On the 1st of November S/Ldr langlois and his crew, in PB726 (PO-P), flew their first mission with 467 Squadron. As part of 226 Lancasters
and 2 Mosquitoes from 5 Group and 14 Mosquitoes from 8 Group, 19 Lancasters from 467 Squadron took off on a daylight mission to bomb
the Meerbeck Oil Plant at Homberg. The crews experienced heavy flak and all aircraft returned with some flak damage. 10/10 cloud was
experienced over the target, the markers were late dropping their flares and no attack was made.
Their second was a long range mission on the 22/23rd of November as part of a force of 171 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitoes from 5 Group
to attack the U-Boat Pens at Trondheim in Norway. S/Ldr Langlois, in PB740 (PO-N), was one of 16 aircraft from 467 Squadron. When
the force reached the target they discovered that the Germans had completely covered the area with a smoke screen. The Master Bomber
could not locate the target and ordered that the attack be abandoned. Many of the aircraft had to land at other airfields due to lack
467 Squadron, with 20 aircraft, formed part of a 282 Lancaster and 10 Mosquito 5 Group force that made an assault on Heilbronn on
the 4th/5th of December. This was the first major attack on Heilbronn. Its sole military importance was its position on the main north-south
railway line. S/Ldr Langlois flew Lancaster PB740 (PO-N) on the mission and it was reported that the marking of the target was good
and the bombing well concentrated on the target. Large explosions could be seen following the bombing and the town was well alight.
By the 17th of December the Squadron's pride and joy, Lancaster R5868 (PO-S) was back after a major refit. S/Ldr Langlois decided
to use PO-S whenever he flew mission from that night onwards. He was part of 22 aircraft from 467 Squadron that formed the 280 Lancasters
and 8 Mosquitoes from 5 Group in an assault on Munich. Due to the distance to be travelled over the alps, it was an early takeoff,
1600 hours. The conditions over the target were excellent and the target was well marked. Major damage was done to the old centre
of the town particularly by the 12000lb bombs.
After a number of days of no operations due to heavy snow, on the 13th/14th of January S/Ldr Langlois again flew PO-S in a 5 Group
assault on Politz. 467 Squadron supplied 17 aircraft to make up the force of 218 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitoes to attack the oil plant
just outside Stettin. The raid was planned as a blind-bombing attack, however the weather conditions over the target were much better
than predicted. Low level marking was subsequently carried out and extremely accurate bombing of the target was achieved. Bombing
photos and subsequent recon photos showed that the target was 'reduced to a shambles'.
S/Ldr Langlois and his crew received bad news on the morning of 2nd February. Their rear gunner, F/L Ellis had flown With F/L Livingstone
as a replacement gunner on a mission to Siegen the previous night and was missing. It was later discovered that the aircraft had been
shot down and F/L Ellis was a POW. That night they found themselves on operations and F/Sgt S. C. Bean was to be their replacement
rear gunner. Again in PO-S, they, and 18 other Lancasters from 467 Squadron, formed a 5 Group force of 250 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitoes
to attack Karlsruhe. 10/10ths cloud was discovered when they reached the target and very few bombs appeared to hit the target. The
mission was considered a failure.
On the 3rd and 4th of March, the 2000th night of the war, 212 Lancasters from England, part of 5 Group, set off on a relatively clear,
but windy night, determined to succeed with the destruction of Ladbergen, Dortmund Ems Canal. Immediately the Luftwaffe sent up 140
night fighters, Mostly Ju88's and ME 110's, staging the massive aerial defence. W/C Langlois, in PB806 (PO-W), was one of 30 Lancasters
represented 463/467 Squadron. The combined 463/467 Squadron had lost three of their number even before reaching the target area.
Waddington Base during the winter of 1944/45
(Waddington AFB Archives)
The Officer's Mess and Barracks at Waddington
(Waddington AFB Archives)
(Waddington AFB Archives)
Squadron Leader Langlois near Waddington, winter 1944/45.
By the beginning of March Lancaster R5868 (PO-S) was sent on a "Good Will Tour" and W/C Langlois was forced to select another aircraft
On the final approach to Ladbergen, W/C Langlois' plane was in lead position and was attacked and hit by cannon fire from an ME110
piloted by Major Schnauffer. A fire broke out in the bomb bay and W/C Langlois ordered 'parachutes on' and all of the crew acknowledged.
The fire immediately intensified and W/C Langlois ordered the crew to 'bail out'. The crew bailed out. F/O Taylor, the replacement
Rear Gunner and F/O Wilmott, the replacement Bomb Aimer, were captured and sent to POW camps. The remainder of the crew (W/C Langlois,
F/O Patten, F/O Reid, F/O Cameron and F/Sgt Scott) were thought to be captured by the SS and executed. Their graves have never been
Also lost that night from 467 Squadron was F/O R Ward and his crew in ME453 (PO-L) and F/O Eggins and his crew in LM677
Squadron Leader Langlois took command of 467 Squadron and he was promoted to Acting Wing Commander.
On the 8th of February Wing Commander J. Douglas was killed as a result of enemy actions over Dortmund. Unfortunately Squadron
Leader Langlois's Bomb Aimer, Flying Officer L. Baines RCAF, was also with W/C Douglas while his regular bomb aimer manned the
In January 1945 operations for 463/467 were focussed over Dortmund and its surrounds. The squadron suffered heavy losses both
in crew and aircraft during these operations, with RAF command further increasing operations over the canal with nightly raids.