Wednesday, 8 April 1942

Operation WHISKEY

This is the second attempt to fly this NKVD operation. This time it is the Czech pilot P/O Anderle who attempts the trip in Halifax L9613. This is his first operation flying the four-engined Halifax. Time has run out for this operation to be completed before the ends of the moon period, and there will be no light for the first part of the trip. There is no moon until well into the early hours, but Anderle gets only as far as Mannheim, where he is unable to identify any point, essential for setting course futher east.

Anderle takes off at 20.25 from Tempsford. (The clocks have recently been set to Double Summer Time, so it’s 18.30 GMT.) Course is set for the target, but he encounters thick cloud and icing. He arrives north of Mannheim at 23.15 but cannot identify any feature to act as a pinpoint. Hardly surprising, as the moon won’t rise until 02.58 DST. South of Mannheim he decides to return. He flies over Paris, but realises he has done so only after recognising the castle of La Roche Guyon, on the Seine below Paris. He crosses the French coast at Ailly (just west of Dieppe) at 03.30, and encounters very poor weather over the Channel. He lands at Tangmere at 04.40.

Sources

138 Squadron ORB
US Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department