Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: 450428 Two crews, same op; one credited, one not.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    163
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default 450428 Two crews, same op; one credited, one not.

    The following has been abbreviated from scans of the 103 Sqdn O.R.B.
    ====================
    1945.Apr.28 OPERATION EXODUS BRUSSELS
    Twelve aircraft were detailed for this operation to evacuate released PoW to the UK.
    All aircraft took off in poor weather conditions and this rapidly deteriorated as Brussels was approached. Here conditions were very poor low cloud haze around 200 ft, rain and very poor visibility. In addition to these hazards, balloons were observed in certain areas flying at approx. 600 ft.
    After circling the airfield, all aircraft except three
    RF229 D/103 F/L. W.W. ANDERSON (up 1742, down 2235),
    RA579 B/103 F/O. A.D. ROSS (up 1742, down 2240), and
    ME475 L/103 P/O. G. TAYLOR (up 1747, down 2248)
    were recalled to Base.
    The three aircraft landed and evacuated a load of PoW safely at DUNSFOLD.
    ====================
    My question is regarding two of the nine aircraft that circled the socked-in Brussels airfield, did not land, then were recalled to Base (Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire):

    PA319 T/103 F/L. J.A. LAVIOLETTE J89934 (up 1741, down 2046)
    is not credited with this operation on his official list of ops.

    PD198 W/103 F/L. G.C. NICOL J22881 (up 1748, down 2041)
    is credited with this operation on his official list of ops.
    ===================
    What was the criteria for qualifying/ not qualifying for an op in general?
    Did criteria for qualifying/ not qualifying on this particular op differ from other ops?
    In what circumstances would one crew be credited and another not credited?
    In this instance, could one crew have been credited/ not credited in error?

    I will appreciate any specific or general discussion on this subject.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,035
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Default

    I think we have a problem here in that I am not certain that these were operations at all in the normal sense; this was a "peaceful" sortie to repatriate released PoWs, and the enemy in this particualr instance was the weather alone, something which commercial pilots have to face every day even now (although they usually have lots of extra help these days). Although every effort would be made to fly the PoW chaps home as quickly as possible, this should have been tempered by the individual decisions of the captains as to whether it was sensible to continue the flight or not under difficult circumstances. I do not know if such flights as these, even though flown before the surrender, actually counted as operations, although a decision on this point was probably made before (or after?) as to what was fair. I have no doubt that most crews were just glad that the Third Reich was in its dying moments and that soon they would be able to get home! I don't think that "completing a tour" was at the top of their list of priorities at this late hour; they were probably just glad to be doing a job which did not involve killing people and/or destroying property (enemy that is) as its main aim for once. As to why some were credited, and others not, one would think that there would have been some consistency on this; but strange things do happen, but I would doubt that crews would be too put out if their efforts were disallowed for some (unknown to us) reason; probably they were informed at the time, and could then drown their sorrows in the time-honoured manner.
    David D

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    163
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    David
    Apparently, the Exodus (and Manna) ops flown before VE-Day did count toward the tour.
    I was thinking that maybe the pilot who first decided not to land at Brussels was not credited, then, after that initial abort, the others were credited.
    Or, possibly, the pilot who was credited with the op had some form of status as "duty-pilot" (or whatever) that gave him credit for the op.
    It may be that after all this time the question is unanswerable.

    I agree that many of the pilots on Operation Exodus were probably glad not to be flying at night with major flak coming up at them.
    But there still remained enough danger to be brought down by ground fire.
    That same day 103 Sqdn sent up another flock of Lancs on Operation Exodus.
    Here is what was written in the ORB:
    =======================
    Six aircraft were detailed for this operation. All took off safely in very poor weather conditions and on arrival in BRUSSELS it was found very poor and all aircraft except P/O. MORGAN and S/L. RICHES who landed, were recalled to Base.
    P/O. MORGAN brought a load of PoW back but the aircraft was shot up over DUNKIRK and burst a tyre on landing. However, nobody sustained any injuries.
    S/L RICHES was unable to bring back PoW as the weather was by then very bad.
    All aircraft returned safely.
    =======================
    A bit surprising that the plane was shot up over Dunkirk at that late stage of the war.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •