Most Memorable Operation
Arnold recalls several:
a) On June 11, 1940 while mining in Kiel Bay, their mine was not placed because of violent storm. On return flight, the pilot passed out and second pilot/nav had to take over with Arnold helping to unharness and drag pilot from his seat. This happened over Heligoland with a lot of flak. Homed on Hull radio station and managed to put down at Digby, a fighter station.
b) On August 3, 1940, mining in the Dortmund Emms Canal, their a/c was caught by a balloon cable at 5000 ft. and they spun down the cable to 1500 ft. before breaking free. Dumped the mine and headed home at low level.
c) On November 26, 1943, on a trip to Berlin, while returning they encountered dummy homeward markers dropped by the Luftwaffe to guide British aircraft into flak and lights. In the confusion of flying toward allied or enemy markers they decided to head out. Due to weather, the force was diverted to Melbourne, Yorks., where he says all hell broke loose because everyone was short of feul. Some were told to steer 090and bail out. The a/c coming behind Arnold’s ran out of gas and crashed, his a/c landed between two burning Lancs, and his a/c cleared the runway, a Lanc. pranged with a bomb hung-up which exploded.
d) Arnold states that the first land bombing raid of the war was on the seaplane base at Hornum on the Isle of Sylt. Arnold was on that raid with a Russian Pilot. The next day, they had a visit from the King who spoke with all the crews. Not a great raid, Arnold says, but it was a start.
e) During his first tour, Arnold was taken off a crew because he had to have a wisdom tooth removed. The a/c which he “missed” did not return,
f) A similar occurence, when oders came through that all who had done 30 trips were to be taken off flying duties. Arnold had done 37, so he was off. That a/c failed to return and was never found.
g) In March 1943, Arnold was posted to a new squadron (#617) being formed for special duties. This was the famous Dam Busters Squadron. At the time Arnold was engaged in experimental work and his posting was cancelled. The a/c he would have been on dropped the bomb which went over the dam and exploded, wiping off the a/c.