On Saturday 17 March 1945, a member of the 619 Sqdn, Flight Lieutenant C W McBride, took off from Strubby 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 17:57.
He flew with a Avro Lancaster (type I, serial NG503, code PG-W).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force):: 2 missions are flown.
Mission 892: 1,328 bombers and 820 P-51s are dispatched to hit oil, industrial and rail targets in Germany; clouds extend from 1,000 to 15,000 feet (305 to 4,572 m) and over the targets there is 9/10 to 10/10 cloud cover necessitating PFF methods for bombing; 5 B-17s and 2 P-51s are lost:
1. 527 B-17s are sent to hit the oil refinery at Ruhland (214); 138 hit the secondary target, the Bittefeld oil refinery; targets of opportunity are the Vomag munitions factory at Plauen (125), Fulda (19), Cottbus (11) and other (3); H2X radar is used; 4 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 46 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 1 WIA and 35 MIA.
Escorting are 252 of 280 P-51s; 1 is lost (pilot MIA).
2. 449 B-17s are dispatched to hit the oil refinery at Bohlen (152) and the oil refinery and power station at Molbis (127); secondary targets are the Zeiss works at Jena (71) and the marshalling yard at Erfurt (51); targets of opportunity are Altenburg (36) and other (3); bombing is by H2X radar; 1 B-17 is lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 15 damaged; 9 airmen are MIA.
266 of 283 P-51s escort; 1 is lost (pilot MIA).
3. 346 B-24s are dispatched to hit the marshalling yard at Munster (170) and the Hanomag tank factory at Hannover (146); 9 other hit Herford, a target of opportunity; Gee-H and H2X are used to bomb; 3 B-24s are damaged.
The escort is 122 of 128 P-51s.
4. 6 B-24s fly a screening mission.
5. 79 of 86 P-51s fly a freelance sweep without loss.
6. 28 of 32 P-51s fly a scouting mission without loss.
7. 9 of 11 P-51s escort 2 F-5s and 1 Spitfire on a photo reconnaissance mission over Germany.
Mission 893: 9 B-24s drop leaflets in Germany, the Netherlands and France during the night.
(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 650+ A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s bomb 5 marshalling yards, 2 communications centers, an ordnance depot, 3 city areas, and several targets of opportunity; the attacks are to impede the enemy movement of troops, equipment, and supplies in the face of the advancing Allied forces; fighters fly escort, patrols, and armed reconnaissance, cover the Remagen bridgehead, support the US III Corps NE of Remagen, cooperate with the XII Corps which has penetrated several miles E of Bad Kreuznach at one point, and operate with the XX Corps which at one point reaches as far E as Birkenfeld.
The 386th Fighter Squadron, 365th Fighter Group, moves from Juzaine Airfield, Florennes, Belgium to Aachen, Germany with P-47s.
Campaign report of the RAF:
16/17 March 1945
Raid on Nuremburg by 231 Lancasters of No 1 Group and 46 Lancasters and 16 Mosquitos of No 8 Group. 24 Lancasters, all from No 1 Group, lost, 8.7 per cent of the Lancaster force and 10.4 per cent of the No 1 Group aircraft involved. Most of these losses were due to German night fighters, which found the bomber stream on its way to the target. A local report states that the southern and south-western districts were hit as well as the ruins of the Altstadt which was destroyed in a previous raid. A serious fire was established in the Steinbuhl district. The main railway station was also on fire and the city's gasworks were so badly damaged that they did not resume production before the end of the war. This was the last heavy Bomber Command raid on Nuremberg.
225 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitos of No 5 Group attacked Würzburg. 6 Lancasters lost. This was another dramatic and devastating blow by No 5 Group. 1,127 tons of bombs were dropped with great accuracy in 17 minutes. According to a post-war survey, the old cathedral city with its famous historic buildings suffered 89 per cent of its built-up area destroyed. Würzburg contained little industry and this was an area attack.
56 Mosquitos to Berlin, 24 to Hanau and 6 each to Brunswick and Osnabrück, 32 RCM sorties, 40 Mosquito patrols, 12 Halifaxes and 12 Lancasters minelaying in the Kattegat and off Heligoland. No aircraft lost.
Total effort for the night: 717 sorties, 30 aircraft (4.2 per cent) lost.
17 March 1945
167 Lancasters of No 3 Group carried out G-H attacks through cloud on benzol plants at Dortmund and Hüls. Both raids appeared to be accurate. No aircraft lost.
17/18 March 1945
66 Lancasters and 29 Halifaxes from training units on a sweep over Northern France to draw up German fighters, 39 Mosquitos to Nuremberg, 38 to Berlin and 2 each to Mannheim and Stuttgart, 6 RCM sorties, 15 Mosquito patrols. 1 Intruder Mosquito of No 100 Group lost.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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