diary of bruce johnston diary of bruce johnston





Mission Notes: Le Havre

( see map at bottom of screen )

Operation Summary:
The objectives of this mission were the German torpedo e-boats and other light naval forces threatening Allied ships off the Normandy coast that were providing supplies to the beach head. Johnston’s plane was in the second wave of 221 Lancasters in this night operation.

Planes from 115 Squadron:
22 (7 from A flight, 8 from B flight, 7 from C flight)

Planes lost from 115 Squadron: 0

Johnston’s Plane: KO-S (S.ND 900)

Take-off: 11:50 pm

Landing: 2:10 am

Round trip time: 2 hrs 20 mins

Bombing Height: 13,500 ft


RAF Bomber Command, 115 Squadron at Witchford, near Ely

LeHavre - French port on the English Channel

Second dickey - A second pilot, in training, accompanying an experienced crew on a mission to see how they worked together

Beach head - Coastal area of France re-taken from the Germans and secured by the Allied troops

Rowe-Evans - Pilot in 115 Squadron at Witchford

Got the Chop - Was shot down and killed

Bickford - American pilot and friend posted with Johnston to 115 Squadron at Witchford

Oldham - Pilot in 115 Squadron at Witchford

Chutes - Parachutes

Bob - Livingstone, Johnston’s bomb aimer

Hill, Don - Canadian pilot and friend who trained with Johnston, and was later posted to 115 Squadron at Witchford

Flying kit - Flying gear/equipment - clothes and accessories

CO - Commanding Officer

W/C - Wing Commander - head of two or more squadrons

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

June 14, 1944 (Wednesday)

Operation # 1 - Le Havre

Eleven 1,000 pound and four 500 pound bombs

Did my second dickey trip tonight – LeHavre. We were after the shipping in the harbour which had been annoying our convoys to the beach head. Went with Rowe-Evans and had a not bad trip.

One fellow about nine hundred to a thousand yards behind us got the chop and just following that another bod got in a combat – likely the same fighter. Bickford was with Oldham and they reported two chutes from the chop. Bob went with Don Hill and he got back OK too – I waited to make sure. It was quite a sight!

I had a lot of trouble with some forms to replace some flying kit and in the proceedings discovered that the CO is a sod of the first order. Oh I was mad at him – I had to get all the signatures done again because the W/C had signed it and he was supposed to instead, so he insisted on a clean form before he’d sign it!! Of all the low people!! Guess he just doesn’t know any better.

In special message from Harris “not to be quoted” he told us that this was the greatest ever air to sea victory – complete success!

Typical view of the ground after bombs have been dropped on a target

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