Ernest Deverill flew some of the most dangerous raids of the war, amongst them being the Le Creusot op of 17 October 1942. The entry for the operation in his logbook (below) notes with supreme understatement:
Power station 500 feet damaged by own bomb
The Le Creusot raid, like the Augsburg raid of 17 April 1942 six months earlier, was flown in daylight. On a Saturday afternoon, 94 Lancasters flew across France to wreck the Schneider arms plant 170 miles south-east of Paris. Incredibly, only one aircraft was lost.
For further details of the PR and morale aspects of this operation see: PER ARDUA – Le Creusot Raid
97 Squadron’S ORB notes:
9 aircraft of this Squadron took off for op, 6 of these were to attack the Schneider Works and 3 the transformer and switching station. 2 aircraft had to abandon mission owing to technical failures. 7 remaining aircraft all reached their targets and successfully bombed them. Weather was good with slight haze. All crews spoke highly of the attack which was “wizard”.
Shortly after this, and the attacks on Genoa and Milan in the Logbook above, Deverill received his third gallantry award:
London Gazette 20 November 1942
Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross this officer has taken part it in many sorties, including many attacks on targets in the Ruhr area. In the daylight attack on the transformer station near Le Creusot, Flight Lieutenant Deverill bombed his objective from the height of only 500 feet. He also participated in recent raids on Milan and Genoa. This officer has invariably endeavoured to press home his attacks with great vigour.
Ernest Deverill’s gallantry awards and Flying Logbook can be seen on display at the Pathfinder Collection at RAF Wyton, where we have placed them on long-term loan.