8 December, 1944

Saw Nothing Few Flak bursts…

Very few people have the chance to see a pilot’s logbook.

Even fewer have the chance to see a Spitfire pilot’s logbook.

Even fewer have the chance to read one…

Saw Nothing Few Flak bursts…

Greg had enough trust in me to share what I consider the most precious documents of his grandfather.

As we can see Walter Neil Dove was  in thick of it with his first missions.

I don’t think Greg knew that.

He was posted with 403 Squadron at Evere in Belgium.

The Germans were planning to launch a surprise attack through the Ardennes.

Greg’s grandfather took part in missions during the Battle of the Bulge, the last German offensive on the Western front.

You can click on the image to zoom in.

Every detail of his missions is there…

First mission:

December 8

Type of aircraft

Spitfire XVI

Plane identification code

KH-J

He is on a strafing sweep over Munster. The mission lasts 1h50.

Saw Nothing Few Flak bursts…

What happened on that day during WW II?

On the Eastern Front

In Hungary, Soviet forces of 3rd Ukrainian Front launch attacks near Szekesfehervar about 20 miles southwest of Budapest.

On the Western Front

US 3rd Army reports the establishment of four additional crossing of the Saar river on both sides of Sarreguemines and inside the town. American tanks are reported to be approaching the town of Rohrbach to the southeast.

In Italy

Troops of the British 8th Army cross the Lamone River south of Faenza.

In Liberated Greece

Communist rebels in Athens continue to fight. British casualties are claimed to be very light but the Greek police are estimated to have suffered 600 killed, wounded and missing.

In London

Prime Minister Churchill defines the British government position on the crisis in Greece to be aiming at “clearing Athens of all who are rebels to the authority of the constitutional government.” The House of Commons supports the position in a vote 279 to 30.

In the Volcano Islands

An American naval force, commanded by Admiral Smith and consisting of 3 heavy cruisers and a destroyer escort, bombard Iwo Jima.

In the Philippines

On Leyte, the US 77th Division advances from its beachhead to within 1 mile of Ormoc. Attacks by the Japanese 26th Division, near Buri, are repulsed by other US forces.

Source… 

If you look at the bottom of the logbook’s  right page, you will see Walter Neil Dove was there when the Luftwaffe launch Operation Bodenplatte on January 1, 1945. 

I am sure Walter Neil Dove saw a lot of flak around that day… but this time it was directed at enemy planes swooping down on Evere airbase.

For a walk-around of a Spitfire XVI, click here… 

As a footnote…

There is something important that happened also on December 8, 1944.

George Stewart and Paul Beaudet flew their last mission with 23 Squadron…

Click here. 

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3 thoughts on “8 December, 1944

  1. About Kapok 19 seen on the page upper right…
    Kapok is mentioned here.

    http://www.spitfiremuseum.org.uk/spitfirecombat

    TB752 completed wartime duty with four kills to her name. Looking at the original combat reports from each pilot gives a picture of how each action came about.
    Date 21st April 1945
    Pilot Squadron Leader H.P.M. Zary
    Squadron 403
    Type of Aircraft Spit XVI
    Time Up / Down 15:00 / 16:50
    Time of Attack 16:30
    Place of Attack SCHNACKENBURG T.0800
    Height Of Enemy 7,000 feet
    Own Height 3,000 feet
    Our Casualties Nil
    Enemy Casualties 1 ME.109 DESTROYED
    Narrative I was KAPOK leader on an Armed Recce in PARCHIM area, when returning, I sighted 2 Me.109’s apparently attacking ground targets. They were climbing, when we gave chase. They climbed to about 7,000 ft. and I closed on the starboard aircraft telling F/O. LESLIE to take the port one. Closing to 600 yards, line astern, I opened fire with a 4 second burst to 400 yards, strikes cutting a third of starboard wing and fin and rudder off. Strikes were also observed on the cockpit and the aircraft crashed out of control. F/O. A.A. ROY confirms this report. Gyro sight and cine camera used. I claim one ME.109 DESTROYED.
    Date 25th April 1945
    Pilot Flying Officer D. Leslie
    Squadron 403
    Type of Aircraft Spit XVI
    Time Up / Down 18:45 / 20:06
    Time of Attack 19:20
    Place of Attack Travemunde A/D
    Height Of Enemy On Water
    Own Height 0 Feet
    Our Casualties Nil
    Enemy Casualties 1 U/I a/c (Believed to be FW.189) Destroyed on Ground
    Narrative During a low level attack on TRAVEMUNDE aerodrome I was flying black three and sighting what I believed to be a FW.189 on the edge of the drome I gave it a three second burst of Cannon fire seeing numerous strikes mainly concentrated on the engines. It immediately burst into flames and I kept on firing until I had to pull up a bit to avoid hitting it. Flak started to come at me from across the harbour so I had to break off the attack and rejoin the formation. I claim one U/I aircraft (believed to be FW.189 destroyed. Gyro sight Mk.IID and Cine gun used.
    Date 1st May 1945
    Pilot Flying Officer R. Young
    Squadron 403
    Type of Aircraft Spit XVI
    Time Up / Down 09:48 / 11:00
    Time of Attack 10:40
    Place of Attack BERGEDF AREA. S.6447
    Height Of Enemy 2000 feet
    Own Height 1000 feet
    Our Casualties Nil
    Enemy Casualties 1 FW.190 Destroyed
    Narrative I was flying Kapok Black four on a six-aircraft patrol over the LAUENBERG Bridgehead. Controller reported bandits in the area. Two or three seconds later we engaged four and I saw eight more flying tight formation on my starboard. We approached from below and the F.W.190’s jettisoned two bombs each. While turning behind my No. 1 to engage one, one turned directly in front of me at about two hundred yards. I gave him a three second burst and the cockpit started smoking. He rolled on his back at 1500 ft. and on the way down did an aileron turn, piling into a field below on a thirty degree angle. There was no explosion on impact. I then climbed back up and found nothing other than our six Spitfires circling the area. We had to return to base due to shortage of gasoline. Cine gun and Gyro sight used. I claim 1 F.W. 190 as Destroyed.
    Date 2nd May 1945
    Pilot Flying Officer F.W. Town
    Squadron 403
    Type of Aircraft Spit XVI
    Time Up / Down 16:00 / 17:07
    Time of Attack 16:45
    Place of Attack West of LUBECK
    Height Of Enemy 0 feet
    Own Height 2000 feet
    Our Casualties Nil
    Enemy Casualties 1 HE.111 Destroyed
    Narrative While flying on patrol as Kapok Black Leader, Kenway controller sent me to look at shipping in LUBECK Harbour. While in LUBECK Area Controller Skallawag vectored me to an enemy aircraft. I spotted an HE.111 at 0 feet flying north west from LUBECK. I immediately attacked from astern giving a 2-second burst from 200 yards. Strikes were seen in the fuselage and it went straight in. Gyro sight fitted and cine-gun used. I claim 1 HE.111 as Destroyed.

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