On Thursday 23 September 1943, a member of the 90 Sqdn, Sergeant G A Barker, took off from Wrattling Common 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 separately mentioned as a mission. The plane left at 18:45.
He flew with a Short Stirling (type III, serial EH944, code WP-A).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force):: VIII Bomber Command Mission 100: 3 locations in France are targeted. 1. 46 of 117 B-17's hit the Nantes port area at 0813-0818 hours; they claim 22-1-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 B-17's are damaged beyond repair and 41 are damaged; casualties are 13 KIA and 11 WIA. 2. 55 of 67 B-17's hit Vannes/Meucon Airfield at 0825-0826 hours; 7 B-17's are damaged.
3. 53 of 63 B-17's hit Kerlin/Bastard Airfield at 0814-0818 hours; they claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 is lost and 10 damaged; casualties are 10 MIA. VIII Bomber Command Mission 101: 80 of 91 B-17's hit the port area at Nantes (61 aircraft) at 1810-1815 and Rennes/St Jacques Airfield (19 aircraft) at 1834 hours; 2 B-17's are lost, 12 damaged beyond repair and 6 damaged; casualties are 12 WIA and 20 MIA.
VIII Bomber Command Mission 102: 4 of 5 B-17's of the 422d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), hit Mannheim at 2211- 2222 hours with the RAF in a night attack; 1 B-17 is damaged.
Campaign report of the RAF:
22/23 September 1943
711 aircraft - 322 Lancasters, 226 Halifaxes, 137 Stirlings, 26 Wellingtons - on the first major raid to Hannover for 2 years; this was the first of a series of 4 heavy raids on this target. 5 American B-17s also took part in the raid, their first night raid on Germany. 26 aircraft - 12 Halifaxes, 7 Lancasters, 5 Stirlings, 2 Wellingtons - lost, 3.7 per cent of the force. Visibility in the target area was good but stronger winds than forecast caused the marking and the bombing to be concentrated between 2 and 5 miles south-south-east of the city centre.
21 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos of No 8 Group carried out a diversionary raid at Oldenburg, dropping much 'Window' and many flares and target indicators to simulate the arrival of a larger force. The losses on the Hannover raid, lower than the recent average, may indicate that this tactic was partially successful. No aircraft were lost on the diversionary raid.
12 Mosquitos on a further diversion to Emden, 4 Stirlings minelaying in the Frisians, 7 OTU sorties. No losses.
23/24 September 1943
Manheim: 628 aircraft - 312 Lancasters, 193 Halifaxes, 115 Stirlings, 8 Mosquitos. 5 B- 17s also took part. 32 aircraft - 18 Lancasters, 7 Halifaxes, 7 Wellingtons - lost, 5.1 per cent of the force. The Pathfinder plan worked well and concentrated bombing fell on the intended area, although later stages of the raid crept back across the northern edge of Ludwigshafen and out into the open country.
21 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos of No 8 Group carried out a diversionary raid on Darmstadt without loss. The diversionary purpose of this raid was not achieved because Darmstadt was too close to Mannheim and the German night fighters could see the main attack only 20 miles away quite clearly. But the small force of bombers caused much damage in this university town which had little industry and which had not been seriously bombed before.
6 Mosquitos to Aachen, 28 OTU sorties. 1 OTU Wellington lost.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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