77 Sqdn Aircraft

77 Squadron Halifax Aircraft

77SqdnAwaitTakeoff.jpg

77 Squadron Aircraft Codes and Registration No.s  Identified
Squadron Letter Codes were carried forward to replacement Aircraft of different Registration Sqdn Code Numbers. KN – the Squadron was affectionately known to the Aircrews by the Sobriquet and the aptly descriptive Chilli Pepper – Cayenne (Hot)

KN-A Reg No.JD125 Lost 14th August 1943 MilanRG488, JD123 Lost 13th August 1943, JD125, JD418 Lost 1st September 1943 Berlin, JD471 Lost 22nd January 1944 Magdeburgh, LL239 Lost 20th February 1944 Leipzig, LK667 Lost 16th March 1944 Amiens, MZ701 (Full Sutton – Training) MZ748 (Full Sutton – Shot Down) NA508 (Full Sutton – Shot Down, SterkradeMZ768 (Full Sutton – accident)
KN-B Reg No.JD302, DT730 Lost 4th December 1943 Leipzig, MZ428 Lost 6th December 1944 Osnabruck,
KN-C Reg No.JD320 Lost 24th July 1943 EssenJD321 lost 3rd November 1943 DusseldorfJB126 Lost 10th July 1943 Gelsenkirchen, DT796 Lost 27th March 1943 Duisburg,  NA 511 Lost Maisy 2nd January 1945, JD385 Lost 4th November 1943 Dusseldorf, RG529 Lost 18th March 1945 Witten, W7813 lost 26th May 1943 Dusseldorf
KN-D Reg No.JD162, DT796 Lost 27th April 1943, JD371 Lost 28th August 1943, JD387 lost 26th May 1943 DusseldorfJD460 Lost 28th August 1943 Monchengladbach,  JD121 Lost 23rd October 1943, LW341 Lost 16th February 1944 Berlin, MZ924 Lost 14th February 1945 Minelaying, NA515 Lost 2nd June 1944 Trappes,
Ted’s Op 5 – 5th September 1943 Night Operation Mannheim Lancaster LW341 KN-D
KN-E Reg No.DT793 Lost 7th September 1943 Mannheim, JB850 Lost 22nd September 1943 Hanover, JD247 lost 18th November 1943 Mannheim, JB982 Lost 1st May 1943, JB842 Lost 29th March 1943 Berlin, JB892 Lost 14th May 1943 Bochum, LW267 Lost 28th November 1943 KoblenzLK739 Lost 28th January 1944 Berlin,
KN-F Reg No.JB853, LK729 Lost 29th January 1944, NA524 Lost 16th June 1944 Sterkrade, DT793 KN-F

KN-F.MZ470Air&GroundCrew.jpg

KN-F Reg No.MZ470 Aircrew & Ground Crew Crash Landed at Base 12th December 1944.  All Crew survived uninjured.

KN-G for George

KN-G Reg No.s BB284, JB803G for George” Lost 1st May 1943 EssenJB852 Lost 22nd June 1943 Krefeld, JD413 Lost 1st September 1943,  7-Occupants of 77-Squadron Halifax JD413 KN-G, which crashed in Germany on the way home from Berlin in the early hours of 1st September 1943. (2-Survivors). JB856 Lost 23rd October 1943 Kassel, LK730 Lost 21st January 1944 MagdeburgJD231 Lost 4th November 1943, LL121 Lost 21st December 1943 Frankfurt,   MZ803 Lost 13th February 1945 Bohlen, MZ359 scrapped 1947.

Ted’s Op-26 – 26th April 1944 (Night Operation ‘Gardening’ Dutch Coast Frisian Islands) Halifax MZ803 KN-G

KN-H Reg No. W1141, JD383 Lost 2nd August 1943, JD747 Lost 19th November 1943, HR941 Lost 20th February 1944, JD162 lost 24th September 1943 UK, LL127 lost 20th January 1943 FrankfurtHR949 Lost 19th February 1944 Leipzig28th Aug 1943 77-Squadron Halifax Lost  Halifax – Serial Number JD383 KN-H of 77-Squadron was lost on Operations to Nuremberg on 27th/28th August 1943– Serial Range JD361 – JD386. 26-Halifax Mk.11. Part of a batch of 350-HP59 Halifax Mk.11. JB781JB806, JB834JB875JB795 Lost 10th March 1943 MunichJB892-JB931, JB956-JB974, JD105-JD128, JD143-JD180, JD198- JD218, JD244-JD278, JD296-JD333, JD361, JD383 Lost 28th August 1943 Nuremberg, JD386, JD405-JD421, JD453- JD476.
JD212
was used in Rocket Projectile Experiments. JD300 was fitted with a .5-inch Ventral Gun position. Delivered by English Electric Co. -Salmesbury & Preston- between 20th July 43 & 29th July 43.  JD383 was one of 2-No.77-Sqdn Halifaxes lost in this Operation. See- JD371. Airborne 20.51hrs 27th Aug 43 from Elvington. Shot down by Flak. Crash-site not established. Those killed are buried in Durnbach War Cemetery. P/O Olives parents lived on the Channel Island of Jersey. P/O J I F Byrne killed. Sgt A B Clark -P2- killed. Sgt G Graham PoW P/O R E Olive killed. Sgt V H Bradley PoW Sgt A G Willis PoW Sgt S J Wilson killed. Sgt E K Sears killed. Sgt V H Bradley was interned in Camps 4B/L3. PoW No.222485. Sgt G Graham in Camps L6/L4, PoW No.43259. Sgt A G Willis in Camp 4B, PoW No.222658.

KN-J Reg No.JB851 Lost 1st September 1943 Berlin, KB865 Lost 13th May 1943 Duisburg, DT734 Lost 10th March 1943 MunichLL143 Lost 20th February 1944, RG507 Lost 15th March 1945 Mathias Stinnes, MZ750 Lost 16th November 1944 Julich, MZ698 Lost 16th June 1944 SterkradeJB865 KN-J
KN-K Reg No. JB839 Lost 6th September 1943 Mannheim, HR714 Lost 21st April 1943 StettinHR170 Lost 17th April 1943, JB859 Lost 6th September 1943, LL125 Lost 21st December 1943 Frankfurt,  LL184 Lost 20th February 1944 Leipzig,  LW264 Lost 22nd November 1943 Berlin

KN-L.LL235.jpg
KN-L Reg No.JB846 Lost 1st May 1943 Essen, JD301 Lost 24th September 1943 MannheimLL235 crashed 23rd April 1944 off Als, Denmark. The 6 perished Airmen drifted quite far away from the Plane, and 2 were never found. They were on a Minelaying Operation. 4 were buried in 3-different Churchyards. Harris survived as a PoW.   NA529 Lost 8th August 1944.
Ted’s Crew  4th September 43 Air/Sea Rescue Search Halifax JD301? KN-L 

Elvington Halifax JD379 KN-MQueloh, North-West of Eschede

The Wreckage of Handley Page Halifax Mark II, JD379KN-M’, of 77-Squadron RAF based at Elvington, Yorkshire, lying in a cleared Fir Plantation at Queloh, North-West of Eschede, Germany, after being shot down by a Night Fighter while returning from a major Night Raid on Berlin on 24th August 1943. 3-Members of the Crew, including the Pilot, Pilot Officer A Massie, were killed and the 4-Survivors were made PoW’s. JD379 was the 25th victim of the Luftwaffe Night-Fighter ‘Ace’, Oberleutnant Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer 

The Squadron had Halifax ll’s powered by water-cooled RR Merlin In-line Engines rather than the 14-Cylinder 2-Row Air-cooled Hercules Sleeve Valved Radials that Powered most Halifaxes.
KN-M Reg No. JD379 Loss confirmed Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, top-scoring Night Fighter Pilot 24th August 1943, – (See KN-X for further image). DT736 Lost 26th May 1943 Dusseldorf
Ted’s Op-17 – 2nd March 1944 (Night Operation Muelan Les Mureaux Halifax DT736 KN-M


Halifax KN-X beats-up (Low Over-fly) it’s Sister Aircraft KN-S – Note long arm on 1-Ground Crew Member and the Canvas Cover over the Rear Turret designed to keep out moisture or condensation after exposure on the Dispersal Pan.  This may be a printers montage of both Planes as heads would have turned.  But beating up was a regular occurrence.

KN-X Beating up KN-M – Note the Rear Gunner Canvas Shroud during Hot Weather
The Crew of Halifax HR723 KN-M at Elvington with their Aircraft in November 1943

Left to right: Paddy Jackson (Bomb Aimer); Gerry Angel (Rear Gunner); Cecil Manson (Pilot); John Diffley (Wireless Operator); Clifford Smith (Navigator); Jack Whiteley (Mid-Upper Gunner) ??? (Flt Engineer )
KN-N Reg No. JB788, JB783 Lost 1/05/43 Essen,  LL190 Lost 22/01/44 Magdeburg, LL127 Lost 13/3/44 Minelaying, LL138 Full Sutton Lost 22/5/44 Orlean, LL549 Full Sutton Lost 25/6/44 Montorgueil, NP976 Lost 21/2/45 Worms, 
KN-O Reg No. JD371 Lost 28/8/43 Nuremberg,  JB963, JB956 Lost 30/07/43 Hamburg, LK726 Lost 16/02/44 Berlin, JD461
KN-Ojd371ModaveBelg.jpg
Memorial near Modave, Belgium, where Halifax KN-0, JD371 crashed on 28th August 1943

KN-P
KN-P Reg No.JD123, JB851, LW270 Lost 24th April 1944 Mine Laying,
KN-Q JB804 Lost 21st April 1943 Stettin, JB970 Lost 28th June 1943 CologneJD121 Lost 22nd October 1943 Kassel,  MZ935 Lost 12th September 1944 Munster, MZ702 Lost 22nd June 1944 Laon, MZ705 Lost 16th June 1944 SterkradeJB781 KN-Q
On the 16th June 1944, on return from the Raid on Sterkrade was Halifax IIIMX705 K-NQ.   After dropping its Bombs it was Attacked by a JU88 and severely damaged.  The Port Side outer-Engine cut twice and the Wing was on Fire.  The Flaps were shot away and there was severe damage to the Port Side Fuselage.  Nevertheless the JU88 was hit by the Gunners & Burst into Flame, it was claimed as Destroyed.  The Pilot headed for the Emergency Airfield at Woodbridge but the Fire had spread so much that it was decided to Ditch in the North Sea. None of the Aircrew were injured either in the Attack or in Ditching.  
A Wellington on patrol spotted the Dinghy and signalled that help was on its way.  The Aircrew was subsequently picked up by a Patrol Boat and taken to Lowestoft.  The PilotP/O S E (Syd) Judd, was Awarded an immediate DFC.  The Aircrew was soon back on Operations.

KN-QPO Syd Judd & Crew

P/O Syd Judd’s Crew (L to R) F/Sgt G B.Buss, Navigator; Sgt H T Godwin, Flight Engineer; Sgt R G Blackwell, AirGunner; F/Sgt J R Trengove RAAF, Wireless Operator; F/Sgt J Plowright, Bomb Aimer;   Sgt D A (Tony) Rogers, Air Gunner:  Anthony (Tony) Rogers is standing on the Chock behind the others in the photograph.  Sgt Tony Rogers,  stayed in his Upper Turret and waited after Ditching. He brought up his Guns as the Aircraft returned to Attack and he believed the Enemy Aircraft Crashed.  He & Sgt Blackwell received the DFM.  Because it was Accounted for, this Aircraft was not officially included in the announcement of the number that went missing on this Raid.  (Syd Judd died in May 2008)

Gathering Hay at Elvington near Halifax KN-R

The Rural surroundings of Bomber Stations meant that Farming activities continued close to those of War. Long grass could be a Fire Hazard but to a Farmer, it was useful Fodder.  Here late Hay is taken beside an Elvington Dispersal in mid-July, where Halifax BII DT807/KN-R (Rim) of 77 Squadron has the attention of its Ground Crew. This Bomber was Lost on its 32nd Sortie, on 3/4th October 1943 during the Kassel Raid.

This Photograph is signed by 12 RAF Veteran Personnel from 10, 35, 76, 158, & 426 Squadrons including 2-Awarded the DFC. The Farmers seem to be Recruiting.
Pilot: Flt Sgt John Hadyn Evans 158 Squadron, Lisset
T E Johnson? DFC 169100
Peter O’Brien?, 426 (Thunderbird) Squadron, Linton-on-Ouse
Flt/Lt ‘Bluey’ Herbert Neville Mottershead MBE, DFC Former President of 158 Sqdn Association d.1st Nov 2015 aged 92
J White? 158 Squadron
Kevin E Slack ? 158 Squadron
G French 76 Squadron, RAF Holme-on-Spalding Moor
F R Mamisier?, 10 Squadron, RAF Leeming Code MP-
Len McNamara DFC Story 158 Squadron Member & Rear Gunner
Warrant Officer Fred A Maltas – Flight Engineer, 35 Sqdn
Ian Hain? 35 Squadron
David H Freeman?, 35 Squadron
This Bomber was Lost on its 32nd Sortie, on 3/4th October 1943 during the Kassel Raid.

HalifaxKN_R
KN-R Reg No. DT807Rim‘ or “Rita” Lost 4th October 1943 Kassel, LK709 Lost 28th January 1944 Berlin, NA545 Full Sutton Lost 16th June 1944 Sterkrade, ????? Lost 2nd January 1945 Take-off Crash

KN-S Reg No.LK710 SSugar shot down at Laon on 22nd April 1944. Pilot Sqn Ldr Bond (Killed), Left base without incident, to Attack Rail Yards at Laon, France. Aircraft was shot down from a height of 7000-ft by Enemy Night Fighter which raked the Halifax from Aft to Fore and from directly below (Schrage Musik) as no one on board saw it. Crashed approx 5-km due East of Soissons in the department of Aisne, approximately 25km SW of its Target of Laon. Sqn Ldr Bond was sadly killed and is buried in Clichy New Communal Cemetery, the remainder of Crew baled out, one was subsequently captured & taken PoW, the remainder evaded capture.
Lost  Halifax- Serial Number LK710 KN-S of 77-Squadron was Lost on Operations to Laon on 22nd/23rd April 1944– Serial Range LK680LK711. 32 Halifax Mk.V. Part of a batch of 200 HP Halifax Mk.V/111. LK626-LK667, LK680- LK711, LK725-LK746 Mk.V, LK747-LK766, LK779-LK812, LK826-LK850, LK863-LK887 Mk.III. Delivered by Fairey AviationStockport– between 11th October 1943 and 20th November 1943. Airborne 21.00 22nd April 1944 from Elvington to Bomb the Railway Yards. Shot down from 7,000-ft by a Night-Fighter. Crashed some 5-km East of Soissons -Aisne, roughly 25-km SW from Laon. S/L Bond is buried in Clichy New Communal Cemetery. S/L K F P Bond killed. Sgt V H Clare Evd P/O C W Hobgen PoW P/O J A Grimer Evaded F/S R E Johnson Evaded F/O M A Mason Evaded F/O W A Jacks Evaded P/O J A Grimer was initially confined in Hospital due to a badly injured leg (Shell). There is a further report that he escaped, in which case it would have been from the Hospital.(No PoW No.) P/O C W Hobgen was interned in Camp L3, PoW No.4460.
Oblt Johannes Hager: 19 6/NJG1 Halifax SSW Laon: 2.000M 00.16 77 Squadron Halifax LK710. The Nachtjäger entered the Bomber Stream over the Target, staying with the Bombers on their Homeward Route and claiming a Total of 11-Kills before the Force headed out by way of Calais. Oblt. Hager, St Kpt of 6./NJG1, Flying in Bf110 G-4 G9+HP, fired a burst of 40-Rounds from his Schräge Musik into the Fuselage & Port Wing of a 77 Squadron Halifax; the Ace witnessed how his adversary was engulfed in Flames before it exploded into 3-large pieces at a height of 1000Mm to the SSW of Laon.
LL143 Lost 19th February 1944 Leipzig,
KN-T Reg No.JD313, JB851, JD168 Lost 12th June 1943 Dusseldorf, JB856 Lost 3rd July 1943 CologneLL130 Lost 23rd March 1944 Laon, LK709 Lost 29th January 1944, LL244 Lost 16th February 1944 Berlin, LW269 Lost 3rd October 1943 Kassel, HR841 Lost 28th January 1944 Berlin, MZ711 Lost 16th June 1944 Sterkrade
Ted’s Op 2, 27th August 1943 Operation Nuremberg LL130 KN-T 

KN-U Reg No.JB838 Lost 26th July 1943 EssenJD324 Lost 18th August 1943 PeenemundeJD465 Lost 24th August 1943 BerlinJB970 Lost 6th September 1943 MannheimJB938, W1157 Lost 22nd May 1943, W1157 Lost 22nd June 1943 KrefeldDT700 Lost 23rd June 1943 Mulheim, JB830 Lost 26th July 1943, JD324 Lost 18th August 1943, JD465 Lost 23rd August 1943, JB970 Lost 6th September 1943, LW290 Lost 23rd November 1943 Berlin, LW288 Lost 2nd September 1943 Hanover.

HolledgeCrewMemorial.jpg
KN-V Reg No.DT643, JB863 lost 19th June 1943 not far from Heslington Hall, Fulford, Yorks – en route on Op to Le Creusot,  JD847 Lost 9th April 1943 DuisburgJD213 Lost 23rd May 1943 Mulheim, LK711 Lost 29th January 1944 Berlin, JD472.
Ted’s Crew Op 3, 30th August 1943 (Operation Monchengladbach) Halifax JB863 KN-V 

KN-W on Take -off
KN-W with Ground Crew on Maintenance

KN-W Reg No. JB781 Halifax Bll (old Oor Wullie), JB908 Halifax Bll Lost 17th March 1943,  LL126 Halifax Blll – Ted’s new OOR Wullie. RG514 Lost 21st March 1945 Air Test Crash

KN-X Beating up KN-M – Note the Rear Gunner Shroud during Hot Weather

KN-X ‘Beats-up’ a familiar Ground Crew Team on KN-M (JD379) claimed as a Sister Aircraft
KN-X Reg No.JB911, HR946 Lost 21st January 1944 Berlin, MZ829 Lost 2nd November 1945 Dusseldorf, MZ347 Lost 12th August 1944 Brunswick, MZ812 Lost 12th January 1945 Mine Laying,

KN-Y Reg No.JD205 Lost 2nd June 1943 Krefeld, BB238 Lost 23rd August 1943 Berlin, LW265 lost 29th September 1943 Hanover, JD321, LL122 Lost 9th December 1943 Accident UK, LL544 Full Sutton Lost 3rd August 1944 Bois de Cassan
KN-Z Reg No.NR210, DT362 Lost 13th May 1943 Duisburg, JD152 Lost 28th May 1943 EssenJD167 Lost 11th August 1943 Nuremberg, JD405 Lost 7th September 1943 MunichLW233 Lost 22nd January 1944 Magdeburg, LL229 Lost 16th March 1944 AmiensMZ715 Full Sutton Lost 16th June 1944 SterkradeMZ689 Full Sutton Lost 7th February 1945 Goch DT632 Lost 13th May 1943?,

Ted’s Crew Op-4, 31st August 1943 Night Operation Berlin, Halifax DT632 KN-Z
Ted’s Logbook 10th April 1944 – KN-Z –  Fl/Lt Clark – Air Test – Local  –

I D Hancocks

Another ‘Gunners Tale’ from OoR Wullie
10/11 April 1944: Rear Gunner was Sergeant I D Hancocks (Taffy). Aircraft was also Halifax KN-W 77-Squadron (LL126), Rail System Target Tergnier (100-miles from the Channel Coast); part of a 900 Bomber Raid on French & Belgian Railways. Special equipment (Aural Monica) not used. Time was 00.13Hrs, height 11,000-ft, heading 298 Magnetic; position 49.46 North 01.37 East. Visibility was well above, poor below, full moon. Three Fighter Flares were seen Astern, 5-mins before the Attack. First visual was the Pilot, at 500-yds, Port Bow down. A Twin-engined Enemy Night Fighter showing a light in the Nose. The Halifax took Evasive Action during the Attack, losing 1,000-ft. Flight Engineer & Mid-Upper Gunner kept watching while Rear Gunner (Hancocks) fired about 112-Rounds.  The Pilot 1st saw the Enemy Aircraft on the Port Bow below at approximately 1,500-ft Flying on a Reciprocal Course, but before he could state the exact position the Halifax was subjected to Heavy Flak, immediate Combat Manoeuvres being taken.  The Rear Gunner then saw Enemy Aircraft on Port Beam, Range approximately 700-ft, slightly below.  He instructed the Pilot to prepare to Corkscrew Port and as he gave these instructions the Enemy Aircraft turned into an Attack from the Port Quarter, Range 400-yds. As the Enemy Aircraft turned it opened Fire, the Rear Gunner returning the Fire immediately with a long burst.  The Enemy Aircraft was seen to Blow Up in mid-Air at approximately 200-yds.  The Mid-Upper Gunner [Brooks] meanwhile was not able to bring his Guns to bear owing to the obstruction of the Tailplane, but he saw the Enemy Aircraft Explode, Fall in Flames and burn on the Ground.  The Bomb Aimer who was lying in the Nose confirms the destruction of the Enemy Aircraft which he also saw on Fire & Burning on the Ground.  At the time of the Attack there was no Searchlight activity but roughly 5-mins before the Attack, 3-Fighter Flares were dropped Dead Astern.
Ted’s Logbook 10th April 1944 – KN-Z –  Fl/Lt Clark – Air Test – Local.  –
With no further Flight Entry for 10/11th April suggests that KN-W LL126 (Oor Wullie) was utilised by Taffy’s Aircrew for the Tergnier Raid.  Ted Church had a Newspaper cutting reporting the above Fighter kill & endorsed it with:
‘W – Oor Wullie of 77-Squadron Does it Again’

77-Squadron re-equipped with Halifax Mklll & Mk lV after moving from Elvington to Full Sutton on 15th May 1944.  Immediately after the War the Squadron was renumbered to No.31 Squadron