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Old 20th January 2008, 14:00
David Layne
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W/Cdr E.J.Carter DFC C.O. of 97 Squadron

W/Cdr E.J. Carter assumed command of 97 Squadron in January 1944 transferring in from 82 OTU. He was killed on D Day June 6th 1944.

I am seeking pictures of W/Cdr Carter and details of his service prior to taking command of 97. Thanks in advance. David.

Below are extracts from 97 Squadron Orbs pertaining to W/Cdr Carter.

7.1.44 “Y” training and bombing at range also air to sea firing. W/Cdr E.J.Carter assumes command of the Squadron with effect today.

27/28 January 1944 – Berlin

ND415Z W/C E.J.Carter, W/O J.K.Bell, S/L D.K.Allport, F/O H.W.Reiger, F/O C.E.Chetham, F/O R.J.Weller, W/O J.Wood. Up 1715 Down 2120. Returned early owing to intercom being u/s.

19/20 February 1944 – Leipzig

ND415Z W/C E.J.Carter, W/O J.K.Bell, S/L R.B.Ingalls, F/O H.W.Reiger, F/L C.Chetham, F/O R.J.Weller, S/L M.Bryan-Smith. Up 2355 Down 0630. 4 flares, 4 x TI, 1 x 4000lb, 4 x 1000lb, 2 x 500lb. Bombed Leipzig from 19,000’ with H2S. Weather 10/10ths cloud tops 3-4,000’. Vis good.

22/23 March 1944 – Frankfurt
ND739E W/C E.J.Carter, W/O J.K.Bell, P/O D.C.Armstrong, F/O H.W.Reiger, F/L C.Chetham, P/O Colville, F/L Trevor-Roper. Up 1840 Down 0005. 20 flares, 4 x TI, 1 x 4000lb, 1 x 1000lb, 2 x 500lb, 1 red/yellow flare. Frankfurt attacked from 19,000’. Wearher over target 1-2/10ths cloud very thin. Vis very good. No markers were seen before bombing. Green TI seen at 2246 hours. Wanganui seen 10 minutes later. Green and red TIs well concentrated, also incendiaries. Glow of fires seen from 100 miles away.

26/27 March 1944 Essen
ND739Z W/C E.J.Carter, W/O J.K.Bell, F/L J.J.Conley, F/O H.W.Reiger, F/L Chambers, W/O Watson, G/L G.Polson. Up 1950 Down 0010. 4 x TI, 1 x 4000lb, 6 x 1000lb, 2 x 500lb. 8-10/10ths cloud over Essen. Vis good. Bombed from 20,000’ in centre of glow of a red TI which cascaded at 2155 hours. Other red TIs burst below cloud but the glow of them could be seen. Opposition was negligible. Bomb burst around

9/10 April 1944 – Lille
ND739Z W/C E.J.Carter, F/Sgt G.Dunning, F/L J.J.Conley, F/L A.E.Carlton, F/Sgt A.W.Burnell, Sgt J.Peill, W/O E.L.Wright. Up 2235 Down 0150. 12 x 1000lb, 2 x 500lb. Full moon over Lille. 4/10ths cloud tops 5,000’. Vis good. Bombed from 16,000’ on red TI. Marking by red TI was constant. Burst of own bombs seen followed by terrific explosion which rose above cloud tops. This was followed by another about two minutes later.

22/23 April 1944 - Brunswick
ND739Z W/C E.J.Carter, P/O G.Dunning, F/L J.J.Conley, F/O H.W.Rieger, F/L A.Chambers, W/O F.R.Watson, S/L M.Bryan-Smith. Up 2304 Down 0451. 14 x 4 x 7” flares, 1 x 4 1/2” flare, 1 x green TI. 10/10ths cirrus cloud at 20,000’ over target area. Very poor visibility below, so thick that it looked like cloud. Target topped at 01.47.2 hours at 18,300’. No flares dropped on first run over. Not satisfactory. Came in again and dropped flares and Wanganui which dropped in middle of other flares. Built up area seen in light of flares. VHF failed over target. Received no weather report from Group or from 617 Sqn. Therefore, 20 minutes from target where cloud cleared, broadcast on VHF, 1196 and by W/T that flare party were to mark visually. As we neared target encountered 10/10ths cloud. Owing to this and bad visibility at target, ordered emergency Wanganui by VHF and W/T. Probably not received, as saw no Wanganui flares. Flares seemed fairly compact, then red spot seen going down. Kept trying to contact marker controllers to ascertain whether reserve flares required in view of weather, but no reply. Waited until received W/T signal to bomb, then returned to base. Before leaving, saw a second marker or dummy approximately two miles from first. Subsequently intercepted message from link aircraft that they had dropped green TI on marker to be bombed. As left target could see reasonably large area completely covered with “J” type incendiaries; appeared to be very few stragglers. Final impression was that if the marking was “on”, attack must have been very good indeed. All the way into target observed flares, red turning to green, believed fired from ground track indication. Also saw 5 or 6 red TIs cascading 12-15,000’; while cascading very good imitation but short burning on ground. Appeared to have same number of candles.

26/27 April 1944 – Schweinfurt
ND739Z W/C E.J.Carter, P/O G.Dunning, F/L R.J.Conley, F/O H.W.Rieger, F/L A.Chambers, W/O F.R.Watson, S/L M.Bryan-Smith. 6 x 7” hooded flares, 2 x green TI no 4, 6 x green RSFs. Weather clear. Bombed on H2S and visually. First flares undershot to south-west of built up area. First RSF also undershot. First flares 0207.6 hours – all bombing to the south of the TIs. Datum point markers seen in correct position. H2S limited range and poor definition. Through change of wind it was obvious that we would be 15 minutes late so instead of going on route detailed we cut through from 4820N 0725E to target (north of Mannheim) which made us arrive a few minutes early. Contacted Mosquitoes on VHF using Channel C as Channel B was badly jammed. Then sent out first order to the Flares Force to change to Channel C. Waited several minutes for Flares Force. When they dropped first flares, they were a slight undershoot. The smoke screen was in operation, the Marker Leader requested more illumination, I therefore, ordered Reserve Flare Force to drop their flares to the north of those already down. Marker 3 dropped a RSF which Marker 1 assessed as being south of the aiming point. Then Marker 1 dropped a RSF which should have been green an d these were assessed as being on the aiming point. Due to smoke screen these were hardly visible and I, therefore, called in all the Backers-up, including the reserves, to bomb the northerly RSFs, which I believe most of them did, although one bombed the southerly one. Someone in the Flare Force dropped a green TI which fell to the east of the target – I don’t think, however, that this affected the attack in any way. By this time (0224 hours) I called in the Main Force to bomb the northerly RSFs which most of them did, although some of the early bombs were aimed at the south end. I then called the Deputy Controller to mark the northerly aiming point with green spots, which he did. All markers were very quickly obscured by smoke from bombs and smoke screen but it was apparent that the bombing spread from the aiming point to the south spot fires. I, therefore, dropped all green TI, green spot fires, intending to re-mark the aiming point. These, however, fell approximately 1500 yards short. I, therefore, gave the Main Force the order to bomb the greens with 1000 yard overshoot. This they immediately did and I believe the bombing concentrated around target area. Main Force did their job very well indeed.

28/29 April 1944 – Kjeller (Oslo)
ND739Z W/C E.J.Carter, P/O G.Dunning, F/L R,J,Conley, F/O H.W.Rieger, F/L A.Chambers, W/O F.R.Watson, S/L M.Bryan-Smith. Up 2115 Down 0434. 6 clusters 7” flares, 6 x 1000lb MC. (Controller). No cloud over target area. Visibility perfect. Bombed visually. Datum point markers accurate. Flares released on visual identification. Flares seen over centre of runway, ours dropped to illuminate buildings on northern edge of airframe works. TI seen on bombing run. Some smoke on north-west corner of building “E”. Our own bombs went in salvoes approximately 200 feet north. Arrived target area 0103 hours having previously descended to 6,000’ and found bombing wind 003-36mph. I then received bombing wind 330-30mph from “J” and next from D/97 350-35. I thenbroadcast bombing wind of 353-35mph and wind appeared to be accurate. Datum point was down approximately on time and was kept backed up throughout the attack. Flares went down on time at Zero and target area was immediately illuminated perfectly. First marker to go down was on target “B” and for some reason was a RSF which dropped 200 yards north of target “B”. A green was then put down just south of target “B” and then assessor passed instructions to bomb between green and red spot fire. These instructions passed on to “Beetroot” Force. A RSF was then dropped between buildings 7 and 9 (Illustration S523) but as buildings shielded, I asked Marker Leader to re-mark. This he did very accurately and second RSF went through building 5. This burned inside building and was difficult to see. I, therefore, asked marker leader to back up on target “A”, when he informed me that all other spot fires had hung up and that no more were available for marking. I, therefore, called in both forces A and B (0127 hours) to bomb. At 0133 hours most of the HE seemed to have been dropped and I called in the incendiary force. At the same time it was apparent that target “B” had been very thoroughly covered while very little bombing appeared to have been directed at target “A”. The markers on this target had meanwhile completely disappeared. I, therefore, ordered all remaining aircraft with an HE or incendiary to overshoot target “B” by approximately 2000 yards due west in an attempt to cover target “A”. The bombing then spread in the direction of target “A” and it is possible this was eventually completely covered but this was difficult to assess due to lack of markers. Note –markers took so long to mark target “B” that the flares had completely died before target “A” was marked. I, therefore, called in Reserve Force (0124 hours) who completely illuminated the whole of target area and enabled markers to mark successfully target “A”. Conclusions Green spot fires too weak to be satisfactory. Single spot fires of any colour are not effective on targets of this nature, since if they penetrate or fall between two buildings, they are practically invisible. Very obvious dummy fire sites illuminated approximately 300 yards to north of target “B”. I warned “Beetroot” Force at 0135 to beware of these dummies.

24/25 May 1944 – Eindhoven (Phillips Works)

ND739Z W/C E.J.Carter, P/O G.E.Dunning, F/L R.J.Conley, F/L H.W.Rieger, F/L A.Chambers, W/O F.R.Watson, S/L M.Bryan-Smith. Up 2247 Down 0242. 6 x 7” clusters, 8 x 1000lb MC, 3 x 4.5” reco flares. 10/10ths cloud. Target not identified. Called up Controller and we agreed that it was useless to carry on with raid which was then called off.

31 May/1 June 1944 - Maisy
.
ND739Z W/C E.J.Carter, P/O G.E.Dunning, F/L R.J.Conley, F/L H.W.rieger, P/O H.W.E.Jeffery (Vis A/B), F/L A.Chambers, W/O F.R.Watson, S/L M.Bryan-Smith. Up 2254 Down 0231. 6 x 7 x 4.5” clusters, 8 x 1000lb MC, 3 x 4.5” reco flares, 2 x 4.5” green/red. (Deputy Controller). Weather thundery all along route to Reading. Then improved slightly. Haze over sea. 10/10ths cloud over Maisy, base 9,000’, tops 2,200’. One small break in target area with ? cloud 100 feet. Location by H2S and Gee. Contacted Controller 20 minutes before “H” as ordered and then approx at “H”. Agreed on VHF it was useless to attempt raid under weather conditions prevailing and the attack was abandoned. Landed Chipping Warden.

5/6 June 1944 – St Pierre du Mont
ND739Z W/C E.J.Carter, P/O G.E.Dunning, F/L R.J.Conley, F/L H.W.Rieger, F/O H.W.E.Jeffery (Vis A/B), f/l a.chambers, W/O F.R.Watson, S/L M.Bryan-Smith. Up 0256. 11 x 1000lb MC, 4 x 500lb GP. (Deputy Controller). Aircraft missing. Last heard on W/T at 0504 hours, acknowledging message from Controller.

Two of our crews failed to return. One was captained by the Squadron Commander, W/Cdr E.J.Carter DFC who was flying in “Z”. W/Cdr Carter had with him S/Ldr M.Bryan-Smith DFC, Gunnery Leader and F/L A.Chambers DFC, the Signals Leader. It is believed that they encountered some JU88s.
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