49 Squadron Awards
11/12 May, 1944; BOURG-LEOPOLD:
Haze over this military camp in Belgium made marking by the Mosquitoes extremely difficult. The Master Bomber reluctantly ordered the raid to be abandoned for fear of hitting nearby housing. Of the 190 orbiting Lancasters, 94 had already bombed before receiving the 'cease bombing' order.
Fourteen Lancasters had been dispatched by 49 Squadron including two new crews piloted by F/O's Pederson RCAF (ND695) and Powell (JB178). F/O Powell was one of 6 crews from the squadron that actually bombed before the abandonment. Fighters were once again present and 5 Lancasters failed to return.
All 49's were safe, although P/O Edgar (ND792) and crew had their share of troubles as their de-brief shows:
"We reached the target and made 2 bombing runs but did not attack as Controller ordered 'cease bombing'. We were then attacked by a fighter, in which our Lancaster sustained damage to the port side of the fuselage, cutting the trimmer wires to the elevators and rudders - the starboard flaps were damaged with mainplane and aileron trimmers also cut; the root of the tail plane was hit rendering the rear turret u/s."
P/O Edgar arrived over the emergency airfield at Woodbridge in Suffolk; once there the crew elected to stay with their skipper as he attempted to land his crippled bomber.
Great skill and determination brought the battered aircraft into a safe landing, but the tension within that Lancaster during those final few moments on the approach must have been tremendous, for as instructed, the crew had brought back their bombs! - P/O A.G. Edgar was awarded an immediate DFC.