On Tuesday 31 August 1943, a member of the 342 Sqdn, an unknown crew member, took off from Great Massingham 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 an unknown time .
He flew with a A-20/Havoc/DB-7/Boston/P-70 (type IIIa, serial BZ313, code -).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force):: VIII Bomber Command Mission 88: Two aviation locations in France are targetted: 1. 170 B-17's are dispatched to Amiens/Glisy Airfield; 105 hit the target at 1807-1824 hours; they claim 5-1-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-17's are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 35 damaged; casualties are 5 KIA, 8 WIA and 33 MIA. 2. 149 B-17's are dispatched to the aircraft plant at Meulan; the plant is cloud covered and 1 B-17 hits a railway NE of Rouen; 19 B-17s are damaged; casualties are 1 WIA.
These missions are escorted by 160 P-47's which claim 2-1-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-47's are lost and both pilots are listed as MIA. VIII Air Support Command Missions 41 and 42: 216 B-26's are dispatched to Rouen and Mazingarbe power stations; Poix/Nord and Lille/Nord Airfields; and the Hesdin fuel dump; 104 hit the targets; 1 B-26 is lost and 13 damaged; casualties are 5 WIA and 6 MIA.
Campaign report of the RAF:
30/31 August 1943
660 aircraft - 297 Lancasters, 185 Halifaxes, 107 Stirlings, 57 Wellingtons, 14 Mosquitos - tasked to carry out a double attack on Mönchengladbach and Rheydt. The visibility was good and the Oboe-assisted marking of both targets was described in Bomber Command's records as 'a model' of good Pathfinder marking. The bombing was very concentrated with little creepback.
St Omer: This was the first of a series of small raids in which OTU crews bombed ammunition dumps located in various forests of Northern France. A handful of Pathfinder aircraft marked each target and one of the purposes of the raids was to accustom OTU crews to bombing on to markers before being posted to front-line squadrons.
This raid was carried out by 33 OTU Wellingtons, with the Pathfinders providing 6 Oboe Mosquitos and 6 Halifaxes. The target was a dump in the Forêt d'Eperlecques, just north of St Omer. The bombing was successful and a large explosion was seen. 2 Wellingtons were lost.
12 Mosquitos to Duisburg, 9 Stirlings minelaying in the Frisians. 1 Mosquito lost.
31 August/1 September 1943
622 aircraft - 331 Lancasters, 176 Halifaxes, 106 Stirlings, 9 Mosquitos carried out a further attack on Berlin.
This raid was not successful. There was some cloud in the target area; this, together with difficulties with H2S equipment and probably the ferocity of the German defences, all combined to cause the Pathfinder markers to be dropped well south of the centre of the target area and the Main Force bombing to be even further away. The main bombing area eventually extended 30 miles back along the bombers' approach route. After this raid, Gauleiter Goebbels ordered the evacuation from Berlin of all children and all adults not engaged in war work to country areas or to towns in Eastern Germany where air raids were not expected. 47 aircraft - 20 Halifaxes, 17 Stirlings, 10 Lancasters - lost, 1.6 per cent of the force. The Stirling casualties were 16.0 per cent! Approximately two thirds of the bombers lost were shot down by German fighters operating over or near Berlin. The use of 'fighter flares', dropped by German aircraft to 'mark' the bomber routes into and away from the target, was noted for the first time in Bomber Command records.
30 OTU Wellingtons with 6 Mosquitos and 5 Halifaxes of the Pathfinders bombed an ammunition dump in the Forêt de Hesdin and 6 Mosquitos were sent to Brauweiler. No aircraft lost.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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