Fredrickshaven 26 April 1944

This was a 2nd Dickey trip (Taking the skipper and some of that crew on their first operation). 1st trip Bomb Aimer. On the run up across Lake Constance to the target he opened the bomb bay doors too early, the Lancaster lost height, down to 18,000 ft. Then it happened; the R.G. called. “We were making a contrail” and I was aware the fuel pressure light on the starboard inner had come on. My response (Contrail! Like Hell that’s feul). We had lost the contents of one feul tank, which was 25% of our supply. One option was Switzerland, we could see the lights and they looked attractive.

We decided to try and make it back to England, flying on the smell of an oily rag. It’s a long way from Switzerland at 155mph IAS at min RPM. No letting the air speed build up and head for home. It was a long night and I was hoping it would be as long as possible.(The song Make the Night a Little Longer Morning please don’t come) always reminds me on the 26/27 April 44. No one answered our Mayday call.

Finally we made Waltham; there was no one on the circuit and the RT worked. The gentle pace of the journey back must have inspired Terry Cook and for once he made a perfect landing, good job he did, as we taxed off the runway the port Tyre blew, we had to leave JB603 at the end of the runway. The main cause of our problem was a 30lb incendiary bomb right through the wing, in at the top and out at the bottom, top hole covered with red paint. We also had shrapnel damage to the A/C. The Tyre had been cut. Interesting time it was my 16th operation. I did a fair amount of swearing at the B/A Joe Stewart would never have put us down there among the rabbits.                        2000

Bomber Ops 2