On the night of June 21 to 22, Horace flew as second pilot with the Flying Officer Russell to be aware of the conduct of a war mission. And he made his first operational flight over Krefeld in the Ruhr, the aircrew had nicknamed it the "Happy Valley" in reference to the wall of Flak erected by the Germans to defend their production. As was usual, navigator Davidson also carried out the same mission as supernumerary crew of Flying Officer G. H. Ebert.
June 22, the crew did not fly. 23 and 24 June, they performed four training flights at day and night.
But on June 25, they did not take part to the mission over Gelsenkirchen nor to the training flights of that day. On 26 June, the squadron stayed grounded. It is probably during that day off that Sgt Davidson had an accident that prevented him from flying with his comrades. Deprived of their navigator, our crew remained on the ground during the training flights and missions scheduled on 27 and 28 June.
Arthur Jepps was born in Letchworth, north of London, on 21 September 1913. Working as an art Teacher, he decided to enlist in the RAF on April 3, 1939.
On 8 July, he was admitted as observer / navigator at the Irish RAF Aldergrove Station (3 Air Observer School) and promoted to sergeant on August 18.
From September 1, 1939, he was attached to 102 Squadron (based at Driffield in East Yorkshire) which operated Armstrong Whitley twin-
After completing his first tour of operations on 9 July 1940 he was transferred to 19 OTU based in Forres, Scotland. And it’s in this beautiful country that he met his future wife, Fanny. They got married on February 19, 1941 at Stepps, a small town in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, on the north-
On June 29 and at 29 years of age he joined our crew at short notice to replace the spot of Sgt Davidson. Normally, such a movement of personnel would affect the proper functioning of the crew. However, the long experience and maturity of Jepps will offset the inconvenience.
Shortly after arrival, the crew who was back to full strength and was the only squadron to fly that day. It was a "Cross Country" exercise prepared for their new navigator.
June 30 and July 1, no mission or training was programmed. On July 2, they performed a new training flight.
Eventually, on the evening of July 3 they were given their first operational mission (Lancaster EE 141 -
On 4 and 5 July, the planned missions were canceled and the 6 and 7 July were again devoted to training. Once again several missions had to be canceled due to bad weather, one exercise followed another and finally on July 8, the new target was ...Cologne again ! (Lancaster W4120 EM-
On the night of July 9, the target was still the Ruhr and was aimed at Gelsenkirchen (Lancaster ED 498 EM-
On July 10, rain nailed the airplanes on the ground.