At 23.20 Sgt Wilde takes off in Whitley Z9286. He crosses the English coast at 4,000 feet, but the altimeter becomes unserviceable and the sortie is abandoned. Wilde re-crosses the English coast at 01.18 and lands at Tangmere two minutes later, still carrying his containers.
Normally he would have jettisoned the containers over the airfield before landing in order to keep the Centre of Gravity forward. He must be glad to get down in one piece, for a still-loaded Whitley is prone to stalling. Tangmere’s long runway allows the aircraft to be ‘landed-on’ at a higher speed with the tail still up, a method which forestalls a stall.