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No. 242 SQUADRON RAF

 

25.5.44

The day began with a sweep of the Southern area by eight aircraft led by S/Ldr. M.C.B. Boddington DFC, DFM … Over VITERBO aerodrome 8 FW 190’s were sighted at almost 5500 feet and a general melee resulted. S/L Boddington pursued the aircraft for a long way but was unable to catch it and while on [the] way back saw two aircraft which had just landed taxi into [a] brushwood pen at CANINO No. 7. He came down to zero feet behind a hill and then strafed three aircraft in their pens and damaged them.

F/Lt. A.P. Skinner destroyed two FW 190’s the first of which he chased down to the deck at VITERBO where it hit the ground wheels up at almost 310 m.p.h. and he saw another FW190 just taking off which he also destroyed but was hit by flak whilst doing so and had to force land at NETTUNO. P/O W.J. Young (Aus) destroyed 1 FW 190 and damaged another. F/Sgt. Doherty destroyed 1 FW 190.

Intense LAA from VITERBO and CANINO aerodromes. F/O D.M. Gow (Aus) not yet returned, reported to be in Hospital in Naples after force landing in ANZIO area. The Huns definitely tried to mix it this time and also tried every opportunity to lead our people over their flak. The morale effect on the ground crews seeing their own aircraft shot down over their aerodromes without any of ours going down must be very great.

F/Lt. A.P. Skinner returned to Corsica in the evening by B-25 and an epic night drive to pick him up was accomplished by the Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer, the Commanding Officer unable to find his hat wore a towel as a turban. It is remarkable that despite this rather unconventional appearance none of the American Police posts appeared at all astounded, possibly they felt this was some Indian Potentate and were duly impressed by the fluency of his English.


OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK


The Squadron's account of its action over Viterbo on 25 May 1944 … and of how one pilot was brought back to his unit.

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