Date: 19/07/1944
Squadron Code: 'P'
Serial Number: Liberator GR.Mk.V - FL985
U-Boat details : Unknown - Damages - extent unknown
:::: Flight - Mission Details ::::....

Base: Tain
Time Up: 1243 hrs (19th) - Time Down: 0213 hrs (21st) - Duration: 14 hrs 30 mins
Op: A/U Patrol

ORB states the following:

July Summary: "During the period of detachment to Tain there were three attacks by Squadron crews. The first was on the 19th when F/O R.C. Penning and crew in "F" attacked a fully surfaced U-boat twice. The second on the 20th when F/O D.A. Willows and crew in "N" dropped 7 D.C's on a submerged U-boat on a second run over (no D.C's were released during 1st attack). The last was on the 21st when S/L B.A. Sisson DFC & crew in Z/120 attacked a large U-boat which had been submerged only 10 Secs."

Mission report: "F" was on its way to Patrol area in Norwegian waters, flying at 1400 feet on a Co,019' T when the starboard beam gunner sighted at 1912 hrs a fully surfaced U-boat bearing 90'/6 miles on a course 030'/10 knots. It's estimated position was 7019N.0602E. A radar contact was obtained simultaneously with the same bearing and distance. "F" lost height immediately and turned to attack, replying with nose gun to the U-boat's intense but inaccurate fire. A/C tracked directly over conning tower from a bearing of 30' on the U-boats port quarter, releasing 6 DC's using Mk.III bombsight, spacing 55 feet from a height of 100ft. The last two DC's were seen to explode as an overshoot but the U-boat was enveloped by the plumes of the earlier explosions. This attack was at 1915 and 1917. "F" tracked over the bows of the U-boat releasing two DC's from 75 feet, spacing 55 feet and the points of entry were seen to be equidistant from bows, making a perfect straddle. Brown smoke was seen issuing from the base of the conning tower after the first attack, and it increased in volume after the second. U-boat did not submerge until 1941hrs and continued to fire constantly until that time. When the U-boat was seen to be submerging "F" tracked over the swirl and two members of the crew (port and beam rear gunners) claimed that they saw 4 or 5 black objects in the swirl. "F" set course for base at 2003, PLE having been reached.

note: It was common for U-boat crews to release objects and oil into the water when submerging under attack, to give the impression that they have "already been fatally struck and are sinking", in the hope that the enemy would call of the attack.

Crew on this day: F/O R.C. Penning (capt.) - F/O A. Johnston (2nd pilot) - F/O P.A Richardson (nav) - F/O R. Webb - W/O W.G. Willows - Sgt A.J. Waterfield - Sgt G.T. Rogers - Sgt J.E. Berry - Sgt J.H. Walton

:::: More U-boat Details ::::....


:::: Source - Endurance - Alwyn Jay ::::....

During WWII, the RAF used three-letter codes to identify their aircraft from a distance. Two large letters were painted before the roundel, which signified the squadron to which the aircraft belonged, and another letter was painted after the roundel which indicated the individual aircraft. Aditionally, there was the individual serial number for each aircraft, which was painted in a much smaller size, usually somewhere at the rear of the aircraft: (more)

Codes used by RAF 59 Squadron:

PJ Sep 1938 - Sep 1939
TR Sep 1939 - Oct 1942
1 Aug 1943 - Jul 1944
WE Jul 1944 - Oct 1945
BY Oct 1945 - Jun 1946, Dec 1947 - Oct 1950