D-Day Commitments

RESEARCH NOTES

Logbook1a

Extract from a Flying Log Book from the period (GW Hatton [Flight Engineer])

The following, which is extracted from the squadron’s Operations Record Book, summarises No 35 Squadron’s commitments to the D-Day landings

3rd / 4th June

  • Sixteen aircraft were detailed for operations but the order was cancelled later in the day

4th / 5th June

  • No activity

5th / 6th June

  • Shortly after midnight, fourteen aircraft took off to attack Coastal Gun Sites, five aircraft at Maisy and nine at Longues. All returned safely, reporting successful attacks

6th / 7th June

  • Two aircraft, acting as Master Bomber and Deputy Master Bomber respectively, took off at 23.10 hours to attack the rail head at St Lo. Both returned to base reporting a reasonably successful raid
  • Soon after midnight, two aircraft set out to attack Chateaudun, carrying out duties as Master Bomber and Deputy Master Bomber. The attack appeared to be concentrated as the result of the Master Bomber’s carefully directed instructions.

7th / 8th  June

  • Sixteen aircraft took off shortly before midnight to attack an ammunition dump at Foret-de-Cerisy. All the aircraft returned safely and reports indicated fairly concentrated bombing

8th / 9th June

  • Fifteen aircraft took part in attacks on marshalling yards, nine aircraft at Fougeres and six at Mayenne. Acting as Master Bomber and Deputy Master Bomber in the raid on Mayenne, two of the squadron’s crew reported a most concentrated and powerful attack.

9th / 10th June

  • Shortly after midnight, of sixteen aircraft detailed to attack the aerodrome at Rennes, one failed to take off. The remainder, including the Master Bomber and Deputy Master Bomber of the attack, reported accurate bombing after the Master Bomber had given instructions to bomb below cloud level at 6500 feet
  • Sixteen aircraft were detailed for operations, but the instruction was later cancelled.

10th / 11th June

  • Eight aircraft carried out an attack in difficult conditions on the marshalling yards at Paris. The Master Bomber, SL EH Chidgey, had to come down to 2700 feet in order to give clear and correct instructions
  • A further eight aircraft attacked the marshalling yards at Tours. Again 9//10ths cloud made accurate bombing difficult but all attacked and returned safely

11th / 12th June

  • No activity

12th / 13th June

  • Sixteen aircraft were detailed for operations, but the number was later reduced to eight. Ten minutes after midnight, the first aircraft took off to attack marshalling yards at Arras. Two squadron crews acted as Master Bomber and Deputy Master Bomber respectively; the raid appeared to be accurately executed and all aircraft returned safely to base.

13th / 14th June

  • No activity

14th / 15th June

  • Thirteen aircraft were detailed for operations, but the number was later reduced to eight, which soon after midnight, took off to attack a military choke point at Evrecy. In clear weather and good visibility, excellent results were observed by the Master Bomber and Deputy Master Bomber. One aircraft was hit in the nose by anti-aircraft fire, the air bomber Sgt Haagensen, suffering a wound in his back which necessitated his removal to hospital

15th / 16th June

  • In the evening, sixteen aircraft took off, nine to attack oil storage installations at Fouillard and seven to bomb marshalling yards at Lens. Both raids appeared to be most successful and all the aircraft returned safely