January 1st, 1944. Weather fair to cloudy. January 2nd, 1944



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January 1st, 1944.

Weather fair to cloudy.

January 2nd, 1944.

Fair or cloudy.

January 3rd, 1944.

Occasional slight rain or drizzle.

January 4th, 1944: 10.30 hours.

Lieutenant Colonel R.L. SHERBROOKE, Major S.R. PAWLEY and Squadron Leader B. WARNER from R.A.F. Netheravon visited the station commander to confer on defence matters.

Weather fine or fair apart from scattered showers.

January 5th, 1944; 12.20 hours.

Brigadier G.C. GOTHARD from Wimborne visited in regard to welfare and Home Guard matters. Mr G.H. ROLSTONE of the War Agricultural Committee called to discuss the ploughing of land.

Weather fair to fine.

January 5th, 1944: 14.55 hours.

U.S.A.A.F. Fortress B-17 G21132 forced landed after a bombing raid on Bordeaux - Merignac. Aircraft shot at in 30 places and one member of crew slightly injured by flak splinters.

EXERCISE NOX I’ - night paratroop exercise carried out with two aircraft.

January 6th, 1944.

EXERCISE NOX II’ - three aircraft took part in paratroop dropping exercise. Two aircraft participated in Pathfinder ‘competition’ in which aircraft went to find their way to an R.V. without Pundit or Occult aids. The weather was fair.

January 7th, 1944.

EXERCISE NOX III’ - exercise similar to previous ones, carried out with three aircraft. The weather was fair or cloudy.

January 8th, 1944: 16.00 hours.

Wing Commander HOLLMARK of No. 38 Group visited. The weather was cloudy with occasional slight rain.

January 9th, 1944: 18.00 hours.

Flying Officer C. CHAMBERLAIN and Flying Officer W. BLACK reported for demonstration on defence procedure. Weather mainly cloudy, occasional rain or drizzle.

January 10th, 1944.

Major S.R. PAWLEY (H.Q. No. 38 Group) attended demonstrations which were given for the benefit and guidance of station personnel on matters of airfield defence in the event of attack by enemy troops.

EXERCISE NOX VI’ - carried out with three aircraft. Exercise IV and V cancelled owing to weather. Cloudy, slight rain early.

January 11th, 1944.

EXERCISE NOX VII’ - carried out with three aircraft. Weather cloudy, slight rain and fog in afternoon.

January 12th, 1944: 12.00 hours.

Major A.J. CLEMENT from the War Office visited to enquire into accommodation problems. Weather cloudy, occasional drizzle.

January 13th, 1944.

Weather cloudy, rain and drizzle later.

January 14th, 1944: 12.30 hours.

Squadron Leader P. WILLIAMS of M.A.P. and Flight Lieutenant W. BARTLETT, Air Ministry, D.S.M., called to see the C.T.O.

EXERCISE SPOOK’ - carried out by No. 298 Squadron. 13 aircraft dropped 115 men on a D.Z. at Winterston. Aircraft height of drop 500 feet. Early fog, fine but hazy.

January 15th, 1944: 14.40 hours.

Squadron Leader E.S. PRESSLAND ADGB called in with regard to M.T. matters.

January 15th, 1944: 16.00 hours.

Squadron Leader L. STRANGE of Transport Command visited the commanding officer on liaison duties. Weather fair apart from fog.

January 16th, 1944: 11.00 hours.

Wing Commander J.E. HOWELL, S.M.O. HQ 38 Group visited the commanding officer in regard to medical matters. Weather fair to fine, mist and fog in low lying places.

January 17th, 1944.

Weather fog clearing later, continuous drizzle.

January 18th, 1944.

Overcast with drizzle, fog clearing evening.

January 19th, 1944: 11.05 hours.

Flight Lieutenant L.G.W. MALLOWS, HQ 38 Group, called to inspect catering facilities. Weather cloudy with rain or drizzle becoming fine.

January 20th, 1944.

EXERCISE MANITOBA’ - eight aircraft from No. 298 Squadron took part in paratroop drops with troops of the 1st Canadian Paratroop Brigade and, later, ten Halifax of the same squadron with Hamilcar gliders loading Mk VII Tetrach tanks. Average height of drop 1,000 feet. One glider over-shot and struck a nissen hut on the airfield and both hut and glider were destroyed. The tank, however, was thrown clear and there were no casualties. Weather fog becoming fair to fine.

January 21st, 1944.

Fine inland apart from local mist and risk of scattered showers.

January 22nd, 1944.

Cloudy, rain or drizzle.

January 23rd, 1944.

Squally showers becoming fair.

January 24th, 1944.

Cloudy, continuous rain becoming fair to fine later.

January 25th, 1944.

Fair periods, squally showers of rain or hail.

January 26th, 1944: 10.00 hours.

Station visited by Wing Commander GODFREY, No. 38 Group, regarding staff matters.

January 26th, 1944: 12.00 hours.

Group Captain W. WAKE, Overseer G.A.L., visited. Weather cloudy rain or drizzle.

January 27th, 1944.

Weather cloudy with occasional slight rain

January 29th, 1944.

Weather cloudy with occasional slight drizzle near coasts.

January 30th, 1944.

Weather fine inland becoming fair to cloudy

January 31st, 1944.

Weather cloudy, mist patches and local hill fog. Cloudy fair later.

The station strength at January 31st, 1944, is:

Station H.Q. - 31 officers and 373 other ranks.

No. 196 Squadron - 45 officers and 510 other ranks.

No. 298 Squadron - 35 officers and 437 other ranks.

Heavy Glider Squadron - 6 officers and 47 other ranks.

TOTAL: 117 officers and 1,367 other ranks.

W.A.A.F. - 5 officers and 184 other ranks.

February 1st, 1944: 11.15 hours.

Wing Commander L.C. BARTRAM (No. 38 Group) visited regarding staff matters. Weather drizzle with much cloud.

February 2nd, 1944.

Weather cloudy, slight rain.

February 3rd, 1944.

Advance party of No. 2786 Squadron, RAFR, consisting of one officer and 28 other ranks arrived from NETHERAVON for construction of gun pits and accommodation huts. Weather mainly cloudy, occasional light showers.

February 4th, 1944: 10.00 hours.

Squadon Leader E.F. PRESSLAND, A.D.G.B., inspected the transport section.

February 4th, 1944: 11.00 hours.

Squadron Leader A.R.C. WOOLFREY, No. 38 Group, called on the station equipment officer in connection with equipment matters.

February 4th, 1944: 11.00 hours.

Squadron Leader J.F.C. SWAYNE, APM. No. 30 Area, visited to discuss security and other analogous matters. Weather fair or fine except for the early hail showers.

February 5th, 1944: 11.30 hours.

Air Commodore H.E. BATTLE, MAP, called on the station commander.

February 5th, 1944: 17.10 hours.

Lieutenant-Colonel W.B.P. PRADISH, H.Q. 6th Airborne Division, visited the station. Flight Lieutenant E.J.N. BRAMALL is appointed ATC liaison officer by HQ., SW Command, ATC Exeter, in respect of the under mentioned squadrons affiliated to this station. The ATC squadrons were 554 Bryanston School, 1480 Blandford, 1069 Wimborne and 505 Canford School. Weather fair becoming fine.

February 6th, 1944: 14.40 hours.

EXERCISE CO-OPERATION’ - divided into three parts. Part I - 11 Halifax aircraft dropped 108 troops of the 3rd Paratroop Brigade, 1st Canadian Paratroop Battalion, and 33 containers on the D.Z. at Winterbourne, Stoke. Part II - two Stirlings detailed to drop 48 containers on two D.Z.s. Part III - ten Halifax and 3 Stirling aircraft took off with Horsa gliders for release at Oatlands Hill. Aircraft took three streams formation. Weather fine becoming cloudy.

February 7th, 1944.

Weather cloudy with rain, improving later.

February 8th, 1944.

German aircraft equipment for two days on view at the station for the instruction and interest of all personnel, particularly flying crews.

February 8th, 1944: 10.55 hours.

Wing Commander L.C. BARTRAM interviewed the station commander on staff matters. Weather cloudy becoming fair.

February 9th, 1944.

Weather fair becoming cloudy with slight rain.

February 10th, 1944: 12.30 hours.

Group Captain J.H.C. WAKE, MAP, visited the station commander. Weather fine or fair, almost cloudless skies.

February 11th, 1944: 12.30 hours.

Wing Commander C. HOWELLS, H.Q. No,. 38 Group, Wing Commander GIBSON, H.Q.ADGB, called to discuss technical staff matters. Weather fair or fine with slight haze.

February 12th, 1944.

Sir TRAFFORD L. LEIGH-MALLORY, KCB, DSO, AOC-in-C AEAF visited the station to view the operations block and addressed aircrews of No. 196 Squadron, No. 298 Squadron and glider pilots. Weather cloudy to fair, later becoming hazy.

February 13th, 1944.

Weather cloudy.

February 14th, 1944.

Weather cloudy, occasional rain.

February 15th, 1944.

Fair becoming cloudy.

February 16th, 1944: 14.30 hours.

Squadron Leader M. CALVERT, HQ Balloon Command, and assistant L. SUTTON, 12 B.C. Titchfield, visited the station to discuss medical matters. Weather rain early becoming gusty.

February 17th, 1944: 14.30 hours.

Air Vice Marshall C. COWTAN, MRCSORCPKHS(5), AEF, called on the station commander in connection with medical matters. Weather fair becoming cloudy.

February 18th, 1944: 11.00 hours.

Squadron Leader G.M. GRANT, RCAF HQ Exeter, visited in connection with chaplain duties.

February 18th, 1944: 14.00 hours.

EXERCISE GUNNER I’ - RAF stations HURN and STONEY CROSS also took part in this exercise. 10 Stirling-Horsa combinations were ordered to release gliders at SILT HILL. 20 combinations took part from HURN and STONEY CROSS and two Pathfinders from the latter station. Troops taking part were personnel of the 1st Airborne Division with jeeps, guns and trailers. Slight snow throughout the day.

February 19th, 1944.

Weather cloudy, slight snow.

February 20th, 1944: 23.00 hours.

Stirling aircraft crashed in the vicinity of TARRANT HINTON. Crew of 6 killed.

Weather fair to cloudy.

February 21st, 1944.

Weather cloudy. Visibility deteriorating later.

February 22nd, 1944: 09.36 hours.

EXERCISE OBAN’ - 8 Stirling-Horsa combinations released gliders at SILK HILL. HURN and STONEY CROSS also participated in this exercise. Weather cloudy, slight snow with showers later.

February 23rd, 1944.

EXERCISE PANK’ - 5 Halifax combinations ordered to cast off gliders at D.Z. near FOXBURY HILL. Troops taking part were those of 13th Paratroop Battalion (5 Paratroop Brigade). Weather cloudy, slight showers later.

February 24th, 1944.

Formation of HQ Servicing Wing and Nos. 3145 and 3146 Servicing Eschelons with the purpose of centralising technical administration. Weather fine but early haze.

February 25th, 1944.

Weather fair.

February 26th, 1944.

Weather cloudy with early haze.

February 27th, 1944: 14.00 hours.

Wing Commander PUTT, Air Ministry, interviewed the commanding officer. Weather cloudy, improving later.

February 28th, 1944.

Weather fair.

February 29th, 1944: 12.00 hours.

Mr R.H.GUYATT, A.M. Horticulture Adviser, visited the station administrative officer to discuss station cultivations. Weather fine becoming cloudy later.

The station strength at this date is:

Station HQ - 32 officers and 435 other ranks.

No. 196 Squadron - 43 officers and 471 other ranks.

No. 298 Squadron - 67 officers and 565 other ranks.

Heavy Glider Squadron - 21 officers and 211 other ranks.

TOTAL: 163 officers and 1,682 other ranks.

W.A.A.F.- 5 officers and 191 other ranks.

March 1st, 1944.

No. 644 Squadron formed at this station against establishment LWE/SR/1142 dated 23rd February, 1944. Nucleus of personnel transferred from No. 298 Squadron with Squadron Leader A.G. NORMAN, DFC, in temporary command. Weather mainly cloudy becoming fair to fine from 18.00 hours.

March 2nd, 1944.

Advanced party of No. 2733 Anti-Aircraft Squadron, RAFR, arrived from NORTH WEALD. Weather fair, snow showers.

March 3rd, 1944: 16.00 hours.

Wing Commander PUTT, Air Ministry, called for conference with station commander.

EXERCISE SAILOR’ (glider exercise) - 10 Stirling-Horsa and 10 Halifax-Horsa combinations took part. 21 gliders were released over the L.Z. at WELLFORD (A/D) between 09.31 and 09.37 3/4 hours from 2,000 feet. The L.Z. was identified by map reading, formation flying and Gee fixes and Eureka, Rebecca.

181 troops of the 101st American Airborne Division were carried together with 17 trucks, 19 trailers, 2 jeeps and 100 gallons of petrol. 1 Stirling released its glider at base when one of the engines of the tug aircraft caught fire in the air. Both tug and glider landed safely at base. Ropes were dropped at ROLLESTONE A/D. The rope-dropping area was pot marked by smoke candle until 10.01 hours as per orders. Weather fine or fair, cloud little or none.

March 4th, 1944: 17.30 hours.

Air Commodore P.E. MAITLAND, MVO, AFC, and Group Captain LEWIS-ROBERTS, visited the station. Weather mainly fair, variable high and medium cloud.

March 5th, 1944: 14.10 hours.

Group Captain J.H.C. WAKE, MAP, visited the station to confer with the station commander and chief technical officer. Weather fair to cloudy.

March 6th, 1944: 12.10 hours.

Squadron Leader A. CROFT, H.Q.ADGB, made a staff visit to discuss M.T. matters.

Weather fair becoming cloudy.

March 7th, 1944.

Squadron Leader A.E.R.GILLIGAN, Welfare Officer Air Ministry, visited the station to discuss welfare matters.

EXERCISE BILL I’ - (Guinea-Pigs) 2 Halifax Mk II aircraft took off from base to drop 10 troops each on the Divisional D.Z. 19 troops were dropped on the D.Z. between 21.40 and 23.15. 1 man jumped too early on accidental red and green being given 1 mile north of D.Z. Weather cloudy, fine.

March 8th, 1944.

New station establishment number LWE/SR/1735A dated February 19th, 1944, received.

March 8th, 1944: 13.00 hours.

Wing Commander R.C. HOCKEY, HQ. No. 38 Group, visited the station to confer with the commanding officer and senior operations officer. Squadron Leader P.H. FAURE of the Air Ministry visited the station.

March 8th, 1944: 16.30 hours.

Flying Officer N.NIELD, H.Q. TTCAMADO (Mails) reported to discuss postal arrangements and procedures. Weather fair or fine.

March 9th, 1944: 11.00 hours.

Lieutenant-Colonel R.L.S.SHERBROOKE, H.Q. No. 38 Group, visited the station to confer on station defence matters. Squadron Leader A.R.C. WOOLFREY (H.Q. No. 38 Group) called on the station equipment officer No. 273 Squadron RAFR arrived from RAF station NORTH WEALD. Weather cloudy becoming fair.

March 10th, 1944.

Fog becoming mist.

March 11th, 1944: 09.00 hours.

Wing Commander KEPPEL of the Air Ministry called on the station commander.

EXERCISE BILL III’ - 3 Halifax Mk V aircraft dropped 29 troops on Divisional D.Z. There was one refusal to enplane. Dropped between 21.55 and 00.41 hours at 500 feet A.G.L. Advanced party of No. 2810 Anti-Aircraft Squadron RAFR arrived from RAF station MARSTON MOOR. Weather cloudy.

March 12th, 1944.

No. 2737 Anti-Aircraft Squadron RAFR completed the movement to this station. Move of No. 196 Squadron to KEEVIL commenced. Weather slight rain, cloudy.

March 13th, 1944.

Squadron Leader WILLIAMS and Flight Lieutenant WEBSDALE, No. 38 Group, made a staff visit. Weather cloudy to fair.

March 14th, 1944: 14.10 hours.

Wing Commander KEPPEL, Wing Commander HUSBAND and Wing Commander GALE, all of the Air Ministry, visited to confer with the station commander.

March 14th, 1944: 14.30 hours.

Squadron Leader MASTERMAN, DAPM, Salisbury, called in connection with the investigations into larceny offences.

March 14th, 1944: 15.10 hours.

Wing Commander V.R. RUDOLD, DPM, visited the station. Weather fair becoming cloudy.

March 15th, 1944: 12.00 hours.

Wing Commander W.F. BRYANT, AM, visited to confer on the N.A.F.F.I. liaison. Squadron Leader WALLACE of the Air Ministry visited. A Horsa glider crash landed after being airborne by a Stirling aircraft. It demolished half a nissen hut of the RAFR. The pilots escaped injury.

Main body of No. 2810 Anti-Aircraft Squadron, RAFR, arrived. Weather fine, hazy, fair.

March 16th, 1944: 11.50 hours.

Lieutenant Commander R. ALLEN, Naval Liaison Officer No. 38 Group, visited to discuss administrative disciplinary matters with naval personnel. Flight Lieutenant FINCH, D.A.B.M. of No. 30 Area, visited on station police inspectorate matters.

A Horsa glider towed by a Stirling aircraft foul landed near WESTBURY. A Halifax aircraft belly-landed at 15.22 hours. Crew unhurt. Weather cloudy, light rain.

March 17th, 1944.

Wing Commander POPE arrived and assumed command of No. 644 Squadron. Move of No. 196 Squadron completed. Weather fine to fair - hazy.

March 18th, 1944.

Weather fog later cleared when cloudy.

March 19th, 1944.

Weather cloudy, intermittent slight drizzle or rain.

March 20th, 1944: 12.30 hours.

Squadron Leader CROFT, HQ ADGB, visited to discuss Meteorological matters.

March 20th, 1944: 13.30 hours.

Flight Lieutenant N. LANGDALE, No. 2 District, HQ. RCAF Liaison Officer, visited to contact RCAF personnel.

EXERCISE BIZZ I’ - Intended to practise co-operation between No. 38 Group and USAAF Troop Carrier Command viz. supply by air. 14 Halifax aircraft combinations took off between 16.00 and 16.09 hours. 12 Horsa gliders were released over the L.Z. at BRIZE NORTON aerodrome between 17.27 1/2 and 17.33 hours. Glider released through a broken tow rope made a successful landing four miles west of SHAFTESBURY. One combination has its tow rope cut by an unidentified Stirling aircraft. The glider landed successfully. There was some difficulty in loading and marshalling owing to shortage of equipment.



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