Halifax L9504 (31/10/1941)

Halifax L9504 was one of five No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack the Altona Marshalling Yard at Hamburg on the night of the 31st October / 1st November 1941.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Peter Bettley Robinson (Pilot)
  • Harry R Larson (2nd Pilot)
  • Alfred Abels (Observer)
  • David John Maylott Howard (WOP / AG)
  • Norman Henry Hood (WOP / AG)
  • Haakon Rivedal (Air Gunner)
  • John Norman Hindle (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “L9504 was attacked by probably two aircraft which appeared to be HE113 (Note 1) at position approximately 54N 7E at height of 14,000 feet. Bombs jettisoned in sea. Considerable damage to own aircraft. Tail Gunner Rivedal wounded in face and Observer Abels wounded in left shoulder. Remainder of crew safe. Landed safely at base”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Oblt. Rudolf Schoenert 4./NJG1 Sea 30km north of Wangerooge (Jaguar) 3900m, 21.37

AM Form 78 / AM Form 1180

There are no details regarding the incident in the AM Form 78 and there appears to be no Form 1180. The Casualty Report shows “wing, rear and front fuselage slightly damaged by enemy action; burst port tyre on landing”. The aircraft was operational by 25th November 1941

P4 Casualty Branch File

The following Casualty File is available at the National Archives:

AIR 81/9990 Pilot Officer A Abels, Sergeant H Rivedal: injured; enemy action at Linton-on-Ouse, Halifax L9504, 35 Squadron, 31 October 1941.

H Rivedal

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows that H Rivedal (shrapnel wounds in left cheek, chin, neck and nose), returned to the squadron and was operational by 3rd March 1942

A Abels

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows that A Abels (bullet wound in arm) returned to the squadron and was operational by 18th December 1941


Notes:

  1. It is likely that the He113 quoted in the ORB were identified based on German propaganda photographs, newspaper articles and aircraft profiles, as the aircraft did not actually exist. It is understood that the propaganda photographs actually showed a small number of He100 at various locations and with differing markings to suggest that the fictitious He113 (supposedly an improved version of the He100) was in full production. It is likely therefore that the aircraft that carried out the attack were Bf109