Created by potrace 1.14, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

15 – Flying Log Book World War II

  • This history is chronological so “Flying Log Books” may not be in sequence.

    The three Boston Squadrons: 107, 88 and 342 “Group Lorraine” were specifically trained for low level bombing raids in tight formation, this bought maximum risk with every mission. The reason being the Bostons they flew were smaller and so maneuverable.

    Some of the dates of certain instances for the month of October seem to conflict (these are online reports from French websites) especially between the 2nd and the 5th of October. I have to believe that which dad has written in his Flying Log Book. I do know that one of dads close Tahitian friends one of the “le dernier des Mohicans” (the last of the 3 Mohicans were Dad – Natapu Mara from Rurutu, Tavi Kainuku and René Machecourt from Tahiti) Tavi KAINUKU died during these operations, something I’m sure Dad would have struggled with as they waited with baited breathed for his friends plane to return.

    Original “Observer’s and Gunner’s Flying Log Book” image at the bottom of the page!

    Summery for October
    Unit 342 Sqd “Lorraine”
    Date 31 October 1943
    Signed Marcel Langy O/C “B.” Flight
    O/C 342 Sqd

    Observation: I means # 1 Op – First Mission (Bombing)

    FRENCH: Le sergent MARA fait ici allusion à la mission du 3 octobre 1943. Le commandement allié a appris qu’un convoi de troupes et de matériel particulièrement important doit remonter de Bordeaux sur Paris ; il s’agit de le stopper pendant au moins vingt-quatre heures. La seule solution est de couper le courant qui alimente tout le système d’électrification et de signalisation de la voie ferrée. Pour ce faire il faut bombarder, si possible simultanément les trois centrales électriques qui commandent le réseau du PO (ancienne compagnie du Paris-Orléans avant la création de la SNCF) : Chevilly-Larue (entre Paris et Orly), Chaingy (près d’Orléans) et une centrale située près de Tours. Le « Group 2 » désigné pour l’opération, choisit les trois squadrons de Boston : 107, 88 et 342 (Groupe « Lorraine »), qui sont spécialement entraînés dans les attaques à basse altitude en formation serrée.

    ENGLISH: Sergeant MARA reflects on their mission on the 3rd of October 1943. The allied command learnt of a convoy of troups and particularly important material that was being transported from Bordeaux to Paris; what was needed was to stop them for at least twenty four hours. The only solution was to cut the power supply feed to the electrically operated signalisation system to the railway. To do this they needed a bombing raid, simultaneous if possible on the three electrical centres that control the electricity centre of PO (original company name before they created the SNCF):Chevilly-Larue (between Paris and Orly), Chaingy (near to Orléans) another centre close to Tours. The “Group 2” were selected for this operation, choosing the three Boston Squadrons: 107, 88 and 342 “Group Lorraine” who were specially trained for low level raids in tight formation.

    The image below is Chevilly-Larue which was Dads 1st recorded mission and considered one the most important bombing raids.

    Chevilly-Larue bombing raid 3rd October 1943

    LOSS OF A CLOSE FRIEND

    FRENCH: En plus du sergent Tavi a KAINUKU, 22 ans, radio-mitrailleur, l’équipage était composé du sergent-chef Louis HOURIEZ, 24 ans, pilote et chef de bord, du sous-lieutenant Maurice SONET, 33 ans, navigateur bombardier et du sergent Julien LADAGNOUS, 29 ans, mitrailleur. Les quatre hommes, enregistrés à des époques différentes aux FAFL, reposent aujourd’hui, pour l’éternité, au fond du cimetière du Mesnil-Hubert-sur-Orne, village où ils sont tombés, morts pour la France.

    ENGLISH: As well as sergeant Tavi a KAINUKU, 22 yr old, radio operator/gunner, other team members were sergent-chef Louis HOURIEZ, 24 yr old, pilot and leader, sous-lieutenant Maurice SONET, 33 yr old, bomber/navigator and sergent Julien LADAGNOUS, 29 yr old, gunner. All four men had joined FAFL at different times, they now rest for eternity in the cemetery Mesnil-Hubert-sur-Orne, where they crashed and gave their lives for France.

    © Paul L T Mara 2020

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