8 December, 1944 – Redux

Original post written in November 2011…

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. 

 

End of original post

This is KH-J!

And we could be December 8, 1944, after Walter Neil Dove’s first mission with 403 Squadron.

cropped-403-and-wally.jpg

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