467 Postblog LXIII: Sunday 23 April, 1944

Sleeping off the fatigue from last night’s flying, there were no operations planned for the airmen of 463 and 467 Squadrons tonight. After about midday, however, some training was organised. 463 Squadron carried out some fighter affiliation sorties but Phil Smith and his crew took B for Baker to the Wainfleet range, about thirty miles west of Waddington, for some high-level bombing practice. The sortie lasted an hour and a half. Following this they did another test flight, again at the request of Avro, in W5004, the aircraft Phil had tested the previous day.[1] This time Jack Purcell came along too, for another half an hour in the air. The aircraft does not appear in either logbook again so it seems that whatever fault it carried had been cured by the two air tests and it was cleared to go back into service, albeit with a training unit rather than an operational squadron.

Bomber Command aircraft on operations on this night included a small group of Stirlings which attacked a signals depot near Brussels, 25 Mosquitos which went to Mannheim and a force of 113 heavies which dropped mines in the Baltic Sea. Six Wellingtons scattered leaflets over northern France, twelve Halifaxes carried out special operations over Europe, four Mosquitos completed Serrate patrols and another one did a weather reconnaissance flight. Two Stirlings and three Halifaxes from the mining force failed to return.[2]


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


[1] Flying logbooks of Phil Smith and Jack Purcell

[2] Night Raid Report No. 585