On Saturday 17 October 1942, a member of the 61 Sqdn, Squadron Leader W O Corr, took off from Syerston 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 12:00.
He flew with a Avro Lancaster (type I, serial W4774, code QR-).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
Campaign report of the RAF:
16/17 October 1942
Minor Operations: 23 Wellingtons and 11 Stirlings minelaying off Biscay ports, 5 OTU sorties. 2 Wellingtons and 2 Stirlings lost from the minelaying force.
17 October 1942
The Schneider factory at Le Creusot was regarded as the French equivalent to Krupps and produced heavy guns, railway engines and, it was believed, tanks and armoured cars. A large workers' housing estate was situated at one end of the factory. Bomber Command had been given this as the highest priority target in France for a night attack but only in the most favourable of conditions. Harris decided to attack by day, at low level.
The task was given to Air Vice-Marshal Coryton's 5 Group and its 9 Lancaster squadrons carried out a series of low-level practice flights over England.
After a favourable weather report, 94 Lancasters set out on the afternoon of 17 October. The force was led by Wing Commander L. C. Slee of 49 Squadron. 88 aircraft were to bomb the Schneider factory; the other 6 were to attack a nearby transformer station which supplied the factory with electricity. The Lancasters flew in a loose formation over the sea around Brittany, and crossed the coast of France between La Rochelle and St Nazaire without any fighter escort. For 300 miles the Lancasters flew at tree-top level across France. No German fighters attacked the bombers during this flight. The greatest danger was from birds; 4 aircraft were damaged and 2 men injured in bird strikes.
After a fine piece of work by Wing Commander Slee's navigator, Pilot Officer A. S. Grant, the force reached its last turning-point near Nevers and gained height for bombing. There was practically no Flak at the target and bombing took place in clear conditions at heights of between 2,500 and 7,500 ft. Nearly 140 tons of bombs were dropped. The Lancasters returned home safely as darkness closed in. The only casualty was one aircraft of 61 Squadron which bombed the nearby transformer power station at such a low level that it crashed into a building.
The 5 Group crews claimed a successful attack on the Schneider factory but photographs taken later showed that much of the bombing had fallen short and had struck the workers' housing estate near the factory. Some bombs had fallen into the factory area but damage there was not extensive. It has not been possible to obtain a report from France on the casualties suffered by the local people in this raid. 11 Bostons sent to Le Havre had to turn back but 6 other Bostons carried out a sweep to create a diversion for the Le Creusot force. No Bostons lost.
17/18 October 1942
7 Stirlings minelaying in the Baltic off Bornholm and Sassnitz without loss.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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