29 November 1940

29 November 1940

Northern Front

The Wellesleys made twelve sorties to bomb Danghila (Ethiopia) between 08:10 and 12:15 hours : seven Wellesleys of No.47 (RAF) Squadron (five from Khartoum and two from Sennar) and five of No.223 (RAF) Squadron. One of the latter, however, is forced to make a forced landing after take-off due to a technical problem. The bombing is carried out at 10:05 in formation by the eleven Wellesleys from an altitude of about 3 000 metres. One aircraft, No.47 (RAF) Squadron, is slightly damaged by the anti-aircraft defence, although the ORB did not indicate the serial. Once again, however, it is difficult to assess the damage caused, with reports limited to several firefights on the ground[1].

A Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 is reported several times, at 10:00, over the various advanced terrain along the Sudanese border. Three pilots of the No.1 (SAAF) Squadron take off : Captain Gerald J. le Mesurier, Lieutenant Robin Pare and John L. Hewitson (N5824), but the Italian bomber remains untraceable.

Four Gloster Gladiators of No.2 (SAAF) Squadron take off from Nairobi at 06:00 with a Junkers Ju.52 of No.50 (SAAF) Squadron in charge of navigation. They are delivered to the No.1 (SAAF) Squadron at Khartoum, while the pilots (Lieutenant Edward J. Kelly, Frank J.M. Meaker, Patrick K.Q. Rushmere and Donald Stuart) return to Kenya on board the Junkers Ju.52.

Lieutenant Frank J.M. Meaker, No.2 (SAAF) Squadron. Collection : SAAF Museum Swartkops, via Tinus le Roux.

[1] No.223 (RAF) Squadron : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541). Kew : TNA, AIR 27/1373.

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