Wellington - The Geodetic Giant by Martin W. Bowman

By Martin W. Bowman

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We also flew eight-hour patrols against enemy convoys and several ships were destroyed. ) All told, it was hours of boredom and every once in a while, wild excitement. ' 1944 ushered in fresh hopes of improving the U-boat kill ratio, although the early success of Leigh Light operations was now very much reduced due to U-boats being fitted with Schnorkel equipment enabling Coastal Command Wellington XIV MP818 in them to re-charge their batteries at periscope By June 1944 Coastal Command operations had reached a peak, with the priority task of keeping the English Channel free of German shipping in preparation for the imminent invasion of Europe.

Salmon stalked its prey The weather, continued to worsen and the formation was now down to just 300 feet. At 13:47 hours course was altered for the Schillig Roads near Wilhelmshaven. Visibility was down to half a mile and the Wellingtons were now flying at only 200 feet. and two Despite the weather conditions the aircraft maintained a good formation and they flew on towards Wangerooge island. They were spotted by five stationary trawlers, one of fired a salvo of torpedoes, hitting the cruisers.

However, the Air Ministry had misgivings and needed the guarantee of successful trials by the first six Wellingtons before it would sanction more suitably Under pressure from Joubert they finally agreed, in February 1442, to the formation of a full squadron of Leigh Light Wellingtons. On April 1942, No 1417 equipped aircraft. Chivenor was expanded to become Squadron but suitably equipped aircraft were slow to arrive. By May the squadron could only call upon five WellingFlight at No 172 lems were overcome by substituting batteries tons.

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