Operational Summary (1941)

1st January to 10th March 1941

Between January and 10th March, the squadron continued with their task of “bringing the newly developed four-engine Handley Page Halifax heavy bomber into operational service”

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

March (10th onwards)

When No. 35 Squadron became operational on 10th March 1941, Bomber Command was working to the 9th March 1941 directive which stated that “for the next four months”, its energies should be devoted to defeating the attempt of the enemy to strangle our food supplies and our connection with the United States. Operations should therefore be directed against submarine and long-range aircraft facilities whenever circumstances permit. However, a proportion of effort should still be applied to the destruction of the synthetic oil plants (as per the 15th January 1941 directive)

During March, the squadron was requested to prepare and dispatch aircraft and crews for the following operations:

  • 10/03/1941 Le Havre
  • 12/03/1941 Hamburg
  • 13/03/1941 Hamburg

Aircraft utilised on operations were as follows:

  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 1): L9486 L9488 L9489 L9490 L9493 L9496

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

It is worth noting that the Halifax still had significant technical problems and the squadron was rested from operational duties for the last two weeks of March

April

The ongoing technical problems with the Halifax meant that operational sorties were limited and No. 35 Squadron was only requested to prepare and despatch aircraft and crews for the following operation:

  • 15/04/1941 Kiel

Aircraft utilised on operations were as follows:

  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 1): L9490 L9493 L9498 L9501 L9502

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

May

The squadron’s aircraft were grounded throughout May and no operational sorties were carried out.

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

June

With its aircraft coming back on-line, No. 35 Squadron was requested to prepare and dispatch aircraft and crews for the following operations:

  • 11/06/1941 Duisburg
  • 12/06/1941 Huls
  • 15/06/1941 Hanover
  • 17/06/1941 Hanover
  • 20/06/1941 Kiel
  • 23/06/1941 Kiel
  • 26/06/1941 Kiel
  • 30/06/1941 Kiel (Daylight Raid)

Aircraft utilised on operations were as follows:

  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 1): L9492 L9495 L9496 L9498 L9499 L9500 L9501 L9502 L9503 L9506 L9507 L9508 L9509 L9511

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

July

The  9th July 1941 directive to Bomber Command stated that “until further instructions”, the main effort of the bomber force should be directed towards dislocating the German transportation system (road, rail and inland waterways) and to destroying the morale of the civil population as a whole and of the industrial workers in particular.

Priority targets included Hamm, Osnabruck, Soest, Schwerte, Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf, Dortmund-Ems Canal, Ems-Weser Canal, River Rhine, Schopau, Huls, Hamburg, Bremen, Hanover, Frankfurt, Mannheim, Stuttgart; 21 smaller towns on railway routes were added to the list on 30th August, with Leipzig and Schweinfurt added on 11th September.

No. 35 Squadron was requested to prepare and dispatch aircraft and crews for the following operations:

  • 05/07/1941 Magdeburg
  • 07/07/1941 Frankfurt
  • 08/07/1941 Merseburg
  • 13/07/1941 Hanover
  • 19/07/1941 Hanover
  • 21/07/1941 Mannheim
  • 24/07/1941 La Pallice
  • 25/07/1941 Berlin
  • 30/07/1941 Cologne

Aircraft utilised on operations were as follows:

  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 1): L9491 L9495 L9500 L9501 L9502 L9503 L9507 L9508 L9509 L9511 L9512 L9521 L9524 L9526 L9527

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

August

No. 35 Squadron was requested to prepare and dispatch aircraft and crews for the following operations:

  • 02/08/1941 Berlin
  • 05/08/1941 Karlsruhe
  • 07/08/1941 Essen
  • 12/08/1941 Berlin
  • 12/08/1941 Essen
  • 14/08/1941 Magdeburg
  • 16/08/1941 Cologne
  • 19/08/1941 Kiel
  • 24/08/1941 Dusseldorf
  • 28/08/1941 Duisburg
  • 29/08/1941 Frankfurt
  • 31/08/1941 Cologne

Aircraft utilised on operations were as follows:

  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 1): L9497 L9500 L9501 L9503 L9504 L9508 L9526
  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 2): L9560 L9566 L9569 L9572

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

Extract from SR Arthur’s Log Book [Courtesy of Elaine James]

September

No. 35 Squadron was requested to prepare and dispatch aircraft and crews for the following operations:

  • 02/09/1941 Berlin
  • 07/09/1941 Berlin
  • 10/09/1941 Turin
  • 13/09/1941 Brest
  • 15/09/1941 Hamburg
  • 19/09/1941 Stettin
  • 29/09/1941 Hamburg
  • 29/09/1941 Stettin

Aircraft utilised on operations were as follows:

  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 1): L9503 L9504 L9508 L9524 L9526
  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 2): L9560 L9566 L9568 L9569

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

October

The 27th October 1941 directive to Bomber Command stated that “whenever weather conditions permitted”, high priority should be given to hampering targets associated with “the submarine construction programme”.

Operations were therefore directed against the submarine bases on the west coast of France (such as Brest and Lorient) and against the ports of Kiel, Hamburg, Bremen and Wilhelmshaven in north-west Germany.

No. 35 Squadron was requested to prepare and dispatch aircraft and crews for the following operations:

  • 02/10/1941 Brest
  • 10/10/1941 Essen
  • 12/10/1941 Nurnberg
  • 14/10/1941 Nurnberg
  • 20/10/1941 Wilhelmshaven
  • 21/10/1941 Bremen
  • 22/10/1941 Mannheim
  • 26/10/1941 Hamburg
  • 31/10/1941 Hamburg

Aircraft utilised on operations were as follows:

  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 1): L9486 L9504 L9524
  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 2): L9568 L9569 L9571 L9579 L9580
  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 3): L9605 L9606

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

November

The 13th November 1941 directive to Bomber Command stated that its energies should be conserved over the winter period in order to build up a strong force in readiness for Spring”.

In reality, the Butt Report published in September 1941 had identified major problems with the accuracy of the bombing offensive and work was being carried out to establish what needed to be put in place in order to improve it

No. 35 Squadron was requested to prepare and dispatch aircraft and crews for the following operations:

  • 07/11/1941 Berlin
  • 07/11/1941 Essen
  • 09/11/1941 Hamburg
  • 25/11/1941 Brest
  • 30/11/1941 Hamburg

Aircraft utilised on operations were as follows:

  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 1): L9504
  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 2): L9568 L9569 L9571 L9575 L9582 L9584
  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 3): L9600 L9603 L9605 L9606
  • HP 59 B MKII (Series 1): V9979

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

December

The 10th December 1941 directive to Bomber Command stated that it should prepare and submit plans for the immediate daylight bombing of the enemy cruisers in Brest (Operation Veracity).

No. 35 Squadron was requested to prepare and dispatch aircraft and crews for the following operations:

  • 07/12/1941 Aachen
  • 11/12/1941 Cologne
  • 18/12/1941 Brest (Operation Veracity 1)
  • 30/12/1941 Brest (Operation Veracity 2)

Aircraft utilised on operations were as follows:

  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 2): L9568 L9584
  • HP 57 B MKI (Series 3): L9600 L9606
  • HP 59 B MKII (Series 1): R9364 R9367 R9372 R9377 R9386 V9978 V9979 V9983

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

No. 35 Squadron Halifax over the target at Brest on 18th January 1941 (attempting to destroy the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau)