The airfield in Guernsey was of good use for Luftwaffe not only for transportation, but also for combat missions. Local
cars and devices were used for servicing as well as local people.
Fourteen Mustangs took off from RAF Hunsdon airbase at 14:40. The aircraft were
manned as follows: F/O P. Bremmer (KH661),
S/L M. Johnson (KH729), P/O A. J. Mallandaine (KH680), F/L K.K. Charman (KH647), D.
J. Jeffrey (KH709), F/L W. V. Shenk (KH659),
W/C J. A. Storrar (KM232), F/L W. H. Dunne
(KH747), F/L J. Maday (KH765), F/O L. H. Wilson ((KH735), F/O A. J. Nowlan (KH668), F/O R.
K. MacRae, F/O H. A. McKay (KH711) a F/O V. F.
Charman and Nowlan returned to the base
after 20 minutes of flight, as Charman suffered unspecified mechanical trouble and Nowlan was escorting him. Johnson’s aircraft
sustained technical problem as well and returned to the base exactly after one hour. All
other eleven pilots remained airborne until
16:00. The whole mission was devoid of any
unpredictable events and the patrol was quite
a pleasant sightseeing flight. The next day the
recapturing of the Channel Islands continued,
the command however no longer required the
air cover due to the trouble-free progress of
the whole operation. The German forces were
disarmed, fully under control and they cooperated. Regardless, No. 442 Squadron lost a
pilot on the second day of armistice. WO1 S. H.
Lorenz took off from Hunsdon to demonstrate
some authorized low-level flying and aeroba-
tics over RAF airbase Downham Market some
80 km away. While performing a barrel roll
at just 100 ft (30 m) above the ground he lost
control, hit the ground, and was killed. He was
buried on May 14 and on the same day the unit
transferred to the base in Digby. The squadron switched to peace time mode of operation
with 20 flight-hours monthly per pilot and the
main topic of the chats was “When are we going home already?“ But Canadians had to wait
another three months. The combat record of
No. 442 Squadron RCAF in Britain was closed
on August 7, 1945. Nowadays the RCAF unit
with the same designation flies transportation
and rescue missions from the Comox air base
on the Wancouver Island. It is equipped with
CC-115 Buffaloes and CH-140 Cormorant helicopters.
The German Occupation of the Channel Islands, Charles Cruicschank
(Oxford University Press, London and The Guernsey Press, Channel Islands, 1975)
Photo via Tim Mallandaine
Photo via Tim Mallandaine
resistance on the Islands or if some of them
tried to escape in the boats. RAF chose two
Canadian squadrons for this mission. Firstly six of No. 406 RCAF Squadron Mosquitos
appeared on the scene at 13:00. The aircraft
performed several fly-bys and returned to
their base in Manston. Next twelve Mustangs
from 442 RCAF Squadron made appearance.
Canadian No 442 Squadron combat record
was seemingly short because the unit was
established on February 8, 1944. However it
succeeded No. 14 Squadron RCAF which fought from the beginning of 1942.
In the closing stage of the hostilities pilots of
this unit equipped with new Mustangs Mk.IVa
flew mostly escorts for Lancasters and Halifaxes to the variety of targets and the losses
were mostly attributed to the mechanical failures rather than enemy fighters. For example,
on April 19, during the raid on Munich, the Canadian fighters spotted the only enemy fighter
who maintained respectful distance. F/O R. J.
Robillard however crashed upon take off and
F/O D. J. Jeffrey had to perform emergency
landing near Canterbury due to the engine
trouble. Both Mustangs were written off, but
On April 25 twelve pilots lead by W/C J. A.
Storrar participated, together with the colleagues from No. 611 Squadron, in the raid on
Berchtesgaden. Then the bad weather prevented any operational flying for couple of days.
Based on the information about the overall
situation pilots did not count too much on the
further sorties. Once the weather cleared up
on May 2, they practiced formation flying and
two days later also some cine gun and low flying. And then the news about the end of hostilities arrived on May 7. Even though the V-E Day
was to be the following day, celebrations did
not wait, and the airport bar was under siege
at that night. Next day there was even some
free beer! The news the pilots learned on May
9 in the morning was rather surprising though.
They had to fly one more sortie, the last one
in the second world war conflict in Europe, air
cover of the operation Omelette, part of the
bigger operation Nest Egg planned to last for
Mallandaine´s Mustang Mk.IVa KH680 „Edmonton Special“ was the aircraft from the P-51K-1-NT production batch and
its original US serial was 44-11383. Nothing is known about the fate of the aircraft post-war.
John Mallandaine during the brief time of relaxation on
the wing of his Mustang Mk.IVa „Edmonton Special“. He
flew her also during the operation Omelette, part of the
bigger operation Nest Egg.
INFO Eduard - May 2021