Canada in the Second World War

Arms & Weapons

443 Squadron Operations Record Book, October 1944

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK
of (Unit or Formation) No. 443 Squadron R.C.A.F.
Place Date Time Summary of Events
B.82 Airfield, Grave Holland 1-Oct-44 Weather cloudy and unsettled, periodic rain showers throughout the day. Ground personnel moving to B.82 airfield (Grave) Holland today without any incident on the road. All equipment and tents now set up ready for normal operations again. Two new pilots reported to the squadron at noon being C.10399 F/L T.P. Watt and R.88145 W/O R.L. Gaudet. Four patrols flown by squadron without incident today. F/O P.E. Piche returned from England and 7 day leave. F/O W.J. Sherman and P/O P.C. Bookman departed for 83 G.S.U. Thorny Island to pickup two replacement Spitfire aircraft.
2-Oct-44 Weather clear and warm, visibility very good. Squadron took part in front line patrols again today without incident. This airfield was subjected to an attack by enemy anti-personnel bombs at approximately 1100 hrs. It is likely that only one large container of these bombs was dropped; there were two casualties among our pilots, W/O Gaudet received a slight cut on one arm which was treated immediately and this pilot cleared as fit; F/L H. C. Charlesworth was injured in the left arm and has been transferred to Casualty Clearing Station at Eindhoven for X-Ray to determine the extent of his injuries which at present are considered only slight. There were two other attacks later in the day but not in our immediate vicinity. P/O P.C. Bookman returned this evening with a replacement Spitfire for the Squadron. Personnel busily engaged in “digging-in” around their living quarters as only protection against enemy attack by missiles from the air.
3-Oct-44 Weather cloudy and cool, 10/10 cloud at 4,000 feet. Squadron took part in usual front line patrols without incident and was on immediate readiness without being sent off in the afternoon. F/O A.M. Thomas returned from leave in England today. Information received that F/L H.C Charlesworth will return to the squadron from Eindhoven within four days, his injuries being only light and not requiring further treatment and hospitalisation.
4-Oct-44 Weather clear and warmer, visibility good, becoming cloudy in late afternoon. Squadron took part in regular patrols over front lines during the day without incident. F/O W.J. Sherman returned today from 83 G.S.U. with a replacement aircraft. Pilots moved into billets provided in the nearby town of Grave this afternoon. Present home is in a large building built as an old folks home during peace time. At present there is no heat, no electricity and no water but it is expected that some of these services will be provided in the near future. The necessary M.T. [motor transport] runs have been authorized and set up to maintain steady communication at all times.
5-Oct-44 Weather cloudy and cool, 9/10’s cloud at 5,000’; clearing somewhat during afternoon, but still very hazy. Squadron tool part in three patrols over Nijmegen area without incident. Amendment to establishment received to allow 13 N.C.O. pilots and 14 officers for a total of 27 pilots.
6-Oct-44 Weather clear and cold. Squadron took part in three patrols over Nijmegen area without incident. A packet of anti-personnel bombs was dropped by enemy aircraft at our aircraft dispersal. None of the kites were damaged but one airman was fatally injured and another received slight wounds. A number of the tents received tears from flying particles. Due to inconvenience of periodic M.T. bottlenecks in contact between the airfield and pilots billets in Grave, … to the night, a temporary squadron den has been arranged from pilot’s tents and furnished comfortably for unavoidable periods.