On Wednesday 17 April 1940, a member of the 61 Sqdn, Leading Aircraftman J N Prendergast, took off from an unknown RAF station in the United Kingdom. His mission is mentioned elsewhere on Back to Normandy. You can find the other details of this mission by searching here. Training and cargo flights are not separately mentioned as a mission. The plane left at an unknown time .
He flew with a Handley Page Hampden (type I, serial L4116, code QR-).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
Campaign report of the RAF:
Recce flights in the first week of April showed that the Germans were massing an invasion fleet - possibly bound for Norway. This proved to be correct as they invaded at dawn on the 9th. Denmark was also occupied within hours. Bomber Command was ordered to halt the German advance through southern Norway, but with round trips of over 1,000 miles entirely over sea, support for ground forces (who landed in the north at Narvik) was very non-existent. On the 12th, 6 Hampdens and 3 Wellingtons were lost during an attack on Stavangar, this proving to be the end of daylight raids for these aircraft. During the night of 13/14th April, Hampdens carried out the first minelaying ('Gardening') sorties of the war and these operations were carried out almost nightly for many months. Bomber Command paid particular attention to the airfields in its reach, notably those at Stavangar, Trondheim and Oslo in an effort to deny their use by the Luftwaffe. These appear to have had little success as by the end of the month photos showed over 150 German aircraft at Stavangar alone. The night of 25/26th April saw the probable loss of the first Bomber Command aircraft to a German fighter when a Hampden of No 49 Squadron was engaged near Sylt.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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