467 Postblog VII: Friday 7 January, 1944

Gilbert Pate, like the rest of Phil Smith’s crew, was due back from leave today. Before he returned to Waddington he made sure to send a quick telegram home to reassure his family that all was going ok: [1]

AM FIT AND WELL KEEP SMILING ALL MY LOVE DEAREST GILBERT PATE

As the moon period continued, it was declared a ‘make and mend’ day and no operations were planned. It’s uncertain if all the aircrew got back in time for a lecture about the early-warning radar system called Monica.[2] There was a little bit of flying during the day and ‘an attempt’ was made to fly some night circuits but it was abandoned due to poor visibility.

The conditions were not bad enough, however, to stop Bomber Command completely. While Main Force crews were given the night off, a bunch of Mosquitoes were sent to Germany to attack industrial targets in Krefeld and Duisberg. All eleven aircraft involved returned, though one crashed on landing back at its base. The leaflet droppers also operated tonight over Northern France. Fourteen Wellingtons and Whitleys sallied forth and all returned safely.[3]

This post is part of a series called 467 Postblog, posted in real time to mark the 70th anniversary of the crew of B for Baker while they were on operational service with 467 Squadron at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire. See this link for an in-depth explanation of the series, and this one for full citations of sources used throughout it. © 2014 Adam Purcell

Sources:


[1] Pate, Gilbert, Telegram to Family, sent 07JAN44, received 22JAN44

[2] 467 Sqn ORB, 07JAN44

[3] Night Raid Report No. 506

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