Royal Air Force Bomber Command 60th Anniversary
|Eindhoven, 6 December 1942|
272 aircraft - 101 Lancasters, 65 Halifaxes, 57 Wellingtons, 49 Stirlings. 10 aircraft - 5 Wellingtons, 3 Halifaxes, 1 Lancaster, 1 Stirling - lost, 3.1 per cent of the force, and 4 more aircraft crashed in England.
The target area was found to be completely cloud-covered. Most of the Pathfinders withheld their flares and many of the 220 crews who bombed did so on dead-reckoning positions. Mannheim reports only 500 or so incendiary bombs and some leaflets. There were no casualties in Mannheim.
14 Lancasters and Wellingtons laid mines in the Frisian Islands without loss.
Minelaying: 36 aircraft were sent to a wide extent of coast from the southern Biscay to the Frisians. This appears to be the first night on which aircraft of 4 Group joined in the minelaying campaign.
6 Mosquitos carried out daylight Intruder patrols over Holland and just over the German frontier. 1 Mosquito lost.
133 aircraft of 5 Group and the Pathfinder Force - 108 Lancasters, 9 Halifaxes, 9 Wellingtons, 7 Stirlings; 1 Lancaster lost.
The Pathfinders illuminated the target well and bombing was very accurate. Residential and industrial areas were both extensively damaged. Turin reports 212 dead and 111 injured. Fires from this raid were still burning the following night.
Minelaying: 80 aircraft of 1, 3 and 4 Groups to the German and Danish coasts; 5 aircraft - 3 Stirlings, 1 Halifax, 1 Lancaster - lost.
Total effort for the night: 213 sorties, 6 aircraft (2.8 per cent) lost.
5 Mosquitos on individual flights to France and Holland; all aircraft attacked targets, mostly trains. No losses.
227 aircraft - 115 Lancasters, 47 Halifaxes, 40 Wellingtons, 25 Stirlings. 2 Wellingtons and 1 Lancaster lost.
This was a disappointing raid with the Pathfinders not able to perform as efficiently as on the previous night. Smoke from old fires partially obscured the target area. Turin records 73 more people killed and 99 injured.
Minor Operations: 2 Stirlings minelaying in the Frisians, 12 OTU sorties. 1 OTU Whitley lost.
82 aircraft of 1, 4 and 5 Groups and the Pathfinders - 48 Halifaxes, 20 Lancasters, 8 Stirlings, 6 Wellingtons - were dispatched but more than half of the force turned back before attempting to cross the Alps, because of severe icing conditions. 28 crews claimed to have bombed Turin but the city reports only 3 high-explosive bombs and a few incendiaries, with no casualties. 3 Halifaxes and 1 Stirling lost.
Minor Operations: 26 Wellingtons minelaying off Biscay ports and in the Frisians, 4 OTU sorties. No losses.
Because of bad weather, no major night raids were possible for the remainder of this diary period. On this night, 15 Wellingtons of 1 and 3 Groups were sent minelaying in the Frisian Islands without loss.
4 Bostons and 4 Mosquitos on railway attacks in France and Belgium but only 2 Mosquitos bombed, at Laon and Criel. No aircraft lost.
6 Wellingtons minelaying off Lorient and St Nazaire without loss.
4 Mosquitos on railways attacks in Belgium and Holland but only 1 aircraft bombed at Ghent. No losses.
Minelaying: 68 aircraft - 27 Halifaxes, 23 Lancasters, 18 Wellingtons - to Texel, Heligoland and the Frisians. The 5 Group Lancasters were recalled but most of the other types carried out their tasks. There were no losses.
5 Wellingtons minelaying off Lorient and St Nazaire without loss.
Minor Operations: 8 Wellingtons attempted to bomb a German aircraft depot at Diepholz; 3 aircraft bombed the general area of the target but 'with no evidence of success' and 1 Wellington was lost. 18 aircraft minelaying in the River Gironde and off Brest and Lorient; 1 Stirling lost.
6 Wellingtons and 4 Mosquitos on cloud-cover and railway attacks over a wide area. 5 aircraft attacked various targets, There were no losses.
Minor Operations: 27 Lancasters of 5 Group were sent on raids to 8 small German towns and 16 Stirlings and 6 Wellingtons of 3 Group attempted to attack the Opel works at Fallersleben. This type of limited operation proved to be a costly failure. 9 of the 27 Lancasters were lost and, at Fallersleben, only 3 aircraft bombed the target, in cloud conditions, and 6 Stirlings and 2 Wellingtons were lost from this part of the night's operations. 50 aircraft were dispatched to lay mines from Denmark to southern Biscay - 1 Lancaster was lost - and there were 5 OTU sorties to France.
Total losses for the night: 18 aircraft out of 104 dispatched, 1.3 per cent.
15 Wellingtons minelaying off Brest, Lorient and St Nazaire without loss.
11 Mosquitos to north-west Germany. 9 aircraft attacked trains and rolling stock; 1 Mosquito lost.
232 aircraft - 111 Lancasters, 56 Halifaxes, 39 Wellingtons, 26 Stirlings. 12 aircraft - 6 Lancasters, 4 Wellingtons, 2 Halifaxes - lost, 5.2 per cent of the force.
The bombing force found that the target area was clear and claimed much damage.
Lutterade Oboe Trial
6 Mosquitos of 109 Squadron were dispatched to bomb a power-station at Lutterade, a small town in Holland near the German frontier. The first Oboe-aimed bombs were dropped by Squadron Leader H. E. Bufton and his navigator Flight Lieutenant E. L. Ifould. 2 other crews bombed on Oboe but the equipment in the remaining 3 aircraft did not function properly and they bombed elsewhere. The Mosquitos all returned safely.
Daylight photographs taken after the raid showed so many old bomb craters from an earlier raid when the Pathfinder mistook Lutterade for Aachen that it was impossible to identify the Oboe results reliably. A local report, however, states that 9 bombs fell together in open ground 2 km from the power-station.
4 OTU Wellingtons on leaflet flights to France without loss.
9 Venturas and 6 Bostons to attack railway targets in France, Belgium and Holland but only 2 Venturas found targets, at Monceau and Valenciennes. No aircraft lost.
137 aircraft of 1 and 5 Groups and the Pathfinder Force - 119 Lancasters, 9 Stirlings, 9 Wellingtons. 12 aircraft - 8 Lancasters, 3 Stirlings, 1 Wellington - lost, 8.8 per cent of the force.
110 aircraft claimed to have bombed Munich and started fires but their photographs showed that all or most of the bombs fell in open country, possibly attracted by a decoy site.
6 Wellingtons on a cloud-cover raid to Emden; 4 aircraft bombed estimated positions through cloud. 6 Mosquitos on Intruder raids to Belgium, Holland and north-west Germany; only 2 aircraft attacked railway targets and 1 Mosquito was lost.
Minor Operations: 4 Oboe Mosquitos to Hamborn and Rheinhausen, 4 OTU sorties. No losses.
18 Bostons bombed St-Malo docks and 6 Venturas bombed naval installations at Den Helder. The Den Helder bombing was particularly accurate and serious damage was caused to a torpedo workshop and other buildings. No aircraft lost.
5 Oboe Mosquitos attacked industrial targets in Essen, Hamborn, Meiderich and Rheinhausen. No results could be observed, because of haze, and later daylight photographs could not distinguish craters caused by these attacks from those of other raids but a map from Essen shows accurate bomb bursts in the middle of the main Krupps factory on this night. No Mosquitos lost.
3 Oboe Mosquitos attacked Essen and Meiderich without loss. The Essen bombs fell on the northern parts of the Krupps factory.
5 Wellingtons and 1 Stirling laid mines in the Frisian Islands without loss.
6 Mosquitos attacked various targets in France without loss.
Minor Operations: 3 Oboe Mosquitos attacked Essen and Meiderich in 10/10ths cloud conditions. The Essen bombs fell 500 metres east of the Krupps factory. 14 Lancasters minelaying in the River Gironde. No aircraft lost.
6 Mosquitos attacked various targets in Belgium and France without loss.
8 Lancasters and 2 Oboe Mosquitos of the Pathfinder Force to Düsseldorf. 1 Lancaster lost.
This was a trial raid, with the Mosquitos dropping target markers by Oboe for the small Lancaster force. Only 1 Mosquito was able to use Oboe. The Düsseldorf report shows that, out of 9 recorded bombing incidents, 6 were at industrial premises, though no serious damage was caused. 10 civilians and 2 Flak soldiers were killed, 34 people were injured and 7 more were classified as missing. Later in the night, 3 more Oboe Mosquitos were sent to attack the German night-fighter control room at Florennes airfield in Belgium. 2 Mosquitos operated their Oboe equipment satisfactorily and dropped 6 high-explosive bombs from 28,000ft through 10/10ths cloud. The results are not known. No aircraft lost.
Minor Operations: 29 aircraft minelaying off Biscay ports, 8 OTU sorties. 1 Wellington minelayer lost.
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