49 aircraft; crews claimed accurate bombing of harbour targets. No losses. 23 Hampdens and 7 Wellingtons minelaying in Quiberon Bay. 1 Hampden and 1 Wellington lost.
4 April 1942
12 Bostons and 4 Wellingtons on escorted raid to St Omer railway yards but their bombs fell in fields near the town. No losses.
4 Wellingtons to Germany. 3 turned back early but 1 aircraft, although dispatched to Emden, turned south when its cloud cover ran out and dropped its bombs in the Essen area. 21 Hampdens attempted to use cloud cover to lay mines in the Frisians but only 2 aircraft did so successfully. There were no losses.
5/6 April 1942
263 aircraft - 179 Wellingtons, 44 Hampdens, 29 Stirlings, 11 Manchesters - another new record for a force sent to a single target. 4 Wellingtons and 1 Hampden lost.
20 Whitleys to bomb the Gnome & Rhone engine factory. 14 aircraft bombed but the main target was not hit. Local records show 1 house destroyed and 4 damaged, with no casualties. No aircraft were lost.
Minor Operations: 18 aircraft to Le Havre, 6 Blenheims Intruders to Holland, 11 Hampdens and Wellingtons minelaying off the French coast. No losses.
Total effort for the night: 318 sorties, 5 aircraft (1.6 per cent) lost.
6/7 April 1942
The campaign against Essen continued, with 157 aircraft - 110 Wellingtons, 19 Stirlings, 18 Hampdens and 10 Manchesters. The crews encountered severe storms and icing and there was complete cloud cover over Essen. Only 49 aircraft claimed to have reached the target area. Essen reports only a few bombs, with light damage; no casualties are recorded. 5 aircraft - 2 Hampdens, 1 Manchester, 1 Stirling, 1 Wellington - lost.
8 April 1942
4 Bostons on a sweep off the Dutch coast. A ship was bombed but not hit. No aircraft were lost.
8/9 April 1942
272 aircraft - 177 Wellingtons, 41 Hampdens, 22 Stirlings, 13 Manchesters, 12 Halifaxes, 7 Lancasters - on yet another record raid for aircraft numbers to 1 target. 4 Wellingtons and 1 Manchester lost.
Minor Operations: 13 Wellingtons to Le Havre, 3 Blenheims Intruders to Holland, 24 aircraft minelaying near Heligoland, 16 aircraft on leaflet flights to Belgium and France. 1 Manchester on a leaflet flight was lost in the sea.
Total effort for the night: 328 sorties, 6 aircraft (1.8 per cent) lost.
9 April 1942
7 Wellingtons on cloud-cover raids to Essen; only 1 aircraft bombed a village north of Essen. No aircraft lost.
10/11 April 1942
254 aircraft - 167 Wellingtons, 43 Hampdens, 18 Stirlings, 10 Manchesters, 8 Halifaxes, 8 Lancasters. 14 aircraft - 7 Wellingtons, 5 Hampdens, 1 Halifax, 1 Manchester - lost.
Minor Operations: 40 'freshmen' crews to Le Havre, 3 Blenheim Intruders to Holland, 3 aircraft minelaying off Heligoland, 5 leaflet flights to France. 1 Manchester on the Le Havre raid and 1 Hampden minelayer lost.
Total effort for the night: 305 sorties, 16 aircraft (5.2 per cent) lost.
12 April 1942
9 Bostons carried out accurate bombing at Hazebrouck railway yards but 1 aircraft was lost.
12/13 April 1942
251 aircraft - 171 Wellingtons, 31 Hampdens, 27 Stirlings, 13 Halifaxes, 9 Manchesters. 10 aircraft - 7 Wellingtons, 2 Hampdens, 1 Halifax - lost.
These are the conclusions:
Essen's records show that industrial damage was caused on only 2 occasions - a fire in the Krupps factory and a few bombs on some nearby railway lines - that 63 civilians were killed and that a modest amount of residential property had been hit.
Minor Operations: 27 aircraft to Le Havre, 18 Whitleys to Genoa (the target was cloud covered), 4 Blenheim Intruders to Holland, 20 aircraft minelaying in the German Bight, 7 leaflet flights to France. No losses.
Total effort for the night: 327 sorties, 10 aircraft (3.1 per cent) lost.
13/14 April 1942
Minor Operations: 4 Wellingtons to Boulogne, 47 aircraft minelaying in the Frisians and the German Bight, 3 leaflet flights. 1 Stirling minelayer was lost.
14 April 1942
12 Bostons carried out accurate bombing at Mondeville power-station without loss.
14/15 April 1942
208 aircraft - 142 Wellingtons, 34 Hampdens, 20 Stirlings, 8 Halifaxes, 4 Manchesters - a force which was several times greater than any previously sent to this city. 5 Wellingtons and 4 Hampdens lost.
Minor Operations: 23 aircraft to Le Havre (all bombs fell in open country), 5 Blenheim Intruders to Soesterberg airfield, 1 Stirling minelaying near Heligoland. 1 Wellington lost on the Le Havre raid.
Total effort for the night: 237 sorties, 10 aircraft (4.8 per cent) lost.
15 April 1942
9 Bostons bombed harbour and railway targets at Cherbourg without loss.
15/16 April 1942
152 aircraft - 111 Wellingtons, 19 Hampdens, 15 Stirlings, 7 Manchesters. 3 Wellingtons and 1 Stirling lost.
Minor Operations: 18 Whitleys to St Nazaire, 8 Wellingtons to Le Havre, 4 Blenheim Intruders, 11 aircraft minelaying off St Nazaire, 4 leaflet flights to France. No aircraft lost.
16 April 1942
12 Bostons bombed Le Havre power-station and docks accurately and without loss.
16/17 April 1942
Minor Operations: 21 aircraft to Le Havre and Lorient, 21 aircraft minelaying off French ports, 11 leaflet flights to France. 1 Manchester and 1 Wellington lost from the minelaying operation.
17 April 1942
The Augsburg Raid
This was another of Sir Arthur Harris's experimental raids, an attempt to achieve accurate bombing of a vital target using a small force of the new Lancaster bombers flying at low level in daylight. The target selected by Bomber Command was the diesel-engine manufacturing workshop building in the M.A.N. factory at Augsburg, 500 miles from the French coast. Harris had earlier considered attacking one of the ball-bearing factories at Schweinfurt but preferred the Augsburg target for tactical reasons. After a week of low-flying practice, 12 Lancasters - 6 each from 44 and 97 Squadrons - carried out this famous raid. 30 Bostons and a large Fighter Command effort were dispatched to targets in Northern France to divert German fighter attention from the Lancaster force but were not completely successful in this. 1 Boston was lost. 4 of the Lancasters were shot down en route to Augsburg and 3 more near the target. The 8 crews which did reach the target carried out accurate bombing but the casualties were too heavy and this type of operation was not repeated. Squadron Leader J. D. Nettleton of 44 Squadron, who returned in a badly damaged aircraft, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his leadership of the raid.
17/18 April 1942
173 aircraft - 134 Wellingtons, 23 Stirlings, 11 Halifaxes, 5 Manchesters. 7 Wellingtons and 1 Manchester lost.
Minor Operations: 22 Whitleys to St Nazaire, 4 aircraft to Le Havre, 6 Blenheim Intruders to Holland, 9 aircraft minelaying off Heligoland. 1 Intruder and 1 minelaying Manchester lost.
Total effort for the night: 214 sorties, 10 aircraft (4.7 per cent) lost.
19/20 April 1942
Minelaying: 51 aircraft to the Frisian Islands; 1 Hampden and 1 Wellington lost.
22/23 April 1942
64 Wellingtons and 5 Stirlings, all equipped with Gee, were dispatched on an experimental raid, with orders to use Gee as a blind-bombing aid. Some bombs were dropped accurately into Cologne but others were up to 10 miles from the target. 2 Wellingtons lost.
Minor Operations: 23 aircraft to Le Havre, 63 aircraft minelaying off Germany and Denmark, 1 leaflet flight to France. 1 Wellington on the Le Havre raid and 1 Hampden minelayer lost.
23/24 April 1942
161 aircraft - 93 Wellingtons, 31 Stirlings, 19 Whitleys, 11 Hampdens, 6 Manchesters, 1 Lancaster. 4 aircraft - 2 Wellingtons, 1 Manchester, 1 Whitley - lost.
24 April 1942
12 Bostons bombed Flushing docks: 6 further Bostons to Abbeville were recalled. No Bostons lost.
24/25 April 1942
125 aircraft of 6 types, 91 to the town and 34 to the Heinkel factory .1 Hampden lost. The centre of the town was bombed heavily on this night but the Heinkel factory buildings were not hit, although some bombs did fall in the general factory area.
Minor Operations: 39 aircraft to Dunkirk, 4 Blenheim Intruders, 3 leaflet flights. 1 Intruder lost.
25 April 1942
36 Bostons on Circus operations to Abbeville railway yards, Morliax airfield and harbour targets at Cherbourg, Le Havre and Dunkirk. 29 aircraft bombed; 2 Bostons lost.
25/26 April 1942
128 aircraft of 6 types, 110 to the town and 18 to the Heinkel factory. No aircraft were lost although crews reported that Rostock's Flak defences had been strengthened. Heavy bombing of the town and many fires were achieved. Some aircraft also hit the Heinkel factory for the first time; the crews achieving this were flying Manchesters from 106 Squadron, which was commanded by Wing Commander Guy Gibson.
Minor Operations: 6 Stirlings carried out a long-range attack on the Sköda armaments factory at Pilsen in Czechoslovakia. Cloud covered the target on arrival but at least 5 Stirlings bombed. 32 aircraft to Dunkirk, 2 Blenheim Intruders, 5 leaflet flights to France. 1 Stirling lost from the Pilsen raid.
26 April 1942
12 Bostons carried out accurate bombing of St Omer and Hazebrouck railway yards without loss.
26/27 April 1942
106 or 109 aircraft (there are conflicting figures) of 7 different types, approximately half to the town and half to the Heinkel factory. 3 aircraft - 1 Stirling, 1 Wellington, 1 Whitley - lost. Successful bombing was recorded by both parts of the force.
The 4 raids in this series resulted in the destruction of 1,765 buildings and serious damage to 513 more buildings in Rostock. Bomber Command estimated that 130 acres were destroyed, 60 per cent of the main town area. Casualties were 204 people killed and 89 injured.
Minor Operations: 24 aircraft to Dunkirk, 2 Blenheim Intruders to Leeuwarden, 4 aircraft minelaying, 7 OTU sorties. No losses.
27 April 1942
18 Bostons to Ostend and Lille; 1 Boston lost.
27/28 April 1942
97 aircraft - 76 Wellingtons, 19 Stirlings, 2 Halifaxes. 6 Wellingtons and 1 Halifax lost.
31 Halifaxes and 12 Lancasters to attack the Tirpitz and other German warships in Trondheim Fjord. The Tirpitz was found and bombed but no hits were scored. 4 Halifaxes and 1 Lancaster lost.
Minor Operations: 12 aircraft to Dunkirk, 8 aircraft minelaying off Gennan coasts, 3 Lancasters from 5 Group and 5 OTU Wellingtons on leaflet flights. 2 Halifaxes from the Dunkirk raid, 1 Stirling and 2 OTU Wellingtons were lost to make the casualties for this night 17 aircraft, 10.1 per cent of the forces dispatched. The 2 Whitleys dispatched by 58 Squadron to Dunkirk represent the last Whitley operations flown by a front-line Bomber Command squadron; their last operation to Germany had been by 5 aircraft against Rostock the previous night. OTUs would continue to use small numbers of Whitleys on leaflet flights for some time.
28 April 1942
6 Bostons bombed St Omer railway yards accurately and without loss.
28/29 April 1942
88 aircraft - 62 Wellingtons, 15 Stirlings, 10 Hampdens, 1 Halifax. 5 Wellingtons and 1 Hampden lost.
23 Halifaxes and 11 Lancasters to attack the Tirpitz. Hits were claimed but these were not confirmed. 2 Halifaxes lost.
Minor Operations: 6 Blenheims to Langenbrugge power-station, 4 Blenheim Intruders, 6 aircraft minelaying off Kiel and Heligoland. 1 Blenheim lost from the Langenbrugge raid.
29 April 1942
6 Bostons bombed Dunkirk docks without loss.
29/30 April 1942
88 aircraft - 73 Wellingtons, 9 Hampdens, 6 Stirlings - to the Gnome & Rhone aero-engine factory. 3 Wellingtons lost.
Minor Operations: 20 aircraft to Ostend, 6 Blenheim Intruders, 5 Manchesters minelaying off Kiel and the Danish coast. 1 Wellington and 1 Whitley from the 'freshmen' raid on Ostend and 1 minelaying Manchester were lost.
30 April 1942
24 Bostons on escorted raids to Le Havre and Flushing docks, Abbeville railway yards and Morlaix airfield. All targets were bombed without loss.
Date Last Updated : Wednesday, April 6, 2005 2:40 AM
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