July 18, 1944

    42 Lancasters from 408, 419, and 428 were joined by 155 Halifaxes from 420, 424, 425, 426, 427, 429, 431, 432, 433, and 434 squadrons on a number of attacks in the Caen and Mondeville areas. These attacks were made at dawn in direct support of the army. All the crews were over the targets from between 7,000 to 9,000 feet, unloading 1,750,000 lbs of ordinance. The German troops on the ground were hit hard and this was one of the best bombing raids that supported the army.  A total of 6,800 tons of ordinance was dropped.

    F/O A. Rokeby of 419 squadron had the stbd outer go u/s outbound, they bombed and returned safely on 3 engines.
    F/O J. Calder had the bomb aimers panel catch fire on return due to a short in the wiring.

    Sgt. J. Tease of 420 squadron was hit by flak. It was not serious.
    F/O G. Heron was hit by flak over the target, there were no injuries. On return over England they had a midair collision with a Lancaster. They cut the port wing off the Lancaster just outboard the outer engine. They did not sustain any major damage and landed safely at base.

    P/O T. Kelly, RCAF, and crew of 427 squadron failed to return. 

      Sgt. J. MacFadden, RAF
      F/Sgt. V. Unruh, RCAF
      F/O R. Blair, RCAF
      W/O W. Haley, RCAF
      Sgt. D. Carson, RCAF
      Sgt. D. Willson, RCAF
    The crew were killed.

    F/Lt. C. Murphy of 428 squadron was hit by flak, there were holes in the mid upper turret and no injuries were incurred

    F/Lt. G. Gardiner, RCAF POW, of 429 squadron were hit by 2 falling bombs. One went through the fuselage near the mid upper turret and the other took off the stbd stabilizer. 

      Sgt. J. Cunningham, RAF
      F/O J. Brunet, RCAF--POW
      F/O R. Ellis, RCAF
      W/O1 F. McNiffe, RCAF--POW
      Sgt. E. McGregor, RCAF--Evd
      Sgt. W. Gillespie, RCAF
    The pilot and 3 other crew members were able to get out before the Halifax crashed.

    F/Lt. J. H. Cooper, RCAF, and crew from 432 squadron failed to return from this operation. They were hit by flak 

      Sgt. S. Wright, RCAF--POW
      Sgt. H. Oakeby, RAF--Evd
      F/O R. Dryden, RCAF--POW
      W/O2 A. Zacharuk, RCAF--Evd
      P/O R. Burton, RCAF
      W/O1 K. Elliott, RCAF--POW
    6 of the crew were able to get out. One was wounded and failed to leave the Halifax.
    F/O D. Best and crew took along group captain H. Routledge as the 2nd pilot. 

    Later on in the day 28 Halifaxes from 431 and 434 squadron attacked the rail yards at Vaires. This attack was made from between 12,000 and 13,500 feet. A total of 223,000 lbs of ordinance was dropped .

    F/O D. Mawhinney of 431 squadron returned early as the port inner was u/s. They landed safely at base on 3 engines.
    F/O R. Holden was hit by flak, the hydraulics were damaged and the pilot hit in the calf. The crew landed safely with no further injuries at Gransden Lodge.
    P/O F. Longstaff, RCAF (POW), and crew failed to return from this operation. 

      Sgt. R. Cole, RCAF
      F/O J. Dunn, RCAF
      Sgt. G. Jackson, RCAF
      P/O D. Cooper, RCAF
      Sgt. J. Williams, RCAF
      F/Sgt. W. Young, RCAF
    Only the pilot survived.

    S/Ldr. C. Bull, RCAF and crew failed to return from this operation. 

      P.O R. Heald, RAF
      P/O W. Abbott, RAF
      F/O F. Mitchell, RAF
      P/O L Robin, RAF
      Sgt. J. Lockett, RCAF
      Sgt. J. Blasko, RCAF
      P/O P. Alp, RAF
    None of the 8 man crew survived.

    F/O G. Moore of 434 squadron landed at Westcott due to a fuel shortage.
    F/Lt. K. MacDonald landed at Hartford Bridge due to a fuel shortage.
    F/O N. Currie landed at Benson due to a fuel shortage.


    Photo:  The Reesor Crew over Vaires, July 18, 1944. Graciously supplied by Walter Poynter.