Bob Routledge's Operations
Bob returned to Dunholme Lodge and completed his tour of operations with two other crews, flying two operations with Flying Officer Boswell as mid-upper gunner and then nine operations with F/O Davey as rear gunner, plus another three aborted attacks.
26 Jul 1944 - Givors
Pilot F/O Boswell, aircraft KM-Z (ND138), Bob at mid-upper gunner. An accurate attack on the railway yards at Givors (near Lyon).
28 Jul 1944 - Stuttgart
Pilot F/O Boswell, aircraft KM-Z (ND138), Bob at mid-upper gunner. An attack on the industrial city of Stuttgart. German fighters intercepted the bomber stream while over France on the outward flight; there was a bright moon and 39 Lancasters were shot down, 19 per cent of the force.
30 Jul 1944 - "Normandy" - not attacked
Pilot F/O Boswell, aircraft KM-Y (ND578), Bob at mid-upper gunner. A daylight attack on 6 military targets in front of a mainly American ground attack in the Villers Bocage Caumont area. The presence of cloud caused many difficulties and only 2 of the 6 targets were effectively hit.
31 Jul 1944 - Joigny
Pilot F/O Davey, aircraft KM-T (LM650), Bob at rear gunner. An accurate daylight raid on the railway yards at Joigny La Roche in clear conditions.
1 Aug 1944 - Siracourt - not attacked
Pilot F/O Davey, aircraft KM-H (LM625), Bob at rear gunner. A daylight attack on V weapon sites in northern France. Of 777 aircraft dispatched only 10% managed to bomb probably due to weather conditions. It would seem that Bob's aircraft was one that did not drop it's bombs that day.
Bob Routledge's Log Book notes "Hit by flak".
2 Aug 1944 - Trossy
Pilot F/O Davey, aircraft KM-F (PB192), Bob at rear gunner. A daylight attack on V weapon sites in northern France. Conditions were clear and bombing was mostly highly accurate. Note F/Sgt Routledge.
5 Aug 1944 - L'Isle Adam
Pilot F/O Davey, aircraft KM-L (LM654), Bob at rear gunner. A daylight attack on V weapon sites in northern France. Note that in the ORB this is listed as St Leu d'Esserant, where the crew of ME699 were lost.
Bob Routledge's Log Book notes "Tail plane holed flak". Not a happy experience for a Rear Gunner most likely!
6 Aug 1944 - Bois de Cassan - not attacked
Pilot F/O Davey, aircraft KM-L (LM654), Bob at rear gunner. A daylight attack on the V weapon storage site at Bois de Cassan. The bombing was scattered and confused after one controller ordered teh attacking aircraft not to attack and his deputy ordered them in. F/O Davey did not attack the target and jettisoned his boimbs..
7 Aug 1944 - Sequeville
Pilot F/O Davey, aircraft KM-L (LM654), Bob at rear gunner. 1,019 aircraft attacked five aiming points in front of Allied ground troops in Normandy. German strong points and the roads around them were well cratered.
8 Aug 1944 - "Gardening"
Pilot F/O Davey, aircraft KM-L (LM654), Bob at rear gunner. Mine laying off Bordeaux.
A description of what Gardening was all about can be found at the Bomber Crew site.
10 Aug 1944 - Bordeaux
Pilot F/O Davey, aircraft KM-L (LM654), Bob at rear gunner. An attack on oil depots at Bordeaux which was carried out successfully and without loss.
11 Aug 1944 - Givors
Pilot F/O Davey, aircraft KM-L (LM654), Bob at rear gunner. An exceptionally accurate attack on the railway yards at Givors.
12 Aug 1944 - Brunswick
Pilot F/O Davey, aircraft KM-L (LM654), Bob at rear gunner. This was an experimental raid. No Pathfinder aircraft took part and there was no marking. The intention was to discover how successfully a force of aircraft could carry out a raid with each crew bombing on the indications of its own H2S set.
The raid was not successful and there was no concentration of bombing. The Brunswick report calls it a 'heavy raid' but only states that bombs fell in the central and Stadtpark areas. Other towns, up to 20 miles distant, were mistaken for Brunswick and were also bombed.
14 Aug 1944 - Brest
Pilot F/O Davey, aircraft KM-L (LM654), Bob at rear gunner. Daylight attack on ships in Brest harbour. The Clemenceau and the cruiser Gueydon were both hit and were believed left sinking in 'safe' positions which would not hinder Allied use of the port when American troops took possession.
The trip to Brest on the 14th of August was Bob's last operational flight. A full tour was 30 sorties, but raids where bombs were not dropped did not count. Bob was involved in six missions where bombs where no eventual attack was made; 19th May (Amiens), 31st May (Maisy), 2nd June (Wimereux), 30th July (Normandy), 1st August (Siracourt) and 6th August (Bois de Cassan).
His total number of hours on Ops are given as 32 hours 10 minutes daylight and 148 hours 25 minutes at night time, a total of 180 hours and 35 minutes, just over seven and a half days taken consecutively.