5 August 1944

Objective: Saint Leu D'Esserent

Bomber command sent 742 aircraft (469 Halifaxes, 257 Lancasters and 16 Mosquitos to bomb the Foret de Nieppe & Saint Leu d'Esserent. This was a midday raid.

Can you help?

44 squadron sent: LM650,

97 Squadron sent;PB181 (D), ND495 (M), PA974 (B), PB133 (C), PB157 (Q), ND961 (N), ND589 (R), PB156 (O), ND452 (T), PA974 (A), ND501 (S), JA846 (K) , ND740 (F), ND807 (P) ,ND840 (J),

106 Squadron sent: JB663, PB191, LM215, JB593, LL948, PB248, PB284, LM211, ND331, PB145, PB203, LM641, ND868, PB303, PB296, PB298, PB238

207 Squadron sent, JB309, LM261, PD220, PD216, LL968, LM271, LM208, LM263, LM535, LM123, LM671, PD209, PB293, ME667, PD217

"No-one was pleased to hear that Grey would be leading a daylight raid on the massive V1 site at Saint Leu d'Esserent, just north of Paris, on 5th August. They led 208 aircraft of 5 group and as they were approaching the target they were hit by Flak which tore off the starboard outer engine, set the starboard inner alight and turned the aircraft over. With two remaining engines screaming they pulled out at 2000' and got the aircraft stabilised over the channel. As they sat ready to bail out McIntosh spotted four men in a dinghy and the wireless op radioed it in. Amazingly, Grey managed to nurse the aircraft back for a crash landing on two engines on the grass at Manston-the runway having been closed for early op flights of the Gloster Meteor jets. the guys in the dinghy were picked up by MTBs and the crew got a commendation from the Americans for it."

Wallace McIntosh recalls by Peter Bevan (Plane talking n°55 dec.2004)

408 Squadron sent,

415 Squadron sent,

419 Squadron sent,

"On another occasion in august 1944, during a day light raid against St-Leu d’Esserent, his cool courage won the admiration of all his crew. Although AA fire was very heavy he accomplished an excellent bombing run when the two port engines were hit and rendered unserviceable. Flying Officer Dickson despite this obtained some excellent photographs. His fine fighting spirit, tenacity and devotion to duty have always been most praiseworthy."

Dickson Terrence Richard, RCAF (Fo) DFC

420 Sqaudron sent,

424 Squadron sent,

425 Squadron sent, ?

427 Squadron sent, LV821

428 Squadron sent,

429 Squadron sent,

431 Squadron sent:Halifax MZ517, MZ638, NA499, MZ831, MZ828, MZ653, MZ375, MZ636, MZ364, MZ600, MZ863, MZ861

433 Squadron sent,MZ828

434 Squadron sent,

2 Halifax were lost:

425 Squadron Halifax LL594 KW-U took of from Tholthorpe, England.

Pilot Philbin, G.B (RCAF) evaded. Navigator Reed Raymond-Alexander (RCAF) died, Wireless Operator Stamp Leslie George (RAF) died, Flight Engineer Gracie William Brown (RCAF) died, Bomb Aimer Lee Thomas Edwin (RCAF) died, Air Gunner Beresford Graham (RAF) died, Air Gunner Clark Brian (RAF) died, Air Gunner Milliard G.L (RCAF) POW

433 Squadron Halifax LL594 KW-U

"on return to base, and while preparing to land, an engine failed and the Halifax came down in the nearby village that lends its name to the airfield Skipton-on-Swale. Tragically, in addition to the two airman who died, 5 year old Kenneth Battensby was unable to run clear as the bomber came hurtling through some trees before skidding across the village square and coming to a halt with its nose section resting against a mature elm tree. F/O Harrison RCAF is buried in Harrogate (stonefall cemetery. Sgt Whitbread rests in Kempston Cemetery."

B. Chorley Bommber command.