ORB (Operations Record Book) from 514 Squadron
11th May 1944.
Fine and sunny, visibility good, clear skies.
Air Tests were carried out, also Height and Load Tests. Visits: Wing Commander M. Wyatt, DFC Headquarters No. 3 Group, who assumes command of the Squadron w.e.f. 15th. May, 1944, visited the Station. He attended the Main Briefing of the Operational Crews and witnessed the take-off. At the Main Briefing Wing Commander AJ Samson, DFC who leaves the Squadron on the 15th May 1944, to take over Command of the 1567 Con. Unit bade farewell to the Crews operating that night. Administrative: Much against his better judgment and with an adequate measure of sympathy, Flight Lieutenant WAC Bowen DFC assumed responsibility for the compilation of the Squadrons Operations Record Book.
Operational Flying: BOMBING – LOUVAIN.
10 aircraft were detailed to bomb the target. All took off successfully, but one returned early owing to slight defect in port inner engine. 1 aircraft is missing. 1 aircraft brought its bombs back as no marker TI visible. The remaining seven aircraft attacked the primary target and returned to Base. Weather was clear with some haze. Target market was scattered and opinion varies as to success of raid. Result difficult to assess as smoke obscured vision in all cases. Flak was slight. Defences of Brussels and Antwerp in action. One aircraft had two combats. P/O EA Greenwood RCAF in DS813, JI-H, reported: Bomb load 1 x 1000 GP, 5 x 1000 MC. Primary target: LOUVAIN. Clear conditions at target but ground haze. Bombed at 0022 hours from 8500 feet. Very few markers seen and bomb bursts scattered. Fuselage damaged by flak. F/S CF Prowles in DS816, JI-O reported: Bomb load 5 x 1000 GP, 5 x 1000 MP, 5 x 500 MC. Primary target: LOUVAIN. Clear over target. Bombed as ordered by Master Bomber at 0018 hours from 8800 feet. TI's appeared concentrated and bombs fell in area marked. Large deep red explosion at 0014 hours.
Combat Report – Pro-forma:
Aircraft: LL733 ‘G’
Captain: P/O CJ Thomson RAAF
1st Encounter: At 0024 hours, height 11,000 feet, heading 253 degrees M., position 5047N, 0450E. With Lancaster silhouetted against target and a fighter flare on port quarter, Rear Gunner sighted what he believed was a JU-88 approaching from the port quarter up to dead astern. Rear Gunner ordered corkscrew to port and both Gunners fired. E/A was then lost in corkscrew.
2nd Encounter: At 0032 hours, height 11,000 feet, heading 342 degrees M., position 5057N, 0404E. Visual Monica warning alerted crew to presence of A/C in vicinity. Mid Upper Gunner sighted S/E coming in from starboard quarter level. Mid Upper Gunner ordered for corkscrew to starboard and fired a short burst (but appears to have had a stoppage). E/A was lost in corkscrew. MU Gunner – Sgt GR Lawrence – 40 rounds. 2nd Encounter – 12 rounds. Rear Gunner – Sgt DA Gee - 160 rounds.
Bomber Command Details.
Target: Louvain Railway Yards
Aircraft deployed total: 110
514 Squadron: 10 (1 returned early)
Aircraft lost total: 4
514 Squadron: 1
Comments: Another attack on railway marshalling yards was again successful with bombs hitting various buildings. Later reports stated that this was a major disruption at this site which did not fully recover full operations for over 6 months. Despite the best effort of crews, some civilian casualties were reported.
LL739, JI-M. Aircraft attacked by a FW 190, possibly flown by Ofw. Vinzenz Glessübel, while leaving the target area. LL739 crashed in the Brussels area. Starboard inner engine caught fire which spread to entire wing. P/O Winterford was shot in the leg by German patrol who initially thought he was a saboteur. F/O Ramsey and Sgt Brown evaded for a while but were captured by the Gestapo. All crew members survived.
P/O AB Cunningham RNZAF Pilot POW
F/O RJ Ramsey Navigator POW
F/O R Brailsford Bomb Aimer Evaded
Sgt JW Stone WOP/Air Evaded
Sgt FW Brown MU Gunner POW
Sgt BL Roberts Rear Gunner Evaded
P/O DA Winterford Flight Engineer POW
Extracts from "Striking Through Clouds-the War Diary of 514 squadron RAF-by Simon Hepworth and Andrew Porrelli-War Publications 2014 Copyright (c) ISBN-13: 978-1495440489. ISBN-10: 1495440486.
Info from www.Lostaircraft.com about LL 739 and crew:
Airborne 23:00 on 11 May 1944 from Waterbeach to bomb the railway yards at Louvain. Believed shot up by a Fw190 while leaving the target area. A fire started in the starboard inner engine and within seconds the entire wing was engulfed in flames. All baled out.
P/O Cunningham landed on the roof of a cafe at Rixensart (Brabant), Belgium.
P/O Winterford landed on a railway line, drew fire from a German patrol, was shot through the shoulder at point blank range after giving himself, was robbed of his cigarettes and escape kit, and left for dead. Later was found by another German patrol and taken to hospital.
F/O Ramsey and Sgt Brown evaded capture until betrayed by Rene van Muylem to the Antwerp Gestapo and arrested in Brussels 16 Jun 1944.
P/O A.B.Cunningham RNZAF PoW
P/O D.A.Winterford PoW
F/O R.J.Ramsey PoW
F/O R.Brailsford Evd
Sgt J.W.Stone Evd
Sgt F.W.Brown PoW (see Ramsey)
Sgt B.L.Roberts Evd
Sgt F.W.Brown was eventually interned in Camp L7. PoW No.207.
P/O A.B.Cunningham in Camp L3, PoW No.5150 with F/O R.J.Ramsey, PoW No.6305, and F/O D.A.Winterford, PoW No.6510.
F/O Brailsford, Sgt Stone and Sgt Roberts successfully evaded, took shelter with the Réseau Comète and were liberated in Sept 1944 in Brussels, Porcheresse and Bellevaux, respectively.
McNeill, Ross (ed.). (2003). Air Force PoWs 1939 to 1945 : Compiled from AIR 20/2336.
Chorley, W R. (1997). RAF Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, Vol 5 ? 1944. Midland Publishing. ISBN: 0904597911 .
IS9 Ref.: MB/1130 Name: Sgt J W Stone Unit: 514 Sqn Lancaster LL739
Source: Janes, Keith. (2013). Conscript Heroes ?Website.
http://www.conscript-heroes.com/IS9-3350.htm , retrieved 5 Sep 2013.
IS9 Ref.: MB/1306 Name: F/O Reginald F Brailsford Unit: 514 Sqn Lancaster LL739 Source: Janes, Keith. (2013). Conscript Heroes ?Website. http://www.conscript-heroes.com/IS9-3350.htm , retrieved 5 Sep 2013.
The crashed Lancaster LL739:
The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, East Kirkby Airfield