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Thread: Diverted to Metheringham on Duisburg Raid 17/18-December-1944.

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    Default Diverted to Metheringham on Duisburg Raid 17/18-December-1944.

    On the way back from the Duisburg Raid 17/18-December-1944 dad and his crew were diverted to Metheringham. It's probably information that has been lost, but when and where would they have been notified of this diversion? The reason I ask is if they had learned of this upon crossing the English coast on return, a direct flight from Beachy Head to Metheringham would have taken them over London and that would not have been likely given the defenses over London. I'm curious because I would like to sketch in the correct return route.

    Any thoughts most welcome.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Diverted to Metheringham on Duisburg Raid 17/18-December-1944.

    Sorry Jim, I've just noticed that RAF Metheringham's ORB records the Station's FIDO being lit the following night, which rather implies that it wasn't lit the night of your dad'sdiversion to the airfield. Conversely, it suggests that foggy conditions were around at the time so maybe your dad's airfield was fogbound, but Metheringham wasn't at the time of his return from Duisburg?

    Hope you can resolve the puzzle!

    Andrew

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    Default Re: Diverted to Metheringham on Duisburg Raid 17/18-December-1944.

    Hi Jim
    If they returned via the south coast I would have thought their routing would have been further west to avoid London.
    Last edited by bvs; 9th November 2023 at 07:52.

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    Default Re: Diverted to Metheringham on Duisburg Raid 17/18-December-1944.

    Sorry Jim, my first post appears to have disappeared! Basically, I was wondering if the diversion was a 'late call' due to fog. Please see the email I've sent you.

    Cheers

    Andrew

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    Default Re: Diverted to Metheringham on Duisburg Raid 17/18-December-1944.

    Further to Andrew's posts, the midnight GMT met chart for 18 December 1944 shows a depression over north-west Wales and a fresh (as opposed to strong) SSE-S flow over eastern England throughout the early hours. None of the few stations I can access give any indication of fog in the six hours to 7 GMT, not much low cloud either.

    You've not indicated the destination airfield, but so far as I can see from my limited sample the visibility was probably in excess of 10 miles from Kent northwards.

    Edit. Further to Andrew's #2; On the 19th fog formed at Leeming after midnight, with visibility falling to about 200 yards by 7 GMT, Honiley likewise. Elsewhere Snaith and Ashbourne were reporting about 500 yards by 7 GMT. Only snapshots I'm afraid.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 9th November 2023 at 11:33.

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    Default Re: Diverted to Metheringham on Duisburg Raid 17/18-December-1944.

    Thanks Chaps! Dad’s home airfield was Middleton St. George in Durham, currently called “Teeside”. I have dad’s navigator’s charts for 4 ops, and the diversions are recorded for Dresden 13/14-February-1945 and for Dessau 7/8-March-1945. In both cases, they received the diversion orders just prior to the coast. So they did not change the route over France. This is the route I have:

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?m...yB&usp=sharing

    Blue is the outbound route and orange is return. Yellow is the diversion. I have them heading for the diversion from Reading, but that is uncertain. However, if they diverted at closer to the coast, the route would have taken them over London, which would not have been likely. Dad bombed at 06:25 and landed at 09:20.

    Andrew: Many thanks for the ORB record you sent! It confirms seven Lancasters from 419 landed there by 0935 on the 18th. The 419 ORB confirms “All crews were diverted on return due to the rapidly deteriorating weather conditions. During the day, most of the aircraft straggled back to base.”

    EDIT: Dad’s logbook entry records: “Met boobed. Flak light but accurate. 1 Jet A/C sighted. Icing severe. Slightly damaged flak. 1 x 4,000 16 x 500. Diverted Metheringham.”

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 9th November 2023 at 15:43.

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    Default Re: Diverted to Metheringham on Duisburg Raid 17/18-December-1944.

    Hi Jim - no way would they have routed over London (unless nav error of course) - via Reading would be a much more reasonable route.
    Long trip - I take my hat off to the crews !

    regards baz

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    Default Re: Diverted to Metheringham on Duisburg Raid 17/18-December-1944.

    Jim,

    Out of curiosity I've accessed the Middleton St George weather reports for the 18th from the time the squadron took off (circa 2 am)

    Middleton St George observations

    Local Vis WX Cloud
    time
    0200 4.5 miles Slight mist Trace Sc
    0300 4.5 miles Slight mist SKC (Sky clear)
    0400 4 miles Slight mist SKC
    0500 3500 yds Mist SKC
    0600 2800 yds Mist SKC
    0700 3000 yds Mist 10/10 St at 800ft
    0800 2.5 miles Mist 10/10 St at 800ft
    0900 4.3 miles Mist 4/10 St at 1000 ft

    Wind Light S-SSW to 0700 hours, then SSE and increasing to 9-12 mph

    I suspect the decision to divert was possibly made around 0600 hours (falling visibility as dawn approached), but the slight increase in wind was sufficient for stratus to form rather than fog.

    Further to my earlier comment re the 10 miles visibility I still hold to that; topographically Middleton St George lies in a loop of the River Tees and it is probable that the extra moisture from this feature resulted in local lower visibility on clear sky nights.

    Brian

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    Default Re: Diverted to Metheringham on Duisburg Raid 17/18-December-1944.

    Thanks very much Brian. So reasonable to assume the conditions were deteriorating, but the fears were not completely realized and they came back later in the day.

    Jim

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