Reg led eight Typhoons of 193 and 266 Squadrons on 10 Group Rodeo 80. By the end of the operation nine enemy aircraft were claimed destroyed and two damaged. On the approach to Etampes Mondesir aerodrome Reg reported enemy aircraft on the ground. The Typhoons swept into the attack.....
10th Feb 1944
Picture taken on 10 February 1944 of the Harrowbeer Wing pilots, who had achieved considerable success against the enemy that day.
From left to right: Flying Officer Richardson, Flight Lieutenant Cassie, Wing Commander Reg Baker, Flight Lieutenant Deall, Flying Officer Haworth, Flying Officer McGibbon.
Combat Report W/C ER Baker
8 Typhoons 193 and 266 led by W/C Baker
All Typhoons 1b L.R.
Area 10 – 15 miles ESE of Paris
1Do217 destroyed, 1 FW190 destroyed
After losing touch with my No.2 in cloud I found my aircraft icing up and broke cloud at 700 ft, going down. After having sorted out the cockpit I suddenly saw a Do217 flying East at 600 feet/200 yards ahead. I closed to about 70 yards dead astern and below, and tried one short burst. The e/a burst into flames and I saw it hit the ground. I then discovered that I was steering east, so I changed my course to WNW flying at low level through snow flurries. I emerged from one of these and saw one FW190 flying NNW at 600 feet 500 yards ahead. I closed to 50 yards astern and slightly underneath e/a, and carried out the same attack as on the Do217. E/a’s engine caught fire, aircraft rolled over and I saw it hit the deck in flames. Still steering WNW in bad snowstorm I suddenly found myself over Paris at roof-top level, and immediately changed course to NNW. I saw the Arc de Triomphe from close range, also a game of football going on in a large stadium. There was no flak at all from Paris. I recrossed coast at 0 ft 8 miles SW of Le Treport, and eventually landed at Newchurch very short of petrol, although Shellpink had given me several vectors around 190 degrees as homing course for English coast.
Combat Report F/Lt Deall
1400 – 1420 hours
Etampes a/f and Bretigny a/f
8/10 to 10/10 rainstorms vis fair to poor
1 Ju88 destroyed in Air, 1 Ju 88 destroyed on ground, 1 D0217 damaged on ground.
I was flying as Lochinvar Blue 1 on 10 Group Rodeo 80 operating from Beaulieu, approaching Etampes Mondesir ‘drome’ when W/Cdr Baker reported e/a on the ground, I think there were about 15 e/a dispersed around this a/f. I attacked a Ju88 firing a short burst from 300 – 200 yards, hitting the e/a on the fuselage between the main planes. The e/a burst into flames. Looking back after the attack I saw the e/a burning fiercely, flames nearly ten feet high. I claim the e/a as destroyed. We reformed and set course on 010 degrees. Approaching another ‘drome’ Bretigny, I attacked a large e/a which had landed on its belly, a Do217 I think. The e/a was being worked on by a working party, a vehicle of sorts was standing next to this e/a. My first shells fell a little short but eventually I got strikes on the e/a, scattering the working party left and right and probably killing a few. After this attack I saw a Ju88 flying west at 1,000 ft. Calling up W/Cdr Baker I went into attack firing a 2 secs burst from 350 yds to 150 yds, angle of attack 20 degrees – 10 degrees, getting large strikes all over the e/a which went up in flames, broke in half, the tail and part of the fuselage hitting the deck after the main part of the e/a. At this stage I was separated from W/Cdr Baker and his No. 2 with the remaining 3 a/c (2 of 266 and 1 of 193). I set course westwards. After about three minutes on this course my No.2 F/O McGibbon reported e/a to starboard we turned towards the e/a, which were trainer (Harvard) types going into land. I was unable to get in an attack. F/O McGibbon shot down 3 of them. Seeing no more e/a about, I told the section to reform and set course for home. F/Lt Cassie 193 had run out of ammo. Slight light flak was experienced from the ‘dromes’ attacked, also medium light flak during the engagement with the Ju88 and with the Harvards. A sharp shower of derision (about 20 Bofors shells simultaneously) was hurled at me from a railway station possibly – Rambouillet – I consider this was from train borne flak. On course for home the weather deteriorated so I climbed the Section through cloud breaking at 8,000 ft. Later descending again breaking cloud cover over the inner estuary of the Seine at 4,000. We crossed out of France five miles S of C. d’Antifer Landing back at Tangmere 2.25 hours after take off.
Combat Report F/O Haworth
1400 – 14.20
Etampes a/f and Villacoublay
8/10 to 10/10 rainstorms vis fair to poor
1 Me110 destroyed on ground (shared with W/O Richardson) 1 Harvard damaged landing
I was flying as Lochinvar 4. On seeing Etampes Mondesir, I turned starboard and attacked a Me110 on the ground simultaneously with W/O Richardson. Ground crews were standing round the a/c and I observed several strikes on near engine and fuselage. On looking back I saw an a/c burning furiously on the starboard side of the aerodrome. (Ju88 attacked by F/Lt Deall), and the Me110 was also burning well.
I then saw a large a/c that I though was a Do217 lying on its belly in the middle of Bretigny aerodrome. Was unable to get an attack on it, but saw F/Lt Deall attack resulting in strikes in fuselage.
F/Lt Deall then reported a/c ahead and at same moment turned to intercept it. I followed him and saw the a/c a Ju88 catch fire and blow up. It crashed in two pieces, the forward section being enveloped in flames.
While we were attempting to join up with W/Cdr Baker, several a/c very similar to Harvards, were reported and we attacked. I had a short burst at one that was about to touch down, but did not get strikes on him; and immediately had another squirt at a similar a/c that was landing at 90 degrees to the first one, saw strikes under fuselage damaged. Section then reformed on F/Lt Deall and proceeded home, landing at Tangmere. Very little flak throughout but a little tracer in vicinity of Harvard aerodrome (Villacoublay), and where F/Lt Deall shot down his Ju88 (near Bretigny).
Combat Report F/O McGibbon
Etampes a/f and Villacoublay a/f
1 He111 destroyed on ground, 3 Harvards destroyed in the air
I was flying as Lochinvar Blue II to F/Lt Deall. My R.T. at first was working alright but faded just before we reached Chartres. I did not hear the order to attack Etampes Mondesir aerodrome, but after I saw my No. 1 attack a Ju88 on the ground I managed to get a quick attack in on an He111. It was dispersed outside the ‘drome’ I think there were about 10 aircraft on the airfield and 10 round near the airfield. My burst hit the starboard engine and the nose. It started to burn. I turned back and saw both engines and fuselage to be well on fire. I consider this aircraft to be destroyed. There was no flak from this airfield until we were leaving. Later just west of Paris I reported aircraft at 3 o’clock’ and went into attack. There were about seven of these aircraft, in appearance similar to a Harvard, with wheels and flaps down. The first one I did a 10 degree attack on & firing a short burst closed from 300 to 250 yds. I saw strikes on the fuselage behind the wings. It caught fire and dived into some trees where it blew up. I went to attack another but this already had two Typhoons attacking it. The second one I attacked was at about 200 feet, four hundred yards from the edge of the aerodrome. I did a 20 degree attack from 300 yds closing to 200 yds, firing a short burst. I saw hits on the fuselage and cock-pit, and it dived straight into the ground where it blew up. The third one I attacked was just crossing the perimeter track at about 200 ft. I did a 45 degree attack closing from 250 to 150 yds, firing a short burst. I saw strikes all over the tail plane. It did a steep diving turn to the right, straight into the ground where it blew up. I claim these three a/c destroyed. Their speed I estimated to be between 120 mph and 100 mph. On reforming there was slight light flak from the aerodrome defences.
Combat Report W/O Richardson
1400 – 1420 hours
½ Me110 destroyed on ground (shared with F/O Haworth)
I was flying as Lochinvar 2 to W/Cdr Baker. On the instruction to attack Etampes/Mondesir a/f I turned to starboard and flew directly across the middle of the field at 0 feet. At the opposite end of the field was a Me110 facing south. At 700 – 800 yds I opened fire but only one gun was in working order. As I got really close I saw a small crowd of men under the starboard wing. Some of these were hit by my fire. I saw strikes down the length of the fuselage. After firing 25 – 30 rounds approx my one cannon ceased firing and I passed very close over the aircraft. The formation reformed but very shortly afterwards two sections attacked a Ju88 and W/C Baker and myself lost them. A few minutes later I lost my leader in cloud so climbed straight ahead and broke cloud at 10,000 feet. After flying on a vector at this height for a few minutes I turned starboard and dived through an opening to 0 ft and continued on a 340 degree, 10 minutes later I hit a storm and seeing no way around it climbed through it and broke cloud at 20,000 ft. Severe icing conditions experience. I was getting short of fuel so called for homing and carried on at 20,000 crossing coast about 6 miles S of Le Touquet and English coast at Dungeness. Landed at Lympne to refuel.