De operationele dagboeken van 21 maart 1945 t/m 20 april 1945

Hieronder de operationele dagboeken van de squadrons die B91 gebruikten. Ze zijn door Jonathan Bowd – een Engelse historicus – overgeschreven van microfiches die bewaard worden in Londen bij het: The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU. Vanwege het vele werk en de authenticiteit heb ik de tekst niet vertaald.

De informatie is in tijdsvolgorde weergegeven per squadron. Een sterretje achter de datum – zoals 21.3.45.* – betekend dat er specifieke informatie over B91 in staat.

Een enkel woord als ‘Trains’ betekend dat treinen het hoofddoel waren die dag. Een naam ‘Apeldoorn’ betekend dat die plaats het doel van de dag was. Het kon dan gaan om huizen, verdedigingswerken, wegen of loopgraven in of bij die plaats.

M.T. houd in een gemotoriseerd transport, A.F.V. een ‘Armoured Fighting Vehicle’ zoals een tank, een halfrupsvoertuig, een pantservoertuig of een zich op eigenkracht voortbewegend kanon. Iets tussen haakjes (‘ ‘) is letterlijk uit de tekst overgenomen.

Van de acht squadrons die op B91 geweest zijn maakt alleen het 164e geen echte vermelding van zijn aanwezigheid en het 609e had wezenlijke klachten. Het 616e (Gloster Meteoors) heeft het tijdens zijn aanwezigheid buitengewoon naar de zin gehad.

164 Squadron (Argentine/British Sqn) 21.3.45 – 17.4.45
21.3.45.* 9.15 hrs move to B91. Attack Zwolle.
22.3.45. Barges @ Zutphen.
23.3.45. H.Q. at Bennekom + Billets at Arnhem.
24.3.45. Operation Varsity – gun positions east of Rhine, artillery at Wesel.
25.3.45. M.T. at Barholt (?).
26.3.45. Barges at Zwartsluis, P.R. of Rhine.
27.3.45. Bad weather, no flying.
28.3.45. Bad weather, no flying.
29.3.45. Bad weather, no flying.
30.3.45. M.T. at Almelo and H.Q. at Enschede.
31.3.45. M.T. and A.F.V.’s. ‘Now, on the last evening of the month, the Hun is apparently pulling out of Holland and we are still hitting him as hard as possible as he does so’

1.4.45.* Armed recce – C.O. makes belly landing (tires burst).
2.4.45. Radar station near Amsterdam.
3.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
4.4.45. Gun positions. ‘The rate at which the Bomb line moves east is something to marvel at !
5.4.45. Gun positions near Zutphen.
6.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
7.4.45. Attack. ‘Strong points marked by red smoke’.
8.4.45. Destroyed a windmill, H.Q. north of Deventer.
9.4.45. Gun positions.
10.4.45. W/O McCullogh seen to explode in mid-air – no parachute seen. M.T., A.F.V.’s, barges + strong points.
11.4.45. Gun positions, bridge at Arnhem, ammo ship at dock at Hilversum.
12.4.45. Guns at Arnhem, Peterschafte (?).
13.4.45. Apeldoorn. ‘there is no doubt of our attacks success – our troops went in and took the positions without losing a man’.
14.4.45. Armed recce.
15.4.45. No flying.
16.4.45. Train at Oldenburg, attacked ships at Zuider Zee.
17.4.45. Move to B103.

183 Squadron 21.3.45 – 17.4.45
20.3.45.* ‘Tonight, ‘pack up’ is ordered for we are moving to B91 Nijmegen tomorrow morning. Our billets have been very comfortable and the Airfield good here at Gilze, and so I think it is with slight pangs of regret that we leave it for our forward base’.
21.3.45.* ‘Early morning found the Wing bustling about in preparation for moving to B91. The Squadron was second to become airborne and all made good landings at new strip. Although not so wide as the runways at Gilze it is very long, and of the American type. The tracking pulls the aircraft up very quickly. Our aircraft are quite well dispersed and tents have been pitched for Dispersal and a special collapsible parachute room erected. Operations and our tents are next to each other and after a little clearing up the site is quite comfortable although there is a lack of the luscious green grass of the Normandy Orchards. The Aerodrome Construction Unit have done an excellent job in a short time and cleared sites for ‘messing’ etc. Dust, an old friend of those who were in Normandy has now returned in full force and so all the aircraft are once again fitted with dust filters. Attack on ammunition dump nr. Wezep.
22.3.45. Practice bombing at ‘s Hertogenbosch.
23.3.45.* Anti-flack for ‘Operation Varsity’ (Rhine crossing). 99 sorties in 4 hrs, no casualties. Pilots ‘liberty run’ to Nijmegen (‘Liberty run’ means ‘free time’ – the pilots were ‘at liberty’, i.e. free to do what they wanted and in these cases a trip into the nearest town, Nijmegen).
24.3.45. Dive-bomb V.2 storage nr. Rotterdam.
26.3.45. M.T. and airfield at Hopsten.
27.3.45.* Cut railway line. First film shown in Officers Mess ‘great success’.
28.3.45.* ‘Bad weather – no flying. Aircraft cleaned & liberty run to Nijmegen.
29.3.45. No flying – ‘tour of Germany’.
30.3.45. Attack H.Q.
31.3.45. Armed recce – 3 M.T. destroyed, 14 damaged.

1.4.45. Armed recce – 3 A.F.V.’s destroyed.
2.4.45.* Attack radar station nr. IJmuiden. Pilot injured when plane with engine trouble crashed on end of runway. Pilot lost near IJmuiden.
3.4.45. No flying (bad weather).
4.4.45. No flying (bad weather).
5.4.45. Two pilots die when their Auster crashed off Breda-Tilburg road. Bad weather.
6.4.45. No flying, bad weather.
7.4.45. Mappen. 2 pilots injured in Jeep crash.
8.4.45. Ammo train.
9.4.45. No flying.
10.4.45. Deventer and shipping recce.
11.4.45. Hilversum (shipping) + Arnhem (factory).
12.4.45. Petersdorf + Frussaythe (?) – rockets fired at a building before it was identified as a Hospital – attacks stopped (but back wall blown out in first attack).
13.4.45. Apeldoorn.
14.4.45. Training.
15.4.45. No flying, bad weather.
16.4.45. Prepare for move.

198 Squadron 21.3.45. – 17.4.45.
21.3.45.* ‘The squadron moved to their new location at B91 Kluis in Holland, this was a strip laid with metal sheets and was surprisingly well made. Tents were erected and most of the day was spent settling in’.
22.3.45. Barges.
23.3.45. Petrol dump at Emmen, P.R. of Emmen.
24.3.45. Operation Varsity – Flack patrol, gun pits at Bremen, radar station at Halle.
25.3.45. Halle, Staveren (?) harbour.
26.3.45. Defence post opposite Wageningen, Dutch SS H.Q. at Zuylenstein.
27.3.45. Bad weather, no flying.
28.3.45. Bad weather, no flying.
29.3.45. Bad weather, no flying. Trip to front line to look at results of attacks, Jeep damaged – burst tyre.
30.3.45. Staff car – A.F.V.’s near Nienborg, 30+ Germans pulling hand carts near Apeldoorn, 100 trucks west of Osnabrück.
31.3.45. M.T. – 7 M.T. + 1 staff car destroyed; 11 M.T. , 1 staff car + 1 horse drawn vehicle damaged.

1.4.45.* Bad weather, no flying. ‘time was well spent by putting up quarters for our new arrivals, 4 hens, who have already commenced ops. by laying 2 eggs
2.4.45. Radar station at Gastrigum, W/O Ryan force landed north of Volkel.
3.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
4.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
5.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
6.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
7.4.45. Gun pits + M.T. at Deventer. F/L Pye D.F.C. killed in Jeep crash (just awarded the D.F.C.).
8.4.45. Deventer.
9.4.45. Zwolle.
10.4.45. Deventer.
11.4.45. M.T. on Wijhe to Zwolle road, 1 plane lost (pilot safe).
12.4.45. Use of long-range tanks. – A.F.V.’s, M.T., trains + Ju 87 Stuka in Bremen area.
13.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
14.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
15.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
16.4.45. A village south of Lake Zwischenahn (?).
17.4.45. Leave for B103.

609 Squadron (West Riding sqn.) 21.3.45. – 17.4.45.
21.3.45.* ‘Today the pilots were up early and all kit was packed before breakfast ready for the move to B91 just south of Nijmegen. The Squadron flew-up about 09.00 hrs followed some hour or so later by the kit on the lorries. This time the goat was not left behind – he having travelled with A party. Spare pilots got cracking and by dusk all were settled in their new quarters and not too happy under canvas again
22.3.45. Barges.
23.3.45. Armed recce – Arnhem.
24.3.45. Operation Varsity, anti-flack, attack A.F.V.’s.
25.3.45. H.Q. + gun positions.
26.3.45. Barges, trains, M.T.
27.3.45. Armed recce – Barges.
30.3.45. Arnhem/Apeldoorn.
31.3.45. M.T. north of Twente canal.

1.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
2.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
3.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
4.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
5.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
6.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
7.4.45.* Almelo. In evening a party in Officers Mess. ‘Women in few numbers’.
8.4.45. Shipping recce.
9.4.45. Destroyed train at Oldenburg.
10.4.45. Sidings at Visselhövede (?).
11.4.45. Armed recce at Bremen – 3 trains attacked.
12.4.45. Trains and Apeldoorn. Don Inches kit and baled out ‘last seen walking towards German lines’. Warned by S/Ldr of 183 Sqn about hospital in target area so it was not attacked.
13.4.45.* 2 planes collide in mid-air soon after take off over Grave. Both pilots killed.
14.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
15.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
16.4.45. Arnhem + Apeldoorn.
17.4.45. Move to B103.

33 Squadron 7.4.45. – 20.4.45.
7.4.45.* 7.55 hrs 12 airborne – patrol Osnabrück-Minden. Landed B91 at 10.10 hrs. Echelon arrived in 2 sections. ‘Accommodation now canvas. 6 patrols flown from B91 ‘a truly magnificent effort considering the circumstances’.
8.4.45. Armed recce.
9.4.45. Armed recce. M.T. destroyed.
10.4.45. 1 loco ‘removed’, M.T. destroyed. ‘Pilots are having great difficulty these days in keeping their maps up to date. The ‘bomb line’ advances every few hours. Latest rumours say that we are going to Norway !
11.4.45. M.T.
12.4.45. Bounced by 15 Fw 190’s while attacking M.T., 1 Fw 190 destroyed, 1 Fw destroyed + 2 damaged by Bech, a Dutch pilot. 2 aircraft ‘missing’ (one, a new pilot on second operational trip, joined 33 ten days before).
13.4.45. M.T. + strongpoint at Friesoythe.
14.4.45. 2 loco’s, inconclusive attack on He 262.
15.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
16.4.45. Trains + M.T. in Bremen – Hamburg area.
17.4.45. A.F.V.’s + M.T.
18.4.45. Trains + M.T. around Hamburg.
19.4.45. Airfield at Nordhorn (?) – destroyed 3 Ju 88’s + 1 He III. Leader of Yellow section hit by light flack. ‘flew south with coolant streaming from aircraft and landed in field 3 miles north of forward troops – seen to leave aircraft (which caught fire), several civilians observed running towards him !
20.4.45. 10.30 hrs, 16 take off for new base – ‘no longer under canvas !

222 Squadron (Natal Sqd.) 7.4.45. – 20.4.45.
7.4.45.* 13.30 hrs, take off Gilze-Rijen, unsuccessful attack on He 262. Land back at Kluis (B91). ‘The Squadron took the return to ‘canvas’ in its stride, specially pleased – and grateful, to find all the tents already pitched in the sandy forest of B91 by advance party’.
8.4.45.* Dispersal organised.
9.4.45. M.T. + trains Bremen-Hamburg (one train carrying 15 Tiger tanks).
10.4.45. Trains.
11.4.45. Fassburg aerodrome – 2 Me 262’s + 1 Me 163 destroyed.
12.4.45. Armed recce.
13.4.45. Armed recce.
14.4.45. Weather recce.
15.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
16.4.45. Armed recce.
17.4.45. Loco’s.
18.4.45. Fighter sweep – Utersen aerodrome, 1 He III destroyed, 2 He III + 1 Fw 190 damaged.
19.4.45. Fighter sweep – Neumünster, Schlisung (?) + Musun (?) aerodrome, 8 aircraft destroyed (He III, Ju 87, Ju 88). Fl/lt Deck missing – last seen attacking Neumünster.
20.4.45. Move to B109.

274 Squadron 17.4.45. – 20.4.45.
17.4.45. Armed recce – 1 Ju 88, 1 Loco, 5.M.T. destroyed.
18.4.45. Stade airfield – 1 Fw 190 + 2 Do 217 destroyed, 2 He III + 1 Ju 88 damaged.
19.4.45. Airfields – 1 He III destroyed, 3 Ju 88 + 2 He III damaged.
20.4.45. ‘Still we have been sleeping in very cramped conditions. Since half the tents went and nobody has grumbled so no doubt we shall manage. Apparently there is built accommodation up there (their next airfield B109) so all the squeezing + plotting with the tents has been in vain ! One can perhaps forgive this Squadron for their ‘Browned-off’ view. On 15th a flight of 6 274 Sqd Tempests spotted a group of 40 Fw 190’s and promptly attacked them ! Two Tempest were lost, the last message from one being that his cockpit was on fire and that he had ‘five on his tail and he could not shake them’.

616 Squadron 13.4.45. – 20.4.45.
13.4.45.* At 10.30 hrs 10 Meteors took off + flew in formation to B91. At 11.00 hrs the convoy started off. By evening all tents had been pitched in Pine open woods surrounding the airfield. B91 consisted of one metal strip of 1500 yards !
14.4.45.* ‘Everybody working hard to clear spaces for tents’. Dry weather favours squadron settling down to camp life.
15.4.45. Bad weather, no flying.
16.4.45. Operations in Utrecht/Amsterdam/Leiden/Wageningen area.
17.4.45. M.T. in IJmuiden area.
18.4.45. ‘Weather continues fine and warm, making life under canvas very pleasant, everybody looking very fit and suntanned’. M.T. attacked in West Holland. Flack bursts reported at same hight as Meteor but always well behind. ‘A good thing to see’ says the pilot ! B.B.C. news bulletin refers to ‘British jets in action in Holland’ !
19.4.45. M.T.
20.4.45. Move to B109.

123 Wing Squadron bevelvoerders op B91

Squadron Aircraft Letters C/O at Kluis Period
164 FJ Sqd Ldr P.L. Bateman-Jones Jan’45 – Aug’45
183 HF Sqd Ldr J.R. Cullen, DFC Feb’45 – Oct’45
198 TP Sqd Ldr N.J. Durrant, DFC Dec’44 – Sept’45
609 PR Sqd Ldr L.W.F. Stark, DFC, AFC Mar’45 – Sept’45

123 Wing Squadron verliezen op B91

Squadron No. Date Rank Name Circumstances & Place
HF 183 JP969 1st March W.O. D.D. Blair Tyre Burst, T/OFF Bellyland. B-17, Gilze Rijen
TP 198 MN354 2nd March W.O. W.A. Livesley S/Down by P51 Mustang NW of Neus. Killed, Burried at Venray
PR 609 EK380 3th March P.O. T.H.R. Goblet Missing Pres, S/Down at Xanten, POW
PR 609 SW447 9th March Sqd Ldr R.A. Roberts Hit by flak, F/Land, SW of Achthuizen
PR 609 PO449 10th March W.O. G.M. Reynolds Engine fail, C/Land at B-77 Gilze Rijen
PR 609 PD519 18th March W.O. G.M. Reynolds Tyre burst, T/Off, Crash at B-77 Gilze Rijen
PR 609 JP858 19th March W.O. F.S. Hammond Engine fail, F/Land, NE of Deventer
HF 183 MN747 24th March Flt Sgt N.L. Lancaster Bellyland at B-91 Kluis
HF 183 DN248 1st April W.O. D.P. Drummond S/Down by flak at Hardenberg/Deventer, Killed
HF 183 SW476 1st April W.O. S.B. Laing Missing at Zutphen, POW
HF 183 MN419 1st April Flt Sgt T.P. Ward Battle damaged
TP 198 MN573 2nd April W.O. M. Ryan Engine fail at B-89, Mill
HF 183 MN365 3rd April Flt Sgt W.E. Barber Crash on approach to B-91, Kluis
TP 198 JR222 7th April W.O. A.W. Britton Tyre burst , T/Off + crash at B-91, Kluis
TP 198 8th April Flt Lieut N.C. Pye, DFC Killed, Burried at Nijmegen (Jonkerbos)
FJ 164 SW523 9th April Sqd Ldr P.L. Bateman-Jones Hit by flak, F/Land at B-88, Heesh, Killed
FJ 164 MN853 10th April W.O. D.W. Mc Culloch Hit by allied , Ackard + Blew-up near Lingen
TP 198 PD605 10th April Flt Lieut W.R. Wardle Caught, Fire starting-up at B-91, Kluis
FJ 164 SW410 11th April Flt Lieut Mammond-Hunt Engine fire during starting-up at B-91, Kluis
TP 198 DN341 11th April F.O. F.G. Williams S/Down by flak, F/Land near Zwolle
PR 609 PD593 12th April Flt Lieut J.D. Inches Hit by flak, B/Out at Friesoythe
PR 609 MN434 13th April P.O. H.M. Randall Collied with RB250 + Crash near Grave
PR 609 RB250 13th April Flt Sgt D.E. Blommaet Collied with MN434 + Crash near Grave
TP 198 PD508 13th April F.O. L.J. Bastin Engine cut, B/Out at Beers
TP 198 RB279 13th April W.O. K.R. Goodhew Hit by flak, B/Out at Kampe
PA 609 JR294 16th April Sgt A.R.A. De-Champs S/Down by flak near Bremen
TP 198 SW472 23rd April P.O. R.T. Casey Hit by flak, B/Out near Nieuwolde/Emden
PR 609 PD572 23rd April W.O. S.E. Smith Hit by flak near Neumunster
FJ 164 JR363 25th April Flt Lieut M.E. Jones Hit by flak, F/Land near Neumunster
FJ 164 MN896 25th April F.O. R.J.M. Wilson Hit by debris, F/Land at Neumunster
FJ 164 RB265 26th April F.O. W.T. Lawston Hit by flak, B/Out at Wilhelmshaven
TP 198 SW520 26th April F.O. W.G. Ford O/Shot at landing at Plantlunne
TP 198 PD466 3rd May P.O. J.E.N.C. Scoon Engine fail, F/Land south of Eimke, Kiel Bay
TP 198 PD618 3rd May Flt Sgt P.W.W. Millard Engine fail, F/Land SW of Neustadt, Kiel Bay. (EVADE)
HF 183 SW454 4th May Sqd Ldr J.R. Cullen, C/O Hit by flak, F/Land on Fehmarn Island
PR 609 SW497 8th May Flt Sgt N.F. Dixon Engine fail, F/Land NE of Meppen

135 Wing Squadron bevelvoerders op B91

Squadron Aircraft Letters C/O at Kluis Period
33 5R Sqd Ldr A.W. Bower, DFC March’45 – June’45
222 ZD Sqd Ldr E.B. Lyons, DFC Jan’45 – May’45
274 JJ Sqd Ldr W.J. Hibbert March’44 – April’45

135 Wing Squadron verliezen op B91

Squadron Date Rank Name Circumstances & Place
5R 33 12th April Flt Sgt P.L. Walton Shot down by FW190, Baled out W of Velzen (evaded capture)
5R 33 12th April Sgt J. Staines Shot down by FW190, Baled out W of Velzen (killed)
5R 33 12th April C.T. E.D. Thomson Damaged by FW190 over Velzen, plane written off
5R 33 19th April Flt Lieut R.A. McPhie Hit by flak, force landed north Freetz (POW)
ZD 222 19th April Flt Lieut C.G.F. Deck Shot down by flak at Neumunster airfield (killed)

Squadron claims op B91

Squadron Date Rank Name Circumstances & Place
ZD 222 11st April Sqd Ldr E.B. Lyons Took off from Fassbull during a strafing attack by 222 Sqn, was seen to climp to 2.000 feet, on fire and pilot baled out – may have been hit
5R 33 12th April Capt E.D. Thompson 1 FW 190, over Hamburg (1/JG26?)
5R 33 12th April F/O D.J. ter Beck 1 FW 190, over Hamburg (1/JG26?)
5R 33 12th April Flt Sgt P.W.C. Watton 1 FW 190, over Hamburg (1/JG26?)
JJ 274 17th April Flt Lieut Sgt R.L. Stolkburn J. Wilson 1 JU 88 over Schleswig
JJ 222 19th April F/O G. Walkington-hunt 1 unidentified jet over Hilversum – believed to be He 162 of 1/JG1