron Intelligence Officer, as reported on top of the sheet.

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 5th February 2011 at 12:12. Reason: adding info from form 541

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    Thanks for this additional information, Joss.

    I'll keep ZB in mind in future. What were the similar codes for France and the Netherlands? ZF and ZH/ZN perhaps? Was it that simple?

    Regards
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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