04th July 1944

Objective: Saint Leu D'Esserent.

Apres moi, le deluge

I have very little information on this raid.

See Steve Darlows book "Sledgehammers for tintacks" page 102.

17 Lancasters, 1 mosquito and 1 mustang bombed the site with their Tallboys. This was carried out by 617 Squadron Only 11 Lanc's dropped their load. "Operations record book states" Extensive flying training programme carried out. Seventeen Lancaster, one Mosquito and one Mustang aircraft were detailed for operations. All took off safely. The target was an Area Dump at Creil, near Paris.

The operation was successful, and all aircraft returned safely. The weather at base was cloudy with continuous rain. (This raid was to a V1 parts store situated in a series of chalk caves and which was to be followed up by the main force.) One Mustang, one Mosquito and seventeen Lancasters were detailed to take part in an attack on the Flying Bomb Storage Dumps in the Creil Area. The Squadron was to have its own aiming point which was to be marked with red spot fires by the Squadron Commander flying the Mustang. It was hoped that the 12,000 lb bombs carried by the Squadron would cause the roof of the cave, in which the flying bombs were stored, to collapse. Both the P.F.F. area markers and the flares were accurate. The Squadron Commander dropped his red spot fires and although he did not see them other aircraft reported that they were accurate. The marking for the Main Force spread over some 600-700 yards. During the course of the attack there was a direct hit on the red spots and may have extinguished them or they may have become obscured by the spread of the Main Force marking. In any case they were not seen again. Eight of the Lancasters bombed on the red spots, three judging their aiming point from the position of the Main Force Markers and the remaining Lancaster, unable to pick out the aiming point, brought their bombs back to Base.

"... You could hear a constant rumbling overhead, and began to feel that the very mountain was on the move and might collapse at any moment. It was asking too much of any man's nerves to expect him to hold out in caves like that"

Colonel Eugen Walter (The Mare's Nest by David Irving)

Mustang III Pilot:

W/C G.L Cheshire

Target indicators 2 x Red

Mosquito VI NT205

(L) F/L G.A. FAWLE Pilot. F.O T.A. BENNETT Nav. B.

Lancaster LM485

F/L D.J.B. WILSON Pilot. F/S CHERRINGTON A. F/Eng. AUS. F/O J.K. STOTT Nav. CAN. F/O E.W. FINLAY A/B AUS W/O JORDON A.J. W/Op. F/S GRIFFITHS L.D. MU/Gunner. F/S VAUGHAN M.D. R/Gunner.

Lancaster I ME557 (S)

F/L C.J.G. HOWARD, Sgt. HAWKINS A.W, F/O C.A. MACDONALD, F/S HARTLEY L, F/S LUCAN C, W/O WOODS J, F/S CLARKE J.

Lancaster I. ME559 (Y)

F/O G.S. STOUT, P/O J.R. GURNEY, F/O P. INGLEBY, CAN. F/O W.A RUPERT, F/S NUTTALL A, F/O H.W. CORNISH-UNDERWOOD W/O SMITH R.

Lancaster I DV391 (O)

F/L A.F. POORE, F/S JOHNSON J, F/O R.A. ROBERTS, F/O R.J. ELSEY F/S THOMPSON J.T, F/S TOOKEY W., F/S CASTLEMAN R.

Lancaster I ME560 (H)

P/O I.S. ROSS AUS, Sgt. WALTER W, F/O T. O’BRIEN, F/S TILBY E.G. F/S JENKINSON K.,Sgt. KING C.T., P/O MCKELLAR A.F.

Lancaster I ME561 (R)

LT. KNILANS H.C. USA., P/O K.J.RYALL, CAN. P/O L.H.GELLER, F/O C.G. ROGERS, F/O C.L.KNELL, CAN. Sgt. MCNALLY A.F. AUS. P/O R.A. LEARMONTH

Lancaster I ME555 (C)

F/O W.A. DUFFY CAN, Sgt. BENTING A.W., CAN. F/O A.BELL, CAN. F/O R.E.WOODS, CAN. F/O D.R.PEARCE, CAN. W/O PORTER K.R. CAN. P/O W.G.EVANS

Lancaster I DV385 (A)

P/O J.A.SANDERS, Sgt. NUTLEY T.H., F/S BARRON J.B., CAN. W/O ALLEN H.G., Sgt. WARD A., Sgt. MACHIN R., Sgt. BRIARS R.A.

Lancaster III ED763 (D)

P/O F.H.A.WATTS, Sgt. LUCK H., F/S HOUSDEN C.H., F/S MCKAY M.L. Sgt. COOPER D., P/O R.HEGGIE, Sgt. MATTHEWS G.

Lancaster I DV393 (T)

F/O E.WILLSHER, Sgt. HURDISS J., F/O T.H.J.PLAYFORD, P/O R.C.EVERETT P/O F.W.BELL, F/S SALTER A.,

Lancaster III EE131 (B)

F/L J.E.R.WILLIAMS, Sgt. SOILLEUX J., F/O A.J.TALBOT, F/O A.B.WALKER F/S POTTER.A.E., F/S BLAGDON A., F/S MCLEAN T.J.

Lancaster III JB139 (V)

F/O W.R. LEE. AUS, Sgt. MASON W., F/S MCKIE A.M., F/S HOYLAND G. F/S RICHARDS F., Sgt. THOMAS D.G., F/S HUNNISETTE R.W.

Lancaster I DV402 (P)

F/O A.E.KELL. AUS., P/O G.W.CLARK, AUS. F/O J.L.HAGER AUS. F/O R.MORIESON, AUS. F/O A.L.EVANS, AUS. P/O A.W.SNELL AUS. P/O K.S.JEWELL

Lancaster I ME562 (Z)

F/L H.J.PRYOR, P/O R.J.A.TELFER, CAN. F/O R.L.PINDER CAN. F/O C.P.PESME, F/S HEPWORTH A., F/S COLYER A.J. P/O A.J.PATTERSON

Lancaster III LM489 (L)

P/O J.GINGLES, Sgt. GALLAGHER A., F/O G.G.BEALE, F/S HAZELL L W/O RILEY J, F/L R.F.SCOTT-KIDDIE, AUS. F/O E.T.HALL

Lancaster III LM482

(W) S/L J.L.MUNRO NZ., F/L F.G.RUMBLES, AUS. F/L C.K.ASTBURY F/O A.J.WARD, F/L A.R.POOLE, CAN. F/O H.A.WEEKS

Lancaster III LM492 (Q)

S/L MCCARTHY USA, F/O W.G.RADCLIFFE, CAN. F/O D.A.MCLEAN CAN. F/O W.A.DANIEL, W/O EATON L, W/O BATSON R. CAN. F/L D.RODGER