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Royal Air Force Bomber Command 60th Anniversary


Campaign Diary
May 1944

 

Day Operations, 1-21 May 1944

On 6 days during this period, Bomber Command Oboe Mosquitos flew as 'formation leaders' in Second Tactical Air Force attacks on small targets in Northern France. There were no losses from the 12 Bomber Command sorties flown.

1/2 May 1944

131 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos of No 5 Group attacked the aircraft assembly factory and an explosives factory at Toulouse. Both targets were hit and no aircraft were lost.

137 aircraft - 89 Halifaxes, 40 Lancasters, 8 Mosquitos - of 6 and 8 Groups attacked the railway yards at St Ghislain with great accuracy. 1 Halifax and 1 Lancaster lost.

132 aircraft - 110 Halifaxes, 14 Lancasters, 8 Mosquitos of Nos 4 and 8 Groups attacked railway targets at Malines. 1 Halifax lost. The bombing was scattered, although the locomotive sheds were damaged.

Chambly: 120 aircraft - 96 Lancasters, 16 Stirlings, 8 Mosquitos - of Nos 3 and 8 Groups. 3 Lancasters and 2 Stirlings lost. Chambly, to the north of Paris was the main railway stores and repair depot for the Northern French system which the Allied bombers were trying to put out of action. The local report (provided by the office of the present Chief Engineer at Chambly) shows that the raid was extremely successful. Approximately 500 high-explosive bombs fell inside the railway depot area and serious damage was caused to all departments. The depot was completely out of action for 10 days.

75 Lancasters of No 1 Group attacked the Berliet motor worksat Lyon. The factory was badly damaged and nearby railways and factories were also hit. There is no local report to say whether civilian casualties were caused. No aircraft were lost.

46 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos of No 5 Group carried out an accurate attack on aircraft-repair workshops at Tours. The main buildings were completely destroyed. No aircraft lost.

28 Mosquitos to Ludwigshafen and 2 to Achères, 9 RCM sorties, 16 Serrate and 18 Intruder patrols, 32 Halifaxes and 3 Stirlings minelaying off the French coast and in the Frisians, 40 aircraft on Resistance operations. 1 Serrate Mosquito lost.

Total effort for the night: 801 sorties in 14 separate operations, 9 aircraft (1.1 per cent) lost.

2/3 May 1944

29 Mosquitos to Leverkusen and 7 to Achères, 2 RCM sorties, 9 Stirlings minelaying in the Frisian Islands. No losses.

3/4 May 1944

346 Lancasters and 14 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and 5 Groups and 2 Pathfinder Mosquitos to bomb a German military camp situated close to the French village of Mailly. 42 Lancasters lost, 11.6 per cent of the force. The control of this raid in the target area failed to operate according to plan. The initial low-level markers were accurate and were well backed up by Lancaster marker aircraft. The 'Marker Leader', Wing Commander Cheshire, ordered the Main Force to come in and bomb but the 'Main Force Controller', Wing Commander LC Deane, could not transmit the order to do so to the waiting Lancasters because his VHF radio set was being drowned by an American forces broadcast and his wireless transmitter was wrongly tuned. German fighters arrived during the delay and bomber casualties were heavy. The main attack eventually started when the Deputy Controller, Squadron Leader ENM Sparks, took over. Approximately 1,500 tons of bombs were dropped with great accuracy. 114 barrack buildings, 47 transport sheds and some ammunition buildings in the camp were hit; 102 vehicles, including 37 tanks, were destroyed. The night-fighter attacks continued over the target and on the return route. Among the aircraft shot down was that of Squadron Leader Sparks, who had stayed over the target to the end. Sparks evaded capture and soon returned to England. The squadrons of No 1 Group, which made up the second wave of the attack, suffered the most casualties - 28 aircraft out of their 173 dispatched. No 460 (Australian) Squadron, from Binbrook, lost 5 out of its 17 Lancasters on the raid.

84 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos attacked a Luftwaffe airfield at Montdidier and caused much damage among buildings and installations on the northern part of the airfield. 4 Lancasters lost.

27 Mosquitos to Ludwigshafen and 14 to an ammunition dump at Châteaudun, 3 RCM sorties, 7 Intruder and 6 Serrate patrols, 32 Halifaxes minelaying off the French coast and in the Frisians, 23 aircraft on Resistance operations, 34 OTU sorties. 4 aircraft lost: 1 RCM Halifax, 1 Serrate Mosquito, 1 Resistance operation Lysander and 1 OTU Wellington.

Total effort for the night: 598 sorties, 50 aircraft (8.3 per cent) lost.

4/5 May 1944

28 Mosquitos to Ludwigshafen and 4 to Leverkusen, 20 Halifaxes minelaying off Channel and Biscay ports. No losses.

5/6 May 1944

16 Halifaxes and 12 Stirlings minelaying off Channel and Biscay ports, 30 aircraft on Resistance operations, 6 OTU sorties. No losses.

6/7 May 1944

149 aircraft - 77 Halifaxes, 64 Lancasters, 8 Mosquitos - of Nos 4 and 8 Groups attacked railway installations in the Gassicourt suburb of Mantes La Jolie, to the west of Paris. 2 Lancasters and 1 Halifax lost. Bomber Command's records state that 'stores depots and locomotive sheds' were severely damaged but the local report shows that some of the bombing fell outside the railway objective. The western part of the town - including 'old Mantes', the suburb of Gassicourt and the hamlet of Dennemont - were all bombed.

64 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos of No 5 Group attacked an ammunition dump at Sable Sur Sarthe which was destroyed by 'enormous explosions'. No aircraft lost.

52 Lancasters of No 1 Group attacked an ammunition dump at Aubigne accurately and the entire target was destroyed. 1 aircraft lost. The only Lancaster shot down on this raid, from No 576 Squadron, contained a senior officer who was flying as second pilot. This was Air Commodore R Ivelaw-Chapman, who was commanding a 'base' (usually 3 airfields) in No 1 Group. Ivelaw-Chapman had only just taken up this position after a staff job in which he had had access to details of the coming invasion. There was great anxiety in England that, if he became a prisoner of war, the Germans might hand him over to the Gestapo for questioning. He was taken prisoner but the Germans never realized his importance and he was treated in the normal manner.

28 Mosquitos to Ludwigshafen, 5 to Leverkusen and 2 to Châteaudun, 9 RCM sorties, 9 Serrate and 5 Intruder patrols, 8 Halifaxes and 6 Stirlings minelaying off Biscay ports. 33 aircraft on Resistance operations, 6 OTU sorties. 1 Mosquito lost from the Leverkusen raid.

Total effort for the night: 380 sorties, 5 aircraft (1.3 per cent) lost.

7/8 May 1944

93 Lancasters and 6 Mosquitos of 3 and 8 Groups to bomb the airfield at Nantes. 1 Lancaster lost. Accurate bombing hit runways and hangars.

56 Halifaxes of No 6 Group and 8 Pathfinder Mosquitos attempted to bomb a coastal gun position at St Valery near Dieppe but just missed the target. No aircraft lost.

58 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos of No 5 Group attacked an ammunition dump at Salbris. The bombing was accurate and much damage was caused but 7 Lancasters were lost.

53 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos of No 5 Group bombed the airfield at Tours and caused much damage. 1 Lancaster and 1 Mosquito lost.

55 Lancasters of No 1 Group bombed the airfield and an ammunition dump at Rennes. The force was not able to locate and mark the target adequately and most of the bombs fell on a nearby village. No aircraft lost.

28 Mosquitos to Leverkusen and 4 to Châteaudun, 5 RCM sorties, 12 Intruder patrols, 42 aircraft minelaying in the Frisians and in the River Gironde, 39 aircraft on Resistance operations. 2 Halifaxes lost dropping supplies to the Resistance.

Total effort for the night: 471 sorties, 12 aircraft (2.5 per cent) lost.

Tours/Parcay Airfield Salbris Ammo Dump
Wrecked hangars and facilities at Tours/Parcay airfield after the visit by Bomber Command aircraft. This ammunition dump at Salbris was completely flattened by Bomber Command during the night of 7/8 May.

8/9 May 1944

Haine St Pierre: 123 aircraft - 62 Halifaxes, 53 Lancasters, 8 Mosquitos - of 6 and 8 Groups. 6 Halifaxes and 3 Lancasters lost. Severe damage was caused to half of the railway yards and to locomotive sheds.

58 Lancasters and 6 Mosquitos of No 5 Group attacked the airfield and seaplane base at Lanveoc Poulmic near Brest with great accuracy. 1 Lancaster lost.

31 Halifaxes of No 4 Group and 8 Pathfinder Mosquitos scored direct hits on a coastal gun position at Morsalines on the Cherbourg peninsular. 1 Halifax lost.

32 Halifaxes of No 4 Group and 7 Pathfinder Mosquitos attacked a gun position at Berneval but only 1 aircraft hit the target. Most of the bombing was 600-700 yards from the gun position. No aircraft lost.

30 Lancasters of No 3 Group and 8 Pathfinder Mosquitos located a gun position at Cap Griz Nez but no hits were scored. No aircraft lost.

28 Mosquitos to Osnabrück and 2 to Oberhausen, 4 RCM sorties, 10 Serrate patrols, 30 Halifaxes and 8 Stirlings minelaying off the Dutch and French coasts, 41 aircraft on Resistance operations, 26 OTU sorties. 1 Stirling lost on Resistance supply work.

Total effort for the night: 452 sorties, 12 aircraft (2.7 per cent) lost.

'Wimpeys' Still on Ops
Although relegated to support tasks, Wellingtons were still used on a few operational missions. Here, one aircraft is loaded with leaflets prior to a Nickelling sortie on 8/9 May.

9/10 May 1944

414 aircraft - 206 Halifaxes, 180 Lancasters, 28 Mosquitos - attacked 7 coastal gun batteries in the Pas de Calais area. Four of the positions were claimed to have been hit. 1 Lancaster lost while bombing the Mardyck position.

56 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos of No 5 Group attacked the Gnome & Rhone factory at Gennevilliers and another factory near by. 5 Lancasters lost.

39 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos of No 5 Group to a small ball-bearing factory at Annecy on the France-Switzerland border. Weather en route was very bad and only 2 Mosquito marker aircraft reached the target, but the factory was accurately bombed. No aircraft lost.

30 Mosquitos to Berlin and 6 to Châteaudun, 10 RCM sorties, 11 Serrate and 24 Intruder patrols, 20 Halifaxes and 5 Stirlings minelaying off Dutch and French coasts, 43 aircraft on Resistance operations, 12 OTU sorties. 2 Stirlings and 1 Halifax on Resistance operations and 1 OTU Wellington were lost.

Total effort for the night: 682 sorties in 18 separate operations, 1O aircraft (1.5 per cent) lost.

Ball Bearing Factory at Annecy
The improvement in bomb aiming techniques meant that precision targets were becoming easier to hit. This factory at Annecy in France was no exception.

10/11 May 1944

506 aircraft - 291 Lancasters, 187 Halifaxes, 28 Mosquitos - to bomb railway yards at Courtrai, Dieppe, Ghent, Lens and Lille. No post-raid reconnaissance was carried out at Dieppe and results of the raid there are not known. All other raids were successful, although some bombs fell on nearby civilian housing. 12 Lancasters lost from the No 5 Group raid to Lille and 1 Lancaster lost from the Dieppe raid.

29 Mosquitos to Ludwigshafen and 2 to Châteaudun, 5 RCM sorties, 9 Intruder and 3 Serrate patrols, 26 aircraft minelaying off Brest and Heligoland, 28 aircraft on Resistance operations, 10 OTU sorties. 1 Halifax minelayer lost.

Total effort for the night: 618 sorties, 14 aircraft (2.3 per cent) lost.

11/12 May 1944

190 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos of No 5 Group, with 3 Mosquitos of No 8 Group, were dispatched to attack a large military camp at Bourg Léopold in Belgium. Haze hampered the marking of the target and the Master Bomber ordered the raid to be abandoned, for fear of hitting the nearby civilian housing, after 94 Lancasters had bombed. 5 Lancasters lost.

Boulogne: 135 aircraft - 80 Halifaxes, 47 Lancasters, 8 Mosquitos - of 6 and 8 Groups. 2 Halifaxes lost.
Some bombs fell in the railway yards but the main weight of the raid missed the target and fell on nearby civilian housing. 128 civilians were killed.

126 Lancasters and 6 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and 8 Groups to Hasselt in norrth-eastern Belgium. The target was marked and 39 aircraft bombed, but all missed the railway yards because of thick haze and the Master Bomber ordered the bombing to stop. 5 Lancasters lost.

105 Lancasters and 5 Mosquitos of Nos 3 and 8 Groups attacked the railway yards at Louvain near Rennes but the main weight of the bombing hit the railway workshops and nearby storage buildings. 4 Lancasters lost.

53 Halifaxes of No 4 Group and 6 Pathfinder Mosquitos attacked railway yards at Trouville, south of Le Havre. The bombing was accurate and a large explosion was seen. No aircraft lost.

53 Halifaxes of No 4 Group and 6 Pathfinder Mosquitos attacked a gun position at Colline Beaumont near Le Touquet. The target proved difficult to mark and no results were established. No aircraft lost.

8 RCM sorties, 6 Serrate patrols, 12 aircraft minelaying off French ports, 3 aircraft on Resistance operations. No aircraft lost.

Total effort for the night: 725 sorties, 16 aircraft (2.2 per cent) lost.

12/13 May 1944

Louvain: 120 aircraft - 96 Halifaxes, 20 Lancasters, 4 Mosquitos - of 6 and 8 Groups. 3 Halifaxes and 2 Lancasters lost. The bombing was more accurate than on the previous night and considerable damage was caused in the railways yards.

Hasselt: 111 aircraft - 100 Halifaxes, 7 Lancasters, 4 Mosquitos - of Nos 4 and 8 Groups. 6 Halifaxes and 1 Lancaster lost. Most of the attack fell in open fields and only a few bombs hit the railway yards.

22 Mosquitos of No 8 Group attempted to block the Kiel Canal by laying mines from low level. Intelligence sources had said that the flak defences on part of the canal had been removed. 20 Mosquitos laid their mines in this stretch; 1 aircraft lost.

12 Mosquitos to Brunsbüttel (as a diversion for the Kiel Canal mining operation) and 8 to Châteaudun, 10 RCM sorties, 12 Serrate and 9 Intruder patrols, 43 aircraft minelaying off the French coast and in the Frisians. 8 OTU sorties. 1 Intruder Mosquito lost.

Total effort for the night: 355 sorties, 14 aircraft (3.9 per cent) lost.

14/15 May 1944

41 Mosquitos - 29 to Cologne, 5 to Courtrai, 4 Châteaudun, and 3 to Leverkusen, 1 RCM sortie, 10 Halifaxes and 2 Stirlings minelaying off Channel and Biscay ports, 10 OTU sorties. No aircraft lost.

15/16 May 1944

43 Mosquitos - 30 to Ludwigshafen, 10 to Carpiquet airfield near Caen and 3 to Leverkusen, 1 RCM sortie, 2 Serrate patrols, 43 aircraft minelaying from Kiel to Biscay, 6 aircraft on Resistance operations, 24 OTU sorties. 3 Lancaster minelayers and 1 OTU Wellington lost.

16/17 May 1944

29 Mosquitos attacked Berlin; none were lost.

18/19 May 1944

17 Mosquitos on Oboe calibration tests to targets in France. 4 aircraft bombed Mondeville and 2 bombed Orly; others did not bomb. 7 RCM aircraft also operated on this night. No aircraft lost.

19/20 May 1944

143 aircraft - 106 Halifaxes, 32 Lancasters, 5 Mosquitos of Nos 4 and 8 Groups attacked the railway yards at Boulogne. Only 1 of the Oboe Mosquitos was able to mark the target but the bombing was accurate. The local report says that the main station was badly damaged; 33 civilians were killed. No aircraft lost.

118 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and 8 Groups carried out a particularly accurate attack on the railway yards at Orleans. 1 Lancaster lost.

112 Lancasters and 9 Mosquitos of Nos 5 and 8 Groups found that their railway target at Amiens was cloud-covered and the Master Bomber ordered the attack to stop after 37 Lancasters had bombed. 1 Lancaster lost.

113 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos of No 5 Group to attempt the difficult task of attacking the railway installations in the centre of Tours. A previous No 5 Group raid had destroyed the yards on the outskirts of the town. Both the marking and the bombing force were ordered to carry out their tasks with particular care and to be prepared to wait until the Master Bomber was satisfied that the surrounding housing areas were not hit. The raid continued until well after the planned period but no fighters appeared and no aircraft were lost. Much damage was caused to the railways but some bombs did fall to the west of the target.

Le Mans: 112 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos of Nos 3 and 8 Groups. The majority of the bombs hit the railway yards and caused serious damage. The local report says that the locomotive sheds were destroyed, an ammunition train (or some ammunition wagons) blew up, 2 main lines were destroyed and all other lines blocked because overhead power lines were brought down across the tracks. Unfortunately the Lancasters of the Master Bomber and his deputy collided over the target and crashed. The Master Bomber was a brilliant young New Zealander, Wing Commander JF Barron, DSO and Bar, DFC, DFM, and the Deputy Master Bomber was Squadron Leader JM Dennis, DSO, DFC They were both killed; both were from No 7 Squadron. 1 other Lancaster was lost.

58 Halifaxes of No 6 Group and 6 Pathfinder Mosquitos attacked a coastal gun position at Le Clipon but there was haze and the results are not known. No aircraft lost.

63 aircraft - 42 Halifaxes, 15 Lancasters, 6 Mosquitos of Nos 6 and 8 Groups bombed a gun position at Merville near Dunkirk. Some bombs did fall in the battery position despite the presence of haze. No aircraft were lost.

39 Lancasters and 5 Mosquitos of No 8 Group to attack a radar station at Mont Couple. The Mosquitos were not able to use their Oboe equipment but 31 Lancasters used their H2S sets to make a timed run from the coast and bomb the approximate position of the target. 1 Lancaster shot down by flak.

29 Mosquitos to Cologne, 10 RCM sorties, 8 Serrate and 23 Intruder patrols, 24 Halifaxes and 4 Stirlings minelaying off the French coast, 12 OTU sorties. 1 OTU Wellington lost.

Total effort for the night: 900 sorties, 7 aircraft (0.8 per cent) lost.

20/21 May 1944

Düsseldorf: 30 Mosquitos. The target area was cloud-covered and the Oboe markers quickly disappeared into the cloud. Most aircraft bombed on dead reckoning but this must have been inaccurate; Wuppertal, 17 miles east of Düsseldorf, reports 71 people killed on this night. No Mosquitos lost.

14 Mosquitos to Reisholz, 5 Serrate and 4 Intruder patrols, 12 Halifaxes and 4 Stirlings minelaying off French Atlantic ports, 7 OTU sorties. No aircraft lost.

21/22 May 1944

510 Lancasters and 22 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3, 5 and 8 Groups carried out the first large raid on Duisburg for a year. 29 Lancasters were lost, 5.5 per cent of the force. The target was covered by cloud but the Oboe skymarking was accurate and much damage was caused in the southern areas of the city.

Minelaying: 70 Lancasters and 37 Halifaxes to the Frisians, Heligoland, the Kattegat and Kiel Bay. 3 Lancasters lost.

25 Mosquitos to Hannover and 8 to Courtrai, 9 RCM sorties, 28 Serrate and 7 Intruder patrols. No aircraft lost.

Total effort for the night: 716 sorties, 32 aircraft (4.5 per cent) lost.

22/23 May 1944

361 Lancasters and 14 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3, 6 and 8 Groups carried out the first large raid on Dortmund for a year. 18 Lancasters were lost, 4.8 per cent of the force. The attack fell mainly in the south-eastern districts of Dortmund, mostly in residential areas.

Brunswick: 225 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos of No 1 and 5 Groups. 13 Lancasters lost, 5.5 per cent of the force. This raid was a failure. The weather forecast had predicted a clear target but the marker aircraft found a complete covering of cloud. There was also interference on the Master Bomber's radio communications, The No 5 Group method could not cope with these conditions and most of the bombing fell in the country areas around Brunswick. A reconnaissance aircraft flying through this area an hour later found it completely free of cloud.

133 aircraft - 112 Halifaxes, 13 Lancasters, 8 Mosquitos - of Nos 6 and 8 Groups again attacked the railway yards at Le Mans. The local report confirms that the bombing was accurate, with much damage to the railways and the nearby Gnome & Rhone factory. 1 Halifax lost.

Orleans: 128 aircraft - 108 Halifaxes, 12 Lancasters, 8 Mosquitos - of Nos 4 and 8 Groups. 1 Halifax lost. Most of the bombs fell on the passenger station and the railway-repair workshops.

26 Mosquitos to Ludwigshafen and 9 to Courtrai, 9 RCM sorties, 21 Serrate and 8 Intruder patrols, 54 aircraft minelaying in the Frisians and off the French coast, 25 OTU sorties. 1 OTU Whitley was lost, probably the last Whitley to be lost on operations.

Total effort for the night: 1,023 sorties, 34 aircraft (3.3 per cent) lost. The raids on Dortmund and Brunswick were the last major Bomber Command raids on German cities until after the invasion forces were firmly established in Normandy.

Destroyed Bridge at Orleans
The railway bridge across the Loire at Orleans was almost completely destroyed in the two attacks on the French city.

23/24 May 1944

46 Mosquitos - 24 to Dortmund, 16 to Berlin and 6 to a railway junction at Lison in France, 2 RCM sorties, 2 Serrate patrols, 30 aircraft minelaying off various coasts, 4 aircraft on Resistance operations, 8 OTU sorties. No aircraft lost.

24/25 May 1944

442 aircraft - 264 Lancasters, 162 Halifaxes, 16 Mosquitos - of all groups except No 5 to attack 2 railway yards at Aachen - Aachen-West and Rothe Erde (east of the town). These were important links in the railway system between Germany and France. 18 Halifaxes and 7 Lancasters lost, 5.7 per cent of the force. The Aachen report duly records that the 2 railway yards were the targets attacked, with the railways to the east of Aachen being particularly hard hit. But, because this was a German town, Bomber Command sent more aircraft than normal for railway raids and many bombs fell in Aachen itself and in villages near the railway yards.

59 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos of No 5 Group were dispatched to attack the Philips factory at Eindhoven but the Master Bomber ordered the force not to bomb because of bad visibility. 1 aircraft did not hear the order and released its load. No aircraft lost.

106 Halifaxes, 102 Lancasters and 16 Mosquitos, split into small forces, attacked coastal gun positions at Boulogne, Colline Beaumont, Le Clipon and Trouville without loss.

44 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitos of 5 and 8 Groups to attack the Ford motor factory at Antwerp but the bombing missed the target. Some bombs fell on nearby dockside buildings. No aircraft lost.

15 Mosquitos to Berlin, 6 RCM sorties, 31 Serrate and 8 Intruder patrols, 18 Halifaxes and 7 Stirlings minelaying in the Frisians and off Brest, 23 OTU sorties. 1 RCM Halifax lost.

Total effort for the night: 888 sorties, 26 aircraft (2.9 per cent) lost.

26/27 May 1944

30 Mosquitos to Ludwigshafen, 11 to railway yards at Aachen and 8 to Lison, 7 Serrate patrols, 42 aircraft minelaying off Dutch, Belgian and French coasts. 2 Mosquitos were lost from the Ludwigshafen raid.

27/28 May 1944

331 aircraft - 267 Halifaxes, 56 Lancasters, 8 Mosquitos - to attack the military camp at Bourg Léopold in Belgium. 9 Halifaxes and 1 Lancaster lost, 3.0 per cent of the force. 1 Oboe-aimed target indicator fell right on the target and the bombing which followed caused severe damage to the camp.

162 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3 and 8 Groups to attack the Rothe Erde railway yards at Aachen. 12 Lancasters lost, 7.0 per cent of the force. The railway lines at the yards, which were not seriously hit in the raid of 2 nights earlier, were now severely damaged and all through traffic was halted. A large proportion of delayed-action bombs were dropped. The local people were impressed that the whole raid only lasted 12 minutes.

100 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos of No 5 Group to attack a railway junction and workshops at Nantes. The first 50 Lancasters bombed so accurately that the Master Bomber ordered the remainder of the force to retain their bombs. 1 Lancaster lost.

78 Lancasters and 5 Mosquitos of No 8 Group attacked the airfield at Rennes in good visibility. The marking was good and the bombing was very accurate. Much damage to the airfield installations was caused and there was a large explosion, probably in the bomb dump.

272 aircraft - 208 Lancasters, 49 Halifaxes, 15 Mosquitos - carried out raids on 5 coastal-battery positions on the French coast. All of the targets were bombed satisfactorily. 1 Lancaster and 1 Mosquito lost.

23 Mosquitos to Berlin and 6 to Düsseldorf, 7 RCM sorties, 28 Serrate and 10 Intruder patrols, 60 aircraft minelaying from Le Havre to the River Gironde, 10 aircraft on Resistance operations, 7 OTU sorties. 3 Mosquitos - 2 Intruders and 1 Serrate - lost.

Total effort for the night: 1,111 sorties in 17 separate operations, 28 aircraft (2.5 per cent) lost.

Aachen Marshalling Yards
After two visits in recent nights, these marshalling yards at Aachen were completely destroyed.

28/29 May 1944

118 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos of 3 and 8 Groups attacked the railway yards and junction at Angers. 1 Lancaster lost. The Bomber Command report describes this as 'a good, concentrated attack' with the tracks and rolling stock very seriously damaged. A brief report from Angers, however, shows that much of the bombing must have fallen outside the target.

181 Lancasters and 20 Mosquitos bombed 3 coastal gun positions. 1 Lancaster lost.

31 Mosquitos to Ludwigshafen and 6 to a railway junction at Laval, 3 RCM sorties, 6 Intruder patrols, 10 Halifaxes and 6 Stirlings minelaying off Dutch, Belgian and French coasts, 24 aircraft on Resistance operations, 14 OTU sorties. 2 OTU Wellingtons shot down in error by anti-aircraft guns on the Dorset coast.

Total effort for the night: 427 sorties, 4 aircraft (0.9 per cent) lost.

29/30 May 1944

31 Mosquitos to Hannover, 11 to Xanten ammunition dump and 4 to a coastal battery at Mardyck, 6 Halifaxes minelaying off Ijmuiden, Dunkirk and Brest. No aircraft lost.

30/31 May 1944

50 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos of 3 and 8 Groups attacked a coastal gun position at Boulogne without loss.

30 Mosquitos to Leverkusen, 12 Stirlings minelaying off the Dutch and French coasts, 11 Stirlings on Resistance operations. No aircraft lost.

31 May/1 June 1944

219 aircraft - 125 Lancasters, 86 Halifaxes, 8 Mosquitos - of all groups except No 5 Group successfully attacked the railway yards at Trappes to the west of Paris in 2 waves. 4 Lancasters lost.

129 aircraft - 109 Halifaxes, 16 Lancasters, 4 Mosquitos - of Nos 6 and 8 Groups bombed a coastal wireless transmitting station at Au Fèvre and destroyed 4 of the 6 masts. No aircraft lost.

115 aircraft - 60 Lancasters, 51 Halifaxes, 4 Mosquitos - of 6 and 8 Groups bombed a radio jamming station at Mont Couple which was 'rendered completely unserviceable'. No aircraft lost.

111 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and 8 Groups attacked the railway yards at Tergnier. The sidings and workshops were 'squarely hit'. 2 Lancasters lost.

82 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos of No 5 Group attacked and destroyed a railway junction at Saumur without loss.

68 Lancasters of No 5 Group raiding a coastal gun battery at Maisy found it covered by cloud and only 6 aircraft bombed. No aircraft lost.

14 RCM sorties, 16 Serrate and 9 Intruder patrols, 28 aircraft minelaying off the Dutch and French coasts, 9 aircraft on Resistance operations, 12 OTU sorties. 5 aircraft were lost - 2 Halifaxes and 1 Hudson on Resistance operations, 1 Stirling minelayer and 1 Intruder Mosquito.

Total effort for the night: 820 sorties, 11 aircraft (1.3 per cent) lost.

Railway Bridge Destroyed at Saumur
One section of the vital railway bridge at Saumur was destroyed. (It is visible on the lower end of the structure).

1944 April  1944 June
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