Library Reference Number: 046
An Illuminating Experience
War is a grim business, but Branch member Lyn Seabury from Saltcoats, always seems to detect a glimmer of light as the following account shows.
This experience occurred very close to the end of the war in Europe, and in line with my previous story (Library File No.020) where, by using German call signs, we circled overhead broadcasting misinformation which sent German aircraft taking off in all directions. This particular incident took place on 17th April 1945, while still flying special duties in Halifaxes based at North Creake, Norfolk. 100 Group was all about Goon Equipment and being "Beastly to the Germans" (apologies to Noel Coward).
This operation was mounted with around seven Halifaxes, each carrying a full load of 500 Ib bombs. The operation was intended to upset the Luftwaffe's first squadron of jet fighters (I think M.262s) based at Ingolstadt Airfield about 50 miles north of Munich. We had the dubious honour of leading the Squadron and marking the target. All went surprisingly well, and we arrived within 10 miles of our target. The night was reasonably clear and we started a 'time and distance run' - as Bomb-aimer I did the countdown.
I was just about to say "bomb doors open" when the aerodrome lights were switched on to reveal Control Tower, Hangars and German aircraft in dispersal areas. We had a perfect drop, and were on our way home before they either switched off - or we blew out their lights!
The flight home was quite uneventful and the PRU reported a really good prang. That was my final operation of the war, since peace was declared (at least in Europe) two weeks later.
After much discussion, we decided that some poor bod had thought we were 'one of theirs' and switched on the Drem System. I suppose he wont forget that night either.