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Thread: Melons

  1. #1
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    Default Melons

    Good Evening,

    I am currently trying to consolidate the F540 entries for Bomber Command Units for 11.8.40 - 7.9.40 for a project that I am involved in.

    I wonder if anyone is able to explain the reference to "Melons" I have found in the F540 of 49 Sqdn (AIR27-480-19) for August 1940.

    The entry reads "2 aircraft on standby for Melons attack on M.25" (I have M.25 recorded as the Old Aqueduct on the Dortmund-Ems Canal). In addition the entry (for 12.8.40) then goes on to say "2 aircraft special Melon (type NM)".

    Any comments greatly appreciated.
    Best Regards
    Andy Mitchell


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    Default Re: Melons

    I believe Melons are mines which were frequently laid in areas of various fruit, veg and flowers and also canals. Perhaps NM is non-magnetic and there for contact type - probably best on wooden hulls?

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    Default Re: Melons

    Andy

    Could Melons be referring to a location? The mining 'gardening' regions were given horticultural code names, and 'Melons' was Eckernforde:

    https://www.lancaster-ed559.co.uk/bl...eld-code-names

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Default Re: Melons

    Simon and PNK many thanks for your replies.

    I'm more inclined to follow PNK's suggestion as Melons being non-magnetic/contact mines being laid in the Dortmund-Ems canal aqueduct (M.25).

    Simon - I had searched the old posts for Melon(s) and found all the references to codewords for various areas to be mined as in "vegetables" and "gardening". Melon would fix as a "vegetable" to be "Gardened" but not the location given the inclusion of M.25.

    According to the F541 (AIR27-480-20) the two aircraft loaded with "Melons" successfully attacked M.25 both being damaged in the process. The F541 also notes that the other aircraft from 49 Sqdn successfully bombed their targets as a diversion for those attacking M.25.

    However, all of the above is on the basis that M.25 is the Old Aqueduct of the Dortmund-Ems Canal and not the Keil Canal at Eckernf˛rde....as suggested by Simon's link. So, this leads to a further question - what location does M.25 refer to, does anyone have any idea?

    Once again many thanks to you both for your help.
    Last edited by Andy Mitchell; 1st August 2021 at 11:18.
    Best Regards
    Andy Mitchell


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    Default Re: Melons

    Related to mines, my research into bombing ranges unearthed mention of practicing for mine dropping, one was a recorded range at Foxcote (disused canal section) and the other was the River Ancholme, used by 61 squadron for practice on mining M.25a. in 1940.
    It may have been used by 49 squadron as well. Research difficult as most ORB's do not include this type of detail and it is only with assistance from crew log books and flying control logs (Feltwell in Foxcote's case) that the pieces are pulled together.

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    Default Re: Melons

    Hi,
    Thanks for the extra info.
    I should say that the 49 Sqdn aircraft included Flt Learoyd who won a VC for this action. So, confirmation that this was the Dortmund-Ems canal aqueducts north of Munster and not near Kiel. 49 Sqdn operated in conjunction with 83 Sqdn for this attack (RAF Bomber Command - reflections of war. Volume 1, Cover of darkness 1939-May 1942 - Bowman page 63) so I'm off to check the 83 Sqdn ORB to see if there is any additional info there.

    Again, many thanks
    Best Regards
    Andy Mitchell


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