Hello/Bonjour,

During the night of 8-9 June 1944 a Mosquito of No.141 Squadron on Serrate patrol claims an "enemy aircraft" (01.20 hours) - in fact, this “enemy aircraft” was shot down by the Flak during the chase. What is disturbing is that at about the same time, a Pathfinder Mosquito belonging to No.627 Squadron was lost, shot down by the Flak over Rennes (…a Bomber Command raid over the Rennes marshalling yard occurred a couple of minutes later). My question is: Is it possible to make a mistake “friend or foe” with an aircraft equipped with a Serrate device? (No.141 Squadron’s aircrew apparently never had the “enemy aircraft” in sight.)

Here an excerpt of the No.141 Sqn ORB (aircrew F/O Gallacher - W/O McLean) regarding this chase :

[...] Mosquito turned in to the contact and chased it up to CHERBOURG and about 25 miles out to sea losing height to 7,000 feet and at 270 A.S.I. The chase then led east to LE HAVRE and then S.W. in a wide sweep to the RENNES area. All this time the Serrate signal strength had been steadily growing stronger and range had been reduced to well under a mile when RENNES was reached. Another Serrate (very weak) was scan at this point but ignored. Throughout the chase overland Mosquito had been greeted by spasmodic light Flak but as Mosquito flew over RENNES itself intense heavy and light Flak was sent up on the direction of both the Mosquito and enemy aircraft. The latter had for some time shown by its turns that it was aware of Mosquito’s presence and had been switched on and off and as Mosquito closed in, enemy aircraft took violent evasive action in the way at very tight turns first to one side and then the other in a determined effort to shake Mosquito off. Just before the Flak came up the enemy aircraft did a diving turn to starboard with Mosquito hot on its heels. When the Flak started to burst near enemy aircraft it increased its turn and dive presumably to avoid the Flak but before it could do so a heavy burst of light Flak was seen in a break in the clouds to come up and strike enemy aircraft which exploded less than a mile ahead and fell to the ground in burning pieces, the Serrate contact disappearing at the same time.[...]

Best regards,
Frederic