Operation ESMOND, COLUMBUS
The first attempt to drop Tommy Sneum (ESMOND) and Sigfred Christophersen (COLUMBUS) had failed due to atrocious weather. Just how much difference could be made by a piece of clear weather is seen from this sortie, flown by the comparatively inexperienced Sgt Reimer and his crew.
Taking off at 19.45, they get a ‘fix’ at Great Yarmouth and set course for Esjberg, the main port on Jutland’s west coast. They climb to 8,000 feet for the North Sea crossing, and descend on ETA to pinpoint at Esjberg, where they are greeted by searchlights and flak. They then fly on to the target near Brorfelde, where they drop Sneum and Christophersen shortly after 23.33. They land back at Newmarket just over three hours later.
Tommy Sneum told his story to Mark Ryan, and Ryan’s book ‘The Hornet’s Sting’ was published in 2008, the year after Sneum died.