OP 35 - OPERATION "DRUPE"
November 16, 1944: Operation "Drupe" was a night supply dropping mission for the Partisans in northern Italy. MacIsaac and crew took off from Tortorella at 1539 hours carrying six "T" type containers and ten packets of nickels.
The weather was bad en route with clouds to 10,000 feet, however, these cleared before the Squadron reached the drop point. No enemy opposition was encountered but several crews reported seeing reconnaissance or fighter flares near the Ligurian coast at 1940 hours.
Over the drop area there was considerable confusion. The pre-arranged signal was an "X" in fires. Arriving over the drop area Wellington "Q", captained by F/Sgt. Parrott, saw fires which, after circling the area several times, were identified as making up the letter "Z". No other fires being visible they dropped their containers on this point. Shortly afterwards "X" was seen four to five miles south of this area, and most crews dropped on this signal. Wellington "R" captained by Sgt. Ockenden failed to see "X" and made a dead reckoning run over the general area, dropping supplies near a light flashing "J". MacIsaac observed the "X", dropped on it, and saw four of his six parachutes open successfully.
In total the twelve 37 Squadron Wellingtons detailed successfully dropped seventy two containers and one hundred twenty packets of leaflets between 1919 and 1948 hours from 6600 to 7600 feet. All aircraft returned safely to Tortorella, with MacIsaac touching down at 2012 hours.
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From the 37 Squadron ORB, November 16, 1944:
Court of Enquiry - F/Lt Saxby and F/O Evans conducted a court of enquiry into the accident to A/C LN.789 on the 15th Nov.
Investigation - F/O Bridge was detailed to carry out an investigation into the cause of one double ridge tent being burned out on the night of 12th Nov.