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Thread: Mont Couple raid, 19/20 May 1944

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    Default Mont Couple raid, 19/20 May 1944

    hello,

    A French friend asked me if I could help him to have further details about the Bomber Command night raid against Mont Couple radar station, near Boulogne-sur-Mer, in the night 19/20th May 1944.

    In "The Bomber Command War Diaries" by Middlebrook & Everitt, these authors give 8 Mosquitoes and 31 Lancasters from No. 8 Group. The Mosquitoes didn't bomb due to a failure of the Oboe equipement, and the Lancasters made a blind bombing using their H2S sets, on the approximate location of the target.
    "Interceptions and Tactics reports" mentions only 5 Mosquitoes despatched (not 8), and that indeed none bombed. 39 Lancasters were sent, 31 effectively bombing.

    No detail at all about this raid in "Pathfinder Force" by Gordon Musgrove.

    My friend would like to know which Squadrons were involved in that mission. No. 7 Squadron sent 10 crews and Lancasters to Mont Couple and 6 against Le Mans M/Y according to the form 540 of the Squadron Operations Record Book, but the form 541 have different figures : 7 on Mont Couple and 8 against Le Mans. 1 Lancaster was lost in the former raid, 2 in the latter, one being the CO's, Wing Commander Barron

    Would anybody have the other units participating and the numbers of crew and planes they sent ? They were all part of the Pathfinder Force (No. 8 Group).

    Thanks in advance for your help

    Joss

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    156 Squadron also took part

    http://www.156squadron.com/display_missionhdr.asp?MissionId=357

    A

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    Default May 19/20,1944 Mont Couple

    Joss. 405 Sqd sent 6 Lancs carrying hooded flares and 8,000 lbs of HE.
    richard

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    There were 3 Mosquitoes from 109 Squadron and 2 from 105 Squadron sent out to do the Oboe ground marking. Zero hour was 00:05 and the target was described as " a special target nr. Mount Couple" in the Raf Little Staugthon ORB (109 Sqn.) The 109 Squadron ORB calls this target Cap Gris Nez, so it may also be referred to by that elsewhere. They are within a few miles of each other.
    The 105 Squadron ORB reads:
    "2 aircraft took off to groundmark a Radar jammer at MOUNT COUPLE, but neither was able to drop T.I. In fact no markers went down and 30 Lancasters, one of which is missing, bombed on a timed run. A fair amount of concentration was achieved and two bright blue flashes were observed which points to some electrical damage."
    Regards
    Dave Wallace

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    hello,

    Thanks Amrit, Richard and David.

    Mont Couple is actually located inland from Griz-Nez and from Blanc-Nez, halfway between Boulogne and Calais. (It's Mont Lambert which is by Boulogne, sorry for that). It's just the name of the hill, not a village.

    After posting my query last night, I continued my google search, and found in the Canadian awards website mention of a Canadian airman from No. 105 Squadron who flew that mission, but couldn't tell if the Squadron provided the 5 Mosquitoes, or if another unit was also part of the raid, as I've often seen.

    A great thanks again for your help.

    Joss

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    Hi Joss
    There were 5 Mosquitoes detailed for Oboe marking. 105 Squadron sent out 2 crews, both Mosquito XVI, ML 964 (Bignal/Carrere) & ML 987 (Channer/le Sueur). 109 Squadron sent 3, all Mk XVIs: ML 956 (Grant/Boyd); ML 900 (Sooby/Watts) & ML 961 (Petts/Smith). As indicated before all Oboe aircraft had technical failures which may be a sign the problem was with the Oboe ground tracking stations.
    Most Mosquitoes took off at about 22:40 and returned at about 00:40.
    Dave

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    hello Dave,

    thanks for the complement. Indeed it's Carrere who's mentioned in the Canadian Air Force awards website, in the list of the missions he flew.

    There was also a problem with Oboe for the Boulogne raid that same night, BCWD mentions only 1 of 5 Mosquitoes was able to mark the target. So I agree with you it must have been a problem with the ground station.

    I have some basic details from French Police records which mentions 30 bombs on Bonningues-les-Calais (about 6 km NE of the target area), 50 bombes on Sangatte, 10 km north, 100 bombs on Beuvringhem, Audembert, Leulinghem and Leubringhem (all places around Mont de Couple). 1 civilian killed, 17 horses and 22 cows killed.

    Cheers

    Joss

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    Hello Joss,

    Is the Canadian 'Carrere' the same J.P.Carrere who was previously on 219 (Mysore) Squadron - Blenheims and Beaufighters ?

    And please could you tell me how to find the 'Canadian awards' site on line? Thank you

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 14th December 2008 at 17:00. Reason: adding initials, removing rank

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    The awards database is here: http://airforce.ca/honours-awards/search-awards-database
    Last week it was a site that was quick to search by alphabet and you could find anything in an instant. They did a site overhaul and now you can only search specific criteria and I could not find a single person I was looking for. It has gone from superb to almost useless in one "improvement". I scanned the site for an email address to mention it and they only provide snail mail access. Pretty disappointing to say the least when they take a great site that works well and turn it into something that doesn't.
    Dave

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    Default RCAF Honours and Awards site

    David,

    Hugh Halliday has supplied the info and I suggest that a pm to him might be worth while. It's a superb site and I'm sure that Hugh will be sad if the search engine for it has become something akin to the London Gazette site.

    Regards,

    Ann

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