Fine but with low ground Fog.
The aerodrome U/S for landings but taking off was possible.
The wing acted as First Fighter
Sweep over GILZE RIJEN before arrival of Fortresses who were on
their way to bomb Germany. The wing cannot take off. In the
afternoon Ranger Operation are allowed in the LILLE and COURTRAI
area. The Rangers were put forward and accepted.
7 Time 15.15 – 16.50 (down time is
shown as 16.55 below!?)
P/O Van Wersch F/Lt
Collignon F/O Duchesne
The route was FURNES-S.W.
DEYNZE-LILLE-LENS-ST OMER CALAIS. The coast was crossed north of
NIEUPOORT from then to TOURNAI where Blue 1 fired on Barges and
on to LENS ST. OMER. Very concentrated light A/A was experienced
from ST OMER to Coast. At ST.OMER Blue 3 fired on Building where
he saw German Soldiers and Lorries. He also fired on a gun post
at CALAIS. Blue 4, F/O DUCHESNE has not been seen since ST OMER
and is reported missing.
MH491 P/O A VAN
WERSCH 15.15 16.55
MJ253 F/L L
COLLIGNON 15.15 16.55
MH428 F/O G
DUCHESNE Very concentrated light A/A was experienced
from ST. OMER
4 F/O DUCHESNE has not been seen since ST. OMER
Circumstantial report by F/L L
C Collignon O.C. “B” Flight / 350 (Belgian) Squadron
“On the 30th January, 1944 I was
engaged on a Ranger towards Courtrai – Tournai – Lille. I was
flying Blue 3 and F/O Duchesne as Blue 4, we were returning to
base. P/O Duchesne was flying on Echelon Port at 100 yards and
we were flying at 0 feet at 280 M.P.H. near St. Omer we
experienced intense light flak and suddenly I noticed that Blue
4 had disappeared. I at once turned back calling Blue 4, but
received no answer (16.30Hrs). I called him two or three times
and then Control endeavoured to contact him.”