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Royal Air Force Bomber Command 60th Anniversary


Campaign Diary
November 1942

 

1 November 1942

6 Bostons to St-Omer airfield, 3 bombed here and 3 bombed the docks at Calais as an alternative target. 1 Boston lost.

3 November 1942

3 Stirlings to Lingen; 2 of these aircraft bombed a factory. 3 Venturas of 21 Squadron commenced operations with this new type of day bomber; they were unable to find their primary target, a factory at Hengelo, and bombed railways in Holland instead. No aircraft lost on this day.

3/4 November 1942

Minelaying: 29 Wellingtons to Biscay ports. 1 aircraft lost.

6 November 1942

14 Wellingtons and 5 Lancasters on cloud-cover raids to Essen, Osnabrück and Wilhelmshaven. Only 6 aircraft bombed, through cloud, in the Osnabrück and Wilhelmshaven areas. No aircraft lost.

12 Bostons bombed an airfield near Caen without loss.

10 Venturas in fours and twos carried out low-level raids to Holland. 3 aircraft lost.

One of the Bostons which attacked Caen airfield. The airfield at Caen under attack.

6/7 November 1942

Genoa

72 Lancasters of the Pathfinder Force and 5 Group. 2 Lancasters lost.

The attack was concentrated but most bombs fell in residential areas. No separate report for this raid is available from Genoa.

Minor Operations: 65 aircraft minelaying from Lorient to the Frisians, 4 OTU sorties, 3 Stirling minelayers lost.

7 November 1942

6 Mosquitos of 105 Squadron carried out a successful low-level attack on the 5,000ton German ship Elsa Essberger in the mouth of the River Gironde. The merchant ship was escorted by an armed naval vessel. The Mosquitos claimed to have hit both ships but 1 Mosquito was shot down.

In other operations, 9 Bostons, 6 Venturas and 5 Wellingtons attempted raids to many places in Germany, Belgium and Holland but most only achieved attacks on minor targets of opportunity. 1 Boston and 1 Ventura lost.

7/8 November 1942

Genoa

175 aircraft - 85 Lancasters, 45 Halifaxes, 39 Stirlings, 6 Wellingtons. 6 aircraft - 4 Halifaxes, 1 Lancaster, 1 Wellington - lost, 3.4 per cent of the force.

Returning crews claimed a very successful and concentrated raid and this was confirmed by photographs. No report is available from Genoa.

36 Wellingtons of 1 Group minelaying in many areas from St Nazaire to Denmark. 1 aircraft lost.

8/9 November 1942

Minelaying: 70 aircraft to many places from Brest to the Frisian Islands. 2 Halifaxes and 2 Wellingtons lost.

Leaflets: 26 Stirlings of 3 Group carried out a special operation to drop leaflets over many towns in France. No aircraft were lost.

9 November 1942

12 Bostons bombed Le Havre and scored a hit on the large German merchant ship which had been the objective of recent raids. The ship was put out of action for several months. No Bostons were lost.

9/10 November 1942

Hamburg

213 aircraft - 74 Wellingtons, 72 Lancasters, 48 Halifaxes, 19 Stirlings. 15 aircraft - 5 Lancasters, 4 Stirlings, 4 Wellingtons, 2 Halifaxes - lost, 7.0 per cent of the force.

The bombers encountered cloud and icing and winds which had not been forecast. No clear identification or marking of Hamburg was made. 150 crews reported bombing. Hamburg reports thick cloud and heavy rain and says that many bombs fell in the Elbe or in open country. There were 26 fires in Hamburg of which 3 were large ones. Casualties were 3 people killed and 16 injured.

15 Stirlings carried more leaflets to France without loss.

10 November 1942

18 Bostons attempted to continue attacks on the German ship at Le Havre but it had been moved. 15 aircraft bombed the dock area. 2 Bostons crashed in the sea.

10/11 November 1942

Minelaying: 42 aircraft to the southern Biscay coast of France and to the Frisian Islands. No aircraft were lost but 2 Lancasters crashed in England.

11/12 November 1942

Minelaying: 31 Wellingtons to Biscay ports and the Frisians. No losses.

13 November 1942

6 Wellingtons to Emden but only 1 aircraft dropped bombs, which hit fields. No losses.

2 Mosquitos of 105 Squadron set out to Flushing to attack a damaged merchant ship (see 7 and 9 November) but did not return. It is believed, however, that they did hit the ship again. 2 more Mosquitos and 6 Bostons then took off to carry out a sea search for the crews of the 2 lost Mosquitos. These were not found and 1 of the Bostons was then lost.

13/14 November 1942

Genoa

67 Lancasters and 9 Stirlings of the Pathfinder Force and 5 Group. More successful bombing was carried out but no details are available. No aircraft lost.

12 Wellingtons minelaying off Lorient and St Nazaire without loss.

15/16 November 1942

Genoa

78 aircraft - 40 Halifaxes, 27 Lancasters, 11 Stirlings - continued the raids on Genoa with further accurate bombing. No aircraft lost.

22 Wellingtons of 1 Group minelaying off La Pallice, Lorient and St Nazaire. 1 aircraft lost.

16 November 1942

6 Mosquitos bombed targets in the small German towns of Emmerich, Jülich and Lingen without loss.

16/17 November 1942

Minor Operations: 65 aircraft minelaying to various places from Lorient to the Frisian Islands. 2 Wellingtons and 1 Stirling lost. 5 Halifaxes on leaflet flights to France without loss.

17/18 November 1942

Minor Operations: 43 aircraft minelaying from Lorient to the Frisian Islands, 14 aircraft on leaflet flights to France. 1 Halifax lost on the leaflet operation.

18/19 November 1942

Turin

77 aircraft dispatched. Many fires were started in the city-centre area. Hits were also achieved on the Fiat motor factory. Turin records show that 42 people were killed and 72 injured.

5 OTU aircraft took leaflets to France without loss.

19/20 November 1942

11 Wellingtons of 1 Group minelaying off Lorient and St Nazaire. 1 aircraft lost.

20/21 November 1942

Turin

232 aircraft - 86 Lancasters, 54 Wellingtons, 47 Halifaxes, 45 Stirlings - on the largest raid to Italy during this period. 3 aircraft - 1 Halifax, 1 Stirling, 1 Wellington - lost.

This was another successful attack, with large fires being started. Dense smoke prevented further observations of the effects of the bombing but the casualty roll in Turin, 117 dead and 120 injured, confirms that many bombs fell in the city.

Minor Operations: 4 Stirlings minelaying in the River Gironde, 4 OTU sorties. No losses.

21/22 November 1942

Minelaying: 30 aircraft to Biscay ports from Lorient to Bayonne without loss.

22/23 November 1942

Stuttgart

222 aircraft - 97 Lancasters, 59 Wellingtons, 39 Halifaxes, 27 Stirlings. 10 aircraft - 5 Lancasters, 3 Wellingtons, 2 Halifaxes - lost, 4.5 per cent of the force.

A thin layer of cloud and some ground haze concealed Stuttgart and the Pathfinders were not able to identify the centre of the city. Heavy bombing developed to the south-west and south and the outlying residential districts of Vaihingen, Rohr, Mohringen and Plieningen, all about 5 miles from the centre, were hit. 88 houses were destroyed and 334 seriously damaged; 28 people were killed and 71 injured.

There was 1 OTU leaflet sortie to France which returned safely.

23/24 November 1942

Minelaying: 35 aircraft to Biscay ports and the Frisian Islands without loss.

25 November 1942

In the first Bomber Command day operation for 10 days. 6 Wellingtons and 5 Lancasters were sent on cloud-cover raids to Essen and 5 smaller German targets. Most of these aircraft turned back because of insufficient cloud. 1 Wellington bombed ships off the Dutch coast. 1 Lancaster and 1 Wellington lost.

25/26 November 1942

22 Wellingtons and Halifaxes minelaying off St Nazaire and in the Frisians without loss.

26/27 November 1942

30 aircraft minelaying off Lorient and St Nazaire and in the Frisians and the Kattegat. No losses.

27 November 1942

6 Bostons in low-level pairs to Belgium and Holland. 3 aircraft bombed various targets. No losses.

27/28 November 1942

32 Lancasters and Stirlings were recalled from a raid to Stettin and jettisoned their bombs in the North Sea. 10 aircraft were sent minelaying in the River Gironde and off Texel, Gdynia and Danzig. The more distant locations were not reached. No aircraft lost.

28/29 November 1942

Turin

228 aircraft - 117 Lancasters, 47 Stirlings, 45 Halifaxes, 19 Wellingtons. 2 Stirlings and 1 Wellington lost.

Part of the force bombed before the Pathfinders were ready but the remainder carried out very accurate bombing, some of it around the Royal Arsenal. Turin recorded 67 people killed and 83 injured.

Minor Operations: 19 aircraft minelaying off Biscay ports, 5 OTU sorties. No losses.

29/30 November 1942

Turin

29 Stirlings and 7 Lancasters of 3 Group and the Pathfinder Force dispatched, with the Fiat works as their main target. Weather conditions were poor and only 18 aircraft - 14 Pathfinders and 4 Stirlings of 3 Group - are known to have definitely crossed the Alps and bombed Turin. 2 further Stirlings were lost. Turin reported only that 16 people were killed and 15 injured.

6 Mosquitos to Belgium to seek targets of opportunity. This was the first Mosquito night operation of the war. Railway yards at 5 places in Belgium were bombed and the Mosquitos all returned safely.

30 November/1 December 1942

6 Wellingtons of 3 Group laid mines at La Pallice without loss.


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