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Thread: Laon Marshalling Yards April 22nd 1944

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    Default Laon Marshalling Yards April 22nd 1944

    Hi all,

    Looking for the identity of the Master Bomber on this attack, specifically the 2nd wave attack between 0005hrs and 0011hrs.

    Any pointers most welcome.

    Thank you.

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

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    Steve

    No. 35 Squadron have 2 Master Bombers shown (Daniels and Cresswell) but I will need to do further research to establish which wave they were in .... so one of these may be a possible for you

    UPDATE: The Master Bomber and Deputy Master Bomber from No 35 Squadron were involved in the attack on the Northern Aiming Point, which I think was the second wave

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 23rd October 2016 at 19:11.
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
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    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Hi Pete,

    Thanks for the prompt reply, my records show the Stirling's had the Northern AP (Z.604). It cannot be 35 Squadron mate, the Stirling crews were not very complimentry about the MC !!!! :-) Out of interest, the MC ordered the crews to orbit for 5 minutes, is there any reason in the 35 Squadron ORB why ?

    Thanks again Pete,

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Steve

    The six No. 35 Squadron aircraft involved in the attack are shown as bombing at 23.58 (illuminator), 23.59.30 (illuminator), 00.05 (illuminator), 00.10 (illuminator), 00.12.30 (deputy master bomber) and 00.13 (master bomber). Whether this suggests a five minute delay or not I don't know.

    The other aircraft involved were bombing at around 23.25 so I am assuming these were first wave.

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 23rd October 2016 at 22:53.
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Steve,

    A possibility for the Master Bomber on the northern AP was, 44076 W/C (Nav.) Alan George Seymour COUSENS DSO, DFC, MC (Czechoslavakia) RAF

    " On what was a busy night for the bomber boys, Harris also ordered a further attack to be made on the marshalling yards at Laon. The attack was divided into two waves with a northern and southern aiming point (AP), both of which were well marked and the bombing well concentrated . The master bomber for the northern AP did a good job, but he paid for it with his life."

    See:
    The Pathfinder Companion.
    Feast,Sean.
    London:Grub Street,2012.
    pp.109-111.

    See also: BCL5/184. (No.635 Sqn. Lancaster III ND508:F2-P).

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 24th October 2016 at 00:58.

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    Hi Steve,

    May be I can help a little here. My late father was bomb-aimer and set operator i 35 sqn. This raid was his first with the Mastebomber. His normal skipper was S/L Edward John Chidgey, but this nigth Pat Daniels had take the rest of the crew for their debut as Master-bomber. As I understood my father they marked the Northern Aiming Point. He told me the other Aiming Point was bombed already when they cam. Because of that, it was very hard to see "his" AP. Smoke and dust covered almost everything. They got their markers down, and could direkt the Main Force to do the the rest of the job. Back on Gravely my father got a compliment he never forgot; Keith Cresswell, the Deputy asked him, "Sten, how the h... did you do it. I didn't see a thing". It probably went well as the crew, with Chidgey, did quite a few Master Bomber jobs afterwards.

    John

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    John's feedback ties in with the information that I have in the No. 35 Squadron, RAF Graveley and No. 8 Group ORBs.

    The Night Raid Report shows "In the second phase on the northern AP all 4 OBOE aircraft attacked with yellow, but owing to a technical .... which necessitated calling in the reserve aircraft, no reds were dropped until z+9. The Master Bomber instructed all aircraft to bomb on the centre of the yellows. When the greens came down crews were told to bomb the northern end of the constellation. A notable feature of this attack was the exactitude with which the main force followed the instructions of the Master Bomber.

    An interesting conundrum for you Steve!

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 24th October 2016 at 10:46.
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    According to the 8 Group Form B, the Master Bomber was to be from 635 Squadron, the Deputy was from 35 Squadron and they were to direct both attacks The Master and Deputy were carrying 2 red low burst target indicators, 2 low burst green target indicators, 2 low burst yellow target indicators and two white target indicators. 6 Oboe Mosquitos were to drop a combination of yellow, red spot, and very low burst yellow target indicators on each aiming point. Call signs for Master and Deputy on the first wave (southern aiming point) were KITCHENER & KITCHENER 2. The second wave (northern aiming point) call signs were GORDON for the Master Bomber and GORDON 2 for the Deputy. Sorry - I don't have ORBs for 35 Squadron or 636 Squadron for the identities.
    *Just for clarification the Form B reads " MASTER BOMBER AND DEPUTY 1/635 +1/35". I took this to mean the MB was to be from 635 and the DMB from 35. It could mean one pair from 635 and one pair from 35 Squadron. The syntax is different in how they identify the MB and DMB on this Form B than later ones.
    Cheers
    Last edited by David Wallace; 25th October 2016 at 01:40.

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    Hi Gents,

    Sorry about the delay in replying.

    Interestingly, all the crews ( well the 218 crews ) reported dropping on a combination of Reds / Yellow / Greens. The crews complained that the flares illuminated the orbiting aircraft. General opinion was the MC was first class and marking "excellent". But all were miffed at the five minute orbit.

    Thank you all again.

    Regards

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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