Frederick Hull – 425 Alouette mid-under gunner


My name is Fred Hull. I joined the [Royal Canadian] Air Force in 1942 at eighteen years of age. After landing in England, I was taken from the boat to be used as a spare gunner. This avoided operational training and put me on operational runs immediately with the 408 Squadron. On about the eleventh run we need the entire runway and a little bit more, as we had a lamppost at the end of the runway that took off the starboard undercarriage. We were able to complete our run over Germany and return to an emergency airport over the coast. We did a loop on landing, and all of the crew were ok. We got a few drinks for that one. My thirty-third trip turned out to be my last on November the 1st, 1944. I was sent to the 425 Squadron for a night run on a Halifax. We dropped bombs, and while over Oberhausen in total darkness we were hit on the port wing and the engine caught fire. As we prepared to bail out, we were again hit in the rear. I never found out if we were hit from the air or by ack-ack. I notified the pilot that I was bailing out, and the rest of the crew did the same.

November 1/2, 1944202 Halifaxes from 408, 415, 420, 424, 425, 426, 427, 429, 432, 433, and 434 squadrons were joined by 47 Lancasters from 419, 428, and 431 on an attack at Oberhausen. The crews were over the target at between 17,000 and 21,000 feet, releasing 1,979,000 lbs of high explosives and 379,000 lbs of incendiaries. The target was cloud covered and the attack was scattered.

F/O T. MacKinnon from 425 Squadron returned early as the stbd outer was u/s. They landed safely at base on 3 engines.

F/O R. Lafreniere was hit by flak, not serious.

F/O A. Hutcheon landed at Woodbridge due to the brakes being u/s.

F/O D. Smith landed at Carnaby due to the brakes being u/s.

F/O P. Legault and crew, flying Halifax III NA-634 coded KW-X, were attacked by an ME-110, strikes were seen and it was claimed damaged. They were also damaged, the port flap was shot off and the fuselage was riddled with exploding shrapnel.

P/O G. Chabot was hit by flak, there was holes in the fuselage bomb doors and elevator. They landed at Horsham St. Faith due to a fuel shortage.

F/Lt M. Dugas, RCAF–POW and crew, flying Halifax III  LW-379 coded KW-D, failed to return from this operation.

F/Sgt. J. Carrier, RCAF–POW
F/Lt. H. Goodwin, RAF–POW

F/O J. St. Arnaud, RCAF–POW
W/O2 J. Ranger, RCAF–POW
P/O J. Crispin, RCAF–POW
F/Sgt. J. Federico, RCAF–POW
P/O J. Savoie, RCAF – Killed

1 crew-member was killed and 7 were POWs  after being shot down by a Nightfighter over the target.