Details of all 514 Sqn's operations will be posted here.
3rd November 1943
GARDENING – FRISIAN ISLANDS
4 Lancasters were detailed from 514 Squadron for gardening operations and took off, the first becoming airborne at 1805 hrs.
P/O Hinds in DS738, JI-J reported: Aircraft carried 2 x B218, 4 x 200. Primary area Frisian Islands. No cloud, visibility good. 6 vegetables planted successfully in ordered position.
Note: Although the time the mines were dropped is not recorded, the sorties took approximately two hours and the mining operation therefore occurred before the first 514 Sqn bombs were dropped on Dusseldorf.
BOMBING – DUSSELDORF - MANNESMANN WORKS.
One Lancaster from 514 Squadron attacked the works dropping 1 x 400, 720 x 4lb incendiaries, 32 x 30lb incendiaries (including 60 x 4lb) between 1943 -2003 hours from 26,000/20,000 feet. (NB: Typing errors deliberately included: see P/O Payne’s report below).
One Lancaster from 514 Squadron was unable to pinpoint the works, joined the main attack on Dusseldorf dropping 1 x 4000, 720 x 4lb incendiaries, 32 x 30lb incendiaries (including 60 x 4lb).
A good concentration of fire was seen in the Dusseldorf area with thick smoke up to 10,000 feet, and the attack appears to have been a good PRANG. No results were seen on the attack on the works.
F/S GS Hughes in DS785, JI-D reported: Aircraft carried 1 x 4000, 720 x 4 lb incendiaries (including 60 x 4 lb) x LB. Attacked target at 1945 hours, height 20,000 feet. 032 Degs. Industrial haze. No cloud. Report combat with enemy aircraft.
P/O C Payne in DS786, JI-E reported: Aircraft carried 1 x 4000, 720 x 4 lb incendiaries, 32 x 30 lb incendiaries (including 60 x 4 lb). Attacked target at 1951 hours, height 20,600 feet 040 Degs. 150 MPH. Good visibility. Ground markers seen to the South. Large fires seen in Main target area and some fires seen on out Tag. Photos attempted but no flash. Very satisfactory raid.
This raid constituted the first large-scale test of G-H, fitted to the 38 MkII Lancasters which launched an attack on the Mannesmann tubular-steel works in the northern outskirts whilst the main raid was aimed at central and southern Dusseldorf. After early returns and G-H equipment failures in a further 16 aircraft, only 15 of the G-H aircraft bombed the factory. However German records showed that ‘several assembly halls were burnt out’. Two of these Lancasters were lost. In total there 18 losses from the 589 aircraft taking part in the combined raid. This being 514 Sqn’s first operation, F/S Hughes had the honour of dropping the squadron’s first bombs, at 1945 hours from 20,000 feet.
7th November 1943.
GARDENING –LA ROCHELLE
Two aircraft were detailed for a mining trip to La Rochelle. 6 veg. 1500-4000 feet. 0411 hours. 10/10 cloud from English coast out. No fighter seen. Both returned safely after carrying out their mission.
F/S E Greenwood in DS813 JI-H reported: Aircraft carried 3 G714 (11, 10 and 8). Primary area: LA ROCHELLE. 10/10 cloud. Base about 4000 feet. Very quiet route. No troubles, successful pin point. No opposition.
11th November 1943.
Ten aircraft were detailed for a mining effort. One aircraft returned and nine reported their duty carried out. One aircraft landed at Hixon. Accounted to be a good show.
GARDENING –LA TRANCHE 1 returned owing to Navigational errors.
Weather good with good visibility. All aircraft pin pointed on LA TRANCHE. Defences at the western end of Ils de Re were quite active for the last aircraft and consisted of 2S/L 4/5 light guns and 2 Heavy guns.
F/S FCV Steed in (DS)786 JI-E reported: Aircraft carried 3 x G714, 2 x H802. Primary area LA TRANCHE. No cloud. Visibility good. Hole in rear gunner’s turret. TR 1196 aerial shot away. Route satisfactory.
18th November 1943.
The Squadron Advanced Party proceeded by road to RAF Station, Waterbeach. An effort of twelve aircraft was called for bombing operations. Two detailed for BERLIN took off, six took off for the second target MANNHEIM. Three did not take off owing to major snags. A reserved aircraft was not required. One aircraft unfortunately failed to return, making the first missing aircraft from the Squadron.
BOMBING - BERLIN.
F/S GS Hughes in DS787 JI-F reported: Bomb load 1x4000, 16x30, 270x4. Primary target: BERLIN. Visibility was poor with 10/10 low cloud. Red TIs were well separated and there were no Green TIs visible so the bombs were aimed at the centre of the Reds at 2101 hours, Ht. 20,000 feet. A scattered raid with PFF late over the target area.
Sgt KF Samuels in DS706, JI-G reported: Bomb load 1 x 400(0) 16 x 30 720 x 4. Primary target MANNHEIM. Visibility good, no cloud. TIs were well concentrated with 20 large fires burning and many incendiaries. Bombed centre of green TIs.