Halifax L9493 (10/03/1941)

Halifax L9493 was one of seven No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack the docks and shipping canal at Le Havre on 10th March 1941.

Its six-man crew comprised:

  • RV Warren (Pilot)
  • SD Greaves (2nd Pilot)
  • CW Wilson (Observer)
  • DP Hogg (WOP / Air Gunner)
  • – Somerville (Air Gunner)
  • GHF Ogden (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Shrapnel from a very near heavy shell-burst holed the aircraft in many places and injured the navigator. With commendable fortitude this N.C.O carried out his duties, including the aiming and releasing of the second stick of bombs. The radiator of the starboard inner engine was punctured causing over-heating of the engine, which had to be switched off: also a hydraulic failure caused the starboard undercarriage to fall. The aircraft returned to base at the time stated on three engines and with one leg down”.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

There are no entries suggesting that the aircraft was struck off charge of the squadron as a result of this incident

P.4 (Cas) Casualty Branch File

The following casualty files are available at the National Archives

AIR 81/5409 “Sergeant C W Wilson: injured; aircraft hit by enemy anti aircraft fire over target, Halifax L9493, 35 Squadron, 10 March 1941. (Note: Related files: 4952, 4956”)

It contains the following information (which contains graphic detail of injury):

“Sgt CW Wilson admitted to hospital (Military Hospital, York). Compund comminuted left patella as a result of gunshot wounds. Left patella removed wound excised shrapnel removed from knee joint”


Notes:

  1. The Operations Record Book shows that this was L9493, but there is no record of this on the movement card; however the movement card for L9494 shows that it was damaged on 10th / 11th March 1941. It is unclear which of these two aircraft was involved; the RAF Museum has advised that there are no accident cards for either aircraft for this date.