Royal Air Force Bomber Command 60th Anniversary

Campaign Diary
August 1942


1 August 1942

6 Bostons to Flushing docks; 2 aircraft lost. 5 Mosquitos to widely separated German targets; 1 Mosquito lost.

3 August 1942

10 Halifaxes to Hamburg and 2 Mosquitos to Hagen and Vegesack all turned back because of lack of cloud.

3/4 August 1942

8 Lancasters minelaying in Kiel Bay and off Denmark. No aircraft lost.

4 August 1942

3 Mosquitos and 1 Wellington to the Ruhr, Stuttgart and Bremen all turned back.

4/5 August 1942


38 aircraft dispatched encountered severe icing and only 18 aircraft bombed in the Essen area. 1 Lancaster lost.

45 aircraft minelaying in the Frisians and off Brest, Lorient and St Nazaire. 2 Wellingtons lost.

5 August 1942

3 Mosquitos to Germany, only 1 bombed. No aircraft lost.

5/6 August 1942

The Ruhr

25 aircraft, 17 to Essen and 8 to Bochum. The intention was to reach the target area by Gee and then to bomb visually through gaps in the cloud. Only 3 aircraft bombed at Bochum and only 1 at Essen. 5 aircraft - 3 Halifaxes, 1 Lancaster and 1 Wellington - were lost and a further aircraft crashed in England.

Minor Operations: 57 aircraft minelaying off France, Holland and Germany, 14 aircraft on leaflet flights. 1 Wellington minelayer lost.

A Halifax II of No 405 (Vancouver) Squadron RCAF is prepared for it's next mission from Topcliffe, August 1942.

6 August 1942

3 Mosquitos to Germany but only 1 aircraft bombed, at Hannover. No losses.

6/7 August 1942


216 aircraft of 5 types. 5 aircraft - 2 Halifaxes, 2 Stirlings, 1 Wellington - lost.
Most of the bombs fell in open country west of the target. Duisburg reports 18 buildings destroyed, 66 seriously damaged and 24 people killed.

Minor Operations: 5 aircraft to Le Havre but this force did not bomb, 3 Blenheim Intruders, 1 Lancaster minelaying in the Frisians. No losses.

7 August 1942

3 Mosquitos to Germany but only 1 bombed, at Mannheim or Worms. No losses.

8/9 August 1942

12 Lancasters minelaying in Kiel Bay and off Denmark. No losses.

9 August 1942

3 Mosquitos to Germany but only 1 bombed, at Frankfurt. No losses.

9/10 August 1942


192 aircraft - 91 Wellingtons, 42 Lancasters, 40 Stirlings, 19 Halifaxes. 3 Halifaxes and 3 Wellingtons lost.

Visibility was good but the initial flares were dropped over a wide area. Osnabrück's report shows that 206 houses and 1 military building were destroyed and nearly 4,000 other buildings were damaged, mostly lightly. Among industrial buildings hit were a vehicle works, a gas-meter factory, a textile factory and an iron foundry. 62 people were killed - 40 civilians, 17 foreign workers, 5 service or air-raid men - and 107 injured.

Minor Operations: 18 aircraft to Le Havre, 13 Blenheim Intruders, 3 aircraft minelaying in the Frisians. No losses.

An important event which occurred on this night was the first effective jamming by the Germans of Gee signals.

10 August 1942

3 Mosquitos to Germany but only 1 aircraft bombed at Cologne. No losses.

10/11 August 1942

Minelaying: 52 aircraft to Kiel Bay and the Danish coast. 1 Lancaster and 1 Stirling lost.

11/12 August 1942


154 aircraft - 68 Wellingtons, 33 Lancasters, 28 Stirlings, 25 Halifaxes - on the first large raid to this city. 6 aircraft - 3 Wellingtons, 2 Halifaxes, 1 Lancaster - lost.

Much damage was caused in the centre of Mainz. The number of people killed is believed to be 152 - 87 men, 64 women and 1 soldier - but there may be some doubt about this.

Minor Operations: 16 aircraft to Le Havre, 9 Blenheim Intruders, 9 Hampdens minelaying in the Elbe, 3 Lancasters on leaflet flights. 1 Halifax and 1 Lancaster lost on the Le Havre raid.

12 August 1942

1 Mosquito attacked a chemical factory at Wiesbaden but its bombs fell short. The aircraft returned safely.

12/13 August 1942


138 aircraft of 4 types followed up the previous night's raid. 5 aircraft - 2 Lancasters, 1 Hampden, 1 Stirling, 1 Wellington - were lost.

More damage was caused in the centre of Mainz and also in industrial areas. The main railway station was seriously damaged. Again there is some confusion over casualties; figures of 40 and 163 are quoted for numbers killed.
The town of Bingen, 15 miles west of Mainz, recorded that the nearby villages of Kempten and Gaulsheim were each hit by a 4,000lb bomb on this night. 130 houses were damaged in Kempten and 97 in Gaulsheim but only 1 person, in Kempten, was injured.

Minor Operations: 6 Blenheim Intruders, 9 aircraft minelaying in the Frisians, 2 Lancasters on leaflet flights. No losses.

13 August 1942

7 Bostons on a shipping sweep off the Frisian Islands claimed 1 ship sunk and 1 Mosquito bombed Essen. No aircraft lost.

13/14 August 1942

Minelaying: 36 aircraft to many locations along the German and Dutch coasts. 1 Stirling lost.

14 August 1942

1 Mosquito to Mannheim turned back.

15 August 1942

1 Mosquito to Mainz was lost.

Damage to Mainz after the recent series of raids.

15/16 August 1942


131 aircraft of 5 types. 4 aircraft - 2 Lancasters, 1 Hampden, 1 Wellington - lost.

Visibility was poor and the bombing was scattered. Düsseldorf and Neuss reports only a light raid, the most serious incident being in the centre of Neuss where a 4,000lb bomb caused much blast damage to buildings. 1 person was killed in Neuss, none in Düsseldorf; 13 people were injured. No industrial production of any kind was lost as a result of this raid.

9 aircraft laid mines in the Frisians. 1 Stirling lost.

16 August 1942

1 Mosquito bombed Vegesack and returned safely.

16/17 August 1942

Minelaying: 56 aircraft to the Frisian Islands. 2 Lancasters lost.

17 August 1942

1 Mosquito bombed the Kiel area and returned safely

17/18 August 1942


139 aircraft of 5 types. 5 aircraft - 3 Wellingtons, 1 Lancaster, 1 Stirling - lost, 3.6 per cent of the force.
111 crews reported accurate bombing. Osnabrück recorded a sharp attack on the north and north-western parts of the town with 77 houses and 4 military buildings destroyed and 125 other buildings seriously damaged, including the town's main hospital, a paper-mill and a copper-wire factory. 7 people were killed and 15 were injured.

Minor Operations: 8 Blenheim Intruders, 4 aircraft minelaying in the Frisians and off Texel and Verdon. No aircraft lost.

The last operational flights in Bomber Command by Blenheims were carried out on this night when 18 Squadron, based at Wattisham, carried out the last Blenheim Intruder operation, attacking airfields at Leeuwarden, Rheine, Twente and Vechta.

Photo-recce picture of railway yards at Osnabrück after the two recent raids by Bomber Command.

18 August 1942

1 Mosquito bombed Hamburg, which reports 2 people killed, 32 injured and 31 bombed out.

18/19 August 1942


118 aircraft, including 31 Pathfinders. 4 aircraft - 2 Wellingtons, 1 Halifax, 1 Stirling - lost, 3.4 per cent of the force.

Flensburg, on an inlet of the Baltic, was in theory an easy target for the Pathfinders on their first operation but the winds encountered were not as forecast and the bomber force drifted north of the target to a part of Denmark whose coast also had many inlets. 16 Pathfinder crews claimed to have marked the target area and 78 Main Force crews also claimed to have bombed in the correct place. Flensburg reports that the town was not hit at all but a Danish report shows that the towns of Sønderborg and Abenra and a large area of Denmark up to 25 miles north of Flensburg were hit by scattered bombing. 26 houses were destroyed and 660 were damaged but only 4 Danish people were injured.

9 Wellingtons laid mines in the Frisian Islands without loss.

19 August 1942

The Dieppe Raid

2 Group flew 62 Boston smoke-laying and bombing sorties in support of the Canadian landing at Dieppe; some crews carried out more than 1 flight. 3 Bostons were lost.

1 Mosquito sent to bomb Bremen did not return.

The Dieppe Raid
A flight of Bostons cast shadows on the French countryside during their low-level transit. With smoke already covering part of the assault, this Boston drops its load on the defending forces. Overall view of the attack on Dieppe.

20/21 August 1942

Minelaying: 57 aircraft laid mines at many places from Brest to Danzig. 3 Stirlings and 3 Wellingtons lost. 5 Halifaxes made leaflet flights to France without loss.

21 August 1942

1 Mosquito bombed Chocques power-station and returned safely.

22/23 August 1942

3 Halifaxes dropped leaflets over Paris without loss.

23 August 1942

6 Wellingtons on cloud-cover raids to Bremen but only 2 aircraft bombed, at Emden. 1 Mosquito to Flensburg. No aircraft lost.

24/25 August 1942


226 aircraft - 104 Wellingtons, 61 Lancasters, 53 Stirlings, 8 Halifaxes. 16 aircraft - 6 Lancasters, 5 Wellingtons, 4 Stirlings, 1 Halifax - lost, 7.1 per cent of the force. 5 Pathfinder aircraft, including that of the commanding officer of 7 Squadron, were among the aircraft lost.

This was the second Pathfinder-led raid and the Pathfinder crews again experienced great difficulty in locating the target in cloudy conditions; most of the bombing fell in open country north and west of Frankfurt. Local reports say that some bombs fell in the city, with 17 large and 53 small fires and with moderate property damage. 5 people were killed, including 2 Flak gunners, and 95 people were injured. The outlying villages of Schwalbach and Eschborn were heavily bombed.

3 Lancasters of 5 Group were sent to bomb specific targets in the towns of Bingen, Mayen and Bad Kreuznach, all on the approach route of the main bomber force to Frankfurt. Bad Kreuznach was believed to be the location of the German Western Army Headquarters. All 3 Lancasters bombed and returned safely. The town records of Bingen describe the explosion of their Lancaster's 4,000lb bomb near the famous Ehrenfels mountain overlooking the Rhine. 225 houses in Bingen were damaged by the blast!

6 Wellingtons minelaying in the Frisians without loss.

25 August 1942

4 Mosquitos to Hannover, Brauweiler and Cologne. 3 aircraft bombed with unseen results; 1 was lost.

27 August 1942

12 Bostons bombed Abbeville airfield, 4 Mosquitos to Holland and Germany. Bremen reports one Mosquito dropping 3 bombs and scoring a direct hit on the foundry of the Vulkan shipyard, which stopped production for several days. 1 Boston and 1 Mosquito lost.

27/28 August 1942


306 aircraft of 5 types. 31 aircraft - 21 Wellingtons, 5 Stirlings, 3 Lancasters, 1 Halifax, 1 Hampden - lost, 10.1 per cent of the force. 142 Squadron, based at Grimsby, lost 5 of its 15 Wellingtons taking part in the raid. Many of the casualties were attributed to night-fighter action.

There was only a little cloud over Kassel and the Pathfinders were able to illuminate the area well. Widespread damage was caused, particularly in the south-western parts of the city. Kassel reports that 144 buildings were destroyed and 317 seriously damaged. Several military establishments were hit and the number of dead soldiers, 28, exceeded the number of civilians killed, 15. 187 civilians and 64 soldiers were injured. Among the buildings severely damaged were all three of the factories of the Henschel aircraft company.


9 Lancasters of 106 Squadron, 5 Group, were dispatched on a special operation.
Each aircraft was loaded with a special 'Capital Ship' bomb which had been developed for attacks on large warships. It was believed that one direct hit could sink such a ship. The target on this night was the new German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin, which was reputed to be almost ready for sailing. 7 of the Lancasters reached Gdynia, 950 miles from their base, but could not locate the Graf Zeppelin because of haze and bombed the harbour area instead. If these aircraft had managed to sink the Graf Zeppelin, this raid would have ranked as one of the bombing war's epics. No Lancasters were lost. The Germans never did use the Graf Zeppelin as an aircraft carrier.

4 aircraft made leaflet flights to France without loss.

Caught in the photo-flash of a higher-flying aircraft, a Wellington shows up against a brightly-lit Kassel.

28/29 August 1942


159 aircraft - 71 Lancasters, 41 Wellingtons, 34 Stirlings, 13 Halifaxes. 23 aircraft - 14 Wellingtons, 4 Lancasters, 3 Stirlings, 2 Halifaxes - lost, 14.5 per cent of the force. The Wellington losses were 34 per cent of those dispatched!

Crews were ordered to attack Nuremberg from as low as possible. The Pathfinders found their aiming point and, for the first time, marked it with target indicators adapted from 250lb bomb casings. Photographs showed that these were placed with great accuracy and the crews of the Main Force claimed to have carried out a good attack.
A report from Nuremberg does not quite confirm this. Bombs were dropped as far away as the town of Erlangen, nearly 10 miles to the north, and 4 people were killed there. In Nuremberg itself, the number of bombs recorded would indicate that approximately 50 aircraft hit the town. 137 people were killed; 126 civilians and 11 foreigners.


113 aircraft - 71 Wellingtons, 24 Halifaxes, 17 Hampdens, 1 Stirling. This was an experimental raid by a force of oddments - Halifaxes of 4 Group which were being rested from major operations, Hampdens of 5 Group and new crews from other groups. There were no Pathfinders. The moon was four fifths full and it was judged that this relatively undefended target, just inside Germany, could be successfully attacked while the main raid on Nuremberg was taking place.
The raid was not a success; bombing was scattered over a wide area. 15 houses were destroyed and 51 seriously damaged in Saarbrücken and one woman was killed. 7 aircraft - 4 Hampdens, 2 Halifaxes, 1 Wellington - lost, 6.2 per cent of the force.

3 Halifaxes made leaflet flights without loss.

Total effort for the night: 275 sorties, 30 aircraft (10.9 per cent) lost.

Photo-recce picture of damage to factories in Nuremburg after the attack of 28/29 August.

29 August 1942

18 Bostons - 12 to Ostend, 6 to Comines power-station; both targets were bombed. 2 Mosquitos to Pont-à-Vendin power-station, 1 Boston and 1 Mosquito lost.

31 August/1 September 1942

5 Lancasters minelaying off Denmark without loss.

1942 July  1942 September
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Date Last Updated : Wednesday, April 6, 2005 2:40 AM

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