On Friday 26 February 1943, a member of the 454 Sqdn, Squadron Leader I G R Dale, took off from Feltwell in the United Kingdom. His mission is mentioned elsewhere on Back to Normandy. You can find the other details of this mission by searching here. Training and cargo flights are not seperately mentioned as a mission. The plane left at 14:00.
He flew with a Ventura B-34/B-37/PV-1/PV-2 (type II, serial AJ224, code SB-).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 37: 76 B-17s of the 1st Bombardment Wing and 17 B-24s of the 2d Bombardment Wing are dispatched against Bremen, Germany. The primary target is overcast so 59 B-17s and 6 B-24s attack the docks and surrounding areas of Wilhelmshaven, Germany dropping 164.25 tons of bombs between 1123 and 1125 hours local. We claim 21 Luftwaffe fighters destroyed, 9 probably destroyed and 5 damaged; we lose 5 B-17s and 2 B-24s plus 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair; casualties are 14 WIA and 73 MIA. The Luftwaffe attempts air-to-air bombing by fighter aircraft and the use of parachute bombs fired by AAA. Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 82 uneventful sorties; 6 on shipping patrols and 76 on 3 missions escorting Venturas attacking Dunkirk, France. [NOTE: At this time, there were 3 squadrons flying Ventura Mk Is and Mk IIs assigned to RAF Bomber Command and based in Norfolk, England. No. 21 Squadron, RAF, was based at Methwold; the other 2 squadrons, No. 464 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and No. 487 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), were based at Feltwell.
Campaign report of the RAF:
25/26 February 1943
Nuremberg raided by 337 aircraft - 169 Lancasters, 104 Halifaxes, 64 Stirlings. 9 aircraft - 6 Lancasters, 2 Stirlings, 1 Halifax - lost, 2.7 per cent of the force.
Weather conditions were poor and the Pathfinders were late with their marking. However, more than 300 buildings were damaged, including a historic military chapel which was burnt out.
6 Mosquitos to the Ruhr (13 people were killed in Cologne), 54 aircraft minelaying off Brittany and in the Frisians, 20 OTU sorties. No losses.
Total effort for the night: 417 sorties, 9 aircraft (2.2 per cent) lost.
26 February 1943
60 Venturas. 33 aircraft bombed; none lost.
20 Mosquitos were sent to attack a naval stores depot at Rennes in France. 17 aircraft bombed and an ammunition dump was seen to explode. 3 Mosquitos were lost including 2 which collided.
26/27 February 1943
427 aircraft - 145 Lancasters, 126 Wellingtons, 106 Halifaxes, 46 Stirlings, 4 Mosquitos - bombed Cologne. Most of the bombs from this large raid fell to the south-west of the city and 10 aircraft - 4 Wellingtons, 3 Lancasters, 2 Halifaxes, 1 Stirling - lost, 2.3 per cent of the force.
2 Mosquitos to Aachen, 21 aircraft minelaying in the Frisians, 4 OTU sorties. No losses.
Total effort for the night: 454 sorties, 10 aircraft (2.2 per cent) lost.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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