Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Oct

8

1943

On a damaged bomber with nowhere to land

Vertical photograph taken from 19,000 feet during a night raid on Hannover, showing an Avro Lancaster, silhouetted by the many incendiary fires below, flying due south over the Sudstadt district. The main thoroughfare, picked out by incendiaries and running from lower left to upper right, is the northern end of Sallstrasse. 3,932 buildings were totally destroyed, and more than 30,000 damaged in varying degree, by the intense conflagration in the central and south central districts of the city resulting from this attack.

Meanwhile, throttle back and reduce speed one-third flap and to the wireless op, ‘Bud’, who had already sent out distress signals, ‘Let the trailing aerial out.’ I needed his instant warning when the aerial touched the water at 20 feet as the signal to cut the engines, pull back on the control column and stall C—Charlie in tail-first. We were down to 500 feet and Norman was still fumbling around. ‘Norman, strap me in quickly and hold the strap across my chest.’