"L" for Love's missions

Total of 38 missions for Captain Veauvy, and 34 recognized for Veauvy's crew.
(except one mission for "early return" ordered by Elvington base, and two missions early return for mechanical problems)

Hereafter is the example of mission 8 from the book :
Eighth mission : JULICH

On November 16th 1944, at 13h06, Captain Veauvy’s Halifax III ‘L-for Love’ NA 557, took off along with another five hundred and eight other aircrafts. Amongst them were 27 Halifax aircraft from the French base at Elvington, near York. There was 15 aircrafts from Squadron 346 and 12 from Squadron 347.
The objective was to support a bigger attack against Cologne. The target was precisely situated on the front line near Aix-la-Chapelle.
They came back at 18h04. The cloud cover was made of stratocumulus, it was 6000 feet high.
The ‘L-for Love’ was carrying a single two thousand pound bomb and forty four incendiary bombs.

After taking off from Elvington base, it flew towards Orfordness and then changed direction towards the South as prescribed by the navigator. They flew at 2000 feet. They crossed England and the Channel, where they spotted a convoy of forty big ships.
The weather was splendid, cloudless as predicted by the forecast. They changed direction towards the East, and the Halifax climbed to 14000 feet. At the agreed position, they met the Allied fighter planes that were there to escort them.
Down below everything looked very quiet and above the sun was blazing hot. Still the crew had a preference for the day missions, despite the FLAK, compared with the endless night flights in total darkness.

Once more they met the FLAK in the Ruhr Valley, a little bit more to the south this time. Soon the FLAK started to set off real fireworks! The ‘L-for Love’ was amongst the first in the bombing wave and the rest spread out behind them. “Change direction to the South now!” announced the navigator. Everything kept quiet for a few moments, but when they got closer to the objective the FLAK opened such a brutal and fierce fire that the whole crew was stupefied. On their left a bomber was on fire; in front of them another bomber had been shot with full force and its bombs had detonated, dazzling them. They were getting closer to the target when a sudden and powerful shock made them lose control. The pilot had to use all his skills to re-establish the balance and wing level; two shells had exploded on each side of the aircraft’s tail without hitting the rear gunman. The top gunman’s boots had been marked by shrapnel, but he was not injured!

Producing their ultimate effort, the crew kept going on task and dropped bombs that went straight down on target.

J Ü L I C H November 16th 1944
PHOTO N°1475 HALIFAX III - L - NA 557 - TOT - 15 h 36 mn.

They veered to the right and just as they were leaving the bombing zone another shell exploded in their proximity. A piece of shrapnel broke the GEE box and the navigator pencil box. Numerous instruments were out of order and the engines started to make a strange sound. The ‘L’ made it back to Elvington base, pierced in numerous places.

“Our plane got hit by FLAK above the objective by two pieces of shrapnel. One destroyed the GEE box, the other hit the top gunman’s post. Good bombing operation; the two thousand pound bomb was right at the centre of the markers.” JÜLICH NOVEMBER 16th 1944

Navigator's flight data calculation

        53 42 N        00 34 W
        53 18             00 07 W
        51 00             03 00 E
        50 34             05 40 E
        50 55 1/2 N     06 22 E       (bombs gone)<
        50 57             06 23 E
        51 15             06 10 E
        51 25             05 40
        51 20             04 00

Piece of metal found in the fuselage

Following this war mission on November 6th 1944, Captain Veauvy was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (D.F.C), the highest Royal Air Force decoration.

In this section of the book, you are flying with the crew.

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