Thursday, 9 January 1941


Oettle and Keast fly a five-hour operation in Whitley P5029 to Belgium. This ties in with Debruyne’s mention of Emmanuel Hobben, founder of the ‘Williams’ circuit, who is dropped this night with two radio sets, possibly a transmitter and receiver. P/O Baker, on loan from No. 2(AC) Squadron as a Lysander pilot to replace the injured Farley, accompanies this operation to familiarise himself with night navigation over Occupied Europe. He will be sat in the front turret for much of the time. The navigation methods are broadly the same for Whitley and Lysander operations, but the Lysander pilots have to do their own navigation from large-scale maps on their lap.

Oettle and Keast take off at 23.00, but as they return from their successfully-completed operation, at 03.45 their Whitley is diverted from Stradishall after one of 214 Squadron’s Wellingtons drops a bomb on the runway (possibly a ‘hang-up’) after a bombing operation. Oettle and Keast land at Honington at about 04.00.


Emmanuel Debruyne, ‘La Guerre Secrète des Espions Belges’, p. 165
Stradishall Operations officers’ log book.
S/Ldr F.J. Keast logbook