Friday, March 1, 2013

Mar

1

1943

Bomber Command revisit Berlin

Handley Page Halifax B Mark II Series 1A, HR952 'MH-X', of No. 51 Squadron RAF receiving a mixed load of 500-lb MC bombs and incendiaries in its dispersal at Snaith, Yorkshire, for a night raid on Germany.

By this time we are entering the Berlin defensive ring – about 80 miles across. So long as we are only subject to barrage fire, the best bet is to grit one’s teeth and fly straight to get through as quickly as possible, but this time we are unlucky. A searchlight picks us out and almost at once we are at the dazzling centre of a cone with predicted flak coming up at us. Dropping 2,000 feet to keep clear ofthe incoming bomber stream, I turn through 180 degrees and fly north out of range of the defences. Then I swing south again to join the tail end of the attack and try again.