diary of bruce johnston diary of bruce johnston





Mission Notes: Moerdijk

( see map at bottom of screen )

Operation Summary:
This raid was part of Operation Market Garden. 241 aircraft made diversionary sweeps to the Dutch coast and into Holland in an attempt to confuse German ground forces and draw their fighters from Southern Holland.

Planes from 115 Squadron:
10 (4 from A flight, 3 from B flight, 3 from C flight)

Planes lost from 115 Squadron:

Johnston’s Plane: KO-X (X.PD 276)

Take-off: 9:20 pm

Landing: 12:25 am

Round trip time: 3 hrs 05 mins

Bombing Height: 3,500 ft


RAF Bomber Command, 115 Squadron at Witchford, near Ely

Dummy Parachutists - Three foot tall dummies attached to parachutes, dropped from planes to misdirect the enemy, and encourage them to unnecessarily redeploy resources

Window - Strips of aluminum foil jettisoned in large numbers from planes to cloud enemy radar

Verey lights - Coloured flares fired from special pistols

Jerry - The Germans

Flak - German anti-aircraft fire

Marsh - Gadd’s engineer in 115 Squadron at Witchford

Gadd - Canadian pilot in 115 Squadron at Witchford

McFetridge / Mac - Pilot in 115 Squadron at Witchford

On his last one - His tour’s 30th and final bombing mission

Pounds/tons dropped and brought back - This is the total weight of bombs that Johnston dropped over the course of his 30 missions

September 17, 1944 (Sunday)

Operation # 30 - Moerdijk

Seven containers carrying dummy parachutists

Did our last one tonight – about five miles past last nights’ effort. There were only ten from this station on the target.

We threw out both kinds of window at one bundle every six seconds to simulate gliders etc., and we quit throwing at the target to make it seem as if gliders had landed. Then these dummies let off Verey lights and sounds of rifle fire etc.

This was all in aid of the Second British Airborne Army which was dropped in Holland earlier on. It was to get Jerry running around in circles as there were several attacks at the same time.

We went in at 2,500 feet and out at 3,500 feet. There wasn’t much excitement except for two light flak positions on either side of the track about halfway in to the target area. They were complete with searchlights but we managed to slip past when they were busy with someone else. There were some searchlights and flak just past the target which got us just as we were turning back but we got out OK.

There was so much window that everyone carried an extra body to help sling it out. We had Sgt Marsh – Gadd’s engineer.

We went in at minute intervals with S/L McFetridge first and us fifth and as Mac was on his last one also we didn’t have much chance to get back first.

306,000 pounds dropped
ie. 153 tons dropped
21,000 pounds brought back

This is one of the actual dummy parachutists that was dropped at Moerdijk on this mission

(Photo copyright - P Reinders)

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