On Tuesday 27 February 1945, a member of the 427 Sqdn, Flight Sergeant M J Brewer, took off from Leeming 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 12:42. He flew with a Handley Page Halifax (type III, serial RG347, code ZL-G).
Norm Sheppard, Sackville NB, Canada: I have some interesting info on the crash of this Halifax for you. The info comes from the tail gunner on the aircraft for that mission. His name was F/Sgt. John Hugh MacEachern, RCAF 429 (Bison) Squadron, and he survived the crash which killed the other six crew members. The aircraft was actually on loan that day to 429 from 427 (Moose) Squadron. The bomber was fueled and bombed up for a mission to Mainz, Germany in the Rhine region and as it reached 100 miles per hour on take-off, the right side main wheel tire blew, the undercarriage collapsed and the aircraft slewed off the runway as the bombs and fuel exploded. John was thrown clear as the rear turret blew off of the airframe and was severely burned and injured but landed far enough away to escape the fate of his fellow crewmen. He recovered fully and lived until 2001. I currently work with John’s son, Neil.
- The pilot on that day was F/O Richard M. Scott
- Mid upper gunner was F/Sgt Morley J. Brewer
- Bombardier was F/O Kenneth F. Whitehouse
- Wireless Operator was P/O Angus Mackie
- Flight Engineer was F/Sgt Frederick G. Fisher
- Navigator was F/O Sidney T. Carson
- Tail Gunner was F/Sgt John H. MacEachern (survived)
Campaign report of the USAAF:
27 February 1945
(Eighth Air Force):: 2 missions are flown.
Mission 851: 1,107 bombers and 745 fighters are dispatched to hit road and rail communications at Halle and Leipzig using H2X radar; they claim 83-0-19 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 B-24s and 2 P-51s are lost:
1. 314 of 351 B-24s hit the marshalling yard at Halle; targets of opportunity are Bitterfeld (21) and other (3); 2 B-24s are lost and 4 damaged; 1 airman is KIA and 18 MIA.
Escorting are 196 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft in the air and 45-0-3 on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
2. 717 of 756 B-17s hit the rail center at Leipzig; 7 others hit targets of opportunity; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 3 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA.
The escort is 453 of 489 P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft in the air and 36-0-16 on the ground without loss.
3. 28 P-51s fly a scouting mission without loss.
4. 13 P-51s escort 2 F-5s and 2 Spitfires on a photo reconnaissance mission over C and E Germany.
Mission 852: During the night of 27/28 Feb, 23 of 26 B-24s bomb Wilhelmshafen oil storage by PFF without loss and 1 B-17 and 11 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany.
(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 118 A-20s, A-26s and B-26s attack the Ahrweiler rail bridge, communications centers at Glessen, Munstereifel, and Monheim, and a target of opportunity; fighters fly leaflet missions, attack Frankfurt/Main oil storage tanks, fly alerts, and strafe from W of Duisburg to Worringen; the XXIX Tactical Air Command (Provisional) also flies support for the XIII and XIX Corps SW and S of Monchen-Gladbach.
(IX Troop Carrier Command): Units moving from England to France: HQ 313th Troop Carrier Group from Folkingham to Achiet; HQ 314th Troop Carrier Group and the 32d and 61st Troop Carrier Squadrons from Saltby to Poix with C-47s.
28 February 1945
(Eighth Air Force):: 3 missions are flown.
Mission 854: 1,104 bombers and 737 fighters are dispatched to make PFF attacks on rail targets in Germany; they calim 18-0-11 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 and 5 P-51s are lost:
1. 378 B-17s are sent to hit marshalling yards at Soest (143), Hagen (151) and Schwerte (74) using Gee-H; 1 other hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-17s is lost; 3 airmen are MIA.
106 of 112 P-51s escort without loss.
2. 346 B-24s are dispatched to hit the Arnsberg (95) and Bielefeld (81) viaducts, the Siegen marshalling yard (77) and the Henschel tank plant at Meschede (79); 1 other hits the Neustadt road junction, a target of opportunity; all attacks are made using Gee-H; no casualties.
Escorting are 117 of 123 P-51s; 1 is lost (pilot MIA).
3. 364 of 380 B-17s hit the marshalling yard at Kassel, the secondary target; 6 others hit 6 targets of opportunity; the attacks are made using H2X radar; no casualties.
The escort is 113 of 118 P-51s; they claim 0-0-1 aircraft in the air and 10-0-4 on the ground; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
4. 308 of 318 P-51s fly a strafing run in the Wurzburg-Munich area; they calim 8-0-6 aircraft on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
5. 18 of 20 P-47s fly a figher-bomber mission against Ablar, Offenbach and Werdorf marshalling yards and factory buildings without loss.
6. 16 P-51s escort 4 F-5s and 1 Spitfire on a photo reconnaissance mission over Germany.
Mission 855: 11 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany during the night without loss.
1 Mosquito flies a SKYWAVE mission over Germany.
(SKYWAVE is a special navigational mission to calibrate LORAN equipment.)
Mission 856: 22 of 24 B-24s bomb the Freiburg rail depot during the night using PFF methods; no losses.
The 36th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 1st Air Division [attached to 482d Bombardment Group (Heavy)], moves from Cheddington to Alconbury, England with B-24s (the 36th is engaged in radio countermeasures operations).
(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 340+ A-20s, B-26s and A-26s bomb rail bridges at Mayen, Niederscheld, and Colbe, the Unna ordnance depot, Kamp road junction, Siegen and Sankt Wendel marshalling yards, the town of Rheinburg, and targets of opportunity; fighters escort the bombers, fly sweeps, patrols and armed reconnaissance, attack special targets, and support the US 3d Armored Division at the Paffendorf bridgehead, US Ninth Army elements near Monchen-Gladbach and Neuss [the 2d Armored Division reaches a point within 6 miles (9.7 km) of the Rhine River], and the VIII, XII, and XX Corps between the Prum and Kyll Rivers and near Trier.
Campaign report of the RAF:
26/27 February 1945
38 Mosquitos each to Berlin and Nuremberg, 3 Mosquitos on 'siren tours' of Northern Germany, 1 RCM sortie, 6 Mosquito patrols, 18 aircraft on Resistance operations. 1 Stirling lost on a Resistance flight.
27 February 1945
458 aircraft - 311 Halifaxes, 131 Lancasters, 16 Mosquitos - of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups to Mainz. 1 Halifax and 1 Mosquito lost. The target area Mainz was covered by cloud and the bombing was aimed at skymarkers dropped on Oboe. No results were seen by the bomber crews but the bombing caused severe destruction in the central and eastern districts of Mainz; this was the city's worst raid of the war. 1,545 tons of bombs were dropped. 5,670 buildings were destroyed, including most of the historic buildings in the Altstadt, but the industrial district was also badly hit. This was the last heavy raid on Mainz.
149 Lancasters of No 3 Group carried out a G-H attack through thick cloud on the Alma Pluto benzol plant, Gelsenkirchen but no results were seen. 1 Lancaster lost.
27/28 February 1945
82 training aircraft on a sweep over the North Sea to draw up German fighters, 96 Mosquitos to Berlin and 6 to Bremen, 62 RCM sorties, 32 Mosquito patrols. No aircraft lost.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net
This record can also be found on the maps of Back to Normandy with Google coordinates. You can find the maps by clicking on this link on this location.
There are several possibilities to investigate the flight records on Back to Normandy. All the flights are plotted on maps, sorted "day by day", "by squadron", "by type aircraft", "by year or month", "by location" and much more! Don't miss this!!!
If you have any information that you want to share, please add your comment at the bottom of this record. Or send your information to [email protected]. This information will be added to the record.
Your photos and your information are very welcome! The young do care and with your help we keep up the good work.