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Royal Air Force Bomber Command 60th Anniversary


Campaign Diary
January 1942

 

2 January 1942

12 Hampdens on 'roving patrols' of Dutch and German Coasts. Only 1 aircraft bombed, at Leeuwarden airfield. No Hampdens lost.

2/3 January 1942

Brest

22 Wellingtons and 9 Stirlings. Only 7 aircraft bombed the primary target. No aircraft lost.

St Nazaire

15 Whitleys and 12 Manchesters. Only 8 aircraft bombed the primary target. No aircraft lost.

Minor Operations: 36 Hampdens minelaying in the Frisians and off the French Biscay ports, 8 OTU sorties. No losses.

3/4 January 1942

Brest, The Frisians

14 Wellingtons and 4 Stirlings to Brest, 10 Hampdens minelaying. 1 Wellington and Hampden lost.

4 January 1942

12 Hampdens on roving patrols. Some minor attacks made. No aircraft lost.

5/6 January 1942

Brest

154 aircraft - 89 Wellingtons, 65 of other types - 87 aircraft being ordered to bomb the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the remainder being given the naval docks generally as their target. A smoke-screen prevented accurate bombing but large fires were claimed. No aircraft lost.

Minor Operations: 37 aircraft to Cherbourg, 5 Hampdens minelaying in Quiberon Bay, 5 OTU sorties. No losses.

6/7 January 1942

Brest

31 Wellingtons of 1 Group attacked the German warships. 1 aircraft lost. No special bombing results were claimed but a bomb which fell alongside the Gneisenau holed the hull and flooded 2 compartments.

Minor Operations: 19 Hampdens on roving patrols over Northern Germany, 11 Whitleys to Stavanger airfield, 5 Wellingtons to Cherbourg, 16 OTU sorties. No losses.

7/8 January 1942

French Ports

68 Wellingtons to Brest and 27 aircraft to St-Nazaire. No losses

8/9 January 1942

Brest

151 aircraft to Brest. 1 Manchester lost.

Minor Operations: 31 aircraft to Cherbourg, 5 Hampdens minelaying in the Frisians, 2 OTU sorties. 1 Wellington lost on the Cherbourg raid.

9/10 January 1942

Brest

82 aircraft. No losses.

Minor Operations: 5 Hampdens minelaying off Brest, 1 Manchester on leaflet flight to France. 1 Hampden lost.

10/11 January 1942

Wilhelmshaven

124 aircraft; good bombing claimed but Wilhelmshaven records this only as a small raid with light damage and 6 people injured. 3 Wellingtons and 2 Hampdens lost.

Minor Operations: 29 aircraft to Emden, 2 Wellingtons to Boulogne, 5 Hampdens minelaying off Wilhelmshaven, 6 Blenheim Intruders to Holland, 1 Hampden on a leaflet flight to France. 1 Blenheim Intruder lost.

11/12 January 1942

Brest

13 Wellingtons and 3 Stirlings. No losses.

14/15 January 1942

Hamburg

95 aircraft with shipyards and an airframe factory as targets. 2 Hampdens and 2 Wellingtons lost. Only 48 aircraft claimed to have bombed Hamburg, which reports Altona station hit and 12 fires - 7 large, with 6 people killed and 22 injured - but no other major incidents.

Minor Operations: 18 aircraft to Emden, 11 aircraft to Rotterdam, 17 Blenheim Intruders to Dutch airfields, S Hampdens minelaying off Kiel and Warnemunde. 1 Intruder lost.

15/16 January 1942

Hamburg

96 aircraft. 52 of them claimed to have bombed in difficult visibility. Hamburg reports 36 fires - 3 large, 3 people killed and 25 injured - but no major incidents. 3 Wellingtons and 1 Hampden were lost and 8 further aircraft crashed in England.

Emden

50 aircraft; claimed many fires. 1 Wellington and 1 Whitley lost.

Minor Operations: 5 Blenheims and 4 Wellingtons Intruding and bombing Dutch airfields, 3 Hampdens minelaying in the Frisians. No losses.

17/18 January 1942

Bremen

83 aircraft; only 8 aircraft claimed to have bombed the primary target. Some of the aircraft attacking alternative targets reached Hamburg, which reports 11 fires and casualties of 5 dead and 12 injured. 3 Wellingtons were lost and 1 Stirling crashed England after being fired at and damaged by a British convoy.

Minor Operations: 24 aircraft to Emden, 2 aircraft to Dunkirk, 2 to Soesterberg airfield, 8 Hampdens minelaying off Wilhelmshaven and Dunkirk. No losses.

20/21 January 1942

Emden

20 Wellingtons and 5 Hampdens. 3 Wellingtons and 1 Hampden lost.

21/22 January 1942

Bremen

54 aircraft; only 28 claimed to have bombed the primary target. 2 Hampdens and 1 Wellington lost.

Emden

38 aircraft. 3 Hampdens and 1 Whitley lost.

Minor Operations: 7 Wellingtons to Boulogne, 8 Wellingtons attacking airfields in Holland, 1 Hampden minelaying in the Frisians, 9 Hampdens and 3 Manchesters on leaflet flights to France. No losses.

22/23 January 1942

Munster

47 aircraft on the first raid to inland Germany since 27/28 December 1941. Crews reported large fires in the railway-station area but the only report from Munster records the death of 5 people with no other details. 1 Wellington lost.

Minor Operations: 5 aircraft to Dunkirk, 6 Blenheim Intruders to Dutch airfields, 9 Hampdens minelaying in the Frisians and off Wi1helmshaven, 5 Hampdens on leaflets flights to France. 1 minelaying Hampden lost.

25/26 January 1942

Brest

61 aircraft dispatched but bombing results were not observed. No aircraft lost.

3 Hampdens were minelaying off French coast without loss.

26/27 January 1942

Hannover

71 aircraft; only 32 claimed to have found the target area, though many fires were believed to have been started. No aircraft lost.

Emden

31 aircraft. 2 Whitleys lost.

Brest

22 Wellingtons and 3 Stirlings. No losses.

Minor Operations: 6 Hampdens minelaying in the Frisians, 2 Whitleys to Germany and 2 Hampdens to France on leaflet flights. The Whitley leaflet flights were the first leaflet-only operations to Germany since April 1940. 1 Whitley lost.

28/29 January 1942

Munster

55 Wellingtons and 29 Hampdens. Visibility was very poor and no aircraft positively identified the target though many believed that they had bombed in the target area. Local records show that no bombs fell in Munster. 4 Hampdens and 1 Wellington lost.

Boulogne

48 aircraft. 1 Whitley was shot down into the sea by a British ship; there were no survivors.

Minor Operations: 29 Whitleys to Rotterdam, 16 Blenheim Intruders to French and Dutch airfields, 2 aircraft on leaflet flights to France. 1 Intruder lost.

29/30 January 1942

Tirpitz

9 Halifaxes and 7 Stirlings to bomb the battleship Tirpitz in Trondheim. Only 2 aircraft reached the Norwegian coast and bombed ships seen there. 1 Stirling lost.

31 January/1 February 1942

Brest

72 aircraft. 3 Manchesters and 2 Hampdens lost. The 3 Manchesters lost were all from 61 Squadron, which sent only 9 aircraft on the raid.

Minor Operations: 31 aircraft to St Nazaire, 14 aircraft to Le Havre, 13 aircraft on leaflet flights to France. No losses.


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