diary of bruce johnston diary of bruce johnston





Mission Notes: Beauvoir

( see map at bottom of screen )

Operation Summary: 374 Lancasters attacked three V weapons sites in this daylight operation.

Planes from 115 Squadron:
25 (8 from A flight, 9 from B flight, 8 from C flight)

Planes lost from 115 Squadron:

Johnston’s Plane: KO-W (W.PB 131)

Take-off: 12:54 pm

Landing: 3:56 pm

Round trip time: 3 hrs 02 mins

Bombing Height: 12,500 ft


RAF Bomber Command, 115 Squadron at Witchford, near Ely

Beauvoir - Beauvoir-sur-mer, a small French town on the Atlantic coast just southwest of Nantes

Frank - Marsden, Johnston's wireless operator

Evans - Wireless operator in Wadham’s crew in 115 Squadron at Witchford

Hallyard, Ralph - Australian navigator on Wadham’s crew in 115 Squadron at Witchford

Bob - Livingstone, Johnston's bomb aimer

W for Willie - Lancaster bomber, with “W” as the final code letter

Flak - German anti-aircraft fire

Orbiting - Circling the target awaiting instructions from the Master Bomber

Master bomber - Specific bomber that remained over the target area advising crews exactly which previously dropped marker flares to bomb, and which were German decoy flares

Turret - Transparent bubble in a bomber in which a gunner was located

U/S - Unserviceable or unusable

Butch Harris - Sir Arthur Harris, Air Chief Marshall, Commander in Chief, Bomber Command

July 2, 1944 (Sunday)

Operation # 6 – Beauvoir

Eleven 1,000 pound, four 500 pound bombs

Briefing at 9:15 this morning but put off until we finally took off at 12:40. Frank went off last night after being told not to and didn’t show up in time for briefing, though he was here before we went. He’s really in trouble now! Unless he's got a fast tongue he’ll not talk his way out of this fast.

We took a spare Wireless Operator – Evans from Ralph Hallyard’s crew. Bob showed up fit again so he went along.

We had “W” for Willie again and had a very good trip. Lots of cloud cover and no opposition to speak of – a very little bit of flak. Got back about 4:00.

We bombed visually through a gap in the cloud after orbiting – we got there early and the master bomber wasn’t ready for us.

The rear turret went U/S just coming out over the coast but there wasn’t any need for it luckily – the rear gunner nearly floated out in the oil which was the only thing.

It was really hot up there today - I nearly melted! (I had a lot of fun watching a fly we had with us pass out from lack of oxygen at ten thousand and then recover on the way back when we came down again).

Went to the camp show tonight “Hot Spot” with Betty Grable, but I’d seen it long ago.

Butch Harris is coming here Wednesday I hear – big day I guess! And so to bed.

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