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Thread: 1944 Footage - Low Level Strike by No. 613 Squadron Mosquito Aircraft

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    Default 1944 Footage - Low Level Strike by No. 613 Squadron Mosquito Aircraft

    Hi List,

    I wonder if you guys could take a look at the British Pathe clip here between time mark 05:48 and 09:02 -

    http://www.britishpathe.com/video/aerial-scenes-top-brass-confer

    The footage is upside down and runs backwards but I have upended some stills from it which are uploaded to the links below. The footage appears to show Mosquitoes from No. 613 (City of Manchester) Squadron on a low level strike sometime during the summer of 1944. The target seems to be a large chateau or castle. I would estimate the date window to be from the 21st June to the end of September 1944. The top half of the black and white invasion stripes were removed (as seen in the footage) from all Allied aircraft during the third week of June when it was discovered that German artillery spotters were using parked aircraft on the ALGs in Normandy as ranging points. The leaf canopy on the trees in the footage is still in full summer coat, so the footage must have been shot before October.

    Here are the links (in order) to some upturned stills from the footage:

    http://www.normandy.whitebeamimages.ie/aerial/pathe_mosi_footage/squadron_marking_SY_still-401.png

    http://www.normandy.whitebeamimages.ie/aerial/pathe_mosi_footage/squadron_marking_SY_still-435.png

    http://www.normandy.whitebeamimages.ie/aerial/pathe_mosi_footage/squadron_marking_SY_still-437.png

    http://www.normandy.whitebeamimages.ie/aerial/pathe_mosi_footage/squadron_marking_SY_still-441.png

    http://www.normandy.whitebeamimages.ie/aerial/pathe_mosi_footage/squadron_marking_SY_still-459.png

    http://www.normandy.whitebeamimages.ie/aerial/pathe_mosi_footage/squadron_marking_SY_still-462.png

    http://www.normandy.whitebeamimages.ie/aerial/pathe_mosi_footage/squadron_marking_SY_still-470.png

    http://www.normandy.whitebeamimages.ie/aerial/pathe_mosi_footage/squadron_marking_SY_still-477.png

    …and lastly a still showing aircraft SY-K on the way home:

    http://www.normandy.whitebeamimages.ie/aerial/pathe_mosi_footage/squadron_marking_SY.png

    I have tried to get hold of the Squadron ORB but it is not available to purchase/download on the National Archives site and would necessitate a trip to Kew. I was hoping someone here might be able to check their records and let me have the target and date, or at least suggest a few target candidates which I can then have a look at on Google Earth – the chateau/castle is very distinctive and should be easy to track down from a list of strikes carried out that summer.

    Any help, suggestions or corrections would be very much appreciated.

    Regards,

    Pat

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    I believe that is the Château de Trévarez.

    There are google images for it, seems a close match. I believe I also have, somewhere, pics of the shells of unexploded bombs which are still at the chateau.

    Think I have the date of the raid somewhere, will look.
    Last edited by mhuxt; 17th August 2012 at 01:04.

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    Imperial War Museum appears to confirm:

    http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205023511

    Still looking for date.

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    Thread on this board says 30 July 1944.

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?9303-ch%E2teau-de-Tr%E9varez

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    Default Chateau de Trevarez, 30.7.44

    Hi Pat,

    Chateau de Trevarez, all right...30 July 1944.

    Target was a rest facility for U-Boat Crews.

    5 x aircraft participated in the raid, if I am not mistaken. Two of these aircraft were flown by Air Vice Marshall Embry and Group Captain Bowers, and and there were 3 x 613 Squadron Aircraft.

    Some time back, there was a posting on the "Mosquito Squadrons" Website regarding this, with some brief details.

    I recently ordered some ORB information, from the National Archives, for 613 and other 2nd Tactical Air Force Mosquito squadrons and am expecting delivery next week or so.

    Have been looking for 613 Squadron aircraft participating in the 18.8.44 Egletons Operation for some time now...hope to have this information, at long last, very soon!

    Best regards,

    Mark

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    Hi mhuxt, Mark & List,

    Thanks guys for your informed replies; I appreciate your time and effort.

    The link below is to a GE screenshot of Château de Trévarez:

    http://www.normandy.whitebeamimages.ie/aerial/pathe_mosi_footage/chateau_du_trevarez_ge.png

    I note the higher turret appears to be on the eastern wing as indicated by the longer shadow. This would therefore imply that the attack (at least that carried out by the camera aircraft) would have been from the rear (north) of the chateau as the higher turret appears on the left (east) in this still from the footage:

    http://www.normandy.whitebeamimages.ie/aerial/pathe_mosi_footage/squadron_marking_SY_still-441.png

    If the intention was to kill the Uboat crews, I presume some form of anti personnel bombs were used as opposed to HE type weapons. I also presume this is why the building structure remained intact for the most part.

    Mark, can I ask you to keep me updated if you find anything regarding this raid in the ORB?

    Thanks again to you both.

    Regards,

    Pat

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    Default Chateau de Trevarez, 30.7.44

    Pat,

    Believe these are two of the aircraft that participated:

    PZ222, OM-H (107 Squadron Aircraft), AVM Embry and S/L Chapman
    HP923, SM-X (305 Squadron Aircraft), GC Bowers and F/L Cairns (?)

    By the way...have seen a brief newsreel, very similar to what you have described, regarding the operation against Chateau de Trevarez. Perhaps the same.

    Starts off with a photograph aircraft closing in on one of the Mosquitoes as they are over water. The aircraft
    being photographed appears to have Squadron Letters SM - this is probably GC Bower's aircraft.

    After the raid on Chateau de Trevarez, the newsreel goes on to the 107 Squadron raid on the Chateau de Fou
    (near Chatellerault), 2.8.44.

    This, of course, was part of the 3 x operations (Bonnieul Matours, Caserne des Dunes being the other two) intended to wipe out the SS unit that had massacred members of the SAS and French Resistance that had been participating in Operation "Bulbasket".

    Mark

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    Hi Mark,

    Is the newsreel you refer to online? I would be very anxious to see it if possible and compare it to the one I found on the British Pathe site.

    I have little experience in RAF matters, but I was surprised to see that Air Vice Marshall Embry and Group Captain Bowers took part in the raid. Had these officers attained these ranks when they flew the Chateau de Trevarez mission? If so, I assume this would not be the norm to have senior officers on operations?

    Just wondering...

    Thanks,

    Pat

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    Basil Embry often flew on operational missions (against orders) and when he did he flew as Wing Commander Smith as did Bower and another Wing CO, R N Bateman.

    Malcolm

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    Default Chateau de Trevarez, 30.7.44

    Hi Pat, Malcolm,

    AVM Embry participated in some of the most spectacular Mosquito operations of the war.

    Chateau de Trevarez was just one, others were

    Egletons (SS Barracks Vic Limoges, France), 18.8.44
    Aarhus (Gestapo Headquarters in Jutland, Denmark), 31.10.44
    Operation "Carthage" (Gestapo Headquarters, Copenhagen), 21.3.45
    Odense (Gestapo Headquarters, Denmark), 17.4.45

    Also, if I am not mistaken...AVM Embry had wanted to lead Operation "Jericho", the Amiens Prison raid, 18.2.44, but was turned down (and was in turn led by GC Pickard).

    Regarding the newsreel, I did see it on line and it was quite interesting...I recall that most of it is actually dedicated to the operation against Chateau de Fou, 2.8.44.

    I had found the newsreel using Google. Typed in "Mosquito Squadrons" for search, and the newsreel was one of the first half dozen listings that came up...with the shot of a Mosquito FB VI low over the water...which I believe is GC Bower's aircraft, HP923, SM-X.

    Best regards,

    Mark

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