Sunday, 16 February 1941


At 1047 S/Ldr Knowles advises the Ops Room that 419 Flight will not operate tonight. At 1220 S/Ldr Knowles says that 419 Flight may operate tonight, but not before midnight, a short trip of approximately five hours. (Bear in mind that the only 419 Flight crew available has just returned from an 11-hour operation.) An hour later 3 Group cancels all operations for tonight, and at 1400 this is reinforced by a request to inform S/Ldr Knowles that all Groups in Bomber Command are standing down tonight. This appears to be due to a forecast of extreme weather.

At 1420 Operation SAVANNA is cancelled. At 1650 3 Group enquires if 419 Flight are operating & in what direction; they point out that the wind-strength will be dangerous for baling out if that should be necessary, a coded hint about parachute operations. (Baling out in emergency is not a problem; the landing is.) At 1820 S/Ldr Knowles provides sortie info for 419 Flight subject to a decision at 1900. At 1948 the trip is cancelled.

S/Ldr Knowles states his intention to fly to Sumburgh in T4264 the following morning, leaving Stradishall at 1000 on the 17th & staying the night at Sumburgh, doubtless to assess the situation with Oettle and his damaged Whitley.