Monday, 10 February 1941

Operation SAVANNA is cancelled at 1110, and at 1315 3 Group agrees to allow W/Cdr Mulholland to fly tonight with 419 Flight.

At 1315 F/Lt Keast warns the Ops Office that a Whitley is going up to drop containers in ten minutes.
Stradishall has asked Dishforth if P5029 can operate from there tomorrow (11th). Dishforth answers: OK for the 11th only.

Stradishall

According to the Ken Merrick’s record from the Stradishall Watch Office, Whitley T4264 takes off at 2105 and returns at 0156. There is no other record of this sortie, or of the target. The pilot is F/O Oettle.

Stradishall – Fontainebleau

F/Lt Keast, with W/Cdr Mulholland as Second Pilot, takes off in P5029 at 00.40 (i.e. in the early hours of the 11th) and his route is to Caen via Abingdon and Selsey Bill. The weather is clear, but as they approach the French coast at 10,000 ft they can see cloud forming ahead. From there they fly on ETA towards Chartres. Approaching the city they descend through cloud, which extends from 6,000 ft down to 2,000 ft, and they are engaged by light flak and picked up by searchlights while they try to confirm their position. They then set course for Fontainebleau; on the way they are picked up by another searchlight at Etampes. Visibility deteriorates over the forest surrounding Fontainebleau. The cloud comes right down to the ground in places, and map-reading is impossible. They search the area for about 30 minutes before abandoning the operation. They set course for Stradishall, landing at 0645.

This is the third attempt to drop F/O Philip Schneidau. This time, it being too late to drop him befopre curfew, he is to be dropped on to the Plateau des Trembleaux, on high ground to the north of Montigny-sur-Loing. The Plateau is only a short way from the cottage of his friend Henri Glepin, a market-gardener who lives across the road from his father-in-law’s country villa. Henri and his wife helped him on his first mission.