627 Squadron in retirement

 

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At First Sight
Cookie Carrier Mosquitoes

In March 1944 whilst at Oakington we received four of the newly modified MkBIV Mosquitoes with extended bomb doors and reinforcement to carry the 4000lb Minol bomb - the “Cookie”.

Far from popular amongst ground and air crews, the bombs were unstable, prone to exploding if dropped accidentally while being loaded into aircraft. The squadron had experienced an incident when forming at Wyton with 139 Squadron. One lunchtime a Minol bomb had been dropped accidentally at dispersal from an 83 Squadron Lancaster with tragic results.

Apart from this the MkIV was “just” capable of a take-off on a main runway with favourable wind. and once in the air the aircraft handled sluggishly until “bomb gone” when the altimeter unwound itself at an alarming rate.

At Oakington the unfortunate “B” Flight had their dispersals immediately at the west end of runway 10/28 which appeared to be in use whenever the Cookie aircraft were operating. Many a fitter and rigger has been seen sheltering as soon as the aircraft taxied out for take-off. Let it be said that the fears were unfounded as no untoward incident occurred whilst 627 were operating with “Cookies”.

When the Squadron was detached to 5 Group the Cookie Carriers were not required and these were flown to 1655 MTU at Upwood for exchange with conventional MkIVs. DZ632 was exchanged for DZ478 and DZ646 for DZ52l. DZ606 swapped with DZ421, but as no others were available we kept DZ644 only to loose it on the Tours operation less than one month later, although not, of course, carrying a 4000lb bomb.

Although not affecting 627 Squadron, the later marks of Mosquito to be modified were more than equal to the task of delivering “Cookies” and kept the pot well boiling on the “non-heavies” nights.

Whilst on the subject of heavy-weight bombs it is worth recording that on the night of the first delivery of l2,000lb “Tallboys” to Woodhall Spa (for 617 Squadron of course) the transport drivers pulled up alongside 627 Squadron dispersals to enquire the way to the Bomb Dump. On seeing our Mosquitoes one of the drivers was heard to say “I hope you don’t think you can put these bloody great things on those Mossies do you?”.

Copyright 1943-2012 627 Squadron in Retirement or as credited